Friday, 21st February, 2020

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Friday, 21st February, 2020


The House met at 0900 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, the Vision Care Appasamy Eye Hospital has been granted permission to conduct a free comprehensive eye screening exercise for hon. Members of Parliament as well as staff.


The exercise will include blood pressure and random blood sugar monitoring and aims at promoting eye health through early detection and treatment of common eye disorders. The screening exercise will take place from Monday, 24th February, to Friday, 28th February, 2020, in Committee Room 5, here at Parliament Buildings, from 0900 hours to 1600 hours on each day. Interested hon. Members are, therefore, encouraged to find time and visit the said screening room.


I thank you.





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


Sir, on Tuesday, 25th February, 2020, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.


Sir, on Wednesday, 26th February, 2020, the Business of the House will start with Questions for Oral Answer. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. After that, the House will deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.


Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 27th February, 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.


Sir, on Friday, 28th February, 2020, the Business of the House will commence with Her Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer. The House will then consider presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.


I thank you, Sir.





Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, why have suspects who have been arrested in relation to gassingincidences not been taken to court so far?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it takes time to investigate cases that are so widely spread. One has to go through many processes to take a culprit to court. A case can only be taken to court once the prosecutors are satisfied with these processes. So, the investigations are still continuing.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mubika (Shang’ombo): Mr Speaker, is it possible for the Government of Zambia to take advantage of its good relations with Russia and have Zambia Police officers trained in that country so that they can act quickly on issues of gassing and other terrorist activities in our country?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this Government has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with many countries for capacity building in various sectors, including training of the police. So, it would not be strange to ask the Government of Russia, or any other government for that matter, to help with investigations in the incidents of gassing. However, we believe that the Zambia Police Service has the capacity to undertake this exercise.


 I thank you, Sir.


Mr Siwanzi (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, following recent incidences of gassing, people are now living in fear. Sadly, there have been very careless messages on social media which have resulted in innocent people losing their lives. What is Her Honour the Vice-President’s message to political parties and the youth in the country who are issuing alarming statements?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, perhaps the use of technology has come late into our society. Many people are abusing social media. This is not accepted in some countries. In fact, in certain countries, the use of social media is absolutely prohibited. We believe that the fuelling of hate speech and the circulation of obscene messages and pictures should be something that people should be worried about in this country. The use, misuse or abuse of social media is something that this Government is pursuing. At some point, those that will abrogate the law that will be put in place will be dealt with by relevant authorities because they are damaging the country through their abuse of social media.

Mr Speaker, I want to warn those that continue to perpetuate hateful and alarming messages that when the police catch up with them, they should not be surprised. In fact, some are being pursued already.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I recall that during the outbreak of cholera, the Government was able to put up serious interventions. It intensified security and came up with a committee of hon. Ministers which was updating the country on how the scourge was getting controlled. Will the Government come up with another committee which will keep the country updated on the gassing incidences and mob justice issues?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, a ministerial statement was issued on the Floor of the House on Wednesday, 19th February, 2020, which brought out a lot of issues including how information will be disseminated to the public. Already, a committee of hon. Ministers of relevant ministries that are dealing with this issue of gassing is in place.


Mr Speaker, we are working on every angle of this issue of gassing. This phenomenon is happening countrywide. Every province has been affected. The purpose of all of this is to distabilise the Government, cause civil strife and erode people’s confidence in the governance of their country. It is also to slow down development because we are seeing damage being done to public and private infrastructure. All this has been an orchestrated plan to distabilise this country or, perhaps, to have a regime change, as we have been told. This will not work because the culprits will be identified. Already, we have some leads that point to some of the people involved in this scourge. So, they can damage property, but offenders will not go very far because the Government is on their heels.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, yesterday or the day before, we learnt that if resources are not made available under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), we will continue to owe input suppliers and transporters. This will, invariably, become a domestic debt. When will the Government seriously look at the FISP to an extent where, when the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) buys enough for our strategic reserves, the excess maize which goes to private buyers can be exported so that the agency can have a revenue stream that will support future budgetary provisions? This is with regard to the investment that taxpayers put in, with particular reference to our Budget for 2020.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of the investment that goes into the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). Currently, the Government is looking at amending the FRA Act so that it can address some of the issues that have been raised by the hon. Member for Kantanshi. We believe that with the new reforms or the transformation of the FRA, a lot of resources will be saved to address other economic issues.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, today, I stand here as an hon. Member of Parliament who feels greatly moved by the happenings in our nation which are very unZambian and call for unity of purpose. Is it possible that Parliament can be suspended for two weeks so that hon. Members of Parliament can be allowed chance to go and help the police …


Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!




Mr Mutale: …and other leaders of society to sensitise our communities to stop this trend of killing innocent people through instant mob justice, which is unZambian?


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there may be no need to suspend Parliament and its operations because there are many ways that hon. Members of Parliament communicate with their constituencies. I believe they can use the same communication strategies to reach out to their people to ensure that they get the message about stopping this mob justice that seems to have gripped the country.


Mr Speaker, mob justice has been fuelled by alarmists who have spread fake information about the happenings in their communities. Therefore, as leaders, hon. Members of Parliament have a duty to sensitise their communities about the dangers of this spate of gassing that is going on in the country. You never know as even your own child or relative can be caught up in these conflicts when they occur. Therefore, every leader, including hon. Members of Parliament, must be aware that the gassing of innocent Zambians that is going on is their responsibility to address.


Sir, as I said earlier, the gassing of citizens has spread across the whole country. It is a conspiracy and we are aware that there are some people behind this. There are master minders behind all this. So, these are the people that the police are pursuing and trying to arrest in order to bring this matter to a stop.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Mr Speaker, the country has experienced heavy rains in most parts leading to floods which have caused damage to some houses, bridges and crops. Milenge is a case in point. Which other parts of the country are experiencing similar situations and what quick action is the Government taking to remedy the same?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, heavy rains have caused havoc on communities in many parts of the country. However, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has been on site in most of these areas to support the communities.

Sir, hon. Members should be aware that dealing with drought may be easier than dealing with floods. This is because floods wash away everything, including livestock. Currently, the DMMU is undertaking a survey of the affected areas to ensure that it captures every area that has been affected to ensure that long term support is provided. For now, I would say that the DMMU is addressing all the areas that have been flooded.


Mr Speaker, we know that a lot of infrastructure has been damaged. We have seen roads in the Eastern Province that have been submerged or bridges that have been washed out. This is another national calamity. However, the Government is on top of the situation and is addressing the matter. Next week, we will come to the House with a comprehensive statement on the effects of the floods on communities.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mr Speaker: There are far too many conversations on my left side.


Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, there have been calls from a lecturer at the University of Zambia (UNZA) suggesting that the best option to the challenges that the highest institution of learning faces can only be addressed by its being privatised. Is the Government considering that thought? Secondly, what are Her Honour the Vice-President’s comments on the squabbles going on over the union at the university?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, a lot of countries in this world have public universities and Zambia is not an exception. Therefore, the Government has not considered privatising UNZA. Instead, it is committed to ensuring that the university is supported and its activities continue to promote academic excellence in this country. The Government, therefore, has no plans to privatise UNZA.


I thank you, Sir.

Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, what chemical substance is being used to gas our people and what effects does it have on their lives in future?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the mixture of the chemicals used in gassing people will be analysed by technical people who know the science.




The Vice-President: This is not a laughing matter, hon. Member.




Hon. Government Member: They know what they are doing!




Mr Speaker: Order!


Her Honour the Vice-President, just give me time to restore order.


Hon. Members, this is an earnest matter that should be approached as such. Let us not trivialise it. You have asked her a question and she is giving her response. As she does so, please, give her due respect.


You may continue.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this is a very sensitive matter of national security. It will be most unfortunate if we, as leaders and hon. Members of Parliament trivialise it. It shows the lack of commitment to stopping the gassing incidences. It also shows the lack of some levels of patriotism because we have to feel for our people. We have to feel for those that have already lost their relatives due to the gassing incidences.

Sir, as to the type of chemicals used, there are scientific analysts who are still analysing these matters. How do we know whether the chemical that was used in Chingola is the same as that used in Kanyama? All these matters have to be investigated in detail. Therefore, I urge leaders to forge solidarity and unity in the country so that we defeat threats that seem to be undermining the development of Zambia. Hon. Members of Parliament should take this matter very seriously and not laugh about it.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Phiri (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, what plans does the Government have for the more than thirty families that were displaced during the construction of the Mwembezhi Correctional Facility in Chilanga who now live along the Mumbwa Road at a place called the Strip Land?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government has engaged original title holders. The whole matter will be resolved even with the court order that is in place together with all the other legal matters involved in this particular case. The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has been engaged to provide alternative plots for the displaced people. It is an ongoing case.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, it is darkest before dawn. Is Her Honour the Vice-President not bothered by the way the Patriotic Front (PF) is ruling this country where the police are failing to arrest PF cadres who are busy maiming people and are moving with guns and pangas? In addition, the people of the Southern Province are being denied the opportunity to acquire National Registration Cards (NRCs). It takes about thirty days for one to acquire an NRC. Does Her Honour the Vice-President not think that this is a systematic genocide against the people of the Southern Province?




Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President:  Mr Speaker, I do not know which question I should respond to because the hon. Member raised a number of issues, including a very serious one that the people of the Southern Province have been denied an opportunity to acquire national registration cards. It is unfortunate that he was not part of the House at the time when the Southern Province was the first to issue NRCs under the mobile registration exercise in 2016. It is hard to answer that question because it was a mixture of all sorts of serious allegations.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Speaker, without malice, I am saddened as I remember that when the City Market was gutted, the Vice-President was quoted in the media as saying that she knew the people who were undermining the Government by that action. This arose from the question I asked in the House.


Mr Speaker, this is very serious. In her response today, she said that there are people who are undermining the Government due to the infrastructure development and other development projects which are happening in this country by gassing and alarming the nation.


Mr Speaker, if she knows these people, why is her Government allowing them to continue gassing children in schools and causing innocent people to lose their lives? Does she know the perpetrators or she is just speculating that they are trying to undermine the Government?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I said that we knew the people who torched the market and they were, indeed, arrested at the time, but some of them were later acquitted. Further, in my presentations or my responses on the current gassing incidences, I did not say that I knew the perpetrators. I said investigations to get to the bottom of the matter and to know who the master minders are, are continuing.


Sir, a lot of people who were found with certain chemicals and other weapons of destruction in their possession have been arrested. However, I did not say that I knew them. I know that it is very easy for us politicians to put words in each other’s mouths, but I definitely did not say that I knew them. If I did, I am sure they would have been caged by now. Therefore, investigations are still going on.


Sir, let me assure the House that once these investigations are over, hon. Members will be informed about the findings and the people who have been promoting this wrong. This is a huge conspiracy. The plotters are not working in one isolated place, but all over the country. This means that they were organised, trained, equipped and sent out to districts. Therefore, it is those people behind this organisation that have to be found and made answerable for the many deaths that have taken place since the gassing started.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mwiinga (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, it is in the public domain that one Commanding Officer in Chingola, a Mr Peter Miselo, his counterpart, the Division Criminal Investigations Officer and the Information and Publicity Secretary for the Patriotic Front (PF), Mr Evans Mulenga, were warned and cautioned in connection with the gassing incidences. What does it mean for the ruling party accusing the opposition for being behind the same scourge?




Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think the question is based on speculations and I do not think I am in a position to respond to it.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, last year, we discussed the issue of mini-hospitals on two occasions and it was agreed that the hon. Minister of Health would bring the list of areas earmarked for that development. However, he has neglected to do so, and yet, whenever there is a by-election, he announces that the Government will put up a hospital in that particular area. I would, therefore, like Her Honour the Vice-President to indicate why the Government has neglected to bring that list to this House for more than twelve months.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, under the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), the Government has outlined several measures of addressing health care for the people of Zambia and the construction of mini hospitals, health posts and district hospitals …




Mr Speaker: Order!


 Hon. Members on the left are disturbing the proceedings.


 You may continue, Her Honour the Vice-President.


The Vice-President: … is part of the health development plan. So, the hon. Minister of Health will be requested to come to the House to inform hon. Members about the development of mini hospitals in the country so that they may be aware of why certain mini hospitals have not been constructed and how other provinces or constituencies have benefited from the provision of the same.


 I thank you, Sir.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, not too long ago, His Excellency, the President of this Republic of Zambia, came to this House to address the nation. Amongst the many challenges he talked about was the threat of climate change. Some Opposition leaders, however, have gone to town criticising him about this.


Mr Speaker, the people of Kanchibiya and many other areas in the nation have been affected by drought and floods.


Hon. Opposition Members: Ask the question!


Dr Malama: Does the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) under the Office of the Vice-President, which is mandated to attend to disasters like those in Kanchibiya today, have the capacity to handle the many disasters that are happening?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government has an obligation to provide services to its people. The DMMU is the main Government unit dealing with disaster management and it is supported by other sector ministries as well as some co-operating partners in tackling some of the disaster occurrences and shocks that we experience in the country. I can assure the nation that, through the DMMU, the Government has the capacity to take care of its people in disaster situations.


I thank you, Sir.


 Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, as Her Honour the Vice-President rightly put it, the gassing of citizens and mob justice that has emerged is a serious issue and has caused national insecurity. I am aware that some people have been arrested in connection with the gassing incidences, but have not yet been taken to court. The Vice-President rightly explained that further investigations are being made. However, a cross section of citizens in this country believes that the current Government is involved in the gassing situation.


 Hon. Government Members: Ah!


Mr Kambita: In order to remove those aspersions, and for avoidance of doubt, why is the PF Government refusing to bring independent investigators so that this matter is settled to the satisfaction of all citizens instead of the way it is doing it?


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I cannot see how an hon. Member of Parliament who aspires to be one of the hon. Ministers in a Government his party wants to put in place can mistrust his own people in preference to foreign intervention.


 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Shame! 


The Vice-President: This does not surprise me because I have heard about the sale of public assets to foreigners so that benefits go to the people who sell such assets.


 Hon. Government Members: Yes!


 The Vice-President: We have also heard about political parties that appeal to the international community over issues that can be resolved in their own country.


Hon. Government Members: Shame!


The Vice-President: This, definitely, shows that the hon. Member does not believe in the capacity of Zambians to solve their own problems.


 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Shame!


The Vice-President: So, I can assure the hon. Member that the PF Government is in the saddle and will deliver services to its people. It will tackle matters as they come, including the issue of gassing and many others. It has handled such matters in the past and, therefore, there is no reason it should abrogate its responsibilities by calling on other Governments.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to respond and ask the Her Honour the Vice-President –




Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, resume your seat. Let us have some order.


Mr Mwiimbu: What is your issue?


 Mr Speaker: Let us have some order!


The hon. Leader of Opposition, you have an opportunity to put a question. Put a question.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance.


Mr Speaker, I am aware that the former President of the PF party was in the Government which was involved in privatising companies in this country and many companies were sold. I am also aware that husbands to certain hon. Members in this House were in the Government when privatisation was carried out. I am also aware that the Government intends to …




 Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Monze Central, give me a minute.


 Mr Sing’ombe: Kimasholi!


Mr Speaker: Order!


I have repeatedly counselled in the past that we need to exercise patience and tolerance because they are virtues of democracy. We cannot transact in this fashion. Let him ask his question.


 You may continue, hon. Member.


 Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I am also aware …




Mr Mwiimbu: … that this Government prefers to give contracts to foreigners to perform duties on behalf of the Government. I am also aware that it intends to sell the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to foreigners.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!    


Mr Mwiimbu: Can it now tell us that it is not going to sell the KCM to foreigners and, instead, give it to Zambians if it has the interest of Zambians at heart?


 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!    




Mr Speaker: Order!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Leader of the Opposition has not asked a question. So, in commenting on his remarks, I must indicate that when the Government of the day introduced the privatisation programme, it gave the responsibility to undertake the exercise to private companies which actually benefited a lot from it.


Mr Lusambo: Mwaona manje.

Hon. PF Members: We are aware.


Mr Speaker: Order!


 Her Honour the Vice-President, resume your seat and just give me a moment. Hon. Members on the right, you are not assisting Her Honour the Vice-President.


Mrs Chinyama: Seer 1 area.


Mr Chaatila: Seer 1 section.




Mr Speaker: Order on the left! 


When Her Honour the Vice-President is responding, let us give her respect. The hon. Members on the right should be the least to drown her, if at all. It is not a sign of respect to Her Honour the Vice-President. That is why she has this opportunity to respond on behalf of the Government.


Her Honour the Vice-President may continue.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government makes policy and the implementation of policy is usually done at either the Government technical level or by the private sector. So, the privatisation that took place in the 1990s was a policy that was formulated by the Government then. However, the actual implementation and operationalisation of the policy was done mainly by the private sector. Some Zambians were part and parcel of the private sector entities that were privatising and benefited a lot.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: These companies benefited a lot at the expense of Zambians. That is why, after the privatisation exercise, we started to see children on the streets because their parents had lost jobs. There is a lot to say on the issue of the privatisation of companies in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!








167. Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. whether the Government is aware that the enumerators who are collecting blood samples for purposes of HIV testing under the Zambia Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (ZAMPHIA) 2020 Survey are being mistaken for those suspected to be collecting blood for ritual purposes, thereby, causing panic among residents;
  2. if so, what urgent measures are being taken to sensitise the people about the survey;
  3. whether the Government has any plans to suspend the survey until the security situation normalises; and
  4. if so, when the survey will be suspended.


The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that during the pilot phase of the survey, enumerators who were collecting blood samples for the purposes of HIV testing under the Zambia Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (ZAMPHIA) 2020 Survey were being mistaken for those suspected to be collecting blood for ritual purposes.


Mr Speaker, the House may wish to note that the ZAMPHIA 2020 Survey consists of two phases, namely, the pilot phase and the implementation phase. What took place was the pilot to see the feasibility of conducting the survey. This pilot took place in Munali Constituency, particularly in Chainama, Chainda, Avondale, Ibex Hill, Meanwood-Ndeke areas and Chinkuli. It took place from 10th to 16th February, 2020.


Mr Speaker, the implementation phase of the survey has not yet started. It was planned to start around the end of March 2020. I must be quick to mention that ZAMPHIA refers to a population-based survey that looks at assessing the coverage of HIV/AIDS services and the impact on the community, therefore, measuring progress in the HIV programme.


Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health has engaged community leaders and communities through public sensitisation forums on the importance of the ZAMPHIA 2020 Survey and the need for citizens to participate in it. The Government will continue with public sensitisation campaigns and engagement with media, religious leaders, traditional leaders, key opinion makers, and hon. Members of Parliament. These engagements are meant to continue even beyond the survey. 


Mr Speaker, the House may wish to note that similar population-based HIV impact assessment surveys (PHIAS) are taking place in a number of countries. In Zambia, it is called the ZAMPHIA. Similar surveys are taking place in a number of countries currently and these include Uganda, Malawi, eSwatini and Botswana. Results from the thirteen-country surveys will be announced in September 2020 at the United Nations General Assembly in order to assess if countries, including Zambia, have attained the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 targets.


Mr Speaker, Zambia was one of the countries targeted for the attainment of epidemic control of HIV/AIDS by the year 2020. These targets mean that 90 per cent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90 per cent of all people diagnosed with HIV will receive sustained Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) and 90 per cent of all people receiving ART will have viral suppression. 


Mr Speaker, a population impact assessment is harmless and is meant to assess progress in HIV programming. The pilot phase is done. It happened between 10th and 16th February, 2020. There was 90 per cent acceptance and no negative incidents. However, the Ministry of Health is working with various community leaders for the next thirty days to improve on the sensitisation of the public. Therefore, it will temporarily stop the fieldwork and liaise with security wings on the security situation in the country.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, as indicated earlier, the Ministry of Health is working with security wings to assess the security situation before it can unleash surveyors or researchers into the communities. There is a minimum of a one month period for sensitisation and for normalisation of the security situation.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.    


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the ZAMPHIA Survey is a very noble exercise intended to safeguard the lives of our people which, unfortunately, has been misunderstood. I have a document, which I will lay on the Table of the House, which I think is the cause of the misunderstanding amongst members of the public.

Sir, one of the survey criteria that are being used states, and I quote:

The HIV test will be done according to the National Rapid HIV Testing Policy for those participants who consent or assent to the test, that is, consent and assent for 15-17 years old participants and consent for 18 years and older participants. The HIV testing is done by collecting a small sample of blood from the arm. The blood will be collected by trained healthcare providers. After the HIV test is conducted from your home, the remaining blood samples will be taken to the central laboratory for further testing”.

Mr Speaker, here lies the problem and root of the perception by members of the public that there are people who are conducting an exercise to collect blood for rituals.

Sir, can the hon. Minister –

Mr Lubinda interjected.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hon. Lubinda, this is the perception of the people.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Monze Central, I will not allow you to engage the hon. Minister in that fashion. Just focus on your question. The issue of the interjection is my problem to handle.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the issue I am raising is very important. If you recall, most of the riots in some of these places have been as a result of blood being collected. Can the hon. Minister categorically state the purpose of the collection of blood samples so that members of the public hear him clearly on this issue? If this is not done, we will continue having riots in our communities.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, allow me to preface the response to that question with some background information –




Mr Speaker: Continue hon. Minister.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, currently, there are approximately 1.2 million people living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in Zambia. In 2003, when the Government committed to enrolling citizens on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) at its cost, there was a paltry 3,500 people on the programme. With support from the Government of the United States of America (USA), through the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), it has grown with 1.1 million people on lifesaving ART.

Mr Speaker, we must remember that we used to bury our professionals on a daily basis. Mother to child transmission of HIV/ AIDS was at 45 per cent, but today, it is at less than 2 per cent. Lives have been changed. There has been a positive impact on our economy because productivity has improved due to a healthier citizenry. This is all because HIV is no longer a death sentence, but a manageable chronic condition.


Sir, every programme has a monitoring and evolution component. If we are going to have our donors invest US$4 billion in a programme, it is inevitable that we monitor the impact of such investment. Over the years, we have seen new infections and prevalence levels reduce. We have also seen positive impact on lives.


Sir, how else would you determine that a programme is working if you do not conduct a survey? A survey is just an assessment. The Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) survey is simply a community based assessment to find out whether or not the programme is working. How else would you do that if you do not assess whether there are new infections happening or not?


Mr Speaker, when someone is initiated on ART, the viral load is suppressed within ten to fourteen days with the current molecules. Once one’s viral load has been suppressed, he/she is not able to transmit the virus to the next person. A mother cannot transmit the virus to its child and neither can a partner to another. Enrolling people on ART is preventing new infections.


Mr Speaker, with that background, I want to emphasise that the survey that we are talking about here involves taking small samples of blood from 35,000 people from 12,000 households. I am addressing the wrong perception on social media that talks about door to door collection of blood from 17 million Zambians. The peddlers of such information are enemies of the people who must be confronted. They are people who want to propagate strife in the country.


Mr Speaker, while there are 17 million Zambians, this survey only targets 35,000 distributed across the country. In other words, the target is 12,000 households only. The process is basic. The researcher, clad in attire which clearly identifies him/her as one, will get into a selected household. People will be able to distinguish the researcher from any other person because he/she will put on a t-shirt or a shirt clearly written “ZAMPHIA” and a cap, if need be.


Mr Speaker, all researchers will have identification documents and after introducing themselves, will get consent of the citizens. For those citizens between the age of fifteen and seventeen years old, consent will be sought from their parents. So, the first step is to get consent. However, should a citizen or a head of a household opt out because he/she does not want to participate, no one will force him/her. There is an opt-out system which allows people to walk away.


Mr Speaker, where consent is granted, the purpose of the survey will be explained and the form that the hon. Member of Parliament laid on the Table of the House will be explained to the participant. It will be explained line by line together with the activities that ought to be done. If there is consent, blood will be drawn from that particular consenting citizen. Only 0.014 millilitres of blood is required, at the barest minimum.


Sir, the first test to be done will be a rapid HIV test on site. As a result of the fact that it is a rapid HIV test and the client would have been engaged, they will be given the result on the spot. If the client is negative, he/she will be counselled on how to remain negative. However, if the client is positive, he or she will be linked to care at the nearest health facility.


However, for therapy to be initiated, there are baseline investigations that have to be carried out such as the assessment of the CD4 count and the viral load. There are also other variables that are checked as part of the baseline investigation before a patient is initiated on therapy. The tests I have highlighted are not rapid. They need to be done in a reference laboratory. That is why the plasma that will be taken shall be referred to a reference laboratory to assess the CD4 count, the viral load and other variables for a particular client to be started on therapy. A patient is not initiated on therapy without checking the baseline. There are many things that affect the outcome of a particular treatment regimen on a patient. So, based on the results that come out, doctors will decide a different regimen.


Mr Speaker, the blood that the enumerators are taking is being taken to a reference laboratory for baseline investigations after which the patient is going to be given the opportunity to start therapy. This is what happens routinely.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: It is not new. Even when you go to the hospital today and do an HIV test, the hospital will give you results and also have the rest of the sample or more samples collected for baseline investigations which include liver and kidney function tests, CD4 count and viral load assessment. If not for the basis of determining the regimen, at least, for forming a baseline for follow up so that the next time the patient is checked, progress can be assessed. If, for instance, the CD4 count was 200 and next time the patient is assessed after being on treatment for a certain period the CD4 count is found to be 600, that is progress. If the viral load is one million copies at the time the patient is assessed and he/she starts therapy with the new molecules and the viral load becomes undetectable within ten to fourteen days, that is progress. So, how else do you create a basis for assessing progress?


Mr Speaker, I appeal to hon. Members of Parliament to be in the forefront to sensitise their constituents and the public on the importance of the ZAMPHIA 2020 Survey. Society evolves every day. We will not accept, as hon. Members of Parliament, a situation where a survey meant to impact the people positively is thrown out based on perceptions. So, I call upon each hon. Member to participate in the sensitisation of the people on the importance of the PHIA and the ZAMPHIA. This is not the first ZAMPHIA the Government is conducting. It was also conducted in 2016, and that is the baseline. This is not even the first blood-based survey the Government is doing. The Government just released the Demographic Health Survey results. This was an even bigger survey. It is not the first time that this is being done. I, therefore, call upon hon. Members to participate in sensitising the public on this innocent process.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister accept the fact that the mode of the communication protocol to the country about the ZAMPHIA 2020 Survey, a good programme whose benefits will accrue to the nation for a very long time to come, was defective? The lecture the hon. Minister has just given the House this morning is really trying to convert the converted because we, as hon. Members, understand the benefits of this programme.


Mr Speaker, the problem is the dangerous coincidence between a good programme which is beneficial to the country and the happenings that are out of our control, being the gassing of people for ritual purposes. We are told that once they gas you, they draw blood from your system. Does the hon. Minister not agree with me that he has done a job not so good in communicating the benefits of this programme? I can assure him that certain hon. Members in this Chamber are probably hearing about the ZAMPHIA 2020 Survey for the very first time. The hon. Minister is now asking them to go into their constituencies without him coming to this House, the way he did last time with the Oraquick HIV testing kits which he used on himself and led by example. Why did he not come with an enumerator and draw his own blood first…


Hon. UPND Members: ...Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: ... and then ask us to support him so that suspicion levels in society are diminished?


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I want to appreciate Hon. Garry Nkombo for that very noble suggestion that I bring enumerators to draw blood from hon. Members of Parliament first, beginning with me so that we do the tests and release the samples to the enumerators for the public to appreciate that this is a noble programme. Let me assure Hon. Garry Nkombo that I will respond to that challenge. The enumerators may be on our door step by close of business today.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear! Bebutuka

Mr Sing’ombe: Today?


