STATEMENT BY THE ENGINEERING INSTITUTION OF ZAMBIA (EIZ) PRESIDENT, ENG SYDNEY MATONGO MATAMWANDI DURING THE COURTESY CALL BY THE ENGINEERING COUNCIL ON THE MINISTER OF HOUSING AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT, HONORABLE VINCENT MWALE, MP, AT INFRASTRUCTURE HOUSE, LUSAKA, ON 13TH AUGUST 2019
- Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development, Hon. Vincent Mwale, MP.
- Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Eng Charles Mushota
- Senior Government Officials here present
- Members of the Engineering
- The Registrar of EIZ
- Ladies & Gentlemen
Thank you for inviting the leadership of the Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) to this esteemed Office. We bring you greetings from our members.
May I start by congratulating you on your appointment as Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development, the supervising Ministry for the Engineering Institution of Zambia. May I also express our thanks to you for the service you rendered to the country in your previous portfolio as Minister of Local Government. Your diligence and work ethic, especially during the difficult period of the cholera epidemic, epitomize rare leadership and exceptional professionalism that, as an Institution we acknowledge and cherish. We are honored that early in your tenure as Minister, you have called on us to apprise you on how we are executing our mandate. We are grateful and are confident that, with your impressive track record and experience from both the legislative and executive organs of the State, you will succeed in your new portfolio. On behalf of the people we lead, we are here to pledge our readiness to walk with you and to work with you. Please also convey our thanks to your brother, Honorable Ronald Kaoma Chitotela, MP, who has just completed a successful tour of duty here and has been redeployed to an equally-task demanding task at the Ministry of Tourism.
As you might be aware, EIZ is a professional statutory body established to register and regulate the professional conduct of Engineering Professionals, Engineering Students and Engineering Organizations or Units in Zambia. We draw our mandate from the Engineering Institution of Zambia Act No. 17 of 2010 of the laws of Zambia. EIZ comprises over 45,000 members, both individuals and corporates, and has been in existence since 1955, thus making it one of the oldest professional bodies in the Land. Until 2010, only Engineers, or university graduates of Engineering, were registered and regulated through the Engineering Registration Board (EngRB), as is the case in a number of jurisdictions such as Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The new Act however, mandates the Minister (yourself), through delegated authority to the EngRB, to register and regulate the conduct of all Engineering Professionals. EIZ also functions as an association of Engineering Professionals whose objective is to promote the practice and learning of Engineering. The terms of reference of EIZ as a regulator sit in the EIZ Act and EIZ as an association sit in the EIZ Constitution.
In order to ensure effective and efficient administration of EIZ, the Institution comprises the following organs:
- The General Meeting of Members which is the highest organ that only meets at an AGM to resolve major policies. Members comprise all engineering professionals that include Engineers, Technologists, Technicians, Craftspersons and Students.
- The Engineering Council which is a body elected at an AGM for a tenure of 2 years to superintend over affairs of the Institution in between AGMs. The Engineering Council comprises the President, three Vice Presidents, the Immediate Past President, the EngRB Chairperson and representatives of all membership categories.
- The Engineering Registration Board (EngRB) which registers Engineering Professionals, Engineering Organizations and Engineering Units and regulate their professional conduct. The EngRB performs its mandate by delegated authority from the Minister. The EngRB comprises representatives of all Nominating Colleges.
- The Disciplinary Committee which investigates allegations of professional misconduct and imposes such sanctions as may be necessary. The composition of the Disciplinary Committee is the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson that are senior Judicial Officers nominated by LAZ, five Senior engineers elected by members and the EIZ President. The Disciplinary Committee sits as a Court and its decisions can only be appealed in the High Court of Zambia.
- The Secretariat which is a full-time body, with the Registrar as CEO, and is responsible for implementing the EIZ functions on behalf of the Engineering Council. The functions are many and include: the development of appropriate standards of qualifications; the promotion of comparable engineering practice standards in Zambia; the promotion of the general advancement of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM); the promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR); the investigation and monitoring of national emergencies or disasters; and the advising GRZ on matters of engineering.
