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line Home arrow Debates & Proceedings arrow Second Session of the Tenth Assembly arrow Debates- Thursday, 20th September, 2008 Saturday, 20 December 2014  
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Debates- Thursday, 20th September, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 November 2008

DAILY PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES FOR THE SECOND SESSION OF THE TENTH ASSEMBLY

Thursday, 20th September, 2008

The House met at 1430 hours

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

NATIONAL ANTHEM

PRAYER

_____

MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS

MEALIE MEAL PRICES IN THE COUNTRY

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Dr Chituwo): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for allowing me to give the maize stock levels and their impact on mealie meal prices in the country.

Madam Speaker, the House may be aware that the country produced about 1.2 million metric tonnes of maize for the season 2007/08 compared to 1.3 million metric tonnes for the previous season, 2006/07.

Madam, given the increasing consumption rate of maize products in the country, there has been an overwhelming demand for the product. This has resulted in the speculation as to whether or not the nation has enough maize stocks to last up to the next harvest. This speculation has resulted in most mealie meal traders quoting very high prices of maize meal, in some cases to as high as K70,000 per 25 kg of breakfast meal. Our view, as a Government, is that these high prices of mealie meal are not justified in reaching such high levels.

Madam Speaker, the verification exercise by my ministry on maize stocks held by millers in Lusaka, Copperbelt and Northern provinces shows an exaggerated picture of the mealie meal prices in these areas. As we will be seeing  from the schedule which I will lay on the Table for study and record, in Lusaka, the wholesale price of a 25 kg bag of breakfast mealie meal ranges from K50,000 to K54,000 while that of roller meal ranges from K38,000 to K44,000 between visited milling plant.

Madam the recommended price for retail for breakfast range from K52,000 to K57,000 per 25 kg while that of roller meal ranges from K44,00 to K47,000. It is on the Copperbelt where the prices are higher. It is clear from the figure that whereas millers in Lusaka have lower recommended retail prices, it is the traders that exaggerate these prices. Even the transport cost should not normally push the prices to these unjustified levels.

 Madam Speaker, the ministry has the responsibility to present factual figures on the current maize stocks in the country in order to remove unnecessary speculations. The national maize stock position as at 13th November, 2008 is as follows:

Organisation                                                Metric Tonnes
 
Millers Association of Zambia                            47,000
 
Grain Traders Association of Zambia                45,000
 
Food Reserve Agency                                    116,000

 Total                                                               208,000

Madam Speaker, when maize held by other millers and traders who are not members of these associations is added, the country has sufficient stocks which will last up to four months given the national monthly consumption rate of 60,000 metric tonnes of maize. This national consumption has taken into account human, stock feed, breweries and other industrial use requirements.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is satisfied that the maize stocks available will last up to February, 2009. Meanwhile, the Food Reserve Agency has been directed to offload appropriate quantities of maize from the reserves to the millers in order to stabilise the prices of the commodity. However, in order to forestall any possible deficit in maize stocks to be experienced, my ministry has directed the Food Reserve Agency, further, to facilitate importation of about 100,000 metric tonnes of non-GMO maize together with millers and grain traders. Further, the ministry is currently issuing import permits for this purpose.

Madam Speaker, I would also like to inform this august House that there is very little non-GMO maize available in South Africa and, therefore, this imported maize may attract a high premium price. However, it should be noted that there is no duty on maize imported from the SADC or COMESA Region.

 In order to lower the landed price of maize and make the price of mealie meal affordable to the consumers, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives will make further consultations with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning on the duty waiver on all maize stocks that would be sourced from outside the region. The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has put in place measures to monitor the  GMO status and other pytosanitary requirements on the imports.

Madam Speaker, I wish to assure this august House that my ministry will continue to monitor the maize stocks and price situation with a view to taking necessary corrective measures whenever this is required. This country is assured of food security at affordable mealie meal prices.

The Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), through the newly elected President, His Excellency…

Mrs Masebo walked into the Chamber.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo:…Mr Rupiah B. Banda, is committed to ensuring that the food security for the Zambian people,  particularly the vulnerable and poor, is sustained at affordable prices.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Laughter

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the Presidential Speech clearly focuses on the priorities of the MMD Government as being on education, health and food security in order to improve the lives of our people.

Madam Speaker, the above measures are meant to translate the Government’s commitment towards this goal. Working together with all stakeholders, I am sure we can achieve this goal – yes we can.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Madam Speaker, I just hope the hon. Minister read the figure wrongly by saying Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has 116 metric tonnes. I want to believe that he meant 116,000 metric tonnes. That must be corrected.

Secondly, now that the ministry has realised that it is expensive to bring in imported maize, are they going to ensure that farmers are paid properly for the production of maize so that we have stocks in the country and not depend on importation?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo for that correction. It is 116,000 metric tonnes. That is the correction.

As regards to the second question on the need to pay farmers properly, it is very clear that in the last season, the FRA had offered K45,000 per 50 kg bag and this was increased to K55,000 per 50 kg bag. Actually, this was welcomed by the farmers. However, we saw a very encouraging phenomenon in the last season where the traders actually went even to the remotest areas to purchase maize. This was to the advantage and benefit of our small-scale farmers.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Banda (Chililabombwe): Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the smuggling of mealie meal into Congo has continued in Chililabombwe and some millers like Roan Antelope Milling are involved? Roan Antelope Milling was caught red-handed by us packing mealie meal into trucks. The mealie meal was supposed to be smuggled into Congo. Is the hon. Minister aware that the smuggling has continued despite reporting the matter to the police?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Chililabombwe for that question. Madam, we have had reports coming in with regard to smuggling of this very highly priced commodity through our porous borders. However, this is an issue that my colleagues must handle. During enquiries, millers are saying they only sell to whoever comes to buy the commodity. As to what happens afterwards, that is for the traders to say. That as it may be, I can only assure this august House that I will ask my colleagues whose responsibility it is to see that smuggling is not an everyday occurrence in order to ensure the availability of mealie meal in our country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Misapa (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, I would like to ask you one question.

Hon. Members: Aah, why?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Do not respond. Ask through me.

Laughter

Mr Misapa: I beg your pardon, Madam Speaker.

Laughter

Madam Deputy Speaker: Ask the hon. Minister through me.

Laughter

Mr Misapa: Madam Speaker, thank you very much. I would like to pose a question to the hon. Minister through you. I have a question Madam …

Hon. Members: Aah! Ask the Minister!

Interruptions

Mr Sikazwe: Just leave him alone!

Mr Misapa: I know very well that when the traders and FRA are buying maize from the producers, they buy at K45,000 for a 50 kg bag.

Hon. Member: K55,000!

Mr Misapa: Yes, it was increased to that. Hon. Minister, is there no way we can sit down and look at these prices because the price we are talking about is for a 25kg bag. Now, if you look at the difference, as Zambians, can we not find ways and means of trying to harmonise the situation on prices because there is a very big difference?

Interruptions

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I think there is a mix up of figures here, hence the question not being very clear. However, my understanding is as follows: The hon. Member of Parliament for Mporokoso has asked about the prices for maize versus that of mealie meal. I have shared with this august House the maize price of a 50 kg bag of maize. The 25 kg of mealie meal is after processing the maize. So, on the comparison, I am quite sure of what the hon. Member wants to know, but all I can say is that these prices take into account the processing and transportation costs of the final product.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Msichili (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, the Government has given permission to FRA to import maize, but what measures have been in place to ensure that the maize that is imported will not be exported to our neighbouring countries?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, what the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives does upon issuing permits to import is that it keeps records. There is a monitoring committee on maize stocks. This committee is also responsible for monitoring the actual utilisation of the maize stocks by each miller. Therefore, chances of this imported maize being re-exported are very slim, indeed.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Munaile (Malole): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has told this august this House that the country consumes 60,000 metric tonnes per month. He has also stated that 280,000 metric tonnes are in the hands of the Millers Association of Zambia. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how he expects to either stabilise or reduce the prices of mealie meal and yet those people outside the Millers Association of Zambia are the ones who have more maize?

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I do not think that information is correct. What happens in trading is that by permitting FRA to offload some of the maize from our reserves, it enables the Millers Association of Zambia to provide stiff competition. This is a question of supply and demand. We have always seen in the past that when demand outstripped supply, the prices automatically went up. So, by doing what we intend to do, competition will be brought into the picture and there is no trader who would want to remain with stocks unsold. This will bring some measure of stabilising the prices.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives has competently explained procedures and methods which the Government will use to avert a food shortage in this country. My concern is on what measures the Government has taken to encourage provinces which grow root crops such as cassava instead of maize which is consumed and demanded by the majority of the Zambians. What measures, hon. Minister, are you taking to encourage these people who have high rainfall and good soils and yet they do not grow maize, but they want to eat a lot of nshima?

Laughter

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, we have utilised and want to strengthen utilisation of the comparative advantages in various provinces. The growing of cassava will certainly be encouraged because it is not only from the point of view of eating it, but the products of cassava are very highly valued. Starch, for instance, is a highly valued commercial product. However, the hon. Member for Sinazongwe is slightly mistaken in saying that production is not taking place in these areas.

Madam Speaker, I want to confirm to this House that through the Fertiliser Support Programme, we have seen an increase in the production of maize in these areas which were not originally maize growing areas. The consumption is commensurate with production and if you are not careful, hon. Member for Sinazongwe, you may be outstripped in the production of maize in due course.

I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Madam Speaker, we all know that we are in a liberalised economy and from the ministerial statement which has been delivered, I have learnt that it is the retailers who are exploiting the consumers. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the Government has put in place to protect the people who have not been paid their pensions and whose salaries have not been increased so that they can get affordable mealie meal for them to have decent meals before we have children suffering from malnutrition.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, for any economy to grow, liberalisation has to have a place. Madam Speaker, because of this subsidy, we have agreed that the millers who have outlets will have to ensure that the outlets for retailers sale mealie meal at the recommended retail price.

We have discussed that the millers have a responsibility, not only in terms of production, but in ensuring that they keep the business going and one sure way of doing so is that the consumer is able to afford to buy the commodity. That is the measure which the Government has taken with the other stakeholders in order to protect the consumer.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali): Madam Speaker, can the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives assure this House that next year the price of maize will be in harmony with the price of maize in neighbouring countries to avoid people selling maize outside the country.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, that is a very difficult question because for each season, we calculate the cost of inputs and various other factors to arrive at the producer price. For me to give an assurance now would be completely premature.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chella (Wusakile): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what measures he has taken to increase the number of hammer mills in the country because that is another way mealie meal prices would be reduced. What is the Government doing about it?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the mandate of the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives with regard to maize production is simply to produce. When one now starts talking in terms of increasing the number of hammer mills, that is in the portfolio of my hon. Colleague and that will be answered at an appropriate time.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Zulu (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has told this House that we are going to import two million bags of maize. Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the Government is doing to give the commercial farmers fertiliser at a reduced price because it is not only the peasant farmers who are producing.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, while acknowledging that commercial farmers have a role to play in maize production or in the industry generally, the issues of subsidising commercial farmers goes beyond the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. The Government policy is that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and ourselves, through the Chair of Cabinet, have to give direction.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr C. K. B Banda, SC (Chasefu): Madam Speaker, coming from a rural constituency where farming is the mainstay of the economy,  may I find out what measures this good hon. Minister will put in place, come next farming season, to discourage maize growers in Lundazi District who last season sold virtually all their produce to Malawi because Malawi was offering an attractive price. What measures will the hon. Minister put in place to ensure that maize is retained in Zambia to feed our people?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, our farmers in a liberalised economy would want to maximise on their labour. All we can do is to discuss with them on the need to have food security at the household level. If they sell everything, then they should know that even the little money they have acquired, will go back to Malawi to buy mealie meal. So, it will not help them because there are snakes on the way and other things and so they may end up adding to health bills.

Madam Speaker, the answer is to sensitise the people that it is not wise to sell everything that they have produced.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister why this Government has controlled the price of maize, while the price of mealie meal has been left to market forces.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the control of maize is basically to encourage production so that our people can grow more. On the question of traders as I have mentioned, it is not completely leaving them on their own. I have already explained to the House the measures we have put in place to see that the subsidy goes to the consumers. So, it is a measure that has to protect the consumer and see that the producer also has a gain in order for them to remain in the business of producing maize. That is the balancing act that we have to do and continue to do.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Imasiku (Liuwa): Madam Speaker, I think hunger comes due to flooding in some areas of Western Province. Therefore, I just want to find out from the hon. Minister what measures he has taken to improve rice growing in areas like the wetlands of Western Province.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, as I mentioned earlier, encourages a variety of crops to be grown using the comparative advantages geographically. Therefore, on the issue of rice growing in Liuwa, I am not sure that we have hampered or hindered anybody from growing rice. I am sure even the inputs can be used for rice growing. The area Member of Parliament must take interest that his people are engaged in these exercise so that more income can be realised to reduce the rural poverty that we see.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister where he should come out very clearly, whether the rise of mealie-meal prices is politically engineered or due to supply and demand.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, we have seen this rise in mealie meal price over the years during the period November, December and January, but not to the level that we have seen this year. I alluded to the fact that generally, it is the rule of supply and demand that is at play and pushing the mealie meal prices the way we see them, particularly, as I have mentioned, on the Copperbelt.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, this afternoon at 13:00 hours, there was a press statement on Radio Phoenix by the Zambia National Union of Farmers that the prices of mealie meal will not come down until 2010. Could the hon. Minister confirm or dispute this?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, there is an outstanding appointment for the Zambia National Union of Farmers to discuss with me. Now, that is their opinion, but when we have discussed, we will map out the way forward. That statement must be taken in the context of the global situation. How does the global finances, climate change and oil prices impact on a country like ours?

