Tuesday, 20th April, 2021

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Tuesday, 20th April, 2021


The House met at 1430 hours


[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]












160. Dr Malama (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs:


  1. whether the Government is aware that Mr Moses Brian Mubanga, a Zambian student in Cyprus, has gone missing;
  2. if so, for how long has he been missing;
  3. what measures are being taken to trace Mr Mubanga and reunite him to his family; and
  4. whether the Government is aware that the missing of Mr Mubanga has caused a lot of pain and anguish to his family.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo) (on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Malanji): Madam Speaker, indeed, the Government is aware that Mr Brian Mubanga is missing. Regarding how long he has been missing, the House may wish to note that according to reports made by his family, Mr Mubanga was alleged to have first gone missing for a period of five months, that is, from July 2020 to December 2020, when he was traced at a closed penitentiary institution in the city of Istanbul. He, again, recently went missing for a period of four months from 14th January, 2021, to date, which is a second instance after his release from the closed penitentiary institution.


Madam Speaker, it is worth noting that missions abroad are responsible for providing consular and other services to Zambian nationals, which was done as evidenced in the search which was conducted to trace him and persuade him to return to Zambia after he was found in the first instance.


Madam Speaker, to assist the Government in having updated details of its nationals in foreign countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs encourages its citizens living abroad to register themselves with the Zambian missions abroad for ease of provision of consular and other services in case of emergency.


Madam Speaker, however, it is unfortunate that Mr Mubanga appeared to have been insincere in responding to the questions asked by the mission staff in an effort to assist him, going forward. Further, going by the Turkish Government’s law that a person aged over twenty-one years was an adult and, therefore, could not be probed or challenged for certain information like a child who could be a victim of human trafficking, the mission could only also do so much to gather information from Mr Mubanga or compel him to return to Zambia.


Madam Speaker, in reiterating that Mr Mubanga was not sincere in his provision of information for his possible assistance by the mission, I hereby highlight that at the time of release from the penitentiary institution, he provided a residential address that was actually non-existent and to date, his whereabouts are unknown. Currently, there is also no trace of his use of travel document or passport anywhere in the country.


Madam Speaker, I wish to assure the House that the Government remains committed to searching for Mr Mubanga in the difficult circumstance and will continue rendering unwavering support to his family in resolving this issue.


Madam Speaker, the Government is, indeed, aware of the aguish and pain to Mr Mubanga’s family on this issue and deeply regrets the status quo.


I thank you, Madam.


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, in stating that the said Mr Mubanga was insincere in giving information, could the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirm that it has been able to speak to the said young man because Mr Mubanga’s mother, a window, and whose only son is the same Mr Mubanga, is heavily grieved and looking for information to trace him. Using her meagre resources, she sent one family member for one month to trace Mr Mubanga. Could the hon. Minister confirm that the Government, through our officers in the Foreign Service, has been able to talk to Mr Mubanga in person?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the follow up question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya.


Madam, this is a young man who was at a university in Cyprus. Unfortunately, as things turned out, he was expelled from the university. At that point, he was supposed to head back to Zambia. However, instead of returning home, he opted to get into Istanbul where he vanished en-route to here. During that time, he got into conflict with the law. I think he must have been accused of having picked something that did not belong to him and the police arrested him.


Madam Speaker, the penitentiary institution I talked about is a reformatory kind of facility, where law enforcement agencies of Turkey take young offenders for reformation. So, this is where he was taken. During that time, the matter was brought to the attention of our consular officials in Istanbul, who now embarked on a search and apparently managed to find this young man at this penitentiary institution. They engaged and discussed with him at this facility.


Madam, the officials from the consulate were hoping that after his release, he would, then, reach out to our consular office in Istanbul. So, when that did not happen, the consular staff decided to try and follow up again to check on him. At that point, the police informed them that they had released him. The consular staff insisted on knowing why the police had released the young man without informing them. However, the police said that according to the law in that country, he was an adult and that is why I referred to the Turkish law.


Madam Speaker, as you may be aware, Turkey is one of the countries with the largest numbers of asylum seekers in that region. So, in the police’s view, they thought he was going to report himself to one of the asylum seeking authorities. Therefore, they did not feel obliged to inform our consular office about his release. That is now where the second part of his missing starts from and our consulate is trying by all means to see if it can still locate him. If he reaches out to the family, the family should insist that he makes himself available to our consular office.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has mentioned that Mr Mubanga initially got lost from July to December 2020 and then he reappeared. I want to find out if at all the said Mr Mubanga has some mental challenges. That may be the reason he is behaving in the manner he is. Were there any such investigations when he reappeared after the first incident?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the follow up question from the Member of Parliament for Mumbwa, Hon. Nanjuwa. Well, like I explained, the gentleman came into conflict with the law in Turkey. I am sure this happened in his quest to try and find means of surviving in that foreign environment.


Madam, whether there are elements of mental instability, our consular officials in Turkey would have stated so had they noticed that. However, what they noticed was his reluctance in so far as returning home was concerned. They could not get an indication of a person who desperately wanted to come back home. So, that is where the challenge has been. However, we have not heard of any intimation regarding his mental instability.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, as I stated earlier, using the widow’s resources, the family sent one of the family members who was there for almost a month. The family even confirmed with the ministry that our officials at the consulate never had any face to face contact with him. Therefore, are we going to take it upon ourselves as the people of Zambia and the Government, through our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to try and establish contact with Mr Mubanga? Will the ministry also establish firmer contact with the family so that information is relayed, which can assist the family, particularly the mother, who is a widow? Are we also going to work together with the governments of Cyprus and Turkey to ensure that the young man is reconnected to his mother and family?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, indeed, the Government is concerned and that is the reason it has continued to keep foreign missions. I am sure you will recall that it is under this Government that we have managed to establish a full-fledged consular office in Istanbul for that region. This is to try and help our nationals who find themselves in that region.


So, efforts are still being made by the consular office to try and locate the whereabouts of the young man so that he can be reconnected to his family. Obviously, this is a young man who should have been in school, but, unfortunately, due to lack of finances, he was chased out of the university. So, as a ministry responsible for foreign affairs, we will continue with the same efforts because it is our responsibility to look after our own in foreign jurisdictions. This will continue, and we are hoping that sooner rather than later, access to this young man could be established.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow questions from the hon. Members for Bweengwa, Manyinga, Katombola and end with the hon. Member for Zambezi West.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister stated that Mr Mubanga gave a wrong address. Is the hon. Minister in a position to tell the Zambian people this afternoon the wrong address which the young man, Mr Mubanga, gave?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the question from the hon. Member of Parliament, but I think that at this point, the details of what the young man had given as his address cannot be helpful to the nation, in as much as I do not have them. The reason the mission was trying to get those details was to follow up on him and facilitate his evacuation and return home. So, when the mission staff tried to make that follow up after being told by the police that he had been released from the penitentiary institution, they realised that the address was nonexistent. So, even if I had to give it, of what value is it going to be?


Madam, our focus is to ensure that the staff at our mission in Istanbul continues to make efforts of establishing his whereabouts using the local police because they can only do so much in terms of searching. They have to rely on the local institutions in Istanbul, Turkey, to help them. That is why they went further to check whether he had exited the country or not by searching the immigration system, through which it was established that it not happened. So, the search within Turkey will continue, and that is what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will focus on as it pursues this matter.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out whether Mr Mubanga, in question, was under Government sponsorship.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: That question is very different from the question on the Order Paper, unless, of course, the Acting hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs has an answer to that.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I can respond to him. Mr Mubanga was privately sponsored to go to university.


I thank you, Madam.


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, what advice has the hon. Minister for the mother, who is a widow, in her desperation and the anxiety of the family to keep contact with the Ministry of Foreign affairs?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I would like to appreciate the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya for bringing this very important question and posing the follow-up questions.


Madam Speaker, as regards our advice to the widow, the mother to the young man whom she desired to see get educated and be able to look after himself and his family, we can only appeal to her to remain calm and assure her that the Government will stand with her in this difficult time and ensure that her missing young son is found.


