Thursday, 25th November, 2021

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Thursday, 25th November, 2021


The House met at 1430 hours














97. Mr Kapyanga (Mpika Central) asked the Minister of Agriculture:


  1. whether the Government is aware that some farmers who supplied maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) have not yet been paid, and are unable to procure inputs for the 2021/2022 Farming Season;
  2. if so, what assistance will be rendered to the affected farmers to enable them access inputs; and
  3. when all the farmers who are owed money by the FRA will be paid.


The Minister of Agriculture (Mr M. Phiri): Madam Speaker, the Government is aware that some farmers who supplied maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) have not been paid.


Madam Speaker, there are no immediate plans to support the affected farmers. However, the Government is mobilising money to pay them. For example, the Government allowed the FRA to sell some of the maize to raise funds so that it can pay the affected farmers. Once the funds are ready, the farmers will be paid.


Madam Speaker, I seek your indulgence to take a little more time to explain because this question, as you may have noticed, is asked over and over again. So, let me explain why the status is as it is.


Madam Speaker, sometime in the 12th National Assembly, the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) went into a rather unbridled frenzy of borrowing funds. I was on the left that time, and we asked the hon. Minister then responsible for finance whether we were going to be able to sustain the debts. The answer we were given was that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning had carried out effective debt sustainability assessments that showed that the debts would be paid. However, as a consequence of that borrowing and our continued spending on capital projects, currently, our country is in a debt crisis. In other words, we have spent more than we have and, as a consequence, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, and the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) have continuously informed us that we do not have resources.


Madam Speaker, we have spent so much money, especially by the previous Government, on fuel and agricultural subsidies that today, we owe in excess of US$2 billion. Every hon. Member in this House is aware because the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning , explained this very clearly in his Budget Speech to us.


Madam Speaker, as at the end of September, 2021, which is just a month or two ago, Zambia had an external debt of US$12.9 billion. That is not in United States (US) Dollars, not Kwacha, and billion, not million. In other words, the debt that was at US$1.98 billion in 2011 is now at US$12.9 billion.


Madam Speaker, the FRA was tasked to buy 500,000 metric tonnes of maize, and we have continuously indicated to the hon. Members that the 500,000 metric tonnes were paid for and that there is no problem with those farmers.


Mr J. Chibuye signalled to Mr M. Phiri to wear his face mask.


Mr M. Phiri: Thank you for reminding me.


Madam Speaker, it is the extra maize, which was not budgeted for, that is causing us a lot of stress. Everybody in this House, be they on the left or right, is feeling this stress because we are stressing our farmers. We simply have no money to give them because the coffers are dry.


Mr Muchima: Very dry.


Mr M. Phiri: We are absolutely broke; Zambia is in a debt crisis. So, we should not pretend here by asking questions whose answers we already know. We have asked the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to support us with money to pay the farmers, but the hon. Minister has told us plainly that we simply do not have the money.


Mr Samakayi: Reckless PF!


Mr M. Phiri: We have, therefore, allowed the FRA to export 450,000 metric tonnes so that we can use that money to pay our suffering farmers, some of whom are not on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), and are, therefore, failing to buy fertilisers and seed.


Madam Speaker, we have asked the hon. Members of this House to be part of the export programme by paying the FRA and exporting maize, and they are able to do that. We are exporting maize, mealie-meal, maize bran, wheat bran, soya beans and soy cake. So, it is better for the hon. Member, who is stressed by farmers in his constituency, to come to my office and get a permit to export instead of coming here to repeatedly ask why we are not paying the farmers because that is simply going to make the farmers angrier and rise against the FRA, which is not at fault because it paid the farmers it was supposed to pay.


Madam Speaker, I hope that I have made it clear that we simply do not have money because the coffers are dry. The hon. Members on your left, especially, know very well what they left in the Treasury.


Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to take time to explain to my hon. Colleagues.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, thank you so much. We can assure you that this is the last time that we are going to have this question in this Meeting.


Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Madam Speaker, I am very thankful to the hon. Minister for belabouring the point on this question. I pity him and sympathise with his position, but I believe that looking forward to what we are going to harvest next year, he must have some options or action he has to take to ensure that our farmers get paid.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has explained that he has opened the window for everyone, including me, to export the excess crop we may have. However, as much as we appreciate the predicament and stress that he is going through in terms of sourcing these funds, is there any immediate option for ensuring that our farmers get the resources they needed to procure inputs? In the same vein, I also want to know whether it will not affect the tonnage we are expected to harvest next year if many farmers are not paid on time.


Madam Speaker, the people in Kasununu area are also crying about the same issue. So, is there any way in which the hon. Minister can do some abracadabra kada and see to it that our people get their money?


Mr Lusambo: Meaning?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Whatever it means –


Mr J. Chibuye: Hon. Member for Kabushi, ‘abracadabra kada’ means getting money from anywhere he can lay his hands on it.


Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, we are all aware that the President has just returned from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). One of the reasons he went there was to open up markets so that we can hasten the export process. I am yet to meet him so that we can know what the position is. Immediately I know, I can assure you that I will come to this House and invite all of us to participate in the process.


Madam Speaker, further, we are discussing with the banks to collateralise the maize. We want to give the maize to the banks so that they give us money and we give the money to the farmers. So, we are doing everything possible in the agro-marketing field to find the money.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kapyanga: Madam Speaker, I place it on record that I am not here to bore the hon. Minister with questions. He has indicated that we should not ask questions over and over again.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, please, go straight to your –


Mr Kapyanga: We are here to represent the people –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!




Madam First Deputy Speaker: That is not honourable conduct.


I was trying to guide you to go straight to your question, then the hon. Minister is going to respond. If you have any other issues, I think you can see the hon. Minister in person or you can write to us, through the Speaker’s Office, if you have a complaint on something. Can you, please, go ahead with your question.


Mr Kapyanga: I find it very difficult to ask the question when the hon. Minister is not responding accordingly. The question is: How does his ministry intend to help the farmers who supplied maize to the FRA? I am not asking for the payments because he has said it several times that he does not have money. The farmers have not been paid, but they are supposed to farm and need farming inputs. That is my question, and I still feel –


Mr Samakayi: It is the same question.


Mr Kapyanga: You should not say it is the same question.


Mr Samakayi: Iwe, talk to the Speaker.


Mr Kapyanga: I represent the people whom you do not represent.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Can we have some order!


We move on to the hon. Member for Bwacha.


Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the responses he has given so far.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Can we have some order!


Mr Mushanga: I hear him, and I sympathise with the farmers out there.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has explained why his Government is finding it difficult to pay the farmers. He has also indicated that he is in talks with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. However, looking at the fact that we are already in the 2021/2022 Farming Season, and it is not only the farmers in Mpika who have not been paid for what they supplied to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) or the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ), but also those in Bwacha Parliamentary Constituency and the country at large. I know there is a challenge, but is there any time frame –


Dr Musokotwane walked into the Chamber.


Mr Mushanga: The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is just walking in.


Madam Speaker, is there any time frame in which the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is going to make the resources available so that the poor farmers are paid and are able to prepare for the 2021/2022 Farming Season?


Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, I can only hope that we will be able to pay the farmers as soon as we sell the maize. If I give a time frame, I will be putting myself up for assessment on a Government assurance, and I do not want to do that because I will be misleading the country.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North): Madam Speaker, – (inaudible) farmers have not been paid for the maize supplied to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and they cannot buy farming inputs. It is unfortunate that the hon. Minister is saying that people can go to his office and get export permits. Is the hon. Minister very sure that the small-scale farmers, who are impoverished, have the capacity to export maize to foreign markets?


Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, I will take advantage of this question to clarify what I said.


Madam Speaker, when I said what I said, I was courting hon. Members of Parliament here to take advantage of the open market we have created. We have opened the borders so that we can get the maize from the FRA and sell it then the FRA will use the money to pay the farmers.


Hon. Mtayachalo, I would not imagine farmers in Kapilisanga getting export permits to sell maize to the Congo.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Nyirenda (Lundazi): Madam Speaker, I feel the pain as the hon. Minister of Agriculture is trying to explain. However, we have nowhere else to run to. If we do not get the answers from the hon. Minister, it will be very difficult for me to go into Lundazi and say anything to my people. So, I simply want to get his views so that as I go to my constituency at the weekend, I inform my people on what is next.


Madam Speaker, is it not possible to enter into an agreement with the fertiliser companies so that they help our people in Mwese, Mpamba or Kapichila, considering that they have security, which is the money owed by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA)?


Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for proposing an avenue worth exploring.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, I will not say I sympathise with the Government because we are also the Government, and this is a shared responsibility. However, whereas the issue of lacking money is understood, I believe that economics is about making decisions, and the right decisions, for that matter.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that one of the avenues that the Government is exploring is that of exporting maize. How will that be done? We do not want this House to start handling matters that would come from the export of maize again.


Madam Speaker, looking at the current prices of mealie meal –




Mr Fube: Excuse me!


Madam Speaker, looking at the current prices of feed, mealie meal and many other products, I think there is quite a challenge. So, if we export maize as a solution, will we not create more problems, for example, by finishing our maize stocks? It is like giving with one hand whilst taking with the other.


Madam Speaker, in his explanation, the hon. Minister indicated that one of the interventions being made is to export some maize in the hope that the FRA will realise some income to pay the farmers, and the hon. Minister indicated that one of the reasons the President went to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was to open up the market in that area. Are we not creating another problem by taking that route, especially given the fact that maize is the raw material from which samp, feed and mealie meal are produced?


Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, I will round off the figures for ease of our appreciation.


Madam Speaker, Zambia requires 2 million metric tonnes of maize for human consumption, the breweries and stock feed, but we produced 3 million bags. So, the 1 million extra bags, whether we want it or not, cannot be consumed in Zambia; they have to be taken out. So, we have taken that into account. Further, the exports are very well controlled to make sure that we do not create havoc in respect of maize meal and stock feed.


Madam Speaker, I respect this question.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lusambo (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, I want to put it on record that the previous Government planned to procure 1 million metric tonnes of maize for the strategic food reserves for our country, and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) was given the money. Further, there has always been business between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia. So, no has opened up business between the two countries.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Lusambo: Madam Speaker, the ministry headed by my elder brother, the hon. Minister of Agriculture, whom I know very to be an honest person, paid Alpha Commodities Limited US$50 million to procure fertiliser when it had the opportunity to give the money to the FRA for the farmers to be paid. Is that not a misplacement of priorities?


Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, I am very happy that Hon. Lusambo has raised this issue again in this House.


Madam Speaker, no one –


Mr M. Phiri removed his mask.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!


Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, I want to be very clear. I will put this thing back on.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, put on the mask. We do not want you to be sick of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Mr M. Phiri wore his mask.


Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, the Standing Orders of this House indicate, in the clearest of terms, that whatever we say should be factual and empirical.


Madam Speaker, the Government has not paid Dr Jangulo or Alpha Commodities Limited US$50 million, and the continued peddling of this rumour is not right because it is complete misinformation and, in simple terms, a lie. We should not come here and mislead the country. At any rate –


Mr Kapyanga interjected.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Can we have order!


The hon. Minister is responding to your question or the question that has been asked on the Floor. Can we give him chance to respond.


Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, in fact, he was not even the one who asked the question. I am responding to the question asked by the hon. Member for Kabushi.


Madam Speaker, Alpha Commodities Limited has not been paid a single Cent for the contract the hon. Member is talking about. Nothing! He can quote me and, if I am lying, take me court.


Mr Kapyanga interjected.


Mr M. Phiri: I am not like you. I will never react to a person like you.




Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, let me now answer the questions Hon. Lusambo asked in relation to the maize.


Madam Speaker, the market in the DRC has never been opened up and, for most of the time, the border was closed. It is this Government that officially and legally opened the border a month-and-a-half ago, and allowed exports. So, instead of creating unnecessary havoc, let us export maize.


Madam Speaker, I want to repeat that Alpha Commodities Limited was not paid a single Cent, and certain people will end up in trouble over these lies. I caution my brother, Hon. Lusambo, whom I like very much, to desist from saying things that are not correct. Instead, he should come to the office so that I tell him the truth, because this is the second time he is saying that, and it is wrong.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, there is no need to point your finger at them.


Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, I was pointing at the sky.




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


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


Mr Lusambo: Madam Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order on the hon. Minister of Agriculture.


Madam speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to intimidate me? How can my own uncle intimidate me because of Alpha Commodities Limited?


I seek your serous ruling, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, can you cite the Standing Order or privilege that has been breached so that we conclude that point of order?




Madam First Deputy Speaker: No citing? Thank you.


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


Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised by the hon. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation.


Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, I raise this point of order under Standing Order No. 57, on page 28 of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2021, which provides that an hon. Member may only speak when called upon by the Presiding Officer.


Madam Speaker, this House is very dignified. However, one hon. Member on the left, who once called the other hon. Members of this House rats and cockroaches, keeps speaking from his seat without being permitted. Is he in order to be debating whilst seated?


I seek your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Which hon. Member is that?


Mr Mposha: The hon. Member for Mpika Central, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, this is an honourable House, and we have to follow our Standing Orders. There are rules that you have to observe when debating. You cannot debate while seated, and there are words that you are supposed to use. You cannot use words that would distract the business of this House. If you have an issue with anybody – This is an honourable House occupied by hon. Members of Parliament. So, some things cannot be done in this House. We just have to do what is expected of us.


I have also noticed that when some hon. Members raise points of order, they want to talk straight away. You have to wait until you are called upon to raise your point of order, but we seem to be losing that direction.


With this guidance, can we keep it in mind that we are in an honourable House where we were sent by the people of Zambia, who are watching us or listening to what is happening in this House. Can we observe the decorum of this House.


Dr Kalila: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


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


Dr Kalila: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for granting me this opportunity to raise a very important point of order. As you are aware, I have been long enough in this House to know that this House is premised on hon. Members of Parliament debating facts, not sensationalising issues by saying things that are not verifiable or cannot be proven.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Kabushi has just made an allegation to the effect that the Executive paid US$50 million to Alpha Commodities Limited, and that attracted a very strong rebuke, for lack of a better word, from the hon. Minister of Agriculture who also, quite understandably so, categorically refuted the allegation. In line with the rules of this House, I had hoped that the hon. Member for Kabushi would be asked to retract his misleading and fallacious statement and, perhaps, even apologise.


Madam Speaker, is the House in order to let the hon. Member for Kabushi get away with such a very serious false statement meant to put this hardworking Government into disrepute and make it appear as if it is following in the footsteps of his corrupt previous Government?


I seek your ruling, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Indeed, two days ago, the hon. Member for Kabushi raised the same issue as a matters of urgent public importance, and it was turned down. However, today, the hon. Minister has clarified the issue and the whole country has heard. So, I advise the hon. Member for Kabushi to learn a lesson from this. We are supposed to guide our people, but we are now misleading them. So, the hon. Member for Kabushi should, in future, stick to facts, especially when in this House, because people are supposed to get facts from this House.


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


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


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


I think we are not making progress, and we have to do that make progress as I indicated yesterday.


Mr Kapyanga: But I have been injured.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Otherwise, we will be dealing with only points of order. Let us find another avenue to raise our issues unless they are so important as to deserve being raised through points of order.


Mr Fube:  Yes, it is very important.


Mr Kapyanga: Mine is very important.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I am reluctant to allow points of order because it is like the same people are talking. We need to start considering the Heads in the Budget because we are behind time.


The hon. Member for Matero can ask his question.


Mr Sampa (Matero): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister’s ministry deals with issues of the stomach, and they say that a hungry man is an angry man. Evidently, that is why this question keeps coming up.


Madam Speaker, I followed the hon. Minister’s response in which the hon. Minister implied that farmers should consider exporting the maize that they have. However, there are farmers in kwa Nabwalya, Zozwe and Taferansoni who have no capacity to export their maize and briefcase traders will just dribble them out of their goods. Countrywide, farmers are waiting for cash for the maize they harvested last year, and there is no need to reinvent the wheel because the Government has had surplus maize throughout the country before. Is the Government considering getting a syndicated short-term loan from local banks like Amalgamated Bank of South Africa (ABSA) Zambia, Atlas Mara, United Bank of Africa (UBA) Zambia, Investrust and Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) to enable it to pay the farmers? Maize can be used as collateral; it can be secured by SGS and then exported. After exporting the maize, the Government can pay back the loans. This has been done before. Is it one solution the hon. Minister is looking at?


Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, what the hon. Member for Matero, who is a banker, has said is what I meant when I said we intended to collateralise the maize. So, yes, we are looking at this option, and Amalgamated Bank of South Africa (ABSA) Zambia, Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) and the United Bank of Africa (UBA) Zambia, if am not mistaken, have been approached.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mwanza (Kaumbwe): Madam Speaker, you have elaborately said that today might be the last time this topic is coming up. However, it is a very hot topic in our rural constituencies because our farmers, who depend on once-in-a-year harvests, have no money to buy inputs. In view of the solutions that the hon. Minister has provided, is there a timeline when he will report back to this House? The hon. Minister said he will meet the Head of State, His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema, to discuss the trade negotiations that the President had in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and how our farmers can be assisted by being provided fertiliser. We need a timeline so that as we go back to our constituencies, we can give our people tangible answers.


Madam Speaker, furthermore, I want to take this advantage –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, it is one question per person.


Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, I answered this question by saying that I cannot give a timeline that is not backed by anything. Otherwise, the Committee on Government Assurances will be on the Minister of Agriculture. So, I do not want to commit when I know that the position is an open one.


Madam Speaker, I am privileged to sit with the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, and I can assure my dear colleagues that I talk about this problem every day because I am equally worried.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mapani (Namwala): Madam Speaker, we have listened to the explanation given by the hon. Minister of Agriculture on why the Government has failed to pay farmers. Listening to him, it becomes very clear that the New Dawn Government advised the Patriotic Front (PF) Government professionally on how to borrow, the PF did not listen, and went ahead to misuse or mismanage national resources. Is there any immediate intention to investigate and prosecute those who did not listen to professional advice? I have asked this question because if we are going to allow the members of the PF former Government to go scot-free, we shall set a very bad precedent in this country. We need the people who mismanaged national resources to face the wrath of the law because they have put this country in the situation it is now, which is unfortunate.


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


Mr Mapani: Is there any immediate plan to prosecute these people so that we bring to an end the unwarranted behaviour that was exhibited by the previous Government?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I announced that I would be reluctant to take points of order because we are behind time.


Hon. Member for Namwala, I do not see any link between your question and the question on the Floor of the House, which is about agriculture, not prosecuting people. I do not think there is any link.


Hon. PF Members: No!


Mr Wamunyima (Nalolo): Madam Speaker, my view is that the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development is a game changer in the problem of maize. Is the Government considering adopting a multi-sectoral approach in the sense of putting additional investment in the maize value chain? All we do with maize is sing about surpluses without adding value to the maize. Do we not need investment in the maize value chain to produce maize flour and bran, and export finished products instead of exporting the maize? This line of thought might have a long-term perspective, but I put it to the hon. Minister that this is what will change the dynamics and bring more revenue to this country. Is the hon. Minister looking at this idea as a long-term measure? Is he willing to engage his counterpart in the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development so that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that will access funding can be deliberately encouraged to participate in the maize value chain?


Mr M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Nalolo for this brilliant idea. However, I must mention that maize is one flashpoint indicating the serious financial malaise that the New Dawn Government finds itself in. It is because people are owed money that you know about it. However, very soon, you will see many other flashpoints because the country is simply broke due to misapplication and misuse of funds, over-borrowing, running a deficit that we cannot manage and lying that a debt sustainability assessment had indicated that we could manage the debt that was being contracted. There was a lot of misuse and misapplication of funds. So, the maize issue is just but one of the flashpoints. Very soon, you will hear a lot more.


Madam Speaker, thank God that the year is coming to an end and we will start a new year, and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is going to talk to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help us to liquidate these problems we are having. The previous Government left this country in a mess, as if it was not going to exist.


Madam Speaker, I hear the hon. Member, and we will contact the hon. Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Development. However, the point is that there was a lot of irresponsibility in financial management.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.









VOTE 44 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – K51,100,549)


The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Ms Tambatamba): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to respond to the hon. Member for Lupososhi.


Mr Chairperson, I draw your attention to page 433, under Table 2 and figure 2. The Budget allocation by programme is presented under Occupational Safety and Health Services, which was allocated in the pie chart at 17.3 per cent. That translates into K8,815,991. This is the allocation by programme against the total ministerial budget, which amounts to K51,100,549.


Mr Chairperson, when you go to page 434 of the Yellow Book, the 17.3 per cent is erroneously presented as an amount in millions of Kwacha. That is an error that requires correction on that page.


I thank you, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: I put the question –


Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa): Mr Chairperson, I indicated.


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, you took long to indicate, and we have moved on.


Mr Chilangwa: But I indicated.


The Deputy Chairperson: No, I asked, but you did not indicate.




Mr Chilangwa: I did.


The Deputy Chairperson: Okay. You can ask your question.


Hon. PF Member: Tuleikalafye? Twishile kuncito kuno.


Mr Chilangwa: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on page 405, Programme 2137, 09 – KAIZEN Institute of Zambia Limited – K3,220,000. In the 2021 Budget, there was no allocation for this item. Is this a new item being introduced in addition to the work of the ministry or has it been an ongoing programme?


Ms Tambatamba: Mr Chairperson, as you would understand, in the New Dawn Government, a new gazette was issued that introduced certain statutory institutions or transferred them to different ministries. The KAIZEN Institute of Zambia Limited is one of those that have been moved to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. In the previous financial year, it was in another ministry.


I thank you, Sir.


Vote 44 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 33 – (Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry – K500,927,431)


The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mulenga): Mr Speaker –


Hon. Member: ‘Mr Chairperson’!


Mr Mulenga: Thank you for the correction.


Mr Chairperson, I am grateful for this opportunity to present my policy statement on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the period 1st January to 31st December, 2022, for Head 33 – Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.


Mr Chairperson, I commend His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, for the policy guidance and inspiration given during his address to this august House when he officially opened the First Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly under theme, “Creating a United, Prosperous and Equitable Zambia: Restoring Economic Growth and Safeguarding Livelihoods”.


Sir, I make special reference to the President’s Speech, as its theme resonates well with the transformative 2022 National Budget speech delivered on Friday, 29th October, 2021, by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning under the theme, “Growth, Jobs and Taking Development Closer to the People”.


Mr Chairperson, allow me to add my voice to those of all well-meaning Zambians in applauding the hon. Minister and the entire Cabinet for the clarity given to the developmental agenda of the United Party for National Development (UPND).


Mr Chairperson, the 2022 Budget has given the citizen of Zambia hope and, at the same time, great expectations from the Government of the Republic of Zambia. I emphasise that this is as it should be, considering that the Government is in the business of creating a conducive environment for growth in all sectors of the economy. At this pace, the country is on track, pursuant to the national agenda of being a prosperous middle-income country by 2030.


Mr Chairperson, at this point, allow me to take you through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry policy framework on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2022.


Sir, the ministry is charged with the role of formulating and administering policies in the commercial, trade and industrial sectors of the economy in order to enhance the sector’s contribution to socio-economic growth and development for the benefit of the people of Zambia. To this effect, my ministry will focus on the following thematic areas of its mandate:


  1. industrialisation;
  2. private sector development and engagement;
  3. market access;
  4. value addition;
  5. manufacturing;
  6. trade policy;
  7. investment promotion and export development;
  8. job creation; and
  9. business regulation through administration of standards and quality.


Mr Chairperson, as the House might be aware, following the creation of new ministries, there was a need to realign mandate functions of the ministries and spending agencies. To this effect, the creation of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development has necessitated the movement of functions from my ministry to that ministry. The notable functions realigned are co-operatives development, empowerment programmes and enterprise development.


Sir, it is worth noting that the realignment of programmes has been done with a view to strengthening their implementation. As such, my ministry will continue collaborating with her sister ministry with a view to strengthening and sustaining Government programmes, pursuant to the directives.


2021 Performance Review


Mr Chairperson, during 2021, the ministry’s performance was fair. This assessment was arrived at with due consideration to the regional and global state of affairs during the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.


Sir, in 2021, the ministry had an approved budgetary allocation of K669,025,132. From that allocation, K424,812,400 was released and disbursed to the ministry, representing 64 per cent funding. In line with the Output-Based Budgeting System used by Ministries, Provinces and Spending Agencies (MPSAs), the ministry implemented a number of programmes under respective thematic areas as set out below.