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Madam Speaker, not so long ago, Hon. Tetamashimba, the Government spokesman came on public media, ZNBC …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Simuusa: I am clarifying my question. He was calculating at that time …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member must identify the person he is talking about in their rightful capacity.

May you continue, please.

Mr Simuusa: I have been corrected, Madam Speaker. The party spokesperson at that time came and gave, on Television, a calculation, point by point, for the price of maize at which he arrived at K55,000 for breakfast mealie meal. He broke it down and even at K55,000, transport was not included because I followed that calculation very closely. When we add transport which is about K3,500 to K5,000 per bag, you come to K60,000 per bag which is the range currently obtaining on the Copperbelt. Can the hon. Minister tell this House why the Government is denying the price which was calculated point by point and arrived at? It is the same price that the millers are charging. Is the Government denying the calculation?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, that calculation is not in the domain of the Government.

Laughter

Dr Chituwo: The figures I have given are with regard to millers and the wholesale price. The recommended price is what we have worked out. Those figures were calculated outside so they do not impact on what we are doing. This is why we are saying when you bring in competition clearly, the rules of the economics come into play and the consumers are protected.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Bwalya (Chifubu): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why this Government has continued issuing permits and licences to smugglers who are smuggling our maize and mealie meal into the neighbouring countries?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, this Government does not give permits to smugglers. We give permits to our partners – stakeholders - in order for them to do a job in the maize industry.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if, indeed, the escalating prices of maize are being caused by the retailers. What is the role of the Zambia Competition Commission?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the role of the Zambia Competition Commission, at the moment, is to give advice. If this kind of thing continues, then there may be a necessity for this House to re-look at the possibility of strengthening the Zambia Competition Commission. This commission advises the private sector as well as the Government on what should prevail. Clearly, when you see a cartel, it can only work against the consumer and, as a Government, our role is to protect the consumer.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr R. C. Banda (Milanzi): Madam Speaker, earlier on in the statement, the hon. Minister indicated that the Government shall allow millers to import maize from the SADC region. He also said that if the maize is not adequately sourced within the SADC region, the millers will be allowed to import maize from outside the region. I would like to find out from him what measures the Government has put in place to ensure that the maize that is going to be imported from outside the country, from far-flung places like Peru and so forth, will not cause price increases and if so, what measures have been put in place to ensure that the price of mealie meal remains stable.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, when we give permits to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) or millers to import maize, it is on the understanding that there will be a balance in the pricing of this commodity. So, the only mechanisms that we have put in place are the permits given to FRA and the millers, with the understanding that when this maize comes into the country, it will blended with that from the Food Reserve Agency and will continue to act as a deterrent to the soaring prices of mealie meal.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated to this House that there are various issues that cannot be explained. The question is on why the hon. Minister is being mean on simple and basic issues. He should tell us whether the price of mealie meal will go down or remain as it is now. It is simple and that is all we want to know.

Laughter

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I am thankful for that question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Kwacha. In my statement, I repeatedly said that these measures are meant to stabilise the price of mealie meal. If we do not undertake these measures, the price of mealie meal can only go up.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!{mospagebreak}

STATUS OF ENERGY SECTOR IN THE COUNTRY

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Madam Speaker, once again, it is, indeed, a great honour and privilege to stand before this august House and brief the House on the status of the energy sector in the country. I have on several occasions mentioned in this House the importance of energy as a critical input to all productive sectors of our economy. Therefore, it is my ministry’s commitment to ensure that adequate energy is available in sufficient quantities at all times.

Madam Speaker, I now wish to brief the House on the current status of the energy sector in relation to the petroleum and electricity sub-sectors.

The Fuel Supply Situation

Madam Speaker, the fuel supply situation in the country has continued to stabilise as the Government continues to implement its long-term (2 years) petroleum supply contract with a Kuwait-based company called the Independent Petroleum Group (IPG). Currently, both Indeni Petroleum Refinery Zambia Limited and TAZAMA Pipelines Limited are operating well and adequate fuel stocks are available in the country.

Strategic Petroleum Reserves

Madam Speaker, as hon. Members of the House are aware, the country needs to have strategic petroleum reserves in order to ensure that there is security of supply of petroleum products. The biggest challenge that the country has had in the implementation of this programme has been the lack of storage space for the strategic petroleum stocks.

For this reason, the Government, through my ministry, has embarked on a programme to increase storage infrastructure throughout the provinces for strategic petroleum reserves. In implementing the above measure, my ministry has issued a tender for the rehabilitation of Government bulk petroleum depots in Lusaka, Solwezi and Mongu. Each of the three depots has a capacity to hold approximately 2 million litres of petroleum products. Fuel depots in Choma, Chipata, Mansa and Kasama will be subsequently rehabilitated in the 2009 financial year.

In addition to this, the Government has given TAZAMA Pipelines Limited funding of approximately US$2 million from the Strategic Reserve Fund for completion of works of a 40 million litre tank in Ndola, which will be used for storage of strategic diesel stocks. The tank will be completed by February, 2009 and as I have mentioned, we will be able to keep up to 40 million litres of diesel. Further more, the Government will facilitate the completion of the rehabilitation works at the Ndola Fuel Terminal within the first quarter of 2009. We expect that by the third quarter of 2009, the country will have a combined storage capacity at the Ndola Fuel Terminal, TAZAMA Pipelines Limited and in the provinces that will be adequate to store at least 30 days of petroleum strategic stock consumption. The fourth quarter of 2009 will, therefore, be dedicated to procurement of the petroleum stocks to be stored.

Uniform Petroleum Prices

Regarding the issue of mitigating the high petroleum prices in the rural areas, the Government is committed to putting in place an incentive mechanism to correct this situation as stated in the current National Energy Policy. The mechanism will involve the implementation of a national uniform pricing programme. The challenge of implementing this mechanism in the past has mainly been the lack of adequate storage infrastructure in the rural areas. As indicated earlier, the issue of storage is receiving active attention and will be addressed within the course of 2009 and this will pave way for the effective implementation of the uniform petroleum pricing in the rural areas. The main element of this programme will involve the Government putting in place a subsidy mechanism to cover the cost of transporting fuel to rural areas so that the price of fuel there is the same as in the urban areas.

The main element of this programme would involve the Government putting in place a subsidy mechanism to cover the cost of transporting fuel to rural areas so that the price of fuel in rural areas is the same as in urban areas.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Indeni Petroleum Refinery

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, in order to improve the operational efficiency of the refinery, the Government and Total International, its strategic partner in the refinery, decided to recapitalise the refinery at the cost of US$ 65 million over a period of five years. The rehabilitation works have since resulted in the following achievements:

(i) reduction of consumption losses from 16 per cent of throughput to 10 per cent of throughput;

(ii) increased of annual throughput from 50 per cent of design capacity to 60 per cent of design capacity; and

(iii) the reduction of unplanned shutdowns from as much as 10 per year in 2005 and 2006 to less than 5 in 2007 and none, so far, in 2008.

The refinery recently underwent a scheduled shutdown for maintenance from 21st September to 21st October, 2008. The shutdown was necessary to facilitate the continued implementation of the recapitalisation programme at a small-scale which is aimed at improving the operational efficiency of the refinery.

In addition to the above mentioned measures, the Government is actively considering the options available for mobilisation and expansion of the refinery so that it will be able to meet the demands of the growing Zambian economy. The modernisation and expansion of the refinery will entail installation of additional equipment such as the hydrocracker and a desulphurisation unit which will enable the refinery process any type of crude and produce cleaner fuels.

Currently, the refinery production of diesel leaves a shortfall of 15 million litres per month. Until the refinery can fully supply the market, this diesel shortfall has to be imported by the Government.

Pricing of Petroleum Products

Madam Speaker, during 2008, we have seen wide swings in the price of crude oil on the international market. As Members of this august House are aware, oil prices reached a record high of over US$140 per barrel in July, 2008 before starting to fall to the current levels of less that US$60 per barrel.

The Government is aware of the concerns being raised by the Members of the House on the Government’s inability to adjust fuel prices in line with the current trends on the international market. The House may wish to note that the variation of prices on the international market is done on a daily basis and prices rise and fall depending, on one hand, on the dictates of demand and supply, and the general performance of the international economy on the other hand. As I mentioned earlier, the Government is currently implementing a long term two-year contract for the supply of petroleum feed stock. The procurement cycle entails that a feedstock cargo is supplied every 45 days in order to assure constant supply of fuel to the country. In practical terms, this means that the country needs to make orders for the delivery of the feedstock cargo 30 - 45 days in advance. This situation makes it difficult for the Government to automatically adjust prices in line with what is obtaining on the international market.

You will note that although prices of crude oil from January, 2008 to July, 2008 had continued to rise reaching a record high of over US$150 per barrel, the Government was not able to adjust the local fuel prices automatically. This was mainly due to the fact that the fuel being supplied during that period, at a particular time, was procured at a lower price than the one that was obtaining when the sales were being made.

The slump in the performance of the international markets has seen a progressive fall in crude oil prices reaching to the current levels of below US$60 per barrel. However, because of the nature of our procurement cycle, it is not possible to automatically adjust our local fuel prices to be in line with the falling international oil prices. For instance, the Government procured a shipment in September, 2008 at price of US$85 million for a 90,000 metric tonne cargo when international prices were at US$95 per barrel.

The Indeni Petroleum Refinery is currently processing the shipment which was procured when crude oil prices stood at US$95 per barrel. It will, therefore, not make economic sense to sell a cargo which was procured at a higher price at the current lower prices as it will entail incurring a huge financial loss.

Since the Government took over the procurement of petroleum feedstock, the expectation is that the transactions are supposed to be self-financing with full recovery of all associated costs incurred.

Madam Speaker, I, however, wish to inform the House that the Government is actively pursuing this issue and will ensure that the benefits that accrue from the reduction in international oil prices are passed on to the consumers in Zambia after careful assessments of the cost implications. This will make the product more affordable for the consumers and the industrial sector more competitive. The shipment that we have ordered now, which is expected to arrive towards the end of November, 2008, has been bought at US$53 million. This means that fuel prices will go down in December, 2008 when the country starts to consume this cheaper shipment. Of course, the variation in the local prices will also be determined, to some extent, by how other factors, like the foreign exchange rate, behave. Should the exchange rate be favourable, we expect a reasonable fuel price reduction in December, 2008.

My ministry will further expedite the implementation of the National Uniform Pump Price Programme by seriously working on the building of storage facilities in all provinces, which has been the limiting factor.

Electricity Issues

Madam Speaker, during my last briefing of August, 2008, to this august House, I had mentioned that the rehabilitation of three generators at the Kafue Gorge and the Kariba North Bank power stations had contributed to the power deficit situation obtaining in the country then. I am happy to inform the House that the rehabilitation and uprating works of generating plants at these two power stations are now in their final stages.

Out of the six available generating units at the Kafue Gorge Power Station, two machines are currently on shutdown for rehabilitation and uprating. The works on these machines are on schedule and are expected to be completed during December, 2008. Upon completion of these works, the power generation will be fully restored and uprated by an additional 90 mega watts. This will increase the capacity of the power station from 900 mega watts to 990 mega watts.

At the Kariba North Bank Power Station, which comprises four generating units, work has been completed on three generators. The third generator was re-commissioned on 1st October, 2008. The commencement of rehabilitation and uprating work on the last and fourth generator has been deferred until the last two generators at Kafue Gorge have been completed.

What this entails in terms of the electricity supply situation is that ZESCO has at present four machines at Kafue Gorge and another four at Kariba North Bank Power Station. The total available capacity, including that at the Victoria Falls Power Station is 1300 mega watts as opposed to the national demand of 1450 mega watts.

The decision to delay the shutting down of generator number four at the Kariba North Bank Power Station and the re-commissioning of generator number three is expected to substantially contribute to the reduction of load shedding. However, due to the ongoing works to relocate the transmission line from the Kariba North Bank Power Station that had collapsed in December, 2007, load shedding is expected to continue as the works on the tower which collapsed are finalised in the next four weeks as announced by ZESCO.

Madam Speaker, I further wish to inform the House on the progress that my Government has made in implementing the following power projects.

Kariba North Bank Extension Project

This project whose capacity is 360 mega watts, once completed at an estimated cost of US$312 million, is expected to be commissioned in 2012. Construction works are estimated to take between three to four years. The contractor has mobilised and commenced work on site. However, some works have been temporarily suspended following the discovery of an explosive device at the site. Efforts are being made to have the area cleared by the relevant security forces.

Itezhi-tezhi Hydro-Power Project

This project whose capacity is 120 mega watts is scheduled to be completed in 2013 at an estimated cost of US$270 million. The tender documents are ready for tendering for the contractor to carry out the works. The project is being developed jointly by TATA Africa Holdings and ZESCO Limited. The Government, however, is reviewing the situation in order to accelerate the financial closure and implementation of the project. ZESCO, on its part, has already identified potential sources of funding for its share of the project.