Madam Speaker, I am saying this looking back at the anguish and agony most families who have children who they have sent to the Republic of China went through with the coming of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19). We appreciate them for the corporation because there was panic. We saw the anguish of the parents. So, we thank them for that co-operation. The situation is normalising now. In the same quest, we will ensure that the son of this widow, who has gone missing, is found. We will make all necessary efforts to make sure he reunites with her back home.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the Acting hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs whether there are certain rules that tie these children from this Republic whether on Government sponsorship or, especially, privately sponsored, that are more or less like agreements with this Republic on the dos and don’ts and how they should regulate or behave themselves when they pursue their education in foreign lands? I see the Government labour to answer these questions when some of these people misconduct themselves in foreign lands. Can the hon. Minister elucidate whether these rules are assigned as these children leave this country?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I certainly appreciate the concern raised by my dear colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola, through his follow-up question.


Madam Speaker, every time children go to foreign institutions, they are oriented on the dos and don’ts. They are equally oriented on the laws that apply in those jurisdictions. We have children who have gone to universities here up north on the African continent, in India and, indeed, many other countries. In addition to that, our consular offices are always at hand to ensure that they establish the number of Zambian students in the areas of their operation. They too get to supplement the institutions were these children go in so far as sharing information about the particular countries.


Madam Speaker, as you know, children will always be children. Just here in our learning institutions, sometimes, out of peer pressure and influence they get in these institutions, they get to do wrong things. However, it is important that we keep guiding them through and through. Even before they leave the country, we should make them understand that they are going for education and should focus on education. We should tell them to avoid straying and breaking the laws of the country from which they are supposed to attain education.


Madam Speaker, so, it is, therefore, just one of those cases. I think the overall picture is that most of the young ones who have gone to countries like Russia or elsewhere manage to get educated and come back to contribute to the growth of this country. So, we should just continue to encourage them and make them understand what it means to grow up as responsible young citizens.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Kucheka (Zambezi West): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out whether the young man who has gone missing had colleagues and friends at the university. When most of these young men and women go out of the country to study, they decide to stay in those countries after they complete their studies. According to what I have learnt from the hon. Minister, the young man was kicked out of the university. Therefore, there is a possibility that he could have decided to stay in the country and his visa or permit expired and, then, he decided to go into hiding. I would like to find out whether the Government has made an effort to find out from the people he was interacting with at the university.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I do appreciate the follow up question from hon. Member of Parliament for Zambezi West. Indeed, like she has said, when our children go to universities, locally or abroad, they establish friendships which, sometimes, make some of our children opt to stay in the countries were they could have studied from and, maybe, even get married there.


Madam Speaker, I keep assuring our people, therefore, that our mission is not resting. It is, obviously, also reaching out to the institution where this young man was to try and see if it could establish his friendship network. Like I said, Turkey is a country which hosts the largest number of migrants and its rules are reasonably flexible. For anyone who stays there for a period of two years without having status, he or she is automatically considered. So, he could be thinking of staying because of that. All these are matters that the consular office is looking into. When it looks at this friendship network, it could probably get some leads to where he could be hosted.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




161. Mr Kangombe (Sesheke) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. when the construction of Yeta School of Nursing will commence;
  2. who the contractor for the project is; 
  3. what the total cost of the project is; and
  4. what the time frame for the completion of the project is.


The Minister of Health (Dr Chanda): Madam Speaker, the construction of the Yeta School of Nursing will commence once funds for the project are made available. Therefore, parts (b), (c) and (d) of the question fall off.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the construction will commence when funds are available. Is he, by any chance, aware about when the said funds will be available?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, this project was captured in the 2021 Budget. As regards when funds will be available, that is a discussion we had with the hon. Minister of Finance. I spoke to him not long ago, but just before the sitting of Parliament over this and other issues. So, when the Ministry of Finance gives us an indication, we shall let the hon. Members know.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kangombe: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister may wish to know that the construction of the Yeta School of Nursing was pronounced during the by-election of 2019, which saw me step foot into Parliament. The hon. Minister of Health then and the President informed the people of Sesheke that funds were available for the construction of the said school of nursing.


Madam Speaker, when the hon. Minister tells me that funds are not available, hence no contractor has been contracted without an indication as to when the works could commence, it puts the people of Sesheke in serious shock because these were pronouncements made by the Head of State himself and the hon. Minister of Health.


Madam Speaker, my question is: Is this project going to take place before this Government of the Patriotic Front (PF) leaves office or we should just take it that it was mere political rhetoric which they gave the people of Sesheke in attempt to lure votes to themselves and their party?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I want to assure the hon. Member for Sesheke that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is not leaving office. It will win very convincingly in the elections of 12th August, 2021. However, like I said, this project, just like many other infrastructure projects, has been budgeted for in the 2021 Budget and that is not a political gimmick.


Madam Speaker, I think you will remember that when we had the Sesheke by-elections, no one could have foreseen that there could be a global pandemic of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), which is not a Zambian pandemic. We have seen what the COVID-19 pandemic has done to economies globally. So, we have to adjust to the new realities, the new normal.


 Madam Speaker, I want to assure the people of Sesheke that this project is not dead. It is very much alive. We are working with our colleagues at the Ministry of Finance to see to it that the funds are released and we construct the project because the PF Government values education for the people of Sesheke as well as people in all the ten provinces of Zambia.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kangombe: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for confirming that, indeed, the proclamation of the project was nothing but a mere gimmick for the people of Sesheke. It was not the truth because funds that the then hon. Minister of Health and His Excellency the President mentioned were available were actually not. I am pretty sure now that the people of Sesheke and the rest of the country have heard. So –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Ask your question.


Mr Kangombe: Is the hon. Minister aware that the Yeta School of Nursing is running enrolments and students are being accommodated in a hostel?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I want to assure the hon. Member for Sesheke that the pronouncement was not a mere political gimmick. Had it been a political gimmick, we would not be here talking about engaging the Ministry of Finance and our other colleagues. In the PF, we do not engage in political gimmicks. If you go around the country, how many nursing schools are being constructed? How many hospitals or rural health posts have been constructed? It is not just the health sector flourishing. So, political gimmicks probably belong to his party, but not ours.


Madam Speaker, I am very aware of the situation that the Yeta School of Nursing is operating from a temporary structure. However, like I said, when funds are available, we will start constructing the school. Ubunga balinganya na menshi. Meaning that for you to cook nshima, you have to have the right measure of the water and mealie meal. For us, we want the right resources. We do not want to put lay one block today and then say that the Yeta School of Nursing has been built. That is why, together with the Ministry of Finance, we are taking this matter very seriously.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Livune: Madam Speaker, my greatest concern is the PF Government’s approach to Presidential directives. A Presidential statement is policy. I want to find out from the hon. Minister how many fiscal years must pass between a Presidential statement on the need to construct a facility like the Yeta School of Nursing versus the availability of resources? Already, we are talking about almost two fiscal years having passed by with no indication of this facility being built. How much importance does the Government attach to a Presidential statement versus the availability of resources?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I am sure the hon. Member from Katombola knows that the President is the Head of the Executive and is in charge of policy. So, the President does not make cheap pronouncements. When he makes a pronouncement, in collaboration with the respective ministries, it is policy in line with our manifesto and all Government plans.


Madam Speaker, various pronouncements have been made. You will remember that we had a pronouncement of completing projects that are at 80 per cent completion level and above that was made even on the Floor of this House. So, we could not embark on constructing new projects before we could complete the projects at 80 per cent completion level and above.


Madam Speaker, of course, like I mentioned, other unforeseen circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic were not created by the PF Government. That is a global issue and we are all affected. That is why we are adapting to the new realities. That said, it has nothing to do with this or that pronouncement. It is very much on paper and in the Budget and we are looking for resources to construct it.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Nanjuwa: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that elaborate answer. Can he confirm to the people of Sesheke whether funds were available at the time the pronouncement was made by the President and the then hon. Minister of Health so that the people of Sesheke can know whether the money was there or it was diverted to another project.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, we all understand what budgeting is. When we say that the Ministry of Heath has K10 billion or K20 billion, that does not mean that the money is sitting with the hon. Minister at Ndeke House. That is not the way the Government works.


