Thursday, 15th April, 2021

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Thursday, 15th April, 2021


The House met at 1430 hours












Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon Members, I wish to inform the House that the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Programme, which was launched by the hon. Minister of Health on Wednesday, 14th April, 2021, will be rolled out to the whole country starting on 18th April, 2021. In this regard, hon Members who wish to receive their first dose of the vaccine are urged to contact their respective District Health Offices (DHOs). Hon Members are further urged to spearhead the vaccination programme in their respective constituencies.


I thank you.








Dr Kalila (Lukulu): Madam Speaker, I Beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services for the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on Friday, 26th March, 2021.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Dr Kalila: Madam Speaker, I am very grateful for this opportunity granted to me, on behalf of my colleagues, to move this Motion.


Madam, in accordance with its terms of reference, the Committee considered the topical issue, “Zambia’s Preparedness to Respond to Epidemics and Pandemics”, and considered the Action-Taken Report on its report for the Fourth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly. The Committee’s findings are presented in the report, which I believe all my colleagues, the hon. Members, have had time to read through. To this end, allow me to highlight only a few of the Committee’s observations and recommendations.


Madam, the Committee observes with concern that the Public Health Act of 1995 is weak, particularly in the management and prevention of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and emergencies. This was especially so in relation to diseases like the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the Zika Virus, among other infectious diseases, and bioterrorism, as these are not specifically covered by the Act. Owing to increased threats, especially of emerging and re-emerging issues in public health, the Committee urges the Executive to review the Act so as to make it responsive to current and future public health threats.


Madam Speaker, the Committee also observes with concern that the current resource envelope in the health sector is far below the minimum required for the delivery of an optimum package of both health care and preparedness, and response to epidemics and pandemics. This has resulted in the untimely procurement of the necessary supplies and commodities required for mitigating pandemics like COVID-19 and continuation of the provision of essential health services. The Committee, therefore, urges the Government to increase funding to the health sector in line with international standards, such as the Abuja Declaration of allocating, at least, 15 per cent of national budgets to the health sector, in order to ensure that there are adequate finances targeted at financing the response to epidemics and pandemics.


Madam Speaker, despite the Zambia National Public Health Institute Act, No. 19 of 2020, having been enacted as one of the strategies for mobilising more resources for emergency preparedness and response through the National Public Health Emergency Fund, the fund has not yet been operationalised. The Committee, therefore, urges the Government to expedite the setting up of the fund in order to guarantee the needed financial resources for emergency preparedness and response.


Madam Speaker, the Committee also dealt with the issue of inadequate staffing levels in most health facilities, and observes that an effective response to infectious disease outbreaks requires adequate numbers of appropriately-trained health personnel. In this regard, it is concerned that the Ministry of Health is currently not operating at full capacity in terms of human resource. The fact that the ministry is at only about 50 per cent staffing levels, that is, with only 62,645 positions filled out of its establishment of 126,389 positions, is not only a sad state of affairs, but also a situation that has strained the available staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, as most medical personnel have had to be re-assigned from their routine essential health services to attend to victims of the pandemic. It is in this regard that the Committee urges the Executive to provide Treasury authority for the recruitment of more health staff, some of whom should be deployed specifically to surveillance and public health security functions.


Madam Speaker, another finding of the Committee is that Section 7(2)(8) of the Statistic Act of 2018 mandates the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZAMSTATS) to conduct a population and housing census every ten years, and other censuses and surveys that the agency may determine. In this light, the Committee is concerned about the failure by the Executive, for the first time since the country gained Independence in 1964, to undertake the Census of Population and Housing in 2020. The first of the five population and housing censuses was conducted in 1969. The Committee notes that this failure is not only contrary to the law, but it can also have far-reaching effects on evidence-based planning, in general, and planning for pandemics, in particular. In this vein, the Committee urges the Executive to ensure that the census is undertaken without any further delay in order to aid evidence-based planning.


Madam Speaker, let me urge hon. Members of Parliament to take advantage of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout to protect themselves as they go into the campaigns. In this regard, I must mention that I got vaccinated in support of the hon. Minister of Health yesterday during the launch.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I thank you and the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance and support services provided to the Committee during the Session. I also thank all the stakeholders for their written and oral submissions.


Madam Speaker, I beg to move.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?


Ms Kasune: Now, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker, in seconding the Motion, let me thank the mover for the able manner in which he has moved the Motion and highlighted many key issues that your Committee was able to deliberate upon and to hear from the witnesses who came. I also want to say that the Committee has really appreciated the support it was given during its deliberations not only by your office, but also by the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff.


Madam Speaker, outbreaks of infectious diseases often require designated isolation facilities. However, the country lacks the infrastructure needed to isolate people in their different districts and provinces when pandemics break out. It is for this reasons that the Committee urges the Executive to quickly invest in public health infrastructure so that when pandemics or epidemics break out, like we have seen in the case of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the country will be ready to seclude those who  may need to be isolated.


Madam, another observation that your Committee makes is the lack of formidable public health laboratory systems in the country. Currently, the public health laboratory tests are carried out in clinical laboratories. This situating is not healthy for the country, and it is outstretches the facilities during pandemics and epidemics, as we have seen in the case of Covid-19. So, your Committee strongly urges the Executive to establish national public health reference laboratories and to build regional capacities to carry out laboratory tests across the country. In this regard, it is critical for all the provinces and, hopefully, districts to have public health laboratories so that we can decentralise this function.


Madam Speaker, the third point that your Committee notes is that during pandemics and epidemics, many resources tend to be shifted to fighting the pandemics at the expense of the delivery of other services, as we have seen. The case in point is in the fight against COVID-19. That is why your Committee is grateful that this topical issue was brought to it so timely, given what is happening right now with regards to COVID-19. It is important, therefore, that the Executive expedites the mobilisation of emergency funds and the involvement of the Ministry of Local Government. Although the health portfolio falls under the Ministry of Health, it is important for the Ministry of Local Government to also get involved so that we can be very ready when pandemics or epidemics strike.


Madam, the last observation your Committee made was the lack of manufacturing in our country. It is for this reasons that your Committee urges the Executive to consider the local manufacturing of essential drugs and some of the supplies needed in the country as one of its biggest agenda. We urge the hon. Minister of Health, who was once a member to this Committee but is now part of the Executive, to ensure that the country looks into the issue of manufacturing supplies and some of the medicines in our country so that the health budget is not over-stretched by the need to import all health supplies and medicines.


 Madam Speaker, in conclusion, as stated, we appreciate your office for giving us the opportunity, at such an opportune time, to consider the critical subject of Zambia’s preparedness on pandemics and epidemics. Without wasting more time, we also extend our support and deep appreciation to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff.