The Kafue Gorge Lower Power Project

The project capacity is 750 mega watts and is estimated to cost close to US$2 billion. In August this year, I informed the House that the Government had engaged the International Finance Company (IFC) of the World Bank as its transaction adviser to conduct feasibility studies at the selected site and select a developer who will partner with the Government. To date, eleven groups of companies have expressed interest in this regard.

The selection of the preferred developer will commence in February, 2009. The transaction advisory services will be completed in December, 2009, after ensuring that the financing is in place and the construction is ready to start.

The Government is sourcing funds to construct access roads to the project site to facilitate geological investigations and smooth flow of feasibility works.

The Kalungwishi Hydro-Power Project

The Government is in the process of negotiating the finalisation of the implementation agreement with a preferred developer who, in this case, is Lunzua Power Authority. This is expected to be completed before the end of December, 2008. The project capacity is 210 mega watts and is expected to cost US$780 million because of the transmission line.

The Kabompo Hydro Power Project

Madam Speaker, the project has a potential of 34 mega watts and will be developed at an estimated cost of US$80 million. The project will be developed by a private consortium consisting the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) Plc and TATA Group of Companies. The two companies have been given the go ahead to proceed with the implementation of the project.

Rehabilitation of small hydro-power stations in the Luapula and Northern provinces will be accelerated by the Government through supporting the efforts of ZESCO. The small hydro-power stations at the Musonda and Chishimba, Lusiwasi and Lunzuwa Falls are capable of meeting the short to medium term power requirements of the country. These will need to be rehabilitated and uprated so that they supplement power to the national grid.

My ministry has already commenced work to assess the rehabilitation and uprating requirements of the mini hydro power stations, I have just alluded to. The Government expects to engage a contractor to undertake the rehabilitation and uprating works during the course of 2009 at an estimated cost of US$25 million over a period of four years.

The West Lunga Hydro Power Project whose capacity is 2.5 mega watts and estimated cost of US$2.2 million is situated in Mwinilunga. It will be developed by the private sector to replace the more expensive diesel generation sets that are in the area. The developer is in the process of finalising the financial issues and power supply agreements with the local utility, ZESCO.

Other projects to be developed to increase the generation capacity, improve energy needs and also contribute to the reduction of load shedding during peak hours include the following:

(a) Shiwang’andu Mini Hydro Project, whose capacity is 1 mega watt is scheduled to be completed in 2009;

(b) the Kaputa Biomass Gasification, whose capacity is 1 mega watt is scheduled to be completed in 2009;

(c) the Maamba Thermo Power Station whose capacity ranges between 250 and 500 mega watts with an estimated cost of US$978 million is on course and the Government will soon request for expressions of interest from potential developers;

(d) Chikata Falls Project in Kabompo whose capacity is 3.5 mega watts is estimated to cost US$13 million. Pre-feasibility studies are being done to enable the marketing of the project to potential developers; and

(e) Chavuma Falls in Chavuma whose capacity is 15 mega watts is estimated to cost US$20 million. Pre-feasibility studies are being done to enable the marketing of the project to potential developers.

Madam Speaker, as I mentioned earlier to this august House, the successful development of the above projects will require the Government to adequately address critical issues like electricity tariffs as well as adequate incentives to both local and foreign investors. These and other issues are receiving active Government attention.

I, further, wish to inform the House that my ministry is working on the development of the National Power System Development Plan whose aim will be to streamline the development of the various identified generation and transmission projects. With such a plan in place, prospective developers will be able to see what the plans for the Government are in terms of scheduling the development of backbone infrastructure in electricity generation and transmission.

Madam Speaker, allow me, at this point, to highlight issues related to the famous Rural Electrification Master Plan. The Master Plan has identified a total of 1,217 growth centres in rural areas throughout the country which will be the target for electrification during the period 2008 to 2030.

The Master Plan targets to increase the electrification rate in rural areas from the current 3 per cent to 51 per cent by the year 2030. The total investment required to achieve this target over the same period is US$1.1 billion which is equivalent to K4.4 trillion at the current exchange rate. This translates into an annual expenditure of US$50 million which is equivalent to K200 billion per year between 2008 and 2030.

The growth centres are planned to be electrified using three principle methods of electrification namely grid extension, that is extending the existing national grid where it is possible or stand-alone electricity systems supplied from renewable sources such as mini-hydro power stations, biomass generation and solar energy.

The House will note that this is the first time since independence that the Government has been able to prepare a well articulated plan in which the cost of electrifying each rural growth centre has been worked out and prioritised according to the power demand, method of electrification and economic and financial indicators. The major efforts will be now channelled towards mobilising the needed financial resources to achieve the set targets.

I, further, wish to inform the House that in order to mitigate the reduced availability of electricity by the ZESCO supply system, an awareness campaign has been launched to promote the use of energy efficient equipment such as energy saving bulbs. An assessment undertaken by my ministry has revealed that the programme is on track and noticeable adherence to the use of energy saving devices has been registered especially in the Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces where the assessments have been done so far. This assessment will continue in the other provinces of the country as well.


Madam Speaker, with the commencement of the production of meters on the Copperbelt by ZESCO and El Swedey Joint Venture, it is expected that the metering programme by ZESCO will be accelerated as the meters will now be readily available locally. This will drastically improve the ZESCO Billing System which is part of the company’s overall Customer Service Improvement Programme.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement which has been delivered by the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development.

Mr Sikazwe (Chimbamilonga): Madam Speaker, through you, I would like to request that I be allowed to ask two questions because the ministerial statement was a bit lengthy.

Interruptions

Mr Sikazwe: It tackled two …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Ask your question on points of clarification.

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, what is the Government position on the Rural Electrification Authority and how is ZESCO being persuaded to complete connecting Kaputa District to the grid after being given an initial K3.2 billion and also, Kapisha Geothermal plant?

Madam, secondly, what type of maintenance is prompting the closure of Indeni and what should be the frequency of this maintenance annually?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I will answer the first question because I am not very sure about the second question. With regard to the connection of the Kaputa line, efforts have been made by ZESCO. It was there in this year’s budget and it is coming next year for us to complete the line to Kaputa such that Kaputa, other than the biomass electrification project, will also be connected by an overhead line. Those works are on course.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Madam Speaker, now that the hon. Minister has stated that there are only four turbines that are running at Kariba North Bank, I would like to find out from him because he is the same hon. Minister who stated in this House that the output of each turbine at Kariba North Bank is about 180 Mega Watts. In my calculation, four turbines running at full capacity at 180 Mega Watts will produce about 720 Mega Watts. May he clarify to this House whether the output from the four machines running at Kariba North Bank is fluctuating.

Madam, may the hon. Minister also tell this House as to whether the expansion programme that he has mentioned at Kariba North Bank will be Government funded or donor funded.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Before I ask the hon. Minister to answer, you will remember that you are given an opportunity to ask one question. Therefore, the hon. Minister can chose to answer only one if he so wishes.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I would like to request the hon. Member to pay extra attention when someone is giving a statement. It is true, before the rehabilitation works at Kariba North Bank and Kafue Gorge Power Station, each machine at the station has 150 Mega Watts output. After the rehabilitation, power will go up to 180 Mega Watts. Therefore, the power will only increase from 150 Mega Watts which is obtaining now to 180 Mega Watts after rehabilitation.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, I thank you…

Mrs J. M. Phiri: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mrs J. M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, firstly I would like to apologise to my fellow hon. Member who was about to speak. I rise on a very serious point of order. Before I go to my point of order, I would like to congratulate especially, the…

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! No! Raise your point of order, please.

Mrs J. M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Gender in order to keep quiet when we have two women Cabinet Ministers who have been dropped in this Government? During the election campaigns, we were told that this was supposed to be a continuation of the late President Mwanawasa’s legacy.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs J. M. Phiri: Madam, is this the legacy they are talking about? If you look at the President…

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! You have asked your question. Do not go into debate. You ask your question clearly, briefly and straight forward.

Mrs J. M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling because the presentation of women is going down and I am not happy about it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Firstly, the Chair would like to note that the point of order is on the hon. Minister of Gender. Therefore, the Chair also wonders really what the hon. Minister of Gender is supposed to do because that is not the appointing authority. The point of order is misdirected. The appointing authority is the Republican President and whose appointments of hon. Ministers is not ratified in this House and cannot be questioned as to what he has based his appointment on. I am sure I see new female members of this House.

Hon. Opposition Members: One!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Therefore, the point of order raised cannot be answered by anyone in this House. The President, on his appointments, has many reasons and has the right to decide. I am sure I see that there are very few, if any, female members of the back bench of his party. We cannot question his appointment in this House.

The hon. Member for Luapula may continue.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, I wish to congratulate the Government for such an assurance because I have stood in here for the last six to seven years asking for uniform prices to be introduced but nothing has been done. Therefore, could the hon. Minister confirm that in 2009, as he has stated, he is, in fact, going to implement the uniform pricing of petroleum products in the rural and urban areas? 

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Luapula for that follow-up question. In my ministerial statement, I have clearly stated that this very able Government…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: …is committed to rehabilitating storage facilities throughout the provinces and, further, finding a way of subsidising the transport cost in 2009 to enable our people throughout the country enjoy the same cost of price. These are measures this Government is committed to and will implement in the coming year.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa: We want an assurance!

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister state, specifically, when the Government will implement the generation of power by windmills in various parts of the country.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, in terms of alternative renewal of the source of energy, the Government has not yet considered the options of windmills as a source of energy in this country. Presently, we are looking at solar, micro hydro stations, in areas where water is available, and Biomass. We have not yet carried out studies to indicate the strength of the current of the winds in this country to establish whether it could be sufficient to produce power. Therefore, we cannot comment on that at the moment.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Imasiku (Liuwa): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned some areas where we are likely to tap electricity. However, I did not hear him mention Sioma Falls. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there are any plans to develop Sioma Falls into a hydro power station? 

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I did appeal, earlier, to hon. Members of Parliament who have information regarding potential sites that we could develop into hydro power stations. If there are other hon. Members of Parliament who are aware of such other sites, which are not in the Government’s knowledge domain, please, feel free to come and share that information. We can follow up and put those sites in the Government’s power project programmes as well.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that the IFC were appointed as transaction advisors to the Government on the development of the Kafue Gorge Lower, which has a potential capacity of 750 Megawatts. He has also indicated that eleven groups of companies have shown interest to come on board and develop this power station.

Madam Speaker, in the past, the hon. Minister and his colleagues have lamented about cost reflective tariffs as one of the major challenges that the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) has had in the past. I would like to find out from him whether the Government, IFC and all these eleven groups of companies have actually conclusively dealt with the issues of …

Mr Ntundu: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Ntundu: Madam Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order.

Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Energy and water Development in order to mislead this House by informing us that, currently, at Kariba North Bank, the four machines that are running now are producing 150 Megawatts each, when in your Report of the Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism for the Second Session of the Tenth National Assembly appointed on 17th January, 2008, your Committee were informed, when they visited Kariba North Bank that actually two machines were already upgraded. In his statement, he mentioned that when upgrading was finished, each machine would be producing 180 Megawatts.

Madam Speaker, I would like quote from page seven of the report …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Give us your figures again.

Mr Ntundu: Madam Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development informed the House that each turbine produces 180 Megawatts. In the follow up question that I asked him, he denied, and said that the machines which are operating right now are producing 150 Megawatts. In this report on page seven, it is indicated that at Kariba North Bank, two machines had been upgraded, meaning that each machine is producing 180 Megawatts. Is the hon. Minister in order to deceive this House?

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister …

Mr Ntundu: I can lay this report on the Table.

Madam Speaker: Order! That report is for the whole House.

For the hon. Minister, who still has the opportunity to speak, figures are not easy to follow. There was 150 Megawatts that we talked about, and the hon. Minister talked about 180 Megawatts after upgrading. The hon. Minister is still here and he will be able to clarify the figures so that we can get the true figures as they stand today. In the meantime, we will allow the questions. Hon. Minister, as you respond to the questions on points of clarification, you may also take into consideration the point of order.

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, I hope the hon. Minister was following my mind because I was at the tail end of my question. Have the three stakeholders …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Ask the question now.

Mr Nkombo: …the Government, IFC as well as the eleven bidders, who will be subjected to scrutiny and selection in February, 2009, resolved the issue of cost reflective tariffs? What has so suddenly become the attraction because we were told that most investors are not attracted to the power generation business because the tariffs are extraordinarily low and unattractive for business sense?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I thank you for the follow-up question from the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, who, at the same time, is the Chairman for the Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism. It is true that I have mentioned in my statement that the IFC is about to select a preferred developer, whose work should commence towards the end of 2009.  I am sure that the Chairman of the Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism is aware that the period between February, 2009 and December, 2009 is an eleven-month window, during which the local utility will apply to the regulator because the issue of tariffs is not carved in stone.

The Chairman of the committee is aware that periodically, the local utility does apply for cost reflective tariffs to be considered by the regulator. It is anticipated that the application will not move away from cost reflective tariffs as opposed to moving towards cost reflected tariffs.

