THIS IS US

LOVE Condoms Campaign

The LOVE Condoms campaign is an initiative created by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) to promote widespread access, usage and acceptance of condoms as a vital component of the Global AIDS Control.

The LOVE Condoms campaign aims to:
– Encourage individuals to protect themselves and their partners by consistently using condoms

– Call on the governments and the private sector to remove economic and ideological barriers which impede the easy access to free and low-cost condoms for all who need them

– Advocate for inventive approaches to marketing condoms in ways that encourage their effective and consistent use,

– Highlight the extent to which the world wide demand for condoms has not been adequately met

– Promote an increased focus on access to condoms in conjunction with the convenient, free Rapid Testing and the Universal Access to anti-retroviral treatment as the integral components of the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

Since the inception of the LOVE Condom campaign in 2008, AHF-branded LOVE Condoms have gained great popularity among millions of people across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. Each year AHF and its partners commemorate the International Condom Day on February 13 with LOVE Condoms events ranging from a march in the sunny Mombasa, Kenya to a public outreach on the snowy streets of Tallinn, Estonia.

Advertisements

THIS IS US

Pakistan Rescues Western Couple, 3 Children Held by Militants

  • Ayaz Gul

A still image from a video posted by the Taliban on social media on Dec. 19, 2016, shows American Caitlan Coleman speaking next to her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, and their two sons.

A still image from a video posted by the Taliban on social media on Dec. 19, 2016, shows American Caitlan Coleman speaking next to her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, and their two sons.

An American-Canadian couple and their three children left Pakistan for the United Kingdom Friday after five years in Taliban captivity in Afghanistan, officials confirmed to VOA.

Acting on a tip from U.S. intelligence, Pakistani troops rescued U.S. national Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, from the Kurram tribal region near the Afghan border Wednesday.

A U.S. plane is standing by, waiting to fly them to what is expected to be a U.S. military base in Germany for a medical checkup, but news reports said Boyle has been reluctant to board the aircraft. The reasons for that were unclear.

Coleman and Boyle went missing while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012. The Afghan Taliban later claimed responsibility for kidnapping them.

Prisoner exchange sought

The group, which released two videos of the hostages while they were in captivity, had been demanding the release of their prisoners in exchange for Boyle and his wife. While in captivity, the couple had three children, who were rescued with them.

President Donald Trump praised the release of the family from “captivity from the Haqqani network, a terrorist organization with ties to the Taliban.” He also called the development a “positive moment” in U.S.-Pakistan relations.

“The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region,” he said in a statement. “We hope to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counterterrorism operations.”

He later told reporters that he thought Pakistan had “started to respect the United States again.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave reporters almost no information on the operation that led to the family’s freedom, other than to say, “It’s a very good moment and we intend to work with Pakistan in a collaborative way in the future to stop terrorism that includes kidnapping.”

Pakistani Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, speaking to VOA’s Urdu service, said, “The operation was carried out on the basis of intelligence shared with us. When these people who were abducted by the Afghan group were being transferred from Afghanistan to Pakistan, our security institutions swiftly acted on that intelligence and we were able to recover them safely.

“This is proof that if the United States and Pakistan work together in partnership, we can achieve so much to bring peace to Afghanistan and the region.”

Terrorist group designation

The Haqqani network, whose leader is also deputy chief of the Afghan Taliban, is considered a terrorist group by the U.S.

Pakistani army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor provided VOA with details of the operation to rescue the captives.

“We swiftly deployed our troops soon after U.S. officials informed us at around 4 p.m. (local time) Wednesday the Taliban were transporting the hostages in a vehicle to the Pakistani side of the border. We traced the vehicle and safely recovered the hostages,” Ghafoor said, adding that U.S.-Pakistani cooperation was key to the mission.

A U.S. defense official said the hostages were not in U.S. custody. “A U.S. plane was available for them and they chose not to depart on it,” he told VOA.

Coleman, 31, and Boyle, 33, in their last video message released in December 2016, urged then-President-elect Trump to negotiate with the Taliban to secure their release in return for Taliban prisoners.

Word of the couple’s release came as Lisa Curtis, National Security Council senior director for South and Central Asia, visited Islamabad as the head of a high-level U.S. delegation and held talks with Pakistani officials at the Foreign Ministry.

An official statement issued at the end of the visit Thursday said the two sides reviewed the state of their bilateral relationship in the wake of the new U.S. strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia and agreed to continue discussions on all matters of mutual interest.

Meanwhile, American Kevin King, 60, and Australian Timothy Weeks, 48, were being held hostage in Afghanistan. The two teachers, with the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, were kidnapped at gunpoint near the campus in August 2016.

In a video the Taliban released in June, the hostages begged Trump to negotiate their freedom with the Islamist insurgent group.

VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb contributed to this report.

THE ZAMBIAN CYBER CITIZENRY

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

SECURITY SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for giving me the opportunity to issue a statement to the House on the security situation in the country.

Sir, the Ministry of Home Affairs is charged with the responsibility of providing internal security in order to promote sustainable social and economic development for the people of Zambia. Security entails protection of life and property.

Mr Speaker, our law enforcement institutions continue to operate within the confines of law in maintaining law and order in the country. However, despite the generally stable security situation in the country, there have been incidences of lawlessness that have resulted in six suspects being arrested for treason and four for arson. The suspects are currently appearing before the courts of law. In this regard, it should be noted that my Government upholds the independence of the three arms of the Government. This entails that the Executive does not, in any way, interfere with the due process of the law. Therefore, the cases before the courts will be determined independently by the courts of law.

Mr Speaker, after the arrest of the suspects for treason in April, 2017, there has been a sustained and deliberate campaign to paint the country as a dictatorship. However, democracy means neither lawlessness nor anarchy and failure to deal with those who break the law. My Government will, therefore, continue to uphold the law and apply it fairly, but firmly.

Sir, despite the negative campaign against our country, the security situation remains calm and citizens are going about their business peacefully. The country also continues to be an attractive destination for both local and foreign investment. It also continues to host major international and regional meetings and events. For example, it successfully hosted the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Under-20 Tournament in March, 2017; the Ease of Doing Business Conference in May, 2017; and the Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Youth Affairs from the Great Lakes Region this month, June, 2017.

Sir, allow me to urge all those peddling falsehoods about our country to desist from doing so, as that is unpatriotic and uncalled for. All citizens have a responsibility to help maintain law and order, and promote the good image of our country.

Sir, my Government has a responsibility to uphold law and order in the country. To that end, it has continued to provide law enforcement institutions with the logistical support aimed at modernising their operations. Further, my Government continues to provide opportunities to law enforcement agencies to enhance their skills to ensure effective operations and the maintenance of a peaceful Zambia for all.

Mr Speaker, to ensure that our country remains peaceful, security institutions are always alert, and conduct patrols as well as collaborating with members of the public to ensure that no criminal element escapes the dragnet of law enforcement.

Sir, the rule of law makes all of us equal before it. Further, it is our duty, as citizens, to promote peace, as sustainable development can only exist in a peaceful environment. So, let me urge all citizens to be patriotic and uphold our motto of “One Zambia, One Nation”.

Finally, Mr Speaker, let me convey my sincere condolences, on behalf of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Zambia Police Service, to the family of the late Sergeant Bwalya, who lost his life two days ago in gruesome circumstances at the hands of criminals. I assure them and the nation that the criminals will be pursued and made answerable to the law.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the statement he has issued, in which he has talked about lawlessness. However, today, we read in the newspapers that the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance was harassed at the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court. How does he describe such a situation? Further, what measures will he put in place to protect national leaders?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. Indeed, the harassment and embarrassment to which the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance was subjected at the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court grounds made sad reading. The courts of law are places where people go to seek justice. Therefore, everyone should be allowed to access those premises without interference. In that regard, indeed, what happened yesterday can only be described as lawlessness, and I empathise with the hon. Minister.

Sir, as the one responsible for law enforcement, I can only apologise to the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance for that lapse and assure her that such an occurrence will not be allowed again. I also assure the hon. Member who has asked the question that law enforcement officers will protect court premises and ensure that all those who go there to seek justice do so without fear of intimidation by anyone, including by political party cadres. Further, the Zambia Police Service has instituted investigations to identify who participated in harassing the hon. Minister. In fact, some of the culprits have already been identified and will be made to answer before the law.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his good statement. That said, there have been contradictory statements by the three church mother bodies on the imaginary crisis in the country. What is the Government’s position on those statements?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Milanzi for that important question. Indeed, it is a concern for all of us because, I am sure, we are all Christians. So, let me just say that we want to see a unity of purpose with our church leaders.

Mr C. Bwalya: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Church leaders must act like parents in providing counsel to all of us.

Sir, unfortunately, I am not competent enough to say much about the conflicting positions of the churches on the subject. However, like I have said, the crisis about which people are talking in certain quarters just exist in those who are talking about it. I have made it very clear that my ministry is charged with the responsibility of preserving peace and tranquillity and allowing all citizens to go about their business without anyone infringing on their rights are not infringed on.

Sir, if there are calls for discussions, I think even his Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has made it very clear that he remains ready to dialogue with anyone, as long as the agenda is clarified.

Sir, we cannot allow people to commit crimes with impunity. Our correctional service facilities are full of people who have transgressed the law and gone through the courts. That is how we treat people. We cannot excuse any criminal act. The law is very clear on what processes should be followed when a person breaks the law.

Sir, like I have stated, there are people suspected of committing various crimes and offences who are appearing before the courts of law. In that regard, I assure those who want to continue agitating for lawlessness that we shall defend the nation with our lives, should it come to that, for this peace we enjoy today did not come easily. Our forefathers shed their blood and lost their lives for us to have the freedom that we enjoy today. So, we will not allow the peace to be thrown to the winds on our watch. The current situation is regrettable and we will continue to pray for unity among our church leaders so that they do not lead us, their flock, astray.

Sir, the President enjoys cordial relations with various churches. We, the Catholics, are proud that he is the first President of Zambia to be hosted by the Pope at the Vatican. So, we do not see any negative issues between the President and the Church. I have also seen him go to various churches without segregating any, and that shows you what a committed Christian our President is. So, as a Government, we are ready to dialogue with the Church. I know that I have many Catholic brothers and sisters here, such as Hon. Lubinda, whom anyone who wants to reach the Government can contact. We also go to church every Sunday.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the statement on national security.

Sir, I think national security also involves tightening security at border crossing points and having a very strong immigration policy. How secure are we in that regard? I ask because there are many foreigners, including many Somalis, coming into the country. In what capacity do they come?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that equally important question.

Sir, indeed, policing our borders is part of the frontline of our security. We regulate the number of people who enter and leave the country using the Immigration and Deportation Act No. 8 of 2010. As a country, we have hosted many refugees, and I must say that today, as we commemorate the World Refugee Day, we should take stock of the legitimate refugees through joint screening operations. We also receive investors, visitors and tourists, who are also screened in accordance with the Act. However, I know that Bwana Mkubwa Constituency hosts a number of Somalis who mostly come as asylum seekers. For fifty years, we have hosted many Africans who ran away from countries where law and order had broken down and we are still looking after people who came from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi. We shall continue screening such people.

Sir, I think we are doing a commendable job in border management, as the Department of Immigration is in control of the situation. For example, we have automated most of our entry points to ensure that we take stock of all those who come to Zambia for various purposes. As I mentioned, we are sorting out the issue of refugees in conjunction with the United Nations (UN) because we have an international obligation to host people who flee from conflicts in their countries. That is why we must maintain our peace at all costs. Some refugees are women and children, and it is disheartening that they had to run away from their country of origin. No one wants to be in that situation. However, when some people become reckless, that is what happens.

Sir, we know about the challenge of refugees in Ndola and, from time to time, we conduct operations to we check those who come in. We shall continue to do that so that no one can take advantage of our hospitality to become a problem.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, do suspects in correctional centres who are of devise standing in society have the right to choose the correctional centre at which they should be detained? Further, can they be visited at any time?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we run correctional facilities, formerly known as prisons, in accordance with the Prisons Act Cap 97 of the Laws of Zambia. You may wish to know that the facility to which a convict is sent is determined by the crime committed. We also keep remandees, and there is no such thing as remandees choosing where they should be remanded. According to the Act, the Correctional Service authorities determine where to keep people under their custody regardless of whether they are remandees or convicts.

Sir, on visits, there are prescribed procedures to follow, and all the Officers-in-Charge of the various facilities ensure that those who want to visit their relatives follow the applicable rules and regulations. The visiting days and times are prescribed. Unfortunately, remandees and convicts have limited liberties.

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: So, one cannot just wake up and visit them at the correctional facilities. However, the Officers-in-Charge also have limited discretion in the administration of visitations. Some people have written to my office to ask for permission to go to those facilities. Unfortunately, it is not my responsibility to decide who should be allowed. Those facilities operate on a daily basis, even now, as I am speaking. So, if people had to get permission from me every time they wanted to visit their relatives or friends, I wonder how long it would take for them to finally do so. So, those who want to know how to visit people in correctional facilities should contact the Officers-in-Charge, the Commissioner-General or other members of the whole command.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr C. M. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, we lost a very young police officer by the name of Bwalya, and it is unfortunate that we are losing the people who are supposed to protect us. Has the police made any headway in arresting the criminals? Further, what is being done to protect such officers?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Luangeni for the concern and question. Like I said, it is regrettable and very unfortunate that the officers who spend sleepless nights to protect their fellow citizens and property are also becoming targets. The hon. Member may wish to know that our officers always battle with criminals. However, I assure the House and the nation at large that no criminal has ever won a fight against law enforcement. We shall pursue the criminals bring them to book. I know that my officers will be equal to the task of ensuring that people are not made to start living in fear. In this regard, we are trying to increase the number of officers in order to match the growing population and reach international standards of police officers-population ratios. So, the murder is regrettable and we sympathise with the family of the young sergeant, who was a very hard working officer.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, in the recent past, allegations have been made of some foreigners who have been coming to Zambia to put pressure on our courts to have certain suspected criminals released. How does the hon. Minister’s office handle such matters?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, there have been those concerns. However, all I can say is that governments co-operate in a through formalised bilateral arrangements. Therefore, no government can interfere in another state’s affairs outside the bilateral arrangements. This means that no government can pop up from nowhere and start exerting pressure on another government in its jurisdiction. There are laws that protect a country against people from pursuing that route. Like I said, our borders are managed by immigration authorities, who screen people entering the country. If a person comes to Zambia, he or she must clearly state his or her intentions, and this happens everywhere you go. Even hon. Members of Parliament have to clearly state their intentions when they go to do their work in other countries. The immigration authorities, then, determine whether the intentions for entering the country are desirable and acceptable. If they find that hosting the person entering the country is not desirable, they act within the confines of the law to either deny entry or resort to other means deemed fit.

Sir, we have to make sure that this country does not generate into lawlessness. We have seen organised confusion become the order of the day in other countries, and we would not want to go that way because we are a mature democracy. Some emerging democracies have taken democracy to a different dimension, and we would not want ours to get caught up in such circumstances. That is all I can say.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you are advised not to switch off your microphones when you indicate. Otherwise, I will assume that you have decided to forego your chance to ask your question.

Hon. Member: Wiiminina pa ba Bemba. Selako.

Laughter

Mr Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, the former President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, gave his views and some guidance on the current situation in the country. However, some sectors of society have issued negative sentiments on his speech. What is the hon. Minister’s what his comment is on the former President’s counsel?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the former President, just like any other citizen, is entitled to comment on national affairs. Besides, he has held the highest office in the land before, which means that he has practical experience. Therefore, when guidance is given by someone like him, we should appreciate it and learn something from it. He is not imposing the guidance on anyone, but simply expressing what he feels should be done. From the little I have heard, he was basically guiding on how we should proceed, post-elections. Essentially, his statement was that he and Dr Kaunda had lost elections before and accepted defeat, and that it was important, therefore, to continue with the trend of accepting defeat.

Sir, I do not think that there was anything bad that Mr Banda said to attract so much negative commentary. I have not heard most of the reactions, but I did hear one former Member of Parliament, who lost two elections in the past two years. He, too, accepted defeat. So, I do not know why he should have a problem with someone giving guidance on losing elections and accepting defeat.