Madam Speaker, I beg to second.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate. I hope I am audible enough.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Yes, you are.


 Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, this Motion that you have brought before the House is very important because public health is critical to this nation. Therefore, preparedness should always be imbedded at the back of our minds. Especially when preparing the Budget, we should deliberately put more money into research. For example, we do not know where the pandemic that has overwhelmingly attacked this and other countries came from and where it is going. So, we need to be sincere with ourselves. Instead of just following, we need to provide leadership so that we know what we are doing.


Madam, we are supposed to invest in research so that we know exactly what is happening, instead of depending on developed country. Today, our friends are busy carrying out research in their laboratories to find the cause of the disease. In contrast, countries like Zambia do not have any clue on what is going on. Hence, we just follow blindly. We do not even know what to do, yet we produce very highly-qualified medical staff here and there.


Madam Speaker, as we consider preparedness, we should consider issues like research and laboratories key. Further, we should look at public health issues in the whole country and compare with other countries. What have we been doing? What are the universities doing? There is completely nothing being done. To make matters worse, our Government is very broke. So, how can we defend ourselves when we are in a weaker position because we do not even have the means of doing so?


Madam, your report has come up with very serious points that should be taken on board. Any serious Government should take this Motion very seriously. This is not just rhetoric, but something we need to look at seriously. We need to be ready and cautious. Look at how we are affected in Africa, which is always associated with diseases. Why can Zambia not be a role model by coming up with what is required of us?


Madam Speaker, public health affects everyone, but do we care about it? If we do, what do we put in our plans? When we are planning, there is nothing of that sort. In the past, under the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government, there used to be an allocation of K1 in the National Budget, which meant that K1 could be used to undertake some activity. Today, that is not the case, and everything is just guesswork. We do not even know what is going on. We want to depend on donor money all the time, which we do not even account for because it is used anyhow. So, we even scare away the people who can help us. Therefore, we need to bring in experts to help us establish scientific research centres because they are nowhere to be seen today.


Madam Speaker, this Motion is critical, and it has nothing to do with politics. It is a serious Motion that should be supported like any other Motion. We should move away from politics and remain objective when dealing with certain issues that affect us, especially we who are in leadership. We need to leave the legacy of having prepared –


With those words, I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to debate the report of your Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services.


Madam Speaker, as I debate this report, which I support, I would like to mention that I am a sad person due to the fact that I represent the people of Zambezi East where a young man who used to work at the Ministry of Health, Zambezi District Hospital, lost his life on duty when he was sent by the management of the hospital to carry samples of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) by bus. So, the reason I chose to debate this report is that your Committee considered issues to do with our laboratories and the capacity of those laboratories in helping to contain diseases like COVID-19. I am a sad person because that life would not have been lost had the management taken care of the fact that the young man was carrying hazardous samples and, therefore, entitled to a Government vehicle in transporting those samples. We, the people of Zambezi East, still demand the report the hon. Minister of Health requested for. Further, once the report comes out, we want to see justice prevail and see whoever will be found wanting face disciplinary action.


Madam Speaker, I wish to also talk about the capacity we have, as a country, and the care that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government gives to the laboratories at health institutions. It seems that there is serious negligence. Using Zambezi District Hospital as an example, the laboratory there does not have the capacity required to contain deadly diseases like COVID-19. Therefore, the PF Government must, through this report, be awakened to the reality that this part of our health sector is neglected and that it needs financing. We allocate finances to the health sector, but we feel that nothing much has been done in terms of this very important part of our health institutions. Therefore, I urge the hon. Minister of Health to put more emphasis on the setting up of functioning laboratories, especially in the remote parts of the country like Zambezi East, which is a rural area. We need the laboratories. We do not need situations like the one we had last time, in which reagents were not available and samples were transported by public transport to wherever the laboratory tests were going to be done. This is the point I wanted to make because it is very important to note that our institutions, like those in Zambezi East Constituency, whose example I have given, do not have reliable laboratories.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to this important discussion on the report of the Committee.


Madam Speaker, it is very important that, as a nation, we have laboratories in various places, including Chienge.


Madam, I have listened to my hon. Colleagues who have debated before me, and I heard Hon. Muchima say that we should not politicise this matter. So, I was surprised to hear one of our hon. Colleagues talk about the death of a young man, which affected everyone. I do not think that is what we are here to discuss. We are here to urge the Government to build more effective laboratories in public institutions in every area of this country.


Madam Speaker, I agree with the report that the Committee has prepared. Indeed, we need to have more laboratories, and not only for the tests that are done, but also because the country has been training most of our children in biomedicine and other sciences, but it is becoming very difficult for them to find jobs. It also takes long to get tests results. When one is very sick and goes to the University Teaching Hospitals (UTHs), one will be told to wait for, maybe, two weeks to get the test results, when one is in pain and dying, and most people cannot afford to go to private hospitals. Maybe, the best thing the Executive should do is get more loans for the health institutions, because a sick nation cannot develop. Many people are suffering from sicknesses that they do not even understand. In Chienge, for example, people drink salty water. So, it is difficult to know the kind of diseases they suffer from because it does not help to even take samples to Kashikishi. Sometimes, we are told to take samples to Mansa.


Madam Speaker, I advise the Executive that this is very important report which, I believe, we should look into as a nation and try as much as possible to address the issues therein. I know that there is not enough money in our country for there to be a modern laboratory in every district. So, maybe, there should be two institutions with the laboratories in every province to cover all the areas in the given province. This approach would help us because we have lost many lives who were awaiting results to be given to them. I must declare interest because I lost my sister-in-law, and we were only told the disease she had after she had passed on. had we been informed before she died, we were going to do something to try to preserve that life.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I urge my hon. Colleagues, if there are any who are yet to debate, to not make the Government look like it is irresponsible. How does one talk about the death of somebody when the dead person’s family is listening? We should be responsible and talk about how we can help the Government, and give advice in our debates. Please, let us try to put politics aside and talk about what we need. In Chienge, which is a risk area, we need a laboratory and, maybe, there is a need for another one in Mansa or some other central place where tests can be conduct within a short distance.


Madam Speaker, with those few words, I support the report of the Committee.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker, I want to start by saying that development has no finishing line and that the hospitals or health centres we are talking about will keep being improved. I noticed that when the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic started, even the United States of America (USA) panicked because it had not put certain things in place; it had put some things in place, but that was not enough. So, that country panicked to put things in place so that it could contain the problem.


