Thursday, 29th April, 2021

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Thursday, 29th April, 2021


The House met at 1430 hours














177. Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. when the bone scanning machine in the Nuclear Department of the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka broke down;
  2. when the machine would be repaired;
  3. whether the Government had any plans to procure a modern machine; and
  4. how, in the absence of the machine, cardiology, oncology, neurology and psychiatry related complications were being handled.


The Minister of Health (Dr Chanda): Madam Speaker, the bone scanner at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) broke down about a year ago.


Sir, the equipment will not be repaired because it is over ten years old and obsolete; it has exceeded its lifespan, and its running costs were very high.


Madam, the Government has plans to procure two modern state-of-the-art bone scanners and has secured a loan from the Austrian Government for that purpose. The tender processes were done three weeks ago. One of the machines is a single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT-CT) costing about US$1.1 million while the other costs US$900,000. Both machines will be installed at the UTH and, on average, will serve 2,400 patients with various health conditions, including renal and cardiac ones, yearly.


Madam Speaker, in the absence of the machine, alternative machines, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, computerised tomography (CT) scanners and specific markers in the laboratory, have been used to guide diagnosis.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mbulakulima: Madam Speaker, the machine has been down for the past two years. Saying that it has been down for one year is an understatement. I first went to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in June, 2019, and found a long queue, which caused delays. I am prompted to ask this question this year because I went back three weeks ago and found the machine still down. The good news is that the Government is about to procure two modern machines. My question is: When does the hon. Minister think the two important machines will be installed at the UTH?


Dr Chanda: Madam, the two machines are expected to be installed in the third quarter of 2021. The supplier is AME International of Austria. I should have mentioned that earlier


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that the Government has contracted a loan to facilitate the procurement of the machine. Is he able to tell the House and the nation the repayment period of that loan?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I mentioned the costs of US$1.1 million and US$900,000, respectively, for the two machines. However, I do not have the exact details of how long the loan will run, although I can come back to the House with that information because we work with the Ministry of Finance.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Madam Speaker, are there any bone scanning machines in hospitals other than the University Teaching Hospital (UTH)?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, the only bone scanner in the country is the one at UTH.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to ask a supplementary question.


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


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


Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, I appreciate being accorded this chance to rise on a point of order. I apologise to my brother, Hon. Lufuma, for interrupting his line of thought.


Madam Speaker, according to the Laws of Zambia, only the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is mandated to conduct voter registration in this country. No other institution is mandated to do that.


Madam Speaker, the voter registration exercise raised many questions here and there but, because of time limitations, others could not proceed. Surprisingly, today, we are noticing that there is another voter registration that is going on, specifically in Ikeleng’i. There is a group of people going round and demanding voters’ cards and National Registration Cards (NRCs), especially when there is distribution of Government foodstuffs, such as mealie meal, which is meant for the vulnerable. As I speak, there are two trucks that came to the district through the District Commissioner’s (DC’s) Office. Before the mealie meal is distributed to the intended vulnerable people, it is used –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: What is your point of order, hon. Member?


Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, my point of order is on Her Honour the Vice-President.


Madam, is the Government supposed to use Government resources for campaigns by getting people’s voters registration numbers and NRC numbers before any distribution of that Government resource is done, as is now being done during distribution of the mealie meal in Ikeleng’i? Is Her Honour the Vice-President in order to remain quiet when people are using that as a prerequisite for giving out mealie meal?


Madam Speaker, I need your serious ruling on this matter.


 Madam First Deputy Speaker: My serious ruling is that, obviously, the situation you describe is specific to your constituency. Therefore, you are encouraged to file in a question so that you can get a response from the Executive.


The hon. Member for Kabompo was on the Floor.


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his responses so far.


Madam, the hon. Minister should correct me if I am wrong. He mentioned two figures for the costs of the machines that are supposed to be procured, one being US$1.1 million and the other US$900,000. Are the machines the same make? If they are, why are we getting one machine at US$1.1 million and the other at US$900,000, when we could have procured the two at US$900,000 each? Could he please clarify that.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, machines and equipment are like cars. You can have different cars of the same brand. For example, there is Spacio and Land Cruiser, but are Toyota cars. Similarly, the machines we are buying are of the same make, but the one we are buying at US$1.1 million is more advanced and has higher precision. We do not want to use the high-precision machine for every routine investigation because that would wear it out faster and it would start breaking down. So, we will use it only when we are not sure about the results after using the one with lower precision.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said that in the absence of bone scanner machines at the University Teaching Hospital, computerised tomography (CT) scan machines are being used as an alternative. The people of Chimwemwe would like to know what measures the ministry has put in place to, at least, make the CT scan machines available in Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) hospitals, especially at the Kitwe Teaching Hospital, as the patients in Kitwe are paying too much to get the service from a privately-owned hospital, Sinozam.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, the principal question was very specific to UTH and that is why I limited myself to that hospital.


