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Debates - Tuesday, 21st February, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Article Index
Debates - Tuesday, 21st February, 2012
Page 2
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BEEF SOLD AT LUSAKA CITY MARKET (SOWETO)

81. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the hon. Minister of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection:

(a)    whether the beef sold at the Lusaka City Market (Soweto) was inspected by the Lusaka City Council (LCC);

(b)    if not, when the inspections would commence to ensure that meat from animals which die of corridor and other diseases is not sold and consumed by unsuspecting members of the public; and

(c)    what measures the council had taken to ensure that the beef traded at the market is free from corridor and other diseases.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection (Mrs Banda): Mr Speaker, the Lusaka City Council does not inspect the meat sold at Lusaka City Market because there are no facilities to do so. According to the Public Health, Meat Abattoir and Butcheries Regulations, under the Public Health Act Cap. 295 of the Laws of Zambia, the sale of meat in markets is illegal and a danger to public health and safety.

Sir, the council is in the process of normalising the issue at Lusaka City Market to ensure that no meat is sold in the market.

Mr Speaker, the measure put in place by the LCC to ensure that no beef is sold at the market is that inspectors have been placed at the entrance to the market. Regular inspections will also be made so that no traders are allowed to sell meat in the market in conformity with the provisions of the Public Health Act Cap. 295 of the Laws of Zambia. Further, the Government will develop a strategy on how best the illegal sale of meat can be stopped.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, since the hon. Minister is aware that meat is being sold in the market illegally, may I know how safe we are, eating this meat.

The Minister of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection (Professor Luo): Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity, in answering this question, to remind the House that it is always wrong to blame the people that are doing illegal things when we continue to encourage them by transacting with them.

I would like to advise hon. Members of Parliament in this House that they should be inspectors in their constituencies. They should ensure that our people do things legally.

Sir, we are trying our best, as a ministry, to bring back systems, which had broken down completely, so that such activities in markets are stopped. However, no single individual will correct the situation because the systems broke down for the past twenty years.
   
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I am very encouraged by the answer given by the hon. Minister to ask her a question about vending, in general, and the selling of meat, in particular. As she rightly put it, we all must help society by being inspectors. Bearing in mind that, at one point, she had introduced some order on the streets by ordering that vending be stopped, afterwards, there was a shift in policy and vendors were free to trade anywhere. Can she help me to reconcile her current thinking with the Government’s stance?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, there has been no shift in our Government’s policy regarding vending. What has been there is a misunderstanding of the English Dictionary.

Laughter

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, when you read a statement that you do not put in context, what is being discussed in the corridors and streets of Lusaka, and the country as a whole, becomes a reality to you. I know what the hon. Member of Parliament is referring to. It is in relation to a letter that was published in The Post Newspaper. I would like to remind this august House that at no time did anybody from the PF allow vending on the streets. The recent debate regarding street vending came about as a result of action that was taken by the Ndola City Council against street vending, which led to a loss of life. It was at this point that the President merely reminded us not to harass street vendors but to, instead, dialogue with them in order to come up with the best way forward.

Interruptions

Professor Luo: Sir, therefore, the position of the Government remains the same. Currently, we have just finished developing a strategy that we are going to use to remove vendors from the streets. In the same vein, I would like to remind this august House, and the nation at large, that the vendors would not be on the streets if we stopped buying from them. The strategy that we have developed also addresses the issue of we, who buy from street vendors, thus encouraging street vending. Anybody who is found buying from a vendor will be charged. In fact, if accepted by the Cabinet, I intend to suggest that people should be put in the cells, even for a night, so that they stop buying from vendors.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I was following the answers by the hon. Deputy Minister. Arising from the answer to parts (b) and (c), may I know what immediate plans the LCC has to remove people who sell meat in wheelbarrows along the streets near the Lusaka City Market.

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, the selling of meat in wheelbarrows, around the market, within the market or anywhere else, is illegal. According to the Public Health Act, meat must be sold in a butchery. The council has put in place measures to ensure that anybody selling meat in a wheelbarrow or even on the head is dealt with accordingly.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the almost categorical answer she has given on vending and the selling of meat. I want to know what she thinks about the establishment of illegal markets in Lusaka. Is she aware that, along Independence Avenue, near the fly-over bridge, there is a new market called PF Headquarters …

Laughter

Mr Mwiimbu: … where meat and fish are being sold? If she is aware, what measures is she taking to ensure that that market is closed.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for …

Mr Speaker: Order!
   
Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, Hon. Mwiimbu named a market by the fly-over bridge as the PF Headquarters. From my knowledge, the PF Headquarters is on Luanshya Road in an office that is rented legitimately, unlike our colleagues who sat in a National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) building without paying rent.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Sir, I am aware of the market he is referring to and we are, currently, making an inventory of all the markets in Lusaka since we are in the process of repossessing stalls from those who have ten stalls each as a result of the cadreisation of the markets and bus stations. All those people are going to be moved into the market. I have, personally, gone there to warn them that they will be moved into the market.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has given very good answers and appointed hon. Members of Parliament as special inspectors for meat vending. However, I do not doubt her knowledge …

Laughter

Mr Muntanga: … that meat inspection is a specialised field. Even meat sold along the corridors can be safe for human consumption, but it should be tested properly by qualified inspectors. Now that she has appointed all hon. Members as meat inspectors, may I know what measures she will put in place to ensure that this inspection is done properly. When is she taking us to train as meat inspectors?

Laughter

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, I do not remember appointing hon. Members of Parliament as inspectors, particularly Hon. Muntanga. I am not trained in the profession to have him sit for interviews in order for me to appoint him. I was simply reminding all hon. Members of Parliament that we should all take responsibility for certain things. The problem that is besieging our country is a big one. It requires a concerted effort because of the past ‘cadreisation’ of the streets, markets, bus stations and land. I think that all of us, as hon. Members and leaders in this country, have the obligation to take responsibility and bring to the attention of the ministry any issues that may require special focus.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the President’s letter, which appeared to endorse street vending was meant only for Ndola City Council. I would like to find out who and how this message was twisted to the extent of people thinking that street vending had been legalised across the country. The ‘Don’t Kubeba’ markets are springing up all over the country.

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, I think that it is not right to put words in somebody’s mouth. I was merely putting that letter in context. Many people have misunderstood it. The phrase “do not harass” does not mean that people should remain on the street. This is why, as a ministry, we have decided to address the issue so that everyone who misunderstood the message, including the vendors, might understand it. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, I would like to learn from the hon. Minister when she intends to reintroduce the position of health inspectors which, at the moment, does not exist in district councils, such as Chilubi.

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, this is a position that should be in every council. The duties of public health inspectors are enshrined in my ministry’s policy.

What is obtaining, at the moment, is that we have a shortage of manpower. Many of our district councils do not have the required members of staff, not only health inspectors, but also planners and engineers. At the moment, we are making an inventory and collecting all curriculum vitae of members of staff in the councils and advertising all the positions that are vacant so that people can be employed.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

LUSAKA DRAINAGE SYSTEM

82. Mr Hamusonde asked the Minister of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection what measures the Lusaka City Council had taken to improve the drainage system, especially on Lumumba and Chachacha roads.

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Central Business District (CBD) and part of the light and heavy industrial areas discharge their storm water through the various drainage networks which, eventually, discharge it into either the main Lumumba Road or Cairo Road drains.

Cairo Road Drain

Mr Speaker, the main Cairo Road Drain collects most of the water on the eastern part of Cairo Road and the section of a CBD up to Cha Cha Cha Road. The existing underground Cairo Road Main Drain is a trapezoidal stone-pitched drain measuring, approximately, 3 m deep, 1.5 m wide at the bottom and 2.5 m wide at the top. Due to the increased number of thefts that were reported in the CBD, and the allegation that the Cairo Road Drain was being used as an escape route by thieves, the main drain was, in 2007, completely sealed off with mass concrete cover slabs. This measure helped to prevent thieves from accessing it and, in turn, assisted in the prevention of solid waste from accumulating in the drain. The drain is, currently, adequately functional.

Sir, during heavy downpours in the rainy season, the CBD experiences flush floods along some roads due to the blockage of the existing underground drains. The underground network has, for over fifteen years, not been attended to and, therefore, it is heavily silted in most sections. The areas worst affected are the service alleys between the main roads, where the pipes have been discovered to be completely blocked and require uprooting and replacement.

Rehabilitation of the Cha Cha Cha Road Drain

Mr Speaker, the Cha Cha Cha Road underground drainage network discharges its storm water into the Cairo Road Main Drain. Flush floods are experienced along this road in the rainy season due to siltation of the drain.

Sir, the Lusaka City is in the process of procuring a pressure jet that will be used to flush underground drainage pipes to remove the silt and, eventually, increase their carrying capacity. This will allow for an increased discharge rate of storm water. Shimizu Corporation had, in 2005, assisted the LCC to flush the Katondo Road Underground Drain, which resulted in an increased discharged of storm water.

Lumumba Road (CBD)/Kalambo Road Drain
   
Mr Speaker, the Lumumba Road Drain collects storm water from the western part of the CBD and discharges it, through the Kalambo Road Underground Drain, into the main stream by ZESCO. The capacity of the drain has been grossly affected by the huge amount of waste deposited in the drain by traders along it. With the establishment of Munyaule Market, located next to City Market, …

Laughter

Mrs Banda: … the Lumumba Road Drain has been covered with makeshift structures that have been constructed over it, making it impossible to access it for maintenance.

Lumumba Road (Villa)/Kalambo Road Drain

Mr Speaker, the Lumumba Road Drain also collects storm water from the Mwembeshi Road Junction towards the CBD and discharges it through the Kalambo Road Underground Drain into the main stream. It also collects storm water from the Villa Elizabetha area and discharges it into the Lumumba Road Drain through underground drain pipes along Luanshya Road. These pipes were also flushed open by Shimizu Corporation in 2005. However, due to lack of periodic flushing of the pipes, silt has since accumulated, causing flush floods along Luanshya and its surrounding roads. The procurement of a pressure jet by the council will assist in mitigating the problem.

Measures Already Taken to Improve the Lumumba Road

Mr Speaker, between 2004 and 2007, the council realised that access culverts of the business houses along Lumumba Road had been improperly constructed with some having undersized pipes and others not being at the invert level. This was a bottleneck for the discharge of storm water. The affected business houses were approached and instructed to reconstruct their access by replacing them with box culverts as opposed to culvert pipes. 

The council facilitated the demolition of the said accesses and property owners all constructed their accesses. Equally, the LCC demolished and reconstructed the cross culvert across the Mulalila Road by the Lumumba Road Junction, which was undersized, and replaced it with a 1.8 m X 2.4 box culvert. This, however, has not completely eliminated the drainage problem in the area as the Lumumba drain has rock outcrop, which equally contributes to the stagnation of storm water.

Lumumba/Villa/Matero Drain

The Lumumba/Mwembeshi Road Junction and Chandwe Musonda Road Junction, towards Matero, discharge their storm water through Emmasdale into the mainstream that crosses the Great North Road, eventually connecting into the Ngwerere Stream. The major problem with this section of the drain is the undersized roadside drain, which gets overwhelmed when it rains and cannot adequately discharge the storm water, thus causing flush floods. It is, therefore, proposed that the entire Lumumba Road  …

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Order, order!

Let the response be made to the House. You will follow it up with questions.

Mrs Banda: … roadside drain be completely reconstructed and replaced with a larger one to improve the discharge capacity. With the reconstruction of the Lumumba Road drain, the culvert across the Great North Road at the Mandevu/Lumumba Road Junction will, equally, have to be replaced with a larger drain. This will also solve the floods problem perennially experienced at the Mandevu Junction.

Proposed Rehabilitation Strategy

Lumumba Road has deteriorated with potholes and cracks in a number of sections along the carriageway. It is currently due for rehabilitation and has been identified as a priority road for rehabilitation in Lusaka City because it is a by-pass route for long distance vehicles and buses, and a major road in the CBD. It is proposed that, with the reconstruction of the road, the drain will also be reconstructed.

Maintenance of the Major Outflow Drains

The LCC is currently dredging the major outflow drains in the city and Ngwerere Stream, which is a backbone drain for the city, and was the first to be worked on. The Emmasdale/LumumbaRoad/Great North Road Drain has also been worked on. It is hoped that, with the dredging of these drains, there will be an increased discharge of storm water from the city.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, from that long answer given by the hon. Minister, I have heard that the drain along Lumumba Road is going to be reconstructed. However, when you walk through there, you find that the drainage is full of solid waste and even the island is becoming the new dump site like the Chunga one. There is a lot of dirt. Is the Government going to wait for the reconstruction of the drain when garbage is being dumped there, day by day, and the area is looking very filthy before it clears the solid waste?

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister referred to the fact that apart from the poor construction, we also have the problem of waste that clogs the drainage system. Therefore, apart from reconstruction, it is important that the waste is also removed so that we unblock the blockages.

Sir, one of our biggest challenges, as a ministry, is waste management in the country. This is a problem we inherited, but one we are facing head on. We are in discussions with a number of stakeholders who are thinking outside the box so that we put in place a waste management system that will stand the test of time.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the answer by the hon. Minister has been so comprehensively given and it is a very good one. However, may I know, tentatively, when we are going to change by, especially, enlarging the drains that come near Mandevu. As you go towards Ngwerere, the drains become smaller and this is also causing the clogging because, during a storm, if the outlet is small, there is going to be a blockage. When are we going to make bigger drainage systems?

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, I am sure the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central knows that renovations and reconstruction are more difficult than doing works for the first time. This is why the PF Government is very conscious of fighting corruption. When you give contracts from which you want to get kickbacks, the people that you give them to will not do a good job.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: What we are talking about is the result of this.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: My ministry, in partnership with our sister ministry, which is responsible for drains and roads, the Ministry of Transport Works, Supply and Communication, will do a good job and ensure that the contracts are given to people who are responsible and able to come back, if they have not done a good job, to correct the works without any further payment by the State.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I am also grateful for that elaborate answer in which the hon. Minister mentioned that one of the major causes of these flush floods and blockages of drains are various forms of solid waste, for example, Chibuku containers and plastic items. Therefore, my question is: Is the hon. Minister considering, at some point, the banning of production of sachets and the use of plastic containers, which are not bio-degradable?

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, I just want to inform my uncle that his question has been overtaken by events. It is a pity he did not do it because I am going to do it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, according to research on street children conducted in 1991, 1996 and 2005 or thereabout, it is evident that the drainage systems in our urban areas are havens for our street children and, clearly, the clogging of drainages that has been referred to is as a result of the activities of the street children. May I know from the hon. Minister how she hopes to reconcile the efforts of dredging the drainage systems while, at the same time, these systems continue to be accommodation or habitation for our street children? How are the two to be reconciled?

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, the responsibility that I was given by the President of the Republic of Zambia is that of looking after local councils, housing, early education and environmental protection. The hon. Member might wish to ask that question to the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport as well as the hon. Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, may I know from the hon. Minister if she is aware that most of these drainages are, actually, in their current state as a result of the manner in which contracts to construct them were given.

Interruptions

Mr Kampyongo: The contracts were being given in such a way that there was no proper liability period that obligated the contractors to make sure that the drainages were maintained for a certain period of time. If the hon. Minister is aware of that fact, what is she doing about it?

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, in fact, I did refer to that. As for what we are doing about it, as you know, the contracts were not awarded by the PF Government, but we cannot cry over spilt milk. The challenge that the people of Zambia have given us is to correct the situation. We are moving on and I think we should not go backwards.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Interruptions

 
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