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line Home arrow Debates & Proceedings arrow Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly arrow Debates- Thursday, 21st February, 2013 Tuesday, 21 October 2014  
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Debates- Thursday, 21st February, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 February 2013
DAILY PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES FOR THE SECOND SESSION OF THE ELEVENTH ASSEMBLY
Thursday, 21st February, 2013

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

NATIONAL ANTHEM

PRAYER

__________

ANNOUNCEMENT BY MR SPEAKER

COMPOSITION OF SESSIONAL COMMITTEES

Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order No. 131, the Standing Orders Committee has made changes to the composition of some Sessional Committees, following the appointment of Hon. G. Monde, MP; Hon. D. Mwango, MP; and Hon. M. H. Malama, MP to Deputy Ministerial positions. The changes are as follows:

Standing Orders Committee

Mr R. I. Mpundu, MP, has been appointed to replace Hon. D. Mwango, MP

Committee on Government Assurances

Mr M. Habeenzu, MP, has been appointed to replace Hon. G. Monde, MP

Public Accounts Committee

Mr J. Zimba, MP, has been appointed to replace Hon. M. H. Malama, MP

Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour

Mr I. C. Bwalya, MP, has been appointed to replace Hon. D. Mwango, MP; and

Mr A. Sichula, MP, has been appointed to replace Hon. M. H. Malama, MP.

Thank you.

_________



MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

THE ALLEGED KILLING OF SIXTEEN PRISONERS AT MUKOBEKO MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr E. C. Lungu): Mr Speaker, following the point of order raised by Kasempa Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Member of Parliament, Hon. Kabinga Pande, in which he alleged that a total of sixteen prisoners at the Kabwe Maximum Security Prison were beaten to death by recruits after the escape of three condemned prisoners at that prison, I wish to inform the august House that the allegations are not only false, but also malicious because no prisoner had been beaten to death in the circumstance alleged, or any other for that matter.

Sir, the facts surrounding this issue are that, as a result of a regrettable incident of a jail break, which occurred on 13th February, 2013, in which three condemned prisoners, namely Bernard Kapaso, 41 years, Derrick Mwape, 29 years and Shadreck Phiri 32 years escaped from lawful custody, a special search was conducted in all sections of the prison.

Mr Speaker, the purpose of the search was to remove from the prison all prohibited articles and also establish if there were any further threats to the security of the prison.  Hon. Members, a prohibited article in the context of prison services and administration is any article not authorised in prison such as uncensored letters, mobile phones, offensive weapons and anything which can be deemed to be useful in aiding a prisoner’s escape or injuring another person. During the course of the search, it was discovered that the three escapees used a sharp instrument to cut the metal latch which fastens the door of the cells. That is how they eventually escaped from lawful custody.

Sir, the Prisons Act, Chapter 97 of the Laws of Zambia, under Rule 198, Sub-Sections 1, 2 and 3, empowers officers to conduct thorough searches on prisoners and the cells where they are confined so as to rid the cells and the prisoners of all prohibited and dangerous instruments such as knives and many other items which I have already talked about. This was done on the basis of the escape by the three prisoners.

Mr Speaker, based on the way the three condemned prisoners escaped from prison, officers conducted a search on the morning of 14th February, 2013. During the search, the officers were met with resistance from inmates. The inmates became unruly because they did not want to be searched and, in the process, they abducted one prison warder and held him hostage. They demanded that the search be discontinued as a condition for releasing the abducted officer. It was at this point that 300 recruits who are currently on training in Kabwe were brought in for reinforcement so as to rescue the hostage and also allow the search to continue in the other sections of the prison.

The officers in question were deployed as follows:

(a)    twenty prison warders inside the prison precinct were beefed up by 100 recruits; and

(b)    thirty police officers and 200 recruits were positioned outside the prisons to secure the prison premises.

Sir, the abducted officer was later rescued unharmed despite a lot of resistance from the inmates. Thereafter, the search continued in all the sections of the prison.

Mr Speaker, contrary to the statement made by Hon. Kabinga Pande that a total of 600 recruits were deployed inside the prison, only 300 recruits were involved in the operation. It is important to note that the population at Mukobeko is 1,980 of whom 366 are male-condemned prisoners. This gives the ratio of one prison warder to three prisoners.

Sir, the search yielded positive results. Various offensive items like screw drivers,  and knives, dagga and many other prohibited articles were recovered at the end of the search.

Mr Speaker, in his point of order, Hon. Kabinga Pande also asked the Government to clarify on the fifteen minutes given to condemned prisoners for them to do physical exercises.

Sir, the fifteen minutes given to prisoners for them to undertake physical exercises is in accordance with the provisions of the law. Prisoners sentenced to death are supposed to be kept in a cell during the day and night and are only supposed to do exercises twice in a day for fifteen minutes.

Mr Speaker, based on what I have informed this august House today, the deaths reported by Hon. Kabinga Pande are fictitious. I pray that the hon. Member of Parliament will kindly tell this House where he got that information from.

Mr Speaker, as hon. Members of Parliament, before we give any piece of information to the House, we have a duty to undertake thorough consultations with the intention of verifying facts. We should not raise issues based on rumours, gossip and falsehoods. It is regrettable that Hon. Kabinga Pande did not verify this story. To make matters worse, he went to the extent of tying false statistics to his unverified allegation. His statement was not only alarming, but also posed a threat to the security of the nation. It also demoralised the hardworking officers who conducted the operation in a very professional manner despite it being risky.

Sir, such alarming statements do not only send wrong signals to relatives of the people who are currently incarcerated at the prison facility, but also the nation at large, if not the entire outside world.

Mr Speaker, let me take advantage of this opportunity to inform this House that currently, the situation at Mukobeko Maximum Prison has returned to normal. In fact, this can be attested to by the fact that one of the hon. Deputy Ministers in the ministry went there the day after the incident and found that all was well. The security is tight. There is no death that occurred at the prison. All the prisoners are comfortable.

Sir, the Government has put in place adequate measures which will ensure that efficient and effective operations of the Zambia Police Service continue. Currently, we have reached an advanced stage in completing the construction of the new Mwembeshi Maximum Prison which is earmarked for opening in the first week of March, 2013. The opening of this prison, which has remained uncompleted since 1978, has been a priority of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. The new prison will help us to address issues of congestion and poor sanitation at Mukobeko Maximum Prison and other facilities in the country.

Mr Speaker, we have realised that our prisons have been neglected for a long time to an extent where they are ill-equipped and, in some cases, completely run down. Therefore, this Government will soon procure modern equipment so as to ease the management of the prisons. Additionally, about 638 recruits will be passing out to beef up the current staffing levels. These recruits have had their training curriculum revised in conformity with the modern terms of the prison service, placing emphasis on correction rather than retribution.

Sir, all these measures outlined above show the determination of the PF Government in its quest to address issues of overcrowding and sanitation in prisons as well as inadequate staffing levels. The welfare of our prison officers is also included in this respect.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to urge Hon. Pande to conduct his research thoroughly and make consultations so as to avoid issuing misleading statements to the House. I am sure the hon. Member could have easily consulted the area hon. Member of Parliament who could have given him valuable and credible information because he is most likely to have had a better understanding of the situation.

Further, I would like to request that Hon. Pande retracts his statement as it is not only unfounded, but also misleading and alarming. He should render an appropriate apology for misleading the House and the nation at large.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Interruptions

Hon. Government Member: He should step down as chairman.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement made by the hon. Minister.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to appreciate the clarification which the hon. Minister has made to the House and the nation at large. Before I ask a follow-up question, I would like to indicate to the hon. Minister that in my point of order, if he followed it correctly, I said that what was being reported was an allegation. When an allegation is made, it is important for the Government to clear the air, just like it has done, in this instance, through the hon. Minister. The hon. Minister should appreciate the fact that my point of order has helped him to clear the air before this allegation spread across the country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, it is common practice for prisoners at Mukobeko Maximum Prison to be visited by their relatives but, since that incident, there has been a ban on visitations. What is the reason for this?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, ordinarily, when there is an incident of such nature, soon after, measures are often put in place upon evaluating the security of the premises. To some extent, these measures are meant to discipline erring prisoners. The hon. Member may wish to know that the institution of prisons has its own regulations and rules, whereby anyone who is in breach can be punished in accordance with the rules therein.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Very good.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to raise a point of order, pursuant to Article 51 of the Constitution of Zambia and various precedents that have been made on the Floor of this House pertaining to issues that hinge on legality.

Mr Speaker, the Cabinet of the Republic of Zambia is collectively accountable to this House. Further, when hon. Members take oath, swearing before you, they swear to uphold the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia and the laws that are made therein. This Parliament passed a law entitled the Energy Regulation (Amendment) Act No. 23 of 2003. Section 2 of that Act states:

“The board shall consist of seven part-time members appointed by the Minister from among eminent persons who have adequate knowledge, experience and qualifications in:


(a)engineering;
(b)finance;
(c)natural resources management;
(d)electricity industry;
(e)petroleum industry; and
(f)administration.”

Mr Speaker, as a result of the power that is conferred on the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development, the hon. Minister decided to constitute a board for the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) which comprises not seven, but eleven members, contrary to the law. I would like to read, for the benefit of this House and the nation at large, the composition of that particular board. The chairperson is George Chabwera, Robinson Mwansa is the vice-chairperson and Evelyn Kangwa, who is a District Commissioner in Chinsali, is a board member. The other board members are Mubanga Musakanya, Judith Tembo, Johnstone Chikwanda, Mike Kabwe, Pastor Geoff Mwape, Ellyson W. Mulenga, Chief Kamponge Chewe and Kenneth Namutulo.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, that makes the composition of this particular board eleven, contrary to the provision of the law that provides for seven board members. The hon. Minister has appointed four members in excess of what the law provides and these members have been drawing allowances and other conditions of service from the ERB.

Mr Speaker, further, the Act states that a person shall not be appointed as a member of the board if that person:
 
(a)is undischarged bankrupt;

(b)has been convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty;

(c)has been convicted of an offence under this Act or any other written law and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than six months, without the option of a fine;

(d)is an office bearer or employee of any political party; or

(e)is the holder of a licence or has any interest in a licence or in a partnership or corporation that is a holder of a licence.

Mr Speaker, amongst these members, Mr Kenneth Namutulo is the Provincial Chairperson of the PF in the Western Province, …

Interruptions

Mr Mwiimbu: … contrary to the Laws of the Republic of Zambia, which this Parliament passed. The question that begs an answer is whether His Honour the Vice-President, as Leader of Government Business in this House, is in order to remain quiet on this matter and not advise the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development that the decision he made is illegal and ultravires and an affront to the laws we pass in this House. Are our colleagues, on your right, in order to continue abrogating the laws of this country with impunity without correcting this situation?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Order!

These are the points of order that I have consistently stated …

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Let me finish. I am in charge.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: These are points of order that ought to be – I am providing guidance – reduced in writing. I have said before, and repeatedly so, that I do not underestimate, by any measure, the importance of these issues, but I am looking at the efficiency of conducting business. By and large, these points of order are meant to hold the Executive to account. That is your function and you should not be shy about it.

However, reduce your questions in writing and we will duly process them and direct them to the appropriate ministries. There is no need for fanfare about it. Whether it is done quietly or in the full glare of cameras, the public, on radio and so on and so forth, the net effect is the same. Nonetheless, I will, accordingly, direct that the hon. Minister of Justice responds to these issues and would accord the House a statement, next week on Tuesday, 26th February, 2013. We would save time if you reduced these matters in writing. The effect is the same, whether it is dramatised or not.

Laughter

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has admitted, in his statement, that 300 law enforcement officers invaded Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison. Mr Dennis Liwewe, in one of his soccer running commentaries, once said, “When an African tells you he is thirty years old, add three years, bwana.” Even in this regard, when the Government says 300, multiply it by two.

Laughter

Mr Mbulakulima: Therefore, the 600 law enforcement officers mentioned is not farfetched. However, taking into account what the hon. Minister has said, whether there were 300 law enforcement officers, the situation was grave. There is no doubt about that because an officer was abducted. Is it not in your own interest to send the Human Rights Commission to verify this situation independently and tell the nation about its findings?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, the Human Rights Commission exists under a totally independent mandate from the Zambia Prisons Service. Under the Human Rights Commission, the hon. Member of Parliament has the right to petition the institution to conduct an inquiry into this matter. I cannot stop him. Suffice to say that 300 recruits did not invade the prison because they are a part of the administration of the Zambia Prisons Service. The Zambia Prisons Service has authority to call upon its own to help maintain law and order.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the allegation made was a very serious one and, if I were the hon. Minister, I would have found it useful to have other people collaborate my story. In that regard, would the hon. Minister permit independent lawyers, including those representing prisoners, to verify the situation.

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, my statement is collaborated by the fact that my Deputy Minister, Hon. Mwamba, went there the very next day. I have also admitted, in answer to the question raised by Hon. Mbulakulima, that he is at liberty to go to the Human Rights Commission and petition them to go and inquire independently. By the same token, the hon. Member can involve the Law Association of Zambia or any other body he thinks will help get the truth if he is doubting the authenticity of my statement. Do not even come to me, but just go to the Zambia Prisons Service and they will allow you to carry out an inquiry.

Thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): My question has been overtaken by events.

 Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has confirmed that, indeed, there is a ban on visitations to the prison. May I know whether this ban is meant to reduce entry of prohibited articles into the prison and how long it will remain in effect.

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, I appreciate that we speak English as a language we acquire in the course of our lives, but I did say that the prisoners earn their rights to certain privileges in a way. This is because I said there are regulations in the prison which are to be followed and, if a prisoner breaches these regulations, he earns a punishment or penalty. One of the punishments is suspension of visits, in case you did not know. So, if a prisoner misbehaves in jail, the prison authority has the power to stop visitations for a period they deem appropriate in order to put that prisoner in line. So, what has happened in Kabwe is twofold. Firstly, the service is trying to establish how this incident occurred and it has in place a body of inquiry which is going round at the moment. Secondly, some of the prisoners do not deserve the favours they have been getting. So, the prison authority wants to teach them a lesson so that they toe the line. That is the position.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: How long will the ban last?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Sir, the ban will be determined by the outcome of the inquiry, which will soon be over.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister, in his statement, made it clear that during the operation, marijuana was confiscated. What is the value of the marijuana that was confiscated?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister should state the street value.

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, let me take advantage of this by letting this House know that we have presently stopped revealing the street value of any drugs recovered because it used to incite people into drug dealing. Otherwise, the drugs, which were confiscated have been surrendered to the Drug Enforcement Commission which is dealing with the matter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, when did you last inspect the prison to confiscate some of the prohibited instruments that were found?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, I do not know whether the hon. Member is asking the hon. Minister when he last inspected the prison for prohibited instruments, but I would like to believe that this is a routine requirement and I cannot tell off-hand when last Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison was inspected.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that prohibited items were found in the prison. What steps is the Government taking to ensure that such articles are not taken inside the prison?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, the challenge that we have is that the prison warders are human beings and they also have their own frailties. What we have discovered is that, sometimes, prisoner warders tend to become lax because of being too familiar with the prison and prisoners, and that is normal human failure. However, I did state, in my statement, that we are trying to acquire high technique equipment to improve the security of our prisons apart from the routine searches that are conducted from time to time.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say that Hon. Pande should disclose the source of the information that was given to us. Why has he chosen to be personal on this issue?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Sir, I do not think that by demanding to know the source of information, I was being personal. I was just trying to help the hon. Member so that, probably, we can discuss with his sources of information and guard them against misleading the hon. Members because they are causing us embarrassment. That is all I meant. There is nothing personal.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I would like to hear from the Minister of Home Affairs, Edgar Lungu …

Laughter

Mr Speaker: Order!

He is also honourable.

You can continue.

Mr Ntundu: Yes. Let him come out openly. He is aware that any item that is to be taken to the courts of law for questioning should be valued. Why is he hiding the street value of the marijuana that was confiscated?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister has already given an explanation for that. Let us follow these responses carefully. He made it very clear.

We now turn to Questions for Oral Answer.{mospagebreak}

___________________


QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

GREAT EAST ROAD

336. Mr Mtolo (Chipata) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)whether the Government had any plans to widen the Great East Road to reduce on road traffic accidents; and

(b)if so, when the project would commence.
The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr M. H. Malama): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to widen the Great East Road to enhance safety and reduce accidents. The section between Luangwa Bridge and Mwami Border is earmarked for rehabilitation with financing from the African Development Bank (ADB), the European Union (EU), European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French Agency for Development (AfD).

 The works will involve widening the carriageway from 6.2m to 6.8m. Additionally, 1.5 metre-wide sealed shoulders will be constructed on either side of the carriageway.

Sir, the works are scheduled to commence in 2013.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Deputy Minister for that answer which is giving an encouraging position. However, is he aware that, currently, some parts of the road are so narrow that two trucks cannot drive alongside each other? One has to go off the road. If he is, what is he going to do in the meantime to avoid this obviously potentially dangerous situation?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, we are aware of the situation. That is the reason there are plans to widen the road.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, the recent road traffic accidents have prompted debate on the need to put dual carriageways on our main trunk routes. These are Livingstone/Chililabombwe, Chingola/Solwezi, Kapiri Mposhi/Nakonde and Lusaka/Chipata for a start. Does the Government think that we need to invest in dual carriageways since the economy has grown and the narrow roads cannot accommodate the traffic?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, this is the reason the Link Zambia 8,000 Road Project is being implemented. Some of the roads that the hon. Member has mentioned will be looked at under that project.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, what plans does the ministry have in terms of widening the road from Lusaka to Luangwa Bridge? I heard an extensive answer regarding the part from the Luangwa Bridge to Mwami. However, the Great East Road begins from Lusaka. What plans has the Government put in place for the stretch from Lusaka to Luangwa Bridge?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, we have many roads that are very narrow. In fact, they are there throughout the country. It is not just the Great East Road. The situation is the same with the Great North Road.  Some of the areas will be covered in the next phase.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr M. B. Mwale (Malambo): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has said that the road works will start in 2013. When, specifically, will the works start? The people of the Eastern Province are very expectant and want to know exactly when the works will commence.

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, the commencement of works will depend on the designs or procurement processes. We may start working on these projects after the rains. However, I cannot be specific and state that we will start at the monthend of June, for example. These are big projects and we cannot specify timelines. I can only say that the works will commence in 2013.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister is answering very well. I urge him to keep this up. He will make a good hon. Minister.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: However, why is he so slippery that he is not telling the people of the Eastern Province when the construction works on the road will start? Why is he trying to dodge the question?

Mr Speaker: He has just provided an explanation for that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the road will be widened from 6.2m to 6.8m. I was wondering why it will not be widened to 7.5m, which is the standard on all busy roads, since it is also a busy road.

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, some of the works go in tandem with the availability of funds. We must admit that this is a developing country, and there are many other areas that need attention.  If it were possible, we would have dual carriageways on all the trunk roads in Zambia. However, funds are limited. Therefore, what I mentioned is what we can provide for now. In future, we may consider further expansion.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr V. Mwale: Wakula.

TEACHERS IN KALABO

337. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    whether the Government was aware that the following vices were rampant among teachers serving in Kalabo Parliamentary Constituency:

(i)    beer-drinking during working hours; and

(ii)    absenteeism; and

(b)    if the Government was aware, what measures had been taken to curb these vices.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, we are aware of reported cases of absenteeism and beer-drinking across the country. The following measures are being taken to mitigate the situation:

(a)District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS) intensifying the monitoring of teachers in schools and counselling the teachers against beer-drinking;
Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Order on the right!

Mr Mabumba:

(b)reinforcing the conditions of service under which our teachers are serving;

(c)building the capacity of headteachers and other administrators in schools so that they are able to curb the vices;

(d)the Teaching Council, the supervisory body that the ministry introduced on Tuesday, this week,  regulating teachers’ practice and professional conduct.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the response indicating the measures that the Government intends to take. However, how, specifically, does the Government intend to reinforce the laws? So far, there has never been any change. The only change that I have noticed is the increase in the number of erring teachers.

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, the problem is not only with the teachers in Kalao …

Hon. Members: It is ‘Kalabo’.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, it is not just teachers in Kalabo who have exhibited this behaviour. The problem is countrywide, and there are several factors to which these occurrences could be attributed. However, the existing machinery meant to discipline teachers has fallen short of ending the vices because it mainly consists of ad hoc committees at various levels of the ministry. Since the ministry has realised that the problem is becoming big, it has presented a Bill to this August House called the Teaching Profession Bill. We hope that once this august House passes this Bill, there will be a Teaching Council which will demand a certain level of professional conduct from every teacher. This council will regulate the professional conduct of teachers and provide a code of ethics that teachers will have to follow. There will also be penalties that the council will institute for teachers who will break the code of ethics. We hope that this will bring sanity to the teaching profession.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, has the ministry carried out any research to determine what is causing absenteeism so that the measures that are being proposed address the causes?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, that will be the first requirement for the council after it has been set up. It will have to collect data on which it will base its authority. I said that there are several factors responsible for absenteeism. However, it is very critical that we are better informed on how we can proceed. This will be the responsibility of the Teaching Council when the Teaching Profession Bill becomes law.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, ...

Interruptions

Mr Chisala: ... how many teachers have been disciplined so far for drinking while on duty?
 
Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, my observation is that there is a need for research to get the answer. It is very difficult for the ministry to give specific figures on how many teachers have been disciplined because of the ad hoc manner of dealing with the mentioned vices at the national, provincial and district levels. We find this arrangement to be a little cumbersome. That is why we want a dedicated council to be established.

I thank you, Sir.    

Mr Chishiba (Kafulafuta): Mr Speaker, are there any immediate measures that will be put in place to reduce or completely stop absenteeism and beer-drinking in schools? This is because I think that the problem will be very big if the hon. Minister will wait until the council has been set up to address these issues. If this situation continues, it might contribute to bad results in our schools.

Dr Phiri:  Mr Speaker, in the statement made earlier by the hon. Deputy Minister, and in my own, there was no insinuation that we are not taking any measures to stop this vice. We were saying that the existing measures were not yielding the desired results. One of the measures to deal with these vices that the hon. Deputy Minister informed the House about is that the DEBSs have intensified the monitoring of teachers in schools. A counselling process has also been instituted and we are reinforcing the terms and conditions of service under which teachers are serving. Some of the factors relating to the terms and conditions of service are responsible for these vices. We are also building capacity at managerial level and, above all, want these issues to be clearly spelt out in an Act of Parliament.

Sir, we are not waiting for an Act of Parliament to be in place before we do anything about the vices. We are already making serious efforts in trying to curb some of them.

I thank you, Sir.

STREET CHILDREN

338. Mr Mushanga (Bwacha) asked the Minister of Gender and Child Development:

(a)    how many street children there were countrywide, as of September, 2012;

(b)    what the major causes of children being on the streets were;

(c)    how many street children had been reunited with their families or relatives, as of June, 2012; and

(d)whether the Government had any empowerment programmes for households into which street children had been re-integrated and, if so, what the programmes were.

The Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, according to the data on the Baseline Study of Street Children of 2006, there were an estimated 13,500 children frequenting the streets. Out of this number, 11,475 were males and 2,026 were females. As of September, 2012, 1,313 street children (1,077 males and 236 females) were identified countrywide as frequenting the streets. The reduction in the numbers can be attributed to the intensified programmes targeting street children by the Government and the civil society. For example, from 2004, the Government has been implementing the programme to rehabilitate and re-integrate street children. This programme has seen children below the age of eighteen re-integrated into families and placed in institutions of care whilst an estimated 1,095 children, aged between fifteen to eighteen, have benefitted from skills training from the Zambia National Service camps.

Sir, the major causes of children being on the streets are as follows:

(a)     Poverty

In some cases, parents use children as income-generating agents. They send the children to beg for money on the streets. Other children are engaged at a fee to beg for the physically challenged men and women such as the blind;

(b)    Unemployment on the Part of Parents and Guardians

This eventually leads to the non-provision of basic needs to the children who go to the streets to beg in order to make ends meet;


(c)HIV/AIDS Pandemic

This has continued to take its toll on the productive segment of the population, leading to increased numbers of orphans and vulnerable children, including street children as well as child-headed households;

(d)Divorce

When parents divorce, children are often left uncared for. As a result, this leads to children going to the streets as a way of survival;


(e)Breakdown in the Extended Family System
We all know that traditionally, the extended family system provided social safety nets by taking care of children from vulnerable households as well as those who had lost their parents. This is no longer happening. As a result, many children who have lost their parents or those from vulnerable homes end up on the streets;
 
(f)Abandonment by Families

Children who are abandoned and neglected by their families end up on the streets, as there is no one to care and support them. These children find solace on the streets;

(g)Peer Pressure

Sometimes, children end up on the streets not because of lack of care and support from their parents and guardians, but as a result of influence from their peers who are already on the streets;

(h)Juvenile Delinquency

Some children end up on the streets as a result of truancy and failure to obey their parents who may be in a position to provide for them; and

(i)Abuse at Home

Abuse, in its various forms such as emotional, physical, psychological and sexual, contribute to children being on the streets, as they tend to run away from all these forms of abuse and seek comfort on the streets.

Mr Speaker, the re-integration process is ongoing and, by June, 2012, 193 children, aged below eighteen, were re-integrated into their families, as follows:

    Males        Females

    136        57

Sir, for those without family connections, some child-care institutions have been identified which will assist in providing care and support for the well-being of these children. For those children who are eighteen years and above, the Ministry of Youth and Sport will cater for them in terms of skills training programmes.

Mr Speaker, the Government has put in place interventions targeting households and communities meant to provide support to orphans and other vulnerable children, including street children. These interventions include the following:

(a)Capacity Building of Duty Bearers

The Ministry of Gender and Child Development, working in collaboration with other Government ministries and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the districts, has also embarked on the process of capacity building of parents and guardians of households where street children are coming from in income-generating activities. This is happening in Kabwe, Ndola, Livingstone, Kitwe and Lusaka. This capacity building is taking place in areas where street children are many;

(b)    Public Welfare Assistance Scheme

This is a Government welfare assistance intervention designed to offer social assistance or support to the most vulnerable, poor and destitute individuals in the country. The scheme falls under the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health;

(c)         Social Cash Transfer

This is a joint initiative of the Government and co-operating partners. The scheme falls under the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health; and

(e)The Women Economic Empowerment Programme

Under this programme, the Government provides equipment and nominal start-up capital for women’s groups, especially in rural areas. In the past, the ministry bought uniform equipment to distribute but, in 2012, my ministry undertook a needs assessment with the intention of establishing the suitable equipment required by women’s groups in various provinces. At present, the ministry purchases these items on demand from the women’s groups.

The Government has also provided funds for the economic empowerment of women under the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health. In addition, the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) also provides for women empowerment through the District Commissioner’s office for easy access by the women’s groups.

Mr Speaker, I would like to end by appealing to my fellow hon. Members of Parliament to apportion part of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) towards children’s programmes in their respective constituencies. These may include support towards the following:

(a)institutions caring for children;

(b)capacity building initiatives of parents and guardians of vulnerable children;

(c)establishment of recreation facilities; and

(i)awareness raising campaigns on the plight of children.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, the problem of street children in Zambia is a time bomb. If we do not respond to this challenge seriously, this nation will be in trouble. May I know the support which is being given to former street children who were trained in various skills, especially through the Chiwoko and Kitwe training camps because I have seen that some of them have gone back to the streets.

Mrs Wina: Mr Speaker, the majority of the children who have received training from these centres have been placed in institutions where they have been given jobs. For example, Sun Hotels has employed one of the street children as a chef and we are very proud of that. Another street child has set up a workshop in Feira where he repairs motor vehicles. These are some of the success stories that come out from the support that these children are getting from the Government and the private sector.

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, the tradition in this particular area, since 1991, has been to have research carried out after five years. We had one study in 1991, the first of its kind in Zambia on street children, and then in 1996, 2001 and 2006. May I know whether the hon. Minister is thinking of coming up with another study as a follow up to the 2006 study.

Mrs Wina: Mr Speaker, the issues of street children are very serious, as one speaker indicated. The Ministry of Gender and Child Development is aware of the emerging needs and issues that relate to ‘streetism’. The ministry is in the process of carrying out research at certain intervals, but not necessarily this year. We are still looking into this issue seriously because it is a matter of urgency. It is necessary for us to undertake research in this area.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, every government is judged by how well it looks after the most vulnerable in society. Since the PF Government came into power, we have not seen any serious effort to remove children from the streets. I would like to find out if the Government has continued with the process of ensuring that it owns shelters for street children. Does the Government have homes for children who are in need?

Mr Kakoma: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity …

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: You may have to suspend your point of order, as the hon. Member has already finished asking her question.

Mrs Wina: Mr Speaker, the PF Government is very committed to protecting the rights of children. We care about the children who are roaming the streets. However, our priority is to try to re-integrate them into their homes or relatives’ homes. When or if that fails, then the child is taken to an institution where care is provided.

Sir, I am very surprised to hear the hon. Member referring to the fact that this Government does not care much for the street children when it does. In fact, there is a committee composed of police officers and welfare officers who visit the streets every so often to pick some of these children up and take them back to their homes or find suitable accommodation for them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Kakoma: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to raise this very serious point of order. I rarely rise on points of order. Is the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Given Lubinda, in order to continue sitting at the back while abandoning his seat in the front which is next to the hon. Minister of Justice? Is he in order?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kabwata is in order to sit where he is sitting.

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: There have been changes which have been notified to my office which have necessitated a change in the sitting arrangements. I am sure the public relations unit of the appointing authority will apprise the nation in due course.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, I would like to know where the 13,500 street children, who have been referred to in the answer, come from.

Mrs Wina: Mr Speaker, most of the street children are usually found in cosmopolitan areas like Lusaka, Kabwe, Kitwe, Mufulira and one or two other places. However, the ministry has spread its tentacles to the rural areas as well because there are some children who are vulnerable there. The children in rural areas have also become our target. We want to promote inclusiveness in our programmes.

I thank you, Sir.

    Indigenous manufacturing companies

339.Mr Kapyanga (Kabwe Central) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to assist indigenous manufacturing companies such as the Kabwe Industrial Fabrics Company to survive competition considering the high cost of raw materials; and

(b)    what measures the Government had taken to curb the importation of polythene bags, considering that they are locally manufactured.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Taima): The Government has plans to assist indigenous manufacturing companies survive competition in view of the high cost of raw materials. Therefore, the Government has put in place some measures to assist manufacturing and value-adding activities. The Government’s interventions are sector specific as opposed to coming up with those for individual companies.

Low Duty on Imported Raw Materials

The Government is charging low duty on imported raw materials that go into production of goods locally. This means that the raw materials, which are not available locally, are taxed at a reduced duty rate of 0 or 5 per cent so as to improve the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector in the country. The raw materials that attract zero duty are those which have one usage, whereas those that attract a duty of between 5-15 per cent are those that have multiple usages and can be used as raw materials in the manufacture of other products. An example is sugar which can be used in the manufacture of soft drinks. This way, our local companies can survive competition since the cost of raw materials is reduced.

Preferential Procurement

Mr Speaker, the Government has developed the Preferential Procurement Act through the CEEC and Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 36 of 2011 which is aimed at giving local manufacturers preference on public contracts, thereby providing a ready market for them. This SI states that the CEEC and the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) shall reserve public procurement for a citizen-influenced company, citizen-empowered company or citizen-owned company.

Investment Incentives

Sir, the Government, through the Zambia Development Act No. 11 of 2006, has provided incentives that assist local manufacturers to be competitive. The following are the incentives under the manufacturing sector:

Income Tax

(a)10 per cent initial allowance and annual 5 per cent wear and tear on buildings and structures; and

(b)50 per cent depreciation allowance on machinery.

Indirect Tax

(a)customs duty exemption on most machinery and equipment used in manufacturing;

(b)zero-rating duty on certain raw materials; and

(c)Import Value Added Tax (VAT) deferment on eligible plant and machinery of capital nature.

Sir, the Government, through the 2012 Budget, has proposed further measures to reduce the cost of doing business and make capital equipment more affordable to local manufacturers. These are as follows:

(a)removal of customs duty on a wide range of mechanical and electrical machine tools; and

(b)removal of excise duty on carbonated drinks and packaged water.

Private Sector Development Reform Programme II

Mr Speaker, under this programme, the Government is also creating a conducive business environment through the Private Sector Development Reform Programme (PSDRP) II, which is aimed at reducing the cost of doing business. This is meant to ensure that manufacturers optimise their production levels through structural reforms in various institutions in the country. Among the priority areas in the PSDRP II are the following:

(a)Business Licensing and Regulatory Reform (BLRR);

(b)The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Development;

(c)Labour and Labour Productivity (LLP);

(d)Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Development; and

(e)Trade expansion.
Mr Speaker, the Government’s policy is to ensure that local producers remain competitive. This, therefore, means that Zambia, by running a liberalised economy, encourages many players on the Zambian market, including those that are interested in importing polythene bags. Local producers are, therefore, encouraged to be innovative and to compete with other producers in the region and, indeed, at the global level. The Government’s role is that of facilitator in creating an enabling business environment. Therefore, in order to make our local producer competitive, the Government has exempted polythene materials from VAT. This means that polymer granules, plastic and liquid polymers, jute bags and woven bags are exempted from VAT.

Mr Speaker, these measures highlighted above are all meant to ensure favourable competitiveness among the players in the manufacturing sector.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.{mospagebreak}

ELECTRIFICATION OF RUFUNSA DISTRICT

340. Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development what had caused the delay in connecting Rufunsa District to the national electricity grid.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, the delay in connecting Rufunsa District to the national electricity grid was caused by a lack of political will. This is not the case now, as the Government is committed to having the district connected. In this regard, implementation of the project started in December, 2012, and is expected to be completed by December, 2013. I am sure the hon. Member for Rufunsa was there when we conducted the ground-breaking ceremony two to three months ago.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, it is a reminder to …

Mr Kalaba: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the Member of Parliament for Monze Central, Hon. Mwiimbu, and the Member for Zambezi West, Hon. Kakoma, in order to look so miserable and not congratulate one of their own who has been appointed to the Executive?

I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

Laughter

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Anyway, my ruling is that I have not discerned any misery.

Laughter

Mr Speaker: If I had, I would have been very concerned. They are very close to me.

Laughter

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I am sure the people of Rufunsa are listening and we shall patiently wait for this. However, there is another portion of Rufunsa District, which is Chieftainess Shikabeta’s Chiefdom, which is about 50 km away from the Boma. How does the Government intend to connect this particular area to the national grid?

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, we will be thinking about other areas of Rufunsa when we are through with the first phase where we are connecting from Leopards Hill to Luangwa District. In fact, we will not only end in Rufunsa, but go further to Luangwa. As soon as we are through with this project, we will then look at the area which the hon. Member has talked about.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, now that there is political will, as has been indicated by the hon. Minister, when is the hon. Minister considering doing for the people of Lukulu East what he is doing for the people of Rufunsa?

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, we will be in a position to answer that question when he puts it as an independent question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, now that there is political will, and since Rufunsa is just next to Mkushi South, does the hon. Minister have any plans of connecting Mkushi South to the national grid?

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, it is true that there is political will. Firstly, I would like to update the hon. Member for Rufunsa on what we have done so far. The contractor has mobilised to the site. The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (ZESCO) has made the designs and they have been approved. The equipment is being manufactured and the detailed surveys by the contractor on the line route have already been undertaken. We conducted the ground-breaking ceremony on 1st October, 2012. I, therefore, urge Hon. Chisanga to write to the ministry. When that is done, the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) or ZESCO can do it.

I thank you, Sir.

NATIONAL REGISTRATION CARD

341. Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi) asked the Vice-President whether the Government had any plans to harmonise the ages at which a citizen was issued with a national registration card (NRC) and their eligibility to vote in an election.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Mwango): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government has no plans to harmonise the ages at which a citizen is issued with an NRC and their eligibility to vote in an election. The issuance of the NRC is regulated by the National Registration Act, Cap. 126 of the Laws of Zambia. The eligibility of a citizen to obtain an NRC, as stipulated under Section III of the National Registration Act, is sixteen years. The registration of voters is regulated by the Electoral Act, Cap. 13 of the Laws of Zambia. The eligibility of citizens to register as voters, as stipulated under Section III of the Electoral Act, is eighteen years.


Mr Speaker, I wish to confirm to the House that, in the meantime, the Government has embarked on a programme of digitising the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship Database and linking it with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) under a programme called Integrated National Registration Information System (INRIS). This is aimed at bridging the gap that exists between the two institutions in the electoral process. Within this programme, the Department of National Registration Passport and Citizenship shall have an electronic database which shall be linked to the ECZ and be used as follows:

(a)    determining the citizens with national identity cards eligible for registering as voters;

(b)    updating the voters’ register by removing deceased registered voters from the voters’ register as per national civil register; and

(c)    determining the numbers of registered voters against citizens with NRCs in respective wards and constituencies in order to assist determine areas needing more voter registration resources and, if possible, voter education and publicity.

However, after this exercise, should the need to harmonise the provisions under these pieces of legislation arise, the Government shall proceed to amend the two pieces of statutes in order to have a uniform age requirement for acquiring an NRC and registering as a voter.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

NTATUMBILA AND SHAM BASIC SCHOOLS

342. Mr Sichula (Nakonde) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when Ntatumbila and Sham Basic schools would be rehabilitated and upgraded to secondary schools.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, in fact, this question is similar to the one that Hon. Mtolo asked regarding Chipata District. The Provincial Education Officer (PEO) for Muchinga Province has been tasked to identify schools in the province which could be transformed into secondary schools. This process of identification and transformation has already started in Muchinga Province and the hon. Member of Parliament will be informed in due course. Last month, I was in Nakonde with the PEO and these are some of the areas that we looked at.

I thank you, Sir.

ELECTRIFICATION OF RURAL AREAS

343. Mr Mbewe asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)when the electrification of Zemba in Chadiza District would be completed;

(b)what the total cost of the project was;

(c)what had caused the delay in completing the project; and

(d)who the contractors of the project were.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, in April, 2011, ZESCO Limited was requested to scope the electrification of Zemba Community in Chadiza District. The scoping was finalised. A quotation for the capital contribution was prepared and given to the community for payment. ZESCO started the works on the understanding that payment was going to be made in due course. However, due to non-payment, ZESCO Limited demobilised and pulled out.

Mr Speaker, the cost of the project of the electrification of Zemba was estimated at K1.6 billion (KR1.6 million) in April, 2011. The delay in completing the project has been caused by non-payment of the requisite capital contribution to ZESCO Limited by the Zemba Community. Once the capital contribution is paid, the project will resume. ZESCO is the contractor of this project.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister who received the letters for the contract that requested the people of Zemba to make contributions because, I, as the hon. Member for Parliament, am not aware that payments were supposed to be made.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, ZESCO Limited received the letter and the community of Zemba was informed accordingly, since they requested for this project. Therefore, ZESCO Limited wrote a letter and it was agreed that the community would pay the K1.6 billion. However, Hon. Mbewe should not lose hope because, as a way forward, the Government, which looks for solutions, intends to set aside financial resources in the 2014 Budget to complete the electrification exercise.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister the exact amount that the community of Zemba is supposed to contribute towards this project since the actual cost of the project is K1.6 billion.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, the Zemba Community is supposed to contribute KR1.6 million.

I thank, Sir.

Interruptions

POLICE POST AT CHITAMBO MISSION

344. Mr M. Malama (Chitambo) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the police post at Chitambo Mission in Serenje would be provided with the following:

    (a)    staff houses;

(b)holding cells; and

(c)transport.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, has plans to construct staff houses at Chitambo Mission Police Post, which is going to be upgraded as part of the on-going Infrastructure Development Plans which are scheduled to commence in the course of 2013.

Mr Speaker, the Government also has plans to build a modern police cell at the police post in Chitambo, as and when funds are made available.

Mr Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to provide a motor vehicle to Chitambo Mission Police Post in Serenje due to the budgetary constraints. Priority has been given to the major Grade A station which, in turn, co-ordinates security operations in areas where there are police posts. However, the hon. Member may wish to know that Chitambo is a new district and there will be a need to put up a Grade A police station. Therefore, in due course, the facility will be provided with transport. However, for now, we shall continue to ensure that security is enhanced in the area by using the transport which will be available at Serenje Police Station.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr M. Malama: Mr Speaker, since there are no holding cells at Chitambo Police Post, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the Government intends to do about the prisoners who are being chained to truck rims to inhibit them from escaping.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, we are aware of the situation at Chitambo. Like I have said, we are going to build cells for juveniles as well as adults, both male and female. We also have plans to build a Grade A police station in Chitambo, since it has now been declared a district.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, when will police posts in the new districts be upgraded to police stations, rather than the police post that the hon. Deputy Minister is talking about?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I have indicated, in my response, that there is an Infrastructural Development Plan that the ministry will effect. There are many issues that we are looking at. As you know, this is a project that cannot be implemented using resources from the Budget. So, we are co-ordinating with the Ministry of Finance to see how much funds will be made available for the project. After that, we shall be able to know how many districts we are going to start with.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, I do not know whether I got the questioner correctly. I am made to understand that, currently, the prisoners are chained to truck rims so that they cannot escape. What a pity! Anyhow, is the hon. Minister aware that doing so is a violation of human rights?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, let me, first of all, make a correction. The hon. Member is talking about prisoners, but we do not keep prisoners at police posts. Therefore, he should be referring to detainees. In view of this, it is not correct to say that we are keeping prisoners at the police posts. So, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order!

How does he respond if you are shouting at him?

Mr Kampyongo: Thank you very much for your protection, Mr Speaker.

What we are saying is that there are many police posts that need to be improved, not just at Chitambo Police Post. Mind you, we have not invested so much in these facilities for a long time. So, we regret …

Hon. Government Member: Because of the MMD!

Mr Kampyongo: … the situation at Chitambo and are going address it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: The question was: Are you aware that what is being done is a violation of human rights?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, like I said, we are not keeping prisoners.

Interruptions

Mr Kampyongo: I am sure that our police officers understand very well how they are supposed to keep detainees. So, I do not think that we are really violating any human rights.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just confirmed to us that there are no cells in Chitambo. Where are detainees kept?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, those who are arrested and need to be detained for a number of days are moved to Serenje. Maybe, if a suspect needs to be kept for a day, police officers have to use their initiative on where to keep him/her.

I thank you, Sir.

Laughter

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chitambo made a statement to the effect that suspects are being chained to truck rims, and the hon. Minister said that he is fully aware of this situation. Is that right or wrong?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr E. C. Lungu): Mr Speaker, two wrongs do not make a right. I think that we must admit that we have inherited a very challenging situation from our colleagues, who were in the Government previously, …

Interruptions

Mr E. C. Lungu: Do you want my answer?

… but we are doing our best to enhance our respect for human rights. Currently, when suspects are held by the police, efforts are made to transport them, as quickly as possible, to Serenje …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was talking about the chaining to rims of detainees at Chitambo, and I said that two wrongs never make a right. The situation is that when suspects are apprehended and found to be flight risks, they are invariably detained by being bound to motor vehicle tyre rims. This practice is not a pleasant experience for the detainees, and I wish to take advantage of this occasion to inform this august House that it is for this reason that we have embarked on a programme to rehabilitate cells, where they exist, to acceptable standards and quickly build them, where there are none.

Sir, when a detainee is apprehended and there is transport, we quickly shift this suspect to Serenje. The issue of human rights is very close to our hearts. We do everything possible to make sure that even our friends who are suspects or prisoners enjoy the best that can be availed to them.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kunda (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, I stand here a very sad person because the police post being talked about also caters for Muchinga Constituency.

Sir, the hon. Minister said that suspects are transported to Serenje Prison or the holding cells in Serenje. In the same breath, he has said that there is no transport. So, where does he get the transport from?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Muchinga, who happens to be in the same district as Chitambo Constituency, knows that Serenje, as a district, has transport, and it is this transport that the hon. Deputy Minister was referring to when he said that it goes round and helps at these police posts. So, it is wrong for him to pretend that he does not know that Serenje, as a district, has transport for the police. It is a pity that he does not go there that often.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, how long are the detainees chained to rims? Further, are they chained around their necks, hands or feet?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, I know that the very idea of chaining someone is inhuman. I think that the best part of the body where the chaining is done is the ankle. We cannot chain anyone around the neck or around the belly because the practice has been to chain on the ankle.

Sir, the duration depends on the time when the suspect has been brought into the cells. If it is during peak time, when there is good transport between Serenje and the main road, the police, sometimes, just walk to the roadside to hike and take this suspect to the station. However, if it is after hours, it becomes difficult to move with the suspects. That is when they are chained.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Brig-Gen Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, in this business of chaining suspects, the hon. Minister has indicated that the most favoured location is the ankle.

Laughter

Brig-Gen Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the ankle has little muscle and, from experience, one need not stretch one’s imagination that there would be ulcers developing because of these chains. How many of these suspects have had ulcerations on the ankles, and have they been treated for those ulcers?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, the chaining is for a short duration. I explained that depending on the availability of transport, prisoners are moved. Let me also hasten to point out that it is not every suspect who is chained. As I said earlier, the chaining of suspects depends on the offence committed and the flight risk. If the suspect is of a higher flight risk, the officers will find it prudent to chain him in that fashion. If the suspects are female, normally, they just sit there and chat under the guard of a female police officer until transport is found. So, it is not in every case that the suspects are chained. In addition, we have no case recorded of anyone suffering from ulcers because of the chaining.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

NSUMBU BUSINESS CENTRE

345. Mr Chansa (Chimbamilonga) asked the Minister of Finance when the Government would facilitate the establishment of banking facilities at Nsumbu Business Centre in Nsama District.

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, the Government’s policy on financial inclusion is that all districts should have, at least, one financial institution for the different needs of individuals, households and business entities in their respective localities to be served. This is beneficial for enhancing the socio-economic welfare of the economic agents as well as enhancing the allocation of efficiencies in the economy as a whole.

Sir, given the important role that commercial banks play in improving financial intermediation, the Government will continue to promote any initiative aimed at achieving and sustaining its objectives on financial inclusion. In this regard, the Government has been working on a number of initiatives to increase access to finance, through the Bank of Zambia (BoZ), under the Financial Sector Development Plan. For example, the Government, through the National Savings and Credit Bank (NATSAVE), conducted feasibility studies in Muchinga, Southern, Luapula and Northern provinces, including Nsama District, in January, this year. Depending on the results, NATSAVE might put up a full branch, sub branch or agents, with plans to upgrade the same to full branch status as the business grows. NATSAVE has designed a proto-type branch with standard features, which is being replicated in all areas where the bank is opening branches.

Mr Speaker, BoZ, in the recent past, has been promoting financial sector innovations in the area of financial inclusion. For instance, it has been developing regulatory frameworks that seek to lower the cost of delivering formal financial services by existing providers of financial services such as the use of agents domiciled in areas not serviced by any financial institutions. Apart from that, the bank has also been working with commercial banks to establish bank branches in unserviced areas. With the creation of new districts, the number of unserviced districts has increased. By the end of December, 2012, thirteen out of ninety districts had no commercial bank branches.

Sir, I would like to assure this august House that BoZ will continue to create an environment that ensures continued private-sector initiatives aimed at increasing the coverage of financial services in previously unreached areas and districts in Zambia, in line with the Government’s policy of financial inclusion.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chansa: Mr Speaker, the area in question has many business activities such as fishing industries and community businesses. However, people just move with money in their pockets because they cannot bank it. Are there any plans by the Government to assist these communities so that people can stop moving with money in their pockets?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, that is the purpose of the feasibility studies which are being carried out in rural areas, including Nsama. I know that the people there are very active in commerce and so a bank is a necessity. I am sure that in due course, a bank will be established in the area soon.

I thank you, Sir.

LOCAL COURT AT NSUMBU BUSINESS CENTRE

346. Mr Chansa asked the Minister of Justice:

(a)whether the Government had any plans to construct a new local court building at Nsumbu Business Centre in Nsama District, considering that the existing one was dilapidated; and

(b)if so, when the plans would be implemented.

The Minister of Justice (Mr Kabimba, SC.): Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to constructing the Nsumbu Local Court in Nsama District in 2013 in accordance with the strategic plan of the Judiciary and subject to the availability of funds.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

DEVELOPMENT OF RURAL AREAS

347. Mr Simbao (Senga Hill) asked the Minister of Finance:

(a)what developmental programmes the Government intended to put in place to improve facilities and services in the rural areas countrywide;

(b)when the Government would begin implementing the programmes;

(c)how much money was required to implement the programmes; and

(d)how the Government would raise the money required to implement the programmes.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the Government has been implementing the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) from 2011 to 2015 as the national development agenda. The implementation of the SNDP is being complemented by the PF Manifesto for both rural and urban areas. The theme of the SNDP is “Sustained Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction”. The SNDP was developed through a consultative process. It provides a comprehensive strategy for inclusive development for both rural and urban areas.

Sir, the Government recognises the importance of balanced development in all sectors. The priority sectors are agriculture, livestock and fisheries, mining, tourism, manufacturing, commerce and trade. The Government has also put more emphasis on investment in roads, particularly in rural areas, railway lines, information technology, energy, water and sanitation, education and health.

Mr Speaker, let me also take this opportunity to inform this House that the Government is in the process of developing the Integrated Rural Development Strategy whose objective is to address the development needs of rural areas. The strategy will be developed through a consultative process and will, among other things:

(a)identify areas of growth based on absolute advantage for rural areas;

(b)consolidate various sector initiatives targeting rural areas;

(c)bring rural development to the fore of national development; and

(d)make rural areas attractive for private sector investment.

This strategy is expected to be ready in the course of 2013.

The Government has already started implementing rural investment programmes through a number of infrastructure projects such as the construction and rehabilitation of feeder roads as well as health and education facilities. For example, the 650 health posts mentioned by His Excellency the President, during the opening of the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, are mostly in rural areas. Further, the programmes in the Link Zambia 8,000 Road Project, which His Excellency the President launched, contains road projects which are mostly in rural areas.

Mr Speaker, it is difficult to project how much money is required to implement the programmes in rural areas, as some services are centrally procured. Things such as drugs are centrally procured then distributed to all health centres countrywide, depending on stock movements.

Mr Speaker, the money will be raised through traditional sources. These include tax and non-tax revenues raised domestically, grants and concessional loans from our co-operating partners as well as domestic financing. In addition to the traditional sources, the Government has now entered the international capital market and managed to raise a US$750 million Eurobond in September, 2012. The Government intends to maintain its presence in the international capital market as an alternative source of financing major capital projects. We are also looking at partnering with the private sector under the public-private partnership (PPP) framework so that we can leverage private sector financing for our infrastructure development both in rural and urban areas.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Finance for such an elaborate answer. However, I want to find out what is specifically targeted at Senga Hill Constituency in terms of rural development.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, without reference to documents and consulting the ministry, it is very difficult for me to say what is specifically targeted at Senga Hill. However, I implore the hon. Member for Senga Hill to, please, interact with us. He has no difficulties reaching me since we are from neighbouring districts. I am always available to him. I think we can have a more fruitful discussion if we sat down to talk. I also want to indicate that my officials and I would like to benefit from the huge reservoir of experience and knowledge which the hon. Member has.

I thank you, Sir.

HEALTH CENTRES IN ZIMBA

348. Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)how many rural health centres were earmarked for construction in the newly-created Zimba District; and

(b)what the estimated cost of the project was.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Mulenga): Mr Speaker, there are two health posts that have been earmarked for construction in the newly-created Zimba District. The proposed locations for the construction of the two health posts are Kanyanga and Chidi.

Mr Speaker, the cost of the two health posts will be covered under the line of credit valued at US$50 million from the Government of India for the construction of 650 health posts countrywide.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda: Sir, I thank the hon. Deputy Minister for the answer. However, I wish to state that the rural health centre at Kanyanga was actually constructed using the CDF. Does the ministry just want to come in to complete the project? Where exactly does the ministry want to construct a new clinic because there is already a rural health centre at Kanyanga?

Mr Mulenga: Sir, there is a district medical officer and other people who know the reason a health post is supposed to be constructed at that particular site. However, since the hon. Member has said that there is already an existing health facility, let him come to our offices or approach the district medical officer for further clarification.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, how long will the people of Mapatizya have to wait for funding from this line of credit from India which is supposed to be used to build clinics?

Mr Mulenga: Sir, I have previously explained on the Floor of this House what has caused the delay in the construction of the 650 health posts. The ministry has not deliberately delayed the process. We need these health posts like yesteryear, but due to the procedures involved in the procurement process, there is nothing we can do to speed up the activity. We have to wait until we do the correct thing.

Thank you, Sir.

KALEULA AIRSTRIP

349. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)when the Kaleula Airstrip in Kaputa District was last inspected to determine its fitness for continued use;

(b)when the airstrip would be rehabilitated; and

(c)whether the Government had any plans to ensure regular maintenance of the airstrip.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Colonel Kaunda): Mr Speaker, Kaleula Airstrip in Kaputa District was last inspected in April, 2005 and was certified serviceable for aircraft operations. However, the latest information is that Kaleula Airstrip is currently overgrown with grass and shrubs. Therefore, it is not serviceable.

There is money in the 2013 Budget to secure and repair all district airstrips in the country. The works will start as soon as the procurement process is done.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Deputy Minister for the answer. From the answer given, I was able to …

Ms Imenda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, I am getting confused. Hon. Masumba was seated where Hon. Monde was sitting at some point. However, he is now seated across there (pointing where Hon. Masumba was seated). Since he went there, he has been staring at me. I just …

Laughter

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member can continue.

Ms Imenda: I just wonder what he is eying me for. Is he in order to stare at me like that?

Laughter

Mr Speaker: I will allow him to respond privately.

The hon. Member for Kaputa can continue.

Laughter

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication for the answer given. He has indicated that Kaleula Airstrip was inspected in 2005 and that there is an allocation in the National Budget to repair most of the airstrips. Will Kaleula Airstrip, which is the only one in the district, be one of the airstrips which will be repaired in 2013?

Colonel Kaunda: Mr Speaker, this Government takes seriously the state of the airstrips across the country. They provide a service to our people and, also, in case of emergencies, become useful to us. All the airstrips in this country will be repaired and, where possible, tarred.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, what is the total number of airstrips that have been constructed and rehabilitated in the Northern Province?

Colonel Kaunda: Mr Speaker, my advice to my hon. Brother is that if he wants more details, he can file in a question.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: It is only fair.

MWERU-WA-NTIPA AND NSUMBU NATIONAL PARKS

350. Mr Ng’onga asked the Minister of Tourism and Art:

(a)why the Government had abdicated its responsibility of conservation of wildlife in Mweru-Wa-Ntipa and Nsumbu national parks and left the task to be spearheaded by members of the community resource boards (CRBs);

(b)whether the Government had any plans to enhance the efforts of the CRBs and, if so, what the plans were; and

(c)what long-term measures, if any, the ministry had taken to ensure that CRBs were financially self-sustaining for them to continue with the task at (a).

The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Art (Mr P. Ngoma): Mr Speaker, the Government has not abdicated its responsibility of conserving wildlife in Mweru-Wa-Ntipa and Nsumbu national parks and left the task to be spearheaded by members of the CRBs. The two national parks in question have a total of sixteen wildlife police officers under the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), who are fewer than the village scouts from Tondwa and Kaputa CRBs who are about fifty in total. According to the Zambia Wildlife Act No. 12 of 2008, village scouts can only conduct anti-poaching patrols under the supervision of ZAWA police officers. Owing to the fewer number of wildlife police officers, CRBs have allowed their village scouts to voluntarily conduct patrols in the two national parks hoping that when the parks are well secured, animal populations will grow and spread out into depleted game management areas (GMAs) where the CRBs are located. This will increase the revenue base from hunting activities. So, the few wildlife police officers supervise village scouts who are helping them to protect wildlife in the national parks. Thus, the conservation of wildlife in the two national parks is spearheaded by ZAWA.    

Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to enhancing the efforts of the CRBs in the conservation and sustainable utilisation of wildlife in the GMAs. The enhanced efforts of the CRBs will result in improving wildlife population and revenue generation from wildlife utilisation. In this regard, the Government recently increased the CRB allocation of revenue generated from hunting concession fees to 30 per cent and maintained revenue share from animal hunting fees at 50 per cent.  The increased CRB funding will enable the CRBs to employ more village scouts and improve patrol efforts.

Furthermore, ZAWA plans to recruit 800 more wildlife police officers between 2013 and 2020 and this will enable Nsumbu and Mweru-Wa-Ntipa National Parks to have adequate ZAWA field officers, hence the CRB village scouts will not conduct patrols in these parks, but concentrate their patrol efforts in the GMAs.

Mr Speaker, the long-term plan of the Government is to ensure that the CRBs are financially self-sustaining for them to continue their efforts in wildlife conservation to introduce other sources of revenue in addition to the only revenue source currently available which is wildlife safari hunting.

Mr Speaker, the CRBs live in GMAs, which have various natural resources, but they are only benefiting from wildlife hunting. It is logical that the CRBs should also get revenue from utilisation of other natural resources in the GMAs. This may need policy and legislation changes.

I thank you, Sir.

TEXTBOOKS IN KALABO CENTRAL CONSTITUENCY

351. Mr Miyutu asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education what measures the ministry had taken to:

(a)    ensure that there were sufficient stocks of textbooks in all schools in Kalabo Central Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b)    improve the textbook-pupil ratio in the constituency.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the ministry has already consolidated requirements for textbooks from all the schools in the country, including those in Kalabo.

Mr Speaker, last year, we placed advertisements for publishers to bid for the supply of textbooks and the tender process is underway. When the books are procured, there will be sufficient stocks in schools.

In addition, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is working in collaboration with the Zambia Education Publishing House, in terms of its recapitalisation, because that is the surest way of ensuring the availability of cheaper learning materials.

As regards the pupil-textbook ratio in our schools, which is also the national picture and prevailing in Kalabo, the secondary level is 1 : 20 and the primary level is 1 : 8.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the response by the hon. Minister but, considering the remoteness of these places and the challenges of transport in relation to the delivery of these intended materials, what measures has the Government put in place to help the rural institutions deliver whatever will be supplied to these districts so that they reach the intended destinations on time?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, in fact, the ministry has decentralised the procurement of teaching and learning materials. This means that the provinces and the districts are given an allocation of the money from the Budget and have to identify the type of books that they need after which the ministry has to disburse the money to the respective provinces and districts. Therefore, it is incumbent upon, for example, the Kalabo DEBS to ensure that there are no delays when the procurement process is being done. Otherwise, the process has been decentralised to avoid the issue of delaying the supply and distribution of the teaching materials to our schools.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, I am a bit behind. The hon. Minister is saying that the ministry will decentralise or that it has decentralised the procuring of books and learning materials and, at the same time, that there is a tender that is being floated. Which one are we to pick?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, for 2012, we tried to ensure that there was bargaining power. When the process was decentralised to the district and provinces, they did not have the bargaining power to negotiate a good price with the suppliers of the books. Therefore, the ministry helped them to float the tender, but the procurement will be done at the district level after the negotiation of the prices with the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education.

I thank you, Sir.

CHIPATA DAY SECONDARY SCHOOL

352. Mr Mtolo asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    what the teacher-pupil ratio at Chipata Day Secondary School currently was;

(b)    what the recommended teacher-pupil ratio at the school was; and

(c)    what plans, if any, the ministry had to improve the teacher-pupil ratio at the school.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the teacher-pupil ratio at Chipata Day Secondary School, especially for grades 11 and 12, is currently around 1: 100. Our recommended teacher-pupil ratio is 1: 40. One of the measures that the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is undertaking to address the congestion in our schools and, specifically at Chipata Day Secondary School, is to identify some basic schools that could be converted. However, at Chipata Day Secondary School, the Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) has put up contingency measures to address that issue. These include the following:

(a)constructing a 1 x 3 classroom block;

(b)moulding blocks;

(c)floating tenders the local level; and

(d)works are expected to commence soon.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, …

Ms Kalima coughed.

Hon. Government Member: Kola, wimbe.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, the teacher-pupil ratio at Chipata Day Secondary School is 1:100 and, I believe the ratio may be higher in other schools, for example, at 1:600 or 1:300. In a place like Kasenengwa, some teachers have three sessions for different classes. I want the hon. Minister to explain, like he would to a six-year old child, what the problem in this country is. There are many people who do not have employment and are looking for employment, meanwhile we do not have teachers.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, that is the problem when an hon. Member of Parliament misses sessions of Parliament.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, in my explanation yesterday, I said that all provincial centres have this problem because the population in all provincial capitals has gone up. That is one factor causing this problem. The other factor is that we have not done well in the provision of secondary schools. We concentrated our energy on the Basic Education Sub-Sector Investment Programme (BESSIP). This means that the primary school sector has increased enrolment so much that the secondary school sector cannot absorb all the pupils. Chipata Day Secondary School is right in the middle of town. Hence it is seen as a prime institution by most parents and so they want to send their children there. However, the infrastructure at this school was built in 1975 and it has not benefited from expansion programmes. We have not expanded Chipata Day Secondary School. The figures that the hon. Deputy Minister gave were for grades 10, 11 and 12. If you listened to my statement when I released the Grade 9 examination results, you should have known, by now, what I meant. Let me make it clear that we are inundated with the number of pupils coming into Grade 10. As a result, some schools have decided to expand enrolment levels  so that they can get as many pupils as possible, although this will compromise the quality of education. This is the situation at this school.

Mr Speaker, as you know, the recruitment of teachers is annual. This year, we are going to recruit more teachers. I hope that more degree holders will be available for deployment to schools such as Chipata Day Secondary School. We also have a fast track training programme where we want, in the shortest possible time, to upgrade the qualifications of those with particularly science and mathematics diplomas to degree level. This programme is going very well and we expect the graduation for the first group soon. If this is done together with the expansion of facilities at the secondary school level, we should be able to curb this problem. The 1:70 or 1:100 pupil-teacher ratio is very unhealthy and this is not a situation which the ministry can be proud of. We are doing everything possible, given the circumstances, to expand enrolment at this level.

I thank you, Sir.    

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, bearing in mind that …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I rarely stand on points of order. Is the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education in order to castigate the hon. Member for Kasenengwa because he thinks she was not in the House yesterday, and yet she was here, in the House, listening to him so attentively that she has realised the answers he is giving today sound different from those he gave yesterday? Is he in order to do that?

Hon. Opposition Member: He is in order and he can continue.

Laughter

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Minister did not castigate anybody. He simply lamented.

Laughter

Mr Speaker: Order!

Now, whether the hon. Member for Kasenengwa was here or not is another issue altogether and it is very difficult, in the absence of evidence, to make any firm conclusion on that aspect. However, the bottom line is that the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education did not castigate anybody. He just lamented that he has had to repeat himself on an issue which he expects all hon. Members to be well apprised, including through the statements that he makes in both the electronic and print media.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, the answer given by the hon. Deputy Minister indicated that the Chipata Day Secondary School PTA has initiated infrastructure development at the school, in particular, construction of a 1x 3 classroom block. May I know if Chipata Day Secondary School is going to be considered, this year, for further infrastructure development.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for reminding me of this subject. I had intended to touch this subject and thank the PTA of this school for the support it is giving to the ministry. I must use this occasion to assure it that, since it is supplementing the Government’s effort, we will endeavour to give the school its fair share of help. I confirm that we will do that. This also goes for all the PTAs in the country which are doing a commendable job. When we can, we will support their effort. I thank all the PTAs countrywide for doing this favour for the children who are a common responsibility of the ministry and the parents or guardians in these associations.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, considering that the ministry is aware of the terrible pupil-teacher ratio at this school and that there is a Grade 12 class with 169 pupils which is literally impossible to teach, will the ministry consider helping the school to build a 1x 3 classroom block this year?
 
Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, coincidentally, the PEO for Eastern Province was in my office in the morning. Although he came for different business, we discussed the situation at this school because it is more critical than in the other surrounding schools in Chipata. We agreed that emergency support must be provided as quickly as possible. Immediately our budget is released by the Ministry of Finance, we will provide that support because, as you know, we have little money for the rehabilitation of schools.

I thank you, Sir.
GREAT NORTH ROAD

353. Mr Matafwali (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication whether the Government was satisfied with the quality of work done on the newly-rehabilitated stretch of the Great North Road between Serenje and Mansa Turn-off.

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, the Government was not satisfied with the work done on some sections of the road. The original specifications given to the contractor did not perform well in some of the sections. To correct the situation, the Road Development Agency (RDA) recommended an increased bitumen spray rate. After this was done, the quality of work improved to the Government’s satisfaction. Additionally, the bad sections have since been rehabilitated.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matafwali: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware of the fact that the road is still rough and that there are flying stones that crack vehicle windscreens like mine?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, we are not aware. However, now that the hon. Member has brought that information to our attention, we will make a follow up so that we go and see what is obtaining on the ground.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, I want to believe that the PF Government believes in quality. I also know that the hon. Minister, as an individual, uses the same road. Is he convinced that the works on the road in question can be termed perfect?

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Minister has already answered that question. He cannot answer it otherwise. I mean, if he said it was perfect, then, there is no problem. So, let us not flog a …

I will end there.

KABWE GENERAL HOSPITAL

354. Mr Kapyanga asked the Minister of Health when the ministry would install a new incinerator and a new laundry machine at Kabwe General Hospital.

Mrs Kabanshi crossed the Floor.

Hon. Members: Order!

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, the new incinerator at Kabwe General Hospital is under construction, as the contractor is already on site.

Sir, the new laundry machine will be installed after the procurement process, which is currently on going, is completed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, what measures have been put in place by the Government to protect the workers who are doing the laundry manually?

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, it is sad because I have gone round the country to check and, indeed, what the hon. Member of Parliament is talking about is vivid. Most of the hospitals do not have laundry machines. However, since we took over the Government from our colleagues, we have embarked on the procurement of laundry machines in all the hospitals throughout the country. Very soon, we shall install these laundry machines. Currently, we are laundering manually.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that the procurement he is doing is based on the plans we left, and he is just completing what we started.

Laughter

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I cannot confirm that because the PF Manifesto is clear on this issue. It said that, when we came into power, many reforms would take place in the Ministry of Health. That is exactly what we are doing.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

NSAMA DISTRICT DACO

355. Mr Chansa (Chimbamilonga) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)when a District Agricultural Co-ordinator (DACO) would be posted to Nsama District; and

(b)when Fisheries Officers would be posted to Nsumbu in Chimbamilonga Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Mwewa): Mr Speaker, a DACO has already been posted to the newly-created Nsama District.

Sir, the ministry has, in the 2013 Budget, allocated funds for the recruitment of staff for all departments. Nsumbu is expected to benefit from this recruitment drive.

I thank you, Sir.

PALACE FOR CHIEF SIMWATACHELA

356. Mr Miyanda asked the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs:

(a)when the Government would construct a palace for Chief Simwatachela in Mapatizya Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b)what the estimated cost of the project was.

The Deputy Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mrs Kawandami): Mr Speaker, the construction of palaces for chiefs in Zambia will commence this year, 2013. The ministry is currently working out modalities for a standard design and the criteria for distribution.

Sir, there is a provision in the 2013 Budget for the construction and rehabilitation of palaces amounting to KR11,215,500.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda: Mr Speaker, my concern is that Chief Simwatachela is still a class teacher because he has nowhere to live as a chief. Would you not consider putting the chief first on the list?

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Speaker: Order!

That is a very rare question. Hon. Minister, answer, please.

Laughter

Mrs Kawandami: Mr Speaker, like I stated earlier, there are chiefs around the country who are in desperate need of accommodation. As such, the ministry will give priority to such chiefs.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


MAGISTRATES COURT BUILDING IN KAPUTA

357. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Justice:

(a)when the Magistrates Court building in Kaputa would be expanded to include office accommodation, storerooms and washrooms;

(b)when the Magistrates Court would be provided with transport to ensure smooth operations of the judicial system in the district;

(c)what the staff establishment of the Magistrates Court in Kaputa District was; and

(d)when secretarial staff would be posted to Kaputa Magistrates Court.

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, the expansion of Kaputa Subordinate Court will be considered in the 2014 Budget. Priority will be given to the construction of courts where there is no existing infrastructure.

Sir, for 2013, due to budgetary constraints, the Judiciary has not made provisions for the purchase of vehicles for operations at the district level. The situation in Kaputa is similar to that of other districts in the country.

Sir, the establishment for the Magistrates Court in Kaputa is two but, currently, only one position is filled. However, the Judiciary is undertaking a staff audit in all the stations with a view to filling these vacancies, subject to the availability of funds.

Sir, in 2013, the Judiciary has made provisions for the employment of staff, including secretaries for the Subordinate courts.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the answers given, although they do not give hope to us, for now.

Laughter

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, on 24th December, 2012, the Local Court in Kaputa was closed by health inspectors due to a lack of toilets. Should we wait until 2014 for the situation to be rectified?

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, the situation that the hon. Member of Parliament is referring to is not peculiar to Kaputa. There are a number of places where infrastructure has gone into a state of disrepair and disuse. It is important to emphasise that we are in the process of reconstructing this country from a civil war of corruption and neglect.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister tell the nation whether the ministry has come up with a comprehensive infrastructure development plan, spanning a couple of years to address the situation that he is describing as deplorable throughout the country.

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, I referred to the strategic plan in the Judiciary that is going to take into account what the hon. Member for Nalikwanda is referring to. However, I was emphasising the seriousness of the situation that we have found ourselves in.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister, please, avail us the strategic plan so that we can take a look at it.

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, that is a new question. However, if the hon. Member of Parliament would like to see me in person, I could avail it to him.

Hon. UPND Member: We all want.

Mr Kabimba, SC.: If all of you want to line up and defect, then, I can make that available to you.

I thank you, Sir.

Laughter

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mulungushi University

358.    Mr Kapyanga asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education whether the Government had any plans to establish a school of medicine at Mulungushi University in Kabwe and, if so, when the plans would be implemented.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Professor Willombe): Mr Speaker, the Government does not establish schools or faculties in universities. It merely establishes the universities themselves.

Sir, Mulungushi University is run by a council and a senate. Therefore, it is virtually autonomous. If the university has the capacity and finds it necessary to establish a faculty of medicine, then, it can establish such a faculty. All the Government can do is provide the necessary guidance.

Mr Speaker, nonetheless, in November, 2011, the Government facilitated the establishment of the School of Medicine at the Copperbelt University (CBU) to complement the University of Zambia, School of Medicine. With the establishment of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), matters of this nature will be handled by it.

I thank you, Sir.

household Income Disparities

359.    Mr Simbao asked the Minister of Finance:

(a)what measures the Government had taken to reduce the income disparities between households in urban areas and those in rural areas; and

(b)how long it would take the Government to reduce the disparities.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the results of the 2010 Living Conditions Survey show that the average monthly income of a rural household is KR 551,539, which is three times lower than the average income of an average household in urban areas. The income situation of the households in the rural areas is consistent with the poverty statistics that indicate that poverty levels in rural areas, at 78 per cent, are almost three times that in the urban areas.

Sir, the Government is determined to change this situation and has, therefore, placed rural agricultural development as its priority development strategy. The focus is to stimulate productivity in these areas by opening them up and investing in infrastructure such as roads, irrigation and tourist facilities, and increased access to electricity, telecommunications and financial services.

Mr Speaker, in agriculture, which is the main economic activity of most rural households, the Government will re-orient the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to enhance targeting and coverage. We will also invest in research and extension services, and promotion of livestock development. The agro processing industry will also be promoted with the intention of adding value to agricultural products. In addition, the Government will continue to invest in the provision of best services such as education and skills development, health, housing and water and sanitation services.

Sir, the challenge of developing infrastructure and improving income and social conditions in the rural areas is enormous. Progress will require the commitment and steadfast implementation of the identified intervention measures. This is the commitment that the PF Government has pledged to the Zambian people and will require all the Zambian people to be active participants and agents of development. With this commitment, it is reasonable to assume that positive outcomes can begin to show within a relatively short period of time.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that agriculture is one of the biggest vehicles to income generation in the rural areas. Under the present situation, one would say that the FISP has failed because this year, for example, in Senga Hill, fertiliser was only distributed this month. I do not understand how agriculture, being the main vehicle of development in the rural areas, is going to improve with such a system of governance in place. I am saying so because, if this happens again, next year or the other year, our rural people will be poorer than before.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the PF Government is very serious in its efforts to develop the country, unlike the Government which Hon. Kapembwa Simbao was part of, which was essentially an absentee landlord.

Laughter

Mr Chikwanda: We are taking practical steps to really lend weight to our pronouncements. For instance, last year, we started financing the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ). We want to, at least, stop importing Compound D fertiliser. We are struggling to expand the NCZ plant so that it can also eventually produce Urea fertiliser.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the previous Government wanted to import things because, when certain items were produced locally, certain people did not get commissions. Some people used to get a commission when certain commodities were imported. That culture was so firmly entrenched in. Even now, there are officials in the Government who would resist the localisation of producing certain things. I want to assure the hon. Member of Parliament that we are very serious in our efforts to develop the agriculture sector. This business of distributing fertiliser in December and January must stop. With respect to this year, the D Compound can be distributed as early as July or August.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

__________

BILLS

FIRST READING

THE NATIONAL HEALTH RESEARCH BILL, 2013

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the National Health Research Bill, 2013. The object of the Bill seeks to:

(a)establish the National Health Research Authority and provide for its functions and powers;

(b)establish the National Health Research Ethics Board and provide for its functions and powers;

(c)provide a regulatory framework for the development, regulation, financing and co-ordination of health research and ensure the development of consistent health research standards and guidelines for ethically sound health research;

(d)provide for the establishment of health research ethics committees and the regulation and management of research institutions, health researchers and health establishments involved in or undertaking research;

(e) provide for the regulation of biological material for health research;

(f)provide for ethical approval for the conduct of clinical trial;

(g)provide for the use of traditional, complementary and alternative medicines in health research;

(h)provide for data management and intellectual property rights in health research;

(i)provide for the designation of bio banks; and

(j)provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Welfare. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Wednesday, 13th March, 2013. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.

Thank you.


THE MEDICINES AND ALLIED SUBSTANCE BILL, 2012

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Medicines and Allied Substance Bill. The object of the Bill is to:

(a)continue the existence of the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority and to rename it as the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority;

(b)provide for the functions and powers of the Authority;

(c)provide for the registration and regulation of pharmacies, health shops and agro-veterinary shops;

(d)provide for the registration of regulation of medicines and allied substances;

(e)provide for the regulation of the manufacture, importation, exportation, possession, storage, distribution, supply, promotion, advertising, sale and use of medicines and allied substances;

(f)provide for the regulation and control of clinical trials;

(g)repeal and replace the Pharmaceutical Act, 2004; and

(h)provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

   I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Welfare. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Wednesday, 13th March, 2013. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.

Thank you.
__________

MOTION

ADJOURNMENT

The Minister of Justice (Mr Kabimba, SC.): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.

__________

The House adjourned at 1754 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 22nd, February, 2013.





 
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