Sir, the former President has every right to guide and those of us who choose to respect his guidance will learn something from it. We were once in the Opposition and lost elections more than once. So, in my view, the former President prescribed recommended something we are already practising. As a Government, we value that kind of counsel and think that every well-meaning Zambian should see it in that light.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr A. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, my interest is in the fact that we are now part of the global village, meaning that the happenings in any country, such as ours, is of keen interest to the world at large. For example, we have had quite a number of negative reports on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and a resolution by the European Parliament against us. Have the ministries of Foreign Affairs; Tourism and Art; Commerce, Trade and Industry; and Finance come up with a strategy on collaborative efforts to ensure that lawlessness does not prevail, particularly at this point when our economy is slowly starting to grow?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Kantanshi for his concerns and the question. In answering his question, I will restrict myself to the internal affairs of this country, as I know that my counterpart, Hon. Harry Kalaba, has been doing a wonderful job as the second Ambassador. He has been around the globe, if I may say that, disseminating the necessary information. I presume that we have embassies in this country representing all the countries that have diplomatic relations with Zambia. It is, therefore, incumbent upon them to paint the correct picture of how things are in the country.

Mr Speaker, I am happy that the hon. Member included the Ministry of Finance in his question because I know that it can only attract investment when the security of the nation is stable and sustainable. Like I have said, my hon. Colleague, Mr Harry Kalaba, has been doing a fantastic job. We give him the information as it unfolds. So, indeed, we are part of the global village, but every country in this village has its sovereignty to protect at all times. For instance, I am sure that we sympathise with the people of the United Kingdom (UK), where lives are being lost unnecessarily. That is a country we all know to be very peaceful, and it is regrettable that it is experiencing the disturbances we are witnessing. At the same time, that goes to show everyone that every nation should be alert in protecting its sovereignty and peace using all the available means. That is why we will not compromise the internal security of our country on account of being part of the global village. As far as we are concerned, we are operating within the law and, as long as things remain that way, we will have no worries, and we shall leave it to my colleague at the Ministry of Tourism and Art to attract people to visit our country. My job will be to ensure that those who visit our country are protected because that is what we are here for.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, there are foreigners who are now getting seriously involved in illegal activities, such as the illegal mining we witnessed on the Copperbelt, where a big number of foreigners were deported. We have seen the same thing happen in other areas of the country, such as Petauke and Kasempa, where foreigners have just decided to do as they wish. What measures is the Government putting in place to ensure that foreigners who come to Zambia do not break the law?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Kabwe Central for asking a very important question.

Sir, indeed, we have been hosting foreign nationals who have come to this country for various activities, such business and tourism. All those people need to understand that they should respect the laws set for the citizens of this country when they come here. Therefore, any breach on their part will certainly cause them to be visited by the law.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has alluded to the Government’s actions against some of the people involved in illegal activities. I assure him that the actions were just part of the measures that the Government is putting in place. In doing that, we engage their representatives, such as ambassadors. In that regard, I thank the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, with whom we worked to solve the matter to which the hon. Member has alluded without denting the bilateral relationship between our two countries.

Sir, we all know that some foreigners can dent the image of our country by engaging in illegal activities and, when the law catches up with them, claiming to the world that the host country is not being fair to them. Like I have said, everyone who comes here must understand that this is a country of laws. You may have heard me on at several fora, appeal to the employers of foreigners who get certain conditional documents when they come into this country to abide by the conditions they sign up to so that we can avoid situations in which we have to force people out of this country prematurely. This is a peaceful place for anyone to come and invest, but they can only enjoy the fruits of their investment when they abide by our laws.

Mr Speaker, on what is happening in the Eastern Province, the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development might need to explain how people can engage in legitimate mining activities and avoid being caught on the wrong side of the law.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the statement he has issued to the House. That said, why are female illegal immigrants and sex workers kept in the same holding cells as juveniles?

 Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I have a slight challenge in understanding the hon. Member for Chienge’s question. I wish she was more specific because generalising the question like that creates the impression that what she describes is the norm. However, the situation she mentioned must have been a unique case. So, could she clarify the incident to which she is referring.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chienge, would you like to particularise your question?

Ms Katuta: Yes, Mr Speaker.

Sir, if the hon. Minister visited the Lusaka Central Correctional Facility, also known as Chimbokaila, he would find that the Department of Immigrations is working so hard to prevent remove illegal immigrants from Zambia because there are many who are found in Lusaka, bundled up and taken there. However, juveniles as young as fourteen years and sex workers are all kept in the same cells. My question is: What is the Government doing about that? I ask this question because when the juveniles come out, they may have learnt a lot on how to be sex workers or illegal immigrants in other countries.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, I hope the question is clear now.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, what I can just say to the hon. Member is that we know that some of the facilities for both the Zambia Police Service and Zambia Correctional Services are old and outdated. However, the hardworking Government of the Patriotic Front (PF) has started addressing this challenge practically so that the facilities under the two institutions are modernised to ensure that the different categories of people under detention are kept separately.

Sir, if you go to the police stations that we have built, such as Chelstone Police Station, which we recently opened, you can see how much we are doing in addressing that issue. We want to make sure that juveniles are separated from adults, and males are separated from females when in detention. That is the ideal situation. We are aware that our officers at some old facilities are trying their best to keep the different categories of detainees in separate cells in the face of limited space. I should hasten to state that the situation does not apply to foreigners alone because we keep both foreigners and citizens in the same facilities.

Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to assure all foreign nationals in this countries, such as the Chinese and the British, that they will have the protection of the Government, especially on the Copperbelt where we have received reports of people thinking that every Chinese is into wrongdoing. That should not be the case as long as they abide by the laws of this country and engage in legitimate businesses and other activities. As for our citizens, they have to remember that we have co-existed with other nationalities that we have hosted and I think we should continue with the same spirit for which Zambia is known.

As for the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge, she will soon see what we are doing in her constituency.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, foreigners come into our country in different ways. Some come in containers while others even use our international airports. When I was coming from China, I witnessed a situation some Lebanese nationals enter the country without being screened. They bypassed the clearance points, jumped into vehicles and entered our country just like that, and I protested to the authorities. In other countries, that cannot happen because everyone has to be cleared. My other concern is on refugees whom we are hosting even after the situations in their countries have stabilised. Do we have repatriation policy for such people, especially those who are businessmen and women or otherwise skilled?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I would like to make it very clear that no one, whether a foreigner or a returning citizen, can just walk into this country without being screened. The reason this country is an attraction to so many foreign nationals is the peace that we have enjoyed over the years. However, be that as it may, our authorities at all entry points screen people as they come into Zambia. Even when they sneak in, we have internal mechanisms for monitoring who is where and who is doing what.

As regards the refugees, Sir, I will give the classic example of Angolan refugees. At some point, it was determined by the international community that Angola had become stable in terms of peace and security, and that those who had run to other countries as refugees had no reason to stay away from their country. In respect of humanitarian assistance, which is an obligation of every country, two options were offered to the Angolan refugees in Zambia. The first was voluntary repatriation, which entailed people volunteering to go back and re-establish themselves in their home country. The second option was what we call local integration, which is open to those who do not want to go back, and have chosen to continue living in this country and make Zambia their home. In that case, the necessary processes to formally integrate them are initiated in accordance with the relevant laws, such as the Immigration Act, to give such people a different status. For example, they may be given the “Resident” status. That is what we are trying to do regarding the Rwandese refugees, who have equally been here for some time. While some went back voluntarily, others chose stay here because they felt that Zambia had become their home.

Sir, the hon. Member referred to an incident involving some Lebanese nationals. I think we remember what happened, some time back, in the part of the world from which those friends of ours come. People had to flee their country and we received some of them here, and we cannot force them to go back to their countries of origin as long as they have the refugee status. We are part of the international community and there are humanitarian bilateral agreements to which we have appended our signatures. However, just to comfort the hon. Member, I would like to remind him that when he sees something irregular or suspicious, he has every right, as a citizen, to engage our immigration officers. In the case to which he referred, he could have gone further and asked for the supervisor or Officer-in-Charge. Otherwise, our officers at all our entry points are doing a commendable job and I think that we are safe.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, I stand here as …

Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I apologise to my colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chifubu, for disturbing his thoughts as he was about to ask his question. I was compelled to do so because the point of order on which I stand is very serious.

Sir, United Party for National Development (UPND) members have declared that they will forever be in mourning and wear black clothes. Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Mufumbwe, Mr Elliot Kamondo, in order to go against his party’s instructions for the mourning period by coming to this House in a grey suit?

I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: That is a very difficult point of order to rule on because I do not know the internal arrangements of the United Party for National Development (UPND). However, I am sure that they would advise you over a cup of tea.

The hon. Member for Chifubu may continue.

Laughter

Mr Ng’ambi: Mr Speaker, Zambia had its general elections in August, 2016, and some sections of our society decided not to accept the results of those election. They also decided to engage in all sorts of propaganda and tried to create the impression that there is a crisis in Zambia. Has the hon. Minister tried to investigate what other methods they intend to use in their quest?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, the polls were conducted and the results announced, and I think you addressed this matter extensively in a ruling. Therefore, I will just tackle the other part of the question.

Sir, first and foremost, I know that losing an election can be a bitter experience. We have gone through that, as the PF, having been in the Opposition before. However, we never gave up and stuck with our president, the late President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, the founder of the PF, may his soul rest in peace, who always prevailed upon us to remain calm and provided leadership even in bitter times. He would complain, but later, tell us that the people have the right to choose who should lead them at any time. So, there is no way some people should start pursuing agendas that are not supported by the people. I am speaking as a representative of the Government and I am seated next to Her Honour the Vice-President, who is the Leader of Government Business in this institution. So, for now, we have a Government in place whose mandate was given by the people of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, you may recall that we had international election observers representing various organisations from Africa and Europe during the polls and all reported on the election. Today, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia goes to the international community with his head high because he has been recognised by the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC). Anyone who wants to disagree with that, unfortunately, will have to face the laws that were enacted for those who do not want to recognise a legitimately constituted Government. There is no need for us to investigate who is propagating what. We also have platforms for engaging the international community. Her Honour the Vice-President just came back from South America and Europe, where she was recognised as the Vice-President of the Republic. Some people think they can rewrite the rules to suit themselves. It is a pity because that will not happen until 2021, probably.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: For now, we will follow the law and those who want to continue on the path of lawlessness will have only themselves to blame because we have institutions to enforce the law. Hon. Lubinda here makes sure that justice is dispensed, and that is how it will be.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, a few weeks ago, some online publications and a named tabloid carried a story in which it had been alleged that a leader of an opposition political party in South Africa had been turned away from entering the country at the airport because he was coming to Zambia with the intention of interfering in a judicial process in our country. What is the official stance of the Government on this issue?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I have stated before that we have various departments that enforce the law. The Department of Immigration is the one charged with the responsibility of screening people entering the country and I can confirm that there was a gentleman from the Republic of South Africa who wanted to come here for reasons that did not satisfy the immigration authorities. It must be noted that granting or denying people entry into the country is routine work for immigration authorities. Even as I stand here, some people are coming in while others are being denied entry, just like in any other country. The fact that the case in point involved someone probably a little well-known somewhere is not an issue to us because we work with governments, bilaterally. If someone wants to come here in an individual capacity from where he is known to be somebody, that will not work.

Sir, yes, some person was denied entry and rightfully so. The authority for immigration authorities to deny entry to someone is provided for in the Immigration and Deportation Act No. 18 of 2010.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Phiri (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, my concern is about security in places like Kanyama, where we pick up dead bodies every day. Even today, we picked one up.

Sir, I remember that during the First Republic or in the Kaunda Administration, there used to be combined anti-crime operations by all the departments under the ministry in heavily-populated communities like Kanyama and that helped people in those communities to live in safety. However, this time, we are not enjoying that security, as killings are the order of the day. Does the hon. Minister have any plans to revisit the old method of providing security to heavily-populated communities through joint anti-crime operations?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the question asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanyama in which she alluded to what we call community policing, that is, the police working in collaboration with the communities.

Ms Phiri: Uh huh!

Mr Kampyongo: That has continued, but there is a process we use to identify people who should collaborate with the Zambia Police Service in communities because we have had situations in which the people who are engaged to collaborate with the police ended up abusing the working mechanism.

Interruptions

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, I am aware of a number of recorded criminal incidents in Kanyama, Zingalume and Lilanda, here in Lusaka. In response, the Zambia Police Service has scaled up patrols by increasing the numbers officers there. Additionally, we are identifying credible citizens in the communities to be part of the community policing arrangement. It is unfortunate that sometimes some people hide the perpetrators of crimes in our communities. Even getting information becomes a challenge for the police. So, we will welcome people in the community who are willing to be informing the police on criminal activities because that way, it becomes easier to design anti-crime operations. So, my office is open to the hon. Member. She can come and engage me on how we can make areas of Lusaka safer for our citizens.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, I understood the question to be on whether the Government still conducted combined operations of the various security agencies.

Interruptions

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, yes. However, it depends on the aim of the operation. Currently, we are working with other security agencies in conducting operations against the illegal trade in mukula tree, which has been a problem for some time.

Sir, as I have stated, we assess individuals in the communities to work with the police. However, because we currently know that the police can manage the operations in communities where we have challenges, it is not usual for us to conduct combined operations. As we all know, the mandate of the defence forces is very clear and we only get them to participate in internal operations when the need arises.

I thank you, Sir.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES SECTOR AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE E-GOVERNMENT PROGRAMME

Mr Speaker: I have also permitted the hon. Minister of Transport and Communication to issue a ministerial statement.

Mr Mushimba rose.

Mr Ngulube: Ema tower, aya!

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Are you referring to his height?

Laughter

The Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Mushimba): Mr Speaker, he is referring to my economic height.

Laughter

Mr Mushimba: Sir, I am sincerely grateful to you for according me this opportunity to issue a statement on the Government’s continued accelerated development of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and highlight notable progress attained in the implementation of electronic-Government (e-Government) Programme.

Sir, ICTs have become integral to our lives, as most of us begin with our days with our smartphones in our hands to updates us on the happenings in the world around us. That includes everything, from social chats to news, education, health, banking and electronic payments. All these aspects of our lives are converging with ICTs to create a new value proposition. Zambia is actively transitioning into a society where citizens, their devices and their data are connecting with one another anytime and anywhere, yet we must remind ourselves that there are still people in our country who are not benefiting from such advanced technologies.

Sir, the Government of the Republic of Zambia, under the leadership of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, which got a resounding mandate from the people, is committed to transforming all aspects of the economy by leveraging the use of ICTs. Its vision in the ICT sector is to develop a knowledge-based society that is hyper-connected. That mission is anchored on our firm belief that the country should be positioned to take its rightful place as the hub of communications in Southern and Central Africa.

Mr Speaker, my ministry, working with established State institutions and the private sector, has continued to make steady progress in growing and stabilising the ICT sector through the implementation of key sector interventions. The interventions include the review of the existing licensing, and policy and legal frameworks, the strengthening of the institutional framework, the repositioning of Zambia Telecommunications (ZAMTEL) Company Limited, the rolling out of e-Government and the implementation of key ICT infrastructure projects targeted at increasing access to services countrywide.

Sir, allow me to highlight the progress made attained in the four subsectors of the ICT industry. The first is the creation of an enabling environment through the review of the existing policy, legal and regulatory frameworks. This Government is revising the existing policy and legal framework for the ICT sector in order to respond to the dynamics of the industry to further enhance the existing conducive environment and ensure that ICT businesses thrive. The national policy is being revised to ensure a strong emphasis on the creation of an innovative, market-responsive, highly competitive, co-ordinated and well-regulated ICT industry in line with today’s technological environment. The legal framework, on the other hand, is being reviewed in view of the process of unbundling the Electronic Commutations and Transaction Act No. 21 of 2009 into five distinct Bills to be presented to Parliament for enactment, namely the e-Government Bill, the Cyber Security Bill, the Data Protection Bill, the e-Transactions and e-Commerce Bill and Cybercrime Bill, which is a penal law that will be used to prosecute cybercrimes. The Government will further propose to Parliament an update of the Information and Communications Technology Act No. 15 of 2009 to strengthen the regulatory mandate of the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) and provide the institution with clear enforcement capabilities for execution of statutory rules and procedures outlined in the Act.

Sir, the Government will also table before this august House the ICT Society of Zambia Bill, which aims to legitimately control and oversee all ICT practice in Zambia as well as safeguard the interest of the public by enforcing acceptable standards in the sector.

