Friday, 23rd April, 2021

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Friday, 23rd April, 2021


The House met at 0900 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I received communication to the effect that in the absence of Her Honour the Vice-President, who is attending to other national duties, the Government Chief Whip, Hon. Brian Mundubile, MP, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House from today, Friday, 23rd April, 2021, until further notice. Therefore, in accordance with Standing Order No. 32(1), there will be no Vice-President’s Question Time this morning.


I thank you.






The Chief Whip and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mundubile): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House an indication of the business it will consider next week.


Sir, on Tuesday, 27th April, 2021, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Committee Stage of the Health Professions (Amendment) Bill, No. 24 of 2021.


Mr Speaker, on Wednesday, 28th April, 2021, the Business of the House will start with Questions. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then, the House will consider the Committee Stage of the Urban and Regional Planners (Amendment) Bill, No. 23 of 2021.


Sir, on Thursday, 29th April, 2021, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Committee Stage of the Electoral Process (Amendment) Bill, No. 30 of 2021.


Mr Speaker, on Friday, 30th April, 2021, the Business of the House will commence with the Vice-President’s Question Time. Thereafter, the House will consider Questions. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.


I thank you, Sir.








168. Mr Chabi (Chipili) asked the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources:


  1. how many foreign nationals acquired land and obtained title deeds, countrywide, from 2014 to 2019, year by year;
  2. what economic benefits are derived from foreign nationals owning land in Zambia;
  3. whether the acquisition of land by foreign nationals has disadvantaged the local people; 
  4. if so, what measures are being taken to address the anomaly;
  5. whether there are any plans to reduce the ninety-nine year leasehold for foreign nationals; and
  6. if so, when the law will be amended.


The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Ms Kapata): Mr Speaker, the number of foreign nationals who acquired land and obtained Title Deeds countrywide from 2014-2019 were:


Year                                         No. of foreigners


2014                                        32


2015                                        57


2016                                        81


2017                                        69


2018                                        91


2019                                        85


Mr Speaker, the economic benefits that are derived from foreign nationals owning land in Zambia are:


  1. technology and capital that they bring into the country; and
  2. employment opportunities to local communities.


Mr Speaker, acquisition of land by foreign nationals has, in some cases, disadvantaged local people. The huge tracts of land that foreign nationals apply for sometimes lead to the displacement of local communities. In some cases, compensation that is offered to the displaced locals is inadequate.


Mr Speaker, to address the situation under part (c) of the question, the Government has been in constant engagement with traditional leaders, who usually initiate allocation of traditional land, to be mindful of the interests of their subjects each time they allocate land to land seekers.


Sir, it should be noted that traditional leaders can only give land up to 250 hectares. Giving land above that requires authority from the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and His Excellency the President.


Mr Speaker, the Government has made proposals in the National Land Policy that a ninety-nine year lease be not automatic, but that the lease period shall be in line with residential and investment objectives and planned developments.


Mr Speaker, it is envisaged that the law will be amended by the end of the third quarter of 2021.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, I want to find out whether local authorities have been advised to sensitise people before they alienate land for allocation to foreign nationals. Quite often, when people are misplaced, the procedure is not being followed. What is the hon. Minister’s comment?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, indeed, we have been having meetings with local authorities as regards the allocation of land to foreigners. However, with the coming of the Land Policy, all these issues regarding the ownership of land by foreign nationals will be things of the past because there are good things that have been included in it to make sure that land is protected and that it is given to intended persons.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for her response. Indeed, it is clear that we have a problem. The threshold of land that can be acquired, which is about 250 ha, is really not being adhered to and people are finding ways around it. It has become a cancer in this country. I know that the ministry is trying to do everything possible to deal with this situation. What can be done urgently to deal with it? Could we, maybe, have a Statutory Instrument (SI) or something because at the end of the day, there will be no land added to Zambia and our future generations will be affected?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, the law stipulates that a chief should not give out more than 250 ha of land and the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources should only give up to 1,000 ha. For anything above 1,000 ha, we need to seek authority from His Excellency the President. So, it is already law, but I know that there are some instances where our traditional leaders are breaking that law. However, we have been sensitising them, through the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. We have also been to the House of Chiefs to make sure that we are moving together with our traditional leaders in terms of land issuance.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker gave the Floor to Mr Fungulwe but he was not available.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, of late, we have seen farms within cities on account that the foreign nationals who acquired these huge parcels of land have become absentee landlords. What assurance is the hon. Minister giving us that those who acquired land between 2015 and 2019 will make good use of it so as to benefit the locals?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, people acquire land for many reasons. Some acquire land for farming purposes while others for infrastructure development and business. So, it depends on what a particular person wants. As a ministry, we have no say on what somebody who has bought land, which is on title, should do with it. We cannot control them because it is their land and they have the right to use it in the manner they feel they can use it.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, as the hon. Minister has indicated, we have observed that the acquisition of land by foreign nationals has affected our citizens in terms of displacements. Does the Government have any plans to come up with a law to set a minimum compensation so that when our people are displaced, they are not condemned to destitution?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, when a non-Zambian or, indeed, a Zambian is buying land, an economic-social survey is carried out before issuance to ensure that there are no people living on that particular land. However, if there are people, care is taken to ensure compensation. If the investor does not compensate the people who are living on that particular land, the ministry does not issue title. The ministry only issues title after it makes sure that people have been properly compensated.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I would like to learn from the hon. Minister how the ministry proceeds with the issuance of title deeds in Game Management Areas (GMAs) where the Government or the ministry has not agreed with the chief on the land being transformed into a resettlement scheme. How does the ministry proceed to give title deeds in that perspective?


Mr Speaker: The difficulty I have with that question is that, though very important, it is not a supplementary question. It is not arising out of the main question. It is a very important question, but still not part of the scheme of what we are considering this morning.


Mr Speaker gave the Floor to Mr Lufuma but he was not available.


Ms Kucheka (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, my question has already been overtaken by someone else.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, I want to take the hon. Minister back to her response to part (a) of the question where she read out the number of foreigners who have acquired land in Zambia. Is she in a position to tell the House and the nation at large the total number of hectares that have been acquired by the foreign nationals from 2014 to 2019?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, that is a new question. If the hon. Member wants us to give the answer in terms of hectarage, I think, he should put it in writing and we will be able to provide that information.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker gave the Floor to Mr Lihefu but he was not available.


Mr Speaker gave the Floor to Mr Zimba but he was not available.


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is giving us hope in the Land Policy that has been under draft for some time. In her response, she has indicated that a number of the issues raised will be resolved once the policy is in place. I just want to find out from her how far we are now from having that policy document approved.


Ms Kapata: The Government of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has been working on the Land Policy. From the day I was appointed Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, one of the assignments the President tasked me with was to make sure that the Land Policy came to fruition. We have had a long journey with the Land Policy. Since Independence, this country has not had a land policy. However, this morning, I would like to announce, through you, Mr Speaker, that the Cabinet approved the Draft National Land Policy on 8th April, 2021. So, this document is going through all the required processes and then it will be brought to Parliament for final approval.


Mr Speaker, we have a plan of action for the Land Policy. Firstly, we are trying to align it with the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto. I am sure you are all aware that a few days ago, His Excellency the President launched our party manifesto, and there are some issues in that manifesto that we need to include in the document. So, the document is ready and I am sure that my ministry will launch the National Land Policy by 10th May, 2021, before Parliament is dissolved.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I would like to –


Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, I am very grateful for the opportunity to raise this important point of order on the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources. The hon. Minister has informed the nation that the Government would like to align the Lands Policy with the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto. The PF Manifesto, which was just launched a few days ago, has not yet been accepted by the people of Zambia because we are yet to hold elections through which the PF is going to sale its manifesto to the people of Zambia. Whether the people are going to accept it or not remains to be seen on 12th August when people will decide. Now, is the hon. Minister in order to align a very important document with a wish list like a manifesto of a political party that has not yet been elected into Government?


Sir, I seek your serious ruling on this matter.


Mr Speaker: My ruling is that as the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources continues to respond to the questions, she must cease the opportunity to clarify that matter.


Hon. Member for Kasempa, you may continue.


Ms Tambatamba: Mr Speaker, I would like to bring it to the attention of the hon. Minister that land resource is finite. It finishes. As we have seen in the numbers she provided of foreign nationals who acquired land and obtained title deeds over the years, the number has been increasing from fifty-seven, eighty-one, sixty-nine to eighty-five in the next year. So, we have seen an increase in the issuance of title deeds to foreigners. Now, we know that in some areas, there is land grabbing to the extent that foreign investors are acquiring land masses with some having as much as 28,000 ha, as the case was in one of the locations in Kasempa.


Sir, I would like to find out how the Government will protect indigenous people to ensure that they do not end up in situations like that of the “The Washerman's Donkey” where they are out of the tent and without land? Is there a quota put in place to ensure that we are not overrun by foreign investors?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, most of the foreigners who own land in Zambia do not acquire it through the ministry. Most of them buy land on the open market from individual Zambians through secondary transactions. I think that when most Zambians sell land, they do it for economic reasons. My ministry has no control over an individual who has land and wants to sell it. These foreigners are buying because they can afford to buy these pieces of land.