Madam, At the UTH, if you go to the Cancer Diseases Hospital (CDH), which is one of the UTHs, you will find a functional CT scanner and a functional MRI scanner. Those are the ones we are using as alternatives after the breakdown of the only bone CT scanner. No other hospital, not even the Kitwe Teaching Hospital has had a bone scanner. That said, the Government has a comprehensive plan for equipment and infrastructure. Like I have said in answering previous questions, we are already working on equipping all our teaching hospitals, namely Kitwe Teaching Hospital, Ndola Teaching Hospital, UTH, Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital (LMUTH), the Livingstone Central Hospital (LCH), and all the bigger hospitals.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mwiinga: (Chikankata): Madam Speaker, according to the hon. Minister, the company that won the bid to supply the machines is from Australia, the country that also provided the loan for the purchase. Is that part of the conditions of the loan?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, also correct the name of the country that is giving us support.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, the name of the country is ‘Austria’ and not Australia. I talked about the loan being contracted with the Austrian Government and a company called AME International being the supplier.


Madam, some bilateral arrangements already have such conditions. The country that helps you will have its specialists. So, it is very rare for that country to go and fish for expertise from a company in some other country. For example, the Japanese Government works with the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and will most likely engage Japanese companies like Shimizu Corporation. I was recently with the Japanese Ambassador on the Copperbelt for a project on during level 1 hospitals. Here in Lusaka, we have worked on many of them. It is the same with the United States of America (USA) Government, which works through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) or Centres for Disease Control (CDCs). So, that is the arrangement with the Austrian Government.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his very elaborate statement. I also thank and commend the Patriotic Front (PF) Government for modernising most of the hospital equipment across the country. As regards the bone scanning machine, I want to know whether it came with an after-sale back-up maintenance strategy? I am asking this question because the machine has been down for a long time.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Chifubu for that follow-up question.


Madam, all the equipment sourced by the Government, especially in the Ministry of Health, comes with all the backup maintenance and the service contracts. However, the issue with the bone scanner at the UTH is not so much about the back-up maintenance; it is the fact that the machine has outlived its usefulness. As I said earlier, its life span has elapsed. It is like when a person dies; you cannot resurrect him or her. So, that machine is dead, and that is why we are buying two modern ones.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow questions from the hon. Members for Katombola and Livingstone to debate next. From the Zoom platform, I will allow the hon. Member for Keembe and end with the hon. Member for Kamfinsa.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Madam Speaker, when the Zambian Government contracted a loan from India to build the 650 clinics, we did not know that there was a requirement for the Zambian Government to contribute some amount of money to the project. However, the contract was given to Indian contractors. Is there a similar requirement for counterpart funding in the purchase of the bone scanner?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, we are getting a US$2.1 million loan for the purchase of the two machines at US$1.1 million and US$900,000, respectively. So, the loan does not have counterpart funding. We will buy the equipment and repay the loan.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Speaker, what measures has the Government put in place in the interim to ensure that people access that very important service?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister answered a similar question earlier.


Hon. Minister, perhaps, you can restate what you said earlier. 


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I stated earlier that in the absence of the bone scanner, we are using the MRI and CT scanners at the Cancer Diseases Hospital at the UTH.


I thank you, Madam Speaker. 


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister may have the answer now or, maybe, it will come in the statement he will issue.


Madam Speaker, I think the people would like to be assured that the US$2.1 million loan we are getting from the Austrian Government and the equipment we are buying will not become more expensive. Could the hon. Minister help us and the people out there to understand if measures were put in place to ensure that the interest on the loan is not too much and that the time frame for the repayment is not so long that in the end the cost becomes double or just more than the price we are hearing about.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I think every loan has terms on which it is contracted. Equally, when we contracted this loan, there were terms and, by the time the Ministry of Finance and my ministry signed the contract with the Austrian Government, we had already agreed to those terms. However, there is what we call force majeure because no one can predict the future. There are unforeseen circumstances that may arise in life, and we take life as it comes and adjust to circumstances. For now, the conditions are already set, and we do not intend to default on the loan.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Musonda (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, thank you so much


Mr Livune: On a point of order, Madam.


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


Mr Livune: Madam Speaker, I am very grateful for the opportunity to raise this point of order. I apologise to my brother who was on the Floor, the hon. Member for Kamfinsa.


Madam Speaker, my point of order is on the hon. Minister of Health.


Madam, the Zambian Government got a loan from India to build 650 rural health centres. However, later, we were told that the reason some projects, like those in the Southern Province, had delayed was that Zambia had not provided counterpart funding in good time. Is the hon. Minister in order to not issue a statement to the House so that we can interrogate him on the loan Zambia got for the 650 health posts? He has clearly told us that a loan has been secured for the purchase of the bone scanner and that Zambia is not required to provide counterpart funding. So, there arises a situation in which the hon. Minister needs to be interrogated further as to why Zambia was required to provide counterpart funding for the 650 health posts.


Madam Speaker, I seek your ruling on this matter.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister of Health will state whether or not he can issue a statement to the House on issues to do with the 650 health posts at a time convenient to him.


The hon. Member for Kamfinsa may continue.


Mr Musonda: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his answers to the questions.


