Thursday, 7th October, 2021

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Thursday, 7th October, 2021


The House met at 1430 hours


[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]












The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango) (on behalf of the Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane)): Madam Speaker, allow me to express my profound gratitude to you for according me this opportunity to inform the hon. Members of this House about the status of our country’s debt position and, through this House, the rest of our stakeholders within and outside the confines of this Republic.


Madam Speaker, the size and breadth of Zambia’s debt burden has generated a lot of interest, understandably so, because it has denied the country fiscal space for growth, poverty reduction and provision of vital social services. Further, from the time I was appointed Minister of Finance and National Planning, I have been receiving a number of queries from within and outside Zambia, mainly on the actual level of our indebtedness. For the reasons just stated, the New Dawn Government has approached with renewed vigour the compelling need to restructure our external public debt. This is key to restoring public debt sustainability. As we seek to restructure the external public debt, it is absolutely necessary that we seal the information gaps by providing an update on the country’s current debt position. In this regard, my presentation will focus on two main areas: I will begin by clarifying the current stock of public and publicly-guaranteed external debt, including the movements in the debt positions, as at the end of the first quarter of 2021 and the end of the second quarter of 2021, respectively. Thereafter, I will apprise the House on the activities that the Government undertake and the roadmap it will follow to make its public and publicly-guaranteed external debt stock sustainable.


Public and Publicly-Guaranteed External Debt Stock


Madam Speaker, at the time this Administration came to power following our resounding victory in the 12th August, 2021, election, the stake of the Central Government’s external debt was US$12.91 billion, compared with the US$12.74 billion recorded at the end of the first quarter of 2021. The external debt interest arrears were at US$470.77 million, compared with US$393.42 million at the end of the first quarter.


Madam Speaker, in terms of Government guaranteed external debt, the total debt stock at the end of the second quarter was US$1.57 billion, compared with US$1.58 billion at the end of the first quarter. The total of non-guaranteed debts was US$195.7 million. This gives a total of US$1.76 billion for both guaranteed and non-guaranteed external debt. Therefore, at the end of the second quarter of 2021, the stock of public and publicly-guaranteed external debt stood at US$14.48 billion, compared with the US$14.32 billion recorded at the end of the first quarter of 2021. If you add the unguaranteed debt for ZESCO Limited, the debt stock is US$14.67 billion, as at the end of the second quarter of 2021. Other notable liabilities under ZESCO Limited include arrears on power purchases, which stood at just above US$1 billion.


Madam, the increase in the external debt positions at the end of the first and second quarters of 2021 is explained by principal arrears accrued during the second quarter and some disbursements, mainly from multilateral creditors, such as the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and a few others financing priority projects, particularly in the health sector. On the other hand, the slight reduction in guaranteed debt is attributed to ZESCO Limited’s servicing of some of its facilities.


Madam Speaker, let me specifically address the issue of the Chinese debt, which has drawn a lot of interest in the local and international media, including in a recently published report by the China Africa Research Institute (CARI). As I indicated, as at end of June 2021, the total of the public, public guaranteed and non-guaranteed external debt stock was US$14.67 billion. Of that amount, US$5.75 billion was owed to Chinese creditors. The breakdown of the US$5.75 billion debt creditors is:


  1. US$4.27 billion owed by the Central Government to Chinese creditors;
  2. US$1.34 billion owed by state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including ZESCO Limited, on facilities guaranteed by the Central Government; and
  3. US$139.60 million owed by ZESCO Limited on Chinese facilities that are not guaranteed by the Central Government.


Madam Speaker, of course, the debt matrix changes from quarter to quarter due to moving parameters, such as disbursements, debt servicing and the exchange rate, since we report our debt stock in United States (US) Dollars. This debt position includes only amounts drawn and outstanding, and principal arrears; it does not include interest arrears, which amounted to US$195.47 million at the end of the second quarter. Resources funded by the Government or contractors outside of financing agreements are also not included.


Madam Speaker, at the end of the second quarter of 2021, the undisbursed stock of public external debt stood at US$4.4 billion. I must emphasise that the undisbursed stock does not constitute part of the crystallised debt stock, as per international reporting standards in debt management. Further, this amount includes amounts over which we are in discussion with creditors for possible cancellation in line with the Government’s ongoing programme to cancel, re-scope and postpone some loan-financed projects with a view to reducing the debt burden.


Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that due to liquidity constraints and the need to ensure inter-creditor equity, the Government will adhere to the debt service standstill until an amicable solution is found to our debt situation through good-faith collaborative engagements with our creditors. This means that servicing of the external public debt will remain restricted to multilateral creditors and a few priority projects, mainly in the health sector. In this regard, US$7.67 million was paid in debt service to this group of creditors between the end of March and the end of June, 2021.


Madam Speaker, allow me to also inform this House that following the extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) by both the Paris Club and the Group of 20 (G20) creditor countries, in September, 2021, Zambia signed the agreement with the Paris Club, which comprises creditors from France, the United Kingdom (UK) and Japan. Other participating creditors include the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD). The Government also agreed a similar debt suspension with Intesa Sanpaolo. The relief provided by the DSSI framework does not only prevent potential defaults on our part on facilities we have with the creditors but, more importantly, also provides the Government space to direct some of the financial resources to supporting our social sector, which has not been spared the adverse effects of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.


Madam Speaker, the Government has continued to accrue arrears across a large spectrum of our creditors, pending collaboration with them on a debt restructuring process. The process, I should emphasise, will be transparent and it will not exhibit favouritism towards any creditor.


Madam Speaker, as at the end of the second quarter of 2021, the total public external debt service arrears stood at US$1.49 billion. Of this amount, principal arrears amounted to US$1 billion, which forms part of the debt stock. The net effect of the continued accumulation of arrears and limited disbursements that the Government continues to receive from multilateral creditors monthly will be the expected marginal increase in the external public debt stock for the third quarter of this year.


Roadmap to Debt Restructuring


Madam Speaker, one of the campaign promises of this Administration was the unavoidable need to restructure our public and public-guaranteed external debt in order to create the much-needed fiscal space to finance other interventions that would support the agenda of job creation, increased economic output and improved standards of living for our people. In line with this commitment, debt restructuring is a top priority. The current debt restructuring exercise is underpinned by the common framework for debt treatment beyond the DSSI common framework, which is an initiative endorsed by the G20 and the Paris Club in November, 2021, to support low-income countries with unsustainable debt in a structured manner. Zambia has applied to be considered under this framework, which is accessed under the support of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) debt sustainability analysis.


Madam Speaker, in order to facilitate a smooth debt restructuring exercise, the Government is actively engaging the IMF for a funded programme aimed at:


  1. fostering our economic recovery programme; and
  2. anchoring our debt restructuring engagements by providing an independent validation mechanism for the Government’s debt position and building consensus on the extent of relief that Zambia requires for its debt to return to a sustainable trajectory.


Madam Speaker, we aim to reach a staff-level agreement with the IMF later this year by agreeing on a macroeconomic framework for the medium term, and then, with the assistance of international financial and legal advisers, Lazard Frères and White & Case, design a debt restructuring strategy that will lead us into actual engagements with creditors under the common framework initiative.


Madam Speaker, we are confident that all our creditors will collaboratively come on board, since they now have an appreciation of the existing debt challenges and the fact that our anticipated debt restructuring process will not seek to disadvantage any of them but, instead, will follow an equitable and transparent path.


Madam Speaker, as far as the IMF engagements are concerned, we are hopeful that we will reach an agreement on the parameters of the programme as soon as possible. For this reason, we have agreed on a two-phased engagement strategy. The first engagement started on Monday, 27th September, 2021, through a staff visit that ended on Friday, 1st October, 2021. The objective of that visit was to share our Budget priorities with the IMF, which include the following:


  1. implementing economic recovery interventions;
  2. attaining debt sustainability;
  3. creating employment; and
  4. increasing investment in the social sector, including addressing staffing and provision in health and education.


These priorities are vital, as they will form part of the overall macroeconomic framework that will be agreed with the Fund.


Madam Speaker, the second engagement with the IMF will focus on actual Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Programme discussions later this year.




Madam Speaker, as I conclude, I assure members of the general public and all stakeholders that the Government will adhere to transparent and international best practices when it comes to debt reporting. For this reason, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning will continue to publish quarterly debt statistical bulletins on the ministry’s website. The bulletin reports on both public debts in a more comprehensive manner, covering the Central Government debt, Government-guaranteed debt and non-guaranteed debt. In this regard, the bulletin for the third quarter will be published in the fourth quarter of 2021. The ministry has further opened up the debt stock to periodic audit by the Office of the Auditor-General. One such audit is currently under way.


Madam Speaker, further, the ministry will continue to engage its creditors on the macroeconomic developments in the country, including on debt. This is aimed at helping our people and stakeholders to not only be well informed, but to also distinguish between our verified and credible debt numbers from sensationalised media reports whose underlying methodology of compiling debt numbers might not be in line with internationally accepted debt reporting standards.


 Madam Speaker, I thank you.


 Government Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


 Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. As you do so, I remind you to be alive to the provisions of Standing Order 71, and to shorten your opening remarks so that I allow as of you as possible to ask questions in the limited time that we have.


 Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, the Zambian people are concerned about the many inconsistent statements that have been issued on the debt position.


Madam Speaker, I remind the hon. Minister that the Zambian people have given his Government the mandate to govern. Lamenting day after day is not what the people of Zambia put our colleagues in the Government to do. My question is: Is the hon. Minister aware of the ramifications that the inconsistent statements on the debt position have on our economy?


The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Madam Speaker, there are no inconsistencies in the data that we present. If the hon. Member thinks there are any, he is at liberty to indicate what those inconsistencies are. Further, we are not here to lament because we knew what we were getting into, given the fact that the previous Government left huge amounts of debt. So, we are not lamenting; we are just accepting what the reality is. In seeking to govern, we knew we were ready for the challenge and, as indicated in the statement, there are specific measures in place to resolve this problem that was left behind.


 Madam Speaker, I thank you.


 Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North): Madam Speaker, in terms of percentages, what is the composition of the total foreign debt stock in terms of commercial, bilateral and multilateral debts? Further, what are the economic implications of the three debt portfolios?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, as at the end of June, 2021, we owed multilateral institutions like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) US$2.3 billion or 18 per cent of our external debt. We also owed plurilateral creditors US$804 million, which makes up 6 per cent. ‘Bilateral’ refers to a government-to-government arrangement, and we owed bilateral creditors US$3.9 billion, which is 30 per cent. Then there are commercial credits, broken down into Eurobonds and non-Eurobonds. For the Eurobonds, we owed US$3 billion or 23 per cent of what we owed external creditors while for all other commercial loans, we owed US$2.9 billion, or 23 per cent of the external debt.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Speaker, it is now clear that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government wantonly borrowed and went on borrowing, time after time. We all know that was motivated by an appetite for induced capital projects for obvious reasons; procuring where people had the appetite to get kick-backs. Now that we are in this situation, my concern is about the domestic debt because some of the borrowed money caused the past Government to procure from local suppliers. However, not all the monies that are owed to local suppliers were paid, and we have a huge debt to local suppliers. Will the hon. Minister issue another statement to the House to give a clear plan on how we are going to dismantle the domestic debt, which is very important to making sure that the clogged wheels of this economy are oiled?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, yes, that can be done. However, whatever the case, there will be a clear statement in the Budget Address on how the domestic debt will be addressed.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the statement, but I am a bit worried because when the Backbench of the Ruling Party ask questions, they always refer to the Patriotic Front (PF) without realising that the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) left about US$3.9 billion of debt, and I do not say this to cast aspersion. The over US$12 billion of public debt is an accumulated amount, and includes the US$3.9 billion borrowed by the MMD because governance is a continuous process. A new Government picks up from where the previous one left off and takes responsibility for the lives of Zambians. However, that is not the question. My question to the very established economist, Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, is: Does he now accept the previous Administration’s decision to engage the debt negotiator by the name of Lazard Frères, who has been very handy in assisting us to negotiate with foreign creditors who have been dealing with the Republic of Zambia? Did the previous Administration make a right decision or not?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Pambashe, who just advised that one picks up from where one’s colleagues left things. Indeed, the Patriotic Front (PF) picked up an external debt of less than US$2 billion from the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), but took it to more than US$15 billion currently. So, yes, we take over from where the last person leaves things and move forward, either making progress or, unfortunately, in certain cases, creating problems.


Madam Speaker, regarding the other issue the hon. Member has raised, the advisors were engaged and paid money. Given the circumstances, what would be the point of breaching the contract and taking each other to court? There is no point. So, we have taken things up from where our colleagues left them. We will not break the contract and we will move forward.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Madam Speaker, in a sense, my question is very similar to the one asked by Hon. Chitotela.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will recall that when the United Party for National Development (UPND) was in the Opposition and his predecessor contracted an advisor at a reported cost of US$5 million, the UPND leadership proposed that the money paid to the consultant should, instead, have been given to the youths of Zambia and that the leadership was going to provide the consultancy pro bono so that the US$5 million could go to the people of Zambia. Now that our colleagues in the UPND are in power, they are not engaging international lawyers, as we hear, instead of providing the consultancy and giving the money to the youths. Why has it become attractive now for the UPND to engage people, including lawyers, to advise?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Lunte for that question, which is really identical to the one asked by the hon. Member for Pambashe. Therefore, the answer has to be identical, too.


Madam Speaker, I said that the contract with the experts is already running. The cost was incurred. Even if we were to decide to not continue with the consultancy and cancelled the contract, it would just cost the country more money. So, we will move forward.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, in the ministerial statement, it is clear that the United Party for National Development (UPND), the New Dawn Government, wants to make sure that Zambians are kept abreast of accurate information in as far as the debt and its repayment are concerned. At the point of contraction, which will obviously now be done independently by the UPND, is the Government finally considering presenting to Parliament the legislation that will allow Parliament to be part of the contraction of debt?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, indeed, that is the intention; to follow what the Constitution says, which is that Parliament will enact a law that will give this House the power to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to proposals for loan contraction. That is part of the reform programme, and it will be done.


 I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Wamunyima (Nalolo): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the elaborate statement on debt. I reaffirm that the issue of debt has been heard clearly and that the people of Zambia now know how and why we got where we are. We have kept having resounding discussions on these debts both pre-election and post-election. My question is: Going forward, what timeframe is the hon. Minister giving for the restructuring or discussion on the restructuring of the debt? Is there a specific timeframe that the Government can commit itself to so that, in the interest of moving forward, we can have an idea of what stage the discussions and engagements with stakeholders are at and when they are likely to come to fruition?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, roughly speaking, the situation is we are unable to service all of our debts and, luckily enough, as per the statement, from May, 2020, to the end of this year, some of the creditors have given us what is referred to as the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). What this means is that the creditors have said that the Government may not service the debts, largely because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the disruptions that it brought about. The exceptions are a few multilateral institutions, such as the World Bank and AfDB, whose credits we are servicing and are bearable. In a sense, this is why you have seen stability in the exchange rate; foreign currency is not flowing out as much as it was doing before. However, that standstill ends at the end of this year. So, starting next year in January, our Budget will take note of the fact that we will have to service the debt.


Madam Speaker, pending the expiry of the DSSI, as referred to in the statement, discussions have been taking place with the IMF and were just concluded last week. After the Budget is presented, those discussions will continue. Hopefully, before the end of the year, we will come to an agreement with the staff, not the Board, of the IMF. What it simply means is that members of staff of the IMF, whom we interact with, will be able to tell their management of their confidence in the management of the Zambian economy and the measures that are being taken.


Madam Speaker, we are confident that if we can deal with the issue of debt unsustainability, the IMF package programme can assist Zambia to go forward. So, we have to deal with this issue of debt unsustainability so that the IMF will be able to say, ‘The extent to which Zambia’s debt is unsustainable is –’ and it will specify the amount of Dollars that make us drown, and on the basis of that information, the Zambian Government, together with its supporters like the IMF and all the bilateral partners, will be able to approach the creditors and say, ‘Look, this is the amount of money that Zambia needs to have as relief on debt service for it to come out of the water.  Otherwise, the country will not be able to pay teachers and doctors, and will hardly do anything except servicing debt.” So, that quantum will be defined, which means that even as we negotiate with the creditors, there will be a target amount of money that we will be hoping to get by the manner in which we are going to treat the debt, whether it is stretching the annual payments so that they come down or any other mechanism we are going to agree upon. That will be the target.


Madam Speaker, the period for the agreement with the IMF might be before the end of the year. In the new quarter, next year, is when we will engage the creditors to negotiate the kind of debt relief that is required for Zambia to be able, again, to run its affairs like a normal country. So, the target date for agreeing with the creditors is sometime next year, whether it is in the first or second quarter. However, the condition for that is to get some agreement with the IMF because the creditors need to be assured that if they give us that relief, we will be able to service our debt at whatever level consistently. The IMF is like the referee; it gives the stamp of approval to the proposal that if we are assisted, we will be able to stand on our own.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kapyanga (Mpika Central): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the elaborate statement and for being sincere enough to tell Zambians exactly how much the external debt stock of our country is. Although it is being portrayed that debt contraction was bad, we have infrastructure doted across the country, and I am sure that was the reason those debts were contracted. 


Madam Speaker, who is telling the truth between the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and His Excellency the President who, last week, indicated that the external debt stock was above US$37 billion? The people of Mpika want to know who is telling the truth between the hon. Minister and His Excellency the President.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I think it is important to understand that for matters such as these, financial matters, there are different approaches to reporting. The numbers that I am indicating now are based on the amount of loans that have actually been disbursed. That does not mean that is the end of the story because there are other loans for which contracts have been signed. So, as far as the contracts are concerned, those loans have been signed for. However, the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) say that you must report on debts in which disbursements have been made. Were we to include the loans that we have signed for and the running contracts, then, to the numbers that I indicated would be added US$4.4 billion. Of course, we know that we are already chocking. So, we have to know what do with the extra US$4.4 billion, and we have to negotiate over some of it because, I am sure lawyers in this House know, we cannot unilaterally change or cancel a contract once it has been signed. So, for some of the contracts, we have to go back and say that we really cannot take anymore. Of course, while some will say ‘Yes’, others will insist on continuing with the contract.


Madam Speaker, in certain cases, we will negotiate for cancellation while in others, we may negotiate for the downsizing of the loans by reducing the level of interaction or intervention for which we would have wanted the loan. So, in short, the debt amount mentioned depends on what the hon. Member is talking about. If he is talking about even the loans that have been signed for, but not yet disbursed, we have to add US$4.4 billion to the figure that we have mentioned here. In this regard, I do not know what the President had in mind. It is possible that he also had in mind contracts we have been signing. Therefore, I do not see any inconsistency.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, I start by commending Her Honour the Vice-President and Leader of Government Business in the House for standing in for the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, and running with the statement as she did.


Madam Speaker, the statement the hon. Minister has issued today and the one he issued earlier this week are quite consistent with the statements that the hon. Minister’s predecessor shared with this august House. Further, being privileged to have been in the Cabinet, I do recall that his predecessor came to this House to talk about some of the measures that he has mentioned in his statement, such as the possible cancellation or re-scoping of debts that were in the pipeline, and equitable and transparent treatment of all creditors, through what is referred to as pari-passu. If you go through the Cabinet records, you will find those resolutions.  


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister and his predecessor are credible and respected professionals, and have built their names over the years. Would he share with this august House whether, by any chance, his predecessor made misrepresentations regarding the figures of the external debt stock? I ask this question because what he has done today is to basically break down the figures of the debt stock that we have been given in this august House. He has professionals he inherited at the ministry.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for this question.




PF Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: Sorry, I meant the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member is known to be a man who wants people to adhere to the law, short of which one gets into trouble. Now, he wants me to stand here and accuse somebody who is not here to defend himself. I cannot.




Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mabeta (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for being consistent in trying to be as transparent as possible with the people of Zambia.


Madam Speaker, among the loans contracted by the corrupt Patriotic Front (PF) former Government, are there some with non-disclosure clauses?


Hon. Member: Question!


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


Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order.


Madam Speaker, the statement that was issued d by Her Honour the Vice-President on behalf of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was very clear, and you have given us the opportunity to ask questions on points of clarification. However, I note with concern that my dear colleague, the hon. Member on the Floor, wants to make wild allegations that he cannot substantiate. He heard the hon. Minister here, who knows the rules of this august House very well, avoid citing anyone when a question was posed to him. With reference to Standing Order No. 131, which talks about how we should conduct ourselves here, is the hon. Member in order to make wild allegations of corruption that he cannot verify on the Floor of this august House?


Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, as we ask questions, let us stick to what the ministerial statement is about. Also, we are just seeking clarification. Before I allowed you to ask questions, I reminded you to be aware of, or familiarise yourselves with, the provisions of Standing Order No. 71. Let us read that Standing Order, and it will give us guidance as to the manner of asking questions and the nature of questions to be asked.


Hon. Member for Kankoyo, please, rephrase your question.


Mr Mabeta: Madam Speaker, thank you for the guidance, but it is just a matter of time before my statement is proved true.