Madam Speaker, I would also like to clarify that the hon. Member of Parliament for Gwembe is right to indicate that two machines have been completed, but the original output of these machines was 150 mega watts. In my statement, I have indicated that upon rehabilitation, the output of the machine will be upgraded from 150 Mega Watts to 180 Mega Watts. Therefore, I do not see where the contradiction is. I hope this can clarify the issue because the original output of the machines at Kariba North Bank was 150 Mega Watts and because of the rehabilitation works which is not yet complete, which is finishing in the first quarter of 2009…

 Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! There should be no conversation. You have asked a question and the hon. Minister is clarifying.

Mr Konga: It is upon completion of the rehabilitation works that up rating will also take effect. The uprating will not take effect until after the works for rehabilitation have been completed. That is when the rating output of the machine will move from 150 to 180 Mega Watts.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Madam Speaker, while I appreciate what is being put up by the ministry, I just want to find out from the hon. Minister whether they have considered the security concerns of lumping major energy generating plants in one area when we have resources like waterfalls elsewhere in this country. Why does the ministry also not think of putting up major energy installations elsewhere other than lumping them in one area?

 Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Mwense for that follow-up question.

Madam, we are talking about two major power stations located on the Kafue River as well as the Zambezi River in the case of Kariba North Bank. This is more historical in the case of the Kariba North Bank Power Station. This was developed because there was need to provide electric energy to the mines by the Federal Government that obtained then. Therefore, it was decided that since the Federal Government was headquartered in Harare, the two federal States of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland that time agreed to put up a dam on the Zambezi River. Studies that followed also showed that the potential for development of the mining and industrial sectors would benefit more because of the output of the power that could be developed from Kafue Gorge.

As you have heard, right now we are talking about 990 Mega Watts. The Government is putting up another 750 Mega Watts at one site. This is to maximise on the economies of scale. Of course, the Government is not limited to only these sites. We are aware that there are other sites…

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I was just indicating to the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwense that power stations are located where a potential difference exists so that it can generate the power and where there is flat land, definitely, you cannot just put up a power station.

 However, the Government has identified and is requesting other hon. Members to help bring helpful information where such sites with potential difference exists so that we can put up power stations.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kachimba (Luanshya): Madam Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the good ministerial statement regarding the hydro-power station progress in Zambia.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kachimba: Madam Speaker, in the face of these global changes, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what plans the Government has for the thermal generation plants in the country.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Luanshya for that follow-up question.

Madam, I did indicate in my ministerial statement that the Government has undertaken studies to go beyond hydro power stations and take on projects for the thermal sector as well. One of these is to put up a power station at Maamba Collieries and utilise the coal from that area.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Kapata (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, in the North-Western province, apart from Solwezi and Kasempa, there are no filling stations, making the commodity very expensive in other districts where it is being sold at twice the normal price. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there are any plans by the ministry to attract investors to open up filling stations in these places.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Mandevu for that follow-up question. Maybe, I can attract her to put up a filling station.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 Laughter

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Madam Speaker, Angola is an established oil producing country. I would like to find from the hon. Minister why this country has not taken a deliberate step to consider importing crude oil from Angola and putting up an ultra-modern refinery plant in North-Western Province, especially that there are signs of oil in North-Western Province.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, the refinery that was put up in Ndola then was supposed to be refining commingled petroleum products. There is a ratio of how much crude they put in the pipeline. It shows how much diesel, octane and other products may be produced. That is the type of refinery we have. I have mentioned in my statement that the Government is looking at ways of modernising this refinery so that we can refine pure crude. Once that programme is over, then we can consider. The Government is actively pursuing these programmes to consider buying pure crude from other sister governments.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Konga: Of course, yesterday, we had a question to the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development that there have been discoveries of the presence of oil in various parts of the country, in North-Western, Eastern as well as Luapula provinces. Once commercial extraction of this oil has been proven, it will be very motivating for investors, like the Member of Parliament for Nkana, to partner with other people to put up refineries in one of these provinces.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr C. K. B. Banda: Madam Speaker, may the hon. Minister tell the House the contribution made by Total and GRZ towards the US $65 million that has been injected into INDENI?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, as I speak, now, I think each party has contributed US $22.5 million to this cost. As I have mentioned in my report, this is an on-going investment. To date, we have made US $22.5 as a contribution.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development aware that the Mumbotuta Waterfalls in Milenge District in Luapula Province has a potential of generating and supplying power to the whole country without any blackouts? If he is aware, what plans has he put in place to tap that potential?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I am grateful for that question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Bangweulu. Mumbotuta, like other sites, has been identified by the Government to be developed as generating station. So, the programme is on course.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Madam Speaker, in Mpika District, at Chambeshi community, there is a very big transformer which is rotting there. I would like to find out when this is going to be connected to the National Grid so that the community can benefit.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, the transformer is not rotting. Transformers do not rot. The windings that are there will not rot at all. I can assure you.

Interruptions

Hon. PF Member: But it has been there for centuries!

Mr Konga: We are aware that there is transformer and efforts are being made by ZESCO to recover the transformer so that it can be used by the communities and take an appropriately sized transformer to that area so that it can be utilised by the local community there.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr R. C. Banda: Madam Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister indicated that there are over a thousand rural points that have been identified under the Rural Electrification Programme between 2008 and 2030. That is about twenty-two years from now. May I find out from the hon. Minister whether rural areas like Milanzi and Vubwi which, up until now, have no hydro electric points in their constituencies, are being given special preferences to have access to hydro electric power?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Milanzi for that question. I know that he has not been long in the House and so, he may not have some information. If you heard my statement, I said that implementation of rural electrification or supply entails compliance to financial and economical rate of return. Vubwi and Milanzi are based on their classification of the economic and financial rate of return within the Eastern Province. I would request that, maybe, the hon. Member comes to my office and I can give him the date.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out what mechanism was put in place by ZESCO during …

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Hon. PF Members: Aima!

Interruptions

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, again, I rise on a very serious point of order.

Madam Speaker, on Thursday, 13th November, 2008, your Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services presented a report here in which most of the Members debated and the concern was on correct reporting. Madam, in today’s Post, there is a story entitled, “MPs Vote to Pay Themselves More”. It goes on to say, “Rupiah increases Minister’s salaries” and the reporter is Lambwe Kachali.

In this reporting, there is misinformation in the story related to the activities of Parliament yesterday and I quote:

“Vice-President George Kunda who tabled the Bill before Parliament said although a lot of money was spent during the funeral of President Levy Mwanawasa, the country had enough resources to cover the costs.”

Hon. Government Members: Shame! Shame!

Mr Sichilima: Another quote, Madam Speaker:

“Among the figures and allowances, one is Utility Allowance awarded to Deputy Ministers at K26,680,000 per month.”

Another one, a similar figure:

 “K26,680,000 per month to the private Members”

Again it is stated “per month”.

Madam Speaker, those figures, according to the deliberations yesterday, His Honour the Vice-President said, were “per annum.”

Hon. Government Member: They want anarchy!

Mr Sichilima: Madam, the statement from His Honour the Vice-President stated, and I quote:

“Mr Speaker, you may wish to know that the Treasury currently has insufficient resources to cover the proposed emoluments payable to the President”.

That was the statement on one of the Bills. He went on, Madam Speaker, to say:

“In light of the limited financial resources available, I hereby return three Bills for reconsideration by the National Assembly and submit herewith amendments to the Bill so that an increase of 15 per cent is effected across the board.”

The same was repeated on the last Bill and I quote:

“As has already been stated in the message of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia to this august House that he has withheld his assent to the Presidential Emolument (Amendment) Bill, 2008, the Treasury currently has insufficient resources to cover the proposed emoluments payable to the President in full.”

Madam Speaker, having said that, the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act, Cap. 12, Section 25(c) reads:

“ … publishes save by the general or special leave of the Assembly, any paper, report or other document prepared expressly for submission to the Assembly before the same has been laid on the Table of the Assembly.”

It goes to state the penalty, Madam Speaker that:

“The person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding 5,000 penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both.”

Madam Speaker, this incorrect reporting has been made even after your several rulings in this august House. I, therefore, ask Madam Speaker, for your serious ruling because the business of this House has been trivialised by this paper.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Lay it on the Table!

Interruptions

Mr Sichilima laid the paper on the Table.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice- President has raised a point of order referring to the Business of the House yesterday and the report that has come out in some parts of the media which paper he has laid on the Table. He did not actually indicate which paper.

Hon. Members: The Post!

Madam Deputy Speaker: The Post! Alright. In his submission in the point of order, he says that there was - I will call it - distortion of the facts as put to the House by His Honour the Vice-President. He has gone on to quote part of the Parliamentary Privileges Act, I believe, and has gone on to the penalty that ought to be given.

What he quoted, if I heard him correctly, is that if anybody goes on to publish anything that is specifically and expressly meant for Parliament before it is laid on the Table of the House or before it is actually considered by Parliament, that person has infringed on the absolute privilege that the House has. However, I must start by looking at that and state that the material that has been published, distorted or misquoted was already made known by the House and so the application of the Clause that the hon. Minister has quoted may be a little difficult to apply here.

However, on the misquoting and distortion of the facts of the House, the hon. Members know how serious this is. Just this afternoon, one hon. Member asked for proper clarification in figures because he believed that they were misleading, not only to the House, but to the entire nation. This is a very important House and it is an arm of Government and, therefore, issues of governance come from this arm of Government and the Business of the House ought to be taken very seriously.

The point that the Chair would like to make is, once again, to urge our reporters or journalists, that it is …

Hon. Members: The Post!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! I will make a blanket statement to start with. It is not in order to deliberately distort the discussions or deliberations of the House and misrepresent it to the public because then the public will not get facts. This House expects that everything said here and reported out there must be factual.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: It is, indeed, difficult for the Chair to even understand the intention of such reporting.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: What is reported in this House is not a secret because we are very transparent, under modernisation, because whatever is spoken here is recorded and transmitted through the radio and recorded through the verbatim reports and it is also on the website. Therefore, this information is available to everybody and the public out there ought to understand whether the truth is being reported or not. The paper decided to deliberately distort the information or the issues as they were deliberated on yesterday and the entire nation has been misled. The misleading starts from the Headline which the hon. Minister read out and that, once again, can really mislead everybody. The Chair can only, once again, urge The Post newspaper, in particular, that decided to report in this manner that it is wrong and that it should not be done. They should be, indeed as they are known, the fourth arm of Government and, therefore, they should report factually so that the people can really know what is going on. We do not want to ban people. We want to be as transparent as we are, but we expect any reporter to take the facts as they are. If you do not get it correctly, get the verbatim report and use that for reporting. We do not want the nation to be misled and so it is not in order, therefore, for any reporter to deliberately or even without fully understanding, distort the information from this House. What happened is a sad state of affairs.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Will the hon. Member for Kantanshi continue, please.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out what mechanism was put in place by ZESCO prior to the just ended election to ensure that before the election or during the campaign period…

Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! We want to listen.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out what mechanism was put in place by ZESCO, prior to the just ended elections to ensure that before the election, during the campaign period, no load shedding took place on the Copperbelt, but we have seen increased load shedding after the elections. Was it a campaign strategy or what did ZESCO do which they have failed to do right now?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, there was, indeed, no political reason advanced by this Government for ZESCO to do with load shedding. Just a few days ago, ZESCO announced that they had lost a tower. This is contributing to the extensive load shedding and it is actually in the media. It is not political at all. This is just purely technical.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, in Mporokoso, there is a Mr Mubanga who is generating power from what I can call a mini hydro power station. Now, my question to that Government there is on what are they doing to encourage people of such good intentions in order to minimise the power consumption in this nation.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, this very able Government …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: … is awarding Mr Mumba – actually, he is Mr Mumba - a sum of K80 million for his innovation.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

_____{mospagebreak}

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

SUCCESSION DISPUTES AMONG TRADITIONAL RULER S IN ZAMBIA

436. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) why succession disputes among traditional rulers country-wide were on the increase compared to the 1950s;

(b) whether senior chiefs in Zambia had a role in resolving succession disputes and, if so, what their role is; and

(c) what measures the ministry had taken to resolve the disputes at (a) above.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Musosha): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that causes for the increase in succession disputes among traditional rulers country-wide are as follows:

(i) Government has introduced incentives such as loans, vehicles inclusive, subsidies, medical facilities, etc, which are being seen as economic benefits to chiefs, and thereby causing succession disputes. Madam Speaker, in the colonial era, in the 1950s, the welfare of chiefs was left in the hands of the subjects and, as such, no economic benefits were seen to warrant succession disputes.

(ii) The recognition of traditional rulers as partners in national development has attracted some of the learned citizens who have also fuelled succession disputes.

(iii) Political interventions by some politicians in the selection of traditional leaders when this role is supposed to be performed by the royal members of the affected chiefdom.

(iv) The Colonial Government left a number of problems outstanding relating to chiefdoms. The Colonial Government, in some cases, appointed persons to be chiefs, who were not members of the royal family. This has resulted in succession disputes after the death of the chief whose parents might have been wrongly appointed by the Colonial Government.

Madam Speaker, senior chiefs have a very limited role in resolving succession disputes because they have limited powers in such cases. However, cases of succession disputes may be settled by the royal family members with the blessing of a senior chief.