Madam Speaker, I have noticed that our hospitals no longer make clinical diagnoses. In the 2000s, doctors did not have the privilege of having laboratory reports in making prescriptions. Now, the Government has constructed laboratories at almost all first-level hospitals and big clinics, and that had not been done before. Of course, the sophistication of the equipment depends on the level of a health facility because there is a need for people who can interpret the results of specific tests. The Government has managed to construct laboratories almost everywhere. Even in Senga Hill, where there was no laboratory, there is now a fully-functioning one.


Madam Speaker, we must appreciate the good things the Government does so that it does more. It will not help us to just keep criticising because that does not encourage the Government to do more. For example, there we did not have computerised tomography (CT) scanners in this country in the 2000s, but we now have them. We also did not have magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) tools, and people had to go to India, South Africa and other countries to get tests or reports from that equipment, but we now have it, and people must appreciate the Government for paying so much attention to the needs of the country and listening to what the citizens are talking about.


Madam Speaker, like I said, there is no finish line to development. I know there is still more equipment we need to bring in the country and that we still take people to India or South Africa for them to access certain equipment, but the people can see how the Government is making progress. Laboratory equipment is very expensive, but the Government is already in the process of getting almost every kind of equipment we need. Nevertheless, like I stated, even the USA initially had a problem dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic because it did not have everything it needed. So, while I agree with the report of the Committee, which is very good, I want to say that, as we discuss it, we must appreciate what the Government has done. Further, people must understand that every Government in place is there for the good of the country or society, not punish people or do wrong in the country. So, the Government listens and, if it does not get things on time, as it happens sometimes, it is just because, maybe, it does not have the resources.


Madam Speaker, if you remember, there were not enough ambulances in the 2000s, but there is now an ambulance at almost every hospital. In some places, there are three or four. So, the Government has made progress by constructing laboratories at almost all the first-level and bigger hospitals, and some big clinics. However, the equipment available at any facility depends on the level of the facility one cannot put equipment where there are no experts who can use it. People must understand that.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Minister of Finance (Dr Ng’andu): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to debate the report presented by the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services.


Madam, I pay tribute to the Committee and, in particular, to the chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Dr Kalila, for the very good job done on this report. I am sure the hon. Minister of Health will effectively respond to the many issues that have been raised in the report. So, I will address the issues that particularly relate to the work of the Ministry of Finance.


Madam Speaker, one of the findings of the report is that funding for health is below the 15 per cent of the National Budget recommended by the Abuja Declaration. Our failure on this score is not for lack of wanting, but a reflection of the challenges we have in allocating resources between the discretionary and the non-discretionary components of our spending. You will recall that when I presented my Budget and, subsequently, the Supplementary Budget to this House last year, I indicated that the discretionary component needed to be increased. However, that could only be done through restructuring and increased revenue collection. We are currently working on these measures, and I hope that as we improve on those aspects, we will see more resources allocated to the health sector, which we consider very important.


Madam Speaker, the Committee also recommends that the Executive provides Treasury authority for the recruitment of more health staff, some of whom should be deployed specifically to surveillance and public health functions. In this regard, while the inadequate staffing is prevalent across all Government institutions, Treasury authority was granted and the Government, through the Ministry of Health, recruited 2,232 medical personnel in 2020 alone. In 2021, it is yet to recruit 395. The health sector is always considered primary and, as and when the opportunity arises, we give it the priority it deserves.


Madam Speaker, on the concern that there is insufficient and delayed funding to vulnerable households, the House may wish to note that my ministry has since made disbursements towards the implementation of some social protection Government programmes for the first quarter of 2021 and for the month of April, 2021. In terms of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, in the first quarter of 2021, we released K110 million and, this month alone, we have released K200 million. In terms of procurement of drugs, we released K264 million in the first quarter and K400 million in April while for the Food Security Pack, we released K20 million in the first quarter and K100 million in April, 2021.


Madam Speaker, the other concern, which is related to what I have just said, is that there is a reduction in the allocation to the medicines budget in the National Budget. The contraction is attributed to the revenue constraints I have spoken about. However, the Treasury will continue supplementing the medicines budget as and when the resources increase. In the 2020 fiscal year, the Government prioritised medical expenditure for the resources that were available for supplementation. As hon. Members would recall from Supplementary Budget No. 1 of 2020. In that regard, K509.6 million was allocated to the Ministry of Health in the approved Excess Expenditure and K547.7 million in Supplementary Budget No. 1 of 2020. Further, the increased number of people subscribing to the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) will help to finance the health sector, as more than one million have already been insured.


Madam Speaker, I thought I should talk about those major points. Again, I give my endorsement to the report before this House.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Minister of Health (Dr Chanda): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to respond to some of the key issues raised in the Report of the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services, a Committee I chaired and was very proud to be a member of.


Madam, I should say the Ministry of Health and the Committee worked very closely, and I must commend the chairperson, Hon. Kalila, for taking the lead in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination exercise. He got vaccinated yesterday, and that proves that COVID-19 is, indeed, not political, tribal or racial. So, that was a show of leadership by Hon. Kalila.


Madam Speaker, allow me to thank the Committee for its observations and recommendations, which are aimed at strengthening the provision of health care services to Zambians. I should mention that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has done much more than any Government since 1964 in terms of infrastructure development in the health sector, and this is obvious to everyone. At the lowest level, the rural health post, there is a programme for 650 rural health posts across the country. I am sure the constituencies of most hon. Members of Parliament who debated here are beneficiaries of those health posts, as even places where people had not imagined having such facilities have them now. So, the PF Government is reducing the distances between health facilities and the people they serve. The Government is not working only on lower-level health facilities, but also on clinics. There are first-level and second-level hospitals everywhere. Even here, in Lusaka, they are in evidence. Further, the capacity of Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital has been expanded from just over 200 beds to over 800 beds. Additionally, we have opened the first ever specialist heart hospital in Zambia, the Lusaka Heart Hospital, on Airport Road. Very few countries in the region will boast of a facility like that very important persons (VIP) hospital that His Excellency will commission very soon. Apart from South Africa, no country will have a specialist heart hospital in the region.


Madam Speaker, if you go Chalala, you will find a huge 850-bed hospital, the Maternal and Child Health Hospital, being constructed by the Zambian Government and the Saudi Fund, and the development I am talking about is all over the country. There are projects for the construction  of 115 mini hospitals and six district hospitals. Look at the specialist hospitals in Chinsali and Petauke; there is so much, it is actually overwhelming.