Madam Speaker, my question is: Among the loans that were contracted by the previous regime, the PF Government, are there any with non-disclosure clauses?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, yes, I can confirm that in some of the agreements, there are non-disclosure clauses.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Madam Speaker, Zambia benefitted from the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt cancellation in the early 2000s. That debt cancellation happened after a lot of advocacy by many key players, and I happened to be part of one of them. It is, therefore, sad to see that a country that had almost all of its debt cancelled around 2005 has found itself in debt of about US$15 billion in 2021. What mechanisms is the Government putting in place to ensure that the New Dawn Government of His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema and the leadership of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning does not repeat the mistake of continuing to accumulate debt at the expense of Zambians, especially those not yet born?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, as said in the statement, the ‘New Dawn’ Government is committed to presenting a Bill to Parliament in compliance with the Constitution, and that Bill is going to give Members of Parliament powers to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to any proposed borrowing. It is my conviction that Members of Parliament will, at every stage, be asking about our debt sustainability when a new loan is proposed to be added. So, that is one safety measure that is going to assist.


Madam Speaker, the second measure is our commitment to governing properly. You can have laws and regulations but, if you have a government that is not committed to governing properly, it will always find ways of circumventing those laws and regulations. I am sure the hon. Colleagues who have been here longer recall that on several occasions, proposals were brought to this House, where appropriate, to keep extending the limit to the amount of money that can be borrowed. So, there was a legal safeguard but, using the arrogance of numbers, those safeguards were overridden. So, that commitment is very important. After all, the law that governs borrowing today existed before the last Government came into office. When it came to being committed to good governance, the previous Governments restrained themselves. However, I can assure you that this Government will not just depend on laws, but also on having the conscience to restrain itself from excesses.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mapani (Namwala): Madam Speaker, was the debt acquired used to the benefit of Zambians? If not, what are we doing to ensure that we do not set the wrong precedent of debts being acquired, yet the citizens of this country do not see any benefits despite being subjected to the kind of situation we are going through?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, like in every situation, there are some things that are acceptable and others that are not. For example, if I take into account the issue of electricity, I do not think anyone of us here would argue that it was wrong to borrow money to improve power generation because it was the right thing to do. We can question the amount of money that was borrowed in such loans but, certainly, not the intention.


Madam Speaker, there were also areas on which given the chance, I would not have agreed to spend money. For example, if you go to the Government offices area, you will see quite a number of buildings or office blocks. I would not have agreed that we go all the way to China to borrow money to put up an office block, especially when there were so many high schools all over the country that were left at 10 per cent, 20 per cent and 30 per cent of construction. I would have said, ‘If we are borrowing money, let us make sure that schools are completed because they are more important’. The future of the nation is in the children. So, I maintain that the building of office blocks was wrong prioritisation. I would also question, for example, the new airport in Ndola, which cost almost US$400 million to build because Ndola already had an airport. The only problem with the old airport is the terminal building. Surely, US$20 million to US$30 million would have been enough to upgrade the old airport while the rest of the money would have gone into colleges, schools and hospitals. Which kind of tourism is going to be promoted in Ndola? There is no game park or waterfalls. So, what is the purpose of that new airport?


Madam Speaker, in short, there were some things that were useful, but many others were that were highly undesirable, including those items that were purchased for tormenting, harassing and intimidating Zambians. We all recall a long convoy of very aggressive-looking vehicles at a time police posts like those in Kalabo only had a single Land Cruiser that was about twelve years old.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, now that the country has been made aware of its debt stock, is the hon. Minister able to come back to this House and inform the nation of the intended purposes for each debt that was incurred and the conditions on which such debts were agreed?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, that is possible, but I am not sure that it would be the right usage of Parliament’s time. Maybe, I should urge that the Committee responsible for these matters to take this up as a subject of its study when the time comes and present reports to Parliament because to tackle such a question in the time we normally have here might take all of our time.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Nyirenda (Lundazi): Madam Speaker, I know that a borrower is always a slave to the lender.


Madam Speaker, we have found ourselves in this situation. However, just at the beginning of this week, the Government disbursed the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). How comfortable should we be, as hon. Members of Parliament, when spending that money? Maybe, the United Party for National Development (UPND) has contracted another loan.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, yes, the UPND Government will borrow money. Currently, we are negotiating for a loan, which I think has actually been signed.


Ms Mulenga interjected.


Dr Musokotwane: Listen!


This loan is to construct high schools –


Ms Mulenga: Ah!


Dr Musokotwane: I have to disclose to you because I cannot hide from you the way you were hiding.


Government Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I say so with a very clear conscience because we are borrowing money so that high schools are constructed. This loan is, actually, in two parts. The first part was incurred by the previous Government. In that loan from the World Bank –




Madam Speaker: Order!


Allow the question to be answered, then, you can ask more follow-up questions.


Dr Musokotwane: In that loan, two provinces were completely left out, just like it was when money was borrowed from the World Bank for rural feeder roads. The two provinces are the Western and North-Western provinces. Similarly, three provinces were left out of the loans from the World Bank for high schools, namely the Western, the North-Western and the Copperbelt provinces, I suspect. So, part of the loan we contracted is as a result of the fact that our colleagues used to choose who to fund and who to reject. In this House, they would say they were not leaving anyone behind when in reality, they were leaving some people behind. This loan that we are acquiring now for high schools is to ensure that those who were left behind will now also be uplifted.


Government Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I have no shame or apologies to make about this. Were it a loan to buy hand-cuffs and teargas, I would have said ‘No’.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Government Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Member: Wonderful!


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, I stand here as a very sad and disappointed Zambian. This is because in Bemba, we say mpyanango apyana namabala, which literally means that if you take over something, you need to take it over with all the challenges it comes with. For example, there must not be any celebration of a juice-making plant in Mwinilunga while disowning the loan. There must be no excitement –


Government Hon. Members: Question!


Mr Fube: You will not intimidate me by that.


Madam, there must not be any excitement over the electrification of seven districts of the North-Western Province while disowning the loan. There must not be any excitement in appreciating the Kazungula Bridge while disowning the loan.


Ms Mulenga: Hammer!


Mr Fube: I am disappointed because we have not attached the right attitude towards our arguments around the debts. We have all been around –


Government Hon. Members: Question!


Mr Fube: I will be asking a question soon. I have the right to speak.


Madam Speaker, when Dr Kaunda left a US$7 billion debt, the Chiluba Administration announced the debt to the people, but took up the responsibility because it knew that the debt was used to build the nation in one way or the other. I was in Jubilee 2000, which championed debt cancellation, when some people have been boasting about doing this and that –


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


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chilubi!


As I guided, as you ask your question, curtail your opening remarks because there are several other hon. Members who want to ask questions. Debating is not asking a question. Please, go straight to your question so that we can use the time diligently.


Mr Fube: Madam Speaker, so far, this Government is exhibiting a defeatist attitude towards the debt, but it wants to own the development by commissioning hospitals and many other things that came from the debt? When is it going to attach the right attitude, as opposed to the irresponsibility we are currently seeing?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the Government is showing the right attitude towards debts. The first thing is to accept that the debts exist. When you try to hide the fact that this debt is a problem, as did our previous colleagues, then, you are very far from the solution. A few moments ago, I said that some of the money was put into items that I consider to be useful. I think it is right for me, when, in my opinion, the opposite was done, to indicate that some of the loans were not applied on useful things. That is not being negative. If I have to be critical on certain things, so be it.


Madam Speaker, I can add that the loan that I was talking about a few moments ago on education is not just useful in terms of the manner that it is going to be applied, but also in terms of its repayment terms, which are the softest that you can find, that is, about half per cent interest rate repaid over about thirty years. Surely, what quarrel can one have with a loan with conditions like these?


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mutinta (Itezhi-Tezhi): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for labouring to find solutions for the problems that were created by people who did not care for Zambians. I am very certain that he is equal to the task because he wants to find the solution to the problem. My question is: In his quest to manage the crisis we are in, has he not bothered to investigate whether some people got kick-backs at the point of acquiring some of the loans?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I am sure the wings in the Government that are responsible for investigating crime will take note of your question. Indeed, they took note of this concern even before you asked the question. So, let us wait and see what they are going to find.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lubozha (Chifubu): Madam Speaker, the debt sounds very huge and has become a burden on the 18 million Zambians. Did Parliament ratify the contraction of some of the loans contracted in the previous regime? Further, what are the prospects, in the current Administration, of Parliament being engaged in the contraction of some future debts?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, Parliament was not involved. Going forward, as I indicated, a Bill will be presented to the House to give power to Parliament to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to loan proposals.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Andeleki (Katombola): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the elaborate statement. My question is: Has the Government taken any measures to recover some of the funds that were borrowed but ended up in the pockets of people, most of whom are with us while some are outside this House? I have in mind the US$17 million that was paid to Honey Bee. We are aware that the then Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Chitalu Chilufya, is in this House, and the only treatment he got was being fired.


Madam Speaker:  Order, hon. Member!


I believe the matter that you are referring to is being investigated and probably in court. Further, as we ask questions, let us avoid debating ourselves. The hon. Members of this House should not be debated.


You can rephrase your question.


Mr Andeleki: Madam Speaker, I am well guided, but this matter is not in court. 


Madam Speaker, are there any measures in the new Government to recover money that was borrowed, but ended up in people’s pockets? I have in mind the Eurobond that was meant for revamping Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL), but ended up being used in the procurement of helicopters. Further, are there plans to take disciplinary actions over loans that were acquired against the provisions of the Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) Act?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, a few minutes ago, I said that Zambia has investigative wings, which take interest in those possibilities. I am sure they are working and that at an appropriate time, they will inform the nation about their findings.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Madam Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events. I, therefore, forego the opportunity.


Mr Malambo (Magoye): Madam Speaker, in light of the answer to the question asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala, is the hon. Minister likely to come to this House and tell us the true cost of the ambulances, fire tenders, some toll gates and other suspicious expenditures that were made by the previous Government?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, again, that is a task for the investigative agencies. Once the agencies are ready, if there is anything tangible that they will find, they will inform the nation.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Ms Chonya (Kafue): Madam Speaker, I do sympathise with the hon. Minister over the debt situation of our country. However, I also heard the hon. Minister indicate that, inevitably, the Government would acquire some loans to put up educational infrastructure. Is the Government also thinking the same way regarding roads so that constituencies like Kafue, which did not benefit much in the past, can now benefit?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, loans can still be acquired, but only the concessional ones like the one I mentioned a few moments ago, which is for building secondary schools, and will be repaid in thirty years at the interest rate of 0.5 per cent, making the amounts for yearly repayments very little.


Madam Speaker, part of the strategy, going forward, in terms of rearranging the debts that I talked about is, in fact, to structure the existing loans in a manner that mimics concessional loans like the one that I just mentioned, whether through stretching the repayment period or through other mechanisms. Once we achieve that, a bit more room will be opened up for borrowing, especially on concessional terms. Where we are today, it is very hard to get a non-concessional loan because we are already failing to service the regular loans, and we would not borrow regular loans knowing, right from the start, that we would fail to service them.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam Speaker gave the Floor to Mr Sampa, but he was unavailable.