Madam Speaker, the ministry, through the House of Chiefs, has constituted a team of chiefs, who are members of the House of Chiefs to assist in resolving the disputes. So far, the team has been to Eastern, Central, Northern, Copperbelt and Southern provinces. The ministry has also been dialoguing with the concerned chiefs to try and resolve the disputes amicably.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, history has it that there were wars experienced in Southern, Central, Eastern, Western and part of North Africa, as a result of the succession disputes. Now, the fact that there are these escalating disputes which the Government has lamentably failed to quench …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Ask your question.

Mr Chisala: What is the Government doing with a view to ensuring that such disputes which have spread to provinces such as Northern Province are brought to an end?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Tetamashimba): Madam Speaker, this Government has put in place the issue of succession wrangles as a priority and what we have done now is that we have asked every chief, together with his or her members of the royal family, to give us the names of the family tree so that in future when the chief dies, we shall be able to choose a name from the family tree. Of course, there have been some wrangles where you find that some chiefs like those from North-Western Province, Kaondes in particular, who are matrilineal. Sometimes, amongst the family tree members the chief may be a man whose children are not entitled to become chiefs, but he may decide that his children become chiefs when the chiefs are supposed to come from among his sisters’ children. So, those are the few wrangles that we have, but otherwise, as at now, we have decided to have family trees which are going to help us identify who qualifies to be a chief.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister on the time frame because he has talked about the committee which has been appointed to look at the disputes. What is the time frame because there are chiefs who have been in those positions for more than 13 years and they have not been recognised? The hon. Deputy Minister is aware of my chief who has been there for more than 13 years without being recognised.

Mr Tetamashimba: Madam Speaker, I want to state that the procedure is that some chiefs, when they pass on, within a week you can have a chief selected. I think this happens with some of the chiefs in the Eastern Province, but with some chiefs, you have to stay for about a year before you can choose another person to be chief. Coming to Chieftainess Mwenda, I can assure you that before the former hon. Minister left, I saw correspondence on that subject and sooner or later, you will get the official response through the mechanism of Government which is involved in recognition.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Madam Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s answer that a committee has been instituted to look into chiefs’ conflicts, would the hon. Minister inform us of the role of the Department of Chiefs’ Affairs in his ministry.

Mr Tetamashimba: Madam Speaker, the committee that we are referring to will only come into play when there are disputes, but if there are no disputes it does nothing. However, this is an ad-hoc committee and is not permanent. We appoint chiefs from the House of Chiefs to attend to certain wrangles between chiefs. Therefore, that is what we normally do and hon. Members should not think that there is a permanent committee even when there are no cases to attend to. It is never there.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, I just want to find out from the hon. Minister what measures the ministry has put in place to prevent chiefs from being partisan and compromised during elections, as witnessed in the just ended election.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Tetamashimba: Madam Speaker, the issue of chiefs participating in politics has been very topical in the past one or two years. I think that many of us have heard from the chiefs that they would like to participate in politics. This has come out clearly and I think that …

Hon. MMD Member: Even in the National Constitutional Conference (NCC).

Mr Tetamashimba: Yes, even in the NCC. I am inviting my colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mandevu, to come to the NCC the next time we are having our sittings so that she can see how the chiefs would like to participate in elections and politicking.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: However, if she decides to stay away from the NCC, she will not know that the chiefs want to be participating in elections. So, I think that it is not an issue and I do not remember any hon. Member of Parliament that had a chief that campaigned for that person …

Mr Kambwili: Aah! Chief Kopa aleimya nokuboko.

Mr Tetamashimba: I think that when somebody is replying, you should keep quiet and then you can ask questions later.

Mr Kambwili: Awe, twakuchitafye defeat.

Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order in the House!

Mr Tetamashimba: There is nothing wrong with a chief stating that he or she would prefer Hon. Tetamashimba to be a hon. Member of Parliament at the expense of Hon. Kambwili. That is a chief’s own personal decision.

I thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

Laughter

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Madam Speaker, from the answer given by the hon. Deputy Minister, the Government …

Mr Kasongo: He is now a hon. Minister.

Mrs Phiri: The one that answered earlier was the hon. Deputy Minister. I have come to know that the Government is aware that some chiefs came about as a part of appeasement by the whites. A good example I can give is that of Chiefs Kakuya and Nyamphande. When is the correction going to be done so that the rightful people can be crowned as Chiefs Nyamphande and Kakuya once and for all because those chiefdoms were given as an appeasement by the whites?

Mr Tetamashimba: Madam Speaker, I am aware that …

Mr Simuusa: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: On the hon. Minister?

Mr Simuusa: Yes, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: You are not interested in the answers?

Hon. Minister, please continue.

Mr Tetamashimba: Madam Speaker, we have to blame senior hon. Members like Dr Machungwa for not teaching him how to …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Minister! Answer the question.

Laughter

Mr Tetamashimba: Madam Speaker, I agree that there are some chiefs …

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Madam.

Laughter

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, look at me and answer the question.

Mr Tetamashimba: Madam Speaker, I was agreeing that there were some chiefs who were actually de-recognised by the Colonial Government because, maybe, those chiefs were supporting freedom fighters, and hence ended up losing out. However, I must say that most of them have been recognised and if there are some who have not, I am not aware since, as you may wish to know, I have been in this ministry for only one year or so.

Therefore, I want to appeal to hon. Members of Parliament that on issues like that, they should come to our offices because if they do so, we shall call the Directors and have a discussion with them. However, if issues are left to be discussed through points of order and questions in the House, hon. Members may not get as much information as they are entitled to. Therefore, I wish to appeal to hon. Members to be aware of the fact that hon. Ministers are not for any political party, but for the Government as well as hon. Members and are supposed to attend to all hon. Members whenever they have issues.

I thank you very much, Madam.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister did indicate that one of the reasons …

Mr Simuusa: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to mislead this House that a chief is free to state his preferred candidate in an election when just recently, we received a hon. Member of Parliament who came in through a by-election after the nullification of the election of the former hon. Member of Parliament because a chief openly supported him?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: The point of order that one hon. Member came in after a by-election because the former Member was openly supported by a chief would need a lot of clarification. The Chair is aware of declarations of support by chiefs in many parts of the country and, therefore, would not take it that the nullification was only based on the issue of support from a chief. It must have been based on the chief’s behaviour of, probably, intimidating voters and doing other things and not just the support.

Hon. Members, there is no law that bars chiefs from supporting political candidates, but they are not allowed to participate. They are allowed to give support because every Zambian has a preferred person in an election.

The hon. Member for Dundumwezi may continue.

Mr Sing’ombe: Madam Speaker, in answering the question posed by the hon. Member for Chilubi, the hon. Minister said that one of the reasons for succession disputes is the economic benefit of being a chief. What is the ministry doing to find a solution to that? Are the economic benefits being removed so that succession disputes can be reduced?

Mr Tetamashimba: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Dundumwezi for that question. Our answer, earlier, was that the candidates for chieftainships have increased because, as you may wish to know, the issue of land, which is becoming scarce in the country, has made the chiefs very powerful. Therefore, many people who did not want to be chiefs because they had their own professions are now accepting to be chiefs so that they can manage and control the land of their people.

Therefore, you will find that there are many professionals coming in to fight to be chiefs. It does not really mean that to be a chief, there is something to be gained, but that there are many players now, unlike in the past where they would pick even a Grade 4 to be a chief as opposed to somebody who is qualified. I think that is the point we are trying to bring into the race.

I thank you, Madam.{mospagebreak}

EXPORT OF MANGO FRUIT TO THE UNITED KINGDOM

437. Mr Kambwili (Roan) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry when the Government would start promoting the export of the mango fruit to the United Kingdom where a singe fruit costs £3 which is about K21,000.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Taima): Madam Speaker, Zambia has secured a preferential market access for essential goods in all products into the European market, which includes the United Kingdom under what is known as Everything But Arms Initiative (EBA).

This market access includes all agricultural products, of course, which includes tropical things and manufactured products with the exception of arms and ammunition.

Mango, being an agricultural product, qualifies for export into the United Kingdom under the EBA. It is important to note, however, that there are other phytosanitary requirements that need to be met in order to ensure that the fruit being exported does not contain diseases or pests.

The ministry is doing everything possible to secure this market access and is currently engaged in promotion of non-traditional exports, including mango, into Europe through the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA). Individuals and companies interested in exporting mango fruits are free to contact the Phytosanitary Department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives to initiate the process of securing phytosanitary clearance from their counterparts in the United Kingdom. The Export Division of ZDA can also be contacted for information about potential buyers.

The best alternative being promoted by the Government, however, is to venture into value addition, and this, the Government is seriously promoting. We are moving away from exporting raw commodities to exporting value added products and we are all aware, I presume, in this House, of the benefits that value addition yields to the economy. It is in this line that ZDA is encouraging the production and export of value added products such as mango pulp or juice as this has the capacity to earn more foreign exchange and even create more jobs.

We have the example of Freshpack, a Zambian company, which is already into the business of fruit processing. This company is currently processing a number of products, among them; tomato, pineapple and baked beans. The processing of mangoes is also on the cards. The company plans to process mangoes between the low season for tomato, which is the period between December and January, when tomato production becomes expensive and supply constricted. During this off-season, this company intends to suspend the production of tomato paste to switch to mango processing and only revert to tomato paste production thereafter.

Additionally, we have Chikwankwa Farm which is also producing value added dehydrated mango products for export to Scandinavian countries.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, it is common knowledge that a common man does not know that there is such a provision. When is the Government going to carry out advertisements to sensitise people that this process is in place?

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga) (on behalf of The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mutati)): Madam Speaker, interested parties - and I would like to request hon. Members of the House - those who have information - to make it available to their constituencies. The Government will also place advertisements in the public media and make it available to the citizens of this country.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, would the hon. Minister confirm as to whether there have been any plans by the Government of the Republic of Zambia to establish the mango processing industry in each of the nine provinces of Zambia?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, this is a liberalised economy. The Government will only set policies. As I speak, there are resources for Citizens Economic Empowerment. Therefore, I am requesting Members of this august House to go and inform their electorates – those who are interested in setting up mango or, indeed, any other value addition programmes to come forward and access these funds. The Government is not in the business of setting up industries any more. It only provides policies and makes resources available to the citizens.

I thank you, Madam.

DONATION OF SPORTS ATTIRE TO CLUBS AND SCHOOLS

438. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development:
 
(a) when the ministry last donated sports attire to clubs and schools in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b) W hat the total cost of the donations at (a) above was.

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Dr Kalila): Madam Speaker, my ministry has not donated any sports attire to clubs and schools in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency. Consequently, no expenditure was incurred for this purpose.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama: Madam Speaker, may I find out, through you, how the ministry is encouraging sports in rural areas if, since 1964, according to the answer given, nothing has been given to clubs and schools in Mfuwe Constituency?

The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Chipungu): Madam Speaker, my ministry has initiated a programme called ‘Focus on Youth Sport’. This programme is targeted at both rural and out of school youths. The main purpose is to consolidate sports development at foundation level. So far, this programme has been piloted in three provinces, namely Eastern, Western and Luapula provinces.

My ministry is in the process of replicating this programme to all provinces. Therefore, if it has not come to Mfuwe, it will be coming.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

UPGRADING OF PRIMARY SCHOOLS INTO GRADE 8

439. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Education how many schools had so far been upgraded to Grade 8 status in the North-Western Province, district by district.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Madam Speaker, there are 85 schools that have been upgraded to Upper Basic School status in the North-Western Province as follows:

 District                Number of Upgraded Schools

 Chavuma                                    4
 Kabompo                                  11
 Kasempa                                  10
 Mufumbwe                               13
 Mwinilunga                               16
 Solwezi                                    19
 Zambezi                                   12
 Total                                         85

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

CONSTRUCTION OF MORDERN SCHOOLS IN MWINILUNGA EAST PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCY

440. Mr Katuka asked the Minister of Education:

(a) how many schools were built out of pole and mud in Mwinilunga West Parliamentary Constituency; and

 (b) when modern structures would be built at the schools above.

Mr Sinyinda: Madam Speaker, there were six schools built out of pole and mud in Solwezi West Parliamentary Constituency …

Mr Kambwili: After 44 years of independence. Shame!

Mr Sinyinda: … and these were Mwafwe, Lwamakanda, Kaweya, Kiyombo and Mumena ‘B’.

The District Education Board Secretary plans to construct modern structures at Mwafwe and Lwamakanda schools in the 2009 Budget.

The rest of the schools will be considered as soon as the others are completed.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

THE NATIONAL REGISTRATION DEPARTMENT

441. Mr Malama asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) when the ministry would computerise the National Registration Department; and

 (b) how much money the department raised from 2001 to 2007, year by year.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Bonshe): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the computerisation of the National Registration, Passport and Citizenship Department is on course, beginning with the Passport Section. The Government is in the process of designing and implementing an improved computerised system for the issuance of the national registration cards (NRCs). The system is designed to enhance registration of birth to provide a foundation for effective and efficient production of national identity documentation, including NRCs.

Madam Speaker, from 2001 to 2007, the department raised the following amounts of money.

Year         Amount

 2001   K315,325,000.00

 2002   K  97,922,800.00

 2003   K108,810,100.00

 2004   K300,845,350.00

 2005   K284,527,110.00

 2006   K789,207,174.00

 2007   K321,751,340.00


I thank you, Madam.