Standards and Quality Assurance


Mr Chairperson, K41.715 million was disbursed under Standards and Quality Assurance from the approved budget of K41.715 million. That represented total funding according to the approved budget. Under this area, in terms of improving standardisation and quality assurance through the established agencies of the Government, namely the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) and Zambia Compulsory Standards (ZCS), 95 per cent of new products were approved and certified, having met the standard requirements. Through this programme, the ministry has continued equipping the Government agencies mandated with standardisation and quality assurance with state-of-the-art equipment in a quest to improve quality assurance and standards administration.


Industrial and Enterprise Development


Mr Chairperson, under this programme, K6.89 million was funded from an approved budget of K9.827 million, representing 70 per cent funding from the approved budget. From this allocation, the ministry completed the construction of eight industrial yards in Mongu, Kasama, Chipata, Solwezi, Ndola, Kafue, Kitwe and Mansa, these being the provincial districts earmarked for implementation of the programme by 2021 in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP). It is worth noting that three of the industrial yards, namely Chipata, Kasama and Mongu, have since been fully equipped and are currently operational. The Chipata Yard has been equipped with the following value additional small scale plants:


  1. wood processing;
  2. artefacts production; and
  3. food processing machinery.


Sir, the Kasama Yard has been equipped with vegetable oil processing, metal fabrication, cassava processing, auto mechanics and wood processing machinery, while the selection of candidates for the Mongu Yard has been completed and equipment loans disbursed to the yard. What remains is the installation and commissioning of the yard for production.


Mr Chairperson, the ministry and its responsible agencies also facilitated enterprise development for labour-intensive industries in rural areas, with 851 participants, including women, men and youths, taking part. Further, 128 business-market linkages were facilitated, beating the annual target of 120. Altogether, 2,860 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and co-operatives were supported with various technical enterprise expertise, including business development services in collaboration with the ministry’s agencies, such as the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC).


Investment Promotions – Multi-Facility Economic Zones and Industrial Parks


Mr Chairperson, during the year under review, the ministry facilitated the declaration of the Jiangxi Multi Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) in Chibombo under Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 60 of 2021. The ministry remains committed to promoting the development and commercialisation of MFEZs and industrial parks. The ministry also sought the Cabinet’s approval to develop Californian Beverages Industrial Parks and envisages that the process will be concluded by the end of the first quarter of 2022.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired.


Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Mr Chairperson, the work of the ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is to enhance economic development for sustainable development. However, I believe that for us to have sustainable development, our people must get involved in the economic activities of this country. Many countries across Africa and the world over have put in place strategies to ensure that their people benefit from economic activities. In this country, we do not seem to be doing enough to protect our people in terms of doing business. Many years ago, South Africa introduced black empowerment to ensure that black South Africans were involved in the economic activities of their country. Coming back home, yes, in the construction industry, there is the 20 per cent sub-contracting policy. However, that has not been replicated in the other sectors. Why has it not been done?


Mr Chairperson, I note that the people who are coming as investors are taking up all the economic activities. What is happening is that when they come to set up manufacturing industries, because we are not protecting our people, they find space to do wholesaling and, next, retailing as well, doing what we call forward integration and crowding out our people, who end up having nothing to do in the economic landscape of this country.


Sir, I remember, in the last Session, we discussed a proposal to reserve block making, and water purification and bottling for Zambians. Bread and confectionaries are also being taken up by investors who have come from outside while our people have nothing to do. Now, we see our colleagues of Asian origin rearing chickens, some of them even selling eggs on the streets, and we are quiet. What is a common Zambian going to do if all these activities are in the hands of foreign investors? We are letting our people down. We must come up with strategies to protect our people. Let the foreign investors invest in manufacturing and leave trading to Zambians so that everyone has something to do. After all, the profits made by foreign investors do not stay here; they go back to the countries where the investors came from. So, we do not derive sustainable economic development when activities are conducted in such a reckless manner.


Mr Chairperson, we want to see a situation in which those who are in manufacturing are restricted to manufacturing, wholesaling is restricted to those who are in wholesaling and retailing is restricted to retailers so that the three stages of trading are kept separate. Time is gone for this year’s trading but, come 2022, the hon. Ministers of Commerce, Trade and Industry, and Local Government and Rural Development should ensure that the issuance of trading licences is categorised. I know that trading licences are issued in October.


Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Samakayi: Those who are in manufacturing should not be given wholesale licences and those in wholesaling should not be given retail licences so that we provide space for our people to participate in the economic activities of this country.


Mr Chairperson, I have seen some very big manufacturing companies get involved in the distribution of the goods and services they produce, and I think that has to stop as well. Let those who are in manufacturing manufacture goods. For distribution, there are other people to do that; there are truckers in this country whose job is to transport the goods and services produced by manufacturers to areas where they are required. We should provide space for most Zambians to participate in business and ensure that the profits made remain in our country. There should be no capital flight, and that should be our fight. There will be no economic sustainability if the economic levers are in the hands of foreigners.


Mr Chairperson, I thought I should make those comments and bring these issues to the attention of the hon. Ministers concerned.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for his policy statement. As Kantanshi Constituency, we just want to add our voice to the hon. Minister’s policy statement insofar as the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is concerned, and on some other areas that I think the hon. Minister can pay close attention to so that we see our economy start to grow. Of course, the separation of your ministry from the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development was just to provide you an opportunity insofar as foreign direct investment (FDI) is concerned.


Mr Chairperson, there have been a number of pronouncements by the President in relation to trade and the opening up of Zambia for trade. That, obviously, is at the centre of the ministry. What is important for the hon. Minister to realise is that the heartbeat of this country is commerce, trade and industry. So, the multi-sectoral approach that his ministry will have to start building on is what is going to lead this country out of recession. Let me give a simple example: The hon. Minister of Agriculture was lamenting to us about exporting maize to raise money for paying farmers. That should be a very exciting moment for the hon. Minister and the Ministry of Agriculture because from inception, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has never made money; it just consumes taxpayers’ money. This is an opportunity for the hon. Minister to tap into the maize export agreements under his ministry. So, this is one area in which he can make a positive change for this country.


Mr Chairperson, let us look at goods that we produce in Zambia, but still cost more than imported products. For example, why should the price of cooking oil always be going up when the hon. Minister has talked about the investments in industrial parks, including in vegetable oil processing? Why should the cost of mealie meal prices go up when the ministry has solar milling plants dotted around the country, which should produce sufficient mealie meal for household consumption? On a larger scale, there are milling companies that, again, the Government has invested in, which could play a role in churning that maize into various products and earning the foreign exchange (FOREX) that is needed to grow this country.


Mr Chairperson, regarding FDI, we have not heard the hon. Minister’s strategy in terms of the areas he is going to look into. Mining comes to my mind, of course. However, in the last ten years, we have not had any significant investment in the sector. fortunately, proposals have been made in the Budget to enhance investment in the sector. However, again, when it comes to the participation of the locals in the sector, how do we make that participation accountable so that locals are able to contribute to taxes, revenue and job creation? Those are the areas to which the ministry should pay close attention. As I said, the ministry cuts across many sectors. So, it should always be multi-faceted and push other ministries to add to the engine and growth of our economy.


Mr Chairperson, when it comes to participation in economic activities, apart from mining, the hon. Minister talked about manufacturing. The question is: In the Budget, what incentives are there for us to have more manufacturers come on board? Why should a bar of soap move all the way from Lusaka to Mansa when small factories could be set up to respond to the needs of those who are in Mansa, Kasama and other areas? Why should we still have a rice deficit when we have five types of rice in the country? These factors add to the cost of living, and the ministry is responsible for ensuring that the cost of living goes down through the multi-sectoral approach I referred to. So, we want to hear more about the strategy on FDI and participation of the local people in the manufacturing sector so that we see a reduction in the cost of living.


Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs), and we want to see a clear direction that will be able to support us out of recession and into growth, and create a much cheaper Zambia in terms of goods and services.


Mr Chairperson, I think I will end here for now.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Amutike (Mongu Central): Mr Chairperson, let me first thank the hon. Minister for his policy statement and for recognising the critical role the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry has to play, going forward, in the New Dawn Administration. We heard how indebted this country is from the hon. Minister of Agriculture earlier. So, the best way to manage debt is to increase growth through economic activity so that we can have more income to service our debt. That is where the ministry comes in to play the critical role of attracting investment and rejuvenating the economy.


Mr Chairperson, the reality is that we are now living in a global village and that being innovative and competitive are very key to growth, sustainable trade and development. The statistic I have is that, at least, more than 4 million Zambians who are willing to work are currently unemployed. So, clearly, the current growth rate, which is projected at 1 per cent for this year and 2 per cent for next year, which is largely underpinned by recoveries in the mining, tourism and manufacturing sectors, must be stepped up. It is very important that the hon. Minister initiates and effect a full economic recovery in order to address this reality that so many Zambians face, especially the women and youths, who are still left out of the mainstream economy.


Sir, the people of Mongu Central want to see the ministry base its future strategic focus on deeper integration of the New Dawn Government’s efforts to galvanise inclusive growth and build local industrial capacity. I know the hon. Minister has made that a priority, as seen in the building of local industrial zones. This is very good to hear, as it can really do wonders in constituencies and provinces like the Western Province. For example, we can easily have a local industrial zone in the Western Province, particularly in Mongu Central Constituency, where timber, especially mukula, can be produced and exported. We can also be exporting rice. I am told that Mongu Rice – I do not know why people call it that when it is grown everywhere in the Western Province. Actually, it is ‘Western Province Rice’. I do not know why people always say Mongu rice because this rice is grown everywhere in Western Province. I am told that many people like the rice. So, we can be exporting it to Taiwan and many other countries. We can also be exporting cashew nuts, mangoes and various other horticultural products. That is how an economy is stimulated, people empowered and trade increased. That is the trade needed right now to grow our economy.


Sir, by simply having such strategic focus, the ministry will unite growth and economic transformation, boost local production and grow exports, thereby increasing investment, more especially among the local people, in line with the theme of the United Party for National Development (UPND) Budget’s theme of “Growth, Jobs and Taking Development Closer to the People”. That is what we want to do, and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has demonstrated that already by making the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to be managed at the local level and increasing the amount. So, the people of Mongu Central have high expectations of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry positioning itself to facilitate rural economic transformation through local economic development zones and bring about transformative economic empowerment to the local communities. So, I support the hon. Minister’s statement and pray that we will see the implementation of the projects or plans go smoothly. We want to see effective implementation so that we can attain the growth projection that we want to attain as the New Dawn Government.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Nyirenda (Lundazi): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add the voice for the people of Lundazi to this debate. I also thank the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry for giving us his statement.


Sir, I want to add that the issues of local industries should be looked at. Taking the case of Lundazi, we grow very good beans there. So, there is potential for setting up a canning industry there, and we would be able to reduce the price of the canned beans.


Sir, I have a serious challenge with the issue of the soya beans grown in Lundazi being brought to Lusaka to be made into soya chunks that are transported back to Lundazi. If we had a local industry, it could create employment for the people there and give us value. If we packaged the soya beans very well, we could also be in a position to export it to our neighbours in Malawi.


Sir, on the issue of wholesalers also being a retailers, I am not very bad with foreigners, but I have seen this evil in our land. . If you move across Lusaka, you will find that the Rwandese have wholesale stores in town and retail shops in the compounds so that they can retail, too, and I tend to wonder whether I would be given a licence or the power to run a wholesale shop and a small shop in some compound if I went to Rwanda today. We are putting unnecessary pressure and competition on the locals because they cannot obtain goods on credit while the Rwandese give credit lines to their fellow nationals, and that is disadvantaging our people.


Sir, the only advantage that we have is that Zambia is a landlocked country. If the hon. Minister went to the border towns, he will see goods being brought into the country every day. It is those lines that are making foreigners a lot of money. If we restricted the bringing in of groceries to Zambians, it would help to empower our people to make the money we are talking about. We have seen that done in South Africa, where imported vehicles are prohibited from being driven on roads so that the vehicle carriers and the nation could have quite a bit of resources. Our women could be able to send their children to school and have some money from the cross-border trading that is happening. However, they are unable to realise the much-needed profit or end up trying to run away from the border because they cannot claim the Value Added Tax (VAT) that they pay, yet the big companies are able to come and put pressure even on the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to give them back the VAT.


Sir, if we do not balance the weights for our own people, we are just making Zambia a very poor country. So, my submission to the hon. Minister is that he should see how he can favour his own people first and foreigners second. It is important that Zambians see the benefit before any other person.


 I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Nkulukusa (Katuba): Mr Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for the presentation of the highlights on the Budget. I just want to add a few things, more especially on the issue of enterprise, which is purely about small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and is usually seen as a means to creating a lot of employment, thereby helping the Government in creating jobs.


Mr Chairperson, the first thing I want to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister is that there is a lot of expectation among the citizens on the issue of coming up with plans of business enterprises in order for them to access some of the money that was pronounced in the Budget, more especially, through the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development. The question would be: How prepared are we, really? Or how are we really ensuring that the demand that is coming in, trying to create employment, will be managed? I have heard many people ask about it because they want to form companies, access this money and run businesses. So, are we really preparing? At the end of the day, we may end up with many people applying for a lot of money who are not ready to really run businesses, and this will become another academic exercise.


Mr Chairperson, the second issue is that of how much we are helping, more especially the SMEs in building capacity to manage growth. What has been obtaining, mainly, is that many enterprises begin, but when they start growing, managing that growth becomes a challenge, and the businesses fail to move from introduction to growth and from growth to maturity. It looks like there is a lot of demand for capacity building of people who are coming into business introduction to manage growth so that businesses can mature, recruit more people and become the multi-nationals of tomorrow. So, I do not know how much we are focusing on helping businesses to manage their growth.


Mr Chairperson, in terms of market access, and trade facilitation and promotion, we have said that the reduction in the Budget, from about K60 million to about K12 million, is because of the abridging of donor or foreign aid, or some people who are coming in to help us. The main issue is that if we do not facilitate business access to, more especially, international and regional markets, it will be very difficult for them businesses to become competitive. We may be acting local but, unfortunately, we live in a global village. Therefore, competition can never be localised. We will continue to complain about people coming to take up businesses, but that is the nature of the environment, and the 21st Century business trajectory requires that we live local, but behave global. We have to behave as if we were competing on the global market. So, helping SMEs to access both regional and international markets is critical, and we only hope that many co-operating partners will really come in to help in this matter.


Mr Chairperson, the third and, probably, the last issue, is that of business incubation. In order to create greater capacity for most of our enterprises, we need to start investing more into business incubation hubs so that many enterprises are hand-walked from introduction, through growth, and into maturity. There should be a hub that will help in monitoring and ensuring that all the value chains in the business work properly for the businesses to grow. It is very good that once we look at –


Mr Chairperson, the SMEs and the medium corporate organisations are the big businesses of tomorrow and, I think, that is where the Vision 2030 is anchored. Once the SMEs start growing, they will recruit more people and the recruited people will add to the number of people who will be moving from the low-income to the middle-income bracket. By 2030, we can attain the middle-income economy status. The issue, I think, is how we are hand-walking the businesses to make them competitive so that, for once, we can, maybe, stop crying all the time that other businesses are taking advantage of us. We need to build capacity. We have seen that most of the time, businesses begin very well, but managing growth becomes a challenge. If we start investing in those areas, I think we will get somewhere, and increase the capacity for job creation and labour market consumption.


Mr Chairperson, I thank you.


The Deputy Chairperson: For the sake of time, I am calling upon the last hon. Member to debate so that we move on.


Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa): Mr Chairperson, I first thank the hon. Minister for presenting a very sober statement in his usual style that is very refreshing and devoid of any politicking.


Mr Jamba: On a point of procedure, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Chilangwa: We are very grateful for that.


Mr Chairperson, going by the statement the hon. Minister has issued, in which he spoke about industrial hubs that have reached very advanced levels, with three of them being given equipment and one or two already being operational, it is clear that the investment went across the country to all the ten provinces, and that is how it should be. That is the foundation the Patriotic Front (PF) Government left behind. So, we are very proud because governance is a baton that some people pass on for others to continue the relay and build on the foundation laid.


Mr Chairperson, I urge the hon. Minister – He spoke about the industrial parks, the Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) in Chibombo and another MFEZ. I think, that is the way to go in growing this economy. We have the industrial hubs and the MFEZs. Now, we should move a step farther and find out what we can also build on. I will give an example of Luapula Province, where we were in the first stage of establishing the Chalwe MFEZ near where the Kasomeno/Mwenda Road will pass. When His Excellency was talking about the car battery revolution that will be anchored on the mineral resource of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia, we believe that can never be in a better place than the Chalwe MFEZ on the new route that is being created. I believe, that is the way we should be pushing


Mr Chairperson, I appeal to Her Honour the Vice-President – Welcome back, Madam.


Sir, His Excellency was in Durban and the DRC, and we hear very good stories of what the New Dawn Government would like to achieve during through those missions. I, therefore, appeal to Her Honour the Vice-President that hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, and the hon. Minister of Agriculture, who is waiting for the President to tell him what was achieved in the DRC, be part of those entourages. It is important. The time of talking politics, I want to believe, is behind us, and this is time for doing real work, which requires the two hon. Ministers to be part of the President’s and Her Honour the Vice-President’s international trips for engagements with our colleagues on the other side. I want to believe our colleagues need to be part of those interactions. Having face-to-face interactions with our colleagues on the other side is the way to go because one achieves so much more that way than when one has to wait to be given instructions. One can achieves a lot on the side-lines in a day or two as the President or the Vice-President is meeting other people.


Mr Chairperson, when the President was in the DRC, surely, the hon. Ministers for Copperbelt, Luapula and North-Western provinces should have been part of the entourage so that they share ideas on how to improve the livelihoods of our people, and on commerce and trade, so that our people can start deriving benefits in the shortest possible time. The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is in the right place to lead such a revolution, and I appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to not hold back this ministry. Instead, he needs to support it with finances so that it can quickly complete the remaining industrial hubs and operationalise them for our people to start getting the full benefits. If we empowered 2,000 women, youths and other people to be part of the industrial hubs, I believe that the exporting of maize and raw wood will come to an end.


Mr Chairperson, once the industrial hubs are fully operationalised, what will remain is for the hon. Minister to improve the monitoring mechanisms. Otherwise, most people will be empowered, but the funds will go down the drain and the same people will say that the Government did not helped them and that ‘Boma iyanganepo’. We need to improve the monitoring mechanisms as we empower our people so that those who are empowered today do not come back tomorrow to look for more empowerment. Instead, they should go out there and increase the value chain so that more people get employed.


Mr Chairperson, I believe this is a very important Vote, and I support the statement by the hon. Minister. We stand ready to push this agenda together.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Mulenga: Mr Chairperson, before I respond to the concerns raised, let me appreciate all the hon. Members who have made submissions, from which I have to draw many lessons, concerns and engagements between them and my ministry.


Mr Chairperson, as I wind up debate, I want to quickly respond to Hon. Samakayi, who eloquently mentioned two important aspects about investment being taken to the people and also seeing how best we can reserve some investment sectors for the local people. Indeed, in the recent past, we saw how one foreign investor who was an extractor, manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer at the expense of the participation of the locals in the value chain.


Mr Chairperson, my ministry, like many hon. Members have said, is key in driving the economy of this country. The ministry and other relevant ministries, such as the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, the Ministry of Agriculture and, most importantly, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, are discussing how best we can not only regulate, but also legislate for certain businesses to be the preserve of Zambians, unlike what we saw in the past.


Mr Chairperson, in response to Hon. Samakayi’s good advice on regulating the number of licences that we issue to foreign investors, I must mention that the time has come to not just talk about empowering the local people, but to also give them the empowerment due to them because we are very concerned about them.


Mr Chairperson, one hon. Member talked about having a preserve of development or entrepreneurial skills for the locals. Indeed, the locals have the right to own some enterprises solely. So, certain licenses will not be issued to foreign investors. For example, when the President issued his first press statement, he revoked all the licences that had been issued to foreign nationals for timber harvesting. So, that sector is now a preserve of Zambians. As a ministry, we are moving forward to legislate for many other business to be the preserve of the locals. Foreign nationals will only have to tap in. For the information of the House, the New Dawn Government’s priority is the people of Zambia. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is just a supplement to what, we, the local people, cannot do.


Mr Chairperson, let me also quickly respond to Hon. Anthony Mumba, the Member for Kantanshi Constituency. The hon. Member has always been spot-on, and his submissions show that he is concerned not only for the people of Kantanshi, but also the people of Zambia at large. I think, time and again, we need to be engaging, as hon. Members of Parliament and citizens of this country, to exchange and share ideas. Indeed, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) also needs to give back to the community as opposed to the current scenario in which it just feeds off taxpayers’ money without bringing in any revenue.


Mr Chairperson, as hon. Members of the House may be aware, the President of this country has made it very clear that the time has come for us to take advantage of the markets around us and make a lot of revenue as opposed to blocking the export of certain products because of not having sufficient stocks in our country. Zambia does not intend to impose bans on products on account of not having sufficient stocks anymore. Instead, we will encourage more production so that we can sustain not only the Zambian market, but the external market as well. In this regard, through legislation and engagement with hon. Members and other stakeholders, we can see how best the FRA can generate wealth for itself and the people of Zambia.


Mr Chairperson, an hon. Member asked why the prices of cooking oil, mealie meal and many other essential commodities have continued to escalate. The New Dawn Government is focused on making the prices of these commodities go down. When I issued my first ministerial statement, I promised the nation that the cost of cement would go down. It is not –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired.


Vote 33 – (Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry – K500,927,431)


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment on page 347, Table 3, Programme 2113, Activity 3001 – Economic Empowerment Enterprise Development –  (1), by the deletion of “K205,893,555”.


I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Finance and National Development (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Chairperson, I object to the amendment because the money the hon. Member is referring to is meant for industrial enterprise development programmes, which include investment promotion, economic zone development, industrial research and development (R&D) and commercial services. So, it has a useful function. On the other hand, as we consider the allocation to a sister ministry later, we shall see an amount of money that has been allocated for empowerment programmes. So, this allocation is appropriate and should not be deleted.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, I propose the amendment of this Vote based on the fact that there is a duplication in the sister ministry, the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, that the hon. Minister referred to. The wording is the same, and when we start considering that Vote, I will demonstrate why it is a duplication even though the hon. Minister has given a breakdown.


Mr Chairperson, I further submit that the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development is new, and the Government, being a dream facilitator, should look at growing the economy in view of the theme of the Budget. We have been singing the song of value addition, but the song does not translate into serious actions. Apart from that, I note that the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is supposed to add value to the sanity of the balance of payments. Bearing that in mind, the ministry that can stimulate what the hon. Minister means in the theme is the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development. So, I propose that this Vote be taken there.


Mr Chairperson, when it comes to manufacturing and many other factors, especially concerning enterprise, we are almost creating monopolies because our locals have no capital to compete with other captains of the trade. So, we looked at the creation of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development as a blessing to many people because our liberalised economy, for that matter, is anchored on the private sector. Looking at the prices of essential commodities – the hon. Minister included things like competition and consumer welfare in the Budget Speech.


Mr Chairperson, as I have already said, that Vote is rightly in the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, and the proposal was meant to facilitate what the Government is currently promoting, that is, to make sure that Zambians are in charge. When we talk about competition, only those with the muscle can compete in the industry. So, I think that the Vote would have provided a window for many Zambians to participate, especially since the  Patriotic Front (PF) Government already established industrial yards to encourage what is called a competence-based economy, which should be anchored on the competitive advantage of our natural resources.


Mr Chairperson, I still maintain that the Vote be taken to the sister ministry, as the hon. Minister rightly stated. By the way, the amendment will not alter the nominal value of the Budget in any way. Apart from that, it still facilitates the realisation of the dream of the New Dawn Government. So, I see nothing wrong with the amendment.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I do not know whether my colleague listened carefully to what I said. The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development are sister ministries, with one being created from the other, and interventions must be made in both.


Sir, I said that the amount that appears in the budget for the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is for investment promotion; the development of economic zones; like the Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs); industrial R&D; and, lastly, commercial services. That is what this money will be used for. Further, money has already been provided separately to empower small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and for all those things that the hon. Member talked about. We will see this when we discuss the allocation to the ministry, which is Head 35. If the hon. Member cares to, he can look at page 375, although we are jumping forward now, to see that the amount of money he is talking about is already provided for. So, there is no need of making any deletions.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Question that Vote 33/2113 be amended put and negatived.


Vote 33/2113 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, I am calling for a division.




Hon. Government Member: You do not call for a division, you just –


Vote 33 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


The Deputy Chairperson: Let us make progress.




The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


VOTE 31 – (Ministry of Justice – K624,605,610)


The Minister of Justice (Mr Haimbe): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to present this policy statement in support of the 2022 Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Justice, which stand at K624,605,610 –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


There are too many movements. This should be a dignified House. Yes, we are allowed to move, but not at will. We should try to watch as we stand up. It should not be like it is not an organised forum. Let us try to maintain decorum and order in the House.


The hon. Minister may continue.


Mr Haimbe: Mr Chairperson, as I was saying, the 2022 Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Justice stand at K624.6 million, compared with the K329.3 million allocated in 2021.


Sir, my statement will be presented in four parts, namely the mandate of the ministry, an overview of the implementation of programmes in 2021, the 2022 policy framework and priorities, and conclusion.


Mandate of the Ministry


Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Justice’s mandate is to facilitate the administration of justice, and to promote good governance and observance of the rule of law. According to Government Gazette Notice No. 1123 of 2021, the Ministry of Justice is responsible for the following functions:


  1. administration of estates;
  2. advanced legal education;
  3. agreements;
  4. arbitration;
  5. compensation and awards;
  6. debt recovery;
  7. domestication of international treaties and conventions;
  8. extradition;
  9. human rights and governance;
  10. inquests;
  11. international law;
  12. law revision and reform;
  13. Laws of Zambia;
  14. legal advice and policy;
  15. legal aid;
  16. legal practitioners;
  17. litigation; and
  18. prosecution


Mr Chairperson, the ministry is also responsible for the following statutory bodies and institutions:


  1. Compensation Fund Committee, (CFC);
  2. Council of Law Reporting (CLR);
  3. Judicial Complaints Authority (JCA);
  4. Legal Aid Board;
  5. National Prosecutions Authority (NPA);
  6. Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE); and
  7. Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC).


Overview of Programme Implementation in 2021


Mr Chairperson, some of the programmes implemented by my ministry from 1st January, 2021, to date are.


  1. drafted fifty Bills and seventy-three (SIs), and consolidated five volumes of the Laws of Zambia. With respect to the review of laws, the ZLDC reviewed twelve pieces of legislation;
  2. received and processed 1,788 contracts/agreements and drafted the State Party Report on the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights;
  3. received 143 new civil cases in addition to the 4,000 civil cases carried forward from previous years. The ministry attended to all 4,143 cases;
  4. the NPA received 21,035 cases, of which 12,162 were concluded;
  5. rendered legal advice to forty-six out of fifty cases received and collected K100,417 from the administration of deceased’s estates;
  6. the JCC received eighty-two complaints, of which seventy-three were given initial consideration;
  7. ZIALE managed to train 631 students in various legal disciplines, though that was way below the targeted 1,300 students. The low performance is attributed to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and a lack of adequate infrastructure;
  8. paid out the K93 million disbursed from the Treasury to beneficiaries of compensation and awards. The total amount allocated in the 2021 Budget is K100 million; and
  9. undertook several activities aimed at promoting good governance in the country, including the following:

        (i) inspection of judicial infrastructure in the country to promote access to justice and human rights and                    airing of radio programmes in promotion of good governance and human rights;

         (ii) implementation of programmes on accountable access to justice and public engagement to strengthen                policy dialogue and citizen participation in decision making and service delivery, and facilitation of a                      second cycle implementation review of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in                order to enhance Zambia’s adherence to international anti-corruption standards and combating of                        financial crimes; and 

       (iii)   preparation of the 2020 Ministerial and Governance Sector Annual Report and facilitation of the                          preparation of the ‘Good Governance’ chapter in the draft Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP)                   2022-2026. Further, the ministry began preparation of the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, as the current plan               comes to an end this year.


Policy Framework and 2022 Priorities


Mr Chairperson, on the 2022 policy direction for the Ministry of Justice, the key intervention areas will be anchored on the Vision 2030, United Party for National Development (UPND) Manifesto, the 8NDP and the ministerial strategic plan.


Mr Chairperson, the ministry’s proposed budget for 2022 is K624.6 million, compared with the K329.3 million allocated in 2021, representing a 90 per cent increase. The summary estimates by economic classification indicates that 54.9 per cent or K343 million of this budget has been allocated to goods and services, 39.5 per cent or K246.4 million will cater for transfers to facilitate operations and implement capital programmes for grant-aided institutions, while 5.6 per cent or K35.2 million is earmarked for personal emoluments.


Mr Chairperson, below are some of the key policy intervention areas for the ministry in 2022.


Law Reforms


 Sir, the New Dawn Administration is committed to establishing a durable constitutional order that will facilitate political, economic and social development in the country. As a Government, we want a Constitution that will be anchored on broad-based consensus among all Zambians. To facilitate this activity, the Government has allocated K5 million to the process. Further, the Government is committed to enhancing its research and law reform activities. To this effect, it has allocated K12.9 million to the ZLDC in the 2022 Financial Year, compared with the K5.5 million allocated in 2021, representing an increase of more than 100 per cent.


Printing of Revised Edition of the Laws of Zambia


Sir, we also intend to print the revised edition of the Laws of Zambia, which will result in revenue generation by the ministry.




Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, I emphasise that during 2022, the ministry has prioritised the allocation of funds to programmes whose implementation will contribute to a smart and value-centred ministry, the fostering of a good governance environment and responsive legal framework as outlined in the Draft 8NDP, and the attainment of the core mandate of the ministry as outlined in its strategic plan.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours





Mr Simushi (Sikongo): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for the opportunity given to the people of Sikongo to add their voice to the debate on the Motion on the Floor of the House, which is on the 2022 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for Head 31 – Ministry of Justice.


Mr Chairperson, the 2022 Budget has given hope to the people of Zambia, and I would like to refer to it as the mother of all Budgets because it is not only huge in size, but also well-prioritised in terms of its focus.


Mr Chairperson, the adage ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ is really very important as we discuss Head 31. In mind, I have the people of Sikongo, who do not have subordinate courts, and have to travel to Kalabo for their cases to be heard. As a result, the court in Kalabo serves two districts. This situation has denied the people of Sikongo access to justice, as they wait many years for their cases to be concluded. Now, I am happy to hear from the hon. Minister of Justice that the ministry has allocated resources to address such issues in the budget for 2022.


Sir, we need a Magistrate Court in Sikongo, and I am aware that we will have one, perhaps not through this Budget we are talking about, but certainly before the end of five years. The able New Dawn Administration led by His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, will make sure that the people of Sikongo have access to justice in a quick manner.


Mr Chairperson, the budget is big because, as you have heard from the hon. Minister, there has been an increment of about 90 per cent, which is very impressive. This is what it means to walk the talk.


Mr Chairperson, when we talk about justice, the rule of law is very important. In the past Administration, we saw challenges with regard to the rule of law. Those who have read the book called Animal Farm know that there is the saying there that “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”. That is what we saw in the previous Administration, and I hope that going forward, that will not be the case because we are all the same. No one should be above the law regardless of political affiliation. We saw what happened to the United Party for National Development (UPND) in the past Administration and how the Patriotic Front (PF) abused the powers it had and made innocent citizens suffer unjustly.


Mr Chairperson, our criminal justice system needs to be improved or revised in a number of areas. The system comprises a number of departments or sectors, such as the Judiciary, the police and other law enforcement agencies. As a result, it is important to harmonise the administration of the system, and the parallel and vertical linkages among the law enforcement agencies to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and co-ordination.


Mr Chairperson, we also need to critically look at legal aid, which is a component of our justice system that is aimed at helping those who may not afford to pay for private lawyers. However, lately, what we have seen is a situation in which there is a lot of corruption in that area, with some people being made to pay a lot of money even when they are poor. So, it is important that the Legal Aid Board is revisited in terms of its support to poor people so that innocent citizens do not end up being jailed for offences they did not commit simply because they do not have the money to pay those who are supposed to represent them.


Mr Chairperson, on the issue of congestion in prisons, I know we are talking about justice but, to me, there is a very thin line between ‘justice’ and the Judiciary. I feel that as we talk about justice in this country, we need to also look at the Correctional Facilities for those who break the law. The UPND Government is lucky that the Head of State was a victim. So, he was able to see how our people are treated and the conditions in which they live in those facilities. I am happy because I know that this is another issue that the UPND Government is going to deal with and make sure that the rights of those who are incarcerated are not violated. In those facilities, there are many diseases, and most people who go there end up catching them because of the congestion.


Mr Chairperson, the general public has high expectations of the New Dawn Administration, and some citizens are in too much of a hurry to see the Government deliver. However, the Government’s performance should only be judged in terms of its Budget, which we are debating now. I know, and I want to assure the people out there, that come 2022, they are going to see the country governed in a different way by the UPND Government.


Mr Chairperson, as I end my debate, I thank the hon. Minister for the able leadership he has shown in his ministry.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr E. Tembo (Feira): Mr Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister of Justice for his policy statement for the 2022 Budget. I am very interested in the justice system in this country, hence my rising.


Sir, before I even go into the nitty-gritty, I must say that we are discussing various allocations in the 2022 Budget. Our hon. Colleagues on the right have the tendency to refer to the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. I do not want to raise a point of order. Instead,  I just want to remind them that the PF is on the left and they are in the Government. So, can they deliver. The people of Zambia are tired of talking. Those on the right who are thieves want to launder themselves by accusing the PF of everything. That said, let me say that it is important to reform our laws in this country. Therefore, I agree with the hon. Minister of Justice that there is a need for law reforms.


Mr Chairperson, as a country, we got Independence in 1964, and that meant that we are independent of all colonial ties. So, with regards to the justice system, to start with, we needed to develop our own justice system; we should not be lazy to engage in law reforms that will ensure that the person in the village has access to justice. The current justice system is only for the rich and the educated few. I am aware that we have local courts. The Constitution of Zambia recognises the local courts and provided for their upgrading. The officers and Magistrates must have high qualifications in our customary laws.


Mr Chairperson, we cannot develop with a foreign justice system. My submission is that to date, we are using British laws that the British have discarded. I, therefore, want to see in this Budget proper reforms to the Acts of Parliaments that are irrelevant. Some of them even refer to the Queen of England, yet they are still in use. We should be ashamed to align ourselves with foreigners. My proposal is that the local court system be upgraded so that justice can be attained at various levels. At the High Court level, as we reform the Acts of Parliament and various laws, like I propose, justice will be delivered better.


Sir, I am aware that many Zambians have problems hiring lawyers. That being the case, it is very important to increase the allocation to the Legal Aid Board in this Budget. Each district of this country must have a legal aid officer who will not only help the local people, but also sensitise people on various legal issues. As we talk about the rule of law, we should talk about people being aware of the procedures for seeking justice because many people are affected by issues and, in some cases, people find themselves being punished for crimes that they did not commit.


Mr Chairperson, in the National Prosecutions Act, there is a provision for District Attorneys, and it is very important that we quickly implement that provision.


Mr Chairperson, the Attorney-General is the legal counsel for the Government and legal advisor to the Cabinet. However, that office relies on an army of soldiers in his or her chambers, yet this country has very few lawyers in the Attorney-General’s Chambers. They may even  be fewer than thirty, and we need to increase the number by employing more State Advocates to deal with various issues. The hon. Minister has referred to a number of cases brought against the Government. Some of those are a result of public officers who breached the law out of ignorance, and the Government has paid a lot money in compensating people for those breaches. If we increase the number of State Advocates and deploy some even to the district and provincial levels, especially since we are now talking about decentralisation, I feel that the Government will spend less on the Compensation Fund.


Mr Chairperson, on the Compensation Fund, which is meant for compensating win cases, I say that its administration has not worked properly because there has been selectiveness. So, the New Dawn Government needs to ensure that everyone who is awarded funds under the Compensation Fund gets something. I am aware that many people are still waiting on the queue for payments while others are getting paid. I am of the considered view that the fund must be applied equally; the committee that manages it must be fair and just in distributing the money.


Mr Chairperson, with regards to law reforms, the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC) is clearly tasked with looking into all legal bottlenecks, and ensuring that we have relevant and useful laws in this country. So, before I sit down, let me emphasise that we should be proud of ourselves and talk about Zambianising our laws. Yes, we may be of various tribes, but we have common customary laws. By the way, the British laws from which we have borrowed heavily are actually British customary laws. Just like there are laws that our chiefs administer, the British Monarchy also had laws it administered, and those are the ones that culminated into the Acts of Parliament that we have borrowed from.


Sir, I am happy to say that we will support the Estimates of Expenditure, and I urge the hon. Minister to take all the things I have said into consideration.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Andeleki (Katombola): Mr Chairperson, thank you for allowing the people of Katombola to make a contribution to the Motion on the Floor of the House and support the Estimates for the Ministry of Justice. As we do so, allow us to take a bite on areas of interest to us, following our experience in the previous Government.


Mr Chairperson, the people of Katombola will support the budget for the Ministry of Justice. In the same vein, we request the Ministry of Justice to consider undertaking judicial reforms urgently. We observed the conduct of the Judiciary in the last session, as I am an officer of the Court and I have been in court many times, trying to defend justice. So, we request that legal reforms be undertaken urgently so that our laws reflect the tenets of democracy and good governance that are being espoused by the New Dawn Government.


Sir, we have observed that the Constitutional Court, which was created under the Constitution of Zambia of 1991, as amended by Act No.18 of 1996 and, particularly, Amendment Act No. 2 of 2016, is a threat to democracy and good governance and, if not reformed, can degenerate this country into a war zone. We want the ministry to consider whether that institution adds any value to the justice system of the Republic of Zambia. The people of Katombola Constituency, through me, say that it does. Therefore, it should be reformed.


Sir, we also demand constitutional reforms. As you are aware, Amendment Act No. 2 of 2016, assented to by the Former President, Mr Edgar Lungu, on 5th January, 2016, has caused a number of challenges. So, as we support the allocation of the funds the Ministry of Justice, we request it to consider reviewing the Constitution of Zambia, which the Former President contended was such a good law that he was ready to sign it even with his eyes closed. However, we saw the difficulties that it caused following the 2016 Elections; it took us to the verge of civil war.


Sir, we also demand institutional reforms. As a former senior police officer, I request that the Police Service, like other law enforcement institutions, such as the Auditor-General, be given security of tenure to allow the officers to dispense their duties without fear of being dismissed because they are a very important tool in the dispensation of justice. Those officers have been working under orders, to an extent that some of our people lost their lives through extra judicial means. It is still fresh on our minds how we lost some of our brothers, whose blood is crying out for justice as we speak.


Mr Chairperson, on extra judicial killings and detentions, as the ministry reforms the law, it must consider providing for officers who misconduct themselves to be punished in their individual capacity by waiving of the principle of vicarious liability. The erring officers must pay any money awarded their victims from their pension benefits because this Government has been paying a lot of money in form of compensation for the conduct of erring officers. The ministry must consider this so that we save the meagre resources of the Government. Police officers are aware that they have no right or lawful authority under the law, particularly in Section 33 of the Criminal Procedure Code, Chapter 88 of the Laws of Zambia, to keep a suspect in cells for longer than twenty-four hours during the weekend and forty-eight hours at the weekend. So, they must take a suspect to court within forty-eight hours, but they do not do so, knowing that they have immunity from the Government. That must come to end and erring officers must pay from their pockets.


Mr Chairperson, theft of public funds has been the order of the day and most people accused of stealing money from the Treasury, some of whom are on your left in this House, are free. As I speak, the Treasury is empty, as we have been told by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, for the reason that there has been serious pilfering of public funds.


Hon. Member:  On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Andeleki: Stealing of public funds and pilfering of drugs in public hospitals must be made non-bailable offences and seen as treason in the eyes of the law.


Mr Chairperson, this country has suffered due to impunity, not because it does not have money. Today, we have to fight to attain the status of a middle-income country, …


Hon. Member:  On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Andeleki: … which we already had in 1964, because of the stealing of public funds. Therefore, pilfering of public funds and drugs, and awarding of contracts without following the due process of the law must be made non-bailable offence under the Laws of Zambia.


Hon. Member:  On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Andeleki: Mr Chairperson, I also want to emphasise that there must be increased funding to the Legal Aid Board, where I happen to have worked, assisting indigent brothers and sisters who cannot afford the K1,000 increment that has been made to the Legal Aid Board. The K1,000 is too much, and the Ministry of Justice must consider waiving reducing it to as little as K100. In fact, I submit that the fee must be waived altogether.


Hon. Member:  On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Andeleki: Mr Chairperson, I now come to the issue of good governance, the rule of law and free media. The media must be allowed to operate freely and scrutinise the Government of the day because that is part of justice and governance, and that is what we want. We do not want to see what we saw in the past, when media houses were closed down in the name of having failed to pay tax or on some other pretext. That is an injustice in a democratic state.


Mr Chairperson, allow me, as I call for funding to the Legal Aid Board, to also take a bite at the Human Rights Commission (HRC). We want to see a viable and vibrant HRC that does its work instead of just issuing press statements. We want the commission to ensure that human rights are respected. As Chairperson for human rights in this Parliament, I want to see a viable HRC, and we pay a lot of money to the people there, including the Director, who earns a salary equivalent to that of a Permanent Secretary (PS) when, as a matter of fact –


Mr Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Mr Chairperson, thank you for allowing me to also contribute to the budget for the Ministry of Justice. Just as my other hon. Colleagues have stated, justice delayed is justice denied. As the people of Roan Constituency stand to support these estimates, I bring to the attention of the ministry the fact that we need to undertake many reforms in the ministry.


Mr Chairperson, it is sad to note that today, in our legal system in Zambia, the local courts, which are ranked lowest in the Judiciary, as we all know, do not keep records. I want the ministry, as it embarks on reforms, to start upgrading the local courts, just as other hon. Members have said.


Mr Chairperson, the ministry embarked on the construction of modern local courts in some areas, and it is pleasing to note that some districts and provinces actually benefitted from that exercise. I urge the ministry to spread the programme to the districts and provinces that did not benefit. It is sad to note that today, the local courts that are being used in my constituency, particularly in Roan Township and Mpatamatu, are structures that were designed and built a long time ago and cannot meet today’s needs and even the safety of the Bashi Mafumu is compromised. So, I urge the ministry, as we look into this budget, to also look into that area.


Sir, we also note that it is dangerous to keep inmates in crowded cells. As I have said, justice delayed is justice denied. So, we want to see cases expedited by improving the human resource in the ministry.


Mr Chairperson, looking at the budget and the percentage that has been allocated to personal emoluments, it is important that the human resource in the ministry, especially those who work in the courts, are well looked after in terms of salaries. We do not want those people to be going without salaries for some time, and that is why we are supporting this budget. We are gratified to note that 66.7 per cent has been allocated to personal emoluments. This is a good move. Further, as we look at the 23.2 per cent that has been allocated to goods and services, which translates into K143.3 million, we want the officers, especially at local court level, to be considered. Currently, when you go to the local courts to buy summons, you will be asked to pay the messenger to take the summons to the person being sued. We want the messengers to be provided with motor vehicles so that they can easily serve summons on people. It is sad, and it brings in a lot of suspicion and questions, when people are asked to pay for services they are supposed to receive for free. We know that this Government, the New Dawn Government, has provided a budget to cater for such costs. So, it is our humble appeal to the hon. Minister of Justice that in the goods and services, we look at the equipping of our officers, especially at local court level.


Mr Chairperson, we also applaud the percentage that has been allocated to assets. It is important that as the Government is striving to allocate resources to such areas, we ask our officers to be mindful of the fact that the money is being paid by taxpayers and, as such, they must take care of the assets that will be procured.


Mr Chairperson, as I have said, it is important that the ministry embarks on the training of its human resource. It is sad to see many people languishing in detention for months or years, especially those who commit small crimes, because of a shortage of Judges or Magistrates. So, we say to the ministry that it is high time it upped its game and embarked on vigorous training of more officers so that they are assigned to some areas where there is lack.


Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, I want to say that I support this budget. It is said that “Umulandu mume, baukumpulafye”. So, we do not want any one of us to be a victim of delayed justice in the future because of not supporting this budget, which is well intended, and we only hope that it will be in the best interest of every one of us.


Mr Chairperson, I thank you.


The Deputy Chairperson gave the Floor to Mr Kapyanga, but he was unavailable.


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Chairperson, I appreciate the elaborate policy statement from the hon. Minister of Justice, which catalogued many areas according to the mandate the ministry has been given. I think we all know that this ministry facilitates an environment that helps in the attainment of a healthy relationship between the duty-bearer and the right holders. In this case, the duty-bearer is the Government while the right holder is the citizenry. I want to anchor my debate on issues that arise from this relationship.


Mr Chairperson, I think we have all sang the song about being victims of colonial hangover laws. Currently, if we looked at our volumes, we would find that some of the laws date as far back as 1955. That was before Independence, I must say. I think we put the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC) in place to facilitate the demand and supply side of delivering justice, especially the legal needs of our people, and I believe that our good ministry should pay attention to that commission.


Mr Chairperson, allow me to narrow down my debate to what I may call the ‘Three Ps’ for now, that is ‘participation’, ‘promotion’ and ‘protection’.


Sir, the hon. Minister went through different issues that included human rights and how the Government generates certain laws to facilitate the legal environment. By the way, this ministry’s mandate is cross-cutting; it is the mother of all ministries when it comes to legal issues. For example, the environment of our economy, is a consequence of the way the ministry discharges its mandate.


Mr Chairperson, let me look at participation in the justice system from the point of view of the citizenry, in terms of how much they participate and what they understand a good law to be. A good law is one of which the people are aware, and in whose making and upholding they participate. The reason I referred to the ZLDC is that I know that that it is the window through which people can interact with the hon. Minister of Justice, especially in terms of making submissions on what they think should change.


Mr Chairperson, in the budget, there are provisions for issues to do with customary laws and practices. Currently, we have a dual system of land tenure and marriages law, and there are grey areas there that need to be attended to. In terms of the participation of the citizenry, the space is shrinking because the environment still promotes the system that we took over from the colonialists.


Mr Chairperson, in terms of promotion of a legal environment in which citizens can participate, I think the environment is not conducive, and I say this because currently, people have to seek habeas corpus for them to enjoy their rights. For example, when people are detained for longer than the law provides for, it is only when they start talking about seeking habeas corpus that the authorities wake and do what is supposed to be done. To me, that does not promote an environment that is conducive for citizens to thrive, yet we are a democracy.


Mr Chairperson, when I came to Parliament, I was given two Constitutions, the 1996 Constitution as well as the 2016 Constitution, and I understood that the reason I was given the two Constitutions was that the Bill of Rights was still enshrined in the 1996 Constitution. We point fingers at the Patriotic Front (PF) here and say the party did this and that, but we did not help the PF to govern the country properly in that respect. I remember that during the time of the referendum, the United Party for National Development (UPND) that championed the campaign to quash children’s rights, the youths’ rights, women’s rights and many other rights, and that is why we ended up with reference to Part III of the Constitution, including Article 79. However, today, the PF is given all sorts of tags by people without an acknowledgement of what contributed to the Bill of Rights not being the in 2016 Constitution as it should. For me, that is not promoting a legal environment in which citizens can be free. 


Mr Chairperson, the question of protection comes in as a result of citizens wanting to feel free. Even here, we have heard people divide this House between angels and criminals, and most of the time, the Chair just watches. Here, there are the criminals on the left and the angels on the right. That is not protection. This House has the pedigree to push for laws and protection, and protection should start from here because we generate the law.


Sir, there is the maxim that everybody is innocent until proven guilty. However, there are senior people who claim to be senior police officers and lawyers, for that matter, but they have gone to town dividing the House and claiming that others are criminals ...


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Fube: and that there are criminals here who have not been arrested. Honestly speaking, can we go on like that? The Speaker even ruled on that, saying that in this House, we would not have a situation in which there are criminals and angels. She said that there were only hon. Members of Parliament.


Mr Chairperson, some of us, when we come to this House, we do not even feel protected because we are saying one thing and doing another. The President has talked about the rule of law several times, and our hon. Members of Parliament have been championing the rule of law, but in the heart of our hearts, we venture into doing wrong things every day. Whenever anyone stands, he/she says that others are criminals while his or her group are angels. Honestly speaking, should we go on like to that? That does not qualify to be protection.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The honourable Member’s time expired.


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Mufalali will be the last speaker before the hon. Minister winds up the debate.


Mr Mufalali (Nominated): Mr Chairperson, from the outset, I want to indicate that I support the policy statement of by the hon. Minister of Justice and welcome the increase in the allocation to his ministry.


Mr Chairperson,  I realise that there is a propensity in many people in the House and outside it to paint the United Party for National Development (UPND) black in terms of what they say. It must be very clear that we cannot forget the past. If we decide to forget where we came from, we definitely will not know where we are going.


Sir, if we look back at the justice system that we have had – I do not know how many times the hon. Minister stood before those ugly gates to receive some of us as we came out of cells with a stench that could make one block one’s nose.


Hon. Member: Budget!


Mr Mufalali: So, we will not stop referring to the past. In fact, I am yet to refer to it.


Mr Chairperson, under the past regime, we had serious difficulties in the justice system, and we could not work well. One of the people who went through those difficulties is the current President, the Head of State, His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema. However, I am happy to note and learn that the hon. Minister is adhering to the pronouncements of His Excellency by ensuring that when people go into police cells, even after they have committed an offence, they are released within hours. Some spend only twenty to thirty minutes in the cell. Before them, we were spending four or five days in police cells for very trivial cases.


Mr Andeleki: 127 days!


Mr Mufalali: Yes, including the 127 days for the current Head of State.


Mr Mwene: Imagine!


Mr Mufalali: That was not fair. We have gone through difficulties in this country, and those who are saying we should not refer to their activities and atrocities subjected us to should ...


Mr E. Tembo: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Mufalali: ... know that we are not going to resolve these matters.


Sir, the hon. Minister will realise that under the international treaties that he mentioned here –


Mr E. Tembo: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order, Hon. Tembo!


I think I have the discretion to grant you your point order or not.


Mr E. Tembo: Most obliged, Mr Chairperson.


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Mufalali, you can continue.


Mr E. Tembo: I wanted to raise a point of procedure. I had a burning issue.


Mr Mufalali: Mr Chairperson, under international treaties, you will release that the previous Government failed to honour the majority of them. Someone wants us to not mention anything to do with the treaties, yet the subscriptions that were supposed to be paid under them were not paid. If you look at the Auditor-General’s Report, you will realise that the Government was literally failing to pay the subscriptions, and I think that has an effect. If you look at the thousands of contracts that were entered into through the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney-General’s Office, you will realise that the majority of them look like they were not done by learned men and women. The hon. Minister should look at them critically, be they contracts for construction of slabs for the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) or hospitals, clinics and roads. The faulty contracts were so many, yet we are being told that we should forget about them. We are not going to forget. The atrocities and trouble that we have gone through because of this negligence – There was too much negligence.


Sir, people were out to milk this country through contracts. In some cases, people did not start doing any work, but they started getting money and, because of the provision in the contracts. People started negotiating to pay some people who had not done any work. What type of a country was it? That we must move away from, and the people of Zambia must know that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government destroyed this country.


Hon. Member: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Mufalali: We cannot continue on that trajectory, whereby people were signing contracts to benefit a few individuals. That was not fair. How can you do such a thing to the people of Zambia? To enter into a contract and, at the end of it, only two or three individuals benefit from it. That must come to an end. As the hon. Minister follows the pronouncements of the President that came through the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, and the pronouncements he himself has made here, we are comforted because we know that he knows what he is doing, unlike the previous regime, which left us with huge bills that are yet to be paid by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning because of its failure to do the best it could to enter into better contracts and safeguard the interest of this country. Unfortunately, our colleagues could not do that. What type of people were they who could do such a thing?


Sir, today, some children sit on the floor somewhere and the roads are full of potholes, yet some people are paid US$140 million for a contract that has not been executed because someone did not pay attention to detail. That is not fair, and we want justice to be seen to be done through the revisiting such people’s sins. We will not forget, and we will remind them, lest the people of Zambia forget that it was the same people who even threatened Judges, did all sorts of things and interfered with the justice system of this country. When there was a court case or investigation, they simply stopped it. Such a thing should not repeat itself.


Mr Chairperson, the UPND Government of His Excellency the President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema; Her Honour the Vice-President; and the entire Cabinet is doing a good job because the benefits are being seen right now; a conducive environment is being created for people to conduct their businesses and participate in politics like our colleagues are participating now. Under them, I do not think we were going to be part of this process, but we have allowed them. So, we thank the Ministry of Justice and Government because things are happening in the right way.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Haimbe: Mr Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members who have debated this Vote.


Mr Chairperson, looking at all the submissions from the hon. Members, I will broadly categorise the issues that have been raised into two thematic areas, namely good governance and human rights, including access to justice, as one broad theme, and law reform, institutional reform and law development as the second broad theme. I intend to respond on the basis of those broad categories.


Mr Chairperson, as has already been noted, the New Dawn Government is committed to good governance and human rights. In that respect, the Budget speaks for itself in relation to this Vote. From the K28,455,273 that was allocated in relation to this Vote in the past Budget, we have raised the amount by almost double to K59,611,572. For legal aid, specifically, there was K19.4 million in the 2021 Budget, compared with K47.3 million in the current Budget. I think that speaks for itself in terms of the commitment of the New Dawn Government to supporting activities related to good governance, promotion of human rights and access to justice by all, as legal aid is one of the key enablers of access to justice. So, where there is such a substantial increase, it is expected that we will see more in that space in the coming year.


Mr Chairperson, the New Dawn Government is taking other measures to enhance access to justice. Working with co-operating partners, such as LAZ, we are working towards providing a framework for legal practitioners to incorporating pro bono services in their practice of law, meaning that the indigent will have more access to justice through more representation, as each lawyer will be expected to take up a case pro bono once every year. This is a progressive idea and way to proceed.


Mr Chairperson, His Excellency the President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, was very clear on the need for law reform, law development and institutional reform in the policy statement that he presented on the Floor of this House. To this end, in this Budget, K17.9 million has been committed to reforms generally. Again, that is a clear indication of the commitment of this Government to law reform, judicial reform and all other forms of reform, and law development. As has been said, the ZLDC has seen an increase in its allocation in this Budget in keeping with the aspirations of the people of Zambia.


Mr Chairperson, speaking generally, in terms of the Compensation Fund, the need for it to be properly administered must also be looked at, considering that the Compensation Fund Act No. 43 of 2016 determines how it is administered. So, any work done in relation to the fund must look at the possibility of amending that piece of legislation, and that is something hon. Members must consider doing.


Mr Chairperson, in terms of the referendum, I am surprised that the learned hon. Member seemed to allege that it failed on account of the hon. Members on the right being against it because that is not true. It is the flawed process that was used in trying to bring about the referendum that was flawed in the first place because the referendum was piggybacked on a general election, and that cannot be done. The New Dawn Government is committed to constitutional reform, and K5 million has been set aside for this purpose.


Mr Chairperson, as for the rule of law, I can only agree that we shall never go back to where we came from. The New Dawn Government, as is clear from this Budget, is committed to ensuring that the law prevails at all times.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Vote 31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 18 – (Judiciary – K617,041,765)


Mr Haimbe: Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary is one of the three arms of the Government established by the Constitution under Part 8, and it derives its mandate from the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No.2 of 2016. Article 119(1), in particular, provides that the authority of the Judiciary vests in the courts and shall be exercised by the courts in accordance with the Constitution and other laws. The structure is set out in Article 121 of the Constitution as consisting of Superior Courts, Subordinate Courts, Small Claims Courts, Local Courts, the Sheriff of Zambia and courts as prescribed from time to time. The Superior Courts include the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court, which are equivalent in rank; the Court of Appeal; and the High Court. The Lower Courts include those that I have mentioned previously.


Past Performance for the Period 2019 to 2021


Court Operations


Mr Chairperson, during the period under review, the number of gazetted sessions for the Superior Courts was maintained at 126, and the target was met.


Case Returns


Mr Chairperson, the returns for both civil and criminal cases handled by the courts across the entire court system in 2021 stand at 39,967.


Mr Chairperson, in 2020, the number of civil cases filed across the court system in the country was 155,745, representing a 2 per cent increase from the previous year. The courts disposed of 142,704 civil cases, which was less than the number of cases filed. As a result, there was an increase in the number of cases that were carried forward to 2021. In terms of criminal cases, 38,892 were filed in 2020, which was 15 per cent less than the number of cases filed in the previous year, and the court disposed of 36,305 criminal cases. That was also less than the number of cases filed and, consequently, there was an increase in the number of cases carried forward to 2021. The reduction in the number of civil and criminal cases disposed of can be attributed to the negative effects of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on court operations.


Case Management amid COVID-19 Pandemic


Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary continued to adopt measures aimed at guaranteeing continued access to justice and expeditious disposal of cases while minimising the risk of possible spread of COVID-19 among employees and court users.


High Court Rules


Mr Chairperson, in June, 2020, the Judiciary enacted the High Court (Amendment) Rules, 2020. The new rules, as enshrined in SI No. 58 of 2020 have, for the first time, introduced time frames for delivery of judgments and rulings, which has contributed exponentially to enhanced access to justice.




Sir, the Judiciary continued to promote the use of mediation at the High Court and Subordinate Courts during the period under review as an alternative to dispute resolution by litigation.


Gender-Based Violence Fast-Track and User-Friendly Courts


Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary in partnership with the United Nations Joint Programme on Gender-Based Violence has identified four Subordinate Courts, namely Chinsali, Kasama, Solwezi and Mansa, where it intends to roll out GBV fast-track and user-friendly courts.


Financial Management


Mr Chairperson, January to October 2021, the Judiciary continued to receive funding for court operations on a monthly basis. Further, other budget lines intended to support and enhance court operations, such as management and support services, judicial enforcement and personnel emoluments were funded. The sum budgeted was K511 million while the amount released was K439 million, representing 85.9 per cent of the budgeted amount.


Revenue Performance


Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary has continued implementing the policy of non-handling of cash, and all courts on the line of rail and wherever banking facilities are available do not handle cash. This has enhanced accountability in revenue collection. However, courts that are far from banking facilities have been allowed to continue collecting revenue fees and fines in cash. In terms of court fees, the non-tax revenue collected in 2019 and 2020 was K19 million and K27 million, respectively. The fines collected from the courts were K13 million in 2019 and K10 million in 2020.


Key Issues to be Addressed in the 2022 Budget


Mr Chairperson, in the 2022-2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), the Judiciary will continue to place emphasis on addressing the following key issues:


  1. quick disposal of cases: To enhance the public’s confidence in, and perception of, the judicial system, and the rule of law, the Judiciary will continue with the process of improving case flow management to provide expedient means of resolution of cases filed in court;
  2. access to justice: The Judiciary will continue with service delivery in its core mandate by holding court sessions across the whole court system, from the Supreme Court to the Local Courts, throughout the country, including in areas without resident adjudicators. In 2022, the Judiciary will progressively set up provincial High Courts with resident Judges in provinces that are currently circuited. This will be in line with the objective of attaining enhanced access to justice by all spelt out in the abridged version of the Draft 8NDP;
  3. mediation: In order to enhance alternative dispute resolution as a substitute to litigation, the Judiciary will continue to promote the use of mediation at the High Court and Subordinate Courts. Further, the institution is considering financing mediation fees, which are currently paid by litigants. This is aimed at encouraging litigants to participate in mediation;
  4. ongoing capital projects and maintenance: The Judiciary will prioritise the improvement of infrastructure of the Superior Courts, Subordinate Courts and Local Courts, which have remained largely inadequate and in poor state. The Judiciary will prioritise the allocation of the budget line on court infrastructure towards ongoing construction projects that are, at least, at 80 per cent. In addition, it intends to refurbish the newly-acquired former German Embassy to house the Constitutional Court because in its current form, it the building is unsustainable for the court’s business. In view of this, the Government has allocated K32 million to this purpose;
  5. new capital projects: The Judiciary intends to construct a Subordinate Court Complex and staff houses at Mwembeshi Correctional Facility in anticipation of the relocation of inmates from Lusaka Central and Kamwala remand correctional facilities. To this effect, K17.4 million has been allocated in the 2022 Budget;
  6. establishment of Fast-Track Courts on Corruption and Financial Crimes: The New Dawn Administration is committed to fighting corruption and other financial crimes. As such, it will put in place financial crimes fast-track courts using the existing infrastructure at Subordinate Courts countrywide. This will ensure the Judiciary clears the backlog of outstanding corruption cases and expedites the conclusion of similar cases, going forward; and
  7. performance management: The Judiciary intends to develop a performance management system from the Public Service Performance Management System, which is aimed at enhancing the performance and professional accountability of adjudicators, management and support staff.


Mr Chairperson, it is our sincere hope that the 2022 Budget will be supported in order for the Judiciary to fulfil its mandate.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister of Justice. I also thank you for according me this chance to say one or two words on the Judiciary on behalf of the people of Kalabo.


Mr Chairperson, I will focus on one or two issues, especially on the Lower Courts.


Mr Chairperson, we have heard from the policy statement of the hon. Minister the key steps that the ministry intends to take in the 2022 Budget, and among those is the improvement of infrastructure. The Lower Courts, in most cases, do not have respectable infrastructure, with some of them operating in pole-and-mad structures. So, we hope that in the improvement of infrastructure, the Local Courts will also be prioritised.


Mr Chairperson, the welfare situation of workers at the Lower Courts, those who preside over the Local Courts – they are just accommodated in villages; they do not have decent accommodation. So, under the component of improvement of infrastructure, we urge the hon. Minister to also take care of the workers who deliver justice to the people.


Sir, Local Courts handle most of the civil cases among the people in our local communities. So, they play a major role in creating harmony, peace and unity in communities.


Sir,  I also request the hon. Minister, in the 2022 Budget and in the future, to consider look at operationalising some of the closed courts that do not have presiding officers. People in villages, for example, those in Kalabo, walk very long distances in search of justice. They walk up to 100 km to find the nearest Local Court, and that is a very big challenge to their wellbeing. So, we hope that the New Dawn Government will look into the welfare of citizens searching for justice so that they do not have to go very far from their homesteads in search of justice.


Mr Chairperson, there has also been a very high turnover of staff due to transfers in Kalabo as a result of political interference in the delivery of justice. Workers and presiding officers were being interfered with and intimidated politically. The New Dawn Government must make a 360 degrees turn from this kind of governance we have had in this country for the past decade.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Miyutu: Presiding officers are made to dance to the tune of some political heads and shift from one place to another all the time. Therefore, the disposal of cases in Kalabo is slow due to the absence of presiding officers who, at some point, may have been transferred and the system had to find some alternative presiding officers, leading to delayed delivery of justice, particularly in Kalabo.


Mr Chairperson, among the issues that I would urge the hon. Minister to look into is education. The courts are responsible for explaining the law to the people in order for the people to understand the laws’ implementation. People need to be educated to know what is against the law and what is not. So, I request that there be a portion for continuous education. There is nowhere people will live without education. So, the component of education must be there in the Ministry of Justice.


Mr Chairperson, it is said that justice delayed is justice denied, but the allocation to the Judiciary show that the New Dawn Government is really walking the talk. If you look at it, you will see that it is much higher, compared with the 2021 Budget. So, we have hope that the New Dawn Government will really improve the judicial system in this country.


Sir, with those few words, I thank you and urge hon. Members to support the Judiciary’s budget for 2022 as we support it from Kalabo.


I thank you, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson gave the Floor to Mr Sampa, but Mr Sampa was not immediately available.


The Deputy Chairperson: Is he not available?


The Deputy Chairperson gave the Floor to Mr Nyambose.


Mr Nyambose: Mr Chairperson, thank you very much.


Sir, I want –


Mr Sampa: What has happened to me, Mr Chairperson?


Mr Nyambose: Mr Chairperson, can I continue? This is Hon. Nyambose?


The Deputy Chairperson: Is Mr Sampa on?


Mr Sampa: Mr Chairperson, Mr Sampa is on.


The Deputy Chairperson: Mr Sampa, you may continue. You took long to come online.


Mr Sampa (Matero): Mr Chairperson, I will be very brief. My apologies to my colleague, Hon. Nyambose.


Mr Chairperson, allow me to thank the hon. Minister for the good presentation on the Judiciary. However, I am with a heavy heart because in the last few years, the Judiciary, to me, seems to be the one arm of the Government that was left looking like an orphan. Past Budgets just did not give it the attention that it deserved. I will come in with the figures later.


Mr Chairperson, having gone through court cases, that is, the petition and other cases, I was left with thoughts. I happen to be fortunate, or is it unfortunate, that in the last five years or so, I have seen the insides of courts, be they the Subordinate Court, the High Court or Supreme Court. Therefore, on this policy statement from the hon. Minister, I just want talk about what I have seen in the Judiciary, and I will just pick one basic item, namely infrastructure.


Mr Chairperson, in rural areas where there is no infrastructure for the judicial system, the courts, most hon. Members want them built. We see some people travelling to other districts just to seek justice, for example, the people of Mpika going to Chinsali and the people of Vubwi going to Chipata. I will talk about the main High Court, but let me start with the Subordinate Court in Lusaka, the best we have.


Sir, the Subordinate Court is new, but you would be surprised at its state, and I will narrow my debate down to one simple thing. There are many items you can point at in terms of infrastructure; the country has done well on roads and many other infrastructure, such as airports, but the infrastructure for the Judiciary has not been attended to, for some reason.


Mr Chairperson, let me go to the most basic infrastructure at the courts, the toilets. Let me start with the Subordinate Courts. Even now, at the High Court and the Supreme Court, it has become normal for the toilets to not work for anybody who goes there to seek justice. If one is at the High Court, one is even told, “Oh, the toilets here stopped working many months ago.” So, one needs to trek to the Supreme Court to use the toilet. Sometimes, one has to trek in the middle of one’s case just to find the toilets not working. Once, all the toilets were not working, and people had to go outside to help themselves. That, at the High Court, is unacceptable. So, I think that in this Budget, we should find funds to refurbish the High Court’s and the Supreme Court’s ancient buildings, and the sewer and water systems. Delivering justice is one issue, but the environment has to be conducive as well.


Sir, I think anybody who has been to the High Court, Supreme Court and Subordinate Court buildings knows that the toilets there just never function and the water just never runs. So, it is my prayer that we vary funds within this Budget and find some money to for refurbishing the infrastructure, and the water and toilet systems at the High Court, the Supreme Court and Subordinate Courts.


Mr Chairperson, on security around the court premises, we saw one or two people almost killed and mob justice being meted out outside the court among petitioners and defendants. That was uncalled for. Days are gone when decisions were expected to be made because person X went with a horde of cadres to make noise outside the court. Judges do not even notice that anymore, I came to note. So, there is a need to invest in security to protect the accused and the witnesses because everybody is innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, we saw incidences in which witnesses were victimised or threatened, and some witnesses started refusing to go to court for fear of being attacked. That means justice was not being dispensed well because the security system was not in place. So, we need to find funds within the Judiciary’s budget to secure witnesses and our Judges. Mind you, Judges pass judgments that some people do not like. So, how secure are they around the court premises as they leave and arrive?


Mr Chairperson, to summarise, as basic as it might be, one politician, the late Mr Michael Sata, told me that if I wanted to make a name, I was supposed to be able to point at even a toilet and say, “As a politician, this is the toilet that I built”. So, please, in the Judiciary, can we, someday, say, “Kunali hon. Minister of Justice during whose reign the toilet system at the High Court and the Supreme Court started functioning like in a hotel”.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Nyambose will be the last to debate before the hon. Minister winds up debate.


Mr Nyambose (Chasefu): Mr Chairperson, I pay special tributes to the hon. Minister of Justice for a well presented policy statement on Head 18, which is for the Judiciary.


Mr Chairperson, I join other hon. Members in indicating that the budget for the Judiciary needs support, and I support it. However, like many Zambians, we are looking forward to seeing what change the New Dawn Government is bringing to the justice system. The budgets have been there before; they are prepared by technocrats for us to execute our mandates, year in and year out, but what Zambians are looking for are the benefits or changes they will see from what was obtaining previously.


Mr Chairperson, coming from Chasefu, and speaking on behalf of the people of Chasefu, I say, if you look at the courts, as many have lamented, they are in a deplorable state. So, I support the hon. Minister and encourage him, as indicated by others, to prioritise infrastructure so that the local people can have access to justice. Besides infrastructure, as others have indicated, we want to see the allocation of more resources to the welfare of staff in the judicial system, especially in the rural areas. I am talking about allocations towards settling-in allowances and leave days for staff. You may have noticed that many workers throughout the country are not paid their settling-in allowances, yet settling in allowance is their entitlement. This is a recipe for corruption because the workers want to sustain themselves. This is very important, and I urge the hon. Minister to ensure that the welfare of staff is uplifted.


Mr Chairperson, coming to the important issue of corruption, I am very pleased with the New Dawn Government and the President for the crusade they have embarked on to fight corruption. Zambians voted for the New Dawn Government for, among other reasons, fighting corruption. We cannot gloss over it because it needs to be stopped, and we can only stop it if we act. So, I urge the people on the right to talk less and act more. I support the fight against corruption. Zambians must know that corruption has deprived the people of Chasefu a tarred road from Lundazi to Chama. People have amassed wealth and personalised public resources, and Zambians are not happy with that. So, our colleagues have the opportunity to act, and they have the support of Zambians. It is only in this country where we celebrate people who have personalised public resources. I have come to this Parliament to be a principled and objective person, not to plunder public resources.


Mr Chairperson, if an ordinary Zambian in a compound in Chasefu, steals anything, the law visits him/her. The Government has even created fast-track courts for poor people, yet many of us seated here are defending ourselves and quarrelling over who has said what. If Mr Nyambose or any other person became rich out of amassing public resources to himself or herself, there is no defence for it.


Mr Chairperson, we want to start afresh, as a country, and we must. Whoever is found wanting should be visited by the law so that future generations know that public resources are for development, and for poor and vulnerable people in our compounds, not for a few of us who are privileged to be in high positions. Many times, when I chat with people, I find that we even fight to become Members of Parliament or Ministers because it has become very lucrative. However, it should not be like that. We should be servants of the people of Zambia. So, in this House, I will be a sad person if we defended Mr Nyambose after he amassed wealth that cannot be explained. I should be made to explain regardless of my tribe, be it Tumbuka or any other.


Mr Chairperson, Zambians need change, and this Parliament should give it to them. The New Dawn Government and the President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, have an opportunity to act in such a way that everyone knows that if they, including those on your right, indulge themselves in wrong things, in future, they will be visited by the law. So, the judicial system could anchor the change that we desire, as Zambians. Again, I thank the New Dawn Government for this crusade against corruption. The Government should not just look at the Legislature and the Executive in terms of who did what; we should also look into the Judiciary.


Mr Chairperson, when I was in school, everyone wanted and studied hard to become an accountant. However, nowadays, everyone wants to become a lawyer. Why? I mean, there is no smoke without fire. So, this crusade should visit all corners, systems and wings of the Government so that we make sure that corruption, which deprives the poor Zambian, is curtailed.


Sir, I support this Budget, but a Judiciary that will know that we want good Local Courts and motivated employees in Chasefu. We also want the Chama/Chasefu Road to be tarred, and that will be possible if the Judiciary will not allow any contractor who does shoddy works on the road; it will sue any such contractor.


I was burning to speak, Mr Chairperson, because I am happy, and the Votes for the Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary should be supported. However, we also want action. This time, we have a New Dawn Government, and the opportunity is there. So, our colleagues should talk less and act more.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Haimbe: Mr Chairperson, I thank the hon. Members who debated this Motion, representing Kalabo, Matero and Chasefu constituencies. They have, indeed, done their constituencies proud, and I am inspired by the nationalistic nature of their debates.


Sir, very briefly, let me say that Local Courts are at the heart of the delivery of justice, and we agree that they are very important. To this end, the Judiciary has planned to complete the thirty-eight Local Courts that are at 80 per cent or above. That is provided for within the Budget for 2022. Beyond that, we will be looking at starting new infrastructure projects.


Sir, in terms of continuous education of judicial officers, there are plans in the near future to construct a judicial college. That will be looked at in due course.


Sir, I agree entirely with the hon. Member for Matero that courts are a sorry sight. I remember when I was practising law that, at one time, I had to embarrassingly adjourn a case so that I could rush to Intercontinental Hotel to answer the call of nature. That will be a thing of the past, and that is why the New Dawn Government has allocated a substantial amount of money to assets; the construction of infrastructure. The House may wish to note that compared with the K4,916,091 that was allocated to infrastructure development in the previous Budget, in the current Budget, K57,954,054 has been allocated. This is a clear indication of the New Dawn Government’s intention to walk the talk rather than simply pay lip service to these matters.


Sir, in terms of the allocation for staff, the House will note that the allocation to personal emoluments has been increased from K372,269,840 in the previous Budget to K411,651,699 in the current one. This is a clear demonstration of the commitment of the New Dawn Government to ensuring that judicial staff are looked after well so that access to justice can be guaranteed and corruption stamped out.


Sir, clearly, this Budget indicates that we, as the New Dawn Government, are looking to achieve a fresh start and invigorate the Judiciary so that it can continue to deliver justice in a free, fair and impartial manner.


Mr Chairperson, with those few words, I thank you.


Vote 18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


(Debate adjourned)








(Progress reported)




The House adjourned at 1837 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 26th November, 2021.