Dr Chilufya: Hon. Members should not leave the Chamber when the enumerator comes.




Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the issue of sensitisation is a process that is planned in two phases. The first one is a pilot which was done on a very small scale. Believe you me there was adequate sensitisation within Munali Constituency where it was done. The response was brilliant. There was acceptance at 90 per cent and no person was injured or attacked.


Mr Speaker, the period after the pilot phase to the period when the actual study begins is one month, meant for the sensitisation of the public. It involves engaging opinion from people such as hon. Members of Parliament. I totally agree with Hon. Nkombo. The ministry will seek authority of the hon. Mr Speaker to ensure that a workshop is conducted to discuss this exercise in detail and do some of those programmes locally and ensure that the public sees that hon. Members are leading the charge from the front.


Mr Speaker, like I said in my earlier response, the Government will continue to sensitise the public. Community leaders, religious leaders, teachers, traditional leaders and hon. Members of Parliament will all be requested to participate in the sensitisation of the public because this is a programme that is well meant. Further, I would like to appreciate Hon. Nkombo for acknowledging that ZAMPHIA is, indeed, a programme that is well meant for the country.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Mr Speaker, I am not a superstitious person and, therefore, have no problem with this programme happening. However, I am aware that many Zambians out there have difficulties with the Government conducting this programme at such a time. In any planning or research, assumptions are made. However, the circumstances under which the country is currently work against the intentions of this research. Is it not wise for the Government to consider deferring this whole exercise to a later time when people would be comfortable to do it so that the country does not lose out on the benefits that are supposed to accrue from the survey?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, for avoidance of doubt.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, let me, again, preface my response. Let not perpetrators of crime hide their criminal intent behind this programme. There are people who are using this programme to escalate whatever crimes they are involved in. Let us be noble about this cause. There are people who are now using the crime that is happening in society to ensure that they kill a noble programme. They are using it to tarnish the image of the Government. If this programme collapses, there will be no basis to inform continued programming for the HIV/AIDS funding. If we do not get adequate funding, we will not have enough to look after the one million people who are on ART and the same perpetrators will turn around and say the Government is not looking after its citizens.


Sir, I have said clearly, and I repeat, that the pilot phase is done. This programme will not start until there is a full month of sensitisation. In addition, we will consult with our security wings to ensure that there is clear agreement that the security situation in the country is normal. Only then will the programme commence. We have commenced a full month of sensitisation and I repeat that hon. Members should lead the charge from the front.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, for avoidance of doubt, I indicated that this is a noble programme which should be supported by all of us. However, the issue is the manner in which it has been received by members of the public. I would like all of us to take note that yesterday, three senior members of the public were killed in Gwembe on suspicion that they were collecting blood from people in that particular area. That is the perception members of the public have. I accept the hon. Minister’s assurance that he is going to suspend this particular programme, but urge him to ensure that this sensitisation exercise transcends across all districts of Zambia so that people understand, otherwise, this noble programme will fail. Can the hon. Minister, please, assure us that he will reach all corners of Zambia to sensitise people?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the reason we are even putting the implementation phase of the programme on hold is to ensure that sensitisation is enhanced. So, again, I emphasise that religious leaders, traditional leaders, hon. Members of Parliament, teachers and everyone out there in the community will be sensitised through appropriate media platforms to ensure that this programme is understood.


Mr Speaker, it is not the first time that this programme is being done in Zambia. We did it in 2016, incident free. It should also be remembered that collection of blood is done routinely for blood transfusion services. So, we are working together with our colleagues in the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure that the opportune time for this focus programme is identified so that it does not fail because the assessment is important.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, it would appear that the conditions prevailing in the country currently do not permit even sensitisation to be undertaken despite the fact that this is a noble cause that the Government has embarked on. As I have indicated, conditions are very violent and not conducive. They actually require us to go back to the drawing board and allow this phase to pass before we can embark on this well-intended programme, otherwise, we may be caught up in cross-fire fighting.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I will emphasise that surveys will continue to be done in the country. At the moment, we have already declared that the pilot is done and that sensitisation is going to be carried out before implementation begins. For avoidance of doubt, the survey is not taking place as we speak. The implementation phase will start only after we have a normal security situation in the country and the public is sensitised. However, to say that we should abandon it completely is not the solution.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, I too know a lot about this programme and support it. Given the situation which we have at the moment, I would like to find out something. The ministry’s target, together with other participating countries, is September. In the event that we miss that date when we are supposed to report, would it be possible for us to report separately at a later date or do we just have to meet it irrespective of what is happening in our country?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, we are going to conduct this survey in line with the guidelines I have given. I find myself repeating what I have already said. The pilot was done, but the actual implementation has not commenced. It will only commence when the situation is normal. It will be at a time when the public would have been adequately sensitised. Hon. Members of Parliament should just remember that this is not the first time we are doing a ZAMPHIA. We have done this before without violence.


Sir, for the hon. Member of Parliament’s information, the biggest cause of maternal mortality in this country is haemorrhage, which is known as bleeding. There are women who bleed when giving birth and survive, by and large, because of blood transfusion. So, we have a routine blood collection exercise. Therefore, that we are collecting blood is not anything strange. We are actually collecting more blood for blood transfusion services. We test citizens where we find them. So, let not an impression be created that there is something new happening. There is nothing new happening. There is just an element of criminality trying to corrupt or adulterate a very noble programme. That is why it is incumbent upon us, as leaders, to ensure that we provide leadership in this case.


Mr Speaker, it is not true to say we do not draw blood. We draw blood on a daily basis. We transfuse people on a daily basis. If we did not do that, accident victims that we transfuse would not be alive and women would be dying in numbers after giving birth. So, blood collection is normal. What we just need to do is to ensure that we do not link criminal elements or activities to a noble programme. That is why it is our duty to sensitise the public. We must raise literacy levels and ensure that people understand what this is all about. Let us not thrive on the criminality that is happening which is perpetrated by some people in society.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr S. Banda (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for clarifying this matter. There are assertions going round on social media indicating that the enumerators are moving from house to house. The hon. Minister has clarified that actually, it is only 12,000 households that are supposed to be visited. For avoidance of doubt, may the hon. Minister clarify how these households are selected because people are wondering why their households have been selected and not others’? That, also, is attracting some innuendoes. I would also like to find out what would be the implication on the citizens in the event that this particular activity failed?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, this is random sampling which will involve 35,000 citizens. The notion that there is a door to door campaign to draw blood should be discarded with the contempt it deserves. People are even calculating that it will be 1.04 millilitres of blood multiplied by 17 million Zambians. Let us use social media for the good that it is intended.


Mr Speaker, there is no door to door collection of blood, but a random sampling that will involve only 12,000 households. The total shall be 12,000 households across the ten provinces which will translate into 35,000 citizens. It is a random sampling exercise and citizens will be free to opt out.


Sir, the same way that those who contribute blood do so willingly, is the same way that citizens will be given an opportunity to opt in or out. So, I thank the hon. Member for the question. I emphasise that it is not 17 million, but 35,000 Zambians from 12,000 households. This is a random survey. The leadership of this House and the people in the country will not allow this programme to fail.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last four interventions from the hon. Member for Livingstone, the hon. Member for Manyinga, the hon. Member for Kasempa and I will conclude with the hon. Member for Nalikwanda. 


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that once consent is granted by parents, officers can go ahead and extract blood from children. I would like to find out whether or not there were specific reasons the Government decided to choose the age group between fifteen and seventeen years old.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the survey involves adults between fifteen and fifty-nine years old. We are only referring to the ages between fifteen and seventeen years old because these require consent from parents. So, all citizens will need to give consent including those fifteen to seventeen years old. However, those between fifteen and seventeen years old will not only need to consent in their personal capacities, but will need their parents to consent that their children participate in the survey. Otherwise, the survey involves people from fifteen and well up to fifty-nine years old.


 I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, we run short of blood in some rural parts of this country. Now, assuming this programme is completely abandoned, what would be the impact on Zambians?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the programme for collecting blood for transfusion is ongoing and the public has accepted that programme very well. The Zambian public supports the Zambia National Blood Transfusion Service (ZNBTS) by willingly donating blood which is used to save lives. Many pregnant women and children are saved. Children with severe anaemia due to malaria who are about to succumb to death as they are in anaemic heart failure are saved because of blood transfusion. So, that programme continues.


Sir, this is why the Government will not allow people with criminal intent to disrupt a well intended programme. This is why we will not allow that to even affect other routine programmes. This programme will not be killed because of criminal elements and will not even affect the routine blood transfusion service.


 Mr Speaker, therefore, we do not expect Manyinga or any part of the country to run out of blood because, if that happens, hon. Members who will come to this House and report multiple maternal deaths. They will not only report maternal deaths, but multiple deaths due to severe malaria because we will no longer be able to transfuse.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, clearly we all appreciate the good intentions especially that we are all here for the good of our people. I want to understand the risks that abound because of the misconceptions and everything that has been debated in this House. We have two sets of people. The general public that has to be protected from HIV/AIDS mortality and the front line workers that are going to be involved in this programme.