Mr Malama: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how much money is required to carry out the exercise of putting up the computerised system.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Mwansa): Madam Speaker, we have not yet determined the amount of money that is required because we have to assess the features that we want included on the new NRCs. We also want to ensure that the design is appropriate before we can look at the figure. After that, we have to tender for the works to be done. Therefore, the process is not yet complete but on-going.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, may I learn from the hon. Minister why the National Registration Department has not been conducting the mobile registration every year.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, we have been doing that. We actually do it at three levels. The first is that every two years, before an election, we move into all areas to ensure that as many people as possible are captured so that they can have the right to vote. We also have a system where, if a particular provincial administration would like us to move into an area upon request, we move into those areas and carry out mobile registration system. Also, there is a continuous exercise of registration in the districts and all district centres carry out that mandate.

Madam Speaker, there are challenges with regard to distances people have to travel between villages and district centres. There are also challenges to do with the physically challenged people as to whether they can move quickly and have their registration cards issued. These are things that we are trying to look at to see how we can respond to them. It will require air and water transport for us to move into those areas.

Madam Speaker, we are attending to these.

I thank you, Madam. {mospagebreak}

TRANSPORT FOR DISTRICT COMMUNITY OFFICERS

442. Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi) asked the Minister of Community Development and Social services what mode of transport was used by District Community Officers when carrying out the following functions:

 (a) input distribution; and

 (b) inspection of community projects.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Chinyanta): Madam Speaker, the ministry implements the Food Security Pack (FSP) Programme through the Programme Against Malnutrition (PAM), a contracted non-governmental organisation (NGO) which distributes farming inputs. The distribution of farm inputs is, therefore, done by PAM and not Community Development Officers. However, Community Development Officers are involved in the monitoring and inspection of the FSP Programme and use motor bikes when carrying out this activity.

Madam Speaker, the monitoring and inspection of community projects is done at all levels by provincial, district and sub-centre officers. At the provincial level, they use vehicles while at the district and sub-centre levels Community Development Officers use motor bikes. Currently, the ministry has planned to provide vehicles to officers involved in the implementation of the programmes and this will be done in phases.

I thank you, Madam.

MANAGEMENT OF PAEDIATRIC HIV

443. Mr Mukanga asked the Minister of Health:

(a) how many non-medical personnel have been trained country-wide in paediatric management of ARVs as of 2007;

(b) how many babies were born with the HIV virus as of December, 2007; and

(c) how many of the babies at (b) above are currently on ARVs.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Akakandelwa): Madam Speaker, in response to part (a) of the question, I wish to inform the House that the current training programme in Paediatric HIV management offered by the Ministry of Health has a specialised curriculum aimed at improving the knowledge and skills of health care workers in the provision of care and support to children living with HIV. Currently, we have 1,500 trained health care workers. Non-medical personnel who support care and treatment programmes of children living with HIV include lay counsellors and these do not undergo comprehensive training, but are oriented to acquire skills in particular areas in which they work such as adherence counselling and prevention of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV (PMTCT). So far, the number of non-medical personnel trained in this category is over 1,000.

Sir with regard to part (b) of the question, we have an estimated 468,000 deliveries every year and the HIV prevalence is at 19 per cent among pregnant women. The total number of mothers with HIV is estimated to be 89,000 per year. Approximately 30 per cent (28,000) of babies born from these mothers will be infected with HIV if no PMTCT interventions are provided.

In 2007, 306,451 pregnant women received HIV counselling and testing and 52,846 were found to be HIV positive. Of these, only 35, 314 received ARVs for PMTCT. Confirmation that a baby less than one year has HIV is done using DHA PCT (Doeoxy Robo Nucleic Acid Polymerase Chain Reaction) and currently, we have three laboratories country-wide that are able to do this test.

In 2007, only 7,664 tests were done and of these 2,226 were HIV positive. However, plans are underway to ensure that all the babies in need have access to these testing facilities. Therefore, at the moment, we are not able to conclusively state the exact number of babies born with HIV in 2007.

In response to part (c) of the question, I wish to inform the House that the information about children on ARVs is collected at national level as an aggregate of children from birth to fourteen years. By the end of 2007, we had over 12,000 children on treatment. From this year, we will be able to collect this information nationally to give us various age categories on treatment.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out what system exists to ensure that all the children that are born in Zambia are tracked nationally.

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that all births that occur at the hospitals or clinics are recorded. Births that occur at homes or in villages might not be recorded. Therefore, all births that occur at our health centres and clinics are recorded.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Speaker, if I heard the hon. Deputy Minister correctly, he said that currently the ministry does not know the exact number of babies that are on ARVs. Is he informing the House that they do not collect this data from provinces or districts on a daily basis?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, maybe, the hon. Member did not follow what we said here, clearly. First and foremost, we have only three laboratories in the country that are able to determine if a one-year old child is HIV positive or not. This means that, at the moment, we are not able to cover the whole country. However, our plans are to establish as many of these laboratories as possible in the country. That is what we meant.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

TEAL AND EXPLORATION MINING

444. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) whether the Teal and Exploration Mining had any plans to develop Konkola North Mine and, if so, how much money would be invested in the mine;

(b) what the source of funding would be; and

(c) when the mine would be fully operational.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Nkhata): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that Teal and Exploration Mining has plans to develop Konkola North Mine. The company acquired a large-scale mining licence Number LMO 20 in 1997, which will expire in 2020.

The technical aspect of the feasibility study for the mine has been completed indicating a resource of 51 million tonnes at 2.35 per cent copper with an estimated production of 25,000 tonnes per year.

The life span of the mine is 16 years. In addition, the Environmental Impact Assessment has recently received approval from the Environmental Council of Zambian and detailed mine planning is in progress.

Madam Speaker, it is estimated that approximately, US$250 million would be invested in the development of the mine during Phase I. The development of Phase I would include putting up of two winders at Number II Shaft, rehabilitation of the shaft and construction of concentrator.

With regard to part (b) of the question, the source of funding shall be a loan from the Royal Bank of Canada Europe Limited, in England. Money is to be raised on the stock exchanges. The House may agree that the financial crunch may change Teal’s earlier plans because currently the company is assessing its position.

In response to part (c) of the question, I would like to inform the House that the mine was projected to be fully operational in February 2010, but the scenario may change because of the global financial crisis.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwila: Madam Speaker, there was a statement from the President of Teal and Exploration Mining that they do not intend to go ahead with the investment because of high windfall tax. What interventions has the Government put in place to ensure that these investors are encouraged to invest in Zambia?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. Mwale): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for his follow-up question as he debates so passionately about mining.

Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the hon. Member that the issue of windfall tax does not arise when we are developing a mine. In any case, maybe, the hon. Member knows that it is actually his president who has been inciting the mines over the taxes.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Madam, arising from the answer given by the hon. Deputy Minister that they are thinking of not going ahead with the project in view of the falling copper prices, I would like to find out how many mines are in that position or how many mines are threatened with closure as a result of falling copper prices.

Mr M. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the hon. Member that mining companies are operating businesses. The first thing, if you are an operating business and if there is a change to any scenario, is to look at your high cost elements. You also have to look at your production denominator. What I mean is to take advantage of the economies of scale and increase your production levels so that you take into account the cost. In this case, there is no company which has indicated of any closure plans and this Government will not entertain it.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Madam Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that Konkola North Mine is actually a fully developed mine which was developed by Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine (ZCCM) before it was liquidated. As such, the only work required on that mine was the shaft he referred to and the concentrator. There was no mining development required. Can the hon. Minister, therefore, confirm that he has been sincere when he says this investor requires a lot of investment and he is not going to proceed because of high copper prices?

Hon. Opposition Members: Low prices!

Mr Simuusa: Madam, sorry, I meant low copper prices.

Mr M. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I am sure the hon. Member will agree with me that before we embark on any development project of this nature, which is mining, you have to ascertain the kind of mineral resource that you have. I would like to inform this House that the work that has been undertaken in Konkola North is that they have increased the mineral resource base from 24.9 million tonnes to 51 million tonnes which is a rise of over 105 per cent. In terms of development of a mine, it is in various forms. The hon. Member will agree that to develop a mine, the project does not only end with sinking the shaft. We have also to put up the pressing plant. Underground, you equally have to put sub-levels and you have to know what your good reserves are. In this case, the mine is not fully developed.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that there will be no mining company that will retrench its employees as a result of the falling copper prices?

Mr M. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. Member that this Government only provides the oversight role and it is not in the management of the mines. However, we provide the governance.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

THE ZAMBIA-CHINA MULUNGUSHI TEXTILE FACTORY

445. D. Mwila asked the Minister of Defence:

(a) what the future of the Zambia-China Mulungushi Textiles Factory in Kabwe was; and

(b) what the total value of the assets of the above textile factory was.

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Dr Kazonga): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that:

(a) currently, efforts are being made for the Government to hold talks with the Chinese Government regarding the re-opening of the textile factory; and

(b) the total value of the assets of the textile factory is K64,873,960,022.21.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kakusa (Kabwe Central): Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that they do ginnery during the night and export the cotton?

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Madam Speaker, we know that the factory has a ginnery and that as a result of the closure of the plant last year, it has had reduced activity.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister if the former employees of the Mulungushi Textiles have been paid their terminal benefits.

Mr Mpombo: Madam Speaker, I want to confirm that terminal benefits amounting to US$1.2 million were paid.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, would the hon. Minister of Defence give some logical reason why the Ministry of Defence should be holding on to trying to run a factory which as we have seen over the years - even when I was in Government - has not been able to run smoothly. Why would the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry or any other suitable institution not partner with those people in order to run that factory? I am saying so because the hon. Minister is talking about retrenchments instead of talking about troops, peace and security.

Mr Mpombo: Madam Speaker, the Government is having Government to Government discussions with our partners in China. I also want to state that one of the major reasons for the plant being shut is that they have been using some sort of ramshackle technology.

I thank you, Madam.

Laughter

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, realising that the Mulungushi Textile is now operating at night, what plans are there to monitor and ensure that the operations that take place at night are taxed by the Government and that they are not using ramshackle technology?

Laughter

Mr Mpombo: Madam, I want to deny that some illegal operations take place at night.

I thank you, Madam.

Interruptions

________{mospagebreak}


MOTION


REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology, for the Second Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 13th November, 2008.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Munaile (Malole): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, I stand here to represent my Chairperson, Hon. Sinyangwe, hon. Member for Matero, who is currently away.

Madam Speaker, in accordance with their terms of reference, your Committee considered two topical issues, namely:

(i) change of policy in Science and Technology; and

(ii) University Education in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, it is my hope that hon. Members have had time to read your Committee’s Report. I will, therefore, only highlight a few important issues.

Change of policy in Science and Technology

 Madam Speaker, your Committee learnt that the current National Policy on Science and Technology is the first explicit national policy document on Science and Technology ever. Further, your Committee heard that between the year 1964 and 1996, Zambia’s strategies on Science and Technology were influenced, primarily, by national development plans, boarder policy decisions by the Government and presidential directives.

Madam Speaker, this, resulted in following a poorly co-ordinated Science and Technology system, under popularisation of Science and Technology, rigidity in the education system and poor repertoire of information and data in the Science and Technology system.

Madam Speaker, the 1996 National Science and Technology Policy (NSTP) was the first attempt by the Government to have a clear policy on Science and Technology. This was influenced by the challenges arising from transformation of Zambia’s economy from a central State-controlled one to a free market liberalised economy one. In effect, the National Institute for Scientific Research (NCSR) was replaced by the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). One deficiency that was identified in all the earlier policies was the absence of a comprehensive approach to Bio-Safety and Biotechnology. As a result, a Bio-Safety and Biotechnology policy was developed in the year 2004 and was followed by a Bio-Safety Act of 2007.

Madam Speaker, as regards to how far the 1996 Science and Technology Policy and the 1997 Science and Technology Act had been operationalised, your Committee were informed that it has been impeded by inadequate funding for research and development which has incapacitated institutions from fulfilling their programmes.

Madam Speaker, most research institutions have been receiving funding barely enough for personal emoluments or salaries. The anticipated allocation of 3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to Science and Technology has not been achieved. To date, Madam, only 29 per cent of this 3 per cent allocated amount has been given to the ministry. This has resulted in very little research activity taking place in the country.

Madam Speaker, failure to retain qualified and experienced staff, which has been mainly due to poor conditions of service, and in some cases lack of opportunities for staff development. There has also been a decline in the number of scientists being trained for the country’s social-economic needs.

Madam Speaker, the extent of dilapidation of infrastructure in research and development institutions is very high. The infrastructure has not been rehabilitated for many years and most of the equipment is obsolete. This is hindered research and development activities and frustrated researchers. Limited financing has also affected the institutions’ ability to establish sufficient research capacity through building of new laboratories and procuring new equipment.

Madam Speaker, the lack of pilot facilities for the incubation of technologies and adequate legal framework to regulate the commercialisation of research and development products has adversely affected commercialisation of newly developed technologies.

Madam Speaker, the fragmentation of research and development activities in the country has affected the effective rationalisation of resources for research and development. In addition, there has been poor co-ordination of research activities, resulting in negligible impact on national development, mainly due to weaknesses and gaps in the current policy and law.

