Tuesday, 27th April, 2021

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Tuesday, 27th April, 2021


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












174. Mr Phiri (Mkaika) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. when the rehabilitation of the Katete/Chanida Road would commence;
  2. what the cause of the delay in commencing the project was; 
  3. who the contractor for the project was;
  4. how much money was paid to the contractor as of January, 2021; and
  5. what the time frame for the completion of the project was.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of the Katete/Chanida Road commenced with the signing of the works contract on 21st August, 2020.


Sir, the rehabilitation works have commenced and are ongoing.


Sir, the contractor on the project is Messrs Buildcon Investments Limited.


Sir, as of January, 2021, the contractor had been paid K17.8 million towards the advance payment.


Sir, the time frame for the completion of the project is eighteen months from the date of commencement.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, do the works to be done on the road include street lighting and paving of roadsides within town?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, yes, there is a plan to deal with street lighting on the Boma side, not all the way to the border. The drainages are also part of the scope of works.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, is the project one of those that are at 80 per cent or above?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, no. The project just involves pothole patching. The project is not one of those that are at 80 per cent or above.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, the road in question reminds me of the Mpika/Kopa Road, Chundaponde Road and Chambeshi/Chinkobo Road.


Sir, the hon. Minister’s responses are gratifying because he has given the time frame for the completion of the road, and the nation is observing what the Patriotic Front (PF) has done with regard to infrastructure development. Just to assure the people, particularly those in the rural areas, who look forward to the road being worked on, that, indeed, the road will be rehabilitated in eighteen months, what assurance is the hon. Minister giving?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, if the finances continue to flow to the project from the Ministry of Finance, then, we should be able to honour the promise. If there are financial challenges on the way, however, we will have to keep talking to the contractor and making extensions to the duration of the project like we have done in most cases.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his responses, but I have a concern.


Sir, the hon. Minister has told this House and the nation that works have already commenced on the Katete/Chanida Road. In the meantime, the Monze/Niko Road, which passes through Bweengwa Constituency, has been neglected and we have not seen anything being done. Why is the hon. Minister neglecting the people of Bweengwa? He is able to work on the Katete/Chanida Road when the Government has failed to work on the Monze/Niko Road.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Bweengwa, if you would like to represent your constituency in relation to the road in question, you engage the hon. Minister appropriately. You cannot take a question on the Katete/Chanida Road and convert it into a question about a road in your constituency. The procedure does not permit that approach.


I will take the last two questions from the hon. Member for Livingstone and then close with the hon. Member for Mkaika.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, in responding to the question asked by the hon. Member for Mkaika, the hon. Minister stated that he might consider constructing drainages and installing street lighting within the town area. However, when the hon. Member for Katombola asked whether this project is at 80 per cent, he said that the contractor was only patching up potholes. Which is which? Would the hon. Minister clarify whether this is a new project that has just started or it is just the patching up of potholes?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, this is a new project to patch up potholes. The road between Katete and Chanida already exists, but it has deteriorated to a high level. The road is an economic one because all trucks that bring fuel and other things from Beira to Zambia use it. It is also used to export things, including copper, through the port of Beira. So, this is a rehabilitation project; we are not starting from the beginning.


Mr Speaker, yes, we are mending potholes but, as you know, where there are issues with drainages, we also attend to them.


Sir, on Street lighting, I said that where the road touches the town area, we can attend to the street lighting because the road starts from town and extends to the border. Where drainages are needed to protect the road we are rehabilitating on the way to the border, we will build the drainages. However, the main part of the project is to mend potholes so that trucks exporting and importing our goods can pass without much difficulty.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Phiri: Mr Speaker, indeed, the contractor is on site and works are going on very well. The potholes are being patched up. Indeed, the road is bad, but we hope the Patriotic Front (PF) Government –


Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development has stressed the point that he is doing all the works on the road because it is a very important road that connects us to international trade.


Mr Speaker, on the Floor of this House, this hon. Minister has promised the people of Sesheke and Livingstone that the Government will work on the Livingstone/Sesheke Road. However, no works have been done there, yet that is another international road, which connects Zambia to Namibia, and a lot of trade is facilitated by it. The road has taken over four or five years under this bad Patriotic Front (PF) Government.