Mr E. Banda (Muchinga): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has just mentioned that some provinces were left out of the World Bank loan for educational infrastructure. The people of Muchinga want to know whether this time around, they will not be left out, considering that there are three schools that have been neglected in the constituency, namely Mailo, Kanona and Chibale Day secondary schools. The schools have been partially opened without proper infrastructure.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, there is equity across the country in the manner the resources  are being distributed. Regarding the loan that I am talking about, it will be an issue of determining the provinces that benefitted in the first phase and the ones that did not, and the whole exercise will be done transparently. Further, this loan is not the only source of funding for schools. Therefore, let us wait and see what will be in the 2022 Budget regarding interventions in this area.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Madam Speaker, I am now getting worried, and I hope I will not get disappointed.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has just told us that we are about to contract a new loan specifically for secondary schools. You may wish to note that in my constituency, there are two schools at 90 per cent, namely Chiwale and Zing’omba secondary schools. If you go there today, you will find a sorry sight. The District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) has since moved in to protect the infrastructure, but laboratories are not there. Further, we had to beg World Vision to give us water and the contractor has moved out. So, the schools may go to waste if we do not move in as soon as we can. however,


Madam Speaker, the sentiments of the hon. Minister are not encouraging for the country. As we debate in Parliament, we are live on air. Therefore, I advise the hon. Minister to be careful when issuing statements. My question is: Does it mean that schools that have been abandoned by contractors at 90 per cent will not be looked at?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I sympathise with the hon. Member for Nyimba over the schools that have been left at 90 per cent. However, that is only one example. There are many schools across the country that were left at 10 per cent, 20 per cent 30 per cent, 40 per cent, et cetera, and that is precisely why, earlier, I said that it was wrong for us to borrow money to build office blocks all over Lusaka when schools, such as the ones in the hon. Member’s constituency, were being left unattended to. No wonder, as the United Party for National Development (UPND), we went to the public and said that our colleagues, these ones (indicated PF hon. Members), were misguided. It is because they were putting money into the wrong places, such as the schools at Nyimba.


Mr Kampyongo: Question!


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, going forward, like I said, let us wait for the 2022 Budget and see what interventions will be proposed for schools such as the ones in the hon. Member’s constituency, which are many, to be attended to the best of the ability of the financial resources that will be there. One thing the hon. Member should be assured of is that we are not going to borrow money to build office blocks when schools like the ones in his constituency are at 90 per cent and stuck there.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Madam Speaker, I am very thankful for the answers from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning gave an example of the prudent utilisation of borrowed money when he cited the new Ndola International Airport, which has gobbled more than US$400 million when we could have spent US$30 million to rehabilitate the old Ndola International Airport terminal. Will the hon. Minister not consider spending the monies that are being borrowed now on rehabilitating the existing school structures? In my constituency, Roan Antelope Secondary School, at which I am pleased to have served as headboy thirty-five years ago, is dilapidated and needs a facelift. Is the hon. Minister not considering spending some money on rehabilitating existing structures like Roan Antelope and Mpatamatu secondary schools?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, as I said in my statement, regarding the financing from the World Bank, three provinces were left out, namely the Copperbelt, Western and North-Western provinces. So, I urge the hon. Member to discuss with the hon. Minister of Education on how the latter intends to utilise that portion that will go to the Copperbelt Province. Beyond that, as I said earlier, let us wait and see what will be in the Budget.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.







12.  Mr Simuzingili (Gwembe) asked the Vice-President:

  1. whether the Government has any plans to publish the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Voting Patterns and Electoral Violence During the 2016 General Elections; and
  2. if so, when the report will be released to the public.


 The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango): Madam Speaker, the Government is, indeed, in receipt of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Voting Patterns and Electoral Violence During the 2016 General Elections, which presents findings on the voting patterns in the general elections conducted from 2006 to 2016. In accordance with Government procedures on commissions of inquiry reports such as this one, it is important that the findings and recommendations are critically analysed by the Government prior to the report being published and, consequently, circulated to the public. The Government will, therefore, thoroughly analyse the report and decide the next course of action thereafter.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, it is very clear that the report needs to be published in order for us to find remedial measures, going forward, seeing that in the recent past, there have been incidents of violence that have been not only unprecedented, but also unZambian. We also note that in most cases, our youths are used as agents of violence, and this is mainly because of high levels of unemployment. Political party leaders have taken advantage of the situation and used youths as tools of violence. Further, the Government has made the right decision to remove the youths from markets and bus stations in order to restore sanity in those areas? Does the Government have immediate plans for the youths so that during by-elections and future elections, we do not see what we saw in the past reoccur?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I will not be drawn into the report of the commission, whose findings I am not privy to, until we go through it for us to know whether truly the violence the hon. Member is talking about is in the findings. The hon. Member may ask a question on our plans, but this question is on a matter that is inconclusive. After we have seen the report, we will address it. So, I cannot address myself to this question right now.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




13.    Mr Mushanga (Bwacha) asked the Minister of Water Development and Sanitation:


  1. when the construction of the Makululu Water Project in Bwacha Parliamentary Constituency will commence;
  2. what the total number of households to benefit from the project is; 
  3. what the cause of the delay in commencing the project is; and
  4. what the estimated cost of the project is.


The Minister of Water Development and Sanitation (Mr Mposha): Madam Speaker, the project is scheduled to commence in 2022, once the funds are made available.


Madam Speaker, about 35,000 people in Makululu Compound and surrounding areas are expected to directly benefit from the project.


Madam Speaker, the delay in undertaking the project was due to non-availability of funds.


Madam Speaker, the estimated cost of the project is K34.5 million.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mushanga: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the response to the question concerning water in Makululu Shanty Compound. For the information of the House and the public, Makululu is one of the biggest shanty compounds in Southern Africa, after Soweto in South Africa. In Zambia, it is the biggest.


Madam Speaker, I am aware that in the previous Administration, a contractor was selected and the then Government provided K1 million as an upfront payment for the contractor to move on site and commence the project. Will the same contractor continue with the project or does the ministry intend to engage a new one? If a new contractor will be engaged, when will that be done?


Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that the said contract was signed on 15th January, 2019, for a duration of twelve months. Obviously, there has been a time lapse, and my ministry will carry out a review to ascertain the way forward. The House will be informed accordingly after the review has been done.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the works have not been carried out because of a lack of funds, and that he is sure that there will be an allocation for the project in the 2022 Budget. However, he knows very well that the incremental costs that have been incurred from 2019 to date in terms of materials that will be used for the project have obviously increased. Since he knows very well that the project has not commenced due to a lack of funds, what review is the ministry going to carry out that will satisfy the people of Kabwe?


Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, like I said, the contract was signed in January, 2019, and the works commenced, in terms of the contractor mobilising and going on site. Further, the contractor requested for an advance payment of about K6.9 million out of K34.5 million. Unfortunately, at that time, the advance payment available for the contractor was only K1 million. The works done are around 5 per cent of the project. This is why I am saying that because of a time lapse, we will carry out a review and make a decision in terms of whether the contractor will continue with the works, which is the subject of the question asked by the hon. Member for Bwacha Constituency. In the review, we will obviously look at the cost implication.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Halwiindi (Kabwe Central): Madam Speaker, the question I wanted to pose was based on the fact that it had not been mentioned that the contractor had mobilised on site. However, since the hon. Minister has said that the contractor mobilised and that he was paid K1 million, it is now clear. I was wondering why the contractor was paid K1 million when he had not moved on site.


Mr Mushanga: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the additional information. Being the Member of Parliament for Bwacha Constituency, I am aware that K1 million was made available to the contractor, but the contractor did not move on site.


Mrs Halwiindi: Why was the K1 million paid?


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Kabwe Central!


Continue, hon. Member for Bwacha.


Mr Mushanga: Further, the hon. Minister stated that the works are at 5 per cent, but there has been no movement in percentage terms in the work. Additionally, when the hon. Minister was responding to the first question, he indicated that the works would commence in 2022 when funds are made available. However, I remind my colleagues that when they were in the Opposition and Ministers in the then Ruling Party, the Patriotic Front (PF), used the phrase ‘the works will commence when funds are made available’, they used to say, “Only when it came to the UPND’. Now, they can see that it is normal for a Minister to stand on the Floor of the House and indicate that works will commence when funds are made available.


Madam Speaker, my question is: What will happen if a new contractor is selected, since I know that the contractor returned the K1 million to the utility company, Lukanga Water Supply and Sanitation Company? The K1 million is still with the utility company, and the contractor said that the money was not enough. As a result, he could not move on site and begin the works. So, nothing has been done so far.


Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, it could be true that nothing much was done, and I indicated that according to our records, the contractor mobilised and activities up to 5 per cent were recorded. Unfortunately, when the hon. Member of Parliament for Bwacha was Minister for Central Province, under which the project falls, the Government had issued instructions that it would focus on contracts for projects at 80 per cent. Therefore, my ministry’s attention moved to mostly projects that were at 80 per cent or above. Unfortunately, the project under discussion was way below 80 per cent. So, there was very little to be done.


Madam Speaker, as to what will happen in terms of the contractor, I think that can be answered after my ministry has undertaken the review that I have promised the House.


 I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Minister’s response to the question posed by the hon. Member for Bwacha.


Madam Speaker, Makululu is one of the biggest high-density areas in Central Province, and water has been a challenge in that area for quite some time. It is for that reason that the contract was procured. What is the ministry doing, through the Lukanga Water Supply and Sanitation Company, to cushion our people from the challenges they are going through pending the procurement of the contract? As you know, non-communicable diseases result from a lack of access to clean water by our people.


Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, Makululu, the settlement under discussion, has some water supply installations, about twenty-one stand pipes and around twenty-five water kiosks, which are assisting, in the meantime, to supply households with water. However, like the area hon. Member of Parliament has said, the settlement is very big, and that is why the project under discussion is very important. Therefore, it is my desire, as Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, to ensure that we find a way of ensuring that the 35,000 households targeted in Makululu are serviced. In this regard, I can only pray that the hon. Members for Shiwang’andu and Bwacha will support the budgetary allocation to the water sector so that such projects can take off.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, the people of Makululu are excited because they noted that a contract was signed with a contractor.


Now that the hon. Minister is going to review the contract, what timeframe is he giving the people of Makululu in which they can expect the review to finish and a contractor to move on site? There was a question from the hon. Member for Bwacha to that effect.


Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, like I stated, the project will take off as soon as funds are made available. I am not able to give the timeframe, but suffice it for me to say that the review will be done in good time and in line with the 2022 proposed Budget so that we can quickly plan what should be done going forward.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa): Madam Speaker, part of the question that I wanted to pose has been overtaken by the question that Hon. Kampyongo posed. However, since I have been given this rare opportunity, I just want to commend the hon. Minister for the high level of sobriety in the way he is answering questions. It is very rare that we see people answering with excitement. I should commend him on the way he is responding with a level of maturity and sobriety. That is how it should be.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


PF Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Member: Ema Minister aba!




14. Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to streamline the operations of Kasenseli Gold Mine in Mwinilunga District in order to encourage the local people to invest in the mine;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented;
  3. whether there are any plans to open up the mine to foreign investors; and
  4. if so, when the plans will be implemented.


The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Kabuswe): Madam Speaker, I will give a brief background to the mine.


Madam Speaker, Kasenseli Gold Mine in Mwinilunga District was opened in 2020, after the Zambia Gold Company Limited was granted Small Scale Mining Licence No. 26457/HQ/SML. A processing schedule was developed following the granting of the mining licence. Subsequently, trial mining and processing activities commenced alongside exploration activities.

Madam Speaker, the company in charge of operations at the mine currently is Zambia Gold Company Limited, whose shareholders are the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) with 51 per cent and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning with 49 per cent. Kasenseli Gold Limited is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that was formed in December, 2020, to take care of the interests of the community and two Zambian investors who held licences previously. Therefore, the shareholding in Kasenseli Gold Limited is as follows:


Shareholder                                                     Percentage                 


Zambia Gold Company                                           70


PCB Mining                                                             12.5


Kampoko Resources                                                12.5


Chibwika Chiefdom Trust                                         5


Madam Speaker, the local community of Kasenseli is represented through the Chibwika Chiefdom Trust, which holds a 5 per cent stake in the company, and this is the first and only mining project in the country in which the local community has a stake from which it will benefit through dividends, on top of other corporate social responsibility programmes. In addition, an initiative to allow for further participation of the local community in exploring the resource in the Kasenseli Mine Licence Area is being finalised by Kasenseli Gold Limited in collaboration with Zambia Gold Company Limited. The programme entails working with mining co-operatives from the area in a well-controlled manner whilst allowing for technical support. Any produce is bought by the Zambia Gold Company Limited.


Madam Speaker, the initiative, being the first of its kind so far, will be piloted using two co-operatives that have been identified. Further, a board for Kasenseli Gold, representing the above-stated shareholders, was constituted and meetings were held. The parties are finalising a shareholders’ agreement.


Madam Speaker, a detailed business plan for the initiative has been completed and will be implemented once the engagement process with the co-operatives is finalised. It is expected that the engagement process will be completed by November, 2021. In addition, the Zambia Gold Company Limited is buying gold from co-operatives in various gold-producing areas in Zambia at competitive prices. Local participation will also be enhanced through the supply of goods and services to the mine once it reaches full scale operation.


Madam Speaker, currently, there are no plans of opening up the mine to foreign investors because the Government is satisfied with the operations at the mine. For example, in the first year of its operations, the mine recorded an after-tax profit of K32 million, and this shows that the mine has potential to increase its profitability once it attains full scale operation. To reach full scale operation, Zambia Gold Company Limited is undertaking detailed geological mineral exploration activities to determine the resource. The exercise is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.


Madam Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.


[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr Kabuswe: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was responding to part (c) of the question, which is on whether there are any plans to open up the mine to foreign investors.


Madam Speaker, once the geological exploration is completed, a decision will be made on whether there will be need for any foreign investment.


I thank you, Madam Speaker. 


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the answers that he has given. In 2020 and in the first quarter of this year, the responsible Government of the Patriotic Front (PF) pumped K45 million into Kansanshi Mine. Among the activities that were supposed to be undertaken was what is called ‘gold mineralisation’, which includes activities like geophysics, geochemistry and gold drilling. Even the fencing off of the licence area is included.


Madam Speaker, I have heard the hon. Minister speak from a more futuristic perspective in terms of not tagging the target. Gold mineralisation, from the perspective of that responsible Government, the PF, was about establishing the gold deposit in the mine and many other factors. If we have not established that by now, having initiated these activities around April, 2020, and the projection having seemed to be going well, with all these being activities under Phase I, when do we intend to do so, especially bearing in mind that the PF Government had already put K45 million into that activity?    


Mr Kabuswe: Madam Speaker, I heard the hon. Member say Kansanshi Mine, but I am talking about Kasenseli Gold Mine.


Mr Fube: That is Correct.  It is Kasenseli Gold Mine. Those are semantics.


Mr Kabuswe: Madam Speaker, mining is a long-term programme or project, and exploration in any mining activity, whether fully developed or not, goes on and on until one reaches a stage where one cannot explore any further.


Madam Speaker, in the speech, I said that there was a point at which we made a K32 million after-tax profit, meaning that as we are exploring, mining activities are simultaneously taking place. What we need to do for Kasenseli Gold Mine is bring sanity there so that Zambia can fully benefit from it. If there will be a need for more investment, that will be advised.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Sampa (Matero): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his thorough responses.


Madam Speaker, when I hear the word ‘order’ in respect of mines, I just know it goes to disadvantage the local people. At the Kasenseli Gold Mine in Mwinilunga, the locals were making money, enjoying themselves and helping communities just like what was happening at the Black Mountain in Kitwe. Mwinilunga is tired of talking about pineapples for years, and God suddenly brought up gold there. Are you looking to give the locals in Mwinilunga the rights to mine the gold there and sell it to the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investments Holdings (ZCCM-IH) so that money remains with the locals? The moment you bring in foreigners, that will be it; the locals will lose out. Do you have a deliberate policy to ensure that the locals of Mwinilunga and the Jerabos in Kitwe, at the Black Mountain, benefit?  


Mr Kabuswe: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Matero. I know he is very passionate about the country. I can get that in the way he asks questions.


Madam Speaker, when we talk about order, it means that as the focus of the New Dawn Government is to achieve a win-win situation for investors and Zambians. We realise that the seat on which we are sitting was given to us by the people of Zambia and, therefore, are alive to the fact that whatever decisions we make, as leaders, hon. Ministers and hon. Members, should benefit the people of Zambia, who have given us this seat. So, I assure the hon. Member that whatever decisions we make in as far as order in the mining sector is concerned, Zambians will be key, and the result must always be a win-win situation.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.  


Ms Chonya (Kafue): Madam Speaker, Kasenseli Gold Mine has been in the limelight of late, and for good reasons. How soon is the Government intending to expand its mining interests to other areas, such as Kafue and Chikankata? I have recently heard of the two places having gold as well.


Madam Speaker: The question relates to Kasenseli Gold Mine. So, maybe, the hon. Member for Kafue should file in a question specifically to address those areas.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Madam Speaker, with the current rate of mining at Kasenseli Gold Mine, (inaudible) what is the life span of the mine?


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, just repeat your question. We could not get it because your connection was breaking.


Mr Chaatila: Madam Speaker, at the current rate of mining at Kasenseli Gold Mine, what is the expected life span of the mine?


Mr Kabuswe: Madam Speaker, although the question sounds a bit scrambled, I will try to answer based on what I have understood of it.


Madam Speaker: He is asking about the lifespan of Kasenseli Mine.


Mr Kabuswe: Madam Speaker, as I said in my statement, the exploration is on-going; we are yet to determine the lifespan of the mine. When that is done, we will come back to the House and provide that information.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the statement. I believe that he will not fail the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development.


Madam Speaker, when gold was discovered in Kasenseli, there was a gold rush and, as such, the environment was not conducive for operations. You can only mine in an environment that is conducive for mining. Could the hon. Minister kindly state whether the security concerns at Kasenseli Gold Mine have been attended to? The locals were rushing in and even pulled the perimeter wire fence. Further, what percentage of employment will the locals benefit from Kasenseli Gold Mine?


Mr Kabuswe: Madam Speaker, indeed, there was a lot of confusion at the mine after the gold was discovered. I think that the insincerity of those who were manning the place created anxieties in the community in Mwinilunga. What we are trying to do is make people realise that it is important to include the locals whenever an activity that brings economic development in an area is undertaken. A social contract with the people is very important when there is wealth in a particular area, and I think that the people of Kasenseli were feeling like they were getting a raw deal from a deposit that is in their area. As I keep saying, as the New Dawn Government, we want to bring order and sanity, including making sure that the people who host that rich resource are actually benefiting from it even as mining activities are being undertaken. The benefit could be in terms of employment, corporate social responsibility and the shares that have been offered to them through Chief Chibwika. So, I assure the hon. Member that the people will be taken care of. As a matter of fact, if clearance is given, on Sunday, I will travel to the North-Western Province, and Kasenseli is a target area.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I do appreciate the responses of the hon. Minister responsible for mines.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has given us the share structure in Kasenseli Gold Mine, and has said that Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) holds 51 per cent and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning holds 19 per cent, which add up to 70 per cent. There is also Kampoko Resources and the other entity which, I think, were existing interests at the time the activities commenced.


Madam Speaker, we have been on this matter together with the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga. The sticking point that needs to be resolved, as you go to Kasenseli, is the mistrust over how the Chibwika Chiefdom Trust is structured. What we need to do, probably, with the help of the hon. Minister, is deal with this matter, because the ordinary citizens feel left out. So, the hon. Minister has to protect the integrity of the chief and the chiefdom set-up; the village headmen, on the one hand, and the ordinary citizens, whose expectations are different, on the other. Is he able to discuss with the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning how the ordinary citizens of the chiefdom can be catered for away from the trust in order to manage the expectations of the people and the chiefdom in that area?


Mr Kabuswe: Madam Speaker, actually, the reason I am taking the trip is to go and address such issues because Zambians must benefit from their resources. This is the song I will sing as long as His Excellency the President keeps me at the ministry. Zambia is endowed with rich mineral resources, and gold is one of them. There must always be a win-win situation; the investor wins, the worker wins and the person on the street wins, and then peace will prevail in the mining industry.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Samakayi: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister you aware that there is an impasse between the Chibwika Chiefdom and the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) regarding shareholding? The Chiefdom has asked for 10 per cent while and ZCCM-IH has proposed 5 per cent. 


Mr Kabuswe: Madam Speaker, we will travel to Kasenseli to sort out whatever differences are there.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chisanga (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, there will definitely be a need for the mine to raise additional capital for expansion of its operations in the near future. Is the hon. Minister considering floating some of its shares on the capital markets as well as getting other Zambians to participate in the stake of the mine?


Mr Kabuswe: Madam Speaker, if the hon. Member followed my response to the questions, he has heard me say that we would consider that after the programmes that we are working on are done. I think I made that clear in my response.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.                                                        


Mr Lubozha (Chifubu): Madam Speaker, I want to make reference to countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and others in the Middle East, which have done very well in growing their economies using revenue from the oil that is there. Now, Zambia has a lot of mineral wealthy which, if managed well, would bring us economic growth, and this country would not have been depending on some of the loans we talk about. It is like where we came from, we have had a custom of managing the mining industry with kid gloves. Under the New Dawn Administration, what is the hon. Minister’s assurance to the people of Chifubu in terms of how the management of Kasenseli Gold Mine is going to contribute to the positivity of this economy, and create the jobs that the youths and many citizens of Chifubu are waiting for?


Mr Kabuswe: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Chifubu must rest assured that Zambia is in good hands and that Zambians will benefit from whatever resource that this country has, and we are equal to the task.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Samakayi: Madam Speaker, one of the challenges at Kasenseli Gold Mine is that the operator has not been able to put up a robust security system, and that is leading to wastage and theft of gold as well as loss of lives. There is camp a few kilometres from the mine, and that is a source of concern as far as security is concerned. When is the Government going to put up operations to remove the people who have come from all over the world to settle in that area and are contributing to the theft of gold and loss of lives at the mine?


Mr Kabuswe: Madam Speaker, I know that the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga is very passionate about his people.


Madam Speaker, one thing I can say is that security is being enhanced at Kasenseli Gold Mine. I got a report from ZCCM-IH yesterday to that effect. For example, closed-circuit television (CCTV) is being installed. The influx of people can indicate development, and we can use it positively. The only thing that we need to do is make sure that the place is secured and the pilferage is reduced. In any arrangement, you cannot expect 100 per cent protection against pilferage. However, I can assure the hon. Member that we are going to make sure that there is minimal pilferage at the mine.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member should be excited if there is an influx of people in his area because that can positively be used to development that place. Then there will be activities that our people will be engaged in. For instance, if they have houses, their rentals will skyrocket, and that will be a benefit to the local people. The only thing we have to do is protect the resource so that it benefits the country and its people.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




15. Mr Sampa asked the Minister of Health:


  1. when the newly constructed health post in Chunga Township in Matero Parliamentary Constituency will be opened to the public;
  2. when staff will be deployed to the health post; and
  3. what categories of staff will be deployed.


The Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo): Madam Speaker, the health post in Chunga Township in Matero Parliamentary Constituency is currently at 85 per cent, And will only be opened to the public once the remaining works are completed. The House may wish to note that the building structure is currently used for outreach services by staff from the existing Chunga Health Post.


Madam Speaker, the staff will be deployed to the health post once the construction is completed.


Madam, the following categories of staff will be deployed, as per the approved structure of a health post:


  1. one Heath Post In-Charge;
  2. one Zambia Enrolled Midwife;
  3. one Environmental Health Technologist;
  4. two Enrolled Nurses;
  5. two Community Health Assistants;
  6. one Medical Records Clerk;
  7. one cleaner; and
  8. one watchman.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Sampa: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for your response. I asked this question knowing that she would not say the Patriotic Front (PF) is the one that left this and that. I believe she has the wellbeing of the entire nation; 18 million people, at heart.


Madam Speaker, like, Chilenje and Kanyama, Matero is lucky to have a general hospital that is almost equivalent to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH). It also has a health post in Chunga, which is the subject of the question to which the hon. Minister has responded. However, what I have seen is that despite the structures being put in place, the staff just do not show up. I believe it is the same situation with many other constituencies. Doctors are assigned, but they are not in the hospitals. Staff from my office went to inspect Matero Level 1 Hospital and found long queues, just like it was in the United National Independence Party (UNIP) days, when patients arrived at 0800 hours and were still there at 11 hours.


Madam, I do not know whether the officers still use the chikwakwa way of writing prescriptions. Maybe, we need to modernise them. How will the hon. Minister ensure that doctors and nurses show up for duty during the day? Even when they are on night duty, they do not know it. When you visit the clinic, even the UTH, in the night, you will find that the doctors and nurses have locked themselves in and are sleeping, yet they are on night duty. If I were to be on night duty at Parliament, I would be here in the night and sleep during daytime.


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, the question the hon. Member has asked is new. He is no longer talking about the Chunga Health Post, but the mini-hospitals in Matero and other places. However, since issues of health are important, I will, with your permission, give a bonus answer.


Madam Speaker, I have, on the Floor of this House, indicated that we have a crisis in the health sector regarding health staff, and it is not only in Matero. That is the situation in which we have found ourselves. In most of our health facilities in the country, be they lower-level health posts, or first-level, second-level or tertiary hospitals, there are no enough staff. This is against a background where we have enough trained doctors, nurses and paramedics who have not been employed because resources have not been allocated to allow the Ministry to get them on board. In some cases, like the one we heard about yesterday, some of the few we had were fired.


Madam Speaker, the other problem that we found was the indiscriminate transfer of health workers from one facility to another. When there was a new hospital that had to be opened, staff were moved from existing hospitals because of a lack of resources to employ. In a hospital where there may have been three doctors, one was taken to a new facility, which created a worse shortage.


Madam Speaker, the situation in the health sector, as we found it, is not a good story, but there is no need for us to cry about the past. The people of Zambia made a decision that was based on these challenges. So, you will not hear me talk about those challenges, and that is why I just answer; we are just trying to work.


Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President gave his guidance when he came on the Floor of this House. He was focused on issues and challenges because he went around the country and heard about these things. Even today, when the President was at the re-launch, two young nurses asked to say something to him instead of greeting him. After the President told them to go ahead, they said they were volunteer nurses who had not yet been employed. Someone else said there were many others like them, and that is the reality that we found. Help us. Let us work together so that we resolve these issues because they affect all of us irrespective of who we are, which political party we belong to, or how rich or poor we are.


Madam Speaker, the President has already instructed the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to ensure that the 2022 Budget takes into account a number of these challenges. The challenge of health workers is just one. However, there are certain issues or challenges that are man-made, such as transferring many people without regard for where they are coming from, what they are leaving and where they are going. We should be able to deal with some of these things from an administrative point of view to ensure that the distribution of health workers countrywide is fair by taking populations and other factors into account. We will be doing that in a transparent way; in a manner that will not raise eyebrows and questions. Even hon. Members will be able to say that it is right.


Madam Speaker, I have talked about skilled staff. We have very few of them, yet you will find most of them in one hospital, in Lusaka or at the headquarters instead of being where they are needed the most. It will take a bit of time, but we are working around the clock to ensure that the issue of human resource is dealt with to the satisfaction of the Zambian people.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Fube: Madam Speaker, the people of Chilubi would like to benefit from the question asked by the hon. Member for Matero by asking.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister tabulated the human resource that is supposed to be found in a health post, and the structures he mentioned in Matero, the health posts, clinics and the like, are predominant in Chilubi. What is the difference between the establishment found in a clinic and that of health posts, especially on the qualifications of the Health Post In-Charge? The hon. Minister did not talk about the qualifications, but just said, “One Health Post In-Charge”. The rest, by nature of what she was mentioning, such as “nurse”, we know them because we know the classes of nurses. On that score, the people of Chilubi want to benefit from her knowledge.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Chilubi, that question is outside the scope of the principal question on the Floor. I advise that you file in a specific question to address that issue. Now, we are talking about a clinic in Chunga Township in Matero Parliamentary Constituency.


Mr C. Mpundu (Chembe): Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister assure the people of Chunga that the health post will be open twenty-four hours a day, looking at the distance from Chunga to the mini-hospital?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, proper health centres normally are open twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. That is how it used to be in the good old days of the United National Independence Party (UNIP). You could go to a clinic at any time and find somebody there. However, what we have seen, over time, is that when you go to most clinics you will not find anybody even as early as 1700 hours or 1800 hours. One of the reasons for this could be the problem of health staff. In a normal situation, you would have somebody knocking off at 1700 hours and someone else taking over from 1700 hours until the following morning. However, because of the numbers, you only have one person who cannot be there twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. Further, when you find some of the nurses and doctors on duty, they seem demotivated because of their workload; they are understaffed and do so much work by themselves. This is not how it should be.


Madam, the health profession is noble and when people choose professions, they are expected to understand what is at stake. The job of a doctor, nurse or medical officer is done from the heart. I always tell people that if they choose to be politicians like me, they should not expect to be rich. If they have come to politics to be rich, then, they are in the wrong sector. If they want to make money, they should be business people. The same applies to this profession. It is one of those professions with people who are among the most educated, but least paid. That said, we will do everything within our means to improve the working conditions of our health workers by increasing the numbers of health staff at various hospital levels. Even in terms of time, we will ensure that in areas where we know there is only one clinic, the clinic operates twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week, and that will mean increasing the number of staff in that clinic. There is a lot of work to be done but, with God’s guidance, we shall make it.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lubozha: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Health has assured us that in the next Budget, the ministry is going to rectify a number of problems that most of the hospitals and health posts are currently facing. However, there is a laissez faire in most health workers. For example, people go to Chipokota Mayamba Clinic in Chifubu between 0800 hours and 1000 hours, but only go back home around 1400 hours. The attitude towards work is bad. Also, if I take a patient to Ndola Teaching Hospital at night, they will be put in the outpatient department to wait for a doctor. If you go around 2200 hours, the doctor will only come around 0100 hours to attend to the patient. What is the Ministry of Health doing to improve that attitude, which has been declared sabotage on the delivery of services to our people?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I am happy that such questions are being raised, and I hope that the health workers are also listening to some of these complaints, which are very important, as the hon. Members of Parliament speak on behalf of the people. However, I assure hon. Members that I am alive to the fact that in this country, not just in the health sector, but in almost all sectors, civil savants had stopped working. As you know, when the leadership is not working because it is busy making money, others will also not work. In this Administration, starting from the head, is very serious. I am sure you have seen that even the hon. Ministers who are here are very serious, even in the way they are answer questions. This seriousness will go down to the health workers, and I assure you that these complaints of people being lazy will not be entertained in the health profession. I just hope you will not turn around and say we are tough because we deal with lives.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mumba: Madam Speaker, the truth of the matter is that we are in a recession and that the Budget that is coming, progressive as it might be, will not be able to absorb the number of people the hon. Minister wants to be employed for better provision of services to our people. This is in reference to part (b) of the question.


Madam Speaker, is the Government considering apprenticeship programmes in the health sector? A pay in the health sector is about K6,500. Therefore, if you employ 50,000 people, you will be spending about K325 million on a monthly basis. However, if you employed 50,000 people at a minimum fee, as we did in the Patriotic Front (PF) under the apprenticeship programme, you will be spending K2000 per person a month and, as the economy grows, people start to climb on to the permanent ladder. Could the Government consider that?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, one of the things that I want hon. Members to know is that every issue brought on the Floor of this House is noted because we have somebody taking note of all the suggestions you make. We do not rubbish any suggestions. So, suggestions that come on this Floor are taken seriously and, yes, we will consider them. There are many things that we are considering as a ministry, taking into account what the hon. Member said.


Madam Speaker, there will never be a time when all the resources needed in a particular sector, especially health, will be enough. However, the little that we get should be used prudently. I believe that you will be able to see an improvement if the money that is being given to the ministry is applied judiciously. I am alive to the fact that we cannot manage to get everybody from the streets in one Budget. However, I am sure that we can get enough to make the difference and save lives. As the head of the ministry, I know that is what we are working towards.  We want to make the best use of whatever resources we have.


Madam Speaker, previously, we were not using the resources efficiently. For example, we were buying drugs at double the prices. I know that. I may not be a medical person, but I have a business background, and I know what has been going on, just as much as most people know. Therefore, we can cut down the budget in the ministry, apply that money to other needs, make the needed difference and save lives.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mwambazi (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for considering ensuring that the people who have been volunteering in the hospitals are deployed in the near future because some people have been volunteering for five years. I have those cases in Bwana Mkubwa.


Madam Speaker, has the Government made an evaluation on the remaining part of the Chunga Health Post, which is at 80 per cent, to ensure that it is completed in the quickest possible time so that the people of Chunga can access the needed health services?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member has talked about the fact that there are many health workers who are on voluntary basis and that some have worked for five years. Let me use this opportunity to ask the hon. Members to help this Government to employ those who have worked for so many years as volunteers first when we start employing, let us as opposed to employing nurses or other medical professionals who apply, but have not been volunteering.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Masebo: I am aware that there are doctors, nurses, pharmacists and various categories of health workers who have been working, some for five, four, three or two years, but they are not getting paid. They work with the hope that their Government, on its good day, will remember them.


Madam Speaker, you know what happens in this country, especially what happened with our colleagues in the past. What used to happen is that those who struggled were ignored while friends and relatives of influential people got employed at the expenses of those who have suffered. So, I will be happy if hon. Members of Parliament help me by giving me the correct information for their respective constituencies because they know what is happening and who is who. I cannot know everything. So, they will help me if they give me the right information so that my officers do what is right. Together, we can save this country.


Madam Speaker, the construction of the health post in Chunga started in 2018 and was expected to be completed in 2019. This is 2021, and I am one month old in this ministry. Therefore, I need to understand why what should have been completed in 2019 is still incomplete, and we still have this issue.


Madam Speaker, the estimated cost was K309,000.


Madam Speaker, the date for opening the health post to the public will depend on the popular phrase, ‘availability of funds’ for the remaining works. However, we shall finish constructing the health post by the next Budget, hopefully, early next year. If some works have reached the level of 80 per cent, I think any responsible Government would want to finish constructing the health post quickly so that it can open and save people.


Madam Speaker, I want my hon. Colleagues to hear me clearly when I say that some health posts and mini-clinics whose construction has not started will not be constructed because I have discovered that the allocation of health facilities in this country was not done in an equitable manner. Secondly, there are many health facilities run by faith based organisations (FBOs) like the Catholics and many other churches through the Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ), and the Government pays the staff under those health facilities and gives them drugs. So, it does not make sense for the Government to set up a health facility next to such facilities when somewhere in Mansa, Kasama or Choma, there may not be any facility. So, we will erect health facilities in other areas where they are needed the most, and hon. Members should take note of this. However, for those projects that are at 70 per cent or 80 per cent, we have no choice, but to finish them. Otherwise, we will be wasting resources.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Sampa: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for her responses thus far. I give her total pa total, but I have a bonus question.


Madam Speaker, I have learnt that the Bembas say ‘mpyanango apyana namabala’, meaning when you inherit or marry a widow, you take up both the good and bad things. So, all the good and bad things of the Patriotic Front (PF) in the health sector have been inherited by the current Administration.


Madam Speaker, when the Chunga Health Post is finally opened for the people of Chunga, what guarantee is there that the pharmacy will have medicines? The fact of the matter is that, and I believe it should be so even in Chongwe Constituency, pharmacies have no medicine. As per my investigation this afternoon, even in Pemba, there are no medicines in the pharmacies. If you are a new father and your wife wakes you up at 0200 hours to go and buy Calpol and you go to the pharmacy at a hospital, you will find there is nothing. The health workers will just give you a prescription. Then you have to go to a private pharmacy, which is deliberately set up adjacent to the health facility and is, maybe, owned by a Clinical Officer and pay for the medicine. If you are a worker at Parliament, where we do not get paid well, how do you manage? What is the hon. Minister’s take on Chunga Health Post and all the other health posts, including the Level 1 hospital in Matero and everywhere else around the country? Will they have the medicines needed, such as Panadol and Calpol for new fathers?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Matero for this important follow-up question because it helps me and the Government to answer this question, which I am sure a hundred other hon. Members of Parliament would want to ask. So, I will take this opportunity to answer the question in a manner that will benefit even the other hon. Members who did not ask.


Madam Speaker, the first point is that what the hon. Member of Parliament for Matero has said is the truth on the ground. It is true that, today, we do not have sufficient drugs in many health centres countrywide. In fact, for certain drugs, which are critical, I found out that it is over a year since the last time they were in some of our health centres, including the University Teaching Hospital (UTH). Further, certain consumables that are supposed to be used, such as those for illnesses like kidney disease, are just not there. When you ask the people on the ground, they tell you that the last time they had those drugs was nine months or a year-and-a-half ago. So, yes, the challenge is there. What is bad is that in some cases, even when drugs were purchased, the drugs found themselves in private pharmacies around the country. That is the reality in our nation, and that is why the people of Zambia changed the Government. That is my take, since the hon. Member wants to know.


Madam Speaker, all hon. Members of Parliament come from constituencies where there are hospitals. In every constituency, there is, at least, a Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 health facility or a health post and a clinic, and I know that there are problems there. So, let us work together as hon. Members so that when we start delivering drugs to those hospitals, we can ensure that the drugs do not find themselves in private clinics and being sold. Obviously, such a crime cannot be committed by anybody outside a hospital. It goes without saying that is an inside job. I do not believe that it is possible for somebody who does not know what is happening in a health facility to go and steal what is inside. So, let us work together to ensure that is stopped. If I planned to go to Livingstone or Chama to check on a health facility, the would-be culprits would know that we will not make it. However, if they know that the hon. Member for Matero, for example, is also an acting Minister of Health by virtue of being part of this Government, they will not play around. So, let us unite and work for the country by ensuring that there are drugs or equipment in health facilities. We should not allow some of our health workers, and it is not all of them, who are good at stealing, to continue with that vice. Let us report any suspicious purchases or commodities found in some pharmacies. That is why we have police officers throughout the country. Let us report to the police so that they can move in and investigate. I tell you that once you report one case, others will get scared and not do it again.


Madam Speaker, we need to end the culture of stealing public resources or goods in this country. However, that can only be done if people see that we, the leadership, are above board. Once they know that I, the Minister, have a private pharmacy or the hon. Member of Parliament is using the staff to steal, for example, how will we stop them from engaging in such vices? It will be difficult. In fact, they will do worse because they will compromise the hon. Member and, once they do that, the hon. Member will not be able to talk or do anything about the vice. So, let us all start afresh.


Madam Speaker, the overpricing of goods must also be stopped. When donors donate goods, the donations find their way out of the ministry just to be taken back for the same ministry to buy. Sometimes, commodities are supplied to the Government and the quantity is said to be 100,000 units, yet the real quantity is 50,000 units. It is us, Zambians, doing those things. We are the ones killing our institutions and our children. So, let the fight against this crime start with us, the hon. Members of Parliament, because we are the leaders.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is coming up with the Budget, and all I can say is that the remaining works for the Matero Clinic have been budgeted for. I assure the hon. Member that once we adopt the Budget that will be presented by him, the health post will be opened as quickly as possible with staff. This Government is committed to serving the people of Zambia irrespective of the region or who the area Member of Parliament is because the people belong to one country and have one leadership.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Anakoka (Luena): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the elaborate response.


Madam Speaker, as health centres and facilities are distributed to places that were initially denied such, will the hon. Minister will consider revisiting the deployment of technical staff in the ministry, such as doctors, many of whom are given administrative jobs while there are not enough personnel to actually attend to patients in hospitals and clinics?


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Luena, that question is asking for more information than what the question that is being debated on the Floor encompasses. I suggest you file in a specific question for the hon. Minister to be able to answer you adequately.


Ms Nyirenda (Lundazi): Madam Speaker, the last time I visited my constituency, I was told that people had moved into a hospital facility that was at 65 per cent because they were scared of vandalism. How is the Government going to make sure that the clinic in Chunga is not vandalised before it is opened?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, in my response, I indicated that although the facility is at 85 per cent and there was still some little work to be done, it is currently used for outreach activities by staff from the existing Chunga Health Post. The reason for that is to ensure that it is not vandalised. That is what is currently happening.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




16.  Mr Samakayi asked the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development:


  1. whether the Government is aware about the deplorable state of the Kalumbila/Mwinilunga Road in the North-Western Province;
  2. if so, when rehabilitation of the road will commence;
  3. what the cost of the project is; and
  4. what the timeframe for the completion of the project is.


The Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development (Eng. Milupi): Madam Speaker, the Government is aware of the current state of the Kalumbila/Mwinilunga Road.


Madam Speaker, the works on the road will be undertaken once designs have been completed and the funds secured. Further, the Government, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), intends to include a budget line for the feasibility study and detailed designs for the required works on the Solwezi/Mwinilunga Road in the 2022 Road Sector Annual Work Plan (RSAWP).


Madam Speaker, the cost estimate for the work will only be determined once designs have been completed and approved.


Madam Speaker, the timeframe for the completion of the project will only be determined once the funds have been secured and the contractor procured.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Samakayi: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister not looking at a stop-gap measure between now and when the works will be undertaken? I ask this because the road gets really bad in the Rainy Season, sometime around January to March. Is the hon. Minister not considering setting aside some money to rehabilitate or fill the potholes on the road?


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, let me give a little more information.


Madam Speaker, the Kalumbila/Mwinilunga Road is part of the T5 Road from Solwezi to Mwinilunga, which is a trunk road. The RDA will continue to carry out maintenance works, such as pothole patching, on the whole road from Solwezi to Mwinilunga, not just on the stretch from Kalumbila to Mwinilunga, in order to keep it safe for road users as the major works are awaited, as I detailed. The section of the road from Solwezi to Mwinilunga is 282 km while the section of the road in the question asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga is 156 km.


Madam Speaker, the feasibility study and detailed designs to be undertaken on the whole of the Solwezi/Mwinilunga Road will also have a component of determining the viability of undertaking the rehabilitation works using the public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, he mentioned that a portion of funds will be allocated towards the road in the 2022 Budget. How many kilometres can be covered by what is envisaged to be put in the 2022 Budget? I ask this question so that we can determine how meaningful and prompt the works that will be done on that road will be.


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, as I detailed in the first part of my answer, through  the RDA, we shall include a budget line for a feasibility study and detailed designs for the work required on the whole of the Solwezi/Mwinilunga Road in the 2022 RSAWP. The hon. Member for Zambezi East will agree with me that until the feasibility study is undertaken, it will not be possible to answer his question in the manner he wants it answered. I think he should be a little more patient and wait for the study. However, because of the state of the road, as I said, whilst we are awaiting the study and the budget for 2022, we shall continue to carry out maintenance works on the road to ensure that it continues to be motorable.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Samakayi: Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister indicate to the nation when exactly the feasibility study will be undertaken?


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, as I said in answering the first part of the question, we shall provide for the feasibility study in the 2022 Budget. So, it will be done within the 2022 Financial Year as soon as the Budget is approved and implemented, starting on 1st January, 2022.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




Madam Speaker: Since there are no further supplementary questions, we will proceed with maiden speeches. Is there any hon. Member wishing to render his/her maiden speech?


Mr C. Chibuye (Mkushi North): Madam Speaker, I thank you for granting me the opportunity to deliver my maiden speech on the Floor of the House this 7th day of October, 2021.


Madam Speaker, it is gratifying to note that after three consecutive Parliamentary terms of female representation, Mkushi North Constituency, the constituency now has a male representative in the House. Of course, I am not coming to outdo what my three female predecessors did during their time, but to continue building on whatever they started and complement their shortcomings for the betterment of the people in our constituency. It is a well known fact that my colleagues have run their respective races and that I am yet to run mine.


Madam Speaker, before I go any further, I take this opportunity to congratulate you on being the first female Speaker in the history of our country, Zambia, without taking away the gratification from your two Deputies for their deserved positions. As hon. Members of the House, we are highly expectant of your impartial conduct in the manner you will preside over the affairs of this honourable House.


Madam Speaker, let me graciously thank God Almighty for having permitted me to emerge victorious in the August, 2021, General Elections. I know very well that I could not be the better person to some people, but I am the best choice for Mkushi North Constituency currently according to God’s plan.


Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!


Mr C. Chibuye: Madam Speaker, like the Psalmist stated in his Psalms, –


Madam Speaker: Order!


Quoting scriptures is not permitted in the House. Kindly skip the quotation and proceed.


Mr C. Chibuye: Madam Speaker, I thank you for the guidance


Madam Speaker, allow me to thank my lovely wife, the mother of my children, Patricia Banda Chibuye, for having been there for me in and out of season. Indeed, she is a true and great companion.


To my children, Aggie, ‘Bana Chimwemwe’, as we call her; Chris Junior; Nadia, dad’s mother; Joshua; and Mutende, I say, ‘Thank very much for the support you rendered to your father’.


Madam Speaker, my sincere gratitude goes to my Campaign Manager, we call him ‘Big Source’, and the team for having put up a spirited fight against our competitors. He was the bravest and most courageous manager one could ever have. I am greatly humbled.


To my other campaign team players, it is, indeed, gratifying to note that you also did your part as you were given opportunities. I mention the likes of Michael Mulenga, Clement Chande, Eric Chileshe and those who handled information and publicity.


May I also thank my drivers, Osalema, Amos and Victor, and not forgetting Elias; the musicians who were on my side, Allan and Donald, and not forgetting Kelvin Tembo and Musika, the musical technicians. Indeed, these colleagues were a good team and they did wonders.


Madam Speaker, I congratulate and thank my traditional leaders, whom we call Ishinakankomba in my language, namely His Royal Highness Chief Shaibila and His Royal Highness Chief Chitina, bankumbi yamulilo. I thank them most sincerely for the support and encouragement they gave me throughout the campaign period. In this regard, I promise to always seek their counsel where necessary.


Madam Speaker, I thank my church pastor, Bishop Sinyenga, and all the members of the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Zambia for the Godly counsel, encouragement and prayers that they always provided. My Bishop’s ‘Abesu’ slogan yielded the much-needed results in the elections and, now, he has a son in Parliament. I am also very thankful to the clergy in Mkushi Boma, especially Rev. Fr. Mulenga, and not forgetting Rev. Dr Zulu Mwiche, for the encouragement, spiritual guidance and Godly guidance they gave throughout the election period. To them and the Body of Christ, I will remain grateful.


Madam Speaker, great appreciation goes to the Patriotic Front (PF) Party, the Central Committee and, most importantly, the Sixth President of the Republic of Zambian, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for having adopted me for Mkushi North Constituency from among many other candidates. I will forever remain indebted and loyal to the one and only party, the PF. Yes, green is beautiful.


Madam Speaker, it is the PF that gave me the opportunity and the privilege to serve as a District Commissioner for three consecutive contracts, and I ended my race in the Civil Service as Deputy Permanent Secretary (DPS) for Luapula Province. Many thanks, indeed, to ECL and the team.


Madam Speaker, I thank most sincerely the electorates in our constituency, both those who voted and those who did not, for having done wonders, especially our women voters who stood tall and voted against the candidature of some people who used vulgar language towards the womenfolk during their campaign. Kudos to our women at Itala Market, the New Market and Masansa Market. They did their part and sent us, all of us who participated in the elections, to our deserved places. In this regard, I pledge to perform to the best of my ability in delivering the much-needed goods and services to them.


Madam Speaker, on the much-talked-about township roads, my office will surely engage the relevant authorities to ensure that the matter is put to rest once and for all. The construction of a police post at Itala Market will also be carried out with the seriousness it deserves in the interest of our people in Itala Compound.


Madam Speaker, I take this opportunity, as I end my maiden speech, to state that Mkushi being the bread basket of Zambia, our small, medium and commercial farmers shall be given the desired attention in all matters affecting the agricultural sector, including our commercial farmers who are grappling with water problems.


Madam Speaker, together, we shall deliver the much-needed services to our people.


Madam Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Ms Nyemba (Chifunabuli): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to deliver my maiden speech as Member of Parliament for Chifunabuli Constituency. I also extend my profound gratitude to the people of Chifunabuli Constituency for electing me as their representative.


Madam Speaker, my earnest appreciation goes to the Patriotic Front (PF), its Secretary General (SG), Members of the Central Committee (MCCs), and the provincial, district, constituency and ward leaderships for giving me an opportunity to represent the good people of Chifunabuli on the PF ticket.


Madam Speaker, my sincere gratitude also goes to Senior Chief Mwewa, Chief Mwansakombe, Chief Chitembo, Chief Mulongwe and Chief Mbulu for entrusting me with the responsibility to speak things as they are and represent their desires in the National Assembly. Allow me to also thank my family members for their support, and for holding the fort spiritually and emotionally from the outset of my aspiration for office until my election. Equally, the support of my campaign team cannot go unmentioned. Another vote of thanks goes to the many women, old and young, who helped me to campaign across the constituency. I will forever treasure this humbling experience. Although I will not mention their respective names, I remain fully indebted to them because without them, I would not be here. I further thank all my friends and supporters from the bottom of my heart for their encouragement.


Madam Speaker, I convey my congratulations to the Seventh Republican President, His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema, on emerging as the people’s servant in the 12th August, 2021, General Elections.


Government Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Nyemba: I also congratulate Her Honour the Vice-President, Mrs Mutale W. K. Nalumango.  By all means, she is an inspiration to women leadership in our country.


Government Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Ema, speeches aya!


Ms Nyemba: Likewise, I congratulate you on your election as the first female Speaker since Independence. We share the same circumstances, as I am also the first female Member of Parliament for Chifunabuli Constituency.


Madam Speaker, your works and efforts are commendable, and I look forward to your impartial service to the people of Zambia in this Assembly. Also in order are congratulations to my fellow hon. Members of Parliament, whether elected in their respective constituencies or nominated. Ours is a collective voice for the people of Zambia.


Madam Speaker, most importantly, I thank the Sixth Republican President, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for demonstrating to us that Zambia is bigger than all of us. He is a torch-bearer of peace and a champion of democracy, as demonstrated by the peaceful and willing transition and transfer of power to his successor. I also thank him for bestowing district status on Chifunabuli in 2018, which has decentralised development to my constituency. However, the district status is only on paper, as there is no administrative infrastructure to accommodate all Government departments, leading to civil servants’ operating from rented offices.


Madam Speaker, my constituency is relatively rich in natural resources like manganese, which has a high economic value, but it lacks market connectivity due to a poor road network. The people of Chifunabuli have, for a long time, been denied a major breakthrough road to the Northern Circuit through the Musaila/Lubwe/Kasaba/Luwingu Road, which leads to Lupososhi Constituency.


Madam Speaker, for the information of those who do not know about Chifunabuli Constituency, it lies north-east of Samfya Beach and is U-shaped, with only one inlet and outlet. As the area Member of Parliament, it is my desire to see the continuation of the construction of a bituminous Musaila/Kasaba Road that was initiated by the PF Government to allow for social and economic benefits to accrue to the people of Chifunabuli Constituency.


Madam Speaker, regarding agricultural and livestock activities, the constituency has all it takes to deserve Government investment; it has fertile soil, swamps and plains that can support large-scale fish farming, livestock, sugar plantations and crops like rice. The abundance of water in Lake Chifunabuli and water bodies like Kasongole, Chunga, Kafumbo, Itundwe, Chibengwa and Nsakalala provides a suitable environment for all-year farming under irrigation. It is worth noting that Chifunabuli is close to an open market in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).


Madam Speaker, despite Chifunabuli being pronounced a district, it has not had a Government-run district hospital for the 90,000 plus households since Independence, fifty-seven years ago. The lack of such a facility has continued to impede improvement in the lives of the locals because they cannot access the much-needed quality medical services, such as the prevention of infant and maternal death, access to family planning options, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) prevention and information on how to prevent communicable diseases. We look forward to health posts like Nambale, Kasuba, Miponda, Ng’undubi, Chibuye, Mbabala and Chishi on Lake Bangweulu, the last two being islands, being elevated to mini-hospitals while we wait for construction of a district hospital.


Madam Speaker, on education, it is sad to note that the constituency has a shortage of schools despite the efforts made by the previous Government to address the challenge. This is evident in the long distances children cover to get to schools, which have resulted in absenteeism, a lack of interest in learning and overall poor performance. The constituency has one completed and functioning boarding school, while Kasaba and Mundubi secondary schools are pending completion. It should be noted that some primary schools, such as Mwewa, Miponda and Konikalila on Chishi Island on Lake Bangweulu, were turned into combined schools by the PF Government, meaning they have Grades 1 to 12.


Madam Speaker, the understaffing of teachers, poor or non-existent teachers’ accommodation, poor classroom infrastructure and poor disbursement of education grants must be improved upon by the New Dawn Government.


Madam Speaker, education must not be for the elite only because it is a basic human right and, as Lawmakers, we should ensure that this right is realistically enjoyed by both our children in both rural and urban areas.


Madam Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.








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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1832 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 8th October, 2021.