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line Home arrow Debates & Proceedings arrow Fifth Session of the Tenth Assembly arrow Debates- Friday, 18th March, 2011 Thursday, 24 July 2014  
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Debates- Friday, 18th March, 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Article Index
Debates- Friday, 18th March, 2011
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Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, I must state that prior to the launch of the fishing ban, my ministry worked tirelessly, with its co-operating partners such as the Finnish Government, through the Programme for Luapula Agricultural and Rural Development (PLARD), in the Luapula Province, to sensitise the communities on this annual event. A number of sensitisation meetings were also held in all the fishery areas that are normally subject to closure. Sensitisation programmes, through the electronic and print media, were also undertaken in areas that are not subject to closure to explain to the communities what is expected from them during the period of closure. This is in relation to the movement of fish from the areas that are not affected by the ban.

Mr Speaker, all fishery areas are closed to fishing from the 1st of December to the end of February, of the following year, except for Lake  Kariba and Lake Tanganyika. The two water bodies are shared water bodies and, therefore, have different management protocols. Now that the fishing ban has been lifted, I urge all fisheries to use sustainable fishing methods to avoid depletion of our fishery resources in natural water bodies.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement which has been given by the hon. Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, what is the Government doing to ensure that it teaches the people of Zambia how to engage in  fish farming instead of arresting them since there are no other means of employment, especially now that ZAWA is also arresting them for poaching?

Laughter

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, aquaculture is a very important programme under the ministry. It is our belief that, through the advancement and projection of this particular enterprise, we will be able to wean fishers off fishing outside the legal period and to divert them into cultivating fish. In the Bill, that is already before this House, there is also a provision through which we intend to establish a Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund which will help with the very initiative that the hon. Member spoke of.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, how is the ban in shared water bodies being enforced?

Mr Speaker: That has been referred to, but the hon. Minister is free to elaborate.

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, the shared water bodies, being Kariba and Tanganyika, are subject to a different management protocol and there is no ban that is effected in these water bodies.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, the Government has not been able to implement its entire projects using the allocations in the annual Budget, and yet every hon. Minister who speaks refers to the use of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to fund projects. I want to find out how the hon. Minister expects us to use the CDF to implement all our projects, including the fish projects he has talked about.

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, we do not expect that the hon. Members will utilise their CDF for this particular exercise. What I referred to, from the two different constituencies, is that we had challenges in terms of  the availability of resources at the particular time and they came to the table and provided resources in terms of fuel and so on, which enabled the undertaking of programmes in those particular areas. Hon. Members will assume having interest in ensuring that community initiatives can be enhanced in the respective constituencies. Should it become necessary for them to dip into their CDF, we assume it would be prudent for them to do accordingly.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, when I was responsible for what the hon. Minister is now responsible for, about nineteen years ago, I would ask the scientists at the Fisheries Department in Chilanga to quantify the benefits of the fishing ban and the result was that they were unable to say, with any certitude, that there was any benefit at all. Has the situation improved or changed in anyway?

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, I am not entirely sure of what the hon. Member for Lusaka Central is referring to. I am not sure whether it is benefits in terms of the levels of breeding or in terms of compliance with the ban. However, the ban coincides with the period in which fish are breeding and it is for that reason that it is implemented at this particular time, each and every year. Being the former minister responsible, as he has already stated, I would expect that he would be able to recall that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, it is reported that most of the fish that is confiscated ends up being sold by the officers who confiscate it. May I know the position at law where this fish is supposed to go and where they take the fish that they confiscate from these illegal fishermen?

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, as I stated in my statement, the disposal of the fish is subject to an order from the courts. The process of disposal of this confiscated fish may entail that some of it goes, maybe, to some hospitals, prisons, schools as well as other community-based programmes.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, as my friend, the hon. Member for Chimwemwe, stated, fishing is the main source of livelihood as well as the only source of protein, particularly on the Barotse Plains in the Western Province. Has the hon. Minister, therefore, considered other methods of preserving the fish stocks in this country, especially on the plains, bearing in mind that, for centuries, our ancestors managed to maintain the fish stocks? 

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member’s question is valid in the sense that we do have programmes for undertaking research which we consider a very important component of the ministry.

We have the benefit of the assistance of other co-operating partners such as the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) as well as the World Fish Centre, which recently moved its headquarters for Africa from Cairo to Lusaka. Fisheries research is a very important component of our agenda and it is our belief that, with the benefit of the assistance that we are receiving, we shall be able to do more and continuously improve on what is obtaining in the sector.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, illegal fishing methods include the use of mosquito nets. Now that the fishing ban is over, how does the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development intend to discourage the use of mosquito nets for fishing?

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, the responsibility of discouraging the use of using illegal methods does not lie entirely with the ministry alone. The hon. Member is from an area which has fishing as a prime source of income. The onus and responsibility lies with him as well as other hon. Members of Parliament to participate in programmes to sensitise their communities against illegal fishing practices.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, currently, the challenge that law enforcers have in these areas is inadequate safe transport. This situation has been exacerbated by the ministry’s purchase of aluminum boats which have been capsizing. What is the ministry doing to ensure the law enforcers’ safety when enforcing the ban? 

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member, whose constituency is a big culprit of disregarding the fishing ban, for his question. 

Laughter

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, the ministry takes the security and safety of its officials very seriously. We do provide safety gear for the officers undertaking patrols. There may be incidences where, maybe, a boat is overloaded, but these practices are discouraged. It is, however, our belief that the vessels that we are utilising for our programmes are, indeed, suitable.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, given the fact that shared waters are controlled under different regulations with regard to fishing. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Zambezi River Action Plan (ZACPLAN), concerning the riparian States of the Zambezi River, includes an agreement to impose a fishing ban in all the States so that no country takes advantage of Zambia’s fishing ban.

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Kabwata, who does not have a fisheries area in his constituency, for his question. 

Laughter

Mr Machila: At the risk of misleading this House, I am not entirely sure what the plan he referred to is. Therefore, I am constrained in responding to his question. 

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kawandami (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, during the fishing ban, what other alternative fishing areas are provided by the Government?

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, aside from the fishing ban, the areas that do not have the restriction on an annual basis have control in the sense that those who are fishing on these water bodies are subject to a licensing regime. The department only ensures that they comply with the licensing regime throughout the year.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, I know that Munali has no fisheries area, but the people of Munali heard of the vulture fish which was introduced in the Western and Luapula provinces. Can the hon. Minister shed more light on what has happened to the vulture fish?

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, indeed, there is no fishery in Munali.

Laughter

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, I am not familiar with the vulture fish that the hon. Member is talking about. Therefore, similarly, at the risk of misleading the House, I cannot comment further.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, in the communities of the Bangweulu Swamps in Luapula Constituency, people depend on fishing for their livelihood. Is the Government willing to consider special measures to support the people of this area during the fishing ban because their means of livelihood are taken away?

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, the short answer to the hon. Member’s question is that, in addition to seeking to promote aquaculture in the areas that are highly dependent on fishing, the ministry is also encouraging fisheries to engage in the production of small ruminants such as goats and non-ruminants such as pigs as a means to further supplement their income.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, Botswana and Namibia share boundaries with Zambia, but the fishing ban is only effected on the Zambian side. Earlier on, the hon. Minister referred to the fact that the shared waters are not affected by the ban. Can the hon. Minister clarify his statement?

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, in my statement, I referred to two main shared water bodies, Kariba and Tanganyika. Regarding the water body that the hon. Member referred to, we have regulations which we enforce as regards water bodies that are within the control of the Zambian nation. Therefore, we cannot regulate what obtains in water bodies that are not within our control.

I thank you, Sir.
 
Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why people in possession of dry fish, which could have been caught before the ban was effected, are arrested. Has the ministry got the means to determine whether the fish was caught before or after the fishing ban is effected? 
 
Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, in the statement, I mentioned that a total of 23,068 kg of dry fish was confiscated. This fish was confiscated during the period of the ban. If those who were found in possession of the fish are not able to satisfy the authorities that the fish was captured or obtained before the onset of the ban, our officers are obliged to proceed to the courts who, at the end of the day, are the final judicators on the issue.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, with the increased allocation for fisheries development, especially for the Luapula Province, what measures will the ministry take to promote aqua farming so that people can continue fishing even during the fishing ban?

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, I earlier stated that we have singled out aquaculture areas which we want to give more attention to in terms of both financial and human resources.

Furthermore, we are working with our co-operating partners to see how we can further upscale aquaculture. It is frequently stated that Zambia has as much as 40 per cent of the water resources in the southern region. However, this resource is greatly underutilised, especially if we consider nations like Egypt which has just one major resource of water and is farming five times more fish than the rest of Africa combined. That, in itself, is an indication of the potential that we have. We shall continue to work towards exploiting this potential.

I thank you, Sir.

_________

HIS HONOUR THE VICE-PRESIDENT’S QUESTION TIME

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, what is happening in football is very worrying. If things do not normalise after the meeting on 26th March, 2011, what will happen next? Is there any alternative plan for the Government to normalise things?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, as we have stated before in this House, we do not interfere in football matters according to the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) statutes. We have the National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ) to look into issues of that nature and I believe that it will continue to do its best to ensure that there is order in the administration of football. At the moment, there is no harmony in the administration of football between the warring factions of the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ). This is not good for Zambian football. We hope that, at the end of the day, sanity will prevail.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, a ministerial statement was delivered in this House concerning the death of a Zambian student in Russia. It has been brought to this country’s attention that the report which was read in this House stating that the student went on a drinking spree is not true because the results of the post-mortem that was conducted in Russia show that there was no alcohol found in the blood of that young man. Can His Honour the Vice-President shed more light on what the Government intends to do? As he answers this question, he should be mindful of the fact that, when we ask questions in this House, ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mrs Phiri: … we represent the people.

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, we do not have that information, but I have taken note of what you have said. I hope you are not misleading the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Interruptions

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, recently, there was confusion at the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) where the former Chairperson, Justice Mumba, wanted to have a confidential financial system audited which the former Director, Mr Dan Kalale, resisted. May I find what this confidential financial system is and whether the Government has audited it and what the outcome is?

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, I do not know what you are referring to as confidential financial system. The finances of the ECZ are subject to audit. It is this House that allocates funds to the ECZ. So, those funds are subject to audit by the Auditor-General. I do not know what you are referring to as a confidential financial system.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


 
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