Madam, we are taking hospitals right where the people are instead of taking the people where the hospitals are because the PF Government is pro-poor. Starting next week, working with the Japanese Government, we will be building a first-level hospital in Wusakile, Kitwe, and the same will be done in other areas of the country. That is our vision, and I think credit must be given where it is due.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i said we follow blindly. I do not know whether he has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the country and seen that the Diplomatic Corps in Zambia has a lot of confidence in Zambia’s COVID-19 response. The evidence is that, yesterday, when we launched the national vaccination programme for Zambia, many diplomats we did not invite the programme; they scrambled to go where we were because they have confidence in what His Excellency and the PF Government are doing. The American Chargé d’Affaires, and the Ambassadors from Europe, Canada, Saudi Arabia, India and many other countries were in attendance. Even when we were receiving the vaccines at the airport on Monday, I was very surprised see many Diplomats, including those from the United Nations (UN) agencies show their belief in what we are doing. So, I urge hon. Members to stay in touch with current events. Maybe, Hon. Muchima is talking about things that happened sixty years ago because, currently, donors have a lot of confidence in the Zambian Government and, as a result, there are many things happening now that have not happened before. For example, we will soon be constructing an oxygen plant on the Copperbelt.


Madam Speaker, I should mention that no country in the world, including the most developed one, was prepared for the COVID pandemic because a pandemic is like a nuclear bomb that just explodes. That is why we saw the health systems in Europe, North America and South America being overwhelmed, and we have seen television footage of patients being admitted on the streets and in homes in developed countries because the intensive care units (ICUs) were full to capacity. In contrast, Zambia has not gone through that. So, we must give credit where it is due.


Madam Speaker, the COVID-19 response in Zambia is actually a template model because when people called for the President to lock down the country, the President guided the country through the new normal, and we have just come out of a very severe second wave without going through a lockdown. There are countries that went through lockdowns, yet they have had far worse outcomes in terms of the number of people who were infected and of those who died. The statistics are there for anyone to see. Actually, Zambia’s statistics today, which show a 97 per cent recovery rate, are far better than the global and African averages. So, we have done very well and are a role model for success in fighting pandemics. The PF Government led by President Lungu is very visionary in its leadership, and that is why it has launched the COVID-19 Vaccine Programme, which will be rolled out across the country. We are ready for any pandemic.


Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Senga Hill, who served as Minister of Health in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), but is magnanimous enough to compare what happened in the past with what is happening today. In the past, it was unheard of for a clinic in a township or village to have a laboratory, but the PF Government has achieved that. It was also impossible to find a mini hospital in a komboni, a heavily populated place in the townships. However, if you go to Matero, Kanyama, Chawama or Kitwe, you will find mini hospitals. Recently, I launched the construction of mini hospitals in Kamitondo and Kamatipa. All the places, whether rural or urban, are getting mini hospitals because the PF Government believes that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation, since when people are healthy, they are more productive.


Madam Speaker, let me talk about some of the issues that have been raised by the Committee, which we are addressing.


Madam, the ministry appreciates the recommendation that the Public Health Act be reviewed to make it responsive to current and future public health issues. The Committee and the House may wish to note that significant progress has been made in the review of the Act, which is currently at the drafting stage at the Ministry of Justice. In this regard, I urge the House to support the Bill when it is presented for consideration by this august House. Further, to enhance our country’s health security, the Government has enacted the Zambia National Public Health Institute Act whose commencement order will soon be signed.


Madam, in terms of the current resource envelop for the health sector, the sector would welcome the increase in its budgetary allocation alluded to by the Hon. Minister of Finance so that we can conform to the Abuja Declaration of 15 per cent. Over the years, the ministry’s budget has been increasing, but its proportion to the National Budget has varied between 7 and 12 per cent, and currently stands at K9.7 billion or 8.1 per cent of the National Budget. The ministry has also been working on innovative financing mechanisms, and will further strengthen the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). We enacted the National Health Insurance Act here and established the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA)  and the NHIS, which is working very well. The NHIS will be perfected, but it has already raised many resources. I think, today, a Zambian who goes to a major health facility in the country will find NHIMA wards and NHIMA patients. That was never heard of off but we are doing that.


Madam, the ministry has continued to engage with the Ministry of Finance on the need to continue prioritising the health sector and increasing funding to the sector to meet the 15 per cent recommendation of the Abuja Declaration.


Madam Speaker, in terms of expediting the setting up of the fund prescribed in the Zambia National Public Health Institute Act, I wish to say that the institute is yet to be operationalised by the issuance of the commencement order, which will be signed as soon as it is cleared by the Ministry of Justice.


Madam Speaker, on Treasury authority, the Committee’s observation is well noted. I further wish to report that the Ministry of Health was granted authority to recruit 2,232 health workers in 2020 and 395 this year. The Committee may further note that the process of filling the ministry’s establishment is gradual dependent on Treasury authority. In this regard, the ministry will continue working with the Ministry of Finance to recruit more healthcare staff. Currently, we are training epidemiologists in different universities. A sealed epidemiology training programme at the Zambia National Public Health Institute has had over 100 graduates so far who have been deployed to different parts of the country.


Madam Speaker, I also wish to tell the House that the Infectious Diseases Isolation Facility in Mwembeshi District is funded and managed by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) under the office of the Vice-President. The facility is at 90 per cent, with outstanding works relating mostly to the finishes, and power and water supply. Land has been found for the construction of other isolation centres in Ndola, on the Copperbelt, and construction will commence once funds are mobilised.


Madam Speaker, in terms of strengthening the recently-established National Public Health Reference Laboratory (NPHRL), the World Bank-funded Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Regional Investment Financing Project (ACDCP) is an effectiveness project. Seventy per cent of the funding is meant for the building, equipping and staffing of the NPHRL, and construction is expected to commence soon. This project will give us a high level of containment and diagnostic capacity of emerging and re-emerging diseases of public health importance. In the interim, the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) has set up a laboratory with microbiology and molecular capacity at Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital to support the COVID-19 response.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Kalila: Madam Speaker, I acknowledge and appreciate all the hon. Members who have contributed to this very important subject, a living subject in the world and in our country today. I especially acknowledge and appreciate the responses from the two hon. Ministers, the hon. Minister of Finance and the hon. Minister of Health. I look forward to further engagements with all the hon. Members on living subjects like the COVID-19 pandemic.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Question put and agreed to.




Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism for the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on Friday, 26th March, 2021.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mrs Mwanakatwe (Lusaka Central): Madam Speaker, I second the Motion.


Mrs Chinyama: Madam Speaker, in line with its terms of references contained in Standing Order No. 157(2), your Committee examined and the topical issue, “The Accommodation Clarification and Grading System in Zambia”. In that regard, your Committee invited various stakeholders to provide both oral and written submissions on the topical issue. The findings of your Committee, arising from its interactions with these stakeholders, are contained in your Committee’s report, which hon. Members have had an opportunity to read. Therefore, allow me to highlight only a few salient issues that came to the attention of your Committee during its deliberations on the subject.