Sir, is the hon. Minister in order to concentrate on one side and ignore another road that is important for international trade, which is the Sesheke/Livingstone Road?


Mr Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: My ruling is similar to my guidance to the hon. Member for Bweengwa. Do not bring in other roads in this debate. Ask a supplementary question. These are not supplementary questions because you are actually asking new questions.


The hon. Member for Mkaika may continue.


Mr Phiri: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted, I was thanking the PF Government and the hon. Minister for having considered the road for pothole patching.


Sir, the hon. Minister mentioned putting street lights on the road leading to the Boma. Could he confirm that the 3 km part of the road to the administration centre will also be catered for, since it leads to Katete Boma?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, my understanding is that that the 3 km is not part of the scope of works. However, if there are major problems on that stretch that need to be attend to, we can consider making variations to the contract to include the additional works whilst the contractor is on site. It is prudent that the contractor deals with any minor issues in the surrounding area because it is cheaper that way, since he has already mobilised. 


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mandumbwa (Mulobezi): Mr Speaker, in his response to the question asked by the hon. Member for Mkaika, the hon. Minister said the project is new. Is that in line with the Patriotic Front (PF) policy of finishing projects that are at 80 per cent?


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister has already answered that question.








Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies on the Special Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Water and Sanitation Companies for the Financial Year Ending 31st December, 2018, for the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on Friday, 23rd, April, 2021.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


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


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, the Committee is honoured to present its report on the consideration of the special report.


Mr Speaker, from the outset, the House may wish to note that nine out of eleven water and sanitation companies were cited in the audit report.


Sir, utilities like water, electricity and gas are essential services that play a vital role in economic and social development. Further, well-functioning utilities are prerequisites for effective service delivery and poverty alleviation. Therefore, if Zambia is to win the war against poverty, the Government must achieve its aspirations of ensuring the provisions of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, as espoused in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).


Mr Speaker, it is worrisome to note that in the audit report under consideration, it was emphatically stated that water utility companies had various weaknesses in corporate governance; underperformance in crucial areas, namely water production, service coverage for water and sanitation, and water quality; a lack of leadership; and poor financial performance. It is noteworthy that these weaknesses compromise the ability of the country to achieve Sustainable Development Goal No. 6 of providing clean water and sanitation.


Mr Speaker, hon. Members have had an opportunity to read the Committee’s report. Therefore, I will only highlight a few salient issues contained therein.


Sir, the Committee noted with grave concern that out of nine water companies cited in the report of the Auditor-General, only one was able to declare a profit; the rest recorded losses. The Committee observed that the overarching challenge among the water utility companies highlighted in the report is that of high non-revenue water, which amounted to K1.4 billion. This phenomenon is caused by the highly dilapidated infrastructure in the water and sanitation sector. In this regard, the Committee urges the Executive to assist water utility companies to innovate and raise funds for recapitalisation and rehabilitation of their infrastructure in order to improve service delivery. It is worth mentioning that those entities are expected to provide a social service at an affordable cost while, at the same time, operating as profitable businesses.


Mr Speaker, another issue of concern affecting the operations of the water utility companies is the failure by Government entities to clear outstanding bills which, in turn, has made the utilities’ balance sheets unattractive and not creditworthy. In this regard, the Committee strongly recommends that the Executive clears all outstanding debts, as opposed to entering into debt swaps, which negatively affect liquidity positions of the companies. Further, water utility companies must be helped to raise funds to purchase and install pre-paid metres.


Sir, the Committee was also displeased to note the blatant and rampant disregard for financial regulations, which is exacerbated by weak internal controls, in various utility companies, leading to unaccounted for revenue, irregular payments and wasteful expenditure amounting to K20 million. In this regard, the Committee strongly urges the Treasury to ensure that control measures are strengthened and enforced without fail. It further recommends that punitive action be always taken expeditiously in line with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act No.1 of 2018. Whenever officers are found to have flouted the financial regulations, action must be taken.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I thank all the stakeholders who made both written and oral submissions to the Committee. I further recognise the role played in the proceedings by the Office of the Auditor-General, without whose assistance the deliberations of the Committee could not have been successfully concluded. I also place on record the Committee’s gratitude to you for your invaluable guidance throughout the deliberations, and to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for their professionalism and support to this Committee.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


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


Ms Kasune: Now, Sir.


Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to second the Motion ably moved by the chairperson of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies on the Special Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Water and Sanitation Companies. In seconding the Motion, I will not say much because many of the points have already been made. So, I will try to only touch on the three key areas that the mover left out.


Sir, one of the key issues that your Committee noted during its deliberations was the failure by many of the water and sanitation companies to meet the operational benchmarks set by the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO). Your Committee is concerned because water is life, and the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal No. 6 is one of the aspirations that Zambia has signed up to. Therefore, your Committee urges the Executive and, in particular, the Controlling Officers, to take seriously their work of ensuring that water and sanitation companies do not only meet the operational benchmarks set by NWASCO, but also deliver water and sanitation, and hygiene services to all Zambians. Those services should not be a privilege for a few Zambians. Your Committee notes that the failure by the companies in question to provide services to Zambians is worse in rural areas and some compounds in the cities.


Mr Speaker, your Committee also deliberated on the need for zero-rating water and sanitation companies. Your Committee learnt that even though the companies charge a social tariff, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) does not exempt them from paying Value Added Tax (VAT) on materials and equipment they bring into the country, and that leads them into losing even the little profit they make. It is for this reason that your Committee urges the Executive and the ZRA to consider zero-rating imports of water and sanitation companies. As we know, the provision of water is a social service that the Government of the day is responsible for. Your Committee feels that the problems being faced by water and sanitation companies will continue if the companies are not zero-rated.


Mr Speaker, let me also talk about the issue of Zesco Limited.


Sir, many water and sanitation companies bemoaned the fact that 60 per cent of the little profit they make ends up going to Zesco Limited, which  has not considered the fact that they charge a social tariff. Although your Committee was informed that there have been conversations between the water companies, and the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, the conversations have not borne fruit. Your Committee urges the Executive to ensure that the agreements reached in the conversations are implemented.


Sir, lastly, let me follow the mover of the Motion and chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Peter Daka, in thanking you and the Clerk of the National Assembly.


Sir, I second the Motion.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to debate the Motion on the Floor of the House and the Report of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies on the Special Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Water and Sanitation Companies.


Sir, as the House and the general population in Zambia has heard from the submission by our chairperson, water utility companies have a myriad of challenges, and nine of the companies were cited in the Auditor-General’s Report. However, we need to specify some of the challenges that have been pointed out in the report.


Mr Speaker, I noted, and it is cardinal to point out, that almost all the water utility companies owed large sums of money for the supply of water to Government institutions turned out to be the major defaulters in paying bills. How do we expect the companies to perform? If anything, it is expected that the Auditor-General’s Report would come out the way it did because these companies are insolvent. Therefore, we have a situation in which water utility companies have negative working capital because of being owed large sums of money.


Sir, if that were not bad enough, the companies have dilapidated infrastructure, which increases the amount of non-revenue water, as the mover of the Motion mentioned. Therefore, there is a need to recapitalise those institutions. Where recapitalisation has been done, for example, at Lusaka Water and Sanitation Company (LWSC) Limited, there is the challenge of the companies having to pay large sums of money to service loans while their liquidity positions are compromised by Government institutions not paying for services provided. Therefore, it is very important for the Office of the Secretary to the Treasury to consider this point, and I make a submission to the Executive, taking advantage of this debate, that it should take note of this challenge, which seems to be common in water utility companies. The institutions are owed by the Government and the debt swaps are being preached over and over. However, the institutions need to be liquid enough to finance their operations. How do we expect their operations to be smooth when they are owed sums of money for long periods of time?