Madam Speaker, lack of incentives to industries that support research and development programmes has deterred industries from participating in, and supporting research and development in the country. The fact that most of the industries currently operating in Zambia are foreign owned has resulted in very few companies using local expertise for research activities.

Madam Speaker, in view of the foregoing, your Committee recommend that:

(i) the Government should come up with a national vision for Science and Technology in which policies and legislation will be subsequently grounded.

(ii) the policy should address the necessity for a strong, nationally coordinated prioritised research agenda;

(iii) funding for research should be influenced and channeled through NSTC and not individual sectors.

(iv) The Science and technology Act should embrace the different sectoral policies and Acts in order for NSTC to have legal pulling through which to regulate and coordinate research activities in these sectors.

(v) The NSTC should be removed from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training in order for it to be seen as a superintending and cross sectoral research institute; and

(vi) Before new policies are introduce, there should be an in-depth assessment of prevailing policies and their shortcomings to avoid reviews even when failure may be attributable to other factors such as lack of implementation.


 University Education

Madam Speaker, allow me to comment on University education in Zambia. Your Committee were informed that there are three public universities and these are the University of Zambia - Great east Road Campus, the Copperbelt University in Kitwe and the Mulungushi University in Kabwe, which was established recently. There are also private universities in the country and these are:

(i) Zambia Adventist  University – Lusangu in Monze;

(ii) Zambia Open University in Lusaka West;

(iii) DMI-St Eugene University in Woodlands, Lusaka; and

(iv) Northrise University in Ndola on the Copperbelt

Madam, University Colleges that were detailed to your Committee include:

(i) Cavendish University College in Lusaka;

(ii) Australian Institute of Business and Technology (AIBT) in Lusaka; and

(iii) Copperstone University College in Kitwe.

Madam Speaker, your Committee were further informed that there are other universities and university colleges that the Government is planning to establish in the country in line with the principle of private-public sector partnership in the provision of education. These include the Zambia Catholic University to be opened in Kalulushi in 2008, the Victoria University to be established in Livingstone, the Manda Hill University to be established in Lusaka with a Campus in Ndola and a university to be established in Lusaka with an institute in the North-Western Province to offer mining technologies, science, natural resource, information systems, agro-processing, agriculture, Hotel Management and Engineering Technology.

 Madam Speaker, as regards affiliation to universities abroad, your Committee learnt that the public universities were not affiliated, but private ones were and collaborated with other universities world-wide.

Madam Speaker, although private universities have done very well in the area of affiliation, your Committee were worried by the infrastructure and physical locations of these institutions.

 Madam, in interacting with officers from public universities as stakeholders, your Committee came to the realisation that they lack adequate funding which has resulted into heavy indebtedness to both service providers and retirees. This is the principle factor to the problems at the University of Zambia as well as the Copperbelt University.

Madam Speaker, your Committee also observed that there is lack of cost sharing between the Government and students and their families. Students have taken the K300,000 meal allowance as an entitlement to cover feeding requirements. They further observed that the administration for the bursaries scheme is not based on vulnerability, but it is paid across the board to students whether they are in the category of being needy or not.

Madam Speaker, your Committee were dismayed to learn that the University of Zambia had no audited accounts reports since 1997, which is 11 years now. They are also of the view that the state of affairs is not only anomalous, but illegal as no institution that receives public funding should be allowed to go on for ten years without accounting for them.

Madam Speaker, in this regard, your Committee agreed that this has had the negative effect of eroding the confidence of the Government and co-operating partners in the university’s financial systems and no donor would put money in an organisation that cannot account for it.

Madam Speaker, in view of the foregoing, your Committee recommend the following:

(a) the Government should allow the university to charge economic fees  which reflect the true cost of producing a graduate;

(b) the Government should put in place mechanisms of identifying vulnerable students in order to assist these with university fees on a loan scheme basis;

(c) students and their families should begin to contribute towards their education and meal allowance should be supplementary to the students own contribution;

(d) the University of Zambia Management should be compelled to produce the necessary audit report as per legal requirement;

(e) public universities should initiate income generating ventures to supplement Government grants and ensure that money so generated is properly accounted for;

(f) infrastructure in public universities should be expanded to march the ever increasing level of enrolment; and

(g) private universities should be compelled to develop infrastructure at locations benefiting the status of the institution.

Madam Speaker, your Committee also conducted public hearings on university education in Kabwe and Lusaka and the following are some of the stakeholders’ and observers’ concerns:

(i) The great number of strikes at the University of Zambia is allegedly due to inadequate funding by the Government;
 
(ii) Shortage of funds has led to brain drain because highly skilled manpower have left Zambian universities in search of “greener pastures”;

(iii) The Government should consider awarding bursaries to students in private universities;

(iv) The system used to award bursaries to students attending local and foreign institution is prone to abuse as even children from well-to-do families are awarded bursaries at the expense  and detriment of the of he poor;

(v) Fees at Mulungushi University are too high for the ordinary citizens;

(vi) The Ministry of Education should consider strengthening the Careers and Counseling Department in secondary schools to guide the school leavers on how to select the right courses in order to avoid students picking courses because of popularity;

(vii) Universities should, from the onset, be computer-based because it is important that students attain high levels of computer literacy. It is imperative that universities are well equipped in Information and Communication Technology and personal financial management;
(viii) It is important that universities consider opening electronic libraries with very robust and modern computer laboratories; and

(ix) Mulungushi University should also find some infrastructure in Kabwe Town to be used as a Library which should be networked to the main library at the campus. This will help the students access the library nearer to their homes.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I had just reached a point at which I was going to give the Committee’s recommendations to the Government, and responding to certain Members’ concerns that I am not melodramatic today, I wish to state that I attach a lot of passion to education and so, I wanted the hon. Minister to hear …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Read your report!

Mr Nkombo: … every word of what I was to say.

Madam Speaker, in view of the foregoing, your Committee recommended as follows:

(i) the Government should consider raising the annual grants to public universities;

(ii) the Government should assist public universities to settle huge debts that they owe to workers, service providers such ZRA, NAPSA etc;

(iii) public universities should review their remuneration system with a view to establishing a more realistic system because the current system, especially with regard to gratuities, is unrealistic;

(iv) the Government should ensure that the system used for awarding bursaries to students is transparent and that all those in need of bursaries, whether in public or private institutions, are given equal opportunities;

(v) the Government should assist private universities in order to ensure that they continue offering quality education in our country;

(vi) there is need for the Government to constantly inspect institutions of higher learning to ensure that the rules and regulations are adhered to at all times; and

(vii) the Government should ensure that proper and adequate infrastructure such as lecture rooms, libraries and laboratories, are in place before an institution of higher learning is registered.

Madam Speaker, I wish to conclude by thanking you for your valuable guidance and counsel during the session and in the deliverance of my speech. May I also take this opportunity to thank my colleagues who served on your Committee that Mrs Sinyangwe chairs, for the due diligence and hard work that they exhibited. In addition, I wish, on behalf of the Chairperson, to express your Committee’s gratitude to all witnesses and stakeholders, who made both oral and written submissions before your Committee and for hosting them during the local tours.

Lastly, Madam, allow me to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered during your Committee’s work session.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Does the Seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mr Munaile: Now, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, in seconding this Motion so ably moved by the Chairperson, allow me to reinforce a few points of concern to your Committee as they considered the change of policy in science and technology and university education in Zambia.

Madam, I am alive to the fact that the Chairperson’s speech was very elaborate and I will, therefore, be very brief.

Madam, your Committee learnt that the rationale for the Presidential Speech pronouncement on the change in policy in science and technology and the mode that these changes would take was based on the following:

(a) there was need to address factors that were impeding the development and application of science and technology in Zambia such as weak regulation of the sector, funding to research activities, fragmentation of research and development activities in Zambia, lack of incentives to industries that support research and development, poor human resource development for the sector and the failure to retain qualified and experienced staff;

(b) the need to develop ways and means of maximising the contribution of science and technology to social economic development; and

(c) the need to incorporate into the policy, new and emerging issues in science and technology such as climate change. The policy is over ten years old and there have been many changes and developments since.

Madam, your Committee were told that the way forward will involve the review of the current National Policy on Science and Technology; development of an implementation strategy for the revised Science and Technology Policy; review of the current Science and Technology Act; and formulation of a Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism on the implementation of the Science and Technology Policy. In light of this, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training has constituted a technical team which is going to oversee the process of reviewing the current Science and Technology Policy.

Madam Speaker, all stakeholders are of the view that the 1996 Science and Technology Policy as well as the Act, are well intentioned but have not been fully implemented, the main constraint cited being the lack of adequate funding to enable the key organisations such as the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) and the National Technology Business Centre, perform satisfactorily according to their mandates.

The following are some the stakeholders’ observations:

(i) there is no audit of the reasons the National Council for Scientific Research (NCSR) is increasingly failing to fulfil its mandate;

(ii) there is lack of National Science and Technology Agenda and Policy direction as was the case when the nation had a policy of import substitution;

(iii) there is lack of investment in science and technology, resulting in dilapidated infrastructure and inadequate number of scientists and technicians;

(iv) local industry is mainly either foreign owned or survives on hand-to-mouth and does not seem to need the services NISIR offers;

(v) the function of regulating research and development activities in the country has been impaired by the following flaws in the legal framework:

(a) the Council can only register and superintend research and development institutions which have been created under the Science and Technology Act and does not cover private research and development institutions and those established under different legal framework; and

(b) there are no punitive measures, sanctions or legal processes that the Council can resort to in case institutions choose not to be regulated or even registered.

Madam Speaker, in view of the foregoing, your Committee recommended that:

(i) before new policies are introduced, there should be an in-depth assessment of prevailing policies and their shortcomings to avoid reviews even when failure may be attributed to other factors such as lack of implementation; and

(ii) the Government should establish a formal inspectorate structure to be enshrined in the both the Policy and Act to assist the Council deal with erring institutions.

Madam Speaker, as regards the legal framework governing the establishment of universities, your Committee heard that the policy and legal framework regulating the establishment of universities in Zambia is the University Act No. 11 of 1999. The Act provides for the establishment, regulation, control and functions of public and private universities. The Hon. Minister can, by Statutory Instrument, establish public universities in accordance with the structure and requirements under the foresaid Act. The Ministry is in the process of reviewing this Act to ensure that it provides for the private public partnership to contribute towards the economic growth of the country and attain the 2030 vision of making Zambia a middle income country.

Madam Speaker, your Committee heard that under section 5 of the Act, the Hon. Minister can, on recommendation of the senate, approve the affiliation, with the public university of any college or other educational institution of teaching or research within or outside Zambia which has concluded an agreement to become affiliated with the Public University. Section 38 of the University Act, further states that any person or body of person desirous of establishing a private university, shall apply to the Hon. Minister. An application for the registration of a private university has to be accompanied by the prescribed fee and has to state the school and courses to be provided by the university and such other particulars as may be prescribed by statutory instrument by the Minister.

Madam Speaker, some of the concerns raised by stakeholders with regard to public universities are as set out below.

On indebtedness, the universities owe serving and former members of staff in unpaid long service bonuses, leave passages, end of contract gratuities, superannuation contributions and retirement packages. As of December, 2007, the University’s total debt stood at K264,944,318,104.08.

Madam Speaker, although the functions of the Council and its relationship with management are clearly outlined in the University Act No. 11 of 1999, the practice has been that the Council is not capable of disciplining senior officers found with cases, some of which are criminal in nature. The current Council tends to shield erring senior management staff.

The University’s history has been tremendously rich in industrial and other forms of unrest. Stakeholders are of the opinion that the unrest has been fuelled by the issues raised above.  In view of the above concerns, your Committee recommend that:

(i) the Government should help public universities to liquidate their debts; and

(ii) the Government should streamline the administrative structure and empower the Council to deal with disciplinary issues. 

In conclusion, Madam Speaker, I wish to extend my thanks to the Chairperson of your Committee for the able manner in which she presided over the meetings. Let me also thank all the witnesses for their input and co-operation.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishya (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the Motion.

First of all, I would like to commend the Mover and the Seconder of the Motion in the way they have presented this Motion. I would like to further congratulate your committee on the report they have submitted which most of it tells nothing but the truth.

Madam Speaker, I will confine myself to the issues of science and technology. Madam Speaker, your Committee in their report on page 7 where they have given observations and recommendations and I hereby quote the first line of the first paragraph and it reads:

‘Your Committee observe that there is generally lack of a national science and technology agenda and policy direction unlike when the nation had a policy of import substitution.’

Madam Speaker, that is quite important. I would like to just say a word or two on what happened in the past. In 1967, the Agricultural Research Council Act was repealed and replaced with the National Council for Scientific Research Act and the aim was to advise Government on issues of science and technology so that Government policies on national development were supported by research and development.

Madam Speaker, at that time, Southern Africa was going through the liberation wars, hence importation and other trade was totally affected by economic sanctions and as such Government came up with the policy of import substitution and that created some research and development institution while sectoral research institutions remained untouched. Madam Speaker, the National Council for Scientific Research was given a mandate to create research activities in those areas which were lacking at the time. For example, Madam Speaker, there were no research and development activities in the area of Radio Isotopes, the Nuclear Research, the water resources, the food technology research, the tree improvement research, in this, the bias was towards the fruit bearing trees and the domestication of wild fruit bearing trees.