Madam Speaker, when the budget is approved, resources have to be released towards that budget. Therefore, when that pronouncement was made, the Ministry of Health had money, but there were many unforeseen challenges that came in, which I have mentioned, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges that may have hindered the implementation of this project.


Madam Speaker, therefore, instead of us crying over spilt milk and what happened during the by-elections, the Government is forward-looking. It will look for resources and ensure that the students at Yeta School of Nursing are accommodated in a better school. That is what the Government is committed to doing.


Madam Speaker, I thank you


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Madam Speaker, may the hon. Minister confirm that all the projects which were above 80 per cent completion have been worked on. Going by the response given to the question raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola, the hon. Minister is telling us now that the Government is looking for funds to work on Yeta School of Nursing. May the hon. Minister confirm that all those projects have been completed for the Government to start embarking on this new project?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, when the pronouncement of working on projects above 80 per cent was made, there were exceptions that were made. There are projects that are of great importance, for example, in the health sector. If you have emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, you cannot say, “let us first complete the project which is above 80 per cent” because those are matters of life and death. Therefore, for projects in the health sector, we may make exceptions.


Madam Speaker, it is not for me to confirm that all projects above 80 per cent have been completed. I am sure the hon. Member is aware of that. The Government cannot complete all the projects that are above 80 per cent. All the projects are at different levels of completion whether they are at 95 per cent, the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development can bring that whole complete grid.


This is not premised on saying once the Government completes all those projects that are at 80 per cent, then, it will start working on the ones that are at 0 per cent. This is done sector by sector, and there can be some changes. For example, the nursing school is under the health sector and we know that the front line health workers are very important in the fight against COVID-19 and any other disease. Therefore, that will always take a huge priority.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow the last two questions from the hon. Member for Liuwa and close with the hon. Member for Solwezi Central.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Madam Speaker, the order to construct the nursing school in Sesheke was made by the President, which is very important. So, in 2020, presumably out of that order, this project was put in the Budget for 2021.


Could the hon. Minister explain why this project was not put in the 2021 Budget because budgets cannot be recovered. If it did not happen 2020, then, you would have to forget about that year and have to budget afresh the next year. Why did the Ministry of Health not put it in the 2021 Budget?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, the infrastructure budget for the Ministry of Health is huge. It covers health posts, first level hospitals and training institutions. Therefore, projects that were not undertaken in 2020, and not only the construction of Yeta School of Nursing, but also other projects, including health institutions and training institutions, have been carried forward to the 2022 Budget. That is why, at the moment, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance are looking for resources.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Madam Speaker, the Minister of Health’s predecessor had made many pronouncements during by-elections. A case in point is in Solwezi where he had declared that the Government would construct a mini hospital. Is it a policy of the Patriotic Front (PF) to make pronouncements during by-elections when it has no intentions of doing anything about it because nothing has been done?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I am not the spokesperson for my predecessor.


I thank you, Madam.




162. Mr Mutale (Chitambo) asked the Minister of General Education:


  1. when the Government will upgrade salary scales for teachers in Chitambo Parliamentary Constituency who had upgraded their qualifications as of December 2020; and
  2. when teachers who have been acting in the following positions will be confirmed:


  1. head teacher;


  1. deputy head teacher; and


  1. senior teacher.


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government has been upgrading teachers in all the ten provinces and Chitambo Constituency is no exception. However, it should be noted that upgrading one’s qualifications does not mean an automatic salary scale upgrade, but one’s competencies should be assessed as well and a vacant and funded position should be available.


Madam Speaker, the confirmation of eligible teachers, who are acting in positions such as head teacher, deputy head teacher and senior teacher, is an-ongoing process and depends on availability of funded vacancies.


Madam Speaker, for the benefit of the hon. Member for Chitambo as well as the House, let me add that fifteen head teachers and thirteen deputy head teacher and eleven senior teachers from Chitambo Parliamentary Constituency, who were initially appointed to act on vacant but funded positions for a period of six months, have been confirmed. Currently, the ministry is planning on how it is going to deploy the 1,200 teachers throughout the country, and it is my hope that we may see some movement of teachers in term of upgrades with this process and that Chitambo Constituency may also benefit from this.


Madam Speaker, lastly, last week, I was in Chitambo Constituency and I am familiar with some of the issues that the hon. Member of Parliament for Chitambo has raised. I was able to interact with teachers who brought some of these concerns to my attention.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the answer he has given. He has mentioned that teachers are being upgraded and one of the requirements mentioned is their competences, especially when it comes to salaries.


Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether salaries go hand in hand with the levels of education one has attained in the Ministry of Education?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, that is an interesting question. One can be a primary school teacher operating under a specific salary scale, but that individual may tomorrow obtain a master’s degree or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. However, that will not automatically change the salary of such an individual. What will determine the salary of the individual is the scale to which he/she belongs. If he/she has a new qualification and certainly upgraded in recognition of that qualification, then, there could be some benefits which would accrue as a result of obtaining that qualification because it will enable him/her to be pushed into a scale to which he/she will benefit from appropriately.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Speaker, the situation in Chitambo Constituency is not different from situations in many other districts, including Zambezi District where I come from. We have teachers who have been promoted to higher positions, but are not being remunerated for the positions that they hold because of the situation explained. We also have a situation where teachers have completed their studies and acquired higher qualifications and they have not been upgraded, and this problem is becoming chronic. Does the Ministry of General Education have a well laid out clear plan of action to see how many of the teachers who are already in employment have qualifications and need an upgrade? Having such a database would help the ministry to plan for its finances better. As teachers wait, such a database would give them an idea of when they will be upgraded or promoted.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister of General Education, do you have a well laid out plan?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, yes, we have a well laid out plan. As I said earlier on, what is funded are specific positions which attract specifications in terms of qualifications. So, we have a plan of how people will move upwards and this is the exercise my colleagues in Kabwe are trying to undertake. We are trying to see how that plan can be implemented by facilitating the movement of people into positions which have been funded and for which we have received Treasury authority.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, allow me to thank the hon. Minister for promoting teachers to positions of school managers and their deputies. Now, this brings me to the point that the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) will be recruiting teachers. I am aware that those who have now been upgraded have left vacancies in the positions they previously held. In Chitambo, we seem to have shortages of teachers. I would like the hon. Minister to confirm how many teachers we will be given during this particular exercise.


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, unfortunately, I cannot confirm with the hon. Member for Chitambo how many teachers, in this instance, will be posted to Chitambo. We have over 60,000 teachers out there waiting to be employed and we have received Treasury authority to employ 1,200 teachers. So, we are trying to create some room so that we can, maybe, improve that figure slightly and make it higher than what it is, and that exercise is going on in Kabwe. So, what has been decided is that the target group will be those who graduated from colleges in 2016 going down. There will also be a bias towards those teachers who have diplomas or degrees in mathematics, science and technical subjects. Therefore, it will depend upon the catchment that Chitambo has in the area of teachers trained in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects as well as the number of people who graduated from their colleges in 2016 and below. So, the number of people fitting that category may, perhaps, determine the chances of Chitambo having a share of the teachers who will be recruited.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Madam Speaker, my question is simple and straightforward. The hon. Minister mentioned that the upgrade is dependent upon the assessment of individual teachers, but also on vacancies that may be available. We know that the education sector needs not less than 45,000 teachers, which to me indicates the availability of vacancies. Now, regarding the assessment which is done before the upgrade, could I know how long it takes education authorities to conduct the assessment so that those who previously attained higher education are remunerated because that is why they are going for that? How long does it take?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: You said your question was straightforward.


Mr Lufuma: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister of General Education, did you get the sense of that? How long does the assessment take?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, how long the assessment takes depends on when the ministry is able to get Treasury authority to employ teachers, unfreeze certain positions and to move people up. For instance, we have not been able to conduct that exercise because net recruitment in the ministry last took place in 2018. It is only this year that we are recruiting teachers. So, sometimes it can take this long. So, if we were to receive Treasury authority annually, it would be an annual exercise and would, therefore, only take one year to be able to create movements among our teachers into positions where they would be able to receive appropriate remuneration once they have an opportunity to move upwards according to their qualifications.