Mr Speaker, clearly, we all are interested in finding out the regime for risk managing and cordoning off any harm to the front line workers who are going to execute this programme because people out there will not understand what we are talking about in this House. What regime is in place for managing the safety of the employees who are going to execute the programme?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, firstly, let it not be said that what is happening in the country today, that is purely associated with planned crime, is what was obtaining in the past or what will obtain in future. This wave will come to a stop and this Government will put a stop to it.


Sir, routine programming will continue. The ZAMPHIA survey that was done in 2016 did not need any security men. It brought out results and acceptance was 90 per cent.


Mr Speaker, even as we want to talk about process, the ZAMPHIA survey of 2016 revealed that 71 per cent of Zambians that were HIV positive knew their status, 87 per cent were actually on treatment and 89 per cent had viral load suppression. It also brought out the fact that the impact from the HIV pandemic was higher on women. Further, that the rates of infection in girls between fifteen and twenty-four years had doubled. It also brought out the fact that men hardly test and that the man between twenty-five and thirty-five years old was not testing at all, but was doubling the rate of infection.


Mr Speaker, from that ZAMPHIA survey of 2016, a new programme was created and new resources were brought on board to address the demographics. The peculiar demographic grouping such as the adolescent has had heightened attention. There is an adolescent outreach programme in colleges and communities to address that doubled rate of infection because if our adolescents are doubling their rates of infections then the future of the country is negatively affected. We also have programmes to protect women from the impact of HIV/AIDS.


Mr Speaker, like I said, the mother to child transmission rate has reduced from 45 to 2 per cent because of interventions. So, a number of interventions were put in place and, now, what we are doing in this ZAMPHIA 2020 Survey is to assess the impact and see how those indicators have changed. Do we need security in the current situation where we have criminals that are doing strange things in the country? We have not needed that before and let it not be created. Let not an impression be created that every time there is such an exercise, there is need for police. No. It is just the moment that is inappropriate. That is why I am insisting that we will find the opportune time when people will freely participant in the same way they do in blood transfusion services.


Mr Speaker, in terms of security we are aware that our people themselves protect their own health workers. We do not want to create an impression that in this country, for health workers to go out in the field, there should be a policeman with a gun. It is just a moment that is going to be dealt with and this programme is just a victim of some crime happening in the country.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: The last question from the hon. Member for Nalikwanda.




Business was suspended 1040 hours until 1100 hours.




Prof. Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was just about to ask this question. We are part of global initiatives to combat HIV/AIDS. We are also part of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 Programme. Clearly, as the hon. Minister has indicated, the 2016 ZAMPHIA survey has given us indicators of our progress towards HIV/AIDS control. We are at 71-87-89, a move towards 90-90-90, which is good progress. Is the hon. Minister in a position to take us through what we have done as a country to achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target? Could he also take us through the gaps that still exist in our national efforts to achieve epidemic control? Is it possible for him to do that? It would help us to fully understand how well we are progressing towards achieving the 90-90-90 goal?


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, yes. It is our duty to ensure that hon. Members of Parliament are apprised on the progress made and on what has been done to which we can attribute that whole progress. In a nutshell, I will use this platform to state that the Zambian Government under President Lungu has embarked on a transformational agenda with a particular focus on strengthening health systems and having clearly set goals in line with our universal health coverage agenda.


Madam Speaker, epidemic control of HIV/AIDS has been pitched as one of the top priorities. What have we done to attain epidemic control of HIV/AIDS? Firstly, there was a pronouncement that was made by the President changing from voluntary counselling, testing and treatment to test and treat. With that shift, we saw numbers double. We saw same day initiation on ART increase by 70 per cent. We saw numbers of people who were not tested for HIV/AIDS increase exponentially. So, the test and treat programme is one of the major policy pronouncements that impacted the HIV/AIDS programming in Zambia.


Madam Speaker, the launch of the you-to-you initiative, where, again, the President, with the support of the American Government, launched the undetectable is equal to un-transmittable initiative. Under this initiative, we sensitise the public on the importance of getting tested and treated. This way, they get their viral load suppressed and are not able to transmit the virus. The you-to-you campaign was, again, a huge game changer.


Madam Speaker, we have focused on adolescents and have adolescent friendly corners in all health facilities as well as adolescent outreach programmes. We have re-engineered the health sector to introduce services that are community based where there is community-based testing. All these have resulted in numbers going up.


Madam Speaker, the robust infrastructure expansion for primary healthcare where we have seen facilities built and services introduced in all these parts of the country has meant that people no longer have to walk long distances or pay huge sums of money to access ART in towns that are very far from where they are resident. So, decentralising health services and taking them closer to the people was a game changer.


Madam Speaker, human capital investment, where, within a space of three years this Government recruited 22,000 health workers and distributed them to primary healthcare facilities, meant that HIV/AIDS services that were being provided only in bigger hospitals could now be provided at the primary healthcare level.


Madam Speaker, the supply chain for medicines, where we forged strong partnerships with our partners and assured commodity security for two to three years for ART, meant that there was no room for people not taking medicines. There was assurance of access to life-saving drugs on a daily basis.


Madam Speaker, there have been significant investments in the health systems that have contributed to the near attainment of the UNAIDS targets. Zambia is firmly on track to attain epidemic control of HIV/AIDS and with consistent investment and co-operation from everyone, it is set to be one of the first countries in the world to attain epidemic control of HIV/AIDS.


Madam Speaker, that is why, as I conclude on this matter, I want to thank the people of Munali Constituency who participated in the pilot with 90 per cent acceptance. I would like to thank Zambians that have participated in blood donation programmes and have saved lives. I thank them for their generosity.


Madam Speaker, I appeal to all Zambians to appreciate this legacy programme that the Government has embarked on. It is meant to create hope for an HIV free generation. An HIV free Zambia will be a productive Zambia and we will all be contributing to our Vision 2030. So, let us work together to ensure that this programme does not fail.


Madam Speaker, I want to assure the public that this programme shall succeed and that Zambia will certainly be one of the countries that will have its results pronounced at the UN General Assembly in September 2020.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.




168. Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu) asked the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs:


  1. where the boundary between Mwinuna and Mkubwe Chiefdoms lies;
  2. in which district Chief Mwinuna’s chiefdom is;
  3. whether it is possible for one chiefdom to cover two or more:


  1. districts; and


  1. provinces; and


c. if so, how the development programmes are coordinated from the national to the district level, and ultimately to the chiefdom.


The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Sichalwe): Madam Speaker, the boundary between Chief Mwinuna and Chief Mkubwe chiefdoms starts with a straight line from the source of the Ipumpu River to the source of the Mushipashi River in the south-east direction. The boundary further runs down Mushipashi River to its confluence with the Lukanga River.


Madam Speaker, currently, Chief Mwinuna’s chiefdom falls in Mpongwe District. It is possible for a chiefdom to cover two or more districts.  It is also possible for a chiefdom to cover two or more provinces.


 Madam Speaker, chiefs participate in council meetings which make decisions on developmental programmes for districts. Chiefdoms, therefore, benefit when there is apportionment of developmental programmes to various parts of districts. In that way, the resources that are apportioned at national level to the districts trickle down to chiefdoms.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chiyalika: Madam Speaker, Chief Mwinuna on various occasions has indicated clearly that he does not belong to the Central Province.  This is despite that the chief is in a ward under my constituency, which is Lufubu. He has always been refusing any development that has been coming from the Central Province. What is the ministry doing about that situation?


Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, indeed, there has been a boundary conflict between the two chiefs which was generated by the delimitation which took place in 2015. Chisanga Polling Station at which Chief Mwinuna’s palace in Mpongwe District seats was delimitated under Ngabwe District. That has been the source of the conflict. Chief Mwinuna and the subjects feel that they should not be under Ngabwe District.


Madam Speaker, going forward, we will bring together the Permanent Secretaries (PSs) in the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and the Ministry of Local Government and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to see how best this can be resolved. We may need to sensitise the chiefdoms that this is not a chiefdom boundary that was created, but a polling district boundary.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chiyalika: Madam Speaker, this issue has been outstanding for a long time now. When is the ministry going to sensitise the chiefs? This impasse has gone on for too long.


Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, we just received correspondence this week from the provincial PS and basing on what was submitted by the provincial administration, we are trying to bring together the PSs of the institutions I mentioned earlier. We have not yet set the date because we only received this communication this week and are now writing to the various PSs to bring them to one table.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Madam Speaker, there has been a spate of boundary disputes all over the country including this particular one we are discussing. What is the ministry doing about them? Does it have any plans to ensure that it puts up boundary beacons and also continuously provide boundary maps to the chiefs so that it can reduce this tension around chiefdom boundaries?


Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, the question at hand is not specifically generated as a result of the kind of disputes that the hon. Member is bringing up. This one is basically generated by the ECZ delimiting polling stations in the area. As regards the question posed, there are several other boundary disputes pertaining in the country. The issue of placing beacons is entirely the jurisdiction of the Lands Surveyor. Going forward, we have engaged the Surveyor-General’s office to reproduce the maps for the chiefdom boundaries which will include topographical features which will make it easier to identify boundaries.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Madam Speaker, I always like to declare interest because I also come from a royal establishment from my extraction in Chief Mwanachingwala. I am confused by the hon. Minister’s response just now. If it is Question No. 168 he is answering, I do not see the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) mentioned when I read it, unless the two had a conversation. He is now driving us to ask questions that are related to polling districts.