Mr Speaker, regarding the point of order raised by Hon. Livune on why we should align the Land Policy with the PF Manifesto. First of all, there are issues to do with women. In our manifesto, we are saying 50 per cent of land that is available should be allocated to women and that 20 per cent should be allocated to the youth, with particular bias towards the disabled. In our manifesto, we have also proposed that the youths should acquire land and the age at which someone is eligible to acquire land be reduced because in the Draft Land Policy, the prescribed age for one to acquire land was twenty-one years. So, these are some of the things we would like included in the Land Policy.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last few interventions from the hon. Members for Lukulu East, Chienge, Chifubu, Chama South, Lufwanyama and end with the hon. Member for Kabompo.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, my attention has been drawn to the fact that in her responses, the hon. Minister mentioned that, in fact, it is now law in this country that our royal highnesses cannot allocate more than 250 ha of land; which is positive because, obviously, they have been implicated in some of these issues we are considering today. However, I would like to know which specific piece of legislation this law is enshrined in so that we can begin to challenge some of the decisions made by our royal highness when they are allocating this land.


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, neither I am a lawyer nor a moving encyclopedia. I do not have that answer. However, if the hon. Member really wants the answer, I can always get it for him and put it in his pigeonhole.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity. I also thank the hon. Minister for the answers she is providing. My cry has always been whether our children and future generation will have any land because without land, one is a nobody. Now, regarding foreigners owning land – (Inaudible)


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chienge, we have lost you. We will revert to you.


Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity for me to ask the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources a follow up question. The hon. Minister referred to the fact that foreigners are able to acquire land from Zambians in various areas. I am concerned that some of these foreigners have resorted to buying property or land from our people in the townships and this is disadvantaging many of them. Does the hon. Minister have any intentions of coming to this House with a list of segmented areas where foreigners can acquire land in order to safeguard the interests of the Zambian people?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for that follow up question. We have no intentions of coming to Parliament to regulate the selling of land. However, the Land Policy proposes to regulate access of land by non-Zambians by limiting the access to land of non-Zambians through issuing leases and not certificates of title. So, the foreign nationals will be given leases. For example, if they are coming under the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Act to invest in Zambia and the investment is viable, a lease will be given to them, which will be subject to renewal. However, if the business or investment that they are coming in for is not viable, the land will not be alienated and sold in small parcels. That has been taken care of in the Land Policy.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the good responses. As we know, our country now is developing game ranching and most of this game ranching is done in rural communities, where the land is held under customary law. The chiefs are the ones who give out land, and this land belongs to the community. If you look at the people who buy this customary land for game ranching, you will see that the majority are or likely to be foreigners. Have we put in place measures to ensure that if possible, these game ranches can only be sub-leased and not given as ninety-nine year leases? We should let the communities hold the land and then be able to sub-lease to foreigners unlike allowing them to own this land out rightly. Are we likely to consider such options?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for that follow up question. I was just talking about non-Zambians not being given land title, but being given leases. Therefore, I think, I already answered that question.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, if I got the hon. Minister correctly, in her statement, she mentioned that when these foreigners get land, they displace local people whose compensation is not adequate. So, what measures has the Government put in place to ensure that this issue of inadequacy of compensation is corrected?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I did not get the question properly, but I think he is talking about –


Mr Speaker: I can invite him to repeat the question.


Ms Kapata: Yes, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Lufwanyama, please, repeat your question.


Mr Fungulwe: Mr Speaker, in her statement, the hon. Minister mentioned that when foreigners acquire land, they displace the locals. Now, when it comes to compensating the displaced locals, the compensation is not adequate. So, my question is: What measures has the Government put in place to correct this situation of inadequacy of compensation to the local people?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for that follow up question. There are many things that we do, and one of them is sensitising the chiefs on the allocation of traditional land. We sensitise the chiefs on the existing laws on land administration. We also try hard to sensitise them to limit the extent and tenure of land leasing to non-Zambians. It is better that land is given mostly to Zambians.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that most parcels of land are basically acquired by foreign nationals through third parties or through individual Zambians, who have the legal authority to basically acquire land. For me, this seems to be a loophole because Zambians acquire huge parcels of land, of course, for speculation purposes and sell it to foreign nationals. In this manner, we are losing a lot of land to foreign nationals and this is becoming worrisome. Now, this being the case, is the hon. Minister thinking of regulating these individuals in order for them to get special permission when they want to sell land to foreigners? Is the ministry considering this possibility in its policies so that we can preserve land?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, it is very difficult to preserve land in the sense that Zambians are at liberty to sell their land to whoever they feel like selling to. I think that stopping a Zambian from selling his/her land would be very unfair because people sell land for many reasons. They can, maybe, sell land for economic reasons such as sending their children to school. Therefore, I think, putting up a law that will stop a Zambian from selling land would be unfair, but what we need to do is to control the issuance of land to foreign nationals by giving them leases. If they do not comply with terms of the leases, the land reverts to the Government.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Kopulande (Chembe): Mr Speaker, on the same subject of the sale of land to foreign nationals, which has a likely impact of making Zambian nationals landless in the long-term, is it not possible for the policy to put a limit on how much land can be transferred to a foreign national because this liberty cannot be unlimited? The change of ownership of land takes place at the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources, where a title deed is transferred from one holder to the next.


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for that follow up question. I have indicated that with the policy that has passed through the Cabinet, foreigners will no longer own land. Whether it is sold to them or through whatever means, they will not be able to get it. The foreigners who are going to acquire land are those who are coming in under investments. It is unfortunate that we already have many numbers of foreigners already having title deeds. However, I can assure the Zambian people that with the new policy, no foreigner will be given land title, but leases. So, we are controlling the situation. For example, if a lease is given for twenty-five years and that investment is not viable, the land will revert to the Government. So, with the Land Policy in place, there will be no foreigners having title. I hope I have made myself clear.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, why has there been no Statutory Instrument (SI) to stop foreigners from owning land or to stop them from having a lease of 100 years? This is the cry of all Zambians, including myself. We cannot just be giving out land anyhow. I urge the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Home Affairs that this thing of giving citizenship –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chienge, you are now debating.


Ms Katuta: Mr Speaker, my question is: Why can we not have an SI quickly put in place so that foreigners should not be allowed to lease land for 100 years like us indigenous Zambians.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources has repeated in response on more than one occasion. Therefore, I do not think I will permit her to continue repeating herself in this fashion. This marks the end of our first question. We move on to our next question.




169. Mr Mukosa (Chinsali) asked the Minister of Local Government:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to rehabilitate feeder roads in Chinsali District;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented;
  3. how many roads are earmarked for rehabilitation in 2020; and
  4. what the names of the roads are.


The Minister of Local Government (Dr C. Banda): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Ministry of Local Government has plans to rehabilitate feeder roads in Chinsali District, in line with its infrastructure development plan. Furthermore, the ministry has already started implementing these plans. A contract was signed with Infasin and Four Brothers to rehabilitate a total of 80 km of feeder roads in 2020 in Chinsali. The name of the road that is being rehabilitated, at the moment, is Chifuta-Muzamanzi Road.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, Chinsali is like many other constituencies or districts in this nation where feeder roads are in a bad state. Does the ministry have a master plan to ensure that feeder roads, countrywide, are rehabilitated?


Dr. C Banda: Mr Speaker, yes, we have a master plan which was distributed to all hon. Members of Parliament. Everybody is aware that we have done procurement throughout the country and all we are awaiting is to have money available so that we can start working on all the feeder roads that have been included in the master plan.


I thank you, Sir.




170. Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. how many employment permits were issued to expatriates at the following mining companies from 2016 to 2019, year by year:


  1. Kansanshi Mine; and


  1. First Quantum Minerals Limited;


        b. which categories of expatriates were issued with employment permits; and


         c. what the average period the expatriates work before their positions are taken over by Zambians.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the Department of Immigration issued the following number of permits to Kansanshi Mines and First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQM), respectively.


Kansanshi Mine


Year                                         Employment Permits Issued


2016                                        57


2017                                        49


2018                                        55


2019                                        58





Year                                         No. of Permits


2016                                        65


2017                                        58


2018                                        44


2019                                        46


Mr Speaker, in accordance with Section 28 of the Immigration and Deportation Act No. 18 of 2010, the Department of Immigration issued employment permits to expatriates who are in the technical fields on the basis of rare skill sets. In exceptional circumstances, as regards technical positions, employment permits are issued to expatriates for a period of two years only to enable skills transfer to Zambians. However, the House may wish to note that extension of work permits may be granted depending on skills and industry.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central) Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has not come out very clearly on the category of expatriates who were issued with employment permits. I want to know which categories we do not have here in Zambia that the expatriates are taking advantage of.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I indicated that these permits are issued for skills that are not available in the technical fields. Mining is a complex industry. Technical fields range from engineering to all those technical parts of mining. Furthermore, the projects vary from one mine to another. For example, there are open pit mines and there are underground mines. So, it is in the technical field. I made that very clear.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how effective these regulatory conditions are for expatriates because, every now and then, we hear people protesting about expatriates being employed for longer periods than stipulated and most of the jobs being occupied by foreign nationals. Are these regulations effective enough and do we monitor them?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the regulatory framework is effective. It is effective in the sense that when people apply for work permits, there is a committee, which draws members from our security institutions and the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), which scrutinises applications and ensures that it only issues permits to expatriates whose skills may not be available on the market. However, we also have to understand that when investors come into this country, they invest huge sums of money which they have to recoup. Therefore, they have to make sure that they realise their investments and make profit. So, there are agreements that are made upon request by investors. So, in as much as we have to prioritise Zambians in terms of getting jobs, we have to strike a balance to ensure that investors’ as well as our Zambian citizens’ desires are met.


