Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala has directed Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo to provide a ministerial statement to the House this week, regarding the assault on Justice Minister Given Lubinda by suspected PF cadres on July 12, this year.
And Minister of Works and Supply Silvia Chalikosa says Government Printers will be ready to print ballot papers for the 2021 general elections locally, once its recapitalisation is completed next year.
Mwembeshi Independent member of parliament Machila Jamba raised a point of order on whether Kampyongo was in order to be silent despite Lubinda’s assault by suspected PF cadres in his Kabwata constituency.
“An assault to one of us here as members of parliament is an assault to this House! I’m wondering where we are going, if a Minister of Justice was beaten in his own constituency, what more a back-bencher like me? Am I in safe hands in Mwembeshi? Two weeks has passed ever since the Minister of Justice was clobbered; [but] he (Kampyongo) is silent! Is the Minister of Homes Affairs in order to be seated in this House and be silent when people are being beaten and clobbered?” asked Jamba.
Deputy Speaker Namugala then directed Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo to provide a statement to the House this week.
“The honourable Minister of Home Affairs should come to the House next (this) week and provide a statement regarding the matter concerning the Honourable Minister of Justice,” ruled Namugala.
And responding to Mufulira PF member of parliament Evans Chibanda in Parliament, Thursday, who asked during question for oral answer on when the Department would be recapitalised; cost of recapitalising; and whether it would be ready to print ballot papers for the crucial 2021 general elections, Chalikosa said recapitalisation of the government printing department would be completed by January, 2020, subject to availability of funds.
She said the cost of recapitalising the department was estimated at K258,059,167, to be financed partly by government and an investment partner, but added that government had so far invested only K14 million towards the recapitalisation programme.
“The recapitalization of government printing department will be completed by January, 2020, subject to availability of funds. The cost of recapitalizing the government printing department is estimated at K258,059,167.10, approximately. This will be financed partly by government and an investment partner. So far, government has invested K14 million to the recapitalisation programme,” Chalikosa said.
She added that the printers would be ready to print ballot papers and other election material for the 2021 general election, but only after recapitalising.
“The government printing company upon completion of recapitalisation will be ready to print ballot papers and other election material for 2021 general election. The benefits of printing ballot papers in Zambia as opposed to printing abroad is: reduction in costs associated with printing abroad; reduction in the cost of importing printed products for government; reduction in the amount of foreign exchange needed to print ballot papers and other election materials, employment creation,” she said, listing other benefits.
But when asked by Itezhi-Tezhi UPND member of parliament Herbert Shabula on how government would ensure that the locally-printed ballot papers would not find themselves in the pockets of citizens and other political parties, Chalikosa said a security system would be installed to ensure that all activities in the department were monitored.
“As I was highlighting what has been done so far, I did make reference to the installation of a security system. This security system will ensure that everything that’s happening in the premises of Government Printers is being monitored from our own surveillance system,” replied Chalikosa.