Madam Speaker, coming from a royal establishment, I know that we have also had challenges of boundaries between neighbouring chiefs. The 1958 map is the map that informs the hon. Minister and everyone. There is no other map that has been produced ever since 1958. This is the one that defines chiefdom boundaries.


Madam Speaker, each time the hon. Minister is asked this question, he seems to be convening meetings to solve these boundary disputes as though he does not have a map which informs him. Human beings come and go, but institutions remain. Does the hon. Minister respect the 1958 boundary map for chiefs, and if he does, why not make it final so that he does not receive any other questions relating to chiefdom boundaries? Is it a living document that chiefdom boundaries should still be subject to some changes as we go into the future?


Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, indeed, the question does not mention the ECZ. However, I am giving the House the genesis of the problem that is pertaining in the area. The problem is that the ECZ went in and created a polling station called Chisanga, where Chief Mwinuna’s palace seats while the Chisanga Polling Station is under Ngabwe District in the Central Province.



Does that not cause a conflict? Anyway, the issue that the hon. Member has raised can receive a bonus answer. His issue has been taken care of. The Government engaged the Southern Province PS and his technocrats and the Central Province administration and the issue that was at hand in the chiefdom of the hon. Member’s interest was settled. I mentioned that the Surveyor-General’s office is reproducing boundary maps that will have topographical features.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Madam Speaker, I have observed that whenever there is a conflict like the one in Ngabwe District, where a chiefdom extends into two or three areas, it is always the chief that does not want to belong to a certain area that wins. What happened in Milenge is a clear example, but there are so many other examples that I can give. One wonders why consultations are not done before the demarcations are made. Do the withdrawals by the Government not retard progress?


Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, indeed, conflicts retard development. As the hon. Member who asked the question indicated, Chief Mwinuna, for instance, has been rejecting development ideas that have been coming from the district he does not want to belong to.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Madam Speaker, the issue raised in the question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Lufubu is a countrywide problem. It affects many hon. Members of Parliament, especially those whose constituencies host chiefdoms. The Mununga Chiefdom, for instance, had a boundary dispute, but there was no intervention and the matter is now before the High Court. Apart from disputes arising from the delimitation of polling districts by the ECZ in these areas, there are also those from overlapping of chiefdom boundaries. So, when will the Government take the step to intervene in boundary disputes which have brought about many conflicts?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, when are you going to resolve this problem holistically?

Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, I mentioned that the ministry has engaged the Office of the Surveyor-General to prepare boundary maps which will have topographical features. However, this is being done in a phased manner because in some provinces, maps are so huge that the Surveyor-General’s office, we were made to believe, could not reproduce them and had to outsource. The ministry has since paid some money towards the bill that it was given and is just waiting for the Surveyor-General to give it the maps. Immediately it receives the maps, it will take action.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr S. Banda (Kasenengwa): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister intimated that an awareness intervention was put in place to ensure that chiefdoms are aware of the difference between chiefdom boundaries and boundaries meant for elections. I understand that that particular intervention was for the Central Province, but since this phenomenon is countrywide, does the Government have specific interventions to reach other provinces or constituencies to sensitise our chiefdoms?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister will just emphasise what he said earlier.


Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, the information I have given is what has been brought to the Government’s attention. If the hon. Member has similar issues in his constituency, the best he can do is to bring them to the attention of the Government and it will see how to address them together with the other issues that have been received.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chabi (Chipili): Madam Speaker, in his response to part (c) of the question where the hon. Member of Parliament for Lufubu wanted to find out whether one chiefdom can cover two or more districts, the hon. Minister said that it could. How does he reconcile this position with legislation like the one that regulates the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which requires a chief to appoint a representative to the CDF committee? That is the law.

Madam Speaker, the law also requires a chief to be part of council meetings when a council is deliberating issues. If a chiefdom covers two districts, how are these things supposed to be done? Is the chief supposed to appoint two people to represent the two districts? For instance, Mutipula Chiefdom, where I belong, as the hon. Minister is aware, belongs to Chipili District as well as Mwense District. This means that Mutipula Chiefdom belongs to both Chipili Constituency and Mambilima Constituency. So, in that case, what is the chief supposed to do? Is he supposed to appoint two representatives for both Chipili Constituency and Mambilima Constituency? Is he also supposed to sit in council meetings for both constituencies? I seek the hon. Minister’s advice.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, if you do have an answer for that question, you may answer.


Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, that question could be directed best at the Ministry of Local Government because it administers the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and provides guidelines for the composition of CDF committees.


Madam Speaker, on the issue of chiefs sitting in two or more different councils, yes, some chiefs sit in more than one council. Typical examples are Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya, who sits in the Lusaka City Council (LCC) meetings, the Kafue Town Council meetings and the Chongwe Municipal Council meetings, Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta also sits in the Mwandi Town Council meetings and the Mulobezi Town Council meetings and Chief Lukama sits in the Sioma Town Council meetings and the Shang’ombo Town Council meetings.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Madam Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to clarify what happens in a situation like the one in Chama South Constituency where Chief Magodi and Chief Chifunda have a boundary dispute. In this particular case, the district boundary and the chiefdom boundary are the same. Where Chama District begins from is where the Chifunda Chiefdom starts. Much of this boundary was the Lundazi Forest, but because of the encroachment that has been taking place in the Lundazi Forest, Chief Magodi is now claiming the Lundazi Forest to be part of the Magodi Chiefdom and this has brought about noise. What short-term measures is the Government putting in place to resolve this? Is it going to send surveyors to resolve this conflict, whose resolution should be straightforward, before people lose their lives?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Chama South is advised to file a specific question.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Madam Speaker, as a way of minimising boundary conflicts, is the ministry helping chiefs to access the current boundary map or even the one which is going to be reviewed? Is the ministry going to give each chief a copy to enable him/her have something to refer to?


Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, once the maps are ready, they will be made available to all the 288 chiefdoms.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




169. Mr Mulunda (Siavonga) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to deploy additional medical personnel to all health facilities in Siavonga District;\
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented; and
  3. which categories of personnel will be deployed.


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, the Government has a human capital development programme which involves not only training, but recruitment. In the past three years, the Government has recruited over 22,000 health workers and deployed them to various parts of the country, including Siavonga District.


Madam Speaker, once Treasury authority is granted, more health workers will be recruited and where gaps exist in Siavonga, they shall be filled. All relevant categories particularly doctors at the hospital and midwives in the rural health centres shall be filled. 


 Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mulunda: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has given me the same response as he gave me when I asked when he would construct a modern hospital. His response was that as the Government was constructing modern hospitals across the country, it would equally consider Siavonga District. Is the hon. Minister aware that apart from low staffing levels in rural health centres and rural health posts within Siavonga, the District Hospital has also been operating with only two medical doctors for more than ten years against the institutional establishment of four doctors?


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, human resource for health is fundamental to health service delivery. We recruited and distributed staff equitably to all hospitals that needed hospital staff. I want to remind the hon. Member of Parliament for Siavonga that not too long ago, the hospital had only one doctor who was the District Director of Health and also used to work in the hospital. However, it now has two doctors and a medical licentiate.


Madam Speaker, Siavonga District Hospital has received not less than ten nurses in the last one year. Further, health centres that are in Siavonga are, at the barest minimum, managed by, at least, one qualified person. This was not the case many years back. The first recruitment drive included the deployment staff to Siavonga. The hon. Member should appreciate the fact that we have sent staff there and that in the next drive, we will still send some more. So, Siavonga has never been left behind and is now at a different level from where it was before.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Madam Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister for having recruited more than 22,000 health workers in the last three years. However, the situation in Siavonga is not different from those in most parts of the country like Chifubu in Ndola and many other districts. Is there a holistic strategic plan on how the ministry is going to bridge the gap of medical personnel shortage in the country?


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, I will repeat that in transforming the health systems, strengthening and repositioning them for universal health coverage, human capital for health has been top priority for this Government. Before 2016, we were only recruiting 500 health workers per year. In 2016 and 2017, we recruited 10,000, followed by 7,000 and then, 5,000 health workers. That is a major statement of intent to attain universal health coverage. All this is informed by a human capital investment plan. So, the blue print for the human resource holistic plan is there. It involves the construction of new training institutions or the upgrading of old training institutions into higher training institutions. It also includes expanding numbers in the institutions. As we speak, we have more nursing schools.


Madam Speaker, just in the last one to two years, we have trebled the capacity in our nursing institutions. The output of nurses has trebled, the output of midwives has doubled and the output of doctors has quadrupled. This is informed by a comprehensive human capital development plan which involves infrastructure expansion, faculty expansion and other synergies that we create with universities and higher learning institutions to ensure that the outputs are good. All this speaks to the universal health coverage agenda. We have scanned the whole country and know the deficit.


Madam Speaker, before 2016, 30 per cent of the health centres in the country was managed by Casual Daily Employees (CDEs). Now, we have moved beyond that. At least, there is a health worker in each health institution as a statement. Secondly, in all the facilities in the peri-urban areas, including the Copperbelt Province and Siavonga, where we hardly had any doctors, we now have a minimum of a doctor in each district. So, it is a clear statement of intent to close up all the gaps in human resource for health and we shall make it.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow questions from the hon. Member for Siavonga and the hon. Member for Chienge on this question and then close it.