Mr Speaker, as regards the issue of understudies, there are conditions that are attached to permits. For example, if someone says he is an engineer with special skills, we know that our engineers here in Zambia can easily acquire skills from the specialised expatriates. So, where we put conditions for an understudy, we make sure that even when someone is applying for an extension, we get teams to verify the need for the extension on the ground.


Mr Speaker, I personally went on a tour of these mines with our immigration staff and colleagues from the mine to see exactly what was obtaining. We have been to FQM and Kansanshi Mine. The reason we invite our colleagues from the Opposition to be with us on these tours is so that we show them how work is done and that they are given real information, but they opt to stay away. So, my dear colleague, when I was in Solwezi, I would have loved to be with the hon. Member so that he could understand what goes on and what happens at the mines, including how many people are there. We were able to go into the fields where our engineers operate from. I must commend our Zambian engineers who are doing quite a lot of work in very complex operations. We were able to see how they are balancing.


Mr Speaker, apart from the system that we have put in place, we make sure that we also take keen interest in seeing what is obtaining on the ground because the natural capital we have underground, which we are exploiting, is the only available asset that can benefit our citizens both in and out of employment and to boost the economy and make sure that we record positive growth for our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister able to tell the House, on cumulative basis, how many expatriates were at the particular mines at the time, according to this period. How many had left and how many were still there of those issued with the permits that have been mentioned?


Mr Speaker: Unless the hon. Minister has that information, I think, that is a new question,.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, just in case the hon. Member joined when I had given the response, in my response to the first part of the question, I gave statistics year by year for each company according to the way the question was framed by Hon. Mulusa. Maybe, I can repeat that. I mentioned that in 2016, Kansanshi Mine had fifty-seven expatriates. In 2017, it had forty-nine work permits issued. In 2018, it had fifty-five and in 2019, it had fifty-eight. In 2016, FQM, had sixty-five, in 2017, fifty-eight, in 2018, forty-four and in 2019, forty-six. That is the response I gave.


Mr Speaker, I did not get clearly what the hon. Member wanted to know other than this information. However, taking advantage of his question, I want to also say that even as you find these numbers, you must also look at the ratio between the expatriates and our local employees. You find that the largest number of employees in these mines is our local staff.


Sir, mining operations expand through various projects. So, depending on that, they come back to sit down with the Immigration Department on the areas of need.


Mr Speaker, we are quite strict on these matters. I think the compliance levels of most mining industries are very good. I must confess.


Mr Speaker: To be sure, hon. Member, has your question been answered?


Mr Nanjuwa was inaudible


Mr Speaker: We will come back to you, if need be.


Dr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, I want to agree with the hon. Minister that mining is a complex industry where technologies and processes keep on evolving. However, in the interest of balance of trade, considering that Kansanshi Mine and First Quantum Mine Limited (FQM) are big conglomerates with branches all over the world, could there be a possibility that the ministry and these companies could agree on sending understudies to their home countries to avoid issuance of many permits to expatriates?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I agree with him that technologies in the mining industry keep evolving. Therefore, in as much as you would think that you have technical experts, the equipment that comes through require people to come and operationalise and get our Zambians to learn how to operate some of those machines.


Mr Speaker, I have been to these operations and I must say that, sometimes, certain positive stories are not told. I was impressed when I went to FQM to find our Zambian ladies operating those huge machines under the supervision of some expatriates. I was impressed to see ladies going underground with those heavy machines. It is impressive. So, sometimes, we have this perception without getting the facts, as they obtain on the ground.


Mr Speaker, like the hon. Member of Parliament has put it, some of these mines are operating worldwide. I was surprised to find out that we have Zambians in Chile, for example, who are on a rotation basis and they were able to give those statistics which are verifiable. So, we are very mindful of that. The Department of Immigration Department is equally mindful when processing these work permits for our expatriates. We have to strike a balance, like I said earlier on, by taking the interest of the investors and that of our Zambian citizens into account.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr S. Banda (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that the law provides that if an investor comes through, he should only bring in skills which are unique to his applying himself to recoup investment. Again, the hon. Minister indicated that there are exceptional cases where a contract is cut out in such a way that the investor brings in skills which are readily available in Zambia because of the special interest they have to mitigate some risks they may perceive so. That said, every investor will say he wants to mitigate some risk of some kind or to protect his investment. So, what measures has the Government put in place to ensure that this facility of social concession is not abused by investors?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I did indicate that if you go to the Immigration Department, you will see that the committee which sits to scrutinise work permit applications is not only composed of immigration officers, but is also a composition of all the necessary authorities responsible for either labour matters, under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the security institutions and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. So, it is balanced. Like I said, I receive appeals upon appeals in my office because the system is so strict. Even when the appeals come to my office, we get back to the committee to understand why an hon. Minister should use his/her discretion over a given case. Sometimes, we invite the investors to come and make their case.


Mr Speaker, we also have a network within these big companies, especially the mines, where we get information to see if, indeed, some people are trying to overstay for baseless reasons. So, we are well-informed and we have made it very clear to the human resource management teams in these mining houses and other companies that they have to make sure that they are compliant with the rules. If they are not compliant and they are found wanting, we extend the punishment to them. So, it is quite a tight system, and I must say that this time around, we have controlled the labour market regarding how work permits are issued to expatriates and how we have to ensure that the understudies who are attached to these expatriates are not taken advantage of.


Sir, in the past, we would be in situations where someone would come and say that the understudy was being trained and had migrated after that. They would give all sorts of reasons. We have said that they have to be sincere and we do not want people to make submissions for convenient purposes. That is why we send teams to go on the ground to verify the information that is submitted to the Immigration Department. At the point of appeal to the ministry, we also verify and see whether it is reasonable for the hon. Minister to use his discretion in certain circumstances.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Tambatamba: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has explained about understudies in these mining companies, and there are even companies which are smaller than establishments such as Kansanshi Mine and the First Quantum Minerals (FQM), clarity’s sake, I would like to find out whether the ministry receives any returns on succession planning from all the mines, including the two that we are discussing. This way, succession plans can be tracked. For example, if an expatriate was given a permit for three years, it would be known after the three years given expire and an understudy is left in their place. Does the ministry receive these returns and are they used to supervise to ensure that this is actually happening and that it not just a policy on paper?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I do appreciate the follow up question from the hon. Member of Parliament who is very close to these mining operations. I hope she is aware, even as she is asking, that now, we are quite strict. Apart from receiving the returns, when someone is given a work permit for two years, there will be a time when it will expire. If there was a condition of having an understudy attached, at the point of trying to renew or to have this permit extended, the matter will have to be checked. There must be a justifiable reason an extension should be given to vary the condition which was given to the permit holder. They must be reminded that they made an undertaking to train an understudy in the two years and ensure that the understudy was submitted. They must be asked what has happened and they must be able to justify. If that understudy is not capable of taking over that particular job or, indeed, if something happened to that understudy, we, as a ministry, must verify. Therefore, it is two way street.


Sir, we do not depend so much on the returns. When we give a two-year work permit condition, that permit will eventually expire. So, for people to continue working even when their permit has expired is illegal. When they are found, we ensure that action, including deportation, is taken as provided for in the Immigration and Deportation Act. All the human resource officers who are working in these mining houses or companies are very much aware of the sanctions that go with anyone violating the conditions of the work permit. Even when they want to make a variation, they must justify why they want to do that to a particular permit which would have been issued to a permit holder.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has clearly stated that between 2016 and 2019, the ministry gave out more than 400 work permits for expatriates. I still go back to pat (b) of the question, where I wanted to know, on behalf of the Zambians, the categories of the expatriates that are given those permits. I believe that a permit can only be given when a given qualification is lacking in a country like Zambia. Today, we get many complaints from the mines stating that, in fact, most of the expatriates who are given these work permits are under qualified. May the hon. Minister tell the people of Zambia what categories these expatriates fall under, which we do not have in the country. As far as I am concerned, the mining industry in this country has been in existence for a long time and we have qualified staff. Could the hon. Minister state the categories that we do not have in Zambia that need to be given to the expatriates?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, for us to make progress, we have two options. It is either you engage and supply that information to the hon. Member or at a subsequent stage, you come back and apprise the House of the specific categories. I noted your response. You said technical engineering, but in the nature of things, we could descend to specifics. I think the hon. Member for Solwezi Central appears to be pressing for those specific categories. Whether they are plumbers or whatever artisans or engineering categories these may be, supply that information so that we make progress.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate your guidance and appreciate my hon. Colleague’s concern.


Mr Speaker, my hon. Colleague is a Member of Parliament in a constituency which has a mine. Sometimes, when you sit and just listen to one side of the story, you will be fed on speculative information. I undertook a trip with the team from the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and my ministry to tour this mine and engage management at the mine because of the information we were getting just as the hon. Member of Parliament may be getting. He is equally part of the Government, and so, he can go to Kansanshi Mine and see for himself what is obtaining there. When you are getting complaints, it is important to go on the ground and verify for yourself. Like I said, I would have loved to be with my hon. Colleague when I visited the mine in his area.


Mr Speaker, when I say technical fields, I mean that mining operations of the 1980s are not the same as the mining operations of 2021. You heard from the hon. Member of Parliament for Chifubu, whom I know is on the Copperbelt and knows how operations have evolved. With the new technology, some mining investors like the Chinese acquire equipment which comes with Chinese manuals, and those need to be interpreted. So, we have zeroed in to make sure that no one takes advantage of the situation.