Further, Sir, my ministry has been granted approval by the Cabinet to introduce a converged licensing framework in the sector that aims at deepening competition, maximising network utilisation and supporting innovation in the provision of ICT services in Zambia. The new licensing framework will inevitably open up the telecommunications market beyond the current three mobile operators and ensure value for money through improved quality of services in a competitive environment.

Sir, the second area of progress is in ICT Infrastructure development. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government has embarked on numerous ICT projects to prepare the country for a fourth industrial revolution, which will ride on ICTs and usher in a smart Zambia. You may recall that the Government, through the Universal Access Fund, installed 204 communications towers in Phase I of the rolling out of communications towers targeting mostly rural areas of the country. In Phase II, the Government has procured 1,009 bigger, stronger and taller towers for better signal strength and reach to cover more areas of the country based on the nationwide survey that was conducted in an attempt to improve network coverage across the country. The phase will primarily target dense clusters of settlements and economically active areas of the rural areas, such as rural health centres, schools, farming blocks, mines, tourism centres and trading areas.

Mr Speaker, the Government has also completed the construction of a tier three National Data Centre that will provide local cloud services for data storage, management, manipulation and analysis to the Government and the business community at commercial rates. An ICT Centre of Excellence has also been established to provide relevant ICT training and skills. The construction of the data centre is meant to save businesses and enterprises from investing in costly data centres. Instead, they will just pay a reasonable fee for hosting services while they focus on their core business. The data centre awaits commissioning.

Sir, ZAMTEL, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and Copperbelt Energy Company (CEC) Liquid Telecoms have continued to roll out the optic fibre network throughout the country. So far, 12,000 km of fibre optic has been deployed by the three companies, resulting in the connection of more than eighty-six districts to the nearest points of presence. The network has also interconnected six countries, thereby laying the foundation for Zambia to become a communications hub in the region, improve the quality of communication services and reduce the cost of communication.

Mr Speaker, the Government is also in the process of establishing a computer assembly plant in a Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) whose main goal will be to assemble desktop computers, laptops and tablets to supply smart gadgets to Zambia and the region, thereby affording people reasonably priced ICT devices, which are a key enabler to increase citizen participation and inclusiveness in this digital economy.

Sir, the third area of progress involves implementation of e-Government and delivery of services through electronic platforms. So far, the Government has connected thirty-five institutions to its wide area network (WAN), thereby ensuring cost-effective Internet connectivity through the sharing of the available broadband. The implementation of e-Government is intended to improve Government operations and raise the efficiency and quality of services delivered to the citizenry. The Government has developed online transactional services for businesses and citizens that include the following systems:

  1. the tax online and Asycuda System under the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA);

  1. the online PACRA System under the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA);

  1. the Electronic Government Procurement System under the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA);

  1. the Electronic Zambia Transport Information System (e-ZAMTIS) under the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA);

  1. the e-Voucher System under the Ministry of Agriculture;

  1. the Electronic Lands Management Information System under the Ministry of Lands and National Resources; and

  1. the Electronic National Registration System under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Sir, these and many others have reduced the time it takes citizens to access various public services.

Mr Speaker, the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) is being integrated into the e-Government Procurement System to ease the way of doing business and improve efficiency. The Government is further poised to reduce the cost of printing payslips by implementing the Electronic Payslip System that is being piloted on 5,000 Government employees. Further, the ICT sector is creating a new platform for the 62 per cent of unbanked adults in our country to access some form of banking services through e-banking platforms like mobile money.

Sir, in order to support decentralisation and effective accountability of public funds, a revenue collection system fully integrated with a financial management system has been installed in 103 local authorities. The Government is also implementing the Treasury Single Account as a way of improving financial prudence so that it does not borrow its own money banked in various commercial banks. The Treasury Single Account will also be used to make payments directly to suppliers.

Mr Speaker, through the named interventions, Zambia has earned global recognition and improved its position on the e-Government Index from 142 to 132. However, much still needs to be done to fully realise the benefits of ICT and make it a mainstay. The Government’s target is to move into the two-digit bracket on the Global e-Government Index in the next three years by successfully implementing the programmes and interventions about which I have spoken.

Sir, the fourth and last area is cyber security. The Government takes cognisance of the challenges associated with ICT usage and, as part of its remedial strategy, my ministry has established a sector-specific computer emergency response team in partnership with the International Telecommunications Unit (ITU) to build confidence and trust in the use of ICTs. In addition, data protection laws, national information security and online child protection frameworks are currently being developed by the Government. Further, my ministry recently set up a National Technical Committee on Cyber Security to oversee and coordinate the implementation of various cyber security activities.

Mr Speaker, allow me to highlight the positive ICT sector performance to demonstrate the PF Government’s commitment to the growth of the sector. The number of active mobile network subscribers today stands at 12 million, representing 75 per cent mobile penetration. Further, the ICT sector has made significant contributions to Zambia’s gross domestic product (GDP). The sector’s contribution to GDP stood at 2.8 per cent, as of December, 2016, with a significant increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector compared to previous years.

Sir, let me conclude by reiterating the potential of the ICT sector, if fully embraced, to change how we do business increases efficiency in the economy, creates employment and exponentially grow the economy. It is for this reason that the PF Government continues to make strong and concerted efforts to invest in infrastructure, policies and regulations in order to make sure that Zambia is not left behind in the fourth industrial revolution. In five years, we aspire to have a connected Zambia in which citizens can access information for better decision-making from anywhere.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, when exactly will the licensing framework be changed in as far as mobile licensing is concerned? The current licensing regime only allows for three mobile operators, which has discouraged many people from investing and deprived the people of lower tariffs they could have been enjoying. When will this unfriendly licensing regime be changed?

Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, the new licensing framework was actually approved by the Cabinet sometime in the recent past. After that, some processes needed to be activated to actualise the new framework. Those processes have since been concluded and, last week, we revoked the previous license and signed a new one. Following that, we have thirty days to publicise it before it can be effected. In short, the new licensing framework will take effect in the next thirty days. So, if a fourth mobile service provider wishes to join the market, it can apply and we will consider the application.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Vodafone!

Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, has the 12,000 km optic fibre cable that has been rolled out by the mentioned companies reached remote areas like Chienge? I ask this question because there are civil servants and businessmen in Chienge who cannot bank their money due to a lack of banks. The banks have refused to reach places like those because there are no Internet services. What is the Government doing to rectify that problem so that the civil servants and businessmen are not deprived of banking services?

Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, from our studies, for us to have connectivity to all the districts in the country, we need 8,000 km of additional cable. As a ministry, our plan is to use the Universal Access Fund to connect every mile. We know that the network not reached Chienge District. So, we will continue working to ensure that it reaches all the districts in the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister made reference to cybercrime, under which falls cyber bullying. Normally, the vulnerable are the school-going children, those who are excited about the use of iPhones and many other brands of mobile phones. Now that Information Communication Technology (ICT) has been introduced as a subject, how involved is the ministry in enlightening our pupils on the dangers of cyber bullying and cybercrime?

Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, the ministry has taken keen interest in the curriculum developed by the Ministry of General Education for teaching ICT. We will, therefore, ensure that our children are taught about the productive use of ICT and that they acquire the necessary skills so that they can grow up into ICT-savvy citizens.

Sir, in order to protect children from cybercrime and bullying, computer emergency response teams have been set up. Further, like I already stated, our data protection laws are being reviewed. Further, the national information security and online children protection frameworks are being developed with our co-operating partners. We know that ICTs are prone to a lot of abuse and that if we do not police them, bad elements will take advantage of innocent people. so, we will develop laws, processes and procedures to limit the abuse of ICTs in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned the short towers that were erected in 2015. Since then, people have been crying that the towers have not been helpful to our communities. In Lubansenshi, people have even been struggling to have network connectivity and have ended up falling from trees, and breaking their legs and arms in their search for network. Some only find networks after climbing anti-hills while others have been beaten by snakes.

Laughter

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, last year, the then hon. Minister stated that the ministry would erect longer towers in Lubansenshi to ease the problems that our people there were facing, and the current hon. Minister has repeated that statement. So, in the past, when people have asked me questions on this subject, I have told them that the problem would be sorted out soon. Now, I do not say anything. Instead, I just nod my head. Can the hon. Minister be precise and tell us how soon the ministry will start erecting towers in Lubansenshi?

Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, I wish I had a magic wand that I could just wave and give me the answers for which the hon. member is asking. For the Government and its co-operating partners to find the resources for these projects, there are complex processes involved. However, as a committed Government, we are working day in and out to begin this process. For the comfort of my hon. Colleague, I can confirm that the project will be Implemented soon …

Laughter

Mr Mushimba: … and that we are actually at the tail-end. When we finalise the discussions that are currently ongoing, we will sign the final document. The Ministry of Finance has been working very hard on that. In fact, as late as last week, a team of members of staff from the Ministry of Finance went to China to discuss this subject. I also mentioned last week that to show commitment, even as we were finalising the process, a shipment of towers was on its way here and would arrive in no time. There are sites with special needs that we will begin with when those towers arrive. So, in the next one to three months, people will see many activities, as we will go around commissioning the towers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, the Zambia Telecommunications (ZAMTEL) Company Limited offers Internet services and faces increasingly stiffer competition in this industry every day. Some service providers now provide 3G and 4G Internet services. Since we hear advertisements by ZAMTEL that persuade Zambians to buy products and services from Zambian companies, what is the hon. Minister doing to help ZAMTEL provide services that are as competitive as those provided by its competitors so as to help people to choose Zambian?

Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, we all know the history of ZAMTEL and understand the Government’s decision to repossess it and give it back to the people of Zambia after it was sold. The company is so strategic that we want it to be owned by the people of Zambia. Even though we have struggled to reposition it, nothing has stopped us from thinking about how we can accelerate its repositioning. So, we have invested in the company and will continue to do so, including investing in additional studies on how we can improve the services it offers.

Sir, currently, ZAMTEL has the largest infrastructure in the sector and it is for this reason that it is sometimes very painful to see it underperform. For example, it is the only company that offers the landline telephone service that we use in our offices because, which is its core business. So, it should perform much better than it does. To that effect, recently, we made some interventions in the company, including more investment in the network and the upgrade of coverage. Not too long ago, I was on the Copperbelt launching Fourth-Generation (4G) services for the company and we have started seeing the uptake that we expect in subscriber numbers. In fact, as recently as last week, I was briefed that the company was engaging other service providers to help it decongest its network. What had happened was that as it repositioned itself and invested more in the network and the service improved, it attracted more customers. As I speak, it has 1.8 million subscribers, which is a huge increase from what it had about six months ago. People are seeing all the investments being made and the improvement in quality, and are coming on board, resulting in a congested network. So, the company has to invest very quickly to accommodate new customers. That is being done with a lot of support from the Government and the ministry, in particular, because the company is our pride, as it belongs to the Government and people of Zambia. So, we want to ensure that it survives and gives the services that it ought to give.

Mr Speaker, last month, ZAMTEL was profitable for the first time in a long time, if not in its whole history. Apart from the impressive subscriptions, the revenue for May, 2017, was K55.8 million, the highest amount the company recorded, and the profit was K2.3 million.

Mr Speaker, you can see that the interventions we are making are starting to bear fruits. We just need to ensure that we do not lose focus on making ZAMTEL as competitive as it can be in the sector.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chisopa (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, recently, the Ministry of Finance announced that that it was fully scaling up the electronic Voucher (e-Voucher System). That means the beneficiaries of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) will require availability of network connectivity all over the country. However, three quarters of Luano is not covered by communication towers. How ready is the ministry to anchor the e-Voucher System and avoid bad economic and political repercussions for the Patriotic Front (PF) Government?

Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, the e-Voucher System is part of the e-Government that this Government is supporting heavily. We are transitioning the country to a smart Zambia and want to continue to transition to a digital economy for all the reasons I cited and the efficiencies that we will achieve. We are, of course, mindful that some areas where the e-Voucher will need to be implemented do not have network coverage yet, hence the discussions we had, the laying of 12,000 km of the optic fibre network and the towers about which I spoke, which were 204 in Phase I and 1,009 in Phase II. All these initiatives speak to the hard infrastructure deficiencies that we want to overcome in those areas so that we can provide the network there. However, in areas where there is no network, e-Voucher transactions can still be made offline. So, an e-Voucher dealer in Luano, where there is no network, will work offline using the smart gadget offline. Thereafter, he or she can go to where there is network and upload the information so that the transaction is processed. That way, we will not hinder the rollout of the e-Voucher System.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his candid and timely statement.

Sir, as we go into e-Governance, we will put more and more vital information of our people on open platforms where cyber criminals and terrorists will have access to it if not deterred. When are we drawing a national strategy against cybercrime and appointing focal point persons who will form a taskforce to protect our people? Further, when will we establish an agency that will be able to police the cyber space?

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! Ema IG, aba!

Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, this is a very important question on cyber security, and that is the fear of the Government as it transitions the country digitally to make it smart. A lot of information will become available online at the click of a mouse. Earlier, I talked about the tier-three data centre at Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) which, I think, should be one of a kind in the region given the investment that has gone into it. The centre will host a lot of information of national importance; the kind of data that needs to be manipulated to speed up processes and anchor the electronic e-Government about which we have been talking. What keeps us awake at night is how we will protect that information. That is why one of the five Bills we will present to this House is the Cyber Security Crime Bill, a law that will prescribe the punishment to be meted on people who will access and abuse the information.

Mr Speaker, late last year or early this year, I went with the President to Israel. The reason he took me along was in the interest of the discussion we are now having. As you are aware, the Israelis have a very good reputation in this area. Following that visit, the Israelis visited us recently and we had a very good meeting with them that involved all the departments that have a stake in cyber security. Our intention, ultimately, is to establish the institution about which the hon. Member has asked, which will ensure that Zambia’s cyberspace is fool-proofed, fire-walled and otherwise protected. For example, the information of a person who uses his or her visa card to pay for their ticket on Proflight must be protected. If that information somehow falls in the wrong hands and it is abused, there will be a law that can be used to prosecute the culprit. Even the institution of the committee to which he referred has already been proposed to my office for approval.

Sir, sooner than later, an institute for cyber security could be set up to protect all the systems in the Zambian the cyberspace.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the elaborate statement. That said, when will the erection of the 1009 communication towers be completed? Further, what impact will that have on the penetration rate of mobile and Internet services in the country?

Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Sioma for that question.

Sir, the erection of the communication towers will take two-and-a-half to three years. So, if we start a month or two from now, we will project to erect fifty to 100 towers by the end of the year. That is taking into account the sluggishness at the start of a project. However, as implementation continued, the project would pick up speed.

Sir, on completion of the project, we will increase our network coverage in the country to 92 per cent. As I mentioned earlier, for the remaining 8 per cent, we will use our piggy-bank, the Universal Access Fund administered by ZICTA, to ensure that the last mile is connected.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for giving us a wonderful statement. If got him clearly, he has the passion to make information communication technology (ICT), if possible, the ‘in’ thing for the whole country. Does the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) still provide computers to schools through the Ministry of General Education? If so, how do places like Kaputa access such facilities as computers?

Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. Indeed, it is a policy of this Government to promote the uptake of ICTs in the country? In that regard, we need to harmonise the curriculum and training of our children with that aspiration because this economy will be a knowledge-based one. To that end, ZICTA and the Ministry of General Education have worked closely, hence my reference to the curriculum.

Sir, ZICTA has been providing computers to schools, as observed by the hon. Member. The criterion used to identify beneficiary schools is that of ICT-ready environments and, so far, 7,340 computers have been distributed under the programme to approximately 340 schools and colleges in all the ten provinces of Zambia. If the hon. Member’s constituency would like to benefit from the programme, the hon. Member should put in a request to ZICTA, either through my ministry or directly. We want to take ICT gadgets to all the schools that can accept them so that they can facilitate the training of our children in ICTs. The Centre of Excellence about which I spoke was commissioned nine months ago and it has enrolled its first students. About 295 of them are in various training programmes in the ICT space. We want to ensure that the ICT skills that we need for the digital economy will be available whenever they will be needed.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

___________

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

CONSTRUCTION OF POLICE STATION AND STAFF HOUSES IN MULOBEZI DISTRICT

267. Mr Mandumbwa (Mulobezi) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

  1. whether the Government had any plans to build a police station and staff houses at the following places in Mulobezi District:

  1. Sichili; and

  1. Mulobezi Centre;

  1. if so, when construction works would commence; and

  1. if there were no such plans, why.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the Government has embarked on the construction of a police station and staff houses at Sichili in Mulobezi District. The contract was awarded to Messrs Raymond Contractors at a cost of K1,305,458.20. Unfortunately, there are no plans to construct a police station and houses at Mulobezi Centre due to inadequate resources. Once the Sichili Police station has been completed, it will also service Mulobezi Centre in the interim.