Mr Mulunda: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the explanation on the health personnel that have been sent to Siavonga. However, is the hon. Minister able to give some comfort to the people of Siavonga, who have been waiting for four doctors for the past ten years, by attaching time to the deployment and that during his reign, they will be able to see the staff establishment fulfilled?


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, during the reign of this Government, led by His Excellency, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the Siavonga District Hospital will have 100 per cent staff complement. The target of 30,000 health workers by the year 2021 shall be met.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Ms Katuta: Madam Speaker, I have a question on the human resource capital plan that this Government has. Seeing as we want to attain universal health coverage as a country, how is this plan going to be achieved considering that fees for the General Nursing Council (GNC) have now gone up to K5,000 and nurses who are not yet employed cannot afford to pay this fee. Further, there are certain fees which are required by the Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) which some medical personnel cannot afford. How is universal health coverage going to be accomplished in our country?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister of Health, are you able to give a bonus answer?


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, to the contrary, the tuition fees in all our nursing schools in the public sector have been reduced. Previously, we used to have institutions charging as high as K18,500 with some even as high as K20,000. Now, they are all charging around K8,500.


Madam Speaker, professional fees, for those who qualify, have not been significantly hiked. For those who are unable to pay, arrangements are made so that they can even pay post employment or while working. So, there are no impediments in the human capital development agenda. We have reduced fees, expanded capacity and put nursing schools even in places like Chilubi Island where we already have 300 students. We have put a nursing school even in Kafue District where we also have more than 300 students. Those who have qualified have not been blocked from registering because of the barrier of resources as there are always these arrangements that the GNC gets into with those prospective professionals. The HPCZ equally does the same.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.




170. Mrs Jere (Lumezi) asked the Minister of General Education:


  1. whether the Government is aware that the construction of Chanyalubwe Secondary School in Lumezi District, which is funded by the World Bank, has stalled;
  2. if so, why the project has stalled;
  3. when construction works will resume;
  4. what the total cost of the outstanding works is; and
  5. what the time frame for the completion of the remaining works is.

The Minister of General Education (Mr Mabumba): Madam Speaker, works at Chanyalubwe Secondary School in Lumezi District have not stalled. The House may wish to note that phase I, comprising a 1 x 2 classroom block, 1 x 2 laboratory and Home Economics Laboratory and a toilet, has been completed. However, there are issues of water reticulation which are being worked on. In view of the answer to part (a) of the question, part (b) falls off.


Madam Speaker, the project is currently at phase II of the construction stage and the procurement process is currently underway. A total of K661,273.87 was released to fund phase II works. It is expected to be completed in November, 2020.


I thank you, Madam.


Mrs Jere: Madam Speaker, if the two blocks are completed and are ready for use, how does the ministry expect learners to use them when there is no water at the location?


Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, under the circumstances, we will have to delay the use of the two classroom blocks that have been completed until water reticulation is worked on and that is what our team is working on.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.




171. Mr Phiri (Mkaika) (on behalf of Mr Kabanda (Serenje)) asked the Minister of Defence:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to reintroduce the following under the Zambia National Service:


  1. rural construction centres; and


  1. compulsory national youth service skills training for school leavers;


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

    c. if there are no such plans, why.


The Minister of Defence (Mr Chama): Madam Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to reintroduce the rural construction centres and compulsory national youth service skills training for school leavers. This is due to the high cost implications of re-establishing the programmes.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.




172. Ms Kucheka (Zambezi West) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to construct a bridge across the Zambezi River to connect the Zambezi West Parliamentary Constituency to the rest of the Zambezi District;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented;
  3. what the estimated cost of the project is; and
  4. what the estimated time frame for the completion of the project is.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Mwale): Madam Speaker, the Government has plans to construct a bridge across the Zambezi River to connect the Zambezi West Parliamentary Constituency to the rest of the Zambezi District.


Madam Speaker, the Road Development Agency (RDA) has already awarded and signed the contract. It is undertaking feasibility studies and developing detailed designs for the bridge. It is envisaged that the development of the designs will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020.


Madam Speaker, the procurement process for the engagement of the works contractor is expected to commence once the designs and funding arrangements have been completed. The cost estimates for the works will be determined once designs have been completed. The time frame for the completion of the works will be determined upon completion of the designs.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Madam Speaker, what is the name of the contractor who is conducting feasibility studies?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, the contractor, who signed the contract on 25th September, 2019, is East Consult.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Madam Speaker, this is when the hon. Minister is talking about feasibility studies. During campaigns in Zambezi West, he promised the people that the Government would construct a bridge on the Zambezi River. Fortunately, our hon. Colleagues won the elections, but since then, they have decided to keep quiet on the subject. The hon. Minister is now saying feasibility studies are going on. I know feasibility studies take long, so can he assure the people of Zambezi District when the Government is going to fulfil this promise?


The First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister has just done that. He has explained. Perhaps he would like to restate?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government when campaigning did promise and is now fulfilling that promise. What I have said is that we have engaged a consultant who will be completing the works in the fourth quarter of this year. I have indicated the date when the contract with the consultant was signed and I have named the consultant. Right now, he is in the field.


Madam Speaker, in fact, I can say that they are done with the concept of the whole bridge which has been approved by the RDA. They have now gone to the second phase of designing the actual bridge. The whole concept has been done and finalised by the consultant and has been approved by the RDA. Therefore, we are, indeed, serious about fulfilling this promise that we made during campaign.


I thank you, Madam.


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


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Madam Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to assure the nation, and I say the nation because Zambezi West hosts a very important traditional ceremony which is recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as a world heritage ceremony. That ceremony enjoys a huge patronage from all parts of the country and all over the world, and yet all those tourists who go to attend that ceremony are exposed to the risk of crossing on a very archaic pontoon. Can the hon. Minister assure tourists who come from all over the world and those within the country that this bridge will be completed this year?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, more than the tourists that come into the country once in a year, the people that live there need the bridge. It is those people who have to cross the river daily to attend school or get services because the district headquarters are on the other side. It is those people who have to do this on a daily basis. The Government is serious about ensuring that it addresses the concerns of these people and, of course, keep tourists coming and bringing their money.


Madam, the assurance I give is that by August or September this year, we should be done with the designs, the feasibility study and everything else. The first stage of the feasibility study has been dealt with. We now move on to the designs and once they are done, we will see where we can get the money from. I hope that this House will give its support should we have to go the route of obtaining a loan, which we might have to do if we have to finalise the bridge because it is a massive project to construct.


Madam Speaker, the assurance I am giving is that we will be done with the feasibility studies and go into the second stage which is constructing the bridge.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Kucheka: Madam Speaker, I seek a further assurance on this matter for the people of Zambezi West in particular and Zambia in general. Last time, a feasibility study was done. However, things changed and we were told that there was no money for the construction of the bridge. I would like the hon. Minister to emphasise on whether he is really sure that this bridge will be constructed and that there will be no changes?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, this Government has already started working towards having a bridge in Zambezi West. We committed to do it and are now showing our commitment. The contractor, or what you call the consultant, is on site right now. The concept, which is the first part of the feasibility study, has been developed and we are now working on the designs. We cannot show any more seriousness than this. We assure the hon. Member that the Government will work on having that bridge constructed.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Madam Speaker, this Government said it would only continue with projects that are above 80 per cent. Now, a bridge on the Zambezi River is a very huge project. The Government has started the feasibility study, but is the hon. Minister able to openly say whether it will be able to continue with the project after the feasibility study or it is just doing it for filling purposes?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, we are doing a feasibility study with the intention of constructing the bridge across the Zambezi River. However, by the time we are done with the feasibility study in August and are ready to get to the next stage which is constructing the bridge, a lot of things could have changed.


Madam Speaker, right now, we are funding a lot of projects that are above 80 per cent that are getting completed and are being phased out. We are completing the construction of district infrastructure and some roads. We may even go for a contractor financed arrangement where a contractor brings in money from outside. Projects such as these have not been affected by the 80 per cent policy. When we are done with the feasibility study, there could be a chance of doing this road on an arrangement that the contractor brings in money. We could also contract a loan. Such arrangements have not been affected by the policy of considering projects that are 80 per cent complete.


Madam Speaker, I am very confident that we will find a solution that will help us provide a bridge at this crossing point.


I thank you, Madam.




173. Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to build a modern hospital in Luwingu District; and
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented.


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, Luwingu District is adjacent to Lupososhi District where there is a huge hospital being built that is catering not only for Luwingu and Lupososhi, but Chilubi District as a referral facility. It is known as the Bangweulu Hospital. So, there is no plan to build another hospital in Luwingu District.


Madam Speaker, furthermore, we have earmarked areas called Shimumbi and Chipalu for the construction of forty-bed mini-hospitals which feed into that big referral hospital. Therefore, Luwingu is adequately catered for in terms of infrastructure for health.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.










The Minister of National Development and Planning (Mr Chiteme): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.


Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to present the National Planning and Budgeting Bill of 2019 before this august House for Second Reading. The Bill seeks to facilitate the implementation of the National Planning and Budgeting Policy of 2014. This is in line with the constitutional requirement to enact legislation on planning and budgeting as provided in Article 205 of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016. This proposed legislation comes against the backdrop of various attempts by the Government to harmonise and strengthen linkages between planning and the budgeting process.