EIZ is alive and active across the length of the breadth of this Country. For ease of serving our members, Secretariat has offices in the Northern Region (Kitwe) and Southern Region (Lusaka), each catering for 5 Provinces. Further devolution exists in the form of Branches, currently 24, and Student Chapters at all the major universities and technical colleges. We also have special interest groups, including the Zambia Women in Engineering Sections (ZWES), Craftspersons and Technicians’ Section (CTS, Civil Engineers, Electrical Engineers and Chemical Engineers sections.
EIZ is also an active member of the regional and international engineering families. In this regard, we are a member of the Southern African Federation of Engineering Organizations (SAFEO), the Federation of African Engineering Organizations (FAEO) and the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO). WFEO is part of the United Nations, through UNESCO.
Being a committed and good member of FAEO, Zambia was chosen to host the UNESCO Africa Engineering Week (AEW) in Livingstone from the 15th to the 21st September 2019 at Avani Victoria Falls Resort. During AEW, the Africa Engineering Conference, the Women in Engineering (WiE) Forum, and Skills Competitions will be held in Livingstone. The highlight of the events is the Africa Engineering Conference which is expected to attract over 500 delegates from Zambia and at least 20 other African countries, including Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria,
RSA, Rwanda, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. We have received confirmation that the President-elect of the WFEO, Eng Prof Gong Ke, from China and the President of FAEO, Eng Martin Manuhwa, from Zimbabwe will be participating in the conference that is being cosponsored by UNESCO. As an Institution, we will be working closely with our line Ministry, yourself honorable Minister and GRZ as we navigate the complex diplomatic and protocol intricacies of organizing such an auspicious event.
In regard to the above conference, I wish to express our thanks as an Institution to your government in general and your Ministry in particular for the support rendered during our bid to host. We won because Zambia has demonstrated impressive engineering (infrastructure and mining), we are a peaceful country; we are connected to the world by road and air, and we have world-class conference and hotel facilities. We are also thankful to your Office for extending an invitation to the Republican President, His Excellency, Dr Edgar C Lungu, to grace the biggest convention of engineers from across the Continent, who will convene in Livingstone to deliberate on Sustainable Development Goals and Engineering. The occasion is good for Zambia’s standing in the community of nations; good for Zambia’s engineering and good for Zambia’s tourism. It is the humble request of our members to you Minister that you be the No 1 ambassador to sell this conference to other departments of government and private sector in Zambia.
We are also here, on behalf of the people we lead, to express total support for the work that your Government is undertaking, particularly in the area of Infrastructural Development. We are cognizant of the fact that as Engineers we are an essential cog in the realization of your government’s vison as outlined in the 7th National Development Plan and other blueprints mirroring the bright future that awaits our children and grandchildren. It is in this regard that I wish to deliver a message of assurance, that the Zambian Engineers have been, are and will always be partners to GRZ in developing this country. That is our patriotic imperative and a professional duty we can never neglect.
We are also here to apprise you of the status of the Engineering Sector, as seen from the perspective of the practitioners. We are encouraged by the volume of work and the opportunities that are on the horizon for the Zambian Engineering Organizations and Zambian Engineering Professionals. Today has, no doubt, been the best time to be an Engineering Professional in the history of our Country. We thank your Government for creating an enabling environment where Engineers are given countless opportunities to practice their trade and contribute to the wellbeing of society.
The Engineering Institution of Zambia is nonpartisan, is apolitical and does not participate in discourse outside our area of specialization. Nonetheless, we are Citizens and are therefore appreciative of matters that are progressive. It is in this regard, that we wish to state that this government has been inspirational to the Engineers, because through its programmes and projects, Engineering has prospered. We are inspired.
Whereas the massive Engineering Projects going on across the country have brought remarkable benefits to many, EIZ has noted with concern that some areas of the Engineering Sector have been adversely affected. A number of our members in the Contractor and Consultant category of membership have had to close their businesses because of not been paid for works done. In most cases, banks and bailiffs have repossessed assets from these firms, employees have gone for months without pay and companies have been ruined. We are nonetheless, encouraged by pronouncements from your Government that this matter is being looked at, and we look forward to positive results soon.
Finally, I wish to thank you once again for the invitation and look forward to working with you, to working for you and to working alongside you.
Thank You Sir.