Sir, the construction of the police station and houses in Sichili has already commenced and the project is at window level.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, will the hon. Minister give the police officers transport after the completion of the police station? I ask this question because there has been a problem in many areas, where police posts are built, but the officers have no transport.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, when the police station is completed and becomes operational, it will be ideal to provide it with transport. Indeed, most police posts operate under police stations and depend on them for logistical support for patrols.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, the Zambia Police Service has a depleted workforce. Does the Government have any plan to recruit more police officers to man rural stations, such as the one being built, Kanchibiya and Lavushimanda police posts?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, let us limit our follow-up question to the subject of the principal question.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, when a new station is operationalised, there is a need to deploy officers to man it. In that regard, my bonus answer to the hon. Member for Kanchibiya is that, indeed, the Zambia Police Service has low staff levels and we are trying to see how we can progressively increase the number by recruiting annually. In this regard, I thank the hon. Minister of Finance for being supportive. Currently, we are discussing the possibility of recruiting officers not only for the Zambia Police Service, but  also for the Zambia Correctional Services, the Department of Immigration and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC).

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

DEPLOYMENT OF IMMIGRATION OFFICERS TO KAPUTA, NSAMA AND CHIENGI DISTRICTS

268. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

  1. how many immigration officers were deployed to the following districts:

  1. Kaputa;

  1. Nsama; and

  1. Chiengi;

  1. whether the numbers above met the establishments in each district; and

  1. if not, when additional officers would be deployed.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, there is one immigration officer in Kaputa and none in Nsama and Chiengi. However, officers stationed at Chipungu Border Post, which is in Chiengi District, cover the whole district as well. The number of officers at Chipungu Border Post is three.

Sir, the number of officers in each of the districts does not meet the approved staff establishments for those districts due to inadequate staff. As I indicated in response to the follow-up question asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya, we are doing everything possible to increase the number of immigration officers.

Mr Speaker, the Government will consider deploying additional officers in the mentioned districts once Treasury authority to recruit has been granted, hopefully before the end of 2017.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, there is a very long border between Mulilo in Nsama District and Mpweto on the other side of Chiengi, which is very long and porous, and it is a mammoth task for the immigration officer based in Kaputa Centre and the three based in Chipungu to man it. In fact, some foreigners can come into the country without anybody’s knowledge. What can be done to improve the number of immigration officers to stop our colleagues from neighbouring countries coming into our country without any documentation, which sometimes stresses our relations with our neighbouring countries?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the challenge to which the hon. Member has referred is real. A few months ago, the hon. Minister of Defence and I toured that area to appreciate the challenges faced by the officers who man the vast and porous border areas. We decided that those officers would depend on the District Joint Operation Committees (DJOCs) and collaborate with the other security wings in conducting operations in the border areas. You may also wish to know that we will build a border post in the new district, Nsama, which we hope to complete soon, so that we can also deploy officers there and provide accommodation for them. Going forward, we will also provide transport to the officers in Chiengi and Kaputa because the unstable situation across the border, especially in the Great Lakes Region, causes an influx of foreigners into Kaputa District and that is difficult for our officers to manage. So, we will address those matters and ensure that our people are provided with adequate services.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chansa (Chimbamilonga): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Kaputa for asking this wonderful question because the three districts share borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I also thank the hon. Minister for the immigration office that is being constructed in Nsumbu. That said, when will the ministry provide transport for the immigration officers so that they can intensify operations in the district?

Mr Ngulube: Ema mini break, aya!

Laughter

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I like the solidarity coming from the hon. Member for Kabwe Central.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I had started responding to a follow-up question asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chimbamilonga.

Sir, I assure the hon. Members and, through them, the people of the area that we will try to get them transport before the end of the year. We opted to put up an immigration facility in the area to help our colleagues in the tourism sector, who are trying to unlock the area’s vast tourism potential.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs aware of what has been happening in those border districts? Three weeks ago, immigration officers from Nchelenge went to the area because there are not enough immigration staff at Chipungu Border Post in Chienge. What those officers have been doing is that they come in around 0200 hours or 0300 hours in the morning to terrorise villagers at Kasote, Kalembwe and Mukunta and seize their national registration cards (NRCs). The people of Kalobwa who do not carry their NRCs on the lake are asked to pay between K2,000 and K250. Initially, the people of Chienge had thought that the officers were either from the police or the Marine Unit of the Zambia Army. So, they got in touch with me, but we discovered that the officers who have been taking money from the poor people and grabbing beer from shebeens are actually immigration officers from Nchelenge. So, we reported the matter to the Officer-in-Charge at Chienge Police Station.

Mr Malama: Question!

Laughter

Ms Katuta:  Hon. Member, I need to bring this to the attention of the hon. Minister.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Please, pause for just a moment. You do not have to respond to the running commentaries. That is my job.

Continue.

Ms Katuta: Thank you for protecting me, Mr Speaker.

Sir, the police confirmed that the perpetrators of the scam were, indeed, were immigration officers. So, I asked them to pay back the villagers. My feeling is that had we had enough immigration officers at the border, that scam would not have happened. So, what is the hon. Minister doing about such officers?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Chienge (mimicking Hon. Katuta) …

Laughter

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngulube: Ebekala mumayadi, aba!

Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Chabi: Voice ya ma love!

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the concerns raised by the hon. Member for ChiengeIt is, indeed, sad. However, it is good that the hon. Minister for Luapula Province is here. I know that he equally gets briefed by the Provincial Joint Operations Committee (PJOC) and this matter has probably been raised before the committee. If, indeed, the events to which she has referred actually took place in the manner she has stated, we will intervene. Immigration officers have been deployed to the area from Nchelenge for a long time because of their capacity to patrol even the waters. They have been patrolling the area even before Chipungu Border Post was opened, and this is bound to continue. You know how our people live in that area. They just cross from Mpweto to the other side because they are just one family. However, when officers on operations come across them, the officers will want to know what the former are doing there. We appreciate that people have family ties, but it is also important to monitor people’s movements and find out how long they want to stay in the villages on the other side of the border.

 Sir, if, indeed, the officers collected money from villagers, that was not supposed to have been the case, and I will sit down with the Provincial Minister and get in touch with our Commissioner for Luapula Province to get the details of the matter, which we shall address. If there will be any officer found wanting, we will not spare him or her. There will be no sacred cows.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

CONSTRUCTION OF CHIKANDO SECONDARY SCHOOL

269. Mr C. M. Zulu (Luangeni) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:

  1. why the construction of Chikando Secondary School in Luangeni Parliamentary Constituency was abandoned in 2010;

  1. when the construction works would resume;

  1. who the contractor for the project was;

  1. how much money had been spent on the project; and

  1. what the total cost of the project was.

 The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, the construction of Chikando Secondary School in Luangeni Constituency was abandoned due to financial challenges on the part of the contractor and the Government has informed the contractor of its intention to terminate the contract. It, therefore, awaits legal guidance from the Attorney-General on how to proceed with the matter.

Sir, works on the project will resume after the contractual issues have been resolved.

Sir, the contractor is Mariki Engineering Limited.

Mr Speaker, so far, K3,679,589.62 has been spent on the project.

Sir, the total project cost was K13,462,599.47.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr C. M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, six years is a long time for us to be talking about the Attorney-General and all the procedures. I am now failing to explain to the people what has caused the delay. I remember that two years, I was told that the contractor would be on site in two weeks. Two weeks later, I was given the same promise by the technocrats at the Ministry of General Education. That is what I went to tell the people in my constituency. After the two weeks had passed, I was told that the contractor had died a week previously before I could go back to the ministry. Surely, will the people accept that? Could the hon. Minister tell this House and the people of Luangeni in particular, who have been waiting for six years, when the contractor will mobilise on site?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I think I need to give more details on this matter.

Sir, the Government had met its obligation in terms of paying the contractor. Further, when the contractor faced challenges in proceeding with the project, the Government summoned him and gave him a second chance because he indicated that he was ready to mobilise the funds and get back on site. That could be the reason the Government assured the hon. Member that the project would resume in two weeks.

Mr Speaker, in construction contracts, no advance is paid to the contractor beyond the interim payment certificate because there is no basis for the Government to pay the contractor. If the contractor is paid in advance, the funds may be misapplied. The contractor might have used the money on some other projects. So, he was written to and he committed himself. Although an individual can die, the company does not. Besides, we are talking about a limited company.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Chitotela: Sir, after he was given the second chance, the contractor still failed to mobilise the funds to continue with the project. So, the Government wrote to him and sent a recommendation for termination of the contract to the Attorney-General so that another contractor could be engaged.

 Mr Speaker,   I thank you.

Mr C. M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, last month, the hon. Minister of General Education went to inspect some works at the school. What report did the hon. Minister get from his counterpart after he returned?

 Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, my ministry is responsible for all public infrastructure development in Zambia. The, Ministry of General Education, as the end user of the infrastructure in question, is entitled to its opinion. Maybe, its officers inspected the progress at the same school and issued a statement to which I may not be privy. However, the Government’s position is that it has recommended the termination and re-awarding of the contract to the Office of the Attorney-General.

Mr Speaker, the interest of this Government, after spending over K3.6 million, is to see the school completed so that the children in that area can begin to benefit from it. We cannot let the initial investment in the project go to waste. So, I assure the hon. Member that we are committed to seeing that school completed within the shortest time possible.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr S. Tembo (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, Chikando Secondary School is close to my constituency and we intend to benefit from it. However, considering the number of years that have passed since the project started and the K3,679,000 spent so far, the 25 per cent of works done is too little. Of the sixteen secondary schools that were under construction at the same time, only this school remains at 25 per cent. What measures have been put in place to ensure that the school is completed?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I thought I had adequately dealt with that question. Maybe, for the sake of the hon. Member for Chadiza, let me repeat what I said.

Sir, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is committed to completing the school so that our children and their parents can begin to benefit from having a school nearby, as that will lower the cost parents incurred by sending the children to distant schools. It is for this reason that the Government recommended the termination and re-awarding of the contract to a contractor who will be able to complete it.

Sir, I want to emphasise that once the contractor submits the payment certificate and money is advanced, but fails to execute the works, there is no basis for the Government to make an advance payment to the contractor for him to continue with the works. The best way is to ask the contractor to look for the money and, if he fails to mobilise it, to terminate the contract and engage a more serious contractor who will use the money for the intended purpose.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Mr Speaker: I advise those who are yet to ask questions to avoid making the hon. Minister to repeat himself because that is not productive.

Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) is a pro-poor Government. Since, when a contractor is given a contract, he recruits the local people to help him execute the works, can the hon. Minister assure this House that all the workers were paid their dues.

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the Government has no legal connection with the people who were employed by the contractor because the law of contracts states very clearly that there is no third party engagement. Our liability was to the contractor and we met all our obligations. If there is anything between the contractor and the people he could have engaged, I can only urge those people to follow the necessary processes to get the contractor to pay what is owed to them.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister to clarify on the issue of contractors who do not do the work after being paid. For example, he has stated that the contractor in question did not continue with the works after being paid some money and the fear of the people of Chama South is that the same thing might be happening to projects across the country. It has become common in this country for contractors to not execute works and claim that the reason is that the Government has not paid them. In the case where a contractor has been paid, what assurance does the hon. Minister give us that contractor will execute the works once paid? What action will the ministry take to ensure that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government delivers development to the people of Zambia?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the message of this Government to the contractors in Zambia is that when they are paid and given their interim payment certificates (IPCs), they must move on site. They should know that we have intensified inspections of all the infrastructure projects that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is implementing. So, if they breach their contracts, we will follow the due process by, first of all, warning them. Thereafter, if nothing changes, we will terminate the contract and give it to a contractor who is serious and ready to partner with and assist us to develop quality infrastructure for the people of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chisopa (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, the project in question has been running for six years now. Since the ministry has sought permission to terminate the contract from the Attorney-General, what options are being looked at in terms of engaging a new contractor so that the school can be finished quickly? My fear is that there has been some vandalism to the project, looking at the period that has passed?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, we will follow the due process of the law on procurement so that we do not shortcut anything. Otherwise, we will face audit queries in the future. People will ask us how we selected the contractor to replace the current one. So, once we get authority from the Attorney-General, we, as the client ministry, will formally terminate the contract. We will, then, proceed to re-advertise the tender and engage a credible contractor to complete the works.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

___________

MOTIONS

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC AFFAIRS, ENERGY AND LABOUR

Mr Chali (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour for the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, laid on the Table of this House on 16thJune, 2017.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Chali: Sir, in keeping with its terms of reference, as set out in the Standing Orders, your Committee undertook a study on the implementation of the public-private partnership (PPP) framework in Zambia. Your Committee also considered outstanding issues from your previous Committee’s reports.

Sir, the report on the Floor of the House brings out pertinent issues on the performance of PPPs in the country.

Sir, in line with the Public-Private Partnership Policy, this House enacted the Public-Private Partnership Act in 2009. The Act, among other things, seeks to:

  1. leverage public assets and funds to the private sector to accelerate investment in public infrastructure and service delivery;

  1. encourage and facilitate investment by the private sector;

  1. create efficient and transparent institutional arrangements;

  1. provide for competitive and transparent bidding processes;

  1. provide a framework for appropriate risk sharing and management;

  1. promote participation by indigenous local private entities; and

  1. enhance value for money for all PPP projects.

Mr Speaker, in comparison with international practice, most witnesses who appeared before your Committee submitted that the Zambian legal framework for PPPs was well-articulated to move the PPP agenda in the country forward. In particular, the PPP framework is robust enough to ensure effective implementation of PPP projects.

Regrettably, Sir, I must also mention that it has been over seven years since the Public-Private Partnership Act was enacted, but your Committee observes that the country has not exploited the full potential of the PPP framework. Your Committee also observes that to date, the country has recorded less than five successfully-implemented PPP projects. These include the East Park Mall (the University of Zambia (UNZA)); 120 MW Itezhi-tezhi Hydro Power Plant by Itezhi-tezhi Hydro Power Corporation (ITPC); Kasumbalesa One-Stop Border Post, built under a build, operate and transfer (BOT) arrangement renegotiated by the Government in 2015; Government Complex Service Contract; and Luburma Market in Kamwala. Your Committee observes that unless the factors that negatively affect the implementation of the PPP framework are addressed, the country might not be able to realise the full benefits of PPPs.

Mr Speaker, the stakeholders bemoaned the many challenges affecting the implementation of the PPP framework in the country. Allow me to take this opportunity to highlight some of them.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that the co-ordination mechanisms between the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Unit and contracting authorities and other key stakeholders, such as the private sector and commercial banks, are too weak to advance the PPP agenda. In particular, it was observed by your Committee that even though the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) are well-positioned to promote PPPs in the country, their linkages with the PPP Unit and contracting authorities are weak. Your Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the Government urgently comes up with measures to enhance the co-ordination mechanisms among all the relevant stakeholders. Your Committee further underscores the importance of such a co-ordination clearly defining the roles of all the stakeholders to avoid duplication of functions and perpetuating bureaucratic red tape in the PPP process.

In addition, Sir, your Committee observed that the Government had not developed a holistic PPP strategic plan and framework that clearly defined the roles of the private sector, on one hand, and the public sector, on the other. Further, the stakeholders bemoaned the lack of PPP strategic focus for the medium to long term in the Government, as the PPP implementation programme had not been aligned with the national development plans and the National Budget. In this regard, the Government should urgently put in place a holistic PPP strategic plan, which should also outline the Government’s sectoral priorities for PPP projects in the immediate, medium and long term, and clearly define the targets and benchmarks for monitoring implementation performance. The strategic plan should also be integrated into national development plans and the Budget.

Sir, the Government should also ensure that the PPP strategic plan clearly spells out the PPP pipeline projects with the feasibility studies undertaken, which should form bankable documents for the private sector to use for project resource mobilisation. The absence of a PPP strategic plan and readily available pipeline PPP projects results in projects that would otherwise qualify as PPPs being executed through traditional public procurement methods, thus putting more pressure on the Treasury to borrow.

Sir, on the creation of an enabling environment by the Government, it is your Committee’s strong recommendation that the Government provides resources in the Budget for feasibility studies so that project costs and risks could be properly catered for in the PPP contracts. This could also strengthen the Government’s capacity to negotiate for well-structured PPP contracts and identify which PPP model to apply to particular projects.

Mr Speaker, the current lack of stability in the domicility of the PPP Unit is not conducive for attracting private sector participation. Stakeholders were particularly concerned that the unit keeps shifting from one institution to the other. For instance, it was once under the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), then, it was moved to the Ministry of Finance and, currently, it is at State House because though the operational functions have moved from State House, the controlling officer was still domiciled there, thereby making it difficult for key stakeholders to access the unit and have interactions with the controlling officer on technical matters affecting PPPs at that level.

Sir, your Committee further observed, with dismay, that the movements of the PPP Unit were at variance with the Public-Private Partnership Act, which clearly established the unit under the Ministry of Finance. Your Committee also observed that in international practice, the PPP Unit is normally domiciled under the Ministry of Finance and that is considered a strategic decision given that PPPs generally have fiscal implications and risks that are best managed by the ministry responsible for finance. In addition, the risks arising from the PPP arrangement require integration into the overall budgeting framework. Your Committee had in mind countries within the region, such as Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, which established their PPP units under the ministries responsible for finance. The stakeholders informed your Committee that the Government is considering establishing the unit as a statutory body. Your Committee argues that it is not necessary to turn the unit into a semi-autonomous body, as doing that would be a duplication of efforts and costs because there are other existing institutions, such as the ZDA, the CEEC and the IDC, that can be used to promote PPP projects.

Sir, your Committee agreed with the stakeholders that while the PPP unit undertook the functions prescribed by the establishing Act, the Government should focus on strengthening the capacity of the unit and establishing it as a department in the Ministry of Finance.

Sir, the lack of requisite skills in PPP management also has a detrimental effect on the implementation of the PPP framework. It was underscored by the stakeholders that without such skills, the Government’s negotiating position with potential PPP partners is be weak and, as a result, the country will fail to realise the full benefits of PPPs. The East Park Mall is a typical example of the Government’s weak bargaining position. Your Committee was informed that the project had an initial concession of twenty-five years. However, this has been increased to fifty years, and your Committee is of the view that the extension in the concession period has not been properly justified, which raises concerns of whether the UNZA and the country at large are getting the full benefits of that arrangement.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also observed, with concern, that there was very little interest by the local private sector in PPP projects in the country, partly due to a financial environment characterised by prohibitively high interest rates. The private sector’s motivation is to have a good return on investments. Unfortunately, the high interest rates reduce or eliminate the profit margins that can be realised. The situation is further worsened by the lack of feasibility studies on PPP projects that the private sector can present as bankable documents to solicit funding. In light of this, your Committee strongly urges the Government to come up with policies aimed at helping the local private sector to access finance and encouraging them to participate in PPP projects. The measures to be effected could include tax incentives, joint venture arrangements, equity contributions or Government guarantees.

Sir, the Government should also prioritise the local private sector when awarding PPP contracts that do not require huge capital outlays, such as service or management contracts. In addition, the Government should consider creating co-ordination platforms that will facilitate its interactions with the local private sector for it to understand their capacities and challenges, and enable it to formulate policies that will prioritise the local private sector. During your Committee’s interaction with the stakeholders, both the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) submitted that they had facilities aimed at building capacity in PPPs and offered to help build Zambia’s capacity in that area. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government takes advantage of the opportunities availed by co-operating partners like the  World Bank and AfDB to get technical assistance and build capacity in the area of PPPs in the country.

Mr Speaker, the stakeholders were concerned about the lack of information in the public domain about PPPs in Zambia. They also stated that the country had a number of PPP projects, both successful and failed ones. However, there was no documented information readily available to the public or advocacy on PPPs. Your Committee observed that such information was necessary to provide key lessons to potential private partners and highlight the benefits to the country. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government sets up information centres and web portals to provide information on the performance of PPPs in the country, which should highlight, among other things, the PPP sectoral focus for the Government in the medium to long term, and incentives for private investors.

In conclusion, Sir, I convey the indebtedness and gratitude of the members of your Committee to you for according them the opportunity to serve on this important Committee. I also thank all the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee and contributed to its work. Your Committee’s gratitude also goes to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to it.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mwila Now, Mr Speaker.

Sir, in seconding the Motion, let me thank the mover for the able manner in which he has highlighted the issues that were deliberated upon by your Committee. Allow me to also highlight a few issues not covered in the chairperson’s remarks.

Sir, economic zones the world over have been used to spearhead the implementation of public-private partnerships (PPPs). Zambia has, however, failed to take advantage of its economic zones, especially the Lusaka and Chambishi Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs).

Mr Ngulube: Oh!

Mr Mwila: Considering the potential that economic zones have to attract private investment, your Committee recommends that the Government takes advantage of the economic zones to implement projects under the PPP mode. It is your Committee’s view that PPP projects implemented in economic zones would serve the needs of entities operating in the respective economic zones.

Mr Speaker, the implementation of PPP projects largely depends on capacity of the PPP Unit, contracting authorities and the private sector. From the interactions that your Committee had with various stakeholders, it was observed that despite the country having a PPP framework in place, the institutions mandated to spearhead and manage PPP processes, such as the PPP Unit and contracting authorities, lacked the requisite skills to identify and appraise PPP projects, negotiate contracts, and manage and monitor the implementation of projects. The institutions further lacked the capacity to identify the risks and cost them so that they could be well-structured in PPP contracts.

Sir, your Committee also observed that the Government was not transparent on some of the decisions that affected implementation of PPP projects in the country, and considered that a serious setback in the implementation of the PPP framework. Particularly, the Government had reversed its decisions on some of the PPP projects were already under implementation. Your Committee agrees with observations made by some of the stakeholders that such actions eroded investor confidence in the PPP framework. The stakeholders submitted that showed a lack of policy consistency and commitment on the part of the Government. In addition, the stakeholders perceived that as a political risk, which tended to weaken the Government’s negotiating power, especially in PPP investments. By implication, the perceived political risk would result in a high risk premium on the projects, which would, then, be embedded in the PPP contract as a cost, thereby negating the benefits of PPPs to the nation.

Sir, among the PPP projects that have been cancelled by Government are the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA), which was initially conceptualised as a PPP; the Kasumbalesa One-Stop Border Post, which was cancelled in 2012 and renegotiated in 2015; Mpulungu Harbour Corporation, which was cancelled in 2010; and Zambia Railways. In order to instil confidence in the private sector and cushion the effects of such policy shifts on future PPP projects, your Committee strongly recommends that the Government creates an enabling environment for private sector participation by committing to its policy pronouncements on PPPs. In case of any policy changes, it should be prudent enough to clearly state the reasons for such changes and the implications the changes may have on the stakeholders. That will enable the private sector to make investment decisions in PPP projects from an informed perspective.

Sir, your Committee also observed that the private sector was not represented in the PPP structural framework at Technical Committee level. To leverage the knowledge of the private sector and understand its capacities in undertaking PPP projects, there was a need for private sector representation at that level. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that organisation or associations that represent the private sector must be part of the Technical Committee to encourage private sector participation in the PPP agenda.

Mr Speaker, pension funds the world over have been used by governments to finance viable PPP projects. In the country, we have the example of Levy Park Mall. Therefore, it is your Committee’s view that the Government must use that platform for further co-operation in the implementation of PPP projects. In particular, the Government could use excess funds held by the pension funds to finance some of the PPP projects in the country. However, there was a need for the Government and other stakeholders to ensure that monthly pension contributions are done in order to create the pool of excess funds first. However, your Committee recommends that such investments by pension funds be indemnified by institutions like the commercial banks, which are competent to manage risks, in order to protect the interest of the pensioners.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is dismayed that despite the legal and institutional framework for PPPs being in place since 2009, the country still did not have guidelines, manuals and standards to guide the PPP process. As a matter of urgency, it recommends that the Government puts in place sector-specific guidelines, procedures and standards, including manuals, to move forward the implementation of the PPP framework. Such guidelines need to be continuously updated and made public.

Sir, your Committee also noted that there was a need for the Government to simplify the procurement procedures and build the capacity of contracting authorities in tender procedures to make the procurement process for PPPs efficient. Further, the procurement process must be streamlined by project type and by sector in order to guide the private sector, enhance transparency and provide for the lead time of procuring such projects.

Mr Speaker, PPP projects are complex in nature. Therefore, they require the expertise of transactional advisers. In that regard, the stakeholders who appeared before you Committee bemoaned the lack of sufficient experienced local transactional advisors, which left contracting authorities with no option, but to depend on foreign ones. That, in turn, tended to inflate the cost of PPP projects, thus resulting in unusually long concession periods and erosion of the benefits of PPPs to the Government and the public. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government embarks on the building of the capacity of local transactional advisors and ensuring that they participate in PPPs for them to gain experience in the execution of such projects.

Sir, I want to underscore, on behalf of your Committee, the fact that the energy sector, particularly, the electricity sub-sector, had potential for PPP projects which, if exploited, could relieve the pressure of borrowing by the Government to finance projects in the sector. However, the sector was beset by a number of challenges and had failed to attract meaningful PPP investment, which is quite saddening. From the interactions that your Committee had with various stakeholders, it was observed that the lack of efficiency the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) Limited operations was negatively affecting the prospects of the institution in attracting more PPP investment. As a result, the company had been unable to curb power deficits. Even when the country received a number of interested private investors in solar power generation, it was submitted by the stakeholders that ZESCO did not have the capacity for uptake of solar power. The lower tariffs in the power sector had also continued to be at the centre of discussion and potential investors who expressed interest in participating in power generation projects were willing to do so on the condition that the Government undertook to a commitment to avert the risk. Your Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Government to speed up the migration to cost-reflective tariffs in the electricity sub-sector, as doing so will not only reduce power outages, but also bring more revenue to the Treasury through export earnings in the event of excess power generation. Your Committee further recommends that the Government finalises the Cost of Service Study so that the applicable parameters in the movement to cost-reflective tariffs are known by the public. Also identified was a need to build ZESCO’s capacity to enable it to take up solar power from potential PPP investors onto the main grid.

Sir, in conclusion, I thank the members of the Committee for affording me the opportunity to second the Motion.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me and the people of Lupososhi Constituency the opportunity to support the Motion on the Floor. In doing so, I wish to raise some issues on the report’s recommendations.

Sir, on page 11, the report depicts a technical committee that, in my opinion, causes quite a lot of challenges in the implementation of the public-private partnership (PPP). I say this because there is no private face on the committee and most of its members are basically Government officers, yet the name of this mode of financing implies the incorporation of the private sector so that they can create confidence in the technical committee. It was also observed that the people who sit on the technical committee also sit on many other committees and that the implementation of the PPPs would be impaired as a result because of their having so many commitments and responsibilities that they will not be able to attend all meetings. My suggestion is that we restructure the committee. If it is, indeed, enshrined in the Act, then, we need to look at the Act and make changes to it that will incorporate members of the private sector so that they can not only bring experience from the private sector, but also create confidence among private investors to pump money into PPPs.

Sir, I also note that some technical issues can easily be handled by some of our technical institutions, such as the Zambia Institute of Certified Accountants (ZICA) which, unfortunately, is missing from the technical committee. According to the Accountants Act of 2008, one of the functions of ZICA is to advise the Government on matters relating to the economic development of Zambia. So, the institution should be consulted in negotiations and costing of PPP contracts. If possible, there should be representation from ZICA on the technical committee so that it can add value to this agenda.

Mr Speaker, on page 19 of your report, there is reference to politics and personal gain interfering with the project selection process. Again, this can easily be done away with if the technical committee is well-balanced because PPPs work well with better business processes re-engineering, which is a fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes in order to get value for money. We need to do a lot of thinking and redesign the technical committee so that it can be effective in the implementation of various projects.

Sir, on page 20, your Committee addresses the lack of information on PPPs in the public domain. True to the Committee’s findings, very few Zambians know about the existence of the unit and the information on PPPs. In fact, very few people know that they can partner with the Government and public institutions to invest in public ventures and earn a profit. It is important, therefore, that we undertake more sensitisation on the existence of this framework and the need for the public sector to pump money into the development of the country. There are quite a number of avenues we can use as to sensitise Zambians, one of which is to teach PPPs from primary education level so that Zambians grow up knowing that it is not only the Government that is mandated to provide goods and services; that goods and services can be provided using private capital. The other avenue is to use traditional ceremonies, of which there are many held in the Zambia and many corporate entities that attend them. Those are very good platforms for the unit to sell its products, as a number of private entities will be able get information and look at how best they can invest in PPPs.

Mr Speaker, the creation of jobs using PPPs, as depicted on page 25 of your report, is possible, as it is happening in some areas. However, its benefits will only be seen if there is an effective and robust monitoring mechanism to ensure that the much-talked-about jobs are actually being created through the PPP avenue. Then, Zambians will appreciate more and the Government will not be seen as the only avenue for job creation. The Government’s job should be to create an enabling environment for our people by putting in place a very legal framework that will not only support the creation of jobs, but also create confidence in the investing world. The Government should be able to encourage those who have the money to put it into our economy.

Mr Speaker, page 36 of your report states:

“Your Committee observes that there is very little interest by the local private sector in the implementation of PPPs in the country.”

Mr Speaker, it is not advisable to only use the technical committee to generate that interest. Instead, the relevant ministries should also take it upon themselves to sell this beautiful product to Zambians. There is also a need for the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to facilitate the development of the capital market so that citizens can readily access cheaper financing to invest in our economy.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the Report of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour, which is on public-private partnerships (PPPs).

Sir, it is of great concern that most of the PPP projects we have seen in Zambia do not seem to favour either the Government or the majority of Zambians. I have in mind the examples of Luburma Market PPP, which we are told has sixty-year duration. If I am not mistaken, all of us here will not be there when the sixty years elapse. We have also heard that East Park Mall PPP has a fifty-year life span. What is the rationale for giving long leases, especially when there are no tangible benefits seen to accrue to Zambians or the Government? The concept of PPP is a very good one and I think that, if properly implemented, it can assist the Government to deliver development in areas shunned by most investors because of many factors.

Mr Speaker, I am also aware that most local authorities have also fallen into the trap of giving leases as long as thirty to sixty years. I wonder, who will be there to monitor the projects? Further, for how long will Zambians actually benefits? The Coronation Park in Kabwe Central Constituency was built under a PPP and the so-called investor was given a twenty-six-year lease for an investment of K24,000, which included lease charges, scrutiny fees and everything else that was payable. If you break the figure down by twenty-six years, you will find that the investor paid less than K1,000 per year to the council. So, I think there is a need for the Government to quickly start monitoring the way the PPP projects are administered.

Mr Speaker, it is also important that we begin to see tangible benefits of PPPs. We are aware that several income-generating projects, such as roads and bridges, and others in other sectors, that appear to attract many investors. However, we must prioritise sectors like health, job creation and mining, especially where our small-scale miners can be empowered if the Government imposed restrictions. If the Government supported our small-scale miners and foreign investors who actually bring in money and machinery, we would actually generate tax revenues while our local people would be empowered through jobs and other income-generating activities.

Mr Speaker, the creation of jobs using PPPs appears on page 25 of your report. We have not seen any monitoring institution that has taken up the challenge of putting in place mechanisms for checking whether jobs have been created or not. Most investors say they will create 2,000 jobs but, the moment they are given the project, nothing happens. For example, if an investor is given the Kamwala Market project, the next thing that will happen is the chasing away of all the local traders from that area and exorbitant rentals introduced. In the end, the market will be taken over by foreigners. If we get into in a PPP project where there is no monitoring of the job creation aspect, we will see frustrations and people will start fighting. It is, therefore, important that we start imposing restrictions on how PPP projects implemented and administered.

With those few words, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. M. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the report on the Floor.

Sir, from the outset, let me commend the mover and the seconder of the Motion.

Sir, this country is very rich in natural resources, but I will stick to the matter that is very close to my heart, namely energy.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr C. M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that Zambia is endowed with many natural resources.

Mr Chisopa: Ema Coat of Arms, aya!