Mr Speaker, when we say that we give conditional work permits, it is such that they must be evaluated at any given point. My advice to my hon. Colleague is to avoid speculations. He should visit the mine. I do not think management at the mine, which is in his constituency, would deny him access to this information. Waiting for that information to be provided may take time, but as a leader of that area, he can get to these mining areas and look at the categories.


Mr Speaker, when the hon. Member said the ministry gave out more than 400 work permits to expatriates, these permits are given on some kind of a pro rata basis where when others are going out, others are coming in. When a mine is going into a new project or scaling up its activities, it will indicate the need for more experts in a given area to come and work in new the operations it may be introducing in its mining activities. So, the process is quite transparent. Listing the exact number of expatriates such as the number of metallurgists and so on may take time. So, he is a leader who, I think, can be given access to this information by the mines or at the headquarters of the Department of Immigration.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon, Minister, in fact, from where I am sitting, the latter is my preference because this information to be gathered by the hon. Member of Parliament from the mines might present some challenges. However, he has come to Parliament in a representative capacity, as hon. Member of Parliament. He has given this question to your ministry, which ministry is involved in the processing of these permits. So, yes, pursue the latter option.


Hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi Central, please, the hon. Minister of Homes Affairs has indicated his availability to discuss this matter with you and give you the specifics. We are running out of time. We do not have a lot of time before we dissolve. So, I would rather you engage the hon. Minister of Home Affairs directly and he will supply you the information you are seeking. Let us develop this culture of engaging one another even outside the Floor of the House. I have always maintained that the Government has three branches, there are the Legislative, the Executive and the Judicial branches. Together, we are involved in the governance matrix. So, we should be free to knock on these doors and engage with one another and get information. I would like to believe that this information will be made available by the Ministry of Home Affairs, through the Department of Immigration.


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, in view of –


Dr Musokotwane: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, thank you very much and I apologise for the slight disruption of business. My point of order is on the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. The hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi Central is within his rights to present a question to Parliament, and present it in a manner that is appropriate for his purpose, as a representative of the people of Solwezi Central. I think you have also guided the hon. Minister to respond to questions appropriately.


Sir, I would also like to say that the capacity of an hon. Member to obtain information outside Parliament, that is, not using Parliament as an institution for raising questions, is not as paramount as it is when you are in the House with the backing of the institution being a representative of the people. Therefore, is the hon. Minister in order to keep on ducking a question that has been raised by the hon. Member of Parliament and also ducking a clear instruction that you have given that he must supply the answer, as requested by the hon. Member?


I seek your ruling, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Liuwa, I think, we are flogging a dead horse here. I have already guided the hon. Minister. The very concerns you have raised are the same ones I expressed in my guidance, namely that it is easier, appropriate and befitting for the hon. Member for Solwezi Central to obtain this information from the hon. Minister, and rather than wait for the hon. Minister to come back, there is a quicker way I have suggested. From the non-verbal communication we are having here with the hon. Minister, it is evident to me that he is in agreement that he will engage the hon. Member for Solwezi Central and supply him this information. He will get that information.


That is my ruling.


The hon. Member for Chilubi may continue.


Mr Fube: Mr Speaker, my question is in reference to part (c) of the questions that were asked. I do realise that a large part of our mining sector is being operated around foreign investors that came through the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) window. As we are looking at the average of experts, I would like to ask what the status of the permit holders under Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) is, especially that there is shareholding structure change with the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investments Holdings (ZCCM-IH) being the majority shareholder?


Mr Speaker: I will not allow the hon. Minister to respond for the simple reason that we are dealing with Kansanshi Mine and First Quantum Minerals (FQM). He has to get this information from the source and even from his office. Unless the hon. Minister has information for the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) now, I will not allow him to respond.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I can give a bonus answer to the hon. Colleague since we are still talking about the mining industry. My response is that changes in shareholding do not affect permit holders as those are operational matters. Maybe, just to further clarify, when we talk about conditional work permits, the conditions that are given to the permit holder are agreed on at the point of this person taking up the job. For example, if this is someone with special skills in metallurgy, it will be agreed upon how long that expatriate is required. If, say, for two years, there will be a particular understudy who will be attached to this expatriate for purposes of skills transfer during those two years. It is expected that within these two years, these skills would have been transferred to this understudy.


Sir, this is why I was emphasising that at the point of renewal, when this permit expires, say, in two years, a review is done. If circumstances change, maybe, God forbid, the understudy passes on and in the process there is a need to engage another one so that a bit of time is given to the expatriate to impart the skills to another person, these are matters that are brought out and are verified where the request to extend the work permit is requested. So, the change of shareholding does not normally affect work permits. The companies come back to the Department of Immigration and explain. For example, it is the same thing with Mopani Copper Mines whose shareholding has changed.


Mr Speaker, I thank you for the guidance you have given. We shall be available to our hon. Colleagues. I must also assure this august House and our people that wherever we travel on tours to look at these matters, we go as a complete team. If it is an issue to do with mining, we go with our mines sector team from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. We also invite hon. Members of Parliament and those who are on the Copperbelt can attest to this fact. That is why I was regretting not having had my hon. Colleague from Solwezi Central with us when we visited that area. We could have dealt with some of these matters and he would have had much more information. Sometimes, when you get information from one side of the story, you may think that things are happening in the manner that is being reported.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: We have spent a lot of time on this subject. I need to begin winding it down. I will take questions from the hon. Member for Zambezi East, the hon. Member for Keembe, the hon. Member for Chienge, the hon. Member for Namwala, the hon. Member for Senga Hill and the last one will be from the hon. Member for Msanzala and that will be the end.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, the substance of this question is really to justify whether those permits that were issued should have been issued in the first place. We can only verify that if the Department of Immigration has a system of taking audits at institutions like First Quantum Minerals (FQM) and Kansanshi Mines, so to speak, to verify whether those that were issued with permits are justified to be in the positions that they are holding.


Sir, what I want to find out from the hon. Minister is if, indeed, there is a system provided to verify whether those professionals he mentioned, especially in the technical and engineering fields, are actually doing the jobs that were stated in their applications. What we seem to have is a variance between what these people actually do and what they apply for.


Mr Speaker: Order!


I have followed your question and I think you have made your point. The hon. Minister has already answered that question and he answered it in the affirmative.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Speaker, we had an opportunity to visit Kansanshi Mine and I know that it is one of the mines we were discussing in the report of your Committee on Parastatal Bodies. However, my question is: Knowing that some of these issues came up even then, do we have a mechanism in place to ensure that the skills transfer the hon. Minister is talking about really takes place? For example, even in the road sector, we are worried that, maybe, the skills transfer is not happening, yet expatriates keep coming. Could the hon. Minister tell this House and the public what mechanisms are in place to ensure that skills transfer is happening in order to empower the Zambian people?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I acknowledge the follow up question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Keembe and I am happy that she has brought up the issue of your Committee visiting Kansanshi Mine and other mines. The complaint that your Committee came up with was what triggered my trip to these mining houses. It was said that the management of mining houses complained that the Department of Immigration took too long to process work permits. In your Committee’s view, that, in itself, was affecting the operations of the mines. I think the hon. Member of Parliament can attest to the fact that the management at these mining companies were quite transparent and took your Committee to operation areas for hon. Members to even see the ratios between expatriates and Zambian workers.


Mr Speaker, we have invested so much under my Government and I am very grateful for the support I got from the hon. Minister of Finance and His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia. We have invested so much in automating systems under the Department of Immigration. We now have the Zambia Immigration Management System (ZIMS), which is so thorough that if someone is given a two-year permit, the department will be monitoring through this system. So, if someone wants to delay and think they might not be flagged off, they will be flagged off. The monitoring is now automated and if someone wants to stay on, like I said, for one reason or another, it must be justifiable.


Sir, when my dear hon. Colleagues went on tour under your Committee, they came to our ministry. The Department of Immigration takes time to make sure that when it gives someone a work permit, it is certainly something that it needs to do and it is not disadvantaging our people. This is why it takes a bit of time because the Department of Immigration has to be sure. The committee that sits has to make sure that it has taken everything into consideration by looking at the labour market and the skills that a particular person comes with before it can approve the application for a work permit.


Mr Speaker, there is a system in place and I just want to assure the people of Zambia that it has not been business as usual, of course, not under my charge. We have turned things around and have made people not to take systems for granted. In the past, it was the order of the day. You would give a conditional permit, but someone would want to just come back like engaging people who are not intelligent enough to see that there was no understudy who was engaged after all. So, now, I think we are on the same page and I must commend those in the human resource teams under the mining companies who are also able to avail us information where they feel management may want to engage in underhand arrangements. We are able to get that information and act on it.


So, I just want to encourage them, especially those who are dealing with human resource matters, be it in the mining industry or other companies that would require expatriates to be sincere and patriotic. Sometimes, we, Zambians, are our own enemies. We have Zambians who even go to the extent of falsifying documents on behalf of foreigners just to make sure that they make a bit of money. So, we have been doing a lot of work not to accommodate such things and not to allow these unpatriotic Zambians who forget that when they do that, they disadvantage their fellow citizens.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I know the hon. Minister has belaboured to give responses to all the questions. However, the cry is that we have many of our children who have been trained in Russia and other countries who have not been employed, yet we see foreigners coming in and getting hefty salaries. I know they are expatriates, but the difference in salary is just something else.


Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon. Minister of Home Affairs that whenever permits are given to foreigners, especially in the mines, applications from our children from the Copperbelt University (CBU), the University of Zambia (UNZA) and those who were trained in Russia and other countries, who are still languishing in the streets, are also considered.