Madam Speaker, the objects of this Bill, therefore, are to provide for:


  1. an integrated national planning and budgeting process;
  2. strengthened accountability, oversight and participation mechanisms in the national planning and budgeting process;
  3. principles and modalities for formulation, approval, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of long and medium term national, provincial and district development plans and budgets;
  4. coordination of national development plans with the National Planning Framework;
  5. a participatory and decentralised national planning and budgeting process which promotes the participation of State and non-State actors in the planning and budgeting process;
  6. evidence based decision making in national planning and budgeting;
  7. enhanced budget credibility; and
  8. matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.


Madam Speaker, overall, the Planning and Budgeting Bill will strengthen accountability, oversight and participation mechanisms in the national planning and budgeting process. It will also introduce principles and modalities for the formulation, approval, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of long and medium term national, provincial and district development plans and budgets.


Madam Speaker, through the provisions of the various co-ordination structures, the Bill will strengthen the co-ordination of national development plans with the national planning framework as well as promote participatory and decentralised national planning and budgeting processes involving State and non-State actors.


Madam Speaker, the Bill will provide for a co-ordinated and integrated national development planning and budgeting system that is responsive, transparent, accountable and result oriented. Additionally, the Planning and Budgeting Bill stipulates sanctions against a controlling officer who fails to adhere to the provisions as set out in the Bill.


Madam Speaker, the Bill also calls for the appraisal of major projects and programmes before being included in a national development plan, National Budget, and medium term budget plans. This will help prevent the accumulation of debt through projects whose outcomes do not bring positive social economic returns. The introduction of the appraisal system for selected projects before they are funded will help strengthen public financial management in the country. In this regard, the Government will not be able to introduce projects midway into the implementation of the Budget if such a project has not been appraised. This measure will, therefore, help strengthen the integration of the planning and budgeting process.


Madam Speaker, the Government is confident that once this Bill is enacted and implemented, the country will be in a better position to address its development challenges through effective planning and budgeting. I, therefore, urge hon. Members to support this very important Bill.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Miti (Vubwi): Madam Speaker, the Joint Committee comprising the Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters and the Budget Committee was tasked to scrutinise the National Planning and Budgeting Bill No. 22 of 2019. In carrying out this important task, the Committee interacted with various stakeholders, including service commissions, selected ministries and selected local authorities, representatives of civil society organisations and the hon. Minister of National Development and Planning as well as the hon. Minister of Finance, among others.


Madam Speaker, before I delve into the salient features of the Committee’s report, allow me to give a brief background of the planning and budgeting landscape in Zambia. In 2009, Parliament enacted an amendment to the Constitution of Zambia by the inclusion of Article 118(a), which required Parliament to enact the planning and budgeting legislation. To this end, the legislation provided for matters relating to the medium and long-term development plans and annual Budget. In 2014, the Government developed the National Planning and Budgeting Policy which was aimed at guiding processes used to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate development plans and the annual Budget. In order to operationalise the National Planning and Budgeting Policy, there was need to enact an appropriate piece of legislation.


Madam Speaker, the amendment of the Constitution of Zambia in 2016 introduced the current Article 205 in the Constitution which provides for Parliament to enact a law to provide for, inter alia, the preparation of medium and long-term financing frameworks and development plans, the Budget preparation process and public participation at all levels of the Government in the formulation of financing frameworks, development plans and the preparation of annual budgets.


Madam Speaker, it is against this background that the Government introduced the National Planning and Budgeting Bill No. 22 of 2019. The Bill provides for inter alia, an integrated, decentralised and participatory national planning and budgeting process which promotes the participation of State and non-State actors in the planning and budgeting process. It also provides for evidence-based decision making in national planning and budgeting and puts in place measures to ensure enhanced Budget credibility.


Madam Speaker, let me state at this juncture that the majority of the witnesses who appeared before the Joint Committee supported the Bill and indicated that its enactment was long overdue as it would, among other objectives, lead to a greater involvement of the National Assembly in the budget formulation process and a co-ordinated, decentralised, transparent and participatory national planning and budget process. It would, in this regard, enhance citizens’ participation and, in this way, would ensure sustainable and inclusive development.


Madam Speaker, the main observation that was repeatedly expressed by witnesses is that the Bill and its subsequent enactment are critical to the development of the country considering that the citizens’ participation in the planning and budget planning has hitherto been limited. They emphasised that it is paramount that the people are fully involved in the planning and budgeting process through a well-defined legal framework. In supporting the Bill, the Committee, therefore, wishes to make the observations and recommendations set out below.


Madam Speaker, the proposed composition of the National Development Coordinating Committee under Clause 4 of the Bill is generally adequate. However, the Committee observes that there is no representation from academia, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). It is the general view of the Joint Committee that the inclusion of these institutions will enrich the process of the formulation of national development plans. In this regard, the Committee recommends that the Bill be revised to include a representative from a public university, preferably one who is specialised in development economics, the BoZ Governor and the ZRA Commissioner-General.


Madam Speaker, another matter of interest relates to Clause 10(2). The Committee observed that hon. Members of Parliament have not been included in the composition of the District Development Coordinating Committees (DDCC) under the clause. This is a very serious omission given the critical role hon. Members play in ensuring that views and interests of Ward Development Committees (WDCC) and the Constituency Development Fund Committees (CDFC) on the development agenda are taken into account. The Committee strongly recommends that hon. Members of Parliament be incorporated into the membership of the DDCC as they are well-placed to understand and articulate the development needs of their respective districts. In addition, the clause should be amended to provide for representation of councils on the DDCC by two councillors selected from amongst their number by the councillors themselves. This will ensure that councils are not left out in the development agenda.


Madam Speaker, the Committee notes that Clause 21(1) of the Bill empowers the hon. Minister to develop guidelines for the management, preparation and dissemination of the National Development Plan, yet it does not make similar provisions for the long-term development plan. The Committee further observes that the Bill makes no provision for the period or the time frame when the hon. Minister should issue the national development planning guidelines. The Committee is of the strong view that even the long-term development plan should be governed by a similar set of guidelines for effective implementation.


Madam Speaker, while the Committee appreciates the provisions of Clause 27, it is of the view that there is need for a provision to facilitate actualisation of the link between the integrated development planning process for all districts and the national planning cycle as envisaged in the national planning framework. This will ensure that some programmes included in the integrated development plans are aligned to the national plans and, subsequently, to the annual Budget.


Madam Speaker, the Committee notes with concern that whereas the Bill has provided for the National Budget process such as the submission of Budget policy proposals, public consultation on the Green Paper and the Budget Call Circular and their respective timelines, there are regrettably no specific sanctions provided for a breach of any of the statutory requirements, including the non-observance of deadlines. The joint Committee recommends that sanctions for breach of the prescribed requirements be provided for in order to ensure that officers involved in the planning and budgeting process perform their functions diligently.


Madam Speaker, the joint Committee also observes that the Bill aims to, among other things, enhance Budget credibility. However, the Committee expresses great concern that the Bill has not made provisions as to how this object will be achieved. The Committee is concerned that the failure to include such important provisions will leave room for the Government to make Budget estimates without a concomitant commitment to mobilise and release the requisite funds. In light of this, the Committee recommends that in order to ensure Budget credibility, appropriate provisions be inserted in the Bill. In addition, the Committee emphasises that non-discretionary constitutional allocations such as the CDF and the Local Government Equalisation Fund be ring-fenced and disbursed in a timely manner in line with the spirit and letter of the Republican Constitution.


Madam Speaker, as I conclude, allow me to also place on record that the Committee is dismayed that despite the envisaged free Budget review, Budget approval process as well as the anticipated oversight of Budget implementation by the National Assembly, the Bill has not explicitly provided for the establishment of a Parliamentary Budget Office. In the same vein, the Bill has not spelt out the functions of the expanded Budget Committee and the role of the portfolio Committees in sector Budget analysis. This is despite the 2014 planning and budgeting policy recognising that the Parliamentary oversight function remains one of the cornerstones of development and must be strengthened to ensure accountability and transparency.


Madam Speaker, in this regard, the Committee is of the strong view that the Bill should specifically provide for the establishment of the Parliamentary Budget Office and provide for the expanded Budget Committee to have power to provide allocations across ministries, provinces and other spending agencies without changing the total Budget presented by the hon. Minister of Finance. Similarly, portfolio Committees should be empowered to re-allocate funds within their specific sectors.


Madam Speaker, as I conclude, allow me to thank the stakeholders who made both written and oral submissions which greatly assisted the Committee in its work. Allow me to also place on record, the Committee’s sincere gratitude to you for your guidance and to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to the Joint Committee throughout its deliberations.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Chiteme: Madam Speaker, I thank you very much for this opportunity to wind up. Let me extend thanks to the hon. Member of Parliament for Vubwi for presenting a well-articulated statement by the joint Committee.


Madam Speaker, let me begin by assuring the Committee that most of the issues that have been brought out in the Committee report were discussed at the Committees when we met to discuss the provisions of the Budget. We are going to make sure that some of the recommendations are incorporated in the Planning and Budgeting Bill as it comes to Committee Stage.


Madam Speaker, without wasting a lot of time, let me just thank the rest of the House for the support rendered to this very important Bill.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.


Committed to a committee of the Whole House.


Committee on Thursday, 27th February, 2020.








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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at1217 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 25th February, 2020.