Laughter

Hon. Member: Ati “Coat of Arms”.  Kuba dull, uku ayi?

Mr C. M. Zulu: We have more than forty springs and many waterfalls, and enjoy six to eight hours of sunshine.

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr C. M. Zulu: We also have a lot of refuse.

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Order!

 Let us have some order at the back.

Continue, hon. Member.

Mr C. M. Zulu: I thank you, Sir.

Sir, the question is: Why are we still lagging behind in the energy sector? I remember attending a Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) conference in Uganda at which the President of the country, Mr Yoweri Museveni, asked the ministers responsible for energy why the fourteen countries represented there could not generate more than 58,000 MW of electricity when one country in South America, Argentina, did that. He asked them what was wrong with them?

Mr Speaker, the problem we have in this country is our attitude. Recently, the Ministry of Energy said it would increase tariffs because low tariff rates had held off investment in the sector, as did a lack of Government guarantees. I know that the hon. Minister has spoken about that over and over, and it is good that he has made that decision. It takes a leader to make such a decision because it has the potential to make him unpopular. However, I urge him to soldier on because the important thing is not his popularity, but the right thing for the country.

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Mr C. M. Zulu: Of course, some quarters of our society have complained that most of our people will suffer because they will not manage to pay for electricity. However, suffering and progress or success go together. If you are successful without having suffered, just know that someone else suffered in your place. Conversely, if you suffer without being successful, someone else will be successful because of your suffering. The two are inseparable.

Hon. Member: Chamano, ichi?

Mr C. M. Zulu: Sir, increasing tariffs is the way to go and we should not hear that he has reversed the increase in after two or three months. The increase in tariffs is the way to go. He should not worry about the other people who have a negative attitude.

Mr Speaker, there is very little difference in us human beings …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Luangeni!

Let me just guide you. I know you have indicated that you have a passion for the energy sector. However, as you debate, bear in mind the subject under discussion. As you can see if you go to the report on page 2, paragraph 3.3, the subject is specified. However, I can see the risk of your shifting away from the main subject.

Mr C. M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, if our country electrifies the rural areas through the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), it will attract investment and, in turn, create jobs in those areas. Wherever we have electrified a rural area, we have seen developmental activities, such as hair salons and hammer mills. Further, when rural areas are electrified, the Government will be able to collect taxes from investments and, in the process, increase teacher’s salaries. So, we have to build the energy sector.

Sir, when we were in power and the country was experiencing load-shedding, some people said that it was because we had bought wrong turbines from China. Now that there is no more load-shedding, they have gone quiet. It is such people who are now against the increase in tariffs, which can help build the energy sector. We will only build our country if we do not fear making decisions like this one.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: Is it a command, ayi?

Mr C. M. Zulu: Yes, it is a command.

Laughter

Mr C. M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, I remember, a long time ago, people did not want to change the way of doing things and stuck to the idea that the world was flat. A Spanish Princess, Isabella, asked Christopher Columbus to help find a shorter route to the West Indies. The King of Spain then, in 1890, was Ferdinand.

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! Ema historians, aba!

Laughter

Mr C. M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, the Princess and the King asked experts to …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Mr C. M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, let me finish …

Mr Speaker: Order!

I am still speaking. I will you the Floor back.

I know you want to give a lecture in history.

Laughter

Mr Speaker: Unfortunately, one of our rules of debate is relevancy.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: So, can you go to page 2 of the report. Do you have the Committee’s report?

Mr C. M. Zulu: Yes, Sir, I have it.

Mr Speaker: I want you to get to page 2.

Mr C. M. Zulu: I am on page 2, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Have you seen bullet number 3.3?

Mr C. M. Zulu: Yes, Sir.

Mr Speaker: have you seen the title of the topic under discussion?

Mr C. M. Zulu: Yes, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Please, hon. Member, locate your debate there.

Mr C. M. Zulu: That is where I am heading to, Sir.

Laughter

Mr Speaker: You seem not to have realised that you have only twelve minutes remaining.

Laughter

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: You may continue your debate.

Mr C. M. Zulu: Sir, we were in office, for two or three years, many companies came to us and told us of their willingness to invest in the energy sector. Unfortunately, the Government could not give guarantees and the tariff was very low. So, the move by the ministry to increase the tariff is very good, and I hope that the Government will also start giving guarantees so that we encourage public-private partnerships (PPPs), which cannot work without a good tariff in place. No one will be ready to invest in a sector with a low tariff.

Sir, I was about to give an example of a time people had to learn to new things. We should not be afraid of change. If we think that what we did yesterday is still big today, then we have done nothing today. So, we must be ready to start new projects so that our people can get the required jobs.

Mr Speaker, there is no way a country can move forward without developing the energy sector, which is the backbone of any economy. People in some countries now produce electricity in their houses and sell the excess to the government.

Mr E Musonda: Where?

Mr C. M. Zulu: Germany and many other countries. I have been to more than thirty countries.

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

Mr C. M. Zulu: Sir, the way forward is for the Ministry of Finance to fund our energy sector, especially REA, well so that we can achieve 51 per cent connectivity in the rural areas.

Hon. Members: Yes!

Mr C. M. Zulu: I know that most of the projects that should have been implemented three or four years ago have not yet started. If need be, let us get money from other ministries and pump it into the energy sector …

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Mr C. M. Zulu: … so that we can create the jobs about which we have been talking.

Mr Speaker, as you are aware, I am a man of very few words.

Laughter

Mr C. M. Zulu: I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Let me provide guidance to those who will debate next. Please, let us focus on the topic, which is the implementation of the public-private partnership framework in Zambia. That is what this report is all about, and the report is very rich in content. We should read these reports before we come to the House, especially before we volunteer to debate. A lot of time, effort and resources are invested in the preparation of these reports before they are debated in this House. So, when we deviate completely from them in, we do an injustice to what has been invested in them.

Hon. Members, this is a very specialised and unique subject. For example, somebody has argued rightly that the Act was passed in 2009, but not much has been done to date. That is the kind of debate expected on this report.

Mr A. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I thank the Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour for presenting this good report.

Mr Speaker, I must confess that I was one of the people who organised the first conference on public-private partnerships (PPPs) when I was Trade Secretary in London, in 2009. So, it really pains me to see that very little progress has been made because we had projected that 1 per cent of our gross domestic product (GDP) would come from PPP projects in no time. The idea was to try as much as possible to keep the Government from spending as much money on projects as it had done previously. Rather, we were to bring in private sector capital while the Government spent its money on core aspects our economy, such as health and agriculture.

Mr Speaker, the report states that only five PPP projects have been successfully implemented in the last seven years and bemoans the frequent realignment of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Unit. In fact, in 2009, when I and experts from United Kingdom (UK) Trade Desk, who were pioneering the concept in the Lord Mayor’s Office, organised the first conference on PPPs, the unit was under the Ministry of Finance. I am surprised to learn that it is now under State House.

Mr Speaker, one of the core challenges that I think have hampered the country’s implement of PPP projects is that most of them are green field projects. There have not been any feasibility studies on them. Even under Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), none of the energy and other projects that are marketed to the private sector have related feasibility studies, yet the only motivation of the private sector is to gain a return on investments. It has no time losses. So, most of projects have been very difficult to sell because we do not invest in feasibility studies. In fact, that is why we have seen most of the implemented under contract finance, which puts the Government in debt, a thing from which we are trying to run away. So, I think that it is important that the Government reviews the implementation of the PPP framework, and it is not too late.

Mr Speaker, the report raised a very important point on the lack of local participation in PPPs. The Government is supposed to see us as potential investors. That is why it aside money in Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) to encourage the local private sector to come on board. Without the involvement of us, Zambians, we will continue to have projects like East Park Mall or Levy Park malls where no single Zambian has a shop, yet Levy Park Mall was built using pensioners’ money, the money deducted from people monthly salaries. Yes, jobs have been created both from the time that the mall was under construction and for those who work in the shops there today, but a local person cannot own a shop there. Where is our place in all this? At what point will we turn the policies that we keep writing on year in and year out, travelling all over the country to Livingstone and other places, into an answer to the basic question …

Mr Jamba: Hear, hear!

Mr A. Mumba: … of how we, Zambians, will get involved in the real part of our economy.

Mr Speaker, the roads projects about which we are talking, such as the dual carriage in which the Government now wants to invest, were proposed for implementation through PPPs. The money that the Government will invest in those projects could have gone to other sectors that we are trying to grow, such as agriculture, or to the provision of the best health services so that we do not send so many people abroad for health services. We could also invest in tourism. So, we have to have a total overhaul of our knowledge and the way we will implement the PPP framework.

Mr Speaker, the report also reveals that the pension funds sit on a lot of money. Fortunately or unfortunately, that is our money and there is no reason we should not be able to access it. Getting back to the contract finance to which I referred, a small road project costs, maybe, US$10 million, yet we are told that the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) has US$50 million for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). What is so difficult for a Zambian to access the US$10 million, construct a road and be paid by the Government after five years or whatsoever period? Why are all the projects in the hands of foreign companies?

Sir, some of us who privileged to sit on boards and attend meetings should review our equation, which seems not to favour Zambians. We know that we are part of the global village and we need to co-exist with other economies, but at the rate we are going, I am concerned that our children will not have anything to point at that our forefathers struggled for. So, I think that it is important that as this report is being considered and taken further on for serious decision-making, we look at what Zambian are getting out of their economy. As things stand, when the hon. Minister of Finance asks Zambians to pay taxes, I wonder where he expects them to get the money from when they are not involved in most of the projects. An investment conference on energy was held, but I do not think there was any ordinary Zambian who attended it because we do not have any incentives for Zambian to get involved in our economy. I will be happy to see a Zambian own one of the shopping malls in this country, which are all owned by foreigners. All we can talk about are the houses and flats that we build, and that is a telling situation on the economy. It only supports foreigners.

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I beg to support the report and hope that the implementers will seriously look at the lack of participation by Zambians.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, I thank the Chairperson of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour for presenting this detailed report, which brought out the challenges surrounding public-private partnerships (PPPs). The report is also substantially unbiased and on target on the issues that the Government must confront.

Sir, it is clear that the performance of PPPs in Zambia since the enactment of the Public-Private Partnership Act has not been inspiring. The primary objective was clearly understood, and it was that we needed to engage private sector resources to complement those of the Government in order to move forward the development agenda. We also need to have shared benefits between the private and public sectors, given our limited resources. Since the implementation of the PPP framework has not been very effective, we now need to get our act in order. Without responding to specific issues, allow me to just outline the actions that we are taking in order to address the challenges that have been highlighted, which are as follows:

  1. we are drafting the necessary amendments to the Public-Private Partnership Act to strength it as a platform on which we can anchor the regulations and guidelines, including those on the participation of Zambians;

  1. we are already training thirty-five Zambians at a technical level so that they understand the issues around PPP. We will include a few from the private sector;

  1. with the support of the British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), we are establishing a local office of experts who know best practices to support the PPP Unit;

  1. the African Development Bank (AfDB) will support us by seconding an expert permanently to the PPP Unit to work with our people. We cannot blame our people because they have a low level of exposure and understanding, and need to co-ordinate with experts so that they can learn from the mistakes of other people;

  1. we are creating a fund that will be supported by our co-operating partners purely for funding feasibility studies for projects in advance for the purpose of engagement with the private sector so that they can know what is to be done. As has been stressed already, one of the limitations we have had is that we do not conduct feasibility studies. The projects have been vendor-driven. The vender just comes with a proposal for us to accept. So, even in our engagement of the parameters, we tend not to be as objective as we must be; and

  1. awareness creation. As we all know, when people do not know, transparency and accountability are compromised. So, we want to clean house first, then, we educate people on how they can participate in PPPs, the whole procurement process, competitiveness, projects in the pipeline and the funding structures. All that information needs to be clear.

Sir, those are the issues we are seized with and we hope we will be able to cure some of the diseases from which we have suffered in the past and correct the mistakes that were made so that the PPP framework becomes a major contributor to the development of this country, particularly in the energy and in the development of infrastructure, such as roads, hospitals and markets. For its part, the Government should deploy resources in the social sector while the private sector should assist it in the economic sector.

Mr Speaker, again, I thank the Committee for an inspiring report, which will now serve as part of the terms of reference as we start resolving the problems in the PPP framework.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chali: Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister of Finance for the six points he has made in response to the debate on this Motion. I agree with the first point on the need to amend the Act. I also agree that the training of thirty-five Zambians at a technical level will also assist in the issue of bringing in transactional advisors from abroad. Further, the establishment of a local office with foreign experts to assist the local ones at the PPP Unit will go a long way in enhancing the implementation of the PPP framework. We should also ensure that we get maximum benefits from the support from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The feasibility studies Mr Speaker …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

I have been very reluctant to step in, but now I am compelled.

I know that it is very exciting to have such a response and you want to engage the hon. Minister. However, your task is to wind up debate, and the practice is settled.

Continue.

Mr Chali: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Sir, I thank all the hon. Members who supported the Motion and the hon. Minister for his response.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH AND SPORT

(Debate resumed)

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, when business was suspended Friday, 16th June, 2017, I had just concluded appreciating the Patriotic Front (PF) and its leadership for their affirmative action towards the appreciation of youths as stakeholders in political affairs. That was in reaction to the issues that had been raised by your Committee on page 9 of its report. I also emphasised the need for youths to ensure that when they are given opportunities, they utilise them as expected. I also stated that nothing drops like manna from heaven. They need to participate because they cannot exist in a vacuum. They have to co-exist and fight for what they want in life.

Mr Speaker, I am not trying to bring the Chair into my debate, but I want give an example of one person whose success has been a source of inspiration to us, the youths, in the political arena. When the Second Deputy Speaker first contested the Mfuwe Seat in 2006, he was quite young. By International Parliamentary Union (IPU) and National Assembly of Zambia age standards, a youth is someone who is forty-five years and younger. He contested that very difficult constituency when the then President challenged young people to prove themselves. Most of us here represent rural constituencies. However, Mfuwe is one of the most difficult constituencies. May it be placed on record that the Second Deputy Speaker is the first Member of Parliament to retain the Mfuwe Constituency Seat three times while most people who have held the seat post-Independence only managed a term. All the youths must, therefore, look forward to this type of leadership because he is where he is today because he worked hard. Therefore, to those who have joined us, prove yourselves. Do not throw away the ladder given to you by the party leadership.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, our youths need to change their mindset. I always get discouraged when I visit social media platforms because I see intelligent youths full of potential spend so much time on worthless things that cannot build their lives. Most of the arguments on social media platforms are about who can insult more than the other or who can use the most disparaging language. If all that wasted energy and intellect was expended prudently, we would have youths innovating and finding solutions to the challenges that we currently face.

Mr Speaker, your Committee’s report also raised the issue of business opportunities. Unfortunately, most youths who have had the opportunity to access Government empowerment funds have performed below par. That money is supposed to be a revolving fund so that more people can benefit from it. It is not a gift. There is, therefore, a need for our youths to change their mindset in order to be prudent. Otherwise, most of them will continue to be armchair critics of themselves.

Sir, the Government appreciates the interventions that being put in place for our youths. However, it is very important that we begin with mentorship, and I know that the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport is very committed to that. At this juncture, I am reminded of the spirit that we saw in our Under-20 National Football Team, which showed commitment and dedication when we hosted the Confederation of African Football Under-20 Tournament. The team’s determination to succeed was there for everyone to see and, consequently, it competed in the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) Under-20 World Cup Tournament, thereby putting this country on the map. In that tournament, our boys beat teams that everyone thought were football power houses. That is the spirit that we want our youths to emulate because such success does not come from without. Those boys are heroes today, and we do not want that dedication to end with that team. There are many areas in which our youths can apply themselves in a manner similar to that employed by the Under-20 lads.

Mr Speaker, as PF National Youth Chairperson and graduating youth, I have always felt encouraged to see youths go into innovation. All we need to do is encourage them. My mother, Her Honour the Vice-President, has been looking at how we can remove our children from the streets and make them productive. Needless to say, greed is the number one enemy of the youths. The hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development has had to deal with illegal mining on the Copperbelt and I was in the province recently to see what was obtaining there. When designing programmes, it is easier to find solutions when we co-operate. Unfortunately, some youths go into abandoned mines and when you see them, they are a sorry sight. What is worrying is that a few older people who take advantage of the children are the ones who benefit and are even driving fancy cars bought from the sweat of the children.