Mr Speaker: I am not sure whether this question is related to what we are discussing, but I will still give the freedom to the hon. Minister to comment.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I hear the concern of the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge. Even as the Department of Immigration sits to consider applications for work permits, it is guided by the Zambianisation Policy. I would like to assure the hon. Member of Parliament that this responsible Government wants to prioritise its citizens. That is why you saw the Government doing everything possible to ensure that it saved the jobs of its citizens under Mopani Copper Mines. You can imagine how many jobs we would have lost had we gone with the proposals that came from the mining industry. The reason you have seen the Government, through the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investments Holdings (ZCCM-IH), moving in is all to ensure that it protects the people of Zambia and ensure that more Zambians get jobs.


Mr Speaker, indeed, we have mining houses on the Copperbelt, yet mining engineers from the Copperbelt University (CBU), whom the hon. Member referred to, cannot even be attached for practicals at those mines. So, we are saying that let us get back to the drawing board because all these matters of understudies entail that those who need skills transfer have to be on the ground and have their hands-on experience.


Sir, we are a responsible Government and his Excellency the President has made this very clear. These are matters that he equally takes interest in. As you may know, he was at the Ministry of Home Affairs and he understands some of these things. So, he is very clear on us ensuring that we only give work permits for skills that are not available on the market.


Mr Speaker, we also appreciate that the technology that is coming into the mining industry be it at Kansanshi Mine or FQM, sometimes, requires expatriates to come and train our people in operating the modern equipment. We are monitoring this closely because we want to make sure that the people of Zambia benefit from the natural capital underground. That is the only capital we have and, I think, we must not just sit and let it slip out of this country without realising maximum benefits, which include jobs for our people.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, technically, it has been agreed on the Floor of the House that the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi Central has to go to the hon. Minister’s office to get a list of the specialised skills for which the Ministry of Home Affairs issues work permits to foreign nationals. However, you will appreciate that under the new normal, we are in our respective constituencies. May it be clear on the Floor of House, since it is the platform being used, how the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi Central will travel from Solwezi to Lusaka to get this answer?


Mr Speaker: I do not think we should spend time of the Assembly to discuss the modes of communication. I do not think so. There are several ways of communicating and I do not want to list them here. You do not have to travel physically to get information in this day and age. There are many forms of communication, telephonic, email, etc. Surely, should we spend time now discussing which mode will be used to gather this information? The hon. Minister has agreed, in principle, that he will supply the information.


Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, to the contrary, I would like to say that expatriates are a blessing. In fact, I think the ratio of expatriates to locals in this country is very low. When I look elsewhere, expatriates are the ones moving countries such as China, Singapore or wherever you go. Therefore, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the ratio of limit of foreigners to locals for bigger professions like accounts, engineering and the like are. I do not mean general workers. What ratio is a mining company like the one we are discussing allowed to employ so that only beyond that does it start to negotiate whether it wants to add more or not?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we do not have a one size fits all policy because needs vary from one place to another. I wish to agree with the hon. Member that in as much as some may look at having expatriates negatively, it just depends on the operations. So, a company may just have one or two expatriates depending on its operations and the investors’ wishes. We do not have a specific policy that provides a one size fits all solution. However, in issuing these permits, we negotiate. Let us take, for instance, that someone wants to start a new mine. As he/she is starting up, he/she will indicate the needs, for example, by stating that he/she needs twenty-five against 1,000 Zambian workers. He/she would specify the fields for which such expatriates are needed.


Mr Speaker, we cannot avoid this. We are part of the global village. Like I said, I was impressed to hear that some Zambians, who started with the First Quantum Minerals (FQM), were in Chile and other parts of the world. So, we cannot limit by putting a policy on ratio because it varies from one operation area to another. However, we are mindful of ensuring that only skills that are not available on the market are allowed to come in form of expatriates and they are in different forms. Some are just artisans and work in a special way. There are exemptions that are also agreed upon in that regard.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to ask a question to the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, who has articulated the issues in the mining sector very well on the Floor of this House. The hon. Minister has visited the big boys of the mining sector, and so, what I want to find out –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Msanzala, the “big boys” is unparliamentary.


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the phrase “big boys,” and replace it with mining companies that are larger than the ones we see in Lusangazi and many other parts of the country. When is the hon. Minister going to bring that cocktail and conglomerate of his technocrats to areas like Lusangazi and Msanzala which is a new block in the field of mining to inspect these expatriates’ qualifications? Some of them are coming in through the bush from neighbouring countries and they have not been given work permits which have been given to people in other areas?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, I reluctantly invite you to answer that question.




Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I reluctantly want to give a bonus response to my senior hon. Colleague. What is needed there is a clean-up and not an inspection because what he is referring to is an illegality. We do not give work permits to people who come in through the bush. If someone is coming in through the bush, he is engaging in illegality. Those are illegal entries. So, my assurance is that we shall carry out a clean-up operation. This will be done in the hon. Member’s area and many other areas where we have been receiving such reports. Our law enforcement agencies are compiling data to carry out clean up operations. I do agree with the hon. Member that we cannot allow a situation where these foreigners come and before we start getting benefits from the gold deposits that have been discovered in areas like Lusangazi, where the hon. Member is and many other areas, these fellows can flood the area and take advantage of our locals, leaving them with peanuts while they run away with our mineral resources. So, what is required there is a clean-up operation. Being the hon. Member of Parliament there, I would urge him to let our people disengage. Sensitise them to disengage because when this cleanup operation takes place, no one will be spared. So, I would like to urge the hon. Member of Parliament to sensitise our people and urge them to disengage from those illegal activities that are going on there. Those that have artisan mining licences must be guided in their operations without engaging foreigners in those businesses.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




172. Ms Kasune (Keembe) asked the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection:


  1. how many boreholes were sank in Chibombo District from 2017 to 2020, year by year;
  2. how many boreholes at (a) were located in Keembe Parliamentary Constituency;
  3. how many boreholes are earmarked for sinking in the constituency in 2021; and
  4. what the time frame for the completion of the project is.


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga) (on behalf of the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection (Mr Nakacinda)): Mr Speaker, the Government sunk 232 boreholes in Chibombo District from 2017 to 2020, year by year, broken down as follows:


Year                             No. of Boreholes


2017                            20


2018                            48


2019                            86


2020                            78


Mr Speaker, out of the 232 boreholes given at part (a) of the question, 204 boreholes were sunk in Keembe Parliamentary Constituency from 2017 to 2020, broken down as follows:


Year                             No. of Boreholes


2017                            10


2018                            45


2019                            72


2020                            77


Sir, fifty-eight boreholes are earmarked for sinking in Keembe Parliamentary Constituency in 2021.


Mr Speaker, the timeframe for sinking fifty-eight boreholes is from January to December, 2021, subject to availability of funds and continued support from co-operating partners.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




173. Mrs Phiri (Chilanga) asked the Minister of General Education:


  1. how many teachers of English were sent to work in the Seychelles and other countries in 2018 and 2019;
  2. what the benefit of this arrangement to Zambia is; and
  3. if the arrangement is beneficial, what measures are being taken to encourage more teachers to apply for the jobs outside the country.


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Mr Speaker, five teachers of English were seconded to the Republic of Seychelles in 2018. Ten teachers of English were seconded to the Republic of Seychelles in 2019, thereby bringing the total to fifteen in the said period. Accumulatively, we have a total of eighty-eight teachers teaching various subjects in that country.


Mr Speaker, secondly, the benefits of this arrangement to Zambia are as follows:


  1. at individual level, this leads to professional enhancement for teachers, who feel the need to reach high levels of competencies and performance when they serve as expatriates;
  2. exposure to other cultures and traditions enhances personal growth;
  3. at national level, the benefits include the creation of employment opportunities through this window and thereby, reducing unemployment levels in our country;
  4. this arrangement leads to sector improvements in the sense that experiences from outside the country will lead to progressive curriculum reform which will make our educational system very competitive; and
  5. the country’s educational system will continue to be recognised.


Mr Speaker, regarding measures that area being put in place, as a ministry, we will continue to sensitise teachers on opportunities of this nature on a continuous basis. Secondly, we are undertaking continuous improvement of the curriculum to keep it at an international and competitive level, thereby ensuring that our education system continues to be recognised and to be of benefit to the region and the international community at large.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Mr Speaker, how are teachers who get seconded on such programmes identified without issues of favouritism or otherwise coming into play?


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, the process is competitive. The advertisements are put up and the teachers who are interested apply for these opportunities. There is a regular system for screening applicants and those who are of good standard are chosen and sent to the countries of request.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, the number of teachers of English who have been sent to Seychelles, which is fifteen, is quite low. We have many teachers who have graduated from our universities and teaching colleges. We also have huge numbers of teachers who are looking for jobs. What is the Government doing to increase the numbers of teachers going to work as expatriates in countries like Seychelles? The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, Mozambique and many other countries that are not English speaking countries are looking for teachers of English. Therefore, this could be of great benefit to our country and the teachers themselves as it would earn us foreign exchange. What is the Government doing to increase the number of teachers to be sent as expatriates to other countries?


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, that is, indeed, a very legitimate concern. Perhaps, given the levels of unemployment in this country, we are not exploiting various windows for export of our teachers and, thereby reducing our unemployment levels of teachers in this country. Indeed, this is, perhaps, something we need to pick up and see how best our embassies and high commissions can engage authorities in those countries to see if they can tap into our teacher resource base in this country. Of course, we cannot push these matters on our neighbours. The need must be felt by them and they are the ones who have to request in the same manner that the Seychelles Government did to the Zambian Government. I think, we will pick it up and find out how our embassies and commissions in the host countries such as those that have been mentioned, can be sensitised concerning the availability of the teacher resource base in our country.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his statement. I also want to commend the Patriotic Front (PF) Government for having put in place policies and developed the teaching fraternity that is able to compete not only in Zambia, but also in the region and the world as a whole. The hon. Minister has referred to the fact that these teachers who are going out and providing this service to Seychelles have been able to come back and help the country develop its curriculum. Has there been any foreign exchange benefit arising from their services in Seychelles?


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has asked a really a composite question. Let me begin by addressing the first part of his remarks. Indeed, the experiences that our teachers go through are taken back. We use these experiences not just in the services, but to also enhance our curriculum. I must say that our education system is, indeed, one of the most respected in the region. It is not just Seychelles which has asked for teachers from us. We are now having schools in other countries that are asking our examining body, the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ), to conduct examinations for schools in those countries. So, we are doing well in this respect.


As regards the financial benefits in addition to the other benefits I have mentioned, indeed, there are some earnings that come through these arrangements. I must say that we have the hon. Minister of Finance here, and I am sure he has come across this information and that there are countries in Africa and elsewhere whose Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is dependent on the earnings of their nationals working from outside their countries. So, we have, for example, Benin, formally known as Dahomey, which is almost entirely dependent on earnings from people working abroad. So, this kind of arrangement comes with many benefits. Apart from just what I have said, there is also this foreign exchange. The allowances which these teachers will get will come back into this country to enhance our foreign exchange base.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.







Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Parastatal Bodies and other Statutory Institutions for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2018, laid on the Table of the House on 20th April, 2021.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


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


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, your Committee, in line with the terms of reference, considered the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Parastatal Bodies and other Statutory Institutions for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2018. Your Committee also considered the Treasury minutes on the Report of the Committee on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Parastatal Bodies and other Statutory Institutions for the Financial Year ended 31st December, 2017, the Report on the Outstanding Issues of the Reports of the Auditor-General for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2012 to 2016 and the Action Taken Report on the Review of the Annual Reports of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) for the years 2017 to 2018. Your Committee is hereby honoured to present the report on its work to the House.


Mr Speaker, as hon. Members have had an opportunity to read your Committee’s work, I will merely highlight a few salient points contained therein. From the outset, the House may wish to note that sixteen parastatal bodies and statutory institutions were captured in the audit report which was considered by your Committee.


Sir, your Committee is concerned that the Auditor-General has been unable to audit most of the parastatal bodies and other statutory institutions due to low funding from the Treasury. Consequently, the Auditor-General has consistently sampled a maximum of not less than twenty-five parastatal bodies for the past three years, as opposed to auditing all the parastatal bodies and other statutory institutions.


Mr Speaker, in this regard, your Committee strongly recommends that the Treasury endeavors to improve funding to the Office of the Auditor-General in order that all the parastatal bodies and statutory institutions can be audited.


Mr Speaker, it is imperative to note that the audit process enhances the Parliamentary oversight function on behalf of the people of Zambia. The process makes it easier for Parliament to hold the Executive accountable in the way the latter expends public funds.


Mr Speaker, your Committee has made a number of observations in this report, and I will only outline a few.


Mr Speaker, your Committee observed that failure to appoint board and governing council members timely by respective hon. Ministers is an overarching challenge in the management of parastatal bodies and other statutory institutions. Your Committee further observed that hon. Ministers who are appointing authorities for boards and governing councils are not answerable to anybody for these appointments. There is also no time frame within which board and governing council members are to be appointed. As a result, there is no process to hold them accountable in an event that they unjustifiably delay appointing the boards or governing councils.


Mr Speaker, in this regard, your Committee strongly recommends that the Executive formulates a framework which will provide a time frame within which hon. Ministers should appoint members of respective boards. Your Committee also urges the House to amend respective Acts of Parliament to factor-in mechanisms to ensure accountability for these appointments and stop their unnecessary delays which, in turn, negatively impact the strategic planning and operations of parastatals.


Mr Speaker, another factor affecting parastatal bodies is poor funding. Your Committee is of the view that single treasury accounting is not helping these entities to perform effectively, especially for those that raise their own income. In this regard, your Committee strongly recommends that the Executive reconsiders introducing the appropriation in aid to allow such entities to retain, at least, a portion of the revenue collected from their operations. 


Mr Speaker, your Committee is saddened to note that the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) has equally failed to deliver on its mandate of becoming an industrial hub as opposed to focusing on the sale of plots as a major source of income. Your Committee also learnt that this failure was as a result of the Government’s non-fulfillment of its commitment to inject US$153 million in the project.


Mr Speaker, your Committee also observed that the supervision of the MFEZ by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has been riddled with challenges and this has had a negative effect on the operations of the institution. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the supervision of the MFEZ be left to the IDC and that the ministry focuses on policy formulation.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to thank all stakeholders who made both written and oral submissions before your Committee. I further wish to recognise the role played in the proceedings by the Office of the Auditor-General without whose assistance deliberations of your Committee would not have been successfully concluded.


I also wish to place on record the gratitude of your Committee to you, Mr Speaker, for your valuable guidance throughout the deliberations and the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for their professionalism and support to your Committee.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


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


Ms Kasune: Now, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to second the Motion that has been ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee, Hon. Peter Daka, urging the House to adopt the Report of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies. In seconding the Motion moved by the Chairperson, I shall only comment on three issues that were not covered in his speech.


Sir, the first issue that I want to bring to the attention of the nation is the failure to pay and settle outstanding statutory obligations by many of the parastatal bodies. Your Committee observed, ,with great concern, that parastatal bodies and other statutory institutions are marred with outstanding statutory obligations amounting to K3.5 billion over which they do not have capacity, ability or a sustainable plan in place to liquidate the outstanding arrears and only rely on the Government to bail them out.


Mr Speaker, it is for this reason that your Committee strongly recommends that there be a mindset change for statutory bodies and parastatals to really ensure that not only do they look into the social aspect of what they are supposed to do, but really focus on the commercial side and find innovative ways to sustain their obligations to statutory bodies.


Sir, secondly, your Committee is also concerned about the conversion of debt and grants into equity. Your Committee notes that there is propensity to convert debt and grants financed through the Treasury into equity in instances where public bodies which should have borrowed the fund fail to repay the debt. In this case, your Committee, again, condemns this approach of liquidation of debt and urges the Treasury to ensure that entities only acquire debt that they can sustain so that the Government is not always the one to bail them out.


Mr Speaker, my third and last point, since I said I only had three points to bring to your attention and that of the public, is the failure to take the audit process seriously. It has been noted by your Committee that many of the statutory bodies did not comply with the Auditor-General’s process. Many of them came back later on with supporting documents when the audit process time had already actually been done. It is for this reason that your Committee finds this unacceptable. In line with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act No. 1 of 2018 and Section 11(1), your Committee recommends that all controlling officers take the process that the Auditor-General puts in place seriously and ensures that they comply with the regulations and those found wanting should be brought to book.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to join the mover of the Motion in thanking you, Sir, for according us this opportunity to present your report. I would also like to thank all the hon. Members of Parliament who were part of this very accountable Committee in the way they deliberated on the issues. We hope that our recommendations will be taken seriously by the Executive so that we can see the benefits of parastatal bodies and ensure that the resources that they may gain actually contribute to the Treasury of this nation, which is in dire need.


Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, listening to both the mover and seconder of this Motion is extremely discouraging. I think that it is an indictment on both the Government as well as your Committee. In his statement, the Chairperson of your Committee, Hon. Peter Daka, indicated that there have been challenges in auditing parastatals owing to certain reasons and one of them being the issue of hon. Ministers not appointing boards. Furthermore, there has also been the absence of financial statements which, to me, in a business environment, can only be termed as deliberate.


Sir, at the point when the Patriotic Front (PF) took over Government in 2011, it re-established what I think was the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia (INDECO) or the Zambia Industrial and Mining Corporation Limited (ZIMCO) as the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). The IDC is the one that is overseeing the performance of all parastatal bodies. So, one would ask the question: What has been the function of the IDC in supervising and making sure that accountability happens in these parastatals?


Mr Speaker, the Chairperson of your Committee also indicates that this whole act destroys the very essence of the function of Parliament, which is the oversight function on the Executive. So, to me, this is a report just full of lamentations and is an indictment on your Committee because the Committee system is the heart and soul of any Parliament. So, after this report, then what? What is the remedy for such lamentations where we are told that the hon. Ministers must now be given a time frame within which to constitute boards? The time frame will be given by whom?


Sir, it means that there is some element of laxity or neglect on the part of hon. Ministers to appoint boards so that these particular parastatal bodies can function accordingly. So, as the Government comes in to respond, it must answer to these issues that your Committee has brought out. Why are hon. Ministers failing to appoint boards? Is it deliberate or it is indolence? Is it laziness or a way of making sure that accountability does not happen?


Mr Speaker, the seconder also spoke about the issue of non-payment of requirements to statutory bodies such as the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board. If a Government operated business can fail to meet these statutory payments, what more a commercial business that is operating under an economy that is very difficult to operate in? It means that the whole business circuit becomes dislocated. Parastatal bodies must be the ones that must operate their business as shining examples of how possible it is to meet these statutory payments to NAPSA and the Workers’Compensation Fund Control Board.