Madam Speaker, the quality and standard of accommodation facilities is a critical component of a thriving tourism industry. Among the factors that both local and international tourists take into account when selecting a tourism destination is the type of accommodation offered. In this regard, graded accommodation facilities serve as an effective tool for marketing the country’s tourism industry. It is, therefore, important that the accommodation sub-sector is guided by a robust classification and grading system that ensures compliance with set standards.


Madam Speaker, it is noteworthy that before the Government promulgated the Tourism and Hospitality Regulations, Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 14 of 2018, accommodation establishments in Zambia had not been graded for over thirty years. Given this fact, and taking cognisance of the benefits that accrue from grading accommodation establishments, the Government issued the SI to, among other objectives, facilitate the classification and grading of accommodation establishments in the country. Your Committee commends the Government for that course of action, but also notes with great concern that the Accommodation Classification and Grading Programme is being hampered by non-release or delayed release of funds to the Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA). Your Committee agrees with the stakeholders who appeared before it that the success of the programme is predicated on the Government’s provision of the necessary resources for the programme’s implementation and, therefore, urges the Government to provide the resources needed by the ZTA to effectively implement the classification and grading system.


Madam Speaker, during its interactions with stakeholders, your Committee was informed that there is a general lack of awareness and appreciation of the grading system by most accommodation providers, resulting in reluctance by most operators to apply for grading. Your Committee concurs with stakeholders that there is a need for more awareness-raising to ensure that all accommodation providers in the country know the country’s classification and grading system. In light of the above, the Government should intensify sensitisation and awareness programmes in order to demystify the classification and grading system.


Madam Speaker, your Committee also observes that the tourism industry is inundated with multiple taxes, licences and fees that operators are required to pay, and some accommodation providers perceive the grading system as an additional cost of doing business in the tourism industry. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to review and harmonise the licensing regime for the entire tourism sector.


Madam Speaker, in the course of its interactions with stakeholders, your Committee noted that the grading system is not anchored on a national grading framework, and that presents challenges in the grading of multinational and international brands operating as franchise hotels. In this regard, your Committee urges the Government to develop a national grading framework to guide the grading system.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, your Committee is grateful to you and the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance and support rendered to it during the Session. Your Committee also greatly appreciates the input of the witnesses it interacted with during its deliberations, which greatly enriched the discourse.


Madam Speaker, with these remarks, I urge all hon. Members to support the report of your Committee.


Madam Speaker, I beg to move.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Now, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to second the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism for the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly. From the outset, I thank your office and that of the Clerk of the National Assembly for all the support rendered to the Committee during its deliberations.


Madam Speaker, during its interactions with the stakeholders, the Committee learnt that Zambia only has thirty-eight grading assessors to implement the grading exercise. This problem is further compounded by a lack of local training programmes in that area of expertise. It is noteworthy that the current assessors were trained with the assistance of the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. The Committee commends the Government for such beneficial bilateral relations. However, it is of the view that Zambia needs to build its local capacity in this field. In this regard, the Committee urges the Government to collaborate with institutions of higher learning to develop curricular and study programmes for assessors.


Madam Speaker, the Committee observes the failure by the Government to incorporate key stakeholders in the accommodation classification and grading system, and notes that some of those stakeholders are critical to the successful implementation of the system. The Committee further notes that local authorities are a critical stakeholder, especially with regard to the provision of building specifications. In this vein, the Committee recommends the involvement of the Ministry of Local Government and other relevant stakeholders in the construction industry to ensure that operators who wish to build accommodation establishments are given guidance on building specifications and other requisite information from the outset in order for them to conform to the standards of the grading criteria.


Madam Speaker, as mentioned by the mover of this Motion, a lack of adequate resources is impeding the smooth implementation of the classification and grading system. Therefore, the Committee concurs with the stakeholders that the Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) should be fully funded in a timely manner. Further, the Government should devise a clear mobilisation plan and road map for the grading programme.


Madam Speaker, lastly, the Committee notes with concern that operators in the tourism sector pay a uniform retention fee regardless of whether they are classified as small, medium or large enterprises, which is unfair, as earnings of the three categories of enterprises differ significantly. In this regard, the Committee recommends that the Government amends the law so that the fee is differentiated according to the categories of the enterprises.


Madam Speaker, I beg to second.  


The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Mr Chitotela): Madam Speaker, having gone through the report and listened to the mover and the seconder of the Motion, we, as the Government, have taken note of the concerns. Let me just put things in the correct perspective.


Madam Speaker, we got the report earlier and, last week, I launched the Electronic Grading (e-Grading) System at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre because of the strong collaboration among us, the international community and partners like the former Private Enterprise Zambia (PEPZ), now Prospero Zambia, which put over K1.2 million into the training of assessors and building their institutional capacity.


Madam Speaker, the Government of His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu has placed a premium on the tourism sub-sector as one of the key drivers of economic diversification, and that is the reason we have placed emphasis on the grading system. I must inform the people of Zambia who may not know that we have graded twenty-six facilities in different categories since the beginning of the exercise. Some hotels they saw closing did so because they were requested to upgrade and renovate their facilities for us to give them the right grading.


Madam Speaker, I assure the Committee that the Government has taken note of its concerns and that we are moving in the right direction. No wonder, today, all the operators in the tourism sub-sector, and the lodges and hotels are able to register for grading in the comfort of their homes by simply logging in and applying, and their applications are processed.


Madam Speaker, as the seconder said, we are also registering the classification of the different tourism structures, and the operators can apply to pay fees that are commensurate with the scale of their operations in relation to duplication of certification because we know that some have small facilities while others run bigger ones. Further, we have created a one-stop facility so that people who apply for tourism enterprises and other licences can do so easily. Therefore, I thank the Committee for the report –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, do not look at the clock. You are entitled to ten minutes.


You may proceed.


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the guidance.


Madam, I urge the operators, especially those who may be in far-flung areas where we do not have physical facilities, to visit our electronic platform and apply, and we will grade and license them. The electronic application system reduces the cost of doing business and the time people spend on travelling to Lusaka from Kasama, Livingstone or Solwezi, where we may not have the facilities.


Madam Speaker, I also want to state that the grading system in Zambia is new and that we are investing in a robust sensitisation and information dissemination programme for all the operators in the tourism sub-sector on the importance of getting assessed according to international standards. We do not want to have a situation in which we can end up taking Heads of State we are hosting to a grade three facilities that we may refer to as grade five hotels in Zambia.