Sir, I want to place on record my appeal to the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to not pay a blind eye to that and I commit myself to being with him all the way in ensuring that the youths are properly guided and managed. We want them to engage in more meaningfully structured and formalised activities. We will not tolerate the greedy chaps. Therefore, this must a warning to them.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

 The word ‘chaps’ is unparliamentary.

Laughter

Mr Kampyongo: I am sorry, Mr Speaker.

Laughter

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, I replace it with unscrupulous’ characters who want to turn into monsters that will continue reaping from the efforts of the young lads.   We will put that anarchy to an end and ensure that our youths are properly empowered in a structured manner.

Mr Speaker, as National Youth Chairperson, I thought I could place these few comments on record. I am proud to be the only youth who returned to this House. There were three youth chairpersons in this House, and one comrade who used to sit at the far end …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

The word ‘comrade’ is unparliamentary. Please, withdraw it.

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, there was one colleague, who has only known …

Interruptions

Mr Kampyongo: Oh, Sir, the other one is …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

You are now debating your colleagues.

Laughter

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, the other one is here, but he has graduated to another portfolio. There was one whose example should teach us that sarcasm does not pay. He was popularly known for his disrespect to Presidents, especially the late President. We remember his …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

You know that we do not debate ourselves.

Laughter

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, we need to teach our young leaders to be respectful to elders for them to succeed. This comrade was always saying, ‘Chabwino ayende’, which means …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Again, the word ‘comrade’ is unparliamentary.

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, the gentleman was known for saying, “Chabwino ayende” when the President was sick. We told him not to play with elders.

 Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

 What does ‘chabwino ayende’ mean?

Laughter

Mr Kampyongo:  Sir, it means, “It is better for him or her to die”. That is what the former hon. Member used say about our late President and we used to tell him that those words would haunt him. For sure, today, he is no longer here. So, chabwino anayenda.

Laughter

Mr Kampyongo: It is better that he has gone, and he should not return.

Mr Speaker, with those few comments, I support the Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Laughter

The Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development (Mr Mawere): Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the Chairperson of the Committee on Youth and Sport for a well-thought report, and for the observations and recommendations brought out in this document.

Sir, kindly allow me to give the position of Government on some of the observations and recommendations of your Committee.

Mr Speaker, my ministry introduced some Bills in this House that were enacted into laws create the platform on which our youths could participate in the decision-making processes of this country. The two laws to which I am referring to are the National Youth Development Council Act and the National Sport Council Act. The acts gave the ministry the mandate to come up with other mechanisms through which youths can engage the Government and other stakeholders. For instance, under the youth council, the Act enabled many youth organisations to be registered and gave them legitimacy to bring youths’ concerns and diverse interests to the attention of the relevant authorities. Further, through the Acts, many sports associations and sports disciplines are being registered, which has also given our youths the platform on which to participate in decision-making and wealth creation, for themselves as well as for the nation.

Mr Speaker, my colleague, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, referred to the very good performance of our Under-20 National Football Team in all the competitions in which it participated. I want to add that the players were able to do that because of the platforms with which they were provided to discover themselves. Today, they have become millionaires.

Sir, the ministry has created many platforms for youths to be able to interact with this Government. For instance, every year, we have a dedicated day called Youth Day for our youths. To that effect, the Government has adjusted its programmes to incorporate more activities that are meaningful to our youths.

Mr Speaker, this year, the Government introduced the Youth Forum, through which youths from all parts of the country were able to meet and deliberate on matters that concern their interests, and communicate with the ministry and the Government at large. We have also invited various stakeholders and youth organisations to interact with the ministry and, through those interactions, inform us on some of the salient issues on which empowerment and mentorship programmes can be developed for the youths. For example, through our interaction with our youths, we have developed the National Youth Policy, the action plan and the sports policy, under which various empowerment projects and programmes have been developed and a lot of empowerment has been facilitated through the initiative. Youths are also able to propose and develop programmes with us that are tailored towards the development of their wellbeing.

Mr Speaker, the Government appreciates the salient issues that have been raised in this House. I will quickly go through them so that the public and the House can appreciate what we are doing.

Firstly, Sir, there was concern over the non-existence of not development co-ordinating committees. To some extent, the Government is already doing something about that because there already are the National Development Co-ordinating Committees (NCC), Provincial Development Co-ordinating Committees (PDCC) and District Development Co-ordinating Committees (DDCC), which are advisory bodies to our ministries and youths are able to advise this Government through them.

Mr Speaker, one hon. Member raised the issue of the board, and I want to say that we are in the process of constituting it. I am sure, in no time, we should be able to announce new board Members for both the National Sports Council and the National Youth Council.

Mr Speaker, I appreciate the observation by your Committee that this ministry is very important because it caters to more than 80 per cent of this country’s population. We, therefore, definitely need to run many programmes, interventions and interactions with our youths for us to engage them more. In this regard, your Committee has raised a very important issue to which I want to respond. Your Committee has stated that the ministry has a weak structure because it only goes up to provincial level. I agree with this observation. For sure, we need to have a presence down to the grassroots where the youths are. Therefore, the ministry has already started the process of expanding to the grassroots. We are just waiting for Treasury authority to employ officers who will interact with and provide services to our youths at district level. Since the hon. Minister of Finance is here and has heard this report, I hope that our request will be given the consideration it deserves. For sure, if we will not provide more interventions at the level where the youths are, it will be very difficult for us to give them the platforms they need.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to thank everyone who has debated this very important Motion. I believe mine is a living ministry because it deals with living subjects, the youths, who are alive and full of energy. If the energy of these very important people can be directed into positive engagements, a lot of wealth and development can be realised.

With those remarks, I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalobo (Wusakile): Mr Speaker, on behalf of your Committee, I thank the hon. Minister for the response and all the hon. Members of this august House who have supported the Motion.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Question put and agreed to.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AFFAIRS, GOVERNANCE, HUMAN RIGHTS, GENDER MATTERS AND CHILD AFFAIRS ON THE ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF Zambia, ON THE PROGRESS MADE IN THE APPLICATION OF NATIONAL VALUES AND PRINCIPLES

(Debate resumed)

Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you and the people of Lubansenshi for giving me the opportunity to debate the address by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

Sir, when His Excellency the President addressed the nation through this House, he had one thing in mind, and that was for us to understand how we can apply national values and principles in promoting unity, patriotism, democracy and constitutionalism, human dignity, equity, equality, social justice and non-discrimination, governance and sustainable development. The President spoke to provoke us to see if we have been living with and promoting these values. For me to go further …

Mr Mwamba read from a document.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

You do not have the liberty to do what you are doing. You can have an aide memoire at best, but not to read from a script even if it is handwritten.

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, sorry. I am not reading.

Mr Mwewa: You are reading, ba mudalanatumimona.

Mr Mwamba: I am just glancing at my notes.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, when glance at a script and follow what you see there, I presume that you are reading.

Laughter

Mr Speaker: If you do not glance constantly, on the other hand, you assure me that you are not reading. Better still, if you put the script away, then, we know that you are definitely not reading.

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, thank you for the counsel.

Sir, when His Excellency the President addressed the nation though this House, he wanted to check whether we, the citizens, have been able to apply national values to promote national development.

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Order, in the Back Bench!

You are disturbing the proceedings.

Mr Mwamba: Sir, we have to apply national values to unite this country and transfer good morals to our children so that we build our nation on people who will appreciate the morals and apply them in different fields in life.

Mr Speaker, in terms of unity, for example, we have to look at how our forefathers, the freedom fighters, used it to come together and fight colonialism. That is when we can see that there is strength in unity. Unfortunately, currently, we are not united because most of us are selfish and think we can achieve things by ourselves.

Sir, we need to come together, as a nation, and there are certain things we can do to achieve unity. I have seen that because of a lack of unity, our actions and words are not in harmony. Obviously, we are not using the values about which His Excellency the President spoke to unite the nation. I have an example to give. One person can occupy different positions in life, but remain the same person. When I sit here, I have a title. If I went to sit on the other side, I would have a different one. So, if we cannot unite, we will not do anything progressive. We are one people with different ethnic backgrounds. One ethnic group is in the northern part of the country and calls itself Bembas, others are in the eastern, southern and western parts of Zambia and call themselves by different names. However, we are one people. The different names we use are simply for identification. We need to come together so that we can achieve more as one Zambia. We are one group of people, a muntu.

Mr Mwewa: Lubansenshi philosophy.

Laughter

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, coming to morality, we have slipped into selfishness and will not achieve anything while we are like that. We will only achieve what we want when we start respecting national moral standards. The word ‘moral’ simply means “agreeing and working together.” Morality is, therefore, the degree to which something is right or wrong.

Sir, the promotion of good morals should begin when people are still young. In the past, we used to teach our children morals. Now, I have seen that parents are trying to run away from the responsibility of bringing up their young ones in a way that will make them succeed. Today, when parents see someone else’s child do something wrong or misleading to others, they are afraid to show it the right way to behave because that is someone else’s child. However, when I was growing up, children obeyed all elderly people. Any elderly woman was treated as every child’s mother and any elderly man was treated as a father. As a result, children grew up with morals because they were able to learn from elderly individuals and had regard for them. This time, we do not care for all the young ones in society. Instead, we only care for the children in our own homes; our own offspring. We can instil morals and the right principles in children by correcting them when they are wrong. When you see any child doing a wrong thing, please, correct them and instil a sense of responsibility in them so that when they grow up, they will be able to care for their friends.

Mr Speaker, I have seen that there is a spirit of “I do not care” and negligence in the way we execute public works, and that has taken us back. We cannot develop if we cannot commit ourselves to our work. For example, some civil servants report late for work and leave early without realising that they are stealing Government time. That shows our lack of commitment to developing our economy. So, we need to show commitment in what we do. When we start something, we should finish it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, because of the time factor, I will not go further.

Laughter

Mr Mwamba: Let me end here.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I do not know what you mean by “time factor,” because you still had seven minutes. Maybe, you just wanted to yield the Floor to your colleague.

Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this rare opportunity to make some few remarks on the President’s Speech to this House.

Mr Speaker, the President spoke on many things, but I will focus on morality and ethics. I realise that this is a highly technical subject. However, I believe that the President’s Speech was basically on the concept of peace and conflict resolution in our country, which is very important. Today, Africa it is beset with conflicts. It is estimated that between1990 and 2000, there were over thirty conflicts in Africa resulting from various causes, such as tribalism, poor governance, poverty and religion. For instance, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda have lost about 4 million and 1 million people, respectively, through conflicts. That we must avoid.

Sir, the President has taken the first step to promote peace and growth in Zambia. As I have said, there are conflicts in nearly all the countries of Africa. Therefore, the President’s initiative is good. Further, his address was in respect of Article 9(2) of the Constitution, which clearly states as follows:

“The President shall, once in every year, report to the National Assembly the progress made in the application of the values and principles specified under this Part.”

Sir, the provision above assures us that the President will be coming to this House to brief us on what has been done. This is the second step we have taken. The first was the declaration of this country as a Christian Nation. Although some people may say we are not living up to that declaration, I think the important thing was that we set ourselves a goal endeavour to attain it. It is a roadmap. So, morality, ethics, patriotism and national unity must be embraced by every person because it is not for one political party, person or group of people; it is a non-partisan programme in which everybody must participate. However, there are some building blocks for attaining this important goal on which we have to report every year.

Mr Speaker, firstly, I agree with some of my colleagues who spoke earlier that we have to introduce religious programmes in schools. Despite religion being controversial and every citizen deserving the space to practise religion as he or she sees it fit, I think that teaching religion in schools is important because it brings the children in a proper way.

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Order!

Let us listen to the debate.

Mr Mbulakulima: Secondly, Mr Speaker, at work places, integrity committees should be established. The professional code of conduct and the Zambia Institute of Human Resource Management (ZIHRM) must also play important roles. Today, one of the stumbling blocks to effective human resource management is that it takes too long to discipline a civil servant, and that has contributed to the breakdown in our work ethics. So, we must work on that.

Mr Speaker, thirdly, if we teach children at an early stage through schools, and at work places, morality and ethics will be entrenched in them. However, there are those who are in the informal sector, those who do not work and the elderly. With them, we need our traditional leaders to come in and play a critical role. I believe that they should be knowledgeable and move away from their traditional approaches. Instead, they must fight early marriages, defilement and political violence in their chiefdoms.

Sir, fourthly, I believe that an impartial and efficient Judiciary is among the building blocks of a country in which values and ethical principles are upheld.

Sir, I also agree with the hon. Member for Bwana Mkubwa that we must promote the African philosophy of ubuntu. Sometime back, in Africa, there were no street kids because we lived as one people and a child did not belong to one family, but to the whole village. Unfortunately, we have lost that idea, and it must be re-inculcated in the current generation.

Mr Speaker, we must also accept that society is full of diverse people. Some pioneering ethical philosophers like Aristotle and St Thomas Aquinas promulgated the theories of deontological and teleological ethics. Teleological ethics are based on the belief that the end always justifies the means. In this regard, not concern is shown for the processes or actions.  One can lie as long as one gets the desired result. The deontological theorists, on the other hand, believed that the end should be attained by just or pure means. In short, the means justified the end. So, we must reorient our society and awaken an appreciation of morality in our people.

Sir, in addition to what was presented, I am glad that Hon. Wanchinga, the Minister of General Education, is here and will agree with me that following the end of the First World War (WWI) in 1919, the League of Nations, today’s United Nations (UN), introduced peace education in schools so that the children could grow up orientated towards an appreciation of peace. The children were taught to avoid conflict and maintain peace. That programme has been well implemented by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) that peace education is doing very well. So, in order to uphold morality, ethics and peace in Zambia, we need to introduce peace education in schools, which was so common between 1919 and 1921 that it was almost compulsory in all countries of the world.

Further, Mr Speaker, we also need to focus on the role of the media if we are to succeed in this matter. The traditional role of the media of informing and entertaining must also be expanded. In the recent past, the UN has come to the realisation that the media must play a key role in the promotion of democracy and development. It is through the media that we have achieved some goals. That is why, today, we should redefine the role of the media in our society. At the world level, with conflicts everywhere, the media is now being called upon to make a paradigm shift because it has been realised that it has caused some of the conflicts that we experienced. Therefore, there is an emphasis on a media that is more sympathetic to the promotion of peace. So, as we embark on this programme in this country, I believe that we should reorient the media to focus on the importance of our values and principles.

Mr Speaker, I listened to the radio around the time the President was coming to address this House and it seemed most radio stations missed the point because they focused on what he would talk about, with many of them predicting that he would talk about copper prices or inflation. However, I am glad that we have realised that we should stop politicking and, instead, come up with things that will promote growth and sustain peace. The media has a critical role to play in this.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

ADJOURNMENT

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

Question put and agreed to.

__________

The House adjourned at 1951 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday 21st June, 2017.

 

AMERICAN JUSTICE

History

The creation of the Court represented the culmination of a long development of methods for the pacific settlement of international disputes, the origins of which can be traced back to classical times.

Article 33 of the United Nations Charter lists the following methods for the pacific settlement of disputes between States: negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, and resort to regional agencies or arrangements; good offices should also be added to this list. Among these methods, certain involve appealing to third parties. For example, mediation places the parties to a dispute in a position in which they can themselves resolve their dispute thanks to the intervention of a third party. Arbitration goes further, in the sense that the dispute is submitted to the decision or award of an impartial third party, so that a binding settlement can be achieved. The same is true of judicial settlement (the method applied by the International Court of Justice), except that a court is subject to stricter rules than an arbitral tribunal, particularly in procedural matters.

Mediation and arbitration preceded judicial settlement in history. The former was known in ancient India and in the Islamic world, whilst numerous examples of the latter are to be found in ancient Greece, in China, among the Arabian tribes, in maritime customary law in medieval Europe and in Papal practice.

The Origins

The modern history of international arbitration is, however, generally recognized as dating from the so-called Jay Treaty of 1794 between the United States of America and Great Britain. This Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation provided for the creation of three mixed commissions, composed of American and British nationals in equal numbers, whose task it would be to settle a number of outstanding questions between the two countries which it had not been possible to resolve by negotiation. Whilst it is true that these mixed commissions were not strictly speaking organs of third-party adjudication, they were intended to function to some extent as tribunals. They reawakened interest in the process of arbitration. Throughout the nineteenth century, the United States and the United Kingdom had recourse to them, as did other States in Europe and the Americas.

The Alabama Claims arbitration in 1872 between the United Kingdom and the United States marked the start of a second, and still more decisive, phase. Under the Treaty of Washington of 1871, the United States and the United Kingdom agreed to submit to arbitration claims by the former for alleged breaches of neutrality by the latter during the American Civil War. The two countries stated certain rules governing the duties of neutral governments that were to be applied by the tribunal, which they agreed should consist of five members, to be appointed respectively by the Heads of State of the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Italy and Switzerland, the last three States not being parties to the case. The arbitral tribunal’s award ordered the United Kingdom to pay compensation and it was duly complied with. The proceedings served as a demonstration of the effectiveness of arbitration in the settlement of a major dispute and it led during the latter years of the nineteenth century to developments in various directions, namely:

  • sharp growth in the practice of inserting in treaties clauses providing for recourse to arbitration in the event of a dispute between the parties;
  • the conclusion of general treaties of arbitration for the settlement of specified classes of inter-State disputes;
  • efforts to construct a general law of arbitration, so that countries wishing to have recourse to this means of settling disputes would not be obliged to agree each time on the procedure to be adopted, the composition of the tribunal, the rules to be followed and the factors to be taken into consideration in making the award;
  • proposals for the creation of a permanent international arbitral tribunal in order to obviate the need to set up a special ad hoc tribunal to decide each arbitrable dispute.

 

The Hague Peace Conferences and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)

The Hague Peace Conference of 1899, convened at the initiative of the Russian Czar Nicholas II, marked the beginning of a third phase in the modern history of international arbitration. The chief object of the Conference, in which — a remarkable innovation for the time — the smaller States of Europe, some Asian States and Mexico also participated, was to discuss peace and disarmament. It ended by adopting a Convention on the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, which dealt not only with arbitration but also with other methods of pacific settlement, such as good offices and mediation.

With respect to arbitration, the 1899 Convention made provision for the creation of permanent machinery which would enable arbitral tribunals to be set up as desired and would facilitate their work. This institution, known as the Permanent Court of Arbitration, consisted in essence of a panel of jurists designated by each country acceding to the Convention — each such country being entitled to designate up to four — from among whom the members of each arbitral tribunal might be chosen. The Convention further created a permanent Bureau, located at The Hague, with functions corresponding to those of a court registry or a secretariat, and it laid down a set of rules of procedure to govern the conduct of arbitrations. It will be seen that the name “Permanent Court of Arbitration” is not a wholly accurate description of the machinery set up by the Convention, which represented only a method or device for facilitating the creation of arbitral tribunals as and when necessary. Nevertheless, the system so established was permanent and the Convention as it were “institutionalized” the law and practice of arbitration, placing it on a more definite and more generally accepted footing. The Permanent Court of Arbitration was established in 1900 and began operating in 1902.

A few years later, in 1907, a second Hague Peace Conference, to which the States of Central and South America were also invited, revised the Convention and improved the rules governing arbitral proceedings. Some participants would have preferred the Conference not to confine itself to improving the machinery created in 1899. The United States Secretary of State, Elihu Root, had instructed the United States delegation to work towards the creation of a permanent tribunal composed of judges who were judicial officers and nothing else, who had no other occupation, and who would devote their entire time to the trial and decision of international cases by judicial methods. “These judges”, wrote Secretary Root, “should be so selected from the different countries that the different systems of law and procedure and the principal languages shall be fairly represented”. The United States, the United Kingdom and Germany submitted a joint proposal for a permanent court, but the Conference was unable to reach agreement upon it. It became apparent in the course of the discussions that one of the major difficulties was that of finding an acceptable way of choosing the judges, none of the proposals made having managed to command general support. The Conference confined itself to recommending that States should adopt a draft convention for the creation of a court of arbitral justice as soon as agreement was reached “respecting the selection of the judges and the constitution of the court”. Although this court was never in fact to see the light of day, the draft convention that was to have given birth to it enshrined certain fundamental ideas that some years later were to serve as a source of inspiration for the drafting of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ).

Notwithstanding the fate of these proposals, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which in 1913 took up residence in the Peace Palace that had been built for it thanks to a gift from Andrew Carnegie, has made a positive contribution to the development of international law. Among the classic cases that have been decided through recourse to its machinery, mention may be made of the Carthage and Manouba cases (1913) concerning the seizure of vessels, and of the Timor Frontiers (1914) and Sovereignty over the Island of Palmas (1928) cases. Whilst demonstrating that arbitral tribunals set up by recourse to standing machinery could decide disputes between States on a basis of law and justice and command respect for their impartiality, these cases threw into bold relief the shortcomings of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Tribunals of differing composition could hardly be expected to develop a consistent approach to international law to the same extent as a permanently constituted tribunal. Besides, there was the entirely voluntary character of the machinery. The fact that States were parties to the 1899 and 1907 Conventions did not oblige them to submit their disputes to arbitration nor, even if they were minded so to do, were they duty-bound to have recourse to the Permanent Court of Arbitration nor to follow the rules of procedure laid down in the Conventions.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration has recently sought to diversify the services that it can offer, alongside those contemplated by the Conventions. The International Bureau of the Permanent Court has inter alia acted as Registry in some important international arbitrations. Moreover, in 1993, the Permanent Court of Arbitration adopted new “Optional Rules for Arbitrating Disputes between Two Parties of Which Only One Is a State” and, in 2001, “Optional Rules for Arbitration of Disputes Relating to Natural Resources and/or the Environment”.

For more information on the Permanent Court of Arbitration, please visit their website: http://www.pca-cpa.org.

The work of the two Hague Peace Conferences and the ideas they inspired in statesmen and jurists had some influence on the creation of the Central American Court of Justice, which operated from 1908 to 1918, as well as on the various plans and proposals submitted between 1911 and 1919 both by national and international bodies and by governments for the establishment of an international judicial tribunal, which culminated in the creation of the PCIJ within the framework of the new international system set up after the end of the First World War.

 

The Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ)

Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations gave the Council of the League responsibility for formulating plans for the establishment of a Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), such a court to be competent not only to hear and determine any dispute of an international character submitted to it by the parties to the dispute, but also to give an advisory opinion upon any dispute or question referred to it by the Council or by the Assembly of the League of Nations. It remained for the League Council to take the necessary action to give effect to Article 14. At its second session early in 1920, the Council appointed an Advisory Committee of Jurists to submit a report on the establishment of the PCIJ. The committee sat in The Hague, under the chairmanship of Baron Descamps (Belgium). In August 1920, a report containing a draft scheme was submitted to the Council, which, after examining it and making certain amendments, laid it before the First Assembly of the League of Nations, which opened at Geneva in November of that year. The Assembly instructed its Third Committee to examine the question of the Court’s constitution. In December 1920, after an exhaustive study by a subcommittee, the Committee submitted a revised draft to the Assembly, which unanimously adopted it. This was the Statute of the PCIJ.

The Assembly took the view that a vote alone would not be sufficient to establish the PCIJ and that each State represented in the Assembly would formally have to ratify the Statute. In a resolution of 13 December 1920, it called upon the Council to submit to the Members of the League of Nations a protocol adopting the Statute and decided that the Statute should come into force as soon as the protocol had been ratified by a majority of Member States. The protocol was opened for signature on 16 December. By the time of the next meeting of the Assembly, in September 1921, a majority of the Members of the League had signed and ratified the protocol. The Statute thus entered into force. It was to be revised only once, in 1929, the revised version coming into force in 1936. Among other things, the new Statute resolved the previously insurmountable problem of the election of the members of a permanent international tribunal by providing that the judges were to be elected concurrently but independently by the Council and the Assembly of the League, and that it should be borne in mind that those elected “should represent the main forms of civilization and the principal legal systems of the world”. Simple as this solution may now seem, in 1920 it was a considerable achievement to have devised it. The first elections were held on 14 September 1921. Following approaches by the Netherlands Government in the spring of 1919, it was decided that the PCIJ should have its permanent seat in the Peace Palace in The Hague, which it would share with the Permanent Court of Arbitration. It was accordingly in the Peace Palace that on 30 January 1922 the Court’s preliminary session devoted to the elaboration of the Court’s Rules opened, and it was there too that its inaugural sitting was held on 15 February 1922, with the Dutch jurist Bernard C. J. Loder as President.

The PCIJ was thus a working reality. The great advance it represented in the history of international legal proceedings can be appreciated by considering the following:

  • unlike arbitral tribunals, the PCIJ was a permanently constituted body governed by its own Statute and Rules of Procedure, fixed beforehand and binding on parties having recourse to the Court;
  • it had a permanent Registry which, inter alia, served as a channel of communication with governments and international bodies;
  • its proceedings were largely public and provision was made for the publication in due course of the pleadings, of verbatim records of the sittings and of all documentary evidence submitted to it;
  • the permanent tribunal thus established was now able to set about gradually developing a constant practice and maintaining a certain continuity in its decisions, thereby enabling it to make a greater contribution to the development of international law;
  • in principle the PCIJ was accessible to all States for the judicial settlement of their international disputes and they were able to declare beforehand that for certain classes of legal disputes they recognized the Court’s jurisdiction as compulsory in relation to other States accepting the same obligation. This system of optional acceptance of the jurisdiction of the Court was the most that it was then possible to obtain;
  • the PCIJ was empowered to give advisory opinions upon any dispute or question referred to it by the League of Nations Council or Assembly;
  • the Court’s Statute specifically listed the sources of law it was to apply in deciding contentious cases and giving advisory opinions, without prejudice to the power of the Court to decide a case ex aequo et bono if the parties so agreed;
  • it was more representative of the international community and of the major legal systems of the world than any other international tribunal had ever been before it.

Although the Permanent Court of International Justice was brought into being through, and by, the League of Nations, it was nevertheless not a part of the League. There was a close association between the two bodies, which found expression inter alia in the fact that the League Council and Assembly periodically elected the Members of the Court and that both Council and Assembly were entitled to seek advisory opinions from the Court, but the latter never formed an integral part of the League, just as the Statute never formed part of the Covenant. In particular, a Member State of the League of Nations was not by this fact alone automatically a party to the Court’s Statute.

Between 1922 and 1940 the PCIJ dealt with 29 contentious cases between States and delivered 27 advisory opinions. At the same time several hundred treaties, conventions and declarations conferred jurisdiction upon it over specified classes of disputes. Any doubts that might thus have existed as to whether a permanent international judicial tribunal could function in a practical and effective manner were thus dispelled. The Court’s value to the international community was demonstrated in a number of different ways, in the first place by the development of a true judicial technique. This found expression in the Rules of Court, which the PCIJ originally drew up in 1922 and subsequently revised on three occasions, in 1926, 1931 and 1936. There was also the PCIJ’s Resolution concerning the Judicial Practice of the Court, adopted in 1931 and revised in 1936, which laid down the internal procedure to be applied during the Court’s deliberations on each case. In addition, whilst helping to resolve some serious international disputes, many of them consequences of the First World War, the decisions of the PCIJ at the same time often clarified previously unclear areas of international law or contributed to its development.

For more information on the Permanent Court of International Justice, please see the “PCIJ” pages on our website.

 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ)

The outbreak of war in September 1939 inevitably had serious consequences for the PCIJ, which had already for some years known a period of diminished activity. After its last public sitting on 4 December 1939, the Permanent Court of International Justice did not in fact deal with any judicial business and no further elections of judges were held. In 1940 the Court removed to Geneva, a single judge remaining at The Hague, together with a few Registry officials of Dutch nationality. It was inevitable that even under the stress of the war some thought should be given to the future of the Court, as well as to the creation of a new international political order.

In 1942 the United States Secretary of State and the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom declared themselves in favour of the establishment or re-establishment of an international court after the war, and the Inter-American Juridical Committee recommended the extension of the PCIJ’s jurisdiction. Early in 1943, the United Kingdom Government took the initiative of inviting a number of experts to London to constitute an informal Inter-Allied Committee to examine the matter. This Committee, under the chairmanship of Sir William Malkin ( United Kingdom), held 19 meetings, which were attended by jurists from 11 countries. In its report, which was published on 10 February 1944, it recommended:

  • that the Statute of any new international court should be based on that of the Permanent Court of International Justice;
  • that advisory jurisdiction should be retained in the case of the new Court;
  • that acceptance of the jurisdiction of the new Court should not be compulsory;
  • that the Court should have no jurisdiction to deal with essentially political matters.

Meanwhile, on 30 October 1943, following a conference between China, the USSR, the United Kingdom and the United States, a joint declaration was issued recognizing the necessity “of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization, based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all peace-loving States, and open to membership by all such States, large and small, for the maintenance of international peace and security”.

This declaration led to exchanges between the Four Powers at Dumbarton Oaks (United States), resulting in the publication on 9 October 1944 of proposals for the establishment of a general international organization, to include an international court of justice. The next step was the convening of a meeting in Washington, in April 1945, of a committee of jurists representing 44 States. This Committee, under the chairmanship of G. H. Hackworth ( United States), was entrusted with the preparation of a draft Statute for the future international court of justice, for submission to the San Francisco Conference, which during the months of April to June 1945 was to draw up the United Nations Charter. The draft Statute prepared by the Committee was based on the Statute of the PCIJ and was thus not a completely fresh text. The Committee nevertheless felt constrained to leave a number of questions open which it felt should be decided by the Conference: should a new court be created? In what form should the court’s mission as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations be stated? Should the court’s jurisdiction be compulsory, and, if so, to what extent? How should the judges be elected? The final decisions on these points, and on the definitive form of the Statute, were taken at the San Francisco Conference, in which 50 States participated. The Conference decided against compulsory jurisdiction and in favour of the creation of an entirely new court, which would be a principal organ of the United Nations, on the same footing as the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council and the Secretariat, and with the Statute annexed to and forming part of the Charter. The chief reasons that led the Conference to decide to create a new court were the following:

  • as the court was to be the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, it was felt inappropriate for this role to be filled by the Permanent Court of International Justice, which had up until then been linked to the League of Nations, then on the point of dissolution;
  • the creation of a new court was more consistent with the provision in the Charter that all Member States of the United Nations would ipso facto be parties to the court’s Statute;
  • several States that were parties to the Statute of the PCIJ were not represented at the San Francisco Conference, and, conversely, several States represented at the Conference were not parties to the Statute;
  • there was a feeling in some quarters that the PCIJ formed part of an older order, in which European States had dominated the political and legal affairs of the international community, and that the creation of a new court would make it easier for States outside Europe to play a more influential role. This has in fact happened as the membership of the United Nations grew from 51 in 1945 to 193 in 2017.

The San Francisco Conference nevertheless showed some concern that all continuity with the past should not be broken, particularly as the Statute of the PCIJ had itself been drawn up on the basis of past experience, and it was felt better not to change something that had seemed to work well. The Charter therefore plainly stated that the Statute of the International Court of Justice was based upon that of the PCIJ. At the same time, the necessary steps were taken for a transfer of the jurisdiction of the PCIJ so far as was possible to the International Court of Justice. In any event, the decision to create a new court necessarily involved the dissolution of its predecessor. The PCIJ met for the last time in October 1945 when it was decided to take all appropriate measures to ensure the transfer of its archives and effects to the new International Court of Justice, which, like its predecessor, was to have its seat in the Peace Palace. The judges of the PCIJ all resigned on 31 January 1946, and the election of the first Members of the International Court of Justice took place on 6 February 1946, at the First Session of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. In April 1946, the PCIJ was formally dissolved, and the International Court of Justice, meeting for the first time, elected as its President Judge José Gustavo Guerrero ( El Salvador), the last President of the PCIJ. The Court appointed the members of its Registry (largely from among former officials of the PCIJ) and held an inaugural public sitting, on the 18th of that month. The first case was submitted in May 1947. It concerned incidents in the Corfu Channel and was brought by

THE HEART OF CYBERGEDDON- WHAT WE DO!

Cybersecurity Training: Preparing for War in the Information Age

10-03-2017

From hacked emails to major data breaches, cyber attacks could potentially cripple our economy and threaten national security.

On October 21, 2016, hackers shut down half of America’s Internet by targeting Dyn, a company that manages key parts of the Web’s infrastructure. Within minutes, the cyber attack took major websites like Twitter and Spotify offline.

Earlier this year, cyber hackers tried to break into nuclear power plants across the country, but they were unsuccessful.