Sir, therefore, to me, this report does not bring out any hope and the earlier we realised that we need to button up this by doing the very basic things such as appointing boards, the better. I think that is basic. All you need is to go and look at people’s competencies, those people whom you think are skilled or qualified to run the businesses of the Government. Then, you are beginning to make the first step in getting it right.


Mr Speaker, as far as I am concerned, this report may just go back to the shelf and start gathering dust. We want to hear what the Government’s position on the action taken in the next Parliament, for those who will be lucky to come back here to see whether we have a serious Government which will respond to these issues.


Mr Speaker, with those few remarks, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to debate.


Thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for according me this opportunity to debate the Motion on the report of your Committee on Parastatal Bodies, which was ably moved by the hon. Member for Msanzala, Hon. Peter Daka, and seconded by Hon. Kasune.


Mr Speaker, from the outset, I would like to declare interest that I am a member of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies and, therefore, I totally support the report and the Motion that has been moved by our Chairperson.


Mr Speaker, I just want to augment certain areas that could have probably not been captured by the mover of the Motion and the seconder. In supporting this Motion, I would like to state the fact that based on your Committee’s report, the biggest challenge which I noticed, as unearthed by the auditors, is the issue of appointment of board members. The second issue is the issue of operations of these parastatal bodies in that most of them are actually operating in an insolvent situation where their working capital, in some cases, is negative. As regards the appointment of board members, I think enough has been said in terms of where the responsibilities of appointment of these board members rests, and it rests with the hon. Ministers, as cited in the respective Acts that usher in these parastatal bodies.


Mr Speaker, the Acts give guidance to the hon. Minister on the constitution of boards. However, the hon. Ministers have the liberty of electing a parastatal body or parade without a functioning board for a long time, sometimes, even for as long as three years. I can only guess that that could be out of either negligence or it is out of political reasons. In some cases, there has been a lot of political interference resulting in not coming up with competent board members who would amicably manage these institutions. Therefore, with that political interference, we end up having situations were a parastatal starts operating without a board for a long time because the hon. Minister is probably being influenced or he is still consulting here and there. As a result, the organisation gets affected.


Mr Speaker, when it comes to the operations of these institutions, you will note that they are ailing. They lack the required income to enable them to operate appropriately because sometimes, they trade with the Government. Think of institutions that have serious Government interference like Zamtel. You will find that the institution is owed by the Government. These institutions are supported by the Government through loans to be capitalised. So, there is laxity on the part of the Government to pay them the money that they need in order for them to operate smoothly. Consequently, such institutions end up having negative working capital.


Sir, if an institution has negative working capital, it cannot meet its immediate obligations. We have a build up of statutory obligations which have been cited by other debaters such failure to remit National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) contributions on time and Pay as you Earn (PAYE) is not paid. Instead, the institution focuses on paying net salaries. With this build up of debt, plus penalties attached to it, the institution becomes even more indebted. Then, again, we have a situation where the Office of the Auditor-General is expected audit all these parastatal bodies, yet it is under-financed. So, that is affecting and aggravating the situation year in and year out and we are still adding on to the pile of our already existing problems. So, through this House, I would like to urge the Executive to appropriately finance the Auditor-General’ Office so that it can carry out its functions appropriately.


Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, year in and year out, we receive similar reports by the auditors under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, but we do not see any improvement. We have received these very disastrous reports about institutions that are supposed to serve Zambians. These institutions were built specifically to provide quality water to the citizens. Now, if the Government will fail to provide quality water to the citizens, what is it there for?


Sir, we have received these reports of financial irregularities many a time and nothing has been done about it. To me, it looks like it has become a culture for this Government to just let things slide and go on with these irregularities without much care. How can you have so many institutions that have a responsibility to provide water services with financial irregularities? This is the oasis of an organisation. Why do you have financial irregularities and the offenders or culprits are never punished, but go scot free? The Auditor-General’s Office uses money from tax payers to audit public accounts but in the end, the Executive fails to take action against those found wanting. The Executive is supposed to authorise the action to be taken against all those involved in these financial irregularities, but it is quiet and nothing is being done. Every year, we have these financial irregularities, but wrong doers do not get punished. Meanwhile, the Auditors-General’s Office, which does this work, gets money from tax payers. This is really bad.


Mr Speaker, if you look at the quality of water provided by the water companies, you will see that it is pathetic in this era where we have so much underground water. 40 per cent of underground water is in the Southern Africa Community Development (SADC) region, yet the quality provided by water utility companies is bad. In some of our localities, we go without water for twenty-four hours. These irregularities are there and the Government does not care. It has other priorities and has no time to sit down and ensure that these people who engage in financial irregularities are charged so that we put a stop to this. When you are ruling a country like Zambia, you have to learn to love all the Zambians. You cannot have board members always appointed from among Patriotic Front (PF) cadres. We are not saying that PF cadres cannot be appointed, but only if they qualify, then, yes they can be appointed. However, people should be appointed to those positions on merit and not just appoint cadres who do not even qualify to hold those positions. People with merit should not be left out while cadres who do not qualify are picked because that is where the problems will begin.


Mr Speaker, how can an organisation run without a board in place when the setup entails that there should be board members? In some cases, even hon. Ministers have gone to sleep. Why are they failing to appoint board members for two or three years in an organisation that is supposed to provide water to the citizens? This is why everything crumbles. When it comes to other areas like arresting people, the Government treats that as a priority. It will do that very quickly, yet it cannot sort out our problems. When other companies do not pay National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), they are taken to task immediately. However, we have institutions which are owing NAPSA and when their workers retire, this is why their pensions are not paid on time because these organisations are failing to meet just a basic requirement in any –


Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I have followed the mover and the seconder of the Motion. I have also had time to peruse through the report of your Committee. I am trying to follow the debate of the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central and the issue of water which he has brought up. He has passionately decided to veer off your Committee’s report and the submissions made by the mover of the Motion. The hon. Member is now talking about the water sector which, together with the issues he is raising, is not in the report. Is he in order to continue on that trajectory?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kalomo Central, are you able to justify your reference to the water sector?


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, yes I am able to.


Mr Speaker: Go ahead.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, what I am trying to explain here is that salaries of the hon. Ministers who are supposed to appoint these board members, come from tax payers’ money, meaning they are supposed to appoint board members on time but it is not being done. However, when the Office of the Auditor-General gives a report, the Executive is supposed to authorise that the culprits are brought to task, but that is not being done. Therefore, this is where I come to say now that the Government has different priorities. So, there is a justification, like I gave an example earlier, when it comes to arresting people for thirty days without charging them, it is done quickly. So, the same –


Mr Speaker: Order hon. Member for Kalomo Central!


Mr Kamboni: Yes, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Let us focus on the report. Do not bring in extraneous matters. Relevance is part of our rule of debate. This is a very lengthy report. I am sure you can make your point without stepping outside of the report.


You may go ahead with your debate.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance.


Sir, the Government is supposed to be prudent in paying these companies. Why is it failing to pay water bills and still expect these companies to run? That is a very serious anomaly. A good Government should be able to pay bills owed to water utility companies like other citizens. The Government owes these water utilities to a level where they fail to perform their duties. This must change. We need a Government that can be responsible for its expenses and pay on time so that these utilities can regenerate and provide good services to the people.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, in the first place, I would like to appreciate the able manner in which the Chairperson of your Committee and the seconder have put forward the report to this House.


Mr Speaker, I would like to believe that auditing is a process that is so much linked to monitoring performance. In one way or the other, auditing is monitoring the performance of a particular entity, in this case, the parastatals. I think it is a misnomer to indicate that parastatals are in a pathetic condition under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. Parastatals cut across all sectors of the economy. They cut across telecommunications and different service delivery. When it comes to service delivery, I have in mind parastatals like Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company, which is doing a very good and commendable job in my constituency and in Kaputa where the company has a capital project and many other projects through which it is delivering good quality and clean water.


Mr Speaker, having said that, I would also appreciate that parastatals like Zamtel have interconnected the country. I am citing these examples because it is wrong to portray a picture that the Government has taken a back seat as opposed to beefing up the operations and performance of parastatals in the country. If we had to make a catalogue of different parastatals and how they are performing, I think, we would grind the whole night in this Parliament.


Sir, having said that, I would like to speak about the issues that the report addressed, issues mainly to do with corporate governance. I think that with the weakness that has already been talked about of not having boards in place, we also need to appreciate that for these entities to be performing the way they are, it means that the Government has put in place management teams that are up to the task. Why do I say so? These parastatals have been transformed from a command economy to a now liberalised one, an economy which has got its own captains of the industry in which these same parastatals are also competing.


Mr Speaker, given that background, we need to be patriotic. I know, for instance, that some of the proponents that are looking at these factors do not really embrace patriotism that much, at least, not to that level. If you are to look at different Government documents, including the latest Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto, they have demonstrated a pedigree that parastatals are that important player to the economy, especially through the window or the vehicle called the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).


Mr Speaker, if we, as leaders, especially of the Legislature, will run to portray a picture here that parastatals are really underperforming and are not doing anything to interface with the current economic arrangement in Zambia, we will be missing a point and we will be very unpatriotic in pushing that particular gene in terms of economic performance.


Mr Speaker, having looked at the report and recommendations that have been forwarded, I think our concentration, for now, should be how we can improve corporate governance of these parastatals because they are here to stay. They are here to stay in that there is serious intention by the Government to ensure that they should stay and interface. We are no longer having an approach where the Government did not have business in business. We are now embracing the factor of the Government having interest in business.