Madam, my concern is that the breakdown of hospital instruments and equipment is rampant and that the computerised tomography (CT) scanner at Kitwe Central Hospital has been down for a long time. Does the ministry have a department with a team of instrument and electronic engineers who continuously maintain equipment once those whole install it from wherever we procure it leave?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, indeed, we have experts not only in the Ministry of Health, but also in the whole Government, which is a big machinery, as we work in a multi-sectoral manner. There are engineers in other Government institutions like the Ministry of Works and Supply. Further, there are maintenance contracts for all the equipment. However, like I said, when equipment is old or obsolete, the only solution is to replace it, and that is why the Government has an equipment plan in which it has started procuring modern equipment. Equipment that breaks down and is repairable will be repaired. When there are no people with the necessary skills in the country, our international partners come in. However, our long-term goal is to build local capacity for maintenance of every piece of equipment we buy.


 I thank you, Madam Speaker.




 178. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. when an ambulance for Keezwa Health Centre in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency would be procured; 
  2. when additional employees would be deployed to the health centre;
  3. what categories of employees would be deployed; and
  4. when the health centre would have a consistent supply of drugs.  


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to procure ambulances for distribution to health centres, including Keezwa Health Centre, in 2021. However, the Mumbwa District Health Office, under which Keezwa Health Centre operates, is mandated to provide ambulance services to all health centres in the district. Currently, the office has four ambulances.


Madam Speaker, additional employees will be deployed to the health centre once funding for more recruitments is made available.


Madam Speaker, the categories of employees to be deployed to Keezwa are as follows:


  1. one Health Centre in-Charge;
  2. one human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) practitioner nurse; 
  3.  one Public Health Nurse;
  4. one Clinical Officer General (COG);
  5. one Registered Nurse (RN);
  6. one Medical Records Clerk; and
  7. two Watchmen.


Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that the deployment of the mentioned categories of employees will be done once funds are made available to recruit them.


Madam Speaker, consistent supply of drugs to Keezwa Health Centre is dependent on the availability of drugs centrally. However, I assure the House that 4,190 health centre kits are expected to be delivered to the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) by 11th May, 2021, and, eventually, to all the health centres across the nation, including Keezwa. This procurement is in collaboration with the Japanese Government through JICA. The Government is also procuring other supplies, which will start trickling in from local sources, to stabilise the drugs supply chain.


Madam Speaker, I also wish to provide additional information. Following the restructuring of the Ministry of Health in 2017, the staff establishment for Keezwa, among other rural health centres, was revised from seven to thirteen. Currently, there are two general workers, one Zambia Enrolled Nurse (ZEN), one Enrolled Nurse Midwife and one Environmental Health Technologist (EHT), at Keezwa Rural Health Centre. So, the plan is to expand the current establishment.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Hamusonde: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that Mumbwa is a bit far from Keezwa and that the ambulances in Mumbwa are old, thereby making service delivery to be not very good. Is it possible for the ministry to give Mumbwa General Hospital new vehicles so that it can properly service Keezwa Rural Health Centre?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the challenge the hon. Member for Mumbwa has raised. Indeed, Zambia is a big country and, in the remote parts, some health posts are far from bigger health facilities, and it is our wish to provide ambulances to all health facilities. Unfortunately, as of now, there are no readily-available ambulances that we can give not only to Keezwa Health Centre, but also to most health centres in the country. We will work with our team comprising the Provincial Health Director and others to see how we can leverage resources, but I do not want to make promises that cannot be fulfilled immediately. In the long term, that is what we hope to do but, for now, we will make do with the four ambulances we have in Mumbwa. If need be, we will allocate one of them permanently to some of the far-flung areas.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




179. Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. why the construction of science laboratories at the following secondary schools in Mufumbwe District had stalled:


  1. Kaminzekezeke; 
  2. Kaleule; and 
  3. Kashima West; and


      b. when the works would resume.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Mwale): Madam Speaker, the construction of science laboratories at Kaminzekezeke, Kaleule and Kashima West secondary schools in Mufumbwe District stalled due to financial constraints.


Madam, the construction works will resume once funds for the project have been mobilised.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kamondo: Madam Speaker, I would like to tell the hon. Minister that the laboratories are at 80 per cent and above. So, I would like to know from the hon. Minister why they were left unattended to when it is Government policy for all projects at 80 per cent and above to be prioritised.


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, we are committed to completing the laboratories. If it were not for financial constraints, I am very sure that, by now, the pupils would have been using the laboratories. However, let me just clarify that not all of the laboratories are above 80 per cent. The laboratories at Kaminzekezeke, Kaleule and Kashima West are at 75 per cent, 60 per cent and 55 per cent, respectively. That is the status. However, that does not mean that the projects have been neglected. We will still work hard to find the money and complete the laboratories.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Madam Speaker, laboratories are a very important requirement in secondary schools insofar as obtaining –


Mr Bwalya: On a point of order, Madam.


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


Mr Bwalya: Madam Speaker, I rise on a procedural point of order.


Madam Speaker, I recall that when the hon. Minister of Justice presented the Electoral Process (Amendment) Bill and you, as the Presiding Officer, were putting the question to the House, you raised a concern that was so serious that it stuck on my mind.


Madam, most of the other hon. Members of Parliament’s microphones are muted in accordance with our procedure when an hon. Member is speaking on the Floor. In that regard, is this House in order to continue muting hon. Members in the different places where they are at a time when you, the Presiding Officers, put questions, thereby making it difficult for you to ascertain whether the question is supported or not?


Madam Speaker, I need your serious ruling on this procedural matter.  