Mr Speaker, the problems in the companies take us to the appointment of board members for the institutions, which is questionable. In some instances, we are made to believe that cadres have been appointed in those positions because the performance of those appointed is pathetic. We see boards appointed and dissolved and, when they are dissolved, sometimes, it takes many years for new boards to be appointed, meaning that the utility companies go on operating without boards. These issues just boil down to the situation we see, and they are the reason the companies are not performing.


Sir, I implore the Executive, through the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, to intervene and ensure that the utilities are well-financed and recapitalised in order for them to become viable business entities that will effectively supply water, which people pay for, anyway. The Government institutions to which the water is supplied should also be compelled to pay for it promptly so that the institutions remain solvent and operational.


Mr Speaker, I thought of stressing the foregoing points so that we are aware of where the problem is, which will help us to make the changes that will make water utility companies perform.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.  


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, thank you. I also thank the Committee for the report.


Sir, it is very unfortunate to hear the issues raised in the report. It is like the people in the Executive are doing things wilfully. Relative to other Governments that have presided over our affairs, I think this is the worst because, for example, under President Kaunda, there were many parastatal companies, but the Government was able to appoint boards of directors. Under this Government, there are fewer parastatals, but the Government is failing to do even that job. For example, Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company operated without a board from 2016 to 2018, and it is very difficult to understand that because it means that the Government is not worried about what is happening. What does it mean when one does not appoint a board despite hearing that K20 million was lost to irregular payments in the sector and the institutions are failing to meet even the standards set by the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO)? What are the bureaucrats who are being paid by the people of Zambia doing in their offices? Further, why do we have utility companies?


Sir, we also know that the policy of this Government is that non-performing companies should not exist. So, how can there be a sector in which only one company out of nine makes a profit and the people who are supposed to superintend over that sector appear to take a business-as-usual approach to the situation? This is quite frightening. Given the many challenges in the sector, one would have expected the people in authority to spend most of their time making sure that there were improvements there. However, it appears that everybody has been left to their own whims; there is no leadership, and end result is that the country is worse off. We do not see any light at the end of the tunnel.


Mr Speaker, the Executive, especially the superintending ministry, will do well to spend more time on addressing all the weaknesses that have been highlighted, which would also assist this House to not keep revisiting issues that have been reported and on which appropriate recommendations have been made.


Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I pass to you the greetings of the people of Kabwe Central Constituency, where I am debating from virtually. 


Sir, we have heard the report and note that the problems of utility companies are uniform. Here, in Kabwe Central, there is Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company and, just a few minutes ago, I passed through a place where a water leakage has been ignored for months. Even before the rainy season started, that huge leakage was already there. Electricity is used to pump the water that is just spilling in the compound, and children play in it and get bilharzia. So, I wonder why we do not put in those institutions people who are capable of running them. We now have the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), but I think the water utility companies are operating on a socialist model as opposed to a capitalist one. Given that they have to pay electricity bills and meet the cost of treating the water, it is unimaginable they can ignore water losses. We are aware that the billing system does not favour the poor. However, in as much as the poor do not manage to pay water bills, water utility companies must avoid the water spillages that they see all over.


Sir, I am just coming from the Railways Market in Njanji Ward, where there has been a water leakage at the gate for nine months. The utility company went there to put a prepaid metre, but it did nothing about the leakage. So, utility companies will continue making losses until the people running them begin to behave like business people. You cannot blame Zesco Limited for the huge electricity bills because, nowadays, there are solar industrial water pumps. Why do utility companies not invest money in solar equipment, which will make it cheaper for them to pump water?


Mr Speaker, as the report has rightly highlighted, we cannot always cry about the problems being faced by the water utility companies every December or January. What solutions are we creating for making utility companies profitable? It is impossible for a company that has 200 water leakages throughout the town to be profitable. At the end of the day, the Government will continue pumping money into the utility companies, and giving grants and everything else while they continue to be unprofitable.


Mr Speaker, allow me to also suggest that the Auditor-General’s Report must now begin to look at the losses incurred. Apart from just looking at how profit was made or how low their working capital is, we must begin to see what the source of the losses is. For instance, the water losses that we see are a result of negligence because the water utility companies have plumbers, engineers, directors of engineering works, commercial managers and other workers. 


Mr Speaker, even if Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company were called thirty times in a day and told that there has been no water a certain residential area for two weeks, the company would be bothered. A few hours ago, I was in Kamushanga where, again, we found three big water leakages. So, we wonder if the water that the company pumps to Kabwe and the electricity that is used is going to be recovered at the end of the day.


Mr Speaker, I want to state that the people running those water companies must begin to look at them as businesses because they are not charitable organisations whose job is just to pump water and forget about it.


With those few remarks, allow me to thank you, once more, for the golden opportunity, and to pass you a second greeting from the good people of Kafulamase Compound.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: We will conclude the debate as follows: immediately, we will have the hon. Member for Kasempa, followed by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and, lastly, the hon. Minister for Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to add few words to debate on this very important Motion to adopt the report, which is about water. As other hon. Members have mentioned, water is life. So, anyone given the responsibility to run a water service enterprise must be competent enough and alert to the business ethos to ensure that water is availed without fail. Without water, we can fail to run not only our domestic affairs, but also industrial affairs. Further, if the two sectors fail, the economy also fails.


Mr Speaker, I just want to add a word to what hon. Deputy Government Chief Whip has mentioned said, namely that it looks like we are using socialism to run those enterprises, yet the water business is a business. Therefore, the personnel tasked to deliver the service, both from the board and governance level, and the management teams, are supposed to have the relevant capacities, competences and qualifications. For instance, in the past, the boards of companies like North-Western Water and Sewerage Company have been saddled with Patriotic Front (PF) cadres with no clue on how to put in place operating procedures. There are people there who have been thrown out from the institutions. How do we expect to deliver if we are going to consider only PF party membership, not competence and qualifications? I believe that if corporate governance is going to deliver in this sector, we have to find the right human resource regardless of the party they belong to. The workers have to have the qualifications because everybody drinks water regardless of whether they are from the Ruling Party or the opposition. We need the water together to run the economy for our survival.


Mr Speaker, the capacity of the human resource must be seriously looked at. We also urge those who are running the institutions to emulate corporate bodies like the mining companies, which have some level of competence and corporate capacity. This is the 21st Century, and there are tools for assessing capacities in terms of the management and operating procedures in place. It is necessary to look back and forward on a daily basis and ensure that water institutions are run competently.


Mr Speaker, if we are going to turn around the water institutions, we must look for personnel and corporate governance practices that will effectively deliver this very important service.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, thank you so much for allowing me to make a few comments on your report, whose Motion was ably moved by the chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Peter Daka.


Mr Speaker, your Committee cites dilapidated infrastructure and, in some cases, a lack of it as one of the reasons our people have not been receiving quality water. I totally agree with your Committee’s report. However, were it not for this caring Government, the situation would have been worse. So, I am shocked to see that my colleagues on the left side are trying to pretend to not see the changes that have occurred in the sector. Having been Minister of Local Government at a time the portfolio function was under the local authorities, I totally understand what the situation was before this Government started taking practical remedial steps. We need to commend His Excellency the President of this country, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, who deemed it fit to create a ministry specifically for the water sector and sanitation portfolio so that some of the historical challenges in the sector could be addressed. I remember the support that I got from the President and his Cabinet when we embarked on the massive projects we see today, such as the Kafue Bulk Water Supply Project, which will address the water challenges in Lusaka. We realised that the underground water in Lusaka was becoming a challenge in terms of contamination.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister responsible for the sector will shed more light on the number of projects, other than the major ones, such as Ndola Bulk, which is going to cater for most of the districts on the Copperbelt.


Sir, the rainy season has just ended. had the Government just sat without doing anything, we would have faced the challenges that come with the season, which you know, such as cholera outbreaks. However, for the first time in the history of Zambia, we do not even need to talk about cholera because of the practical steps that were taken to address the perennial challenge. Kudos must be given even when people have to politick.


Mr Speaker, on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 6, which speaks to the issue of sustainable supply of clean water to our people, this Government has gone into areas where it was not expected to be. If anyone went to Nakonde ten years ago, they would have seen how the people there drank water which looked like opaque beer. That is the kind of water that we and the late President, Mr Michael Sata, found the people drinking, and Mr Sata assured the people that when Patriotic Front (PF) was given a chance to govern the people, such issues would be a thing of the past. Today, in Nakonde, which is a very important town because it is the entry point for everyone coming from East Africa, the people drink clean wate, and that is how a caring Government operates.


Sir, the issues of corporate governance will be addressed by the hon. Minister responsible for the sector because, now, he can, at least, adopt a hands-on approach. We commend him because he just took over from his colleague who was a hard worker, and he has equally hit the ground running. That is as it should be.


Mr Speaker, like many people have said already, water is life. In this regard, we are happy that last year, this year, and many other years, there were no recorded cases of cholera, and this hardworking Government should be pride of that and be grateful that we are on the right trajectory. So, I urge the hon. Minister to continue working hard. 


With those few remarks, I thank you, Sir. 


The Minister of Water Development Sanitation and Environmental Protection (Mr Nakacinda): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this Motion.


Sir, let me begin by commending the Committee on Parastatal Bodies for the good report it has presented. I must say that the observations and recommendations in the report are well noted. Because of the proactiveness of this Government, some of them have already been addressed while others are in the process of being addressed, especially since the report is on an audit report for 2017 and 2018.


Mr Speaker, the Government, through my ministry, has already taken steps to improve corporate governance in utility companies. These steps include training in corporate governance for the board of directors and senior management; amending utility companies’ articles of association, which govern the companies; and insisting on adherence to the provisions in the amended articles of association. We will also ensure that there is timely appointment of boards of directors, which is key to upholding good corporate governance and enhancing operational efficiency of utility companies. 


Mr Speaker, with respect to the challenges, I thank the hon. Minister for Home Affairs for ably articulating some of the things that have been done. With the respect to the challenges highlighted by the Committee in terms of meeting water quality standards, high volume of non-revenue water, low billing ratio and operational costs coverage by collection, among others, the Government has embarked on various projects aimed at improving the water treatment process to ensure that clean and safe water is produced and supplied to our people. The projects include the Integrated Small Town Water Supply and Sanitation; the Kafulafuta Water Supply System; Zambia Water Project; the Kafue Bulk Water Supply Project, which was referred to by the previous speaker; and the Chongwe Water Project. Through these projects, old, dilapidated and non-functional water and sewer lines are expected to be rehabilitated or replaced. The expansion of water distribution networks and installations of water meters in selected beneficiary districts is another project.

Sir, the mentioned works are expected to enhance the production and distribution of water with the quality that meets the required standard, as well as increase access to clean and safe water. Once these projects are completed, more citizens are expected to have access to clean and safe water. With increased number of customers, the revenue base for water utility companies is expected to also increase. Therefore, the projects are aimed not only at increasing access to water, but also at contributing to the attainment of financial viability by water utility companies and improving service delivery to our people. 


Mr Speaker, on the concerns raised regarding Zesco Limited tariffs, the discussions between my ministry and the Ministry of Energy, which the seconder referred to, have already been concluded. Actually, we are preparing a Cabinet Memorandum to inform the Cabinet that Zesco Limited has committed itself to implementing what has been agreed on the tariffs that have been varied in retrospect beginning from 1st January, 2021.


Sir, the attainment of the financial viability by the utilities will answer many of the challenges that have been highlighted in the report of the Committee. Therefore, the Government, under the leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, remains committed to providing the water utility companies with the necessary support in the implementation of various water supply and sanitation projects.


Mr Speaker, I think it is important for me to make an earnest appeal to hon. Members of Parliament to support the ministry in seeking an increased budgetary allocation to enable the ministry to invest in water and sanitation infrastructure in order to enhance the capacity of the utility companies to mitigate the effects of climate change and contribute to the prevention of water-borne diseases. As it has been attested to, it looks like the song of cholera, which has historically been a yearly song, is a thing of the past, and we hope the status quo will be maintained, especially given the fact that we continue to improve Zambians’ access to clean and safe water.


Mr Speaker, I think it is also important for me to put on record the fact that it was timely and an exhibition of the visionary leadership on the part of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to create my ministry because from 2016 when the ministry was created to date, we have recorded impressive percentages in terms of access to clean and safe water, and sanitation services. Historically, only about 45 per cent to 50 per cent of our people had the access. However, within a short period of four or five years, we are now around 72 per cent, and His Excellency the President has continuously and passionately expressed his desire for the country to attain universal access before the target year of 2030.


Sir, sanitation services were not really talked about for a long time. Somehow, there was even some kind of stigma around the issue, but it has now become a topical issue and people have begun to appreciate sanitation services. There has also been a reduction in open defecation; the practice of people going into the bush to help themselves, because we are providing ventilated improved pit (VIP) toilets. There has been an increase in the number of people who have access to sanitation services from 25 per cent to between 54 per cent and 56 per cent, which I think is impressive. Moving at this pace, I am sure all the people in Zambia will have access to clean and safe water as well as sanitation services.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I can only say the recommendations are noted and that we will definitely attain the goals we have set. In the same vein, we can only appreciate the Co-operating Partners, the Americans, the European Union (EU), the German Government and others who have continued to work with us to make services available to our people.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


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


Sir, first and foremost, I thank Hon. Kambita; the Member of Parliament for Nkeyema, Hon. Mbangweta; Hon. Tutwa Ngulube; the Member for Kasempa, Hon. Tambatamba; the Minister of Home Affairs, hon. Kampyongo; and, lastly, but not the least, Hon. Nakacinda, the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection. Their contributions to the debate on this report have been very well received.


Mr Speaker, I thank you. 


 Question put and agreed to.  













Clause 1 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


CLAUSE 2 – (Amendment of section 2)


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 2, on page 3, in lines 8 and 9, by the deletion of the definitions and the substitution therefor of the following:


“correctional centre” has the meaning assigned to the words in the Zambia Correctional Service Act, 2021;


“correctional officer” has the meaning assigned to the words in the Zambia Correctional Service Act, 2021;


“inmate” has the meaning assigned to the word in the Zambia Correctional Service Act, 2021;


“legally disqualified” means the absence of legal capacity as provided in Section 4 of the Mental Health Act;


“officer-in-charge” has the meaning assigned to the word in the Zambia Correctional Service Act, 2021;


“prison” has the meaning assigned to the word in the Zambia Correctional Service Act, 2021; and


“state institution” has the meaning assigned to the words in the Constitution.”


Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.


Clause 2, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Clause 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


CLAUSE 4 – (Insertion of section 24A and 24B)


Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 4, on page 4:


  1. in lines 9 to 10, by the deletion of the words “prison under section 24, that polling station shall be used by a prisoner, prisoner officer” and the substitution therefor of the words “prison or correctional centre under section 24, that polling station be used by an inmate or correctional officer”;


  1. in lines 12 to 13, by the deletion of the words “prison officer may, as far as is practicable, facilitate the transfer of a prisoner” and the substitution therefor of the words “correctional officer may, as far as is practicable, facilitate the transfer of an inmate”; and


  1. in lines 15 to 16, by the deletion of the words “prison shall grant access to a prison” and the substitution therefor of the words “prison or correctional centre shall grant access to a prison or correctional centre”.


Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.


Clause 4, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Clauses 5, 6 and 7 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


CLAUSE 8 – (Amendment of section 125)


Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 8, on page 5, in line 9, by the insertion of the words “and correctional centres” immediately after the word “prisons”.


Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.


Clause 8, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Title agreed to.




Clauses 1, 2 and 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Title agreed to.






[MR SPEAKER in the Chair)


The following Bill was reported to the House as having passed through Committee with amendments:


The Electoral Process (Amendment) Bill, 2021


Report Stage on Thursday, 29th April, 2021.


The following Bill was reported to the House as having passed through Committee without amendments:


The Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (Amendment) Bill, 2021


Third Reading on Wednesday, 28th April, 2021.








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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1541 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 28th April, 2021.