Madam Speaker, let me state that from the time we began assessing the hotels in Zambia, only two hotels have been given a five-star classification, and that is why other hotels requested us to give them the chance to upgrade themselves. After the upgrades, we shall reassess them and give them the appropriate grading. In this regard, I encourage all the operators in Mbala, and in the Eastern and Western provinces who may wish to have their facilities graded for the purpose of attracting a good clientele and the best international reputation to visit our facilities.


Madam Speaker, I thank the Committee and the whole House for this report, which I support.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.  


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, so you did not need ten minutes after all?


Mrs Chinyama: Madam Speaker, I thank the House for unanimously adopting the report. I take it that the hon. Members did not indicate to debate because they absolutely agree with what the Committee has put across. I also appreciate the hon. Minister’s responses. However, I urge him to not only take note of the concerns, but to also be seen to be taking significant steps towards addressing the concerns. The issues in the report, such as the multiplicity of licences, have been raised by us over the years. There are many other issues to do with human resource, especially regarding allegations of foreign human resources being more favoured than the local ones. The Government should be seen to be paying more attention to those issues.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Question put and agreed to










The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Kafwaya) (on behalf of the Minister of Higher Education (Dr Mushimba)): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.


Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to establish the principles contained in the Bill.


Madam Speaker, the enactment of the Higher Education Bill into law will enhance the regulatory functions of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) in creating an enabling, but well-regulated environment for the higher education sector in order for the country to produce quality graduates. The Bill will have an impact on a number of existing laws and, in this regard, consequential amendments to all the affected pieces of legislation have been finalised and agreed to by all the stakeholders. These consequential amendments have been necessitated by the gaps, overlaps and conflicts that exist in the sector and those that may arise as a result of reposing all regulatory functions in one entity, the HEA. The proposed Bill will also address and remove from the law certain functions that do not relate to quality assurance in the Higher Education Act. These include:


  1. advising the Minister on funding arrangements for public higher education institutions;
  2. advising the Minister on staff development for higher education; and
  3. promoting equity in access to higher education through student assistance programmes.


Madam Speaker, while these functions are currently in the Higher Education Act, it became clear during the implementation process that they were not functions of the authority, but rather of the Directorate of University Education under the ministry, which has since been established in line with the provisions of a policy.


Madam Speaker, it has been proposed that the membership of the HEA Board be reduced from the current eleven to ten by removing one of the two persons with experience in matters relating to higher education and removing some of the constituencies.


Madam Speaker, currently, the Act defines higher education institutions as consisting of colleges and universities. Now, it is proposed that the term be defined as consisting of colleges, university colleges, universities, technical university colleges, technical universities, institutes and any other higher education institutions created by an existing Act of Parliament.


Madam Speaker, accreditation of learning programmes in higher education institutions is one of the core functions of the authority for the purposes of quality assurance. Currently, the provision for accreditation is in Statutory Instrument No. 25 of 2016. This provision is proposed for inclusion in the Act.


Madam Speaker, prior to the establishment of the authority, matters of accreditation of programmes were handled mostly by individual professional bodies, and this provision was included in their legislation. Therefore, to remove it, consequential amendments to existing pieces of legislation have been effected, and this means that all powers to accredit institutions and learning programmes have now been reposed in the HEA. This will effectively end the common practice of multiple accreditation and regulation of the sector. It will also end the conflicts between regulatory bodies and provide a standard regulatory system comparable to others globally.


Madam Speaker, a proposal to reduce the number of members of public university councils from sixteen to nine by amending the second schedule has been made because the big number of council members made the councils ineffective, and is against current trends of good corporate governance.


Madam Speaker, as I conclude, I would like to state that if the Bill is enacted into law, it will strengthen the institutional capacity of the HEA and bring sanity to the sector, which has faced several challenges, particularly in the area of regulation and accreditation. The Ministry of Higher Education, therefore, urges the House to support its quest to create an environment that will enhance the quality of learning outcomes, and positively impact national productivity and economic growth.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Madam Speaker, the Committee on Education, Science and Technology was tasked to scrutinise the Higher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2021. In order to appreciate the ramification of the Bill, the Committee sought both written and oral submissions from stakeholders.


Madam Speaker, as the House is aware, the Higher Education Act No. 4 of 2013 came into being after the repeal of the University Act No. 11 of 1999. The new Act provided for the establishment of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), whose mandate is, among other functions, to ensure the provision of good quality services in higher education institutions.


Madam Speaker, the implementation of the provisions of the Higher Education Act No. 4 of 2013 has faced a number of challenges, most of which are legislative in nature, as there exist multiple pieces of legislation each of which contains provisions that either conflict or overlap with this Act. Further, some gaps have been identified in the Higher Education Act No. 4 of 2013 with regard to regulatory oversight of the sector. All these issues need to be addressed in order to not only strengthen the functions of the HEA, but also to sanitise the higher education sector, which has experienced the mushrooming of sub-standard higher education institutions.


Madam, the Committee sees the Higher Education (Amendment) Bill No. 21 of 2021 as part of the continuing efforts to enhance quality assurance in higher education through appropriate legislative provisions, and supports this effort. The Committee is greatly concerned that some key words, such as ‘professional institutions’, used in Clause 23(a) and ‘regulator’ in Clause 23(b) have not been defined in the Bill, as that has the potential to cause misinterpretation and misunderstanding among stakeholders. The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that these words be clearly defined in order to provide for their clear understanding.


Madam Speaker, the Committee is also concerned that the amendment of Clause 4 does not provide for the HEA to consult higher education institutions on standard setting. Regulatory bodies have varied expertise, which might be critical in coming up with standards to uphold professionalism in various fields. The Committee, therefore, recommends that relevant professional regulatory bodies be consulted on standard setting for higher education institutions.


Madam, the Committee is also greatly concerned that Clause 39(a) provides that a private higher education institution is required to apply to the HEA for permission whenever it decides to affiliate with another private higher education institution. Notably, this requirement does not apply to public higher education institutions. In this vein, the Committee strongly recommends that the law be applied fairly and equally to all higher education institutions desiring to affiliate with other higher education institutions.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to render my sincere gratitude to you, and the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the guidance and support services rendered to the Committee throughout its deliberations. I also place on record the Committee’s appreciation of all the stakeholders who made submissions on the Bill to it.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the comments of the chairperson of your Committee, and I want to indicate that his views will be considered in the process.


I thank you, Madam.


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


Committed to a committee of the Whole House.


Committee on Tuesday, 20th April, 2021.




The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Mwale): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read the second time.


Madam, this Bill seeks to amend the Engineering Institution of Zambia Act No. 17 of 2010 so as to revise the functions of the Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ).


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) (Kalabo Central) (on behalf of Mr Syakalima (Chirundu)): Madam Speaker, allow me to express my gratitude for being given the opportunity to acquaint the House with the deliberations of the Committee on Transport, Works and Supply on the Engineering Institution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill, 2021.


Madam, the Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) currently accredits institutions that offer higher education programmes and qualifications for purposes of registration of its members. The Government has now introduced the Engineering Institution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill, 2021, to, among other outcomes, remove this function from the EIZ and vest it in the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA). The aim of the Bill is to stop the duplication of roles among the three institutions. In scrutinising the Bill, the Committee interacted with stakeholders who made both oral and written submissions.


Madam Speaker, all the stakeholders who appeared before the Committee were in support of the Bill, although they expressed some reservations on some of the Bill’s provisions. In view of this, the Committee makes some observations and recommendations.


Madam, firstly, the Committee notes that once the Bill is enacted into law, the EIZ will have no power to accredit and recognise engineering qualifications in the country. However, the Committee is of the view that the institution should continue to play an active role in the accreditation and recognition of engineering qualifications by recommending standards for accreditation to ZAQA and the HEA, as opposed to having no role to play in the process. This will ensure that suitably-qualified persons are registered to practise as engineering professionals. In light of the foregoing, the Committee further recommends that a provision be made in the Bill to compel the HEA and ZAQA to consult the institution when accrediting all engineering learning programmes and qualifications so as to allay fears of programmes and qualifications being accredited without the expert scrutiny of the institution.


Madam Speaker, secondly, while appreciating the Bill, the Committee is concerned that apart from the HEA and ZAQA, the EIZ also has a conflicting mandate with the National Council for Construction (NCC), whose function of regulating construction companies conflicts with that of the EIZ, which regulates engineering organisations engaged in construction. The Committee, therefore, recommends that a comprehensive harmonisation of the Engineering Institution of Zambia Act with other allied pieces of legislation be carried out in order to avoid duplication of roles leading to institutions overstepping their mandates and increased cost of doing business for players in the industry.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, the Committee is indebted to all the witnesses who appeared before it for their valuable submissions. Allow me to also thank you and the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance and services rendered throughout the Committee’s deliberations. 


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the report.


Madam, I think the report highlights very salient features of our laws. As you might be aware, under the able leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is synchronising all the laws to ensure that there are no overlaps that come by virtue of one institution having the same role as another. So, the recommendations are well received. However, I want to make a statement regarding the Higher Education Authority Act and the Zambia Qualifications Authority Act.


Madam, we can equate the Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) to the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), which gives practising certificates to lawyers who have passed through schools of law and the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE). I want to see the same arrangement for my colleagues, the engineers; they should have a body similar to ZIALE that will ensure that engineers, who got their training the world over, reach a certain level of competence before they can be allowed to practise. This does not mean that we must kill the National Council for Construction (NCC). I think we must understand that the role of the NCC is to register and grade engineering institutions. A firm that wants to build roads is put in a different grade from one that wants to build other things, for example.


Madam Speaker, I support the report, but I also have a comment I wish to add on issues relating to discrimination. Some engineering firms pay foreign engineers more wages than locally-trained engineers. You may find some engineer getting ten times more than a Zambian engineer just because he is foreign. So, much as we are talking about the other things, we must also find a way of harmonising the conditions of service for our brothers in the engineering sector. I know that even some projects that can be done by Zambians are being given to foreign engineers simply because people believe that Zambian engineers are incompetent. So, while the report has raised very valid issues, it should not end at that, but also recommend that apart from being recognised by either the NCC or the EIZ, our engineers should be given what they deserve.


Madam, we see all the road works being done in Lusaka, and I know that the sub-contractors are Zambians. So, Zambians have reached the level at which they can execute huge projects, but they are demeaned by the fact that people do not recognise the fact that they deserve the same conditions of service as those of foreign engineers. By virtue of my experience as a lawyer who is involved in drafting contracts for projects and joint ventures, among other agreements, I know that, sometimes, Zambian engineers are let down by the fact that the NCC and the EIZ are not concerned about their welfare.


Madam Speaker, the proposed changes to the Act are welcome, and I think it is important that the Ministry of Local Government is also given a small role involving either recording or keeping track of the engineers we employ on Government projects. I know that when it comes to roads, the Road Development Agency (RDA) comes in and does whatever it does. Its consultants do this and that. So, at the end of the day, the Government must have an oversight role over all these institutions so that there is no overlap of functions.


Madam Speaker, with those few remarks, allow me to wish Mr Hakainde Hichilema a quick recovery from high blood pressure.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I thank the two hon. Members who have debated this Motion, namely the chairperson of the Committee on Transport, Works and Supply, and the hon. Deputy Chief Whip.


Madam, the hon. Deputy Chief Whip raised some issues, except they were not some about this Bill, which only seeks to include the definitions of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA) into the existing Act or to align the institutions in the Bill that has just been passed for second reading. So, the submissions he has made are valid, but we will try to take care of them when we overhaul the entire Bill. 


Madam Speaker, the hon. Deputy Chief Whip made the point that the EIZ only looks at the professional conduct, not issues of works, because issues of works and related aspects have been well defined in the National Council for Construction Act. I think he corrected a wrong impression that was created by the Committee.


Madam Speaker, this Bill is a simple and straightforward matter of aligning the definitions of the HEA and ZAQA with the Higher Education (Amendment) Bill that has been passed. Other issues will be taken into account as we overhaul the entire Bill.


Madam, I thank those who participated in this debate.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


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


Committed to a committee of the Whole House.


Committee on Wednesday, 21st April, 2021.






Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.


Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to establish the principle in this Bill.


Madam Speaker, this Bill is a consequential amendment needed to align the provision of educational programmes with those obtaining in the Higher Education Bill so as to ensure consistency and quality in not only the delivery of quality higher education in transport and logistics, but also in accreditation of both higher learning institutions and qualifications in the sector.


Madam Speaker, let me end by clearly stating that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has the desire to facilitate a co-ordinated educational environment with a strong capacity to support strong social and economic growth in all sectors of our society, including in transport and logistics.


Madam Speaker, I beg to move.


Mr Miyutu on behalf of Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, the object of the Zambia Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (Amendment) Bill, 2021, is to amend the Zambia Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Act No. 4 of 2014 so as to revise the functions of the Zambia Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (ZCILT).


Madam Speaker, let me begin with a brief background to the tabling of this Bill. The Zambia Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Act No. 4 of 2014 was enacted to provide for the establishment of the ZCILT and its functions. The Act also constitutes the national council for the institute and its powers and functions, among other provisions.


Madam Speaker, the Government has also established, through relevant Acts of Parliament, ZAQA and the HEA. Consequently, it has been noted that there are overlaps between the functions of the institute and of the two bodies and, in order to address that and ensure that only the two bodies carry out the accreditation of institutions and regulation of higher learning institutions, the Government has introduced the Zambia Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (Amendment) Bill, which aligns the principal Act with the provisions of the law that governs the mandates and operations of ZAQA and the HEA.