I thank you, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I now move to the Zoom list and I will start with the hon. Member for Chienge.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing the voice of Chienge to ask the hon. Minister this very important question. I heard the hon. Minister talk about recruitment of teachers. I would like to find out the criterion and methodology that are going to be used. When I do my calculations, the 1,400 teachers that he talked about translate into about nine teachers per constituency.


Madam Speaker, in all fairness, why can the ministry not ask hon. Members of Parliament to sit with the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) committees to go through applications since they are being submitted at district level? That way, each constituency will have, at least, nine or ten teachers recruited. As it is now, most of these people are being recruited from Lusaka. Why can the ministry not involve hon. Members of Parliament to help it to recruit, at least, nine teachers per constituency?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, maybe, that would be another way of looking at the issue of teacher recruitment where hon. Members of Parliament and the structures under which they work in their constituencies are involved. Perhaps, that is food for thought for the future.


Madam Speaker, as at now, however, the criterion being used, which the hon. Member asked for, is what I just said earlier on. The focus will be, firstly, on those teachers who graduated in 2016 and below because they have waited for a long time. Secondly, there will be a bias towards the teachers who have graduated in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and other hands-on subjects because we feel that these are the subjects which will empower our children. Then, there will be other criteria depending on the deficiencies which have been identified in various schools, especially in the newly created ones. That is the third important criterion because there are schools which have been upgraded and those that have been newly built. So, those will also receive preference.


Madam Speaker, as regards the second part of the question on methodology, the recruitment exercise has been advertised in the newspapers. Teachers have been advised to submit their applications to District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS’s) by posting the applications at their nearest post office within the district where they intend to apply. Applicants have also been advised to only apply to one district and that those who may be tempted to apply to more than one district may find themselves disqualified. So, that is the methodology and those are the criteria which have been set for the recruitment of teachers.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Madam Speaker, in his response to part (b) of the question by the hon. Member for Chitambo, the hon. Minister indicated that fifteen head teachers, fifteen deputy head teachers and eleven senior teachers had been confirmed. First of all, I want to put it to him that this problem concerning teachers in the three categories is actually everywhere. You find that there are many head teachers, deputy head teachers and senior teachers acting for a long time, some even seven years.


 Does the hon. Minister not think that by not confirming these teachers who have been acting for a long time he is actually demoralising them? Moreover, teachers whom they supervise actually tell them that there is almost nothing they can tell them because they just act. Why can the ministry not actually facilitate this exercise unlike telling us all the time that it would be done when funds are available?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, I really sympathise with the hon. Member just as I have a lot of empathy for our teachers, especially those who have been asked to act in various positions, but have not been confirmed. The bottom line, really, is that we need to have Treasury authority. If the ministry was printing money, we could confirm everybody tomorrow. We realise the psychological effects on people acting for a long time. That is why we are really pushing this agenda forward of ensuring that as many teachers as possible, who are acting head teachers, heads of departments and senior teachers, can be confirmed. We want to make sure that positions which are created are funded in all the schools in which these people are working.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




163. Ms Chisangano (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. how many health posts, under the 650 Health Posts Project, had been completed, countrywide, as of February 2021;
  2. how many health posts were completed in Gwembe Parliamentary Constituency, as of the same date;
  3. if no health post had been completed in Gwembe, why;
  4. whether there are any plans to commence construction works in Gwembe in 2021;
  5. if so, how many health posts are earmarked for construction; and
  6. what the time frame for the completion of the 650 Health Posts Project is.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, 559 out of the 650 health posts were completed as of February 2021. None of the health posts allocated in Gwembe Parliamentary Constituency have been completed to date. The contractor abandoned the project before moving to the sites in Gwembe Parliamentary Constituency. There are plans to construct the health posts in 2021 and construction will resume once the issues of the contractor abandoning the sites have been resolved. There are ten health posts earmarked for construction in Gwembe Parliamentary Constituency.


Madam Speaker, the time frame for completion of health posts in Gwembe will only be determined when the contractor gets back on site. However, I note that the time frame which was asked for is the whole 650 Health Posts Project. Initially, it was 2015 to 2018, but we all know the challenges that were there with the change of the contractor from Angelique International Limited, which the Indian Government recalled, to Jaguar Overseas Limited taking over. So, the project is earmarked to be completed this year.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Madam Speaker, I sympathise with my hon. Colleague from Gwembe on the status of the project in her constituency. Is this contractor who abandoned the sites in Gwembe the same one working on these other outstanding health posts under this project? I ask this because in Kafue, we equally have projects that have not yet completed under the same programme.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I think the majority of the work has been done, with 559 out of the intended 650 health posts completed. The contractor who is currently working on the remaining health posts is Jaguar Overseas Limited. The contractor who abandoned the project in Gwembe is Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited. So, the plan is that once some issues between these contractors and the Ministry of Finance are sorted out, Jaguar Overseas Limited will complete the remaining health posts.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Speaker, we have heard that a good number of health posts countrywide have been constructed. However, my interest is that like Gwembe, Mitete also has areas where the health posts construction project has not been completed such as Washishi, Chinonwe and Lukui. When are these remaining projects going to be worked on? Remember that the project is loan funded.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I said earlier that the date of completion of the project had moved from 2015 to 2018. I have done my calculation and we are only remaining with 100 plus health posts to be constructed. The contractor who abandoned some of these projects like the ones in Gwembe and other places, Mega Engineering, had about thirty-five sites that it was supposed to work on. Those will be handed over to Jaguar once some issues with the Ministry of Finance are rectified and finalised. Nevertheless, our aim is to complete these projects within this year, 2021.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Madam Speaker, in as much as the Ministry of Health has completed the construction of some health posts, others remain. I would like to find out whether all of the health posts come with equipment.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, this contract was for the construction of health posts with solar panels and other things. The Ministry of Health has been equipping many of the health posts. I have personally commissioned some of them. Therefore, I urge hon. Members of Parliament, who have these health posts that may not be equipped, to engage very closely with the Ministry of Health. We have the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA), the Ministry of Health and yourselves, as hon. Members, and we will be able to equip these places for operationalisation.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Madam Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the hon. Minister and His Excellency, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for completing 559 out of 650 health posts. As a bonus for the Zambian people to appreciate, is the hon. Minister able to give them a comprehensive list of how many health posts have been completed at provincial level in order for them to understand how many have been allocated to each province in this country?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, indeed, this information is available and I will avail it to hon. Members so that they can tabulate the spread of the 559. As you may know, it would be very difficult for me to start remembering all the 559 health posts by name. Therefore, I shall provide a comprehensive list for the hon. Members of Parliament within the course of this week.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out the criterion used to allocate these hospitals because you find that one constituency has so many clinics while others have nothing.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, if you say “rural health post”, you obviously take them to rural places that are far removed from major health facilities.  In urban areas, it will be the rural parts that will benefit from the rural health projects. These are different from the first level hospitals and others that the Government has constructed.


Madam Speaker, as regards criterion, we have heard over and over that we have to engage. If I am a Member of Parliament who does not go to a ministry, obviously, people will not know the terrain of my territory. When I was a Member of Parliament for Bwana Mkubwa, I used to engage very closely with my predecessor to fight for some of these things. So, to me, one of the jobs of an hon. Member of Parliament is representation. If you are a representative of your people, you represent them not only in Parliament, but also in the ministries by advocating, fighting and lobbying for them.


Madam Speaker, the criterion is there, but the hon. Member has to come and fight for these things. We cannot cover the whole country at the same time, hence this is done in a phased approach.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Speaker, how much money was paid to the contractor who abandoned the contract and what measures have been taken against him?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I may not have the figure at hand, but this contractor, Mega Engineering, has quite a number of incomplete projects. About thirty-five projects have to be handed over to the other contractor who may have to complete them. It has also made some claims because when it left the sites, some of its equipment and building materials were vandalised and it wants the Government to meet the costs of those claims which arose out of its negligence. So, the total cost is a figure that we can bring out once we sit with the Ministry of Finance. Nevertheless, the figure is there. I can avail it, but I do not have it off hand at the moment.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Madam Speaker, just for purposes of information to me and the public, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why it has taken so many years, probably over eight years, to construct a health post which he knows is no more than four or five rooms when our friends in Rwanda and Nigeria where he worked are doing these things in thousands. What challenges did he find in the ministry which has taken eight years to do a simple thing like the construction of a health post?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I think we should give credit where it is due. While we may be talking about rural health posts, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has taken a very holistic approach. We have built facilities starting from rural health posts to first, second and tertiary level hospitals and super specialist hospitals. So, we are taking a very comprehensive approach.