Madam First Deputy Speaker:  Hon. Minister for Northern Province, you are senior enough to know that that does not qualify as a point of order. However, I have noted your concern, which is that, yesterday, some hon. Members were muted and, therefore, could not be heard when they participated in the debate. The Office of the Clerk will look into the matter and take corrective measures.


The hon. Member for Katombola may continue.


Mr Livune: Madam Speaker, I was stating the fact that laboratories are an important requirement in our schools insofar as the granting of examination centre status is concerned. However, works have stalled at the mentioned schools, yet we know that laboratories are being constructed in so many schools in this country. Is the hon. Minister able to provide a plan of the works being undertaken across the country so that we can see at what level the laboratories under construction at each school are?


Mr Mwale: Yes, Madam Speaker, I am able to do that. We can compile a list and circulate it.


 I thank you, Madam.


 Mr Kamondo: Madam Speaker, maybe, the hon. Minister is not aware that the construction of the laboratories in question stalled in 2011. If he is, is he saying that no serious attention could be paid to those laboratories since 2011? Has the Government not had money since then? What could have been the problem? What should I tell the people of Mufumbwe? Is it that the Government has failed?


 Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I request the hon. Member to tell the people of Mufumbwe exactly what I said; that we could not complete those projects because we have financial constraints. However, we could be completing some projects elsewhere in Mufumbwe even as other projects are awaiting for funds. So, it is not a matter of failure, as there are many programmes the Government is implementing in the areas where some projects are not moving. So, once the funds are made available, we will complete the projects.


 I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister –


Mr Mung’andu: On a point of order, Madam.


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


Hon. Members, I would like to discourage points of order.


Please, proceed, hon. Member for Chama South.


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, I am compelled to raise this serious point of order.


Madam, one of the rules in our Standing Orders is that hon. Members should present facts on the Floor of the House. Is the hon. Member for Katombola, in one of his follow-up questions, in order to instigate or misinform Zambians that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government did not complete a number of health posts in the Southern Province because of counterpart funding not being released?


Madam Speaker, in fact, the first health posts of the 650 Health Posts Project were built in the Southern Province, followed by the Western Province. A number of health posts, if not 90 per cent or 98 per cent, were first constructed, handed over and commissioned there. As I speak, they are being used. The facilities there were built before any were constructed in Muchinga and Luapula provinces due to the fact that the Jaguar Overseas –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: What is the point of order?


Mr Mung’andu: The point of order is: Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola in order to misinform the masses who are listening to this discussion and watching Parliament TV that the PF Government did not deliver health posts in the Southern Province when, in fact, that province was the first in which the 650 Health Posts Project was implemented?


I seek your serious ruling, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: To the extent that the hon. Member of Parliament was speaking on behalf of the people in his constituency and that, as he is concerned, he was expressing his view, he is in order, as an hon. Member of Parliament, to say what he said. Besides, the hon. Minister of Health managed to answer that question quite adequately.


The hon. Member for Ikeleng’i was on the Floor. He may continue.


Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, before I was saying that the laboratories are very important to pupils in their learning, especially in rural areas.


Madam, Mufumbwe, like any other part in the North-Western Province, has not seen any laboratory constructed by the Government to date. Is it a deliberate policy of the Government to deny the North-Western Province these laboratories, which will contribute to a high rate of failure?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, it is not deliberate, and I do not really understand why there should be a question of that nature. I think this Government is for all Zambians and it looks after every Zambian regardless of whom or where they are. As our motto suggests, we are not leaving anyone behind as we provide services to the country. Therefore, there should not be any suggestion that we are leaving the people of the North-Western Province behind.


Madam, the problems we have discussed here regarding financial constraints have affected many provinces, including the Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western provinces. So, to insinuate that this is happening only in the North-Western Province, I think, could be a deliberate move to paint this Government black; that we do not like the people of the North-Western Province when, to the contrary, we are doing a lot in that province and this Government is loved there, as can be deduced from the massive support for this Government coming from there.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister gave some statistical data on the current status of the laboratories in the three areas in Mufumbwe and mentioned that due to financial constraints, there is a challenge. He has also mentioned that around the country, there are a number of projects that will require funding. Considering the data he has given on the status of the projects, which is that they are at 45 per cent, 60 per cent and 75 per cent, respectively, has his ministry taken time to also calculate the incremental cost that has been caused by the delays in completion to the Treasury? It is one thing to say that we are waiting for funding and another to take care of the costs that were not planned for.


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, assuming I understood the question correctly, my answer is, yes, we know what the cost of completing all the laboratories in the country is and, bit by bit, we have been completing some of them while others are still on the waiting list. On the other hand, if he is talking about opportunity costs or the lost opportunity, definitely, we are also aware of that. We know that by not using the laboratories, there is a cost we are accruing. However, like I said, all that is due to our financial constraints, and there is nothing much we can do about it, except to work hard and find the monies, which the Ministry of Finance is doing.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lubezhi (Namwala): Madam Speaker, we have just been informed that the projects in the North-Western Province, Mufumbwe, to be specific, have stalled since 2011, and the hon. Minister told us when answering Hon. Muchima that his Government is committed to not leaving anybody behind, which statement I do not agree with. Otherwise, is the hon. Minister then telling us that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has not had funds to start new projects since 2011? If so, is he also saying that the Government has not started any new projects since then? If it has, why can it not consider completing the laboratories in Mufumbwe?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I think that the discussion is on the laboratories in Mufumbwe. So, I do not want to delve into issues of new projects or discussing several other projects that are not what we are discussing now because I might open a Pandora’s Box. Suffice it for me to say that, definitely, we know that there are many things that the Government has done in many places, including Namwala, and that we are committed to completing the laboratories once the funds are made available.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




180. Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:


  1. when the Government would hand over the dumpsite at Kabwe Mine in Kabwe District to the youths; and
  2. what the cause of the delay in handing over the dumpsite was.


The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Musukwa): Madam Speaker, the Government of the Republic of Zambia has no plans to hand over the dumpsite to the youths in Kabwe because the dumpsite is on a mining licensed area, and the Government cannot invade a private property.


Madam, there is no delay in handing over the dumpsite because the Government has no control over the area in question.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




181. Mr Kintu (Solwezi East) asked the Minister of Higher Education:


  1. whether the Government had any plans to construct a skills training centre in Mushindamo District;
  2. if so, when the construction works would commence; 
  3. whether a contractor had already been identified;
  4. if so, what the name of the contractor was;
  5. what the estimated cost of the project was; and
  6. what the time frame for the completion of the project was.


The Minister of Higher Education (Dr Mushimba): Madam Speaker, the Government has a policy on the construction of skills training centres across the country, which started with the ambition to construct a skills training centre in every district. That ambition has since been revised to one of clustering the centres in areas where they are required; in good catchment areas, so that there is no wastage of Government resources. The commitment is to strategically construct the centres in clusters in areas that have been identified. However, in light of the austerity measures in place, priority has been put on completing skills training centres that are at 80 per cent or above and, unfortunately, there is no project in Mushindamo that falls in that category. So, we will break ground on new sites after completing the prioritised projects.


Madam, eleven centres have been constructed over the last ten years by the Government, and we will continue to complete those that are at 80 per cent or above, after which we will go to new sites.


Madam Speaker, in light of the answer above, parts (b) (c) (d) (e) and (f) automatically fall off.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Madam Speaker, with the level of youth unemployment in the country being quite high, what strategic plans does the ministry have to provide districts with equipment that the youths can use in order to keep them out of the streets?


Dr Mushimba: Madam Speaker, under the policy of constructing skills development centres in clusters around districts to take services to where students are, we are also providing the centres with modern state-of-the-art equipment. The idea is that citizens in this level of training, where there is a lot of emphasis on entrepreneurship or working with their hands, such as electrical work and plumbing, are exposed to advanced equipment so that they can acquire skills and employ themselves or their friends instead of just looking for formal employment. Recently, we rolled out the distribution of equipment worth US$10 million, including wheel alignment, block-making, bricklaying and welding equipment, which will benefit many citizens and students in these areas.


Madam, the Government will continue to ensure that our skills training centres are equipped so that they produce students who can work for themselves, and employ others or get formal employment, if they so desire.


I thank you, Madam


Ms Kasanda (Chisamba): Madam Speaker, in his answer, the hon. Minister mentioned that skills training centres are being constructed in clusters where they are required. What criteria were used to identify the constituencies that needed the centres? I believe there is unemployment everywhere and that all our people need employment or something to do. Therefore, the skills centres are needed in all districts.


Dr Mushimba: Madam Speaker, we applied our minds in the siting of the centres, especially when the policy was revised from building a centre per district to clustering them, to ensure that there is no wastage in terms of deploying the centres.


Madam, the main criteria used were the socio-economic status, population size and prominent economic activities of the area. For the information of the listeners and the hon. Member who asked the follow-up question, so far, the eleven centres we constructed over the last ten years are spread across Chipata, Isoka, Kalabo, Kaoma, Lundazi, Mporokoso, Mumbwa, Mwense, Milenge, Mwinilunga, Petauke and Sesheke districts. So, you can see that we covered all the provinces as long as the criteria were met.


I thank you, Madam.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, the youths of Kanchibiya are very interested in having a skills development centre, just like the youths in Mushindamo. Further, part of the question was on the cost of constructing a skills development centre. What is the estimated cost?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister said that there are no plans to construct a centre in Mushindamo and, because of that, there is no estimated cost for the project. However, if the hon. Member wants a general response, what is the estimated cost of constructing a youth skills training centre, hon. Minister? 


Dr Mushimba: Madam Speaker, since I went to the ministry, I have taken part in the commissioning of the last three set of centres, namely the ones in Mwense, Isoka and Kalabo, and the figure I saw for completion of each a centre with 256 bed spaces, starting with five programmes that include agriculture, bricklaying, electrical and mechanics was about K30 million.


Madam, when we impart the mentioned skills into our children in the communities, they will be able to work for themselves and help fight unemployment.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr S. Banda (Kasenengwa): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister hinted that the ministry is providing training by clustering the relevant skills in view of the economic activities in a given a province. Could he be so kind as to share the number of clusters across the country, in general, and specifically, the Eastern Province?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: That question does not relate to Mushindamo in any way.


Let us focus, hon. Members. There is a question on the Order Paper. Let us look at it and ask supplementary questions on it.


Ms Lubezhi: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has just informed us that the ministry has no plans to construct a youth centre in Mushindamo because there are other unfinished projects it would like to complete before embarking on new ones. I would like to know from the hon. Minister how his ministry managed to come up with such a brilliant idea when another ministry has failed to complete the construction of laboratories in Kaminzekezeke since 2011?


Dr Mushimba: Madam Speaker, that is an interesting way of phrasing the question and I was chuckling as she asked it.


Madam, I do not think we take any credit for the decision to prioritise projects above at or above 80 per cent, which are almost complete, so that the benefits can accrue to the people because it was a Government decision. We sat and saw that as we deploy resources and manage the fiscus, it was prudent to spend the bulk of the money on projects that were close to the finish line so that people could start using them and benefit. That is how the decision was arrived at.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kintu (Solwezi East): Madam Speaker, is it because it is we, from the North-Western Province, who are asking for a skills training centre that the ministry does not have plans to construct one? That is why the people of the North-Western Province are saying that the implementation of projects in this country is being done in a discriminatory manner. What is the hon. Minister’s comment?


Dr Mushimba: Madam Speaker, the question does not have adequate grounding in terms of its phrasing. We all live in Zambia and we have all been party to the deployment of projects by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government of His Excellency Dr Edgar Lungu. We pride ourselves in taking development to every part of Zambia and not leaving anyone behind. The projects I listed are spread across all provinces. So, there is no discrimination; we are a Government for everyone in Zambia. Whether we got votes from a given area or not, we make sure that development is non-discriminatory, and that is how we have been able to deploy the projects. In areas where we have not been able to implement projects, it is just a matter of time before we do. So, once we complete the projects we have on the plate, we will go to the areas in question and implement projects there as well.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




182. Dr Kopulande (Chembe) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. how many patients were undergoing the following types of dialysis treatment at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka as of October, 2020:


  1. haemodialysis; and


  1. peritoneal dialysis; and


          b. what the cost of conducting each type of dialysis from January to October, 2020, was.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, as part of a sustainable mechanism, the Ministry of Health is running two renal contract frameworks designed to manage patients who require either haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. As of October, 2020, 338 patients were on haemodialysis and twenty-two patients were on peritoneal dialysis.


Madam, the cost of running the two types of dialysis for the ten months from January to October, 2020, was K64.8 million, which breaks down to K180,000 per patient.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Dr Kopulande: Madam Speaker, the Government had contracted a company called Augusta Limited, domiciled on Chandwe Musonda Road in Lusaka, to supply fluids for peritoneal dialysis. However, the contract has been terminated. Over the past five weeks, there have been no fluids because no supplier has been contracted and, as a result, deaths have occurred due to lack of dialysis. When does the ministry intend to start supplying dialysis fluids as a matter of urgency to save lives?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Chembe, Question 182 is about how many patients were undergoing dialysis treatment at University Teaching Hospital (UTH). It has nothing to do with the fluids and whether or not the ministry has stopped that treatment. This supplementary question is not in line with what is on the Order Paper. Would you, perhaps, like to rephrase it? 


Dr Kopulande: Madam Speaker, I would like to clarify that dialysis, as a procedure or treatment, can only happen when dialysis fluids are available. In their absence, it cannot be done. That is the connection.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, there are two platforms for dialysis, namely the Fresenius and the Braun. Augusta Limited, the company the hon. Member referred to, was contracted to provide supplies for the Fresenius machine only. Further, the contractor is still providing emergency supplies while the contractual issues are being looked into because the Government has a plan to expand dialysis centres from nine to sixteen, and they are currently twelve. That is a very important project for us. Renal dialysis is currently done at the UTH, Ndola Teaching Hospital and any of the twelve centres, and we use whichever machine is available at a particular time.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Speaker, going by the hon. Minister’s response to the question asked by the hon. Member for Chembe, it seems that we do not have the capacity to handle dialysis at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH). Could he tell the nation and this august House when we will have the full capacity to provide dialysis services at that hospital; when we will not need to contract companies to provide supplies?


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member is wrong in saying that we do not have capacity to provide dialysis because if one went to the Renal Unit at the UTH right now, one would find dialysis being done depending on the machine that is available, like I said. So, I invite the hon. Members of Parliament to go there. I think the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services has been to the Renal Units at the UTH or Ndola Teaching Hospital. There are dialysis patients and those with acute conditions are about 1,700. There are also over 300 chronic patients who undergo dialysis. So, it is not right to say that we have no capacity for dialysis.


Madam, in our quest to provide ideal services in terms of universal health coverage, we do not want those services to be limited to the big cities of Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe and Livingstone, and that is why we are establishing dialysis centres in the provincial capitals across the country.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




184. Mr Zimba (Chasefu) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


(a)        why the construction of Kapekesa Primary School in Chasefu District had stalled;


(b)        when the works would resume;


(c)        who the contractor for the project was; and


(d)        what the cost of the outstanding works was as of February, 2020.


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, the construction of Kapekesa Primary School in Chasefu District stalled due to funding constraints.


Madam Speaker, works will resume when project funding to the ministry improves.


Madam Speaker, the school is currently being constructed by the community using the labour-based mode of construction, in which the ministry sends money to the school for buying building materials and engaging local people to undertake the construction.


Madam Speaker, the cost of outstanding works as of February, 2020, was K741,500.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Zimba: Madam Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, he said that the school is being constructed through labour-based funding. I do not know if the funding is from his ministry because since the project was abandoned, there has never been any funding, whatsoever. Could the hon. Minister clarify what he meant when he said that the school is being constructed using the labour-based mode of construction.


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I do not understand the hon. Member’s question. The project will be undertaken through a labour-based approach. Admittedly, funding has not been given, but the approach that will be used to construct the school is the labour-based method, not the contractor mode. That is the truth.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kabanda: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that there is no funding and that there is no contractor on site, on the one hand, and that the labour-based method has been employed to construct the school, on the other. Who is funding that method?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, the Government is funding the construction through a labour- based approach.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Zimba: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that the project is awaiting Government funding. However, I think in an earlier statement that his predecessor gave, it was mentioned that funding was not the reason for the stalling of the works had stalled; we were told that that the contractor for the works, Gabman Construction, if I am not mistaken, was wholly funded. Now, where is the connection between the Government not having funds and the contractor having been paid in full?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I have given an updated response, and the approach we are taking in completing the school is as I have stated.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, we approved the 2021 Budget, yet the contractor is not at the site and the ministry has changed the mode of construction. Is that project in the 2021 Budget? If not, when does the Government intend to employ that method?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development, is it in your 2021 Budget?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, in the 2021 Budget and previous ones, we have provided funding for completing projects. Even last year, some incomplete projects were included. We always carry over uncompleted projects in the following year and provisions are made. So, yes, there is a provision and, once the hon. Minister of Finance gives that provision to us, we should be able to send the money to the school so it can be completed.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Lubezhi: Madam Speaker, from what we have learned from the hon. Minister, it seems there is a problem of funding in the ministry. Why is it that under the same Government, other ministries are able to plan properly so that they do not start new projects before completing running ones? Why are there so many uncompleted projects in the ministry, yet the ministry is starting new ones? What is the problem with that ministry that is not there in other ministries?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for admitting that so much is happening in other ministries, which is contrary to what she and others have said previously.


Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Finance is the only ministry that raises funds for development projects and makes provisions for all other ministries, including ours, and it has funded many projects under our ministry. For example, on 10th May, 2021, we will commission the Kazungula Bridge, which cost us more than US$100 million. Our ministry got that funding from the Ministry of Finance. Further, there are a number of roads and hospitals that were funded in the country and have been completed. Additionally, the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) and the one in Ndola are at 98 per cent, and I can list a number of projects that have been completed. Three of them are Kalindawalo General Hospital, the specialist hospital on Airport Road and Chinsali General Hospital. Those are big projects we have completed, which are proof that many projects have been completed under my ministry and others, as the hon. Member said. So, there will always be problems, such as a school or laboratory not being completed … (Inaudible) not always there but, by and large, many projects have been completed, and everyone can see that.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




186. Mr Kabanda asked the Minister of Local Government:


  1. why the Serenje Town Council leased the Serenje Youth Recreation Centre in Serenje District to the Church instead of the youths;
  2. whether the Council had any plans to cancel the contract with the Church in order to accommodate the youths;
  3. if so, when the contract would be cancelled; and
  4. if there are no such plans, what measures were being taken to provide recreational activities for the youths who had been deprived of the facility.


The Minister of Local Government (Dr Banda): Madam Speaker, Serenje Town Council leased the Youth Recreation Centre to the Church because the youths who had been utilising it were owed the council K8,300 in rental charges. The council resolved to repossess the hall and lease it to the public in order to raise funds for maintenance of the building, which was in a dilapidated state. 


Madam Speaker, for now, the council has no intentions of cancelling the contract with the Church.


Madam, the council has engaged the Church to allow the youths to use the facility for recreation purposes when they need to.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kabanda: Madam Speaker, what would be the reaction of the council if the money that the youths owe was paid today?


Dr Banda: Madam Speaker, I do not know what the reaction would be, as that is an issue for discussion between the council and the concerned youths.


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, before I ask the question, I congratulate the women of Zambia who are putting themselves forward to participate in the upcoming 2021 General Elections. I have noted that they are all over, including in Monze, and that is how it should be.


Madam Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister if at all the two parties, the youths and the Church, who can coexist, as he has stated, have been sat down so that they can work out a way to utilise the resource together? Yes, we very much need to worship God, but the youths can also use the facility.


Dr Banda: Madam Speaker, indeed, I have said that the council has engaged the Church to allow the youths to use the facility for recreation purposes when they need to. So, it is up to the youths now to approach the Church because the Church is willing to let the youths use the facility.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kopulande: Madam Speaker, my question, which is related to the last one, is: Is the church that is leasing the property running programmes at the facility that benefit the youths in terms of character formation and other youth developmental programmes?


Dr Banda: Madam Speaker, I am not privy to the other activities the church is involved in at that centre; all we know is that it uses the centre for prayers. If the hon. Member wishes to know, we will ask the church to furnish us with the list of programmes it runs. Suffice it for me to say churches usually have programmes after prayers.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out about that hall in Serenje that has leased to the Church. This problem of councils leasing youth facilities for purposes of generating funds seems to cut across the country. Why do the councils not build more facilities in order for them to maintain the original uses of the current facilities, which focus on building youth skills, rather than claiming facilities that are meant for the youths and using them for purposes of raising funds in order to fund their operations? I would like to know specifically why councils across the country, including Serenje Council, have found it difficult to raise money using other means rather than looking at strategic infrastructure like the hall in Serenje to raise funds instead of looking at the National Youth Development Funds.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: You are repeating yourself.


Dr Banda: Madam Speaker, I was very clear in the answer that the building was going to waste because it was in a dilapidated state. So, I do not think it would have been prudent or wise for the council to start thinking of putting up another structure when it had one that was going to waste. The best it should have done, which it has done, is to find somebody to help it to keep the hall in shape while the while it is coming up with plans to build more infrastructure. It is best for the council to look after what it has before it ventures into having more buildings.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.








The Higher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2021


Report adopted.


Third Reading on Friday, 30th April, 2021.




The following Bills were read the third time and passed:


The Urban and Regional Planners (Amendment) Bill, 2021


The Electoral Process (Amendment) Bill, 2021 








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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1601 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 30th April, 2021.







183. Mr Michelo (Bweengwa) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting:


(a)        whether the Government had any plans to abolish the Television Levy;


(b)        if so, when the plans would be implemented; and


(c)        if there were no such plans, why.


The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Ms Siliya): Madam Speaker, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) is a strategic institution in the country that operates as a statutory body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.


Madam Speaker, ZNBC is a creation of Cap 154 of the Laws of Zambia, which establishes the corporation, and details its role and respective functions, as stated in Section 7 of the Act. As a public service broadcaster, ZNBC is mandated to provide information, education and entertainment through radio and television services to the entire country. The corporation is also mandated to cover all activities, including political, cultural, social and economic ones, throughout the country for the benefit of all Zambians.


Madam Speaker, the Government has no plans to abolish the Television Levy because ZNBC needs funds to deliver public service broadcasting services to all parts of the country, and the Television Levy has been helping the corporation although the funds realised are inadequate.


Madam Speaker, as there no plans to abolish the Television Levy, no implementation plans for abolition exist.


Madam Speaker, like in many countries, the Government introduced the Television Levy in Zambia in 2002 to help fund public service broadcasting services. The levy is a funding model chosen by the Government to support ZNBC in providing radio and television services across the country to serve the public interest. The levy’s collection model has changed from using Zesco Limited as the collection agent to a subscription management system through the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), which collects the levy from pay television stations on behalf of ZNBC.


Madam Speaker, the levy is currently K5 per decoder, and the management of ZNBC and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting are still looking at the best model for funding the operations of ZNBC, which will be the best fit for the purpose, as a long-lasting solution to the corporation’s operational and financial challenges. At K5 per decoder, the corporation still gets inadequate revenue and is struggling to meet its daily operational requirements. On average, it receives about K3.5 million per month against an operational requirement of K16 million, meaning that the current levy has fallen short of its intended purpose.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




185. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) - to ask the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources:


  1. what measures were being taken to curb the indiscriminate cutting down of indigenous trees, especially Rosewood, in the Western Province;


  1. whether the Government had any plans to facilitate the processing of timber from indigenous trees into finished products within the Province;


  1. if so, when the plans would be implemented; and


  1. if there were no such plans, why.


The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Ms Kapata): Madam Speaker, the Government is enforcing Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 50 of 2016, the Forest Concession Licence and Regulations, to regulate the harvesting of, and trade in, timber in the country. Currently, the Western Province has fifteen forest concession timber licences comprising four large scale, three medium scale and eight owned by citizens whose operations are controlled through the provision of timber harvesting limits per month.


Madam Speaker, the second measure is that the Government has involved the security wings to assist in curbing illegal timber harvesting in the country, including in the Western Province. The Forestry Department is working with the Central Joint Operations Committee, the Provincial Joint Operations Committee and the Provincial Administration in curbing illegal timber harvesting through routine inspections, patrols and regular monitoring of the harvesting of, and trade in, timber. Further, the Government has been engaging concession holders and timber merchants in the effort to control illegal harvesting of, and trade in, timber. Several meetings with concession holders and merchants were held in the Western Province in the last week of august, 2020, to sensitise stakeholders on issues relating to timber harvesting in the province.


Madam Speaker, going forward, the Government is developing a timber traceability system, which is at an advanced stage, aimed at tracing timber harvesting in the country and promoting sustainable harvesting of timber. The Western Province is one of the pilot areas where the system is being tested.


Madam Speaker, the Government is already processing timber from indigenous trees into finished products, as it made a policy shift to discourage the export of raw timber and promote value addition. Therefore, companies now export finished timber products, such as sawn timber, parquet, tables, chairs and timber components. This policy shift has brought about a number of business partnerships in the timber industry, increased investment in terms of equipment for processing timber into finished products and job creation in the sector.


Madam Speaker, the Western Province has attracted a number of companies managed by Zambians and non-Zambian citizens, with several of them opening in Kaoma, Sesheke, Mongu, and Sioma districts.


Madam Speaker, processing of timber from indigenous trees into finished products in the Western Province is being done. Therefore, parts (c) and (d) fall off.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.