Madam Speaker, your Committee interacted with various stakeholders on the Bill, most of whom supported the intentions of the Bill and expressed confidence that the proposed amendments will facilitate a holistic oversight and functional harmonisation of inter-institutional synergies in accreditation, education and quality assurance of learning programmes on supply chain, logistics and transport in Zambia. The Committee, however, made the following observations during the process of scrutinising the Bill and recommends that a number of amendments be made in order to improve the proposed law.


Madam Speaker, the Committee notes that ZAQA will have powers to oversee the qualification framework for the ZCILT once the Bill is enacted into law. However, it is of the view that the institute needs to continue playing an active role in the accreditation and recognition of qualifications of logistics and transport practitioners, and that can be achieved by empowering the institute to recommend standards for accreditation to ZAQA and the HEA. The Committee further recommends that a provision with appropriate wording be included in the Bill to make it mandatory for the HEA to consult the institute when accrediting all logistics and transport learning programmes to avoid the undesirable situation of the HEA accrediting learning programmes without the expert input of the institute.


Madam Speaker, the Committee also appreciates the fact that Clause 4 amends Section 24 by making it a requirement for a person applying for admittance as a chartered fellow to have attended a learning institution registered by the HEA, and to hold a qualification accredited and recognised by ZAQA. However, the Committee is concerned that the amendment removes the cardinal requirement for one to have been a member of the institute for, at least, five years before being admitted to that class of membership. Therefore, it recommends that the words “and has served as a member for at least five consecutive years” be inserted after the word “authority” in the amendment to ensure that only suitably experienced persons are admitted as chartered fellows.


Madam Speaker, as I conclude, allow me to thank your Office and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance provided during our deliberations on the Bill. Further, your Committee thanks the stakeholders for their oral and written submissions on the Bill.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, allow me to congratulate the Zambia Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (ZCILT) on making significant strides in ensuring that the legislation governing transport and logistics practitioners is harmonised with the existing laws.


Madam Speaker, I am aware that the ZCILT is an important institution in the governance of this country. I also know that once this Bill is enacted, the people who want to hold the country to ransom by hoarding fuel in their tankers, take advantage of Zambian drivers while paying foreign drivers more, and think they can use the one-day fuel shortage as a platform to get to State House will know that it will no longer be chipantepante. Things will be properly organised, and only those who are registered and accredited will be involved in this business.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: What is the meaning of “chipantepante”?


Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, chipantepante means ‘at random’.


Madam, it will not be business at random like the United Party for National Development (UPND) does things. Instead, the sector will be so well organised that one cannot just jump onto the bandwagon and claim to be a practitioner. One would need to have a certificate and a licence.


Madam, all the laws are now being cleaned up by the PF Government to ensure that everything done in Zambia is properly aligned to what is done in the rest of the world. For example, in other countries, one cannot be a fuel tanker driver without being certified, and the certification is not just a matter of having a driving licence. Rather, it is also a matter of ensuring that we cannot be sabotaged and that fuel tanker drivers do not behave in a manner that puts the country at risk. The Government must have total control of how people get involved in this business.


Madam, we have heard of foreign companies taking advantage of local drivers by putting them in lower salary scales while putting foreigner drivers in higher scales without justification. So, the ZCILT must now move in on full throttle and ensure that all the laws meant to protect our people are enforced according to how Parliament wanted things to be done.


Madam Speaker, I am also aware that under the PF Government, many laws have been cleaned up and that it is now very difficult to have a law that does not speak to the next law. Our brothers in the logistics and transport industry will now feel protected because there is a law that actually gives them the capacity to behave and do business without fear of victimisation or discrimination.


Madam Speaker, with those few remarks, I thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity this afternoon to add the voice of the people of Kabwe Central to this debate.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Speaker, in supporting this Bill, I must say I heard the mover say that there should be experts in the Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA) so that the authority does not take advantage of situations to do things that are not related to transport and logistics. I think that is key in this field just like in any other. We need only those who are qualified to determine the qualifications of others. There will be no need to have ZAQA if it cannot have experts. So, it would be better for ZAQA to involve experts in the field each time it considers matters to do with logistics so that it is able to manage those issues appropriately, and this also goes to any other institution aligned with the field. If people just do things the way they want, the country will be misled.


Madam Speaker, I also need to correct the impression created by Hon. Tutwa Ngulube, who said that the United Party for National Development (UPND) does things in a chipantepante way or without any order. I wonder whether the UPND has ever been in the Government to make laws in a chipantepante manner. Hon. Tutwa Ngulube should understand that chipantepante is in the Patriotic Front (PF), which is failing to adjust and realign issues of laws, yet it is in leadership. How can the hon. Member compare the PF with the UPND, which is not in the Government? He should wait until the UPND is in the Government. Then, he will see. The UPND is a very organised party, and he saw how well it conducted its convention compared with the PF chipantepante.


Madam Speaker, I support this Bill and all that has been submitted, if at all the experts will be involved.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for granting me an opportunity to wind up this debate. I also thank Hon. Miyutu, Hon. Tutwa Ngulube and Hon. Muchima for contributing to the debate on this amendment Bill. I just want to make two or three comments.


Madam Speaker, the acting chairperson indicated the relationship between the institute and the Higher Education Authority (HEA) vis-à-vis accreditation and membership. I want to be very clear in saying that the HEA is a Government entity and that given the one Government approach that His Excellency the President has promoted, we do not see gaps in terms of one entity working with other entities. It is expected that there has to be co-ordination, but the co-ordination needs to be guided with properly-crafted legal instruments, and that is why we moved this amendment.


Madam Speaker, Hon. Tutwa Ngulube said that the institute is very important. That expression cannot be overemphasised because, as you may be aware, the gap between the producers and consumers of goods and services is bridged by transport and logistics. Therefore, the hon. Deputy Government Chief Whip’s expression is a very important one. Indeed, the institute is a critical one.


Madam Speaker, my elder brother, the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i, said that the United Party for National Development (UPND) has never been in the Government. Before the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, I sat here and, across there, there were many UPND hon. Members of Parliament. Perhaps, I can find out from the hon. Member when we are outside this Chamber whether when we sit together in this Chamber, our colleagues are in the Government or not. 


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


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


Committed to a committee of the Whole House.


Committee on Wednesday, 21st April, 2021.




The Zambia Institute for Tourism and Hospitality Studies (Amendment) Bill, 2021


Report adopted.


Third Reading on Friday, 16th April, 2021.








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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1627 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 16th April, 2021.