Mr Speaker, some time back, during the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) regime, we had that attitude where the Government only wanted to resign –


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.    


Mr Speaker: We will conclude our debate in this fashion. We will have the hon. Member for Solwezi Central followed by the hon. Member for Mumbwa, the hon. Member for Liuwa, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, the hon. Minister of Finance and the hon. Member for Msanzala will windup debate. 


Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, I want to appreciate the report that was ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee. It makes very sad reading and I want to concentrate on the North-Western Water and Sewerage Company. The report makes very sad reading in that the ministry or the hon. Minister neglected to put up boards, especially at the water company in Solwezi. This led to a lot of decisions that have not even benefited my people in Solwezi Central. This water utility company has brought about many problems in the constituency and I know that most of the people in my constituency are complaining day and night over inadequate water supply.


Mr Speaker, I noticed that the report brings out the fact that there has been a lot of misappropriation of money which was meant for investment in this water utility. I am also aware that there has not been much investment in the North-Western Water and Sewerage Company for its expansion of the water system in the constituency. I know that the utility is having a lot of problems in terms of managing the supply of water to many compounds like Chawama, Zambia Compound and many other surrounding areas.


Mr Speaker, the lack of investment in this organisation has also led to the poor sanitation coverage which is very low and we are just asking the ministry to make sure that the water and sewerage company in the North-Western Province is supported so that by the end of the day, it will be able to perform to the expectations of the people.


Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I thank you.


Thank you, Sir. 


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I am appreciative of the chance to also add a voice to the debate on this very important report of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies.


Mr Speaker, as has been highlighted by the mover and the seconder of the Motion, it is disheartening to discover that most of these parastatal organisations operate without substantive boards most of the time, sometimes, for two to three years. I think the Government must take this into account and institute serious interventions so that we can realise effectiveness in the operations of these organisations.


Mr Speaker, I have taken note of the many challenges that these parastatal organisations are going through, more especially water utility companies, for example, the Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company in the Central Province.


Sir, for sure, these companies in water provision are actually running with very old infrastructure, but they cannot replace it because most of them, as the report has highlighted, are in negative working capital. They are highly indebted. Most of the time, this is as a result of the Government not being able to pay these organisations when they provide services.


Mr Speaker, for example, we have a challenge in Mumbwa Constituency, in Mumbwa District, in terms of water provision. The local authorities need to work with water utility companies so that they can enhance and provide more services to communities.


Mr Speaker, we have a challenge whereby there are so many unplanned settlements in these areas, making it difficult for water utility companies to provide water to communities. These community members are not accessible by utility companies. There is a need for collaboration between utility companies and local authorities in the country.


Mr Speaker, we are urging the Government to help these parastatal organisations to recapitalise and to help them set up boards which are going to put strategic policies in place so that these organisations can be profitable and meet their obligations. It is not right for these organisations to get their payments as late as 301 days in a year, which is almost ten months, after they have provided a service. That entails that these parastatal organisation will never be profitable and will never be able to meet their obligations as they fall due.


Mr Speaker, with these few words, I am grateful for the chance.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane was called upon to debate via the virtual platform, but he was not available.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to make a few comments on this important Motion moved by the hon. Member of Parliament for Msanzala.


Mr Speaker, from the outset, having listened to the mover of the Motion and the seconder and  having taken time to peruse through the report, I would like to correct the impression that was created by Hon. Nkombo about financial reports.


Mr Speaker, in your report, there is no mention of your Committee not finding financial reports, and so, that insinuation must be corrected. Secondly, your report recognises the improvement that has been seen in most of these institutions under the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Some corporate entities are now able to post dividends, as it should be.


Mr Speaker, this report is focusing more on the IDC, Tanzania- Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), Multi-facility Economic Zones (MFEZs) and the dual management between the IDC and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. That is what the report is speaking about. I have had a chance to look at the report, which should be coming next week that is dealing with water utility companies, which my hon. Colleagues are referring to. So, they are mixing up the two reports. It is important that we look at reports that are tabled in this House in the context in which they are brought.


Mr Speaker, I cannot agree with hon. Members who are trying to suggest that Committee reports will be put on the shelves and no action will be taken. This Government has been very serious in so far as dealing with the Auditor-General’s reports.


Mr Speaker, here in this House, under your leadership, we have seen how much accountability has been scaled up. The public is able to follow Committee proceedings. When the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is sitting to scrutinise the Auditor-General’s report, the recommendations that are made are acted upon by the Executive. Even the last time we debated the Report of the Public Accounts Committee, I indicated that measures had been put in place to allow law enforcement agencies to move in and act on the findings of the reports for the first time in the history of this country.


Mr Speaker, maybe, people are still basking in history, but the people of Zambia must not forget that things have changed. It does not please the Executive to see qualified civil servants being removed from the Civil Service on account of not abiding by the Financial Management Act. It does not please us, but we have had no choice because we want to make sure that the number of audit queries, just as acknowledged by the Chairperson of PAC, come down as result of the actions being taken by the Executive.


So, to try and politic here around these reports and not follow the content contained therein is not a fair way of conducting parliamentary business. I want to urge my hon. Colleagues to take time to reflect on the content of the report before they take to the Floor, so that they debate from an informed position. The mover of the Motion was very clear on the issues he raised and certainly, the Government is putting in place proactive measures to address the issue of putting boards in place and also to ensure that these boards are composed of competent individuals while adhering to the tenets of gender balance. His Excellency the President has been very categorical on these issues of corporate governance. So, I want to urge my dear hon. Colleagues to, once again, understand and acknowledge where the Government has done something positive. Let us just not politic because this season is very interesting and everyone just wants to politic by bringing in matters that are not related to the report.


Mr Speaker, I want to support the report of your Committee and urge it to continue doing the work that it is doing for the people of Zambia.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Let us see if we can finish this business this morning.


Mr Ng’andu (The Minister of Finance): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to debate. I will endeavour to complete the business before time runs out.


Firstly, I want to thank Hon. Peter Daka, the Chairperson of your Committee and also all the other Members of your Committee for producing this report. In a lot of ways, the report is factual and has addressed many key challenges. However, I think that in the discussion of the debate around this report, the views that have been submitted on the Floor represent views that are not factual. So, what I would like to do is to comment on a number the issues that have been raised.


Mr Speaker, one of the issues that has been raised is inadequate funding to the Office of the Auditor- General. My response to that is that the House will recall that when I presented the Budget to this House, one of the points I made was that the resource constraint that we had meant that a lot of Government departments and agencies were not funded to the tune that we wanted them to be funded.


Therefore, Sir, the fact that the Auditor-General’s Office is not being funded adequately is not for lack of wanting, but it is a reflection of the fact that, currently, the resource constraints only allow us to give the office what we have given so far. Clearly, as our situation becomes better, we will make sure that the Auditor-General’s Office gets more resources so that it is able to carry out its work.


Mr Speaker, the other point that I would like to respond to is the failure to appoint board members in a timely manner. The fact of the matter is that the Government tries, and the parastatal boards, in particular, try as much as possible to appoint board members as soon as one group of board members expires, another one is appointed. There may be delays in some cases, and if those delays do exist, they can only be regretted. However, it is not true or factual to say that most parastatals do not have boards. It is not a factual statement and I do not think it is in the report that most parastatals do not have boards. They do have boards, and if there are delays in appointing board members, again, as I said, they can only be regretted.


Mr Speaker, the other point is that we are appointing cadres to these boards, and that is causing a problem. The process of appointing board members is very strict. In fact, many parastatals have members who are appointed by statutes. They represent the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and some other professional boards like the accountants. Therefore, most of these boards are very professional. All the effort is made to appoint to the boards key people who can deliver the mandate of these boards because we understand that if we want parastatals to convert into proper businesses, which is the whole reason the Government invests in these entities, we must have a group of professional men and women who can carry the mandate and are able to discharge their functions and make these companies become stronger.


Mr Speaker, lastly, I want to comment on what I think was a misrepresentation that parastatals must be given appropriation in aid. Appropriation in aid is for Government departments that generate their own revenue. Parastatals are businesses. They are business entities that generate income from business activity. Therefore, it is completely inappropriate to require that they be treated that in that way.


Mr Speaker, over all, we have taken note of the comments that have been made. We will, as a continuous process, work to strengthen the accountability process of the parastatal bodies and make sure that we continue to appoint on to these boards men and women who have the technical ability, experience and capacity to make them grow into proper businesses. For those that are not doing well, I am sure with the measures that we are taking, we will be able to transform them into proper business entities, for which is the reason we invest in these companies in the first place.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to wind-up debate on this very important report.


Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to thank the seconder of the Motion, Hon. Kasune, and the debaters, Hon. Nkombo, Hon. Kamboni, Hon. Nanjuwa and not forgetting the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, who has corrected certain issues in the report, and finally the hon. Minister of Finance.


Mr Speaker, there are two issues in this report. There are State-Owned Enterprises and Industrial Development Corporation Owned Enterprises, under Parliament Act and Company Act. Therefore, with these comments, I want to appreciate the contributions made by everyone.


Mr Speaker, finally, I want to commend you for giving us this opportunity to present this powerful report. We are an accountability Committee of Parliament. So, we want to thank you.


Mr Speaker, I thank you


Question put and agreed to.




The Acting Leader of Government Business in the House and Chief Whip and (Mr Mundubile): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1156 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 27th April, 2021.