Madam Speaker, while the hon. Member may talk about countries like Rwanda having put up rural health posts, I do not think Rwanda is at the level of Zambia in terms of specialist and super specialist hospitals that we have put up.


Madam Speaker, indeed, the Chairperson for the Parliamentary Committee is right. I worked in Rwanda. However, Rwanda is not bigger than Lusaka province. It is a very small country. Therefore, we may not have the right comparisons. That said, I think constructing 559 out of 650 health posts is a huge achievement. Despite the challenges that we may be faced with, we are committed to completing this project in 2021.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Chisangano: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for his answers. The former hon. Minister of Health used to assure the people of Gwembe that the ministry was almost finalising the contract so that works in Gwembe Constituency could commence. Do you not think that the ministry has rather been unfair not to construct even a single health post despite the assurances from the former hon. Minister?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Member for Gwembe for that follow question. The former hon. Minister was talking from a point of knowledge. Like I said, when you deal with contractual issues, there is the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and then there is the contractor. So, what my predecessor was talking about are the same contractual issues that I am talking about, a contractor who does not fulfill contractual obligations. There are letters of credit involved, and so the Ministry of Finance gets involved. I urge the hon. Member for Gwembe, who is my former member in the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services, to engage with me very closely. Let us work together to resolve this issue. However, the important issue is that the Government is very committed to ensuring that those ten health posts in Gwembe, in addition to that huge district hospital in Munyumbwe, are completed.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




164. Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge) on behalf of Mr Simbao (Senga Hill) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:


  1. how many metric tonnes of copper were produced, countrywide, from 2012 to 2019, year by year;
  2. what challenges hampered the mines from producing above one million metric tonnes per year;
  3. when is copper production expected to reach one million metric tonnes per year; and
  4. what the size of each copper slag dump in the following Districts was, as of July 2020:


  1. Solwezi;


  1. Mufulira;


  1. Chingola; and


  1. Chililabombwe.


The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Musukwa): Madam Speaker, copper production for the period 2012 to 2019 was as follows:



Year                             Copper Produced (Tonnes)


2012                            699,020


2013                            763,805


2014                            708,258


2015                            710,860


2016                            770,587


2017                            799,392


2018                            868,707


2019                            796,430


Madam Speaker, the decline in copper prices coupled with power supply deficit experienced in 2015 and 2016 affected copper production greatly. Mines with high production costs scaled down production, while some Greenfield projects with marginal resources delayed progression to production stage. Consequently, copper production increased marginally at existing mines and only one new mine came on board during the period under review.


Madam Speaker, copper production is projected to reach 1 million tonnes in 2024.


Madam Speaker, the sizes of slag dumps in Solwezi, Mufulira and Nchanga are as follows:


         Mine                                                                   Size of Slag Dump (Tonnes)


         Kansanshi Mine-Solwezi                                      3,200,000 tonnes of slag;


            Mopani Copper Mines-Mufulira                        14,000,000 tonnes of slag;


            Konkola Copper Mines-Chingola                         2,860,113 tonnes of slag; and


Madam Speaker, there is no slag dump in Chililabombwe because we do not have a smelter there. As you may know, slag is a by-product of a smelter production.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mbulakulima: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister may recall that the figure of 1 million metric tonnes was envisaged to be achieved in 2012 because by 2008/2009 our production had hit 600,000 metric tonnes. Now, we intend to reach that 1 million in 2024, meaning that from 2012 to 2024, we have overstretched ourselves. The catch by our investors seems to be just on the price mechanism. What are we doing to institute discipline in them? It is not only about the price, but also about the production. What are we doing to inculcate a spirit of high production as one of the mechanisms to break even?


Mr Musukwa: Madam Speaker, production growth is a matter of steady growth in production coming from various mining entities. In this case, the major contributors of production growth for a long time have been Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani Copper Mines (MCM). In the last couple of years, the challenges that we have had at the KCM have contributed to not achieving the production targets. Additionally, the MCM has, for the last couple of months, been investing in the construction of processing plants and associated production facets such as the synclinorium shaft and the concentrator. So, going forward, all these facets are coming on board and will help ramp up production. These will significantly help us reach the 1 million-tonne target. We envisage that about three other mining entities will also come on stream from the Greenfields. We expect that, in fact, within this structured period, we will be able to hit over 1 million tonnes.


I thank you, Madam.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity.


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


Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Livune: Madam Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to raise this point of order. I have been struggling with this technological issue. I should have raised this point of order contemporaneously on the hon. Minister of Health, but I could not get the opportunity to do so. However, I am grateful that I have been given the opportunity.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Health has taken more than eight years to build clinics or health facilities in most areas, especially Gwembe, Kazungula and many parts of the Southern Province.


Madam, it is true that these health facilities are coming up as a result of a loan facility obtained from India. However, it has taken over eight years to build them, thereby costing the Republic of Zambia so much money on time wasted and also costing the people of Zambia a lot of time, as they have to access health facilities which are very far from where they should be.


The hon. Minister is bragging about the Government having delivered. Is he not ashamed that most of us here –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Withdraw that. Obviously, the hon. Minister is not ashamed. He should not be ashamed. There is no reason for him to be ashamed. Withdraw that statement.


Mr Livune: Madam Speaker, I withdraw that statement.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: In any case, hon. Member for Katombola, that is not a point of order. You are trying to ask the hon. Minister a question, which you should have asked when the question was on the Floor.


Mr Livune: I can get to my point of order, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: For that reason, I will not allow you to proceed with that point of order.


May the hon. Member for Liuwa proceed with his question to the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, in the question by Hon. Simbao, one of the elements sought to find out when copper production will rise from the current levels to a million tonnes per year.


Madam Speaker, these things do not happen just by themselves. They must be planned for at policy and other levels. Therefore, what specific policy measures are being taken for that potential output of a million tonnes per year to be realised?


Mr Musukwa: Madam Speaker, achieving a production target of one million tonnes and above does not just happen it is, indeed, planned for. This is anchored on ensuring that there is a policy framework which promotes production. In this case, the Government of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has put in place a policy framework to support the mining industry by ensuring that we anchor the mining operations on a fiscal regime which is simple, predictable and stable in order to allow both local and foreign investment in the mining sector.


Madam Speaker, that is why the Government has three key projects which are already in the offing and are at construction stage. The Nonferrous China Africa (NFCA) South East Ore Body Processing Plant will be ramping up production in a couple of months to ensure that we add to this production. We have the Mwekara Project and the world class Lubambe Oil Reserve, which sits at 3 per cent in terms of the grade and is under exploration and ultimately getting to development and production.


Madam Speaker, these are the key deliberate projects which the Government is supporting to ensure that it hits the over 1 million tonnes target, as asked by Hon. Simbao. In fact, the long-term project of Government in terms of copper production is to hit in excess 1 million tonnes.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Chali (Nchanga): Madam Speaker, in one of his answers, the hon. Minster mentioned Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani Copper Mine (MCM) as the major contributors of copper production aimed at attaining the 1 million production target by 2024. Following the change in management and restructuring at the KCM and the MCM having new owners through the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investments Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH), what are the Government’s expectations?


Mr Musukwa: Madam Speaker, the Government’s expectation from the KCM and the MCM is that with the new changes in place, production will be ramped up and doubled as soon as yesterday.


Madam Speaker, you will be interested to know that KCM-Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP), which has a reserve of multi-million resources, sits at a profile which can contribute immensely to production. We have asked KCM’s new management and the liquidator to ensure that they take advantage of the good will of the Government by putting resources in developing and operationalising the KDMP Project in Chililabombwe so that we can have production, sustained employment and economic activities for the people in the area. We have also asked them to take advantage and explore the underground resource which sits at Nchanga and associated areas and ensure that this, again, contributes to higher production and also job creation in Chingola.