Madam Speaker, the natural products, the building and industrial minerals research, the pest and animal productivity scheme was a carryover from the Agriculture Research Council. Madam Speaker, that kind of approach, the policy of import substitution resulted in products appearing in the Zambian market, such products like the Tip-Top range of drinks, the fruit concentrates, the domestication of the Masuku tree, the cereal products and others. It even went further to get the coal in form of the coal briquettes. It will even touch the areas of energy and the recovery of uranium as a yellow cake which we were exporting. Further, from a yellow cake, it needs only one stage to create a nuclear energy source.

Madam Speaker, we also had a nuclear energy source in terms of cobalt 60 with the strength of 100 kilning and this was also applied in the preservation of food.

Mr Muntanga: Quality!

Dr Chishya: Madam Speaker, the problem arose because of under funding to this sector. This under funding saw a lot of activities being grounded or being stopped. The areas, for example, which were highly affected were, in the main, biosphere and the utilisation of the marshlands in Zambia. All that area has been totally abandoned.

Mr Muntanga: Tell them!

Dr Chishya: Madam Speaker, I touched the area of the beneficiation of industrial minerals, the coal briquettes and the material supplier which was the Maamba coal, also, was just limping. That means the Research and Development (R & D) had no connection or a poor linkage with the industry. So, we need to look at this. Are you pleased to hear that the Government is intending to revisit the science and technology policy and put all these into consideration or in its correct perspective?

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishya: The current science and technology policy talks about institutional linkages, their arrangements. It does not talk about the vision in terms of research and development. If that has been achieved, though the mover says not everything has been achieved a lot of gaps are still remaining, but the time has come now to state our vision. How research and development is going to drive the 2030 vision, if at all it has to be realised. What do we want to do with science and technology? What role is it going to play? If we can recall, just some few years ago, at the time of Ian Smith when the economic sanctions where in place, Zambia was almost self sufficient in most of the things. This is because all those things were supported by research and development …

Hon. Opposition Member: Correct.

Dr Chishya: … but now, it seems we are going back, if we are not careful, to lining up for almost all commodities.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hammer!

Dr Chishya: Yes, there have been lamentations concerning the level of personnel at the research institution. It was an oversight on the part of the authorities, after spending so much money training the scientific cadre, to retire almost everybody at one time and leave the institution almost empty.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Dr Chishya: The Government now is faced with the problem of raising the funds to retrain or train a new scientific cadre and it takes more than 10 years to train a real scientific cadre, at least after a first degree. Now, all these factors have affected the implementation of science and technology. It is indeed disheartening to hear that the Government is saying or the committee also reporting on hiving the national science and technology council from the ministry.

Madam Speaker, this can be a wrong approach. The national science and technology council must be appended to a ministry like Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training for the implementation of the Government policies. The National Science and Technology Council cannot make its own policies at all, and the route to Parliament is through the ministry. So, hiving it away from the ministry is neither here nor there.

Madam Speaker, another issue is something about research and development which, as your Committee have reported, should be influenced by the National Science and Technology Council, but it should not be channelled through this institution. The funding of science and technology can come from various angles, not necessarily through the Government. It can also come from individuals, industry and even from various ministries. So, we should not restrict the channel of funding, but we can leave it 100 per cent open.

Madam Speaker, with these few words, I thank you very much.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice and the voice of Kantanshi to this important Motion. I would like, first of all, to state that when we talk about science and technology, it is to Zambia what the spinal cord is to the body. Without science and technology, there would be no serious development or sustainable development. Science and technology is the basis for all the developments that you see even in Western Europe.

Madam Speaker, right now, we have about 120,000 students who sat for grade 12 and out of those students, what normally happens is that, 30,000 of those students access universities and other colleges. Then, the breakdown will be that 16,000 students will go to University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU), while the 14,000 will access other colleges, such as TEVETA oriented colleges or affiliated. If you subtract the 30,000 from 120,000, you will have about 90,000. Those 90,000 students will go into the community and this Government does not cater for them. If 90,000 students go into the community and you do not know what happens to them, then there is a big problem.

Madam Speaker, this is because this Government only uses about 20 per cent of the National Budget on education, not science and technology, but the education that deals with UNZA. So, which means that they are catering for 16,000 whilst Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training is given about 1 per cent, to be precise 0.8 per cent catering for about 14,000 plus the Grade 7, 9 and 12 drop outs. Now, if you are giving one 1 per cent to Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training, where is the seriousness, because science and technology makes a difference. If we deliberately do not invest in science and technology then, we are investing to fail because science and technology, unless it is revamped in this nation, whatever we are doing or thinking will be just theories. We need scientists of various forms. Speaking as one of the scientists, and as an engineer, I want to tell you that unless we invest in science in this nation, whatever we have been thinking of will not take place and investment is very important. If you want proper technology, you need to invest. Otherwise, if you do not invest you will be getting the ramshackle technology.

Laughter

Mr Mukanga: The scientists will be coming from all over the world to come and apply ramshackle technology in Zambia leaving. We, as Zambians, have sent engineers to UNZA and they have graduated in various forms, but how are we using them? Most of the people who have graduated have seen themselves out of the country because there have been no incentives to give them. There have been no incentives to give the engineers. I want to give you an example: Fifty years ago, Zambia was almost the same as Taiwan and South Korea in as far as the auto industry was concerned.

However, as you may be aware, South Korea made a very important decision and that is to give incentives to the scientific sector of the nation. The South Korean Government gave incentives to engineers and now 50 years later, we have seen change. Today, Zambia has really gone backwards as we longer have companies like Livingstone Motor Assembly.  What has happened to companies like Rover Zambia? On the other hand, South Korea is producing cars and other things that we are buying here in Zambia. Unless we deliberately come up with a serious policy of investment and there is political will, we are going to remain backward and in this age of computers, we will be no where as a country.

How do we expect change in technology if the country cannot invest in the sector? Expecting change in technology if we cannot deliberately invest in it is like expecting a dead man to speak. Things will not work and therefore, it is important that there is a good policy in science and technology if we are to see things changed. It is important that the sector that deals with science and technology is given a lot of money. Allocation of funds should change so that we give a lot of funding to science and technology, then we are going to see a deference in this country.

Madam Speaker, coming to basic education, we have always said that we have free basic education in Zambia. How free is this basic education when student, parents and guardians are always buying books, pencils and all other essentials that are required for this education? A lot of money, in terms of Parent Teacher Association (PTA) fees, is being paid by the parents. How free is that? I remember the days when I was a student, if a book finished, we were just given another one for replacement. That is free education.

So if education is going to be free, we need school essentials to be given and the Government to have a serious and deliberate policy to ensure that schools are built in good proximity to the residential areas. I can give an example of my constituency which is along the line of rail. If you are somewhere around Mukambo in Kasombo, you can only access the nearest Government primary school 10 kilometres from Kasombo. How is a Grade 1 pupil expected to walk such a distance? If you are in Mupena, to access the nearest secondary school you have to walk 15 kilometres. Now, how do we expect a girl child to walk such a distance to go to school?

These are serious which the Government needs to look at. It is not a joking issue. We are looking at issues that will affect the future generation and therefore, we need to acknowledge that there is already a problem. Since a girl child cannot manage to walk 15 kilometres everyday to school and back, what parents are doing is that they are renting quarters for them in town. At the end of the day, instead of the girl child getting a certificate, she gets a baby and it is against the intentions …

Hon. MMD Members interjected.

Mr Mukanga: Where? We should not joke about such serious matters and sing songs that we are improving when things are not working on the ground. If such things can happen along the line of rail, what about places that are far-off from the line of rail? In the Bangweulu Swamps in Luapula Province, how are the children expected to survive?

Madam Speaker, if you look at the teaching service, I think there seems to be a lot of problems which this Government would have resolved. The teachers have been complaining about accommodation and saying there is no accommodation. Yes, there is no accommodation because the teachers who retire are not given their benefits in good time such that they continue staying in those houses. It is very frustrating to a new teacher because he or she sees that there is a house that he or she would have occupied. Why can we not change the whole approach to this system so that whenever a teacher retires, the benefits are given there and then so that the accommodation is available new teachers? This should also be the case for those who are occupying these ministry houses.

 Madam Speaker, the houses in Mufulira are in very bad shape. I can give an example of the houses at Mufulira High School Teacher’s Compound. They have big cracks such that if you are standing inside, you can literally greet somebody who is passing outside.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Laughter

Mr Mukanga: I brought pictures of those houses to the hon. Minister and I am wondering what type of maintenance is being carried out. They were last maintained about 15 years ago.

Interruptions

Mr Mukanga: You are even shouting when you have never been there, but people are suffering …

Mr Kasongo:  You even gave the pictures to the hon. Minister.

Mr Mukanga: Yes, I even gave the hon. Minister pictures of the dilapidated houses. What type of life style is that? You were elected by the people and they want to see results.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Address them through the Chair.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, such issues in the teaching fraternity reduce the morale of teachers. A teacher is supposed to start off from home as a very happy person to go and teach. When these same teachers who are frustrated here go to other countries, they are regarded as very hard workers. People say they work very hard and are happy. So we need to create a situation where we improve the conditions of service for these teachers in order to retain them in the country. It is not just a matter of recruitment. The hon. Members on your right should understand the three ‘R’s. You recruit, retrain and retain. If you just recruit and cannot retrain and retain, then you are doing nothing and become a training ground all the time and this is why Zambia has become a training ground. At times, I am even surprised with the way the Teaching Commission runs the teaching service. I have seen people who are promoted posthumously. A person is dead and that is when the promotion letter comes or a person retires at a certain scale but the benefits are given at a different scale. I do not understand that. I think seriousness is required and I hope the hon. Minister will make a difference and do something.

Madam Speaker, let me now come to the School of Medicine, where doctors and pharmacists are trained. The people whom we are entrusting with our lives are trained in that school. Now, according to the report we are told that at times when lectures are being conducted, students learn while standing outside lecture theatres or in short, they learn through rumours. What can be expected of somebody who learns through rumours?

It is not only the lecture rooms that are inadequate, even the hostels where the students stay are in a deplorable state. However, the hon. Members on your right are smiling and saying that they are bringing education to Zambia. What type of education is that? They should visit other places and see where the medical doctors are trained. We have a situation where doctors are learning in such an environment and a committee is the one to bring this to our attention. One of the issues the Committee brought out was that even the surroundings of the place where they stay are unkempt. Why should we wait for the Committee to bring out such issues when we have hon. Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and other people that are in charge.

I think the whole thing should be changed. We need a change in our attitudes and the way we look at issues. We should not expect the Committee to come and tell us that learning institutions are dirty. The hon. Minister should first think about this and see what he can do to improve the situation. Actually, the first people to know should be the Permanent Secretaries and everybody else in charge. The hon. Minister should just question. If the attitudes of those in the Government continue like this and we continue to move at this pace, in 2011, I do not see the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) retaining power.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: The Patriotic Front (PF) is about improving facilities, efficiency and better living conditions. This is why the people along the line of rail of are always singing, “Pabwato, pabwato, the boat” because they know that we want better living conditions for them.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Madam Speaker, I wish to congratulate the Committee on Education, Science and Technology. They have brought out a lot of issues for the Government to take note, and that is what it should be. A committee is supposed to respect and remind the Government where the policies are affected so that they take action. However, my worry is that there is some kind of lack of seriousness at times by the Government by not taking the reports of these committees seriously. We sit here and listen to debaters and sometimes, a minister will make a comment while seated against a well presented report, then we begin to wonder whether he went to school or not. I have seen some ministers when something is said, their faces look serious indicating to you that they are serious, meanwhile they are not.

Therefore, I want to appeal to some ministers to be serious with work. This ministry which we are talking about, the Ministry of Science and Technology is an issue that we have been battling to find an answer.

At one time, we had a Ministry of Education covering both science and technology, but was later split into two, the Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Education. We then thought that we are not addressing this issue properly, and we created the Ministry of Science and Technology, but we have not given the power required for that ministry to address this important issue. When the hon. Member for Pambashe, Dr Chishya, a Scientist, was speaking …

Hon. Government Members: He is still a scientist.

Mr Muntanga: … when you are a professional, whether you are a politician or not, you remain a professional. When he was narrating what was being done in Zambia and you discovered that this information is lost, you want to shed tears.

The old man, our First Republican President (Dr Kenneth Kaunda) with his ‘under education’, was able to provide what was required. We have various colleges being attended to by many Zambians namely; Northern Technical College (NORTEC), Zambia Institute of Technology ( ZIT) and others where a number of these people trained.

Madam Speaker, it is a fact that once you become a professional, you only want to do planning and administration. As a professional, you need technocrats to translate what you have done for people who have not gone very far with their education understand those things.

In Zambia, we have more technocrats and we want to make everybody professionals and no workers at all. As a result, we believe that we have too many professionals. If you go to any ministry, you will find that there are Doctors and professors, but what is happening on the ground you begin to wonder what they do in these ministries. This science and technology issue which has been addressed properly by the committee is very important.

Madam Speaker, the changing of ministries reminded me of the Ministry of Agriculture on research which was under agