Thursday, 28th October, 2021

Printer Friendly and PDF

Thursday, 28th October, 2021


The House met at 1430 hours


[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]












Madam Speaker: I inform the House that in accordance with the provisions of Article 80 of the Constitution and Standing Order No. 166(5), which permits the Speaker to make appropriate adjustments to the membership of Committees when need arises, I have appointed hon. Members to two Committees, as follows:




Standing Orders Committee


Ms J. Sabao, MP, has been appointed to the Standing Orders Committee to replace Mrs M. C. Chonya, MP.




Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services


Dr Aaron Daniel Mwanza, MP, has been appointed to the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services to fill a vacancy on the Committee.


I thank you.




Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, I further inform the House that in accordance with Article 202(3) of the Constitution of Zambia, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will, tomorrow, Friday, 29th October, 2021, present to the National Assembly the Budget for 2022. In this regard, and in accordance with Standing Order 157(4), the Budget will stand referred to the Expanded Planning and Budgeting Committee comprising hon. Members of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and Chairpersons of all the General Purposes and Portfolio Committees.


The Chairperson of the Planning and Budgeting Committee, Mr F. C. Chaatila, MP, will preside over the proceedings of the Expanded Planning and Budgeting Committee.


The Committee will hold its first meeting on Monday, 1st November, 2021, to consider and adopt its programme of work.


I thank you.




Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that the following sitting arrangements have been made for the Budget Address tomorrow, Friday, 29th October, 2021:


  1. all hon. Members of Parliament will sit in the Chamber to listen to the Address;
  2. starting, Tuesday, 2nd November, 2021, eighty hon. Members will sit in the Chamber while the rest will participate virtually from other designated rooms within the premises of Parliament Buildings;
  3. at all times, hon. Members are urged to wear face masks and sanitise or wash their hands with soap regularly.


I thank you.


Mr Sampa: On a point of order, Madam.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Matero, you have indicated too soon. If you check the order of proceedings, we have not arrived there yet. Maybe, you can hold your fire for the time being.








The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that Orders No. 25, 26, 27 and 80 of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2021, be suspended to enable the House to sit from 1415 hours until business is concluded on Friday, 29th October, 2021, and to also omit the Vice-President’s Question Time from the Order Paper.


Madam Speaker, it is the tradition of the House to allow the Minister responsible for finance to present the National Budget on a Friday afternoon. However, Orders No. 25, 26 and 27 of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2021, provide that the House shall sit from 0900 hours to 1300 hours with a twenty-minute health break on Fridays, while Standing Order No. 80 provides for the Vice-President’s Question Time on the same day. It is with these provisions in mind that I move this Motion to suspend the mentioned Standing Orders so that the House can sit at 1415 hours tomorrow, Friday, 29th October, 2021, until business is concluded, and to omit the Vice-President’s Question Time from the Order Paper, to enable the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to present the 2022 National Budget.


Madam, this is a procedural and non-controversial Motion. I, therefore, urge all the hon. Members of this august House to support it.


Madam Speaker, I beg to move.


Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor. As rightly pointed out by Her Honour the Vice-President, this is a non-controversial Motion, and I, therefore, wish to support it.


Madam Speaker, tomorrow is a very important day; a day on which the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, will present the Budget, which will provide the direction for the country. He will articulate how the New Dawn Government wishes to deliver development, reduce poverty, grow the agricultural sector and create youth employment. That is very important because, as we have seen, when hon. Ministers respond to questions that are put to them, sometimes, it has been very difficult for them to respond properly because the Budget that is being implemented is a Patriotic Front (PF) one. Tomorrow’s presentation of a new Budget will bring to an end the responses that we have had in the past, in which our colleagues have used the fact that they are implementing a PF Budget and are yet to present their own Budget as an excuse for not responding to questions properly. That is the reason we are in support of the Motion that is on the Floor.


Madam Speaker, with those few words, I support the Motion.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the House for its overwhelming support to this Motion. As stated by the hon. Leader of the Opposition, everybody in the country is expectant. Therefore, I totally appreciate the opportunity given to the hon. Minister to present the National Budget tomorrow, and I believe no one will be disappointed.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Question put and agreed to.








Mr Sampa (Matero): Thank you, for giving me the opportunity to rise on a matter of urgent public importance under Standing Order No. 134, on this day, 28th October, 2021, which is the memorial day for the death of the Fifth President of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul rest in peace.


Madam Speaker, on this matter of urgent public importance, I refer to page 1 of the Zambia Daily Mail, Volume 25, of Wednesday, 27th October, 2021, where there is an article entitled “Shootings at Katima Mulilo”. An excerpt reads:


“Business at Katima Mulilo Border Post with Namibia was disrupted yesterday after suspected Namibian police officers fired shots to disperse cross-border traders who allegedly tried to force their way into that country.


“Three shots, allegedly fired by the Namibians on Zambian soil, were heard and the Zambia police officers managed to pick up one empty cartridge.


“A video of the incident was immediately shared on various social media platforms.”


Madam Speaker, this matter cuts across various ministries, including Defence, Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and Home Affairs and Internal Security. I, therefore, raise this matter on Her Honour the Vice-President and ask whether this Government is in order to keep quiet when the lives of our citizens are threatened by international forces and on a no-man’s-land where, according to the Geneva Convention, nobody can be arrested or harassed, except by local police officers. Is this Government or Her Honour the Vice-President in order to keep quiet when the lives of traders at Katima Mulilo Border Post are threatened by the Namibians, who are coming in slowly with a friendly march? Next time, they may even enter Katima Mulilo Town.


Madam Speaker: Thank you very much, hon. Member for Matero, for raising that matter of urgent public importance under Standing Order No. 134. Indeed, the matter that has been raised is of urgent public importance. Therefore, I direct Her Honour the Vice-President to issue to this House a statement on the issue that has been raised on Wednesday, next week.


May the paper be laid on the Table.


Mr Sampa laid the paper on the Table.








The Minister of Fisheries and Livestock (Mr Chikote): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to render a ministerial statement to update this august House and the nation on the status of the Food and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the country and the control measures that the Government has put in place. The statement outlines the comprehensive schedule of activities that have been lined up and the expected outcomes that are envisaged to lead to enhanced viability of the livestock sector, which has been greatly affected by the disease.


Madam Speaker, you may need to note that the current FMD outbreak was first reported in Chisamba and Chibombo districts of Central Province in March, 2018, but spread to the Southern Province in February, 2019. The disease has since spread to all the provinces of Zambia, with exception of Luapula, and affected approximately 2 million cattle, which is half of the cattle population of the country.


Madam Speaker, FMD is a highly contagious disease that affects many cloven-hoofed domestic and wild animals, notable among them, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, bush pigs, buffalo and impalas. The disease is characterised by the formation of ulcers inside the mouth, on the nose, teats and feet, which makes it difficult for the affected animals to eat and walk and, subsequently, leads to the loss of condition and ability to be used for draught power. That, ultimately, leads to loss of animal productivity and reduced cropping hectarage by the farmers, and may lead to abortion.


Madam Speaker, FMD is caused by seven different virus serotypes, namely the Southern African Territories (SAT) 1, SAT 2, SAT 3, Serotype A, Serotype C, Serotype O and Asia 1. These serotypes, in turn, have multiple strains. The current FMD outbreaks in Zambia are attributed to three serotypes, namely SAT 2, Serotype A and Serotype O. The different serotypes have affected different areas of the country.


Madam Speaker, FMD is a trans-boundary animal disease, meaning that it can easily spread across borders to other countries and reach epidemic levels like the way it has in Zambia. Currently, a number of our neighbouring countries that I cannot name have also been affected by the disease, with similar effects on the livestock sector. The situation has been worsened by the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which impacted heavily on the production and shipment of FMD vaccines by producers. As a result, the disease could not be controlled within the outbreak zone, leading to large areas being affected in Zambia and across the region.


Madam Speaker, as a trans-boundary disease, FMD has significant economic, trade and food security implications. Therefore, the control of this and other trans-boundary diseases requires co-operation among several countries. In this regard, Zambia is engaging the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, through the Livestock Technical Committee, to share ideas on the control of the disease in the region. In addition, Zambia will collaborate with experts from other countries in the region to conduct a post-vaccine monitoring of the planned administration of the FMD vaccine in the country.


Madam Speaker, in Zambia, the disease has spread to affect high-cattle-producing regions, such as the Southern, Western, Eastern and Central provinces, due to rampant illegal animal movements, poor biosecurity practices at the farm level and inadequate resources to implement appropriate control measures.


Madam Speaker, despite being in office for only nine weeks, the United Party for National Development (UPND) New Dawn, being a forward-looking Government that attaches great importance to the livestock sector and practical solutions, has realised that the disease has to be brought under control without further delay. Otherwise, the disease will perpetuate poverty and inequality in rural communities. To this effect, the Government of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, has drawn a three-year FMD Control Plan worth K775 million. The plan aims to progressively control FMD from the rest of the country and limit it to national parks, where wildlife FMD virus reservoirs are found. Realising the continuous threat from wildlife and some neighbouring countries, it is envisaged that following the successful implementation of the plan, the Government will focus on the prevention of spill-overs of the disease from these high-risk areas.


Madam Speaker, the plan consists of the following measures:


  1. procurement of 2.2 million doses of the FMD vaccine;
  2. vaccination of 2.2 million cattle in the affected regions;
  3. procurement of vaccination and cold chain materials;
  4. repair and service of transport;
  5. enhanced diagnostic capacity of laboratory services through the purchase of reagents and materials;
  6. heighten control of movement of animals and animal products to halt the spread of the virus from one area to another;
  7. regulation and control of the issuance of movement permits to ensure only healthy livestock is allowed to move;
  8. enhancement of biosecurity measures on farms and major trunk roads; and
  9. enhanced FMD surveillance and repaid response.


Madam Speaker, to actualise the plan, the Treasury has released K100 million for my ministry to commence its implementation. The plan will emphasise blanket vaccination in affected regions as opposed to the ring vaccinations that were adopted in the previous regime. This is in view of the current widespread nature of the disease, which would make ring vaccination ineffective and a waste of resources.


Madam Speaker, I inform the nation that based on the FMD serotypes currently circulating in the country, my ministry will have a small quantity of vaccines in the country that will form a vaccine bank that could be used for rapid response in case of flare-ups of cases in some areas as control programmes are being implemented.


Madam Speaker, you may wish to note that, as a country, we owed K38 million for vaccines that were supplied and used over two years ago. Realising the important role that FMD vaccines play in the control of the disease, the New Dawn Government renegotiated a settlement plan for the debt and has since commenced its settlement using a fairer modality with little strain on the National Treasury.


Madam Speaker, despite paying in advance for the initial vaccine requirements, the manufacturers have indicated that they can only supply the vaccine in a phased manner in line with the production capacity and demands from other countries. The phased delivery, which has since commenced, will go up to the middle of December, 2021. In view of the delivery type and differences in the serotypes affecting different areas of the country, vaccinations will be conducted in particular areas based on the two factors. Therefore, I appeal to livestock keepers countrywide to be patient, as they will be attended to as the vaccines for particular regions become available from the suppliers.


Madam Speaker, my ministry will take the leading role, and will work through its decentralised structures, in implementing various planned measures. It will also engage all stakeholders at national, provincial and district levels. Further, it will work with traditional and political leaders, and other stakeholders to mobilise community participation in FMD control activities, adherence to conditions that will be put in place and assisting staff who will be deployed countrywide to implement the designated measures. I, therefore, appeal to all the hon. Members of this august House, farmers and livestock traders to avail their animals for vaccination when my officers visit their areas.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I emphasise that the control of FMD is necessary to ensuring that the livestock sector reverts to normal and begins to effectively contribute to the livelihoods of the people of Zambia.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister.


Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for this timely statement. However, I would like to find out from him whether livestock restocking is part of the Government’s three-year plan to respond to the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak. Clearly, there is going to be a loss of livelihoods as a result of this outbreak.


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, the restocking of livestock is not in that three-year plan. The three-year plan concentrates on control of the FMD. The programme of restocking livestock for our farmers will follow later.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms S. Mwamba (Kasama Central): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said that 2 million animals have been affected. Is it possible for him to give us a breakdown of the regions where the animals were affected?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, there are about 3.8 million herds of cattle in the country, out of which livestock in nine provinces has been affected by the disease, that is, except those in Luapula Province.


Madam Speaker, the administration of the FMD vaccine is so important that it cannot be left to an individual farmer. Hence, the coming in of the Government to assist our small-scale farmers.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Sampa (Matero): Madam Speaker, meat and livestock are cardinal to Zambia, but the sector is hampered by diseases, as the hon. Minister has indirectly stated. Instead of the Government importing vaccines and medicines for livestock, is it not considering producing vaccines and medicines for the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) or denkete and other animal diseases in Zambia?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Government attaches great importance to the livestock sector which, if well managed, can add value to our gross domestic product (GDP). Hence, going forward, we have plans to invest in this sector and establish a plant to start producing the vaccines locally.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Madam Speaker, whenever we ask the ministry when the vaccination programme will start, we are told that the ministry is ordering the vaccines from Botswana and Kenya. Could the hon. Minister tell us when exactly the programme is likely to start? Alternatively, could he avail to us a timetable on how the programme will be implemented throughout the country?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, indeed, there has been a delay in starting the programme to respond to the outbreak. Like I said in the statement, the delay was caused by the manufactures. As you know, there is a high demand for the vaccines in the SADC Region; it is not only Zambia that needs the vaccines. So, we made to join the queue of countries waiting to be supplied. However, we received the first batch on 19th October, 2021, and we are likely to receive the second batch mid-November, 2021, and the last batch by the first week of December, 2021. The vaccination of our animals will start immediately we receive enough vaccines to enable us to conduct a blanket vaccination. We do not want to vaccinate animals in certain places and leave those in other areas vulnerable to the disease. Instead, we want to do things systematically whereby and vaccinated all our cattle to avoid the spread of the disease from one place to another. 


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Simuzingili (Gwembe): Madam Speaker, 2 million cattle are affected, and that is a huge number. How many of those died from the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)? Further, what is the current population of cattle in view of the outbreak?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, so far, only six calves have been reported to have died from the FMD in Chisamba.


Madam Speaker, the number of cattle in Zambia after the FMD outbreak is approximately 3.8 million, as I said in the statement.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Munsanje (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for this elaborate statement. Definitely, I can see from the statement that the area of vaccination was severely neglected by the previous regime, which paid no attention to such important programmes that could contribute to our national economy.


Madam Speaker, this week, I have got reports from my constituency, Mbabala Constituency, to the effect that private commercial farmers have vaccinated their animals while villagers have not vaccinated theirs, which brings in issues of equity and open grazing lands that may get affected by the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the vaccination programme will only start when manufacturers give us the drugs, which makes things very difficult for the farmers in Mbabala Constituency, given the scenario that I just described. So, we want to the vaccination programme implemented immediately, and it would be good if the hon. Minister could speak ask the manufacturers to give us a clear timetable for the delivery of the vaccines so that he can tell us when, exactly, the vaccination programme will begin in Mbabala Constituency or Choma District.


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, as I stated earlier, we have the task of engaging suppliers, but have no mandate to force them when their production capacity is limited. We, as the ministry, have played our part by paying for the vaccine and are now waiting for the suppliers to supply us the vaccine. I stated very clearly that the first batch has already arrived and is in our custody, that we are waiting for the second batch and that we will receive another batch from our suppliers in Botswana in the second week of November, 2021. Further, as I said in the statement, different regions have different serotypes. So, we can only respond to each region in accordance with the type of vaccine we receive. The disease type affecting the Southern Province might not be the same as the one affecting the North-Western Province. So, even the vaccines needed for each region will differ. So, regarding the question of when, the answer is ‘Very soon’, within the timeframe I mentioned earlier.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mulaliki (Senanga): Madam Speaker, the wonderful people of Senanga were excited today as the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock was presenting his statement because they rely heavily on livestock. They also expected the hon. Minister to tell them when, exactly, the vaccination will start, but the hon. Minister has said that will only start when the vaccines are received.


Madam Speaker, a cordon line was once put up in Senanga as a way of controlling the movement of livestock in order to control the spread of diseases like Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). Is the New Dawn Government considering reintroducing the cordon line in Senanga?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, as hon. Members are aware, we are operating on the Budget of our hon. Colleagues who were in the system. The New Dawn Government’s Budget will be presented tomorrow, on Friday, and it will show the seriousness of the New Dawn Government. To control diseases, the Government needs to invest in the sector, and I am talking about buying the vaccines and manufacturing our own vaccines. A Government that attaches great importance to the sector like the New Dawn Government does is going to put something in the Budget that is going to help us with the control measures.


Madam Speaker, coming to whether we are going to consider putting up the cordon line that was once there, indeed, we will, because we are committed to controlling livestock diseases through measures that are going to help our farmers, who have to be patient just for today, as the road map will be set out tomorrow.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, with keen interest, I followed my brother, the hon. Minister for Fisheries and Livestock. I invite him to Luapula Province, a disease-free zone, as long as he will not introduce diseases there.


Madam Speaker, how does the hon. Minister intend to deal with the biggest part of the Kafue National Park, where buffalo and other wildlife are some of the carriers of diseases that affect our livestock? The Kafue Flood Plain is now a livestock feeding centre, with people seen migrating from as far as Kalomo and Namwala into the game management area (GMA) and the national park. How does he intend to collaborate with the Ministry of Tourism, bearing in mind that he has promised Zambians that the 2022 Budget will be the panacea to the problems in the livestock sector once it is presented tomorrow because the New Dawn Administration is going to provide resources? How does he intend to co-ordinate the people who have migrated and are grazing their animals in wildlife corridors where the livestock diseases that are affecting our animals are prevalent? The biggest national park in Africa, the Kafue National Park, sits in the southern part of Zambia, and there is a lot of livestock feeding in the Kafue Plains.


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, firstly, we need to engage with the stakeholders and teach them that the interaction between wildlife and our livestock is one of the factors causing these diseases, and they must understand that the fight against FMD is for both the stakeholders and the Government. Secondly, we are putting in place measures to fence off areas we suspect to have many buffalo to avoid interaction between the buffalo and our livestock. Those are the measures we are going to put in place in order to win this battle, which also requires the participation of our farmers, who have to understand how the disease is spread. One of the contributing factors is the illegal movements of livestock. So, all these are issues that we are going to put on the table as we engage our farmers so that we fight this battle once and for all. The New Dawn Government, which some people still doubt, is going to put in place these measures so that our livestock is protected.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Madam Speaker, while the Government is still waiting for vaccines, in Dundumwezi, we use salt and a tree called intuntula. Is it not cheaper to use intuntula as a short term measure while we wait for vaccines to come? Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), for me, as a lay person, is the easiest disease to manage because I just have to use salt. In this light, will the Government consider distributing bags of salt to areas where the disease is very prevalent?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, I thank the farmers in Dundumwezi for using such an initiative. However, the Government does not work in that fashion, as it has to approve methods that are acceptable and can pass its standards of treatment. The initiatives that farmers are using cannot just be adopted by the Government. All I can do is to encourage farmers in Dundumwezi who are using that initiative to share it with other farmers while the Government puts the right measures in place for the rest of the farmers.


Madam Speaker, the issue of distributing salt, like I said, is an initiative for our farmers in response to the outbreak. The Government’s measure, according to Government policy, is to vaccinate all animals very soon.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kolala (Lufubu): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has talked about nine provinces being affected. I just want to be sure as regards Central Province. Is Lufubu Constituency in Ngabwe District among the beneficiaries of the vaccination programme?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, I stated that about 2.2 million herds have been affected and that only Luapula Province has not been affected. Ngabwe falls under Central Province, one of the provinces that are on our records as being affected, and all the provinces where there are affected animals will be given the attention they deserve.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock has issued a very elaborate statement on what his ministry is doing to deal with this threat. However, I did not hear him clarify the grading of the disease in terms of its threat to the economy. Does it severely threaten the economy of Zambia? If it does, I hoped the hon. Minister would tell us, with specific timelines, when the vaccines will arrive and when they will be given out to ensure that we do not have a challenge in our economy. Does the disease severely threaten the livestock sector? We may be discussing a challenge that does not threaten the sector.


Madam Speaker, secondly, the people of Kamfinsa –


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


You are allowed to ask only one question so that opportunity is given to other hon. Members also to also ask.


Mr Kang’ombe: Madam Speaker, by your discretion, I would like to ask a second question.


Madam Speaker: Go ahead. Maybe, there is a lot of cattle in Kamfinsa.


Mr Kang’ombe: Madam Speaker, in Kamfinsa Constituency, the bigger part of our land is reserved for farming, and I am sure the farmers there want to know how many sections of the Kamfinsa Farming Block are affected by the disease.


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, hon. Members must appreciate that we have a very good Speaker who can give them the privilege to ask two questions. I was being polite.


Madam Speaker, on the first question, the answer is, ‘Yes’, the disease is of national economic importance because the livestock sector is very important in this country. If we leave the disease unattended to, many of our farmers are going to be affected in many activities. As hon. Members know, most of our small-scale framers use livestock to cultivate their farms and for milk, just to mention a few uses, and hon. Members heard me say that we have reports of about six animals dying in Chisamba. So, the disease is really a threat of economic importance to this nation.


Madam Speaker, on how many areas have been affected in his constituency, I only have information for the provinces; I have not gone into the details of which parts of the provinces are affected. So, I cannot name the places one by one. If those details are required by the hon. Member, I invite him to my office, where I can share that information with him.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Speaker, obviously, the spirit of the statement delivered on the Floor of this House by the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock is to inform our people about the Government’s plans to resolve this serious problem.


Madam Speaker, on behalf of the people of Zambezi East, I ask the hon. Minister whether he would care to explain to us the challenges that we have faced, which have now become perennial, concerning infrastructure in his ministry, especially when we trace it back to the ground in rural areas like Zambezi, where it is almost non-existent. Where it exists, it is not that functional. The District Veterinary Officers do not have adequate transport while the Camp Veterinary Officers may not even have accommodation and transport for outreach. Now that there is this programme, does the hon. Minister have any information for our people in Zambezi East, where I have been and have seen the structures that exist there? Does he have any information to give us hope that the vaccination programme will ride on those very structures? Is there something in store to improve the structures, and complement them with qualified staff and adequate  transport for the vaccination programme?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, as I stated, the plan includes the movement of our officers at the camp level to carry out the exercise. Every factor has been included in the plan. So, I assure the hon. Member that when the exercise starts, all areas will be paid the attention they deserve. Regarding the issue of infrastructure for our officers, including the issue of housing, which he has talked about, we are just finishing the implementation of the Budget of our hon. Colleagues who were in the Government. So, the hon. Member has to wait and see how our Budget is going to address some of the challenges that the sector is facing, especially in Zambezi East.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Hamwaata (Pemba): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for all the information he is giving us. May he live long.


Madam Speaker, as people of Pemba, we are very excited that for the first time, we are going to have a plant that will produce vaccines in the country. My question is: Where will the plant be? Is the infrastructure already in place or are we going to construct it?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, the first interest is to have the plant in Zambia and start producing vaccines locally. The issue of where to put the plant is secondary. At the moment, our plan is to lobby for a solution to the challenge of vaccines or drugs for our livestock. We want to have our own plant and start producing vaccines locally.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, what measures has the ministry put in place to minimise the further spread of the disease to other parts of the country? I can give the example of Bweengwa Constituency, where no case has been reported. How are we going to be protected? Further, how are we going to protect our neighbouring countries, especially those that are not yet affected?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, the first measure to be put in place is that our farmers have to adhere to the guidelines being provided by our veterinary staff. That is how we can protect the areas which are not yet infected. Our veterinary staff is always on hand to provide guidance because the spread of this disease emanates from the illegal movement of livestock. Our farmers ask for permits in certain areas where there are bans on livestock movements and we allow them to take their animals straight to abattoirs. However, sometimes, the conditions of the permits are violated and the farmer, for example, take animals to a given area for breeding and such animals, in the event that they have not been certified by our officers, carry the disease from one place to another. That is how the disease is spread. So, the people of Bweengwa, where the disease has not yet occurred, have to take precautionary measures, such as not allowing farmers or traders to take animals to their area. That will help. If people do not stick to the laid-down guidelines for the movement of animals, the areas which are not yet affected will be affected.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mwambazi (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Speaker, the livestock sector contributes about 42 per cent to the agriculture gross domestic product (GDP) and employs over 50 per cent of our brothers in rural areas. So, it is very important to the economy. What sensitisation programmes has the Government put in place for our small-scale farmers in Namwala and other places, where in the dry season, when there is scarcity of water, they bring their animals together to access water, hence spreading diseases like Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). If the ministry sensitises the farmers in this very important industry and the farmers adhere to some of the measures, we can reduce the budget for vaccines?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, we understand that we have to start engaging the traditional leaders in our communities because the traditional leaders are the ones who lead the communities where our farmers are. So, we have started sharing this information with traditional leaders so that they understand that they are part and parcel of the fight against these diseases that have troubled us for some time now in Zambia. In addition, going forward, the Government wants to provide the necessary resources for the livestock sector, such as providing water for animals in areas where there are big challenges in accessing water. So, we will engage our traditional leaders, small-scale farmers and everybody else. These are a few of the programmes we are going to implement to reduce the dangers or risks of spreading the diseases.


Madam Speaker, we have to make people understand that for us to win this battle, it should not be a battle for the Government alone, but one for everybody. We should also try to make them understand that this is a business sector; that owning cattle is a business and that they should, therefore, take it as such. If we go in that direction, we will be able to win this battle against diseases that has affected this country for some time now.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Emmanuel M. Musonda (Lupososhi): Madam Speaker, Lupososhi Constituency is just adjacent to Luapula Province. Can the cattle farmers there safely say that their animals are free of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)? Furthermore, is there any special reason Luapula has not been affected by the disease?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, we have said that only Luapula Province has not reported any incidence of the disease, meaning that animals are free of this disease there.


On why the animals in Luapula do not have the disease, it could be that there are no animals there. If there are animals, then, it means their management is so good that they have not been affected by the disease. So, he must be one of the hon. Members of Parliament who should celebrate and make sure that the guidelines are adhered to by our farmers because we are happy for any province that is spared by the disease, and we wish that all the ten provinces were like Luapula.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lusambo (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, His Excellency the Former President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, ...


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lusambo: ... invested a lot in livestock because we wanted the Ministry of Fisheries of Livestock to compete with ministries like the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development. We also wanted the ministry to provide jobs for our youths in rural and urban areas, and started sensitising our people in colleges and universities to forget about white-collar jobs and instead venture into areas like livestock, aquaculture and agriculture. Now that nine provinces are affected by Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), is the hon. Minister considering declaring the disease a national disaster?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, I hear the hon. Member trying to say the Former President invested a lot. The issue is, was that a serious investment or a cosmetic programme? What we are saying here is that we are committed to fighting the disease. There is already a laid-down plan to respond to the disease that has affected our farmers. So, it is not a disaster, as it is under control. We believe and trust that even in the nine affected provinces, we are on top of things and are responding. The plans and other things that we have put in place will help us to respond to this challenge. So, we cannot declare the disease a national disaster at this point because there is already a programme whose implementation we are about to start. I do not believe that even our farmers can agree with the hon. Member that the disease is a disaster


Madam Speaker, in terms of empowerment, the hon. Member said that the previous Government did not want to encourage people to look for white-collar jobs only. Indeed, this Government of His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema has attached great importance to this sector, hence my encouragement to other hon. Members of Parliament to wait and see what is coming in our National Budget for 2022, as that is where we are going to start from; that will be our first Budget and, for sure, this sector is going to employ many youths and women. Wait and watch the space!


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Siachisumo (Lufwanyama): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock for ordering the vaccine for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). However, most of the animals that were vaccinated in 2020 in Lufwanyama had abortions. Is the ministry aware that the medicine has some side effects when used to vaccinate animals?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, the vaccine does not have the side effect the hon. Member has mentioned. What it does is to develop immunity in an animal against the disease. If at all the hon. Member has evidence to the effect that immediately the FMD vaccine was administered, animals started aborting, I think he should have brought it to the attention of our officers and we would have that report in the office. Currently, we do not have such a report. So, this is news to me. However, I invite the hon. Member to my office so that we discuss the issue in detail and follow up those cases for 2020. For now, we believe that the FMD vaccine that we are bringing in is going to build the immunity of our animals against the disease.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker gave the Floor to Mr Kamboni, but he had already asked a question.


Mr E. Tembo (Feira): Madam Speaker, my question relates to the Government’s plans to set up a plant to develop our own vaccines. Could the hon. Minister shed more light on that and make me believe that is actually a very serious programme. I have also taken note of his mentioning that there will be a new Budget, which we all are not aware of. So, let him come out clearly and state whether this is really on the table and that it is a very serious programme.


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, I did not clearly get the hon. Member’s question, was although I heard him mention the plant and that I must be very clear.


Madam, to be clear, I said that the New Dawn Government has plans of setting up a plant in Zambia so that we start developing or manufacturing vaccines locally, arising from the challenge of waiting for supplies from other countries that we depend on when some of the disease outbreaks require an immediate response. We have paid the supplier, but the supplier did not have the vaccine we wanted at the time. That is why this Government has plans of putting up a plant and manufacturing vaccines within the country in order to respond to challenges the farmers in Zambia are facing.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mandandi (Sioma): Madam Speaker, the people of Sioma are blessed to have vast land where they rear cattle which, over the years, has sustained their livelihoods. It is out of realizing this fact that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government attempted to put up a three-tier livestock centre at Kanja. How does the hon. Minister expect his staff in my area to effectively carry out this important exercise in view of the low staffing levels and lack transport in the area?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, in the preamble to my statement, I explained that going forward, all the challenges that have been affecting the sector are in our plans and are going to be addressed. As I speak, we are all over trying to audit the performance of the sector in all the ten provinces, and the issue of staffing is one of the challenges that are going to be addressed. That is why I said that the hon. Member should not start getting worried about most of these challenges because we are trying to finish what the previous regime left behind. We will start our own programmes with the Budget that is going to be presented here tomorrow. From 2022 going forward, you will see how we will start addressing some of the challenges that have been affecting this sector. So, issues of Sioma not having enough officers will be addressed in our New Dawn Government Budget. Hon. Members must just be patient; they will see what the Budget is going to do for them in all constituencies in Zambia.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Twasa (Kasenengwa): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock for issuing an elaborate statement on how the current Government is dealing with Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) countrywide. We are happy because of the measures the ministry has put in place. That said, has the ministry put in place measures for preventing tick-borne diseases in animals, such as lumpy skin or, maybe, it has to wait until an outbreak and then blame the previous Government for failing to put up such measures and brag about how the current Government will deal with the problem? May I have a response on that one.


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member, who wants to know what we are doing about other diseases.


Madam Speaker, yes, there are measures being put in place and we are trying to prepare ourselves for the diseases we expect to affect the sector. The staff in the relevant department is on the ground and alert to such. That is why I said that all the things we are talking about border on investing in the sector. Going forward, many things are going to be put in place, and that is why I encourage hon. Members to be patient. We will put measures in place that are going to address all the problems in terms of livestock disease prevention and control in Zambia. Those issues have been paid the attention they deserve.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ngowani (Mpongwe): Madam Speaker, the Government may come with a good programme like that of vaccination but, sometimes, the programmes do not reach the intended beneficiaries, like what was happening under the Patriotic Front (PF) Administration. So, the people of Mpongwe want to know what mechanism the hon. Minister has put in place to ensure that no farmers are left out of the programme.


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Government is taking decentralisation route, and things are not going to remain centralised in the ministry. This means that all the resources will be taken to the intended people at the grassroots. So, I assure the hon. Member that this programme will not benefit only selected people, but all the farmers across the country. Our farmers in Mpongwe should be assured that they will also benefit from the programme because the programme is meant for our farmers across the country. It is for all Zambians who are looking after livestock, not for a selected group of people.


 I thank you, Madam Speaker.




The Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo): Madam Speaker, allow me to start by thanking you for granting me this opportunity to deliver a statement on the increasing cases of diarrhoeal diseases in Lusaka District in response to a point of order that was raised by Hon. Francis Kapyanga, Member of Parliament for Mpika Central Constituency.


Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Government, under the able leadership of His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia, is committed to ensuring universal access to quality healthcare services. This will be achieved through strengthening of the health systems. Our focus is especially on improving promotive, preventive, treatment, rehabilitative and palliative care services.


Madam Speaker, diarrhoeal diseases are transmitted through consumption of contaminated water and food, poor hand hygiene practices, inadequate or no sanitation facilities and, generally, poor solid waste management.


Madam Speaker, in the last three months, Lusaka District has recorded increased cases of non-bloody diarrhoea, from 357 cases in the week beginning 5th July, 2021, to 1,062 cases in the week beginning 10th October, 2021. The disease has affected all the six sub-districts, with Kanyama, Matero and Chelstone sub-districts reporting the highest numbers of cases. The three sub-districts are the most densely populated, and have historical water and sanitation challenges leading to a high burden of diarrhoeal diseases and other communicable disease of public health concern.


Madam Speaker, following reports of increased non-bloody diarrhoea cases in most parts of Lusaka District, the Lusaka District Health Office (LDHO) activated its rapid response team to conduct a rapid risk assessment to ascertain the existence and extent of the problem. Laboratory tests have confirmed two cases of typhoid and ten cases of dysentery in Lusaka. Of the ten cases of dysentery, four are from Kafue District while six are from Lusaka District. The findings indicate that the outbreak is mostly attributed to consumption of water contaminated with faecal matter, which could, in turn, be attributed to breakages in the sewer systems as well as ground water contamination.


Madam Speaker, following the confirmation of the increase in the number of diarrhoeal cases, our disease intelligence wing, the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI), immediately commenced co-ordination of a multi-sectoral response through intensified preventive activities by the Lusaka Provincial Health Office (LPHO), LDHO and the National Multi-Sectoral Cholera Elimination Taskforce. The preventive activities include active case search, water and food sampling, health promotion and mapping of hotspots, including data analysis in terms of trends of non-bloody diarrhoeal cases.


Madam Speaker, multi-sectoral interventions based on the distribution and determinants of disease and data from hospital record reviews have been put in place to prevent and control the outbreak of diarrhoeal diseases. Further, the following interventions are being implemented:


  1. co-ordination through activation of the Provincial Multi-sectoral Incidence Management System, mapping of all key stakeholders and improved access and turn-around time of laboratory results;
  2. heightened surveillance, including alert and rumour follow-up, an active records search and laboratory-backed outbreak investigation, intensified water quality and quantity monitoring and intensified resource mobilisation to support the response;
  3. infection prevention and control through ongoing distribution of liquid and granular chlorine in the hot spots of the six sub-districts of Lusaka, intensified solid waste management and drainage clearing and unblocking, improved reporting and intensified repair of broken water and sewer lines by the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC), disinfection of pit latrines using lime, intensified inspection of food premises, intensified health promotion activities focusing on the role of the community in the prevention of diarrhoea, and health education on hygiene practices around water and food preparation and storage, and sanitation, including water management; and
  4. Oral Cholera Immunisation, which the Ministry of Health, through the Cholera Multi-Sectoral Elimination Taskforce, working with our partners, have scheduled for Lusaka District, starting in the first week of November, 2021. The immunisation will protect our people from getting cholera.


Madam Speaker, in addition to the above-mentioned interventions, it is worth noting that the high-density areas of Lusaka District continuously face the challenge of diarrhoea and other communicable diseases of public health concern. It is, therefore, imperative that we focus on investing in improved planning, upgrading of unplanned settlements, and building of water and sanitation facilities. To that effect, the Government is committed to ensuring that the various sectors are actively involved using a multi-sectoral approach.


Madam Speaker, may I take advantage of my time on this Floor to share with my fellow hon. Members of Parliament that another concern we have is the continued incidence of food poisoning from munkoyo and cibwantu, among other drinks. We need to ensure that our people take measures to maintain hygiene practices that promote good health.


Further, Madam Speaker, while my assignment was to speak on the upsurge of diarrhoeal cases in Lusaka District, I will take advantage of being on the Floor to emphasise to this august House that the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is still a threat to the lives and livelihoods of all Zambians. It is, therefore, important that we all get vaccinated against the disease and abide by the five golden rules, which are:


  1. masking up correctly and always when in public places;
  2. monitoring hand hygiene by washing frequently with soap and water or using alcohol-based sanitisers;
  3. keeping physical distance;
  4. avoiding crowded places and congregate settings; and
  5. visiting healthcare facilities when unwell.


Madam Speaker, heightened environmental and personal hygiene remains a key intervention in the prevention and control of most communicable diseases, including COVID-19. I, therefore, appeal to my fellow hon. Members of Parliament to actively engage with, and facilitate health education among, members of their communities, advocating for community participation in disease prevention activities, including keeping their environments clean and maintaining personal hygiene.


Madam Speaker, as I conclude, I urge all hon. Members of this august House to ensure that members of the public in our respective constituencies take appropriate measures to protect themselves against diarrhoeal diseases, and report any cases of diarrhoea to their nearest health facilities, especially now that we are in the hot season and will soon be in the rainy season. Together, we can attain good health and wellbeing for our people.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Health.


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


Mr Mulaliki: Madam Speaker, diarrhoeal diseases are associated with dirt. Instead of concentrating on buying medicines to treat those who are suffering from diarrhoeal diseases, why does the Government not come up with a deliberate programme to ensure that there is clean and safe drinking water for everyone, that drainages are functional and that there is proper sanitation? Why do we not concentrate on ensuring that our environments are clean and that we have clean drinking water? By so doing, we will prevent many communicable diseases.


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, indeed, the hon. Member’s suggestion is the way forward and, as a ministry, that is precisely what we are trying to do. Apart from treating people, we are investing more in preventative measures, as I indicated in the statement, and that is why we have a multi-sectoral approach to health issues in general.


Madam Speaker, you may wish to note that the President established the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation. The reason is that we realised that water supply and sanitation remain a big problem in Zambia, whether in urban or rural areas. So, in the New Dawn Government, the President established a fully-fledged ministry to deal with the problem. It is our hope that once the Budget is out, the hon. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation will begin implementing programmes that will help people to have access to clean water. Apart from that, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has various programmes meant to help us to keep our surroundings clean. Working together with the Ministry of Health, it has community programmes in which it tries to educate the public on the need for personal and environment hygiene.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Munsanje: Madam Speaker, let me talk about food poisoning through munkoyo and cibwantu.


Madam Speaker, I am aware that these local drinks are made from roots or tubers. Is the Ministry of Health thinking of collaborating with the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) or other standards agencies to ensure that the roots or tubers used to make the drinks and sold in markets are certified to be the right ones? I am aware that some unscrupulous business people sell the wrong tubers or roots, and that is where the poisoning emanates from. So, it is important that the ministry puts up measures to protect the public by ensuring that only the right tubers or roots are sold in our markets so that we can continue enjoying the excellent drink, cibwantu.


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, like I said earlier, we work with various ministries in a multi-sectoral fashion when dealing with a number of health threats. From time to time, officers under the Public Health Department in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development conduct rapid tests. As you know, officers in the district councils move from place to place to check on food, working in conjunction with officers from the Ministry of Health. Also, there are officers in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry who go round to check whether goods are expired or not, including some of the products sold in markets.


Madam Speaker, the populations in towns of Zambia have grown and, sometimes, the capacity of the rapid searches and tests cannot be fully relied on. So, I earnestly appeal to the public to try as much as possible to buy food from designated places, not on the streets. Normally, goods from designated markets, shopping malls or small teacarts in townships or any such shops, which are legal, is normally checked from time to time while the food sold on street corners is, sometimes, not verified to be safe for human consumption. So, it is best that consumers avoid buying food sold on the streets, especially during the hot season when hygiene is normally compromised, especially by people who sell on the streets because they do not have water and toilets nearby. It is also important that people wash the food they buy or cook it well in a clean environment.


 I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lusambo: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that Lusaka District sits on a lime block and that the water system is contaminated? The Government of His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu invested a lot in the Ministry of Water Sanitation and Environmental Protection to come up with other measures to prevent the diseases we are talking about today.


Madam Speaker, I followed the hon. Minister’s statement and heard that the affected areas include Chelstone, the hon. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation’s constituency. What lasting solution will the Government put in place for the people to have access to clean drinking water and avoid contaminated water not only in Lusaka District, but also in the entire country?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I have already stated that in terms of the steps to deal with these issues in the long term, the Government is going to expand water sources in the country. The Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation has various plans to improve water supply and sanitation. Further, the various utility companies under the local authorities are going to be capacitated to invest in improved water supply and sanitation systems. At the community level, the Ministry of Health is working with other major stakeholders to educate the people to ensure that the water they drink is boiled or chlorinated. We also teach them personal hygiene, hoping that through such community programmes, the threat will not get out of hand. As I have said, the number of cases is still too minimal to cause us to worry. What must cause us to worry are is our daily way of life. I think that is what is important.


Madam Speaker, the issue of whether Lusaka sits on lime, gold, copper or whatever, is neither here nor there. What is important is that communities ensure that the water they drink is made safe, even at the home level. Simple methods like adding chlorine to the water, boiling it and just being clean are very important because most diarrhoeal diseases arise from issues of personal hygiene. Therefore, hon. Members of Parliament will do well to sensitise the communities on basic safe living.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Elias M. Musonda (Chimbamilonga): Madam Speaker, in the hon. Minister’s presentation, she mentioned two sources of diarrhoeal diseases, namely faecal contamination and ground water contamination. My question is on ground water contamination, because what is now obtaining in most areas is that there is unregulated sinking of boreholes. What is the ministry going to do, in the long term, to arrest the unregulated sinking of boreholes, which is contributing to the contamination of underground water?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, there are various causes of contamination of water apart from the fact that, sometimes, there is seepage underground that allow faecal matter to mix with the water. We have also talked about general issues of hygiene, which include the way water is stored. The water might be clean at the source, but the way it is kept in the bucket, such as whether it is covered or not, matters. 


Madam Speaker, the drilling of boreholes falls under other partners who are part of the multi-sectoral approach. Suffice it for me to say that before one sinks a borehole, one is supposed to report that and get people to survey the area on which the borehole will be drilled. People are not allowed to drill boreholes anyhow and anywhere; they have to go to the appropriate authorities, which are under the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation, and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, through the local councils in the various districts, to get technical advice on the area in which a borehole is supposed to be drilled. Once that is done, the borehole is registered. So, people are not allowed to drill boreholes without registration.


Madam Speaker, as you know, one of the challenges we continue facing as a country is the charging of a levy on boreholes, which made people to start avoiding going to the authorities because they do not have money to pay. As this was a campaign issue for the New Dawn Government, I hope something will be done about it by the relevant ministry. Further, tomorrow, we will hear about some of these issues which, if resolved, will help to unlock some of the challenges people are currently facing.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mandandi: Madam Speaker, the people of Sioma suffered a lot at the hands of the former regime where issues to do with health are concerned. I am just from touring the constituency and I know that there is no stock of any type of drug that we may talk of that can cure diarrhoeal diseases in the facilities dotted around the constituency. It is, therefore, very scary to that there is an outbreak, especially with the onset of the rainy season, as the outbreak might really affect the people of Sioma negatively. What plans has the ministry put in place to ensure that for the very first time, the people of Sioma can access drugs from health facilities, especially drugs for diarrhoeal diseases, to help them live comfortable lives by not having to run around, looking for prescribed drugs from the shops?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, it is true that there are challenges in the health sector regarding the availability of drugs and other medical supplies. However, I assure the hon. Member that the stock-outs of medicines will soon be a thing of the past. He should just give this Administration time. We are waiting for the Budget, which will be presented tomorrow. Once that Budget is rolled out, we will ensure that there are essential medicines in all our health facilities, especially those in the remote parts of our country. The issue of the availability of medicine is a very big issue. Apart from that, there are issues related to the administration of the medicines when it comes to issues of human resource. So, we are alive of those issues, and this Administration was voted in precisely to solve them. Let us wait for the Budget to be presented tomorrow. Thereafter, we will begin addressing some of the great challenges that the health sector has faced over time.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Madam Speaker, my constituency is also affected by the typhoid. Many a time in the year, we record typhoid and diarrhoeal cases. The reason is that many people have been forced to dig shallow wells behind their backyards because of a lack of clean drinking water, and the shallow wells are exposed to faecal matter. Is the ministry considering giving the people of Roan Constituency, especially those with shallow wells, chlorine to put in their shallow wells to prevent diseases instead of providing the chlorine after a disease strikes?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Health, working with other partners, does give out chlorine to communities to help to ensure that the water the communities drink is safe. We also go round to educate communities on methods of keeping safe drinking water safe.


Madam Speaker, let me use this opportunity to say to hon. Members of Parliament that if they have communities that are using shallow wells, they must begin to consider using their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocations to help such people as one of the remedies. In addition to that, they should report such matters to the district councils under which their constituencies fall.


Madam Speaker, now, there is a fully-fledged ministry that does nothing other than ensuring that Zambians have access to clean water, and that women and children do not have to walk long distances to fetch water because this Administration attaches great importance to issue of access to clean and safe water as a preventive measure, as opposed to spending huge sums of money on treatment. As I said, this is why the President established some ministries, in this regard, the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation. It is also why he is talking about decentralisation. He told us on the Floor of this House that in the coming Budget, he is going to decentralise functions and the matching resources from the ministries to the local authorities so that for some of these issues, we do not have to, for example, wait for a Minister who is seated in Lusaka to direct that a certain shallow well be closed up or chlorinated. Instead, the local people will begin to make decisions, plan for solutions to their problems and budget for them because money and skills will be given to them.


Madam Speaker, for the very first time in the history of this country, we shall begin to see true decentralisation, with resources matching functions given. That will be power given to the people. So, I encourage my colleagues to be patient. Tomorrow is not far. Let us wait to hear how the promises that this Administration made will be addressed. One cannot just give a function without resources and guidelines. So, tomorrow, we expect the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to help us to respond to most of these queries by showing where the money will go. From what I know, going by the United Party for National Development (UPND) Manifesto and policy on water supply and sanitation, I am very confident that there will be a very big programme on water this year and in the years to come, and I hope that by the time the 2022-2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) ends, the problem of water will have become an old story in this country. 


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lubozha (Chifubu): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister who is on the Floor of the House for giving us information on diarrhoeal diseases that have ravaged our people in parts of the country.


Madam Speaker, this is not just a problem for the Ministry of Health, but also for other line ministries, such as the ministries of Water Development and Sanitation, and Local Government and Rural Development, which need to co-ordinate in many other areas. For example, in the recent past, the diseases may have been caused by blocked sewer lines that were left running for long periods of time by utility companies like Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company, Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company and Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC). Children play around the water that has faecal matter, resulting in diarrhoeal diseases. Further, there is the issue of contaminated ground water because newly established settlements are supposed to be supplied with water but they are not, resulting in people digging shallow wells, with some also putting up sceptic tanks near the wells. These practices have brought about contamination resulting in diarrhoeal diseases. There is also indiscriminate selling of foodstuffs in public places right in front of some public workers, and the public workers watch some of the dirty foods that are sold. We see some of this contaminated food sold even around hospitals around the country, with health workers just watching.


Madam Speaker, what is the noble point and cardinal ministry in the control of diseases doing when diseases break out? Is the ministry not considering setting up a multi-sectoral committee with other relevant line ministries, such as the ministries of Water Development and Sanitation, and Local Government and Rural Development, to control this matter and give updates on how best to control these diseases, whose outbreaks have become a custom in this country?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament because I think he has articulated the challenges and even answered his question.


Madam Speaker, I have already stated that we have adopted a multi-sectoral approach to the management of these diseases, which includes the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and my colleague, the hon. Member for Munali and Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, who is very energetic and ready to work to ensure that we have water. After the Budget has been presented, you will see him fly around, doing what is required. Further, under the decentralised approach, you will see those under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development work very closely with the districts and sub-districts, where committees are already being created to ensure participation of communities in planning, decision-making, budgeting and implementation.


Madam Speaker, as the Ministry of Health, we are also doing our part in terms of educating people on how to remain clean and boil water, and distributing preventive drugs like chlorine to help people to not get infected. So, there is a lot of work going on. However, at the end of the day, this is not just for the Government alone, but also for hon. Members of Parliament. We also have support from our Co-operating Partners, the private sector and community members, and it has always been like that.


Madam Speaker, I think the challenges have been in the area of budgeting. We all know the challenges we have in terms of water supply and sanitation. We know how women walk long distances to fetch water. However, at the end of the day, it is about putting money where it is needed the most, and that is why we look forward to tomorrow’s Budget; we want to see to it that the issue of water supply and sanitation is dealt with.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.


[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr Mabeta (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, the people of Kankoyo, especially those in Kankoyo Central, Chibolya and Butondo, have been subjected to these waterborne diseases annually for a long time. It has become a tradition for us to expect an outbreak of either cholera or typhoid every rainy season. Fortunately, with the coming in of the New Dawn Government, the Government has secured €150 million through the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation to overhaul the dilapidated water reticulation and sewerage systems in Kankoyo to prevent further loss of life through these diseases. However, the project will take another two years to be implemented. So, I appeal to the hon. Minister of Health, as she plans for the recovery process in places where we are likely to face outbreaks of these waterborne diseases, to stock up the clinics or hospitals in those areas with medication, and the people of Kankoyo should not be left out. 


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I have taken note, and we will do likewise.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Katakwe (Solwezi East): Madam Speaker, I want to find out one or two things from the hon. Minister.


Madam Speaker, if the hon. Minister looks at the diarrhoea cases countrywide, she will notice that they are caused by different agents or vectors, but we generally say ‘diarrhoea’. For instance, some cases are caused by the Giardia Duodenalis parasite, cryptosporidium, amoebas and Paramecium Caudatum. However, if you look at the measures that the ministry has taken, none of them include laboratory diagnosis. I say so because, countrywide, the hon. Minister is only talking about diagnosis at the University Teaching Hospitals (UTH), but there is rarely diagnosis of stool even there.


Madam Speaker, it is important that the ministry enhances laboratory services so that we are able to diagnose timely and accurately in order to stage the diarrhoea because the parasites dwell in different parts of the body. Some dwell in the colon while others dwell in the rumen. So, if stool is passed, since she has talked about contamination with faecal matter, the parasites can find themselves in the water and the soil. In Lusaka, there is a  lot of growing of vegetables using sewer water, and people eat the parasite in cyst or egg form through the vegetables, thereby continuing the cycle of the parasites. Some of the parasites in the body resist chlorine. So, it is difficult to treat them by chlorination, and giving people chlorine will not solve the problem. On the other hand, strengthening laboratories can help to stage and cut off the life cycle of the parasites and bacteria that cause diarrhoeal disease. So, I appeal to the ministry to enhance the capacity of laboratories countrywide, and set up some in my constituency, Solwezi East, where there is none.


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for the way he has articulated some of the causes of diarrhoea.


Madam Speaker, we are doing everything possible to enhance the operations of our laboratories. You will note in the Budget that this time around, the ministry has budgeted for equipment, including laboratory equipment. We are taking note and working to improve not only on medication, but also on certain equipment that can help us, including laboratories and consumables in them.


Madam Speaker, on the hon. Member’s descriptions, I am not a doctor, but we are conducting various tests, including laboratory tests. However, I may not know exactly how to articulate his concerns. Suffice it for me to confirm that what he has talked about is what is going on currently.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mwambazi: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the good answers, including her allusion to the fact that we still need to observe the five golden rules for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) prevention and that COVID-19 is still there. Since the hon. Minister made the last ministerial statement on Covid 19, what is the percentage of people who have been vaccinated against the disease?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I am happy to inform the nation, through this House, that since the President re-launched the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Programme, there has been a sharp increase in the number of people who have been vaccinated. You will recall that at the time we started, we were talking about slightly over 400,000. However, in the last few weeks since the President re-launched the programme, the number is approaching 900,000. My hope is that in the next two weeks, we will get to a million people vaccinated.


Madam Speaker, let me also use this opportunity to ask all the 156 hon. Members, Presiding Officers and staff of Parliament get vaccinated so that we can begin to all sit here, in the Chamber, and feel safe to walk in here, knowing that we are protected and protecting one another. That is what we need to do. We also need to get to a stage where 90 per cent or so of the people in the country are vaccinated so that we can even stop wearing face masks. Our friends in developed countries do not wear masks because almost everybody is vaccinated. It is important for us to get to a level where we are all vaccinated, and hon. Members of Parliament are key drivers of this programme. So, I really look forward to everybody in this Parliament being vaccinated before the end of this year.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


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


Madam Speaker gave the Floor to Mr Katakwe.


Mr Katakwe: Madam Speaker, I have already spoken.


Madam Speaker gave the Floor to Mr Mwambazi.


Mr Mwambazi: Madam Speaker, I have already asked a question.


Madam Speaker: Sorry, I was following my own list. Let me go back.


Mr Chinkuli (Kanyama): Madam Speaker, we appreciate the fact that one of the ways of running away from these diseases is personal hygiene. However, as the hon. Minister will agree with me, that goes with the environment. Looking at Kanyama, with the onset to the rainy season, I do not see how personal hygiene will be possible when homes get submerged in water and pit latrines have been dug anywhere. It is for this reason that the people of Kanyama ask what the Government is going to do to protect them from catching diseases like diarrhoea and typhoid in this rainy season.


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament is the first-line protector of his people. However, his question is not encouraging because he is saying personal hygiene will not help the people of Kanyama because they do not have water.


Madam Speaker, I appreciate the challenges that the people of Kanyama face, considering the fact that it is one area that, just like Matero, gets flooded because the water levels are high. With the shallow wells that the people there dig, obviously, what we end up with is a problem.


Madam Speaker, if the hon. Member for Kanyama followed the issues that His Excellency the President articulated on the Floor of this House, he would recall that one of them is that the New Deal Government intends to deal with the problem of unplanned settlements. Once we deal with that problem, perennial issues like as lack of water and poor drainage facilities will be a thing of the past. As a Member of Parliament, my hon. colleagues is supposed to be the first to help his Government to mobilise people to understand Government policies. The policy of the Government, in the medium term and long term, is to resettle people living in areas that are not properly planned within the same areas, but making sure that roads are made, electricity is provided, water supply is good, schools and clinics are built and disease prevention is promoted.


Madam Speaker, personal hygiene is our bread and butter; every human being, regardless of the areas where he or she lives, must take it very seriously, and doing so is very easy. The people in Kanyama cook food. As they do that, they must wash their, cook the vegetables properly, avoid eating uncooked food, store the food properly, bathe their children with soap and wash their hands. All these are things people must try to do. Yes, I appreciate that some of them have problems with water supply, and that is why I said this Government has put money into the relevant ministry to deal with water supply and sanitation. We hope that over time, this problem of water supply will be a thing of the past because we now have a Minster whose sole responsibility is to ensure that every citizen in Zambia has access to water, and I know that he is doing everything possible to improve water supply and sanitation.


Madam Speaker, the Government intends to capitalise some of the companies that provide water and sanitation services to enable them to work efficiently. Further, corruption is being fought because one of the challenges this country has is that even when it comes to preventive measures, leaders steal some of the things that are supposed to go to the communities. Sometimes, they give people drugs that are not genuine, and the people get affected. This Administration is fighting corruption so that whatever money is going to come into the sectors goes to the people. So, if we can all work hard as a country; the leadership and citizens of the country, and do that in unity and peace, we can reduce the number of deaths, which is the whole idea. We cannot prevent death because at one point or another, whether we have water or not, we will all die.  However, for now, we have to prevent the spread of various diseases and protect our loved ones, families, neighbours and friends.


Madam Speaker, let us not be negative; let us be a people that are positive and have hope. I believe that this President we have means business for the people of Zambia. Some of us who work closely with the President have hope that Zambia will change. Just watch this space.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kolala: Madam Speaker, I am one of those who are confident that Zambia will never be the same. I also have a lot of confidence in the hon. Minister’s ability to deliver. That said, I have urgent issues that I want the hon. Minister to attend to.


Madam Speaker, Lufubu is a typically rural constituency in Ngabwe District, and the diseases that the hon. minister is talking about now affect the people there as well. Unfortunately, all the clinics in the area do not have medicines, not even Panadol.


Madam Speaker, I know that after the Budget is approved, next year, we are going to have everything. However, for now, what is the Government doing to save the lives of my brothers and sisters in the constituency?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, what we are doing urgently, as a ministry, is putting measures in place. Hopefully, within a week or so, we will be able to distribute essential drugs to most, if not all, our health centres countrywide. We do have the resources and are re-organising the process of procurement. The hon. member may wish to note that we have put the function of procuring medicines and medical supplies under what used to be called Medical Stores Limited (MSL) as a way of ensuring that issues of a lack of drugs in our hospitals come to an end. However, if there is a hospital that is in a situation that is totally bad like the hon. Member is saying, he should not wait to come to Parliament because these are issues of life and death. So, when there is an issue in a constituency, we are supposed to work together and help one another. That is why we are Members of Parliament. When there is an issue in your area, just come to my office and inform me, and I will deal with the issue immediately by checking what is on the ground and resolving the situation.


Madam Speaker, while certain health facilities may not have drugs, I also know that a good number still have. Yes, drug availability level might be at 60 per cent or 70 per cent in some facilities, but in others, it might be even lower because there might be pilfering that I might not know about. So, when you have a situation in your area, please, do not wait; come to the office or just send me a WhatsApp message, and we normally react there and then to the situation.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Elias M. Musonda: Madam Speaker, in her statement, the hon. Minister alluded to turnaround time for laboratory results. During this period when we have had diarrhoeal diseases, what has been the turnaround time, and is it acceptable? I ask this question because turnaround time for laboratory results is one of the key parameters that determine the quality of the service we receive.


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, indeed, the turnaround time is a factor that shows whether we are improving in service delivery or not.


Madam Speaker, let me state that the turnaround time depends on which laboratory one uses. However, currently, we have a number of laboratories that are able to give results within either twenty-four hours or forty-eight hours.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.








65. Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Defence:


  1. what specific role the Zambia National Service (ZNS) will play in the agricultural sector to enable the country to attain the regional food basket status; and
  2. whether the role will be extended to the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Corridor and Manshya East Farming Block in Kanchibiya Parliamentary Constituency.


The Minister of Defence (Mr Lufuma): Madam Speaker, the Zambia National Service (ZNS) has embarked on a robust programme to increase production of wheat, soya beans and maize by acquiring land in high-rainfall areas. So far, 10,000 ha have been acquired each in the Northern, North-Western and Luapula provinces, and 7,450 ha has been acquired in Muchinga Province. The target is to acquire 100,000 ha for crop production and 40,000 ha for livestock rearing.


Madam Speaker, as a catalyst to agricultural production and productivity, the ZNS will improve feeder roads countrywide through the Rural Roads Connectivity Programme. Further, the ZNS will embark on value addition through the operationalisation of milling plants, which will produce mealie meal and maize bran for the local and export markets.


Madam Speaker, the Crop and Livestock Production Expansion Programme will systematically and progressively be extended to all parts of the country, including the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Corridor and Manshya East Farming Block in Kanchibiya Constituency of Muchinga Province. Already, the ZNS has a presence in the TAZARA Corridor, where maize, wheat and soya beans are being produced by the ZNS in Mpika. In addition, one milling plant with a capacity to produce 9,600 x 25 kg bags of mealie meal per day has been completed and will soon be commissioned in Mpika. This will provide not only a ready and reliable market for maize produced by smallholder farmers in Mpika and Kanchibiya districts, but also create direct and indirect job opportunities for young people in the area.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, allow me to thank the hon. Minister of Defence for his elaborate statement and assurances to the people of Kanchibiya and Mpika as well as other affected areas across the country.


Madam Speaker, national security entails requires that the country be food secure, and this is what informed my question. Given the hon. Minister’s assurances to the House, what sort of collaboration do we envisage his ministry having with counterpart ministries under the New Dawn Administration, such as the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, probably, in providing entrepreneurship training, financing, close monitoring; the Ministry of Agriculture in providing extension support; and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry in facilitating export agreements? Will we see the ZNS working in silos or do we see it working with other agencies or ministries?


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Government will not work in silos. Instead, it will work in clusters. For example, the ZNS is working with the Ministry of Agriculture, the ministry that superintends over the sector that the ZNS is involved in. So, we collaborate quite effectively, and we shall continue to do so. we also collaborate with the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development. If you recall, just recently, we went to Chiwoko Training Institute (CTI) where almost 350 trainees were graduating after being trained in various lifelong skills, such as agriculture, bricklaying and plastering, welding and plumbing. Further, once the trainees graduate, we connect them with the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development for sustainability. That is the connection we have with that ministry. We also collaborate with the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, which is basically responsible for caring for street children, in mopping up street children from the streets and taking them to various training centres.


Madam Speaker, we currently have three training centres in the country. However, we do not want to limit ourselves to them. So, we have ambitions and plans to ensure that we have a training centre in every province. We also want to increase the capacity from 350 to, at least, 500 per session, come next year, after the Budget is approved. If you multiply that by ten, you will see that we are talking 5,000 trainees every six months, and those will be trainees who are ready to take up jobs in industry and be able to employ, maybe, three or four of their colleagues. If you multiply that four by, at least, half of the trainees in each session, you will get 10,000 as the number of people to be employed. That is how we, as the ZNS, are collaborating.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Munsanje (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government neglected rural roads, such as the regional roads. In my constituency, there is the road from Dundwa to Muyanda area, and there are other bridges. Those are important feeder roads that I believe Kanchibiya and other places also have. Is the Ministry of Defence considering deploying the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to work on such regional roads? The roads are important to opening up markets and to moving food from one place to another in rural areas, especially rural areas like Kanchibiya and Mbabala, where there is agricultural produce coming from areas that are hidden and have old roads that under the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government, were the main feeder roads and delivered food to the cities for you and me to have good meals here, in Lusaka?


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, we are cognisant of the fact for agriculture to thrive and bring about benefits to the rural population, we have to build feeder roads into the rural areas. Without feeder roads, it will be very hard to improve the marketing of the produce that emanates from the rural areas. By the way, put together, the produce that comes from rural areas is a lot. So, it goes without saying that this Government attaches a lot of importance to the development of the rural roads network.


Madam Speaker, you may be aware, or not, that there is a programme in place called the Rural Connectivity Programme (RCP) in which monies have been given to us by the World Bank and pooled with money from the Republic of Zambia and used to improve the rural road network. In order to do that, and do it efficiently and effectively, the Government would like to rely on the Defence Forces, in particular, the ZNS, to provide the service. There is the Land Development Programme under the ZNS, which has the many land-moving equipment that you see around. That equipment is essential in the construction of roads, and we would like to avail that to the Government so that the roads are worked on at reasonable costs. In other words, we want to deliver quality roads at the right cost and in a right timely manner. We have that capacity, as we possess the discipline and efficiency expected of a military organisation.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I want to bring to your attention the fact that in Kanchibiya, there is the Luchembe/Kopa Road and that the ZNS had been carrying out some works in Senior Chief Kopa’s area. As a result, two portions of the road have been damaged extensively by the heavy equipment used by the ZNS, and the fear is that with the onset of the rainy season, the portion between Senior Chief Kopa’s Palace and the Zampalm Plantation will become impassable and impact negatively on productivity in that region. Is it possible for the ZNS, under the Land Development Programme, to move in with speed, and help to rehabilitate the portions that I am referring to and other portions of land, such as the one I raised with the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, I think a week ago; the road from Chalabesa to Kabinga, which is likely to become impassable with the onset of the rainy season?


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I must say that we are deviating from the question and getting into the area of the hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, which I do not want to do because that is not my portfolio. However, I ask the hon. Member to liaise with the hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, and I assure him that as soon as we get word from the hon. Minister that the money and necessary packs for facilitating the rehabilitation of those portions that he mentioned is available, we will be game and will be available to hon. Members. That is why we are here.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Madam Speaker I thank the hon. Minister of Defence for being so crystal clear and serene in his response.


Madam Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister mentioned that he is targeting to acquire 100,000 ha of land for the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to be farming on, and I am aware that a variety of cash crops and, of course, not forgetting our staple grain, maize, will be grown on the 100,000 ha. I want to know from the hon. Minister whether the crops that will be grown are going to be rain dependent. If not, is the ministry considering equipping the farms with centre pivots? If so, is he in a position to state what the cost of doing so? Further, is he in a position to state whether ichamba, ibange or ‘marijuana’ is one of the cash crops that the ZNS is going to be farming?


 Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for his question. In fact, it is not a question but a mirage of several questions, but I will give him the benefit of the little knowledge that I have on this subject.


Madam Speaker, the 10,000 ha that we want to acquire in each province will not only be dedicated to maize cultivation. Of course, maize is the principal crop because in the first instance, we want to flood the market with so much of it that the cost of mealie meal becomes very low so that there is food on the table for the majority of the population. That is critical to food security. We also want to go into other crops. The hon. member asked about the portfolio of crops, other than maize. We will grow wheat, soya beans and tobacco. Apart from that, we are into production of livestock, such as beef and dairy cattle, goats and birds, including layer and broiler chickens. We are also into fish farming, and we would like to go into that on a larger scale. Those are some of the other areas of agricultural production in which we are.


Madam Speaker, as to whether the farms will be only rain-fed or also work under irrigation, I want to state that farming should be throughout the year, and we would like to set an example of that so that smallholder farmers pick it from us. We want to be the model that the farms around us will emulate. So, yes, we are into irrigation.


Madam Speaker, as a bonus answer – There is a lot of mist in my eyes – let me say that for the 2021/2022 Farming Season, we have put a total of 1,260 ha under wheat production, and we expect to reap quite a bit form that hectarage and, again, flood the market with the harvest or, at least, pour the harvest onto the market so that the bread that the shelf price of bread can be lowered. Right now, the price of bread keeps going up, and we want to contribute to lowering it. Further, I inform the hon. Member that we have procured ten centre pivots and are ready to use them on the various farms we have acquired. So, yes, we are into irrigation and are growing a whole portfolio of cash crops apart from maize. Unfortunately, I have to disappoint the hon. Member of Parliament on chamba production because we have not gone into it yet. We may consider it, since the hon. Member has raised it.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Katakwe (Solwezi East):  Madam Speaker, Solwezi East Constituency has a long border corridor, stretching all the way from Chililabombwe through a place called Lumata and Congo to Kipushi, Solwezi Central and beyond, which is very porous and has no presence of any military people. When you traverse that area, you find that the people from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) live very peacefully, cutting trees to make charcoal and, thereby, devastating our land. Taking advantage of the hon. Minister’s plan, the people of Solwezi are asking whether the hon. Minister has any plans to extend the hectarage to their area and cover the areas of Chief Musaka and Chief Chikola? The Chiefs are more than willing to offer their land to the Zambia National Service (ZNS) so that there is a presence of the ZNS in the area. Last week, I was in the area and was told by ZNS officers that they did not have enough manpower. Does the hon. Minister have plans to increase the manpower so that he is able to recruit people into the ZNS and train them to take advantage of the vast land in the area?


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, please, can you make your questions short? You are debating your questions instead of just asking them. I have been liberal enough to allow questions to be prefaced with so much debate. However, I think you should not get used to that kind of asking questions; this practice should be curtailed. Ask straightforward questions. Then the hon. Minister will answer and other hon. Members will also have the opportunity to ask questions. Further, the hon. Members who are consulting very loudly and are very close to me, please, consult quietly.


Hon. Minister, please, answer the question.


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, if the hon. Member invite the ZNS to go to his area, we may go there and start the discussions. Since we are looking for a lot of land, if the hon. Member has the land, certainly, going into his area is something we can entertain. Perhaps, we can discuss with him on how we can use that land and, as he says, also we keep the Congolese away from our land. So, we will take the suggestion on board.


Madam Speaker, yes, we are going to increase manpower, and the 2022 Budget should give us the funding to enable us to recruit people. As to how many will be recruited, that will depend on how much the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is going to allocate to us for that activity.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms S. Mwamba (Kasama Central): Madam Speaker, 10,000 ha of land has been acquired in the Northern Province. How many of those hectares have been acquired in Kasama District? Further, how many youths is the Zambia National Service (ZNS) likely to recruit in those farming blocks?


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member is asking for bit too much detail. Unfortunately, I do not have those figures. However, if she seriously wants to know them, we shall be ready to provide them on a later date.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ngowani (Mpongwe): Madam Speaker, rural constituencies like Mpongwe face challenges in terms of feeder and township roads. Is there any arrangement that can be made between the Zambia National Service (ZNS) and the councils for the ZNS to provide machinery and the council to provide fuel and other logistics so that those roads can be worked on before the onset of the rainy season? If that is possible, what is the procedure?


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Mpongwe, that question is not related to the main question. The question is on the specific role the Zambia National Service (ZNS) will play in the agricultural sector to enable the country to attain the regional food basket status, and whether the role will be extended to the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Corridor and Manshya East Farming Block in Kanchibiya Parliamentary Constituency. Further, the hon. Minister has already indicated that the issue of roads falls under another ministry. If you specifically want to find out the role that the ZNS plays in helping to improve or work on roads, I advise that you file in a new question on that issue.


Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, I listened very attentively to the responses of the hon. Minister of Defence to the questions asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya Constituency. My question relates to whether or not the model applicable to Kanchibiya applies to other constituencies where there are farming blocks. In this case, I want to know if the farming block in Kamfinsa Constituency will also benefit from the policy stated by the hon. Minister of Defence insofar as the Zambia National Service (ZNS) working with other Government departments to enhance agricultural activity is concerned, and how soon we can expect that to happen in Kamfinsa Constituency?


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I understand the hon. Member’s plight and the need for the ZNS, since it is really involved in the agricultural sector, to provide agricultural services and mobilise, if possible, the smallholder farmers in that farming block. However, it is currently difficult for me to state when, exactly, the ZNS will knock on the hon. Member’s door and at the door of the farming block in his constituency. So, he needs to excuse me from telling him the exact timing, but we can explore those possibilities later, if we may.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mabeta (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, Kankoyo Constituency is blessed with a very huge and productive forest, Nsato. Is the hon. Minister of Defence, through the elaborate plan to increase food production, considering including the forest in honey production project? As we know, honey is attracting high prices on the international market. So, I strongly believe that if we use that forest, the youths of Kankoyo can benefit a lot and the country can earn foreign exchange from such a project.


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I must disappoint the hon. Member by saying that we do not have those plans yet. However, the idea is worth considering in future. As the hon. Member has said, there is a lot of potential in honey production, especially for export, and that excites the ZNS. So, let us discuss that, maybe, for the future. As at now, we are not into promoting honey production.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Elias M. Musonda (Chimbamilonga): Madam Speaker, to achieve higher agricultural productivity among small-scale and emerging farmers, mechanisation is imperative. Is the Zambia National Service (ZNS) considering having at its disposal equipment that emerging farmers can hire?


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, the Land Development Programme has that equipment and the equipment is already at the disposal of anybody with the financial muscle to hire it. So, although smallholder farmers have not been able to hire the equipment, I am sure there is no impediment to hiring it, especially given that we want to make the farming blocks anchor farms, meaning the satellite farms in and around the 10,000 farming blocks will benefit from extension services, technology transfer, and the use of equipment when they require it and have the financial muscle to hire it. So, yes, there are possibilities, and farmers are encouraged to hire the equipment as they wish.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chala (Chipili): Madam Speaker, this is a very good programme, and the Government would save a lot of money if the Zambia National Service (ZNS) worked on the feeder roads. How ready is the ZNS? Does it have the equipment to do that kind of work?


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I do not know which kind of work, but –


Mr Chala: Feeder roads.


Mr Lufuma: Feeder roads? Yes, the capacity is there. However, we definitely need more equipment and need to replace some of the equipment that we have been using. So, we may not be able to satisfy the demand, as at now, given the state of the equipment, but we have enough equipment to do what we can to assist with working on some of the roads. At the same time, we also look to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to beef up our equipment. The personnel to run it is already there. If given the equipment, we will be able to work on the road at a very low cost compared with the other fellow on the market, the private contractor. We are giving the people in this country the option to use the Defence Force, and the Land Development Department of the ZNS should be equipped here like it is done in Egypt and some countries in Europe. The military is not only a defence force, but a productive force as well. So, if the hon. Member engages us, we shall deliver, subject to our acquiring more equipment in order to satisfy him.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mpundu (Nkana): Madam Speaker, I am very passionate about the subject matter because I grew up in a Zambia National Service (ZNS) camp. My father, with very little education, if any, gave us a livelihood through the opportunity that was given to him by the ZNS and, as a young man, I saw how productive the ZNS was in Kitwe; it literally supplied vegetables to the entire city of Kitwe.


Madam Speaker, to do all the things the hon. Minister has mentioned, there is a need for manpower, and in Kitwe, there is the challenge that there are over 200 street children. Will the hon. Minister consider helping us to deal with the imminent danger that is posed by those children, most of whom are becoming street adults and a menace to society, by reforming those street children at the ZNS?


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for the question and the accolades he has heaped on the ZNS.


Madam Speaker, we do our best to deliver in terms of welfare and development. Maybe, the hon. Member was not in the House when I answered a question on this subject.


Madam Speaker, the ZNS has three training camps countrywide, and we mop up street children like the ones he says are in Kitwe and take them to those training camps for six months or so and train them in lifelong skills. After that, we have an exit strategy for them in which we attach them to various industrial institutions for one year. After one year, they are ripe enough to either set up their own enterprises or be employed, as the case may be.


Madam Speaker, we want to increase the number of training centres from three to, at least, one in each province, which means a total of ten. We may not take on the street children from Kitwe immediately, but we plan to do so as soon as we set up more training camps, and that will depend on the budgetary allocations. However, we intend to expand year-by-year. Therefore, in the next few years, I am sure we will – we already have a training camp in Kitwe, except that the capacity is low. So, we want to increase the capacity so that we are able to take some of the street children from Kitwe to the training centre to habilitate them and avail them to the industry so that it can use their skills. The hon. Member may need to be a little patient with us. However, after we graduate the trainees who are there now, we will be able to get the street children in Kitwe and train them. Maybe, not all of them, but a greater majority of them can be trained. So, I ask my hon. Colleague to collaborate and co-operate with us so that we are able to train some of those street children immediately we get into the next funding period.


I thank you, Madam Speaker. 


Mr Mukumbi (Solwezi West): Madam Speaker, I hope I am audible.


Madam Speaker: Yes, you are.


Mr Mukumbi: Madam Speaker, we have a Zambia National Service (ZNS) camp in Kalumbila. To be specific, I am talking about Mumbezhi ZNS Camp, which I believe is a mechanised unit. Are there any plans to buy farm equipment for it so that it contributes positively to the food basket? I believe that the camp has a very big farm, but lacks equipment.


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, we have made our representations for Budgetary allocation towards buying equipment for the Mumbezhi Mechanised Unit, and we are badly in need of that equipment. Should we be allocated the necessary funds in the Budget that will be presented tomorrow afternoon, we shall certainly ensure that the equipment is acquired and placed at Mumbezhi. For now, my fingers are crossed in the hope that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will give us substantial funds to be able to equip the ZNS, as I said, with the equipment that we need to use for development purposes.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.








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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1813 hours until 1415 hours on Friday, 29th October, 2021.