Madam Speaker, for the MCM, we have given the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investments Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH) and its management a task to ensure that projects which are actually almost at 90 per cent, 70 per cent and some of them already at commissioning stage are quickly commissioned so as to encourage ramping up of this project. This will add to the growth of production, job creation and sustainability and generally contribute to the economy.


Madam Speaker, I thank you


Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Madam Speaker, admittedly, 1 million metric tonnes still needs to be (inaudible), taking into account that we boast of being among the giants of copper production. The Government improved power supply and pricing, changed management and ensured more exploration. So, do we still need to talk about reaching the 1 million metric tonnes production target by 2024? We should be talking about over 1.5 million metric tonnes. What is your take?


Mr Musukwa: Madam Speaker, these values in terms of the structure of how we move from 2012 to 2019 and a projection to 2024 are processes that are done through metallurgical calculations by our technical team. In fact, we look at positives and negatives and all impediments that can actually come in mid way. Like I have indicated, we are actually looking at a value in excess of 1 million tonnes by 2024. We were actually being conservative so that tomorrow, you do not challenge the hon. Minister to put up a value that has not been met.


Madam Speaker, with the modern mining technology that we have, we expect to hit in excess of over 1million tonnes at the earliest convenience.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr A. Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, I would like to draw the hon. Minister’s attention to some of the proposals that the Government will make to ensure that we have more investment in mining, obviously, coming through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to support the Government’s plans of hitting 1 million tonnes in 2024. They are all centred around the well-developed mines like the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani Copper Mines in terms of the tax regimes that he mentioned. What is the Government going to do to support these two big mines, of course, we also have other big mines in the North-Western Province, and other small-scale mines that he talked about that are already mining copper? What are some of the incentives the Government is looking at to support this desire for 1 million tonnes copper production which should come as a contribution from all the mines going forward?


Mr Musukwa: Madam Speaker, going forward, the Government of the Republic of Zambia is carefully looking at incentives across the mining industry. It envisages a process where it does not have a one size fits all. It wants to look at structure, from small-scale to large-scale mining, in order to ensure that it promotes growth. To that effect, it is actually in the process of having a mining tax or fiscal regime indaba with the industry and all players in order to ensure that it taps into the challenges that various mining entities have been having.


Madam Speaker, I would like to state that we are focusing on ensuring that we bring on board the old fortunes of the KCM and the MCM. However, we are also relying on new streams such as the Mwekera Copper Project, the Lubambe Copper Mine Project and also the Nonferrous China Africa (NFCA) – South East Ore Body and various associated small-scale mining operations in order to promote growth in the sector and contribute to the economy.


I thank you, Madam.











The Minister of Health (Dr Chanda): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.


Madam Speaker, may I start by thanking you for according me this opportunity to provide a policy statement on the Health Professions (Amendment) Bill, No. 24 of 2021.


Madam Speaker, the brief background to the Health Professions (Amendment) Bill No. 24 of 2021, which is before this House, is that in 2019, the Government adopted the National Higher Education Policy (NHEP). According to the NHEP, the higher education sector in Zambia has faced several challenges that hinder it from adequately developing human capital with adequate skills necessary for the development of a knowledge-based economy that fosters sustainable development. Further, the policy states that Zambia runs a fragmented higher education system, which lacks co-ordination mechanisms. This, according to the NHEP, has created segmentation and lack of synergies in the provision of higher education in the country. In addition, there exists an overlapping of responsibilities among different regulatory and quality assurance institutions dealing with the higher education system in the country.


Madam Speaker, in light of the above, the Higher Education (Amendment) Bill No. 21 2021, was developed in order to provide an enabling legal framework, which will facilitate the implementation of the NHEP. One of the objects of the Higher Education (Amendment) Bill is to amend the Higher Education Act so as to provide for the accreditation of a learning programme for higher education institutions.


Madam Speaker,  the House may  wish to note that for the above mentioned object of the of the Higher Education Amendment Bill to be implemented, consequential amendments to other pieces of legislation dealing with higher education have to be made. In the health sector, consequential amendments have been proposed to the Health Professions Act No.24 of 2009, through the Health Professions (Amendment) Bill No. 24 of 2021. The object of this Bill is to amend the Health Professions Act, 2009, so as to revise the provisions relating to training in line with the Higher Education (Amendment) Bill, No. 21 of 2021.


Madam Speaker, the House may wish note that my ministry supported the Higher Education (Amendment) Bill No. 21 of 2021, subject to the following inclusions, which we have shared with our colleagues at the Ministry of Higher Education:


  1. the higher education system requires an integrated multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach that takes cognisance of the roles that other specialised regulatory bodies such as the Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Zambia (NMCZ) play in providing higher education in the country;
  2. the amendments to be made to the Health Professions Act, No. 24 of 2019, should not only aim to harmonise the said Act with the Higher Education Act, but most importantly the amendments should also bring synergy in the roles of the various regulatory institutions informed by what will work for Zambia while drawing lessons and experiences from international best practices;
  3. the functions of the HPCZ, the NMCZ, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Zambia Qualification Authority (ZAQA) are clearly stipulated in the pieces of legislation that have established the four entities and there should be strong co-ordination, collaboration and linkage mechanisms in place to deal with perceived overlaps of functions. This could be achieved through entering into Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) among regulatory bodies;
  4. the qualification for health practitioners, nurses and midwives prescribed in both the Health Professions Act, No.24 of 2009 and the Nurses and Midwives Act No.10 of 2019 should be as recognised by ZAQA;
  5. the revision of the provisions relating to training should not lead to the creation of gaps in the provision of quality health care services and inefficiency in the accreditation of learning programmes for higher education institutions by the HEA. Your Committee may wish to note that there are, currently, over ninety nursing colleges and universities offering nursing programmes and over 130 training programmes being approved by the NMCZ and the HPCZ, respectively.


Your Committee may further wish to note that while the Ministry of Health is not averse to rendering its full support to the NHEP, it is cardinal that professional regulatory bodies maintain their mandate of providing oversight over specialised programmes by way of approving such training programmes, as specified in their respective enabling statutes. By so doing, they would act as a quality assurance mechanism to the HEA which would, then, provide overall oversight over higher education training programmes by accrediting them;


  1. further training of health professionals involves regulatory authorities keeping oversight of practicum sites, which are the health facilities over which the HEA has no oversight. Removing the HPCZ from approving learning programmes for health practitioners would create a serious gap in monitoring students in training, which may lead to students not acquiring the necessary competencies which will eventually compromise the quality of health care services provided and, consequently, endanger the lives of patients; and
  2. specialised training for health practitioners, including nurses and midwives, should be approved by specialised regulatory bodies such as the HPCZ and the NMCZ while the HEA should accredit learning programmes.


Madam Speaker, in summary, I wish to urge hon. Members of this august House to support the Health Professions Amendment Bill No. 24 of 2021 and my ministry will support recommendations that are aimed at achieving the above outlined inclusions.


Madam Speaker, I beg to move.


Thank you, Madam.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to deliver the speech on behalf of my hon. Colleagues on the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services.


Madam Speaker, I rise to present this report by your Committee on the Health Professions (Amendment) Bill No. 24 of 2021 for the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly referred to your Committee by the House on 30th March, 2021.


Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that the main objective of the Bill, as has already been highlighted by the hon. Minister, is to amend the Health Professions Act of 2009 so as to revise the provisions relating to training by harmonising the provisions of the principal Act with the provisions of the Zambia Qualifications Authority Act and the Higher Education Act.


Madam Speaker, your Committee welcomes the Health Professions (Amendment) Bill No. 24 of 2021 and notes that if enacted, the Bill will remove the multiplicity of accreditation of learning programmes and facilitate the application of a unified standard of learning programmes in the country. Therefore, your Committee urges the Executive to address its observations and recommendations in order to ensure quality assurance in the training of health professions.


Madam Speaker, I also wish to state that most of the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee were generally in support of the Bill. Your Committee’s findings are outlined in the report, which I assume and believe, and earnestly so, that hon. Members have had the time to read through. Therefore, allow me to highlight a few of your Committee’s observations and recommendations, which the hon. Minister is looking forward to.


Madam Speaker, your Committee observes with concern that excluding the Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) from approving a training programme and substituting this function with accreditation of a training programme by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) is a serious omission, as the HPCZ will no longer have the mandate to vet a training programme for purposes of recognising and approving it as meeting the requirements to train health professionals.


Madam Speaker, removing the mandate of the HPCZ to approve a training programme will result in the absence of safety nets for quality assurance of the health practitioners because the HPCZ’s regulatory role would be reduced to merely registering professionals, whose quality of training it could no longer vouch for.


Madam Speaker, this phenomenon will be unique to the health sector as other professional bodies or regulators have well established safety nets to ensure quality in the training of the cadre of that profession. In view of the foregoing, your Committee recommends that Clause 5 be recast to read as follows:


“A higher education institution shall not advertise, provide or hold out as training to prepare a student for a health profession unless the training programme is approved by the council and accredited by the Higher Education Authority.”


Madam Speaker, this is the proposal by your Committee to the Executive.


Madam Speaker, another issue of concern is that the proposed amendment at Clause 6 will result in distancing the health profession from being actively involved in determining what is best for health worker training. Your Committee is further concerned that the provision that HEA will consult the council in the process of accrediting programmes will only exacerbate bureaucratic delays and result in the sidelining of health professionals and giving them a peripheral rather than a central role in the training of healthcare workers, especially medical doctors. Therefore, your Committee recommends that Section 33, in the principal Act, be retained in its current form.


Madam Speaker, your Committee further observed that, in its current form, Clause 4 does not recognise fellowship programmes as post graduate qualifications in the health sector, which are apparently not recognised under the Zambia Qualifications framework. Therefore, in order to ensure that fellowship programmes are taken into account, your Committee recommends that Clause 4 be amended to include an additional sub-section, which we propose as follows:


“Section 12.    (2)        The registrar shall register a health practitioner as a specialist if the health practitioner holds a post graduate qualification accredited and recognised by the Zambia Qualifications Authority.


(3)        For the purposes of this section, a post graduate qualification shall include a fellowship programme as recognised by the council.”


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, let me thank you for affording your Committee an opportunity to study the Bill –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time has expired.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Speaker, I want to also add my voice to the debate on this Bill, which is on the Floor at second reading. As we want to realign programmes to enhance ethics and professionalism, I hope we will not bring about bureaucracy. All along, training and administration in the health sector has been smooth sailing.


Madam Speaker, if this realignment is going to enhance the progression of a nurse or a health practitioner, it is most welcome. However, where it starts to disadvantage people and make them start queuing up for accreditation, it will create corruption because for one to be accredited, one will need to corrupt somebody through some back door. This will not be helpful for the Zambian health sector. Health is critical for our country.


Madam Speaker, today, Zambia, has many health personnel. However, many of them who are just from training are now on the streets. They could have even forgotten what they learnt because there is no capacity by the Government to employ them in hospitals and clinics. There should be a programme to keep those coming from training in practice because if they stay two years outside health facilities, they can even forget how to administer an injection. These are the issues that we should be looking at.


Madam Speaker, I totally agree with your Committee’s recommendations and hope the Executive will be serious in looking at them line by line and implementing them. The current hon. Minister of Health is proactive and gives a lot of respect to his colleague, the Chairperson of your Committee. They should reconcile quickly and see how they can come to an agreement. It will help the Zambian people. They were satisfied with what was going on, but for the Government’s decision. Unless there were gaps which needed to be filled, I know that there were none.


Madam Speaker, if the Government is trying to create employment and bureaucracy, then, it is not most welcome. However, it is most welcome if it is going to enhance professionalism and efficiency in the administration of health to our people. Mostly, we need an efficient organisation, but when it is government as usual, efficiency is eroded. The result is a lot of complaints and problems for which nobody seems to undertake responsibility.


Madam Speaker, we need to be as responsible as your Committee has mentioned in its report. I am very happy with it and will be happier if the Executive will take your Committee’s recommendations as its own and implement them.


Madam Speaker, I am sure the hon. Minister is listening. He is proactive. We have seen that ever since his appointment, he has been very proactive. He should take these recommendations as one of his agenda to implement so that Zambians know that we are moving in the right direction. However, if this causes problems, then, there is no need. There is no problem at all with the current status of training of health workers. If there are problems, they have just been created. We do not want to create a problem where there was no problem.


Madam Speaker, if we allow these institutions to be run by people who are not professionals, we will be creating problems. We need the board members of such institutions to have the necessary qualifications, especially those related to health, so that they know exactly what goes on and there is a proper chain of command. Otherwise, we will be putting people in these institutions who have no idea of what they are doing and they will be approving the wrong health training programmes and other issues. We should compare with what is happening in the region and beyond.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate virtually on this very important matter.


Madam Speaker, I am aware that the Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) is a very strategic institution. It is one of those institutions that we can equate to the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ). Its mandate does not just look at quality, the type of training and institutions that are offering training, but also ensures that the institutions that are training health personnel meet the standards that would not endanger the lives of people going to hospitals or clinics. I think that to remove this very important function from the HPCZ and pass it on to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) would be making a mistake.


Madam Speaker, I would have loved to support the proposed amendment if it did not have implications. However, I know that in my experience in dealing with both the HPCZ and the HEA, I would rather this function remains with the HPCZ as opposed to being moved to the HEA.


Madam Speaker, the HEA is a recently operationalised institution, which looks at the training of higher education institutions like universities, quality of degrees and quality of training that people are undergoing in education circles. One of its functions is to actually evaluate one’s qualifications. If a person is trained outside Zambia, the HEA checks if what he/she obtained outside Zambia can be equated to a certificate, diploma or degree.


Madam, the issues to do with the HPCZ, I think, I would rather leave them with the HPCZ. The amendment, in my view, does not convince us. I do not understand the reasoning behind moving that function to the HEA from a strategic institution that is given the mandate by this House to accredit doctors and also to give them practicing certificates and licences and also to monitor hospitals. Why would you subtract such an important function from the HPCZ? You have an institution like the HPCZ giving a doctor a practicing licence and then also going to inspect a hospital and seeing if it meets the set standard. The fact that you are going to subtract one function, which is key to the training of health personnel, would actually make the Health Professions Act a very weak piece of legislation.


Madam Speaker, I am aware that hospitals like the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) are called teaching hospitals because they have a training component. They conduct internships, train doctors and they actually just give us the life that we deserve. Therefore, I think it will be a mistake if we subtracted or if we removed that function from HPCZ and gave it to HEA.


Madam Speaker, with those few remarks, I would like to thank you most sincerely. I would also like to support the recommendation of your Committee because it has stated it as it is out there in practice. The HEA can be given functions to carry out with all these non-medical professions and all other functions. Since we are talking about matters of health, health profession and life, we would rather leave the HPCZ as intact as it is.


Madam Speaker, with those few remarks, I thank you and welcome the two United Party for National Development (UPND) Members of Parliament, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa and also Hon. Kasonso, for joining the mighty Patriotic Front (PF).


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I just want to thank the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services, which is very dear to my heart, for unanimously supporting the Health Professions (Amendment) Bill No.24 of 2021. I also wish to thank the hon. Members who have debated like the hon. Member of Parliament for Ikeleng’i and the hon. Deputy Chief Whip.


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 Tuesday, 27th April, 2021.




The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.


Madam Speaker, the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (Amendment) Bill 2021 seeks to be aligned with the Higher Education Act No. 4 of 2013 to allow the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA) to approve and accredit learning programmes and qualifications, which was the function of the Council of the Zambia Institute Of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE).


Madam Speaker, the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education Act No. 37 of 1996 gave power to the council to approve qualifications of both local and foreign students who wished to be enrolled at the institute. Therefore, there is a need to institute the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (Amendment) Bill 2021 in Parliament to give effect to Cabinet approval in principle to amend the Higher Education Act 2013, and ensure that the provisions providing for approval of training programmes in various fields and accreditation of learning programmes and qualifications are amended in the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education Act Cap No. 37 of 1996.


Madam, this Bill is very progressive and should be supported because it removes duplicity of approving and accrediting of learning programmes. The HEA and the ZAQA will now perform the functions of approving and accrediting of both local and foreign learning programmes of students who wish to be enrolled at the institute.


Madam Speaker, I wish to urge hon. Members of Parliament to support this very progressive Bill.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Speaker, in accordance with its terms of reference, as set out under Standing Order No. 157(2) of the National Assembly Standing Orders 2016, your Committee of Legal Affairs, Human Rights, National Guidance, Gender Matters and Governance was tasked to scrutinise the Zambia Institute of Advance Legal Education (Amendment) Bill No. 2 N.A.B No. 27 of 2021 referred to it on Tuesday, 30th March, 2021.


Madam Speaker, as the House is aware, the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education Act Cap 49 of the Laws of Zambia empowers the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) to inter alia accredit law schools at private and public universities, approve qualifications of students with law degrees equivalent to the law degree offered at any university in Zambia for the purpose of admission and qualifications of foreign students who wish to be enrolled at the institute. The House is also aware that the Zambia Qualifications Authority Act No. 13 of 2011 mandates the Zambian Qualifications Authority (ZAQA) to, among other things, accredit a qualification or part-qualification recommended by an appropriate authority if it meets the relevant criterion.


Madam Speaker, your Committee agrees with stakeholders that the enactment of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (Amendment) Bill No. 2 of 2021 will standardise accreditation and recognition of qualifications and remove the duplicity of functions that currently exist between the council and the authority. While your Committee supports this harmonisation of regulatory roles, there are a few pertinent issues that require attention, which I now wish to highlight.


Madam Speaker, your Committee is of the view that in order for ZIALE to accept students with degrees that have been registered and accredited by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and recognised by ZAQA and to ensure that ZIALE continues to scrutinise and approve the content and course outlines to meet minimum jurisdictional requirements, the definition of ZAQA and its functions should be inserted in the Draft Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (Students) Rules, 2020. These rules have been drafted and submitted to the Ministry of Justice for approval. Your Committee, therefore, supports the recommendation by some stakeholders that the definition of ZAQA and any reference to it as well as its functions should be inserted in the Draft Student Rules, 2020.


Madam Speaker, your Committee welcomes the deletion of Section 4(2)(e) and (f), in view of the harmonisation of regulatory function, but is extremely concerned with the proposal that the role of the institute should end at recommendation to ZAQA to accredit and recognise the minimum required courses to be completed as part of the qualifications for students wishing to enrol at the institute. Your Committee sincerely believes that the functions of scrutinising and approving qualifications of students with law degrees for purposes of admission to the institute should be the preserve of ZIALE.


Madam, your Committee is aware that ZAQA’s mandate only involves recognition of full qualifications and not the content and course outlines. Your Committee is of the view that entry educational qualifications and minimum required courses for students wishing to enrol at ZIALE and those wishing to be admitted to the legal bar should be determined by ZIALE, as provided in sections 4(2)(a) and (b) of the principal Act. Therefore, your Committee recommends that these amendments not be passed so as to ensure that effective control measures are employed in legal education.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Jere: Madam Speaker, your Committee further agrees with the stakeholders that the insertion of section 4(2)(f), which refers –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, your time has expired. I am sure that the hon. Minister has read your report.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, thank you for yet another opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the proposed amendment to the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) Act.


Madam Speaker, having passed through ZIALE myself, and having passed very well and now practicing law, I can attest to the fact that the function of ZIALE should not just be on paper. Between 2005, when I went to ZIALE, and now, which is more than sixteen years ago, we have seen numerous schools of law, universities and institutions that have popped up offering law degrees and all sorts of documents, so-called masters degrees and so on and so forth.


Madam Speaker, it is always important when a country reaches a level like we have reached to have an institution or institutions that regulate the conduct of not only the training, but also the practice of a field of study like law.


Madam Speaker, I am aware that when we went to ZIALE ourselves, we were probably less than fifty students in class, but when you go to ZIALE now, you have a classroom with not less than 700 students. It is even more members than they are in church. This means that the functions of ZIALE now require that there be strict scrutiny. You cannot have such huge numbers being admitted to an institution and expect everyone to come out just like that.


Madam Speaker, I would agree with your Committee’s recommendation that ZIALE be given the mandate to continue with what it is doing, but there must be a nexus between what ZIALE is doing and what the Higher Education Authority (HEA) is doing. So, the HEA must be concerned with the qualifications that people possess first of all, before they go to the school of law and when they acquire these degrees.


Fortunately or unfortunately, I was privileged to handle the case of one of our hon. Colleagues in Parliament which related to the issue of Grade 12 Certificate. I had occasion to read through the Higer Education Authority Act thoroughly and had occasion to listen to its submissions. I know that the HEA is a very strategic institution as well because its functions must not overlap or take away from all the existing institutions. I think we would be making a very big mistake if we went in that direction. So, the HEA must be given the mandate to monitor. It should be like a watchdog to ensure that it is actually looking over. It is like the guards that guard the guard. ZIALE is a guard which is guarding against unprofessionalism. The HEA will guard ZIALE to ensure that it is not breaking the Higher Education Authority Act. So, the two must find a way of working hand in hand as opposed to saying remove this power from ZIALE and give it to the HEA. The HEA will soon be overwhelmed. I know that the HEA might fail, at some point, to carry out some of the functions that we are lumping on it.


Madam Speaker, of late, I have seen that we have given made several amendments to the laws regarding the HEA to give it power to take over from almost all these institutions. The previous debate was also on a similar issue of the HEA giving or taking over power of the Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ). So, I am of the view that yes, the proposed amendments are okay, but we must go beyond the proposed amendments to ensure that we do not create a crisis for both ZIALE and the HEA. I know that ZIALE is mandated by Parliament to do what it is doing. So, these proposed amendments to the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education Act should not dilute its functions.


Madam, with those few remarks, allow me to thank you most sincerely and also thank the Chairperson of your Committee although he did not finish reading his report. I urge him to be on time next time so that he does not fail to complete reading the report. I thank you for the wonderful opportunity.


I thank you, Madam.


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Chairperson of your Committee for indicating that the people who were consulted where in total agreement with the Executive in so far as amending the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education Act so as to recommend to the Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA) the minimum required courses for one to be accredited when they are a foreign student who wants to be enrolled as a student at the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE).


Madam Speaker, let me just respond to two or three issues that have been raised. Let me also thank the hon. Deputy Chief Whip and I will refer to him in his “oyo”.


Madam Speaker, the moment that this Bill is assented to, the student rules will be making reference to ZAQA. There is no question about it. Therefore, I would like to rest the fear expressed by the Chairperson of your Committee. This will be done.


Madam Speaker, secondly, I want to make it clear that ZAQA will not come up with these standards on its own, not only for ZIALE or the legal profession, but for all professions, including the medical profession. The standards will be established by ZAQA in consultation with the professional bodies. In this particular case, for the legal profession, ZAQA will be guided by ZIALE. By the way, the law is not saying that ZAQA is the one that will come up with the standards. The law is saying that ZIALE will recommend to ZAQA.


Madam Speaker, when I listened to Hon. Tutwa say that he was at ZIALE sixteen years ago, I was just reminded of how this is the right time for me to leave Parliament because if he was just passing through ZIALE sixteen years ago, it means that I was already here when he was going into university and now he is an hon. Member of Parliament like me. This is the reason, I think, it is time for me to pack my bags and go, but also to remind people like him that they must read Bills very clearly. This Bill does not say that ZIALE shall not perform the function for which it was legislated. It will continue to perform that function. He was in Parliament when we passed the Higher Education Authority Act and he was also here when we passed the Zambia Qualifications Authority Act and both of those laws said that ZAQA shall be the one responsible for accrediting all students who have foreign academic qualifications to Zambian higher institutions of learning, including ZIALE.


Madam Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Tutwa Ngulube for reminding me that, indeed, time has come for veterans like me, and I hope my friend, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, to go. 


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, speak for yourself.


Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, I enjoin you to join me in going.


Madam First Deputy Speaker laughed.


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


Committed to a committee of the Whole House.


Committee on Friday, 23rd April, 2021.




The following Bill was read the third time and passed:


The Zambia Institute for Tourism and Hospitality Studies (Amendment) Bill, 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 1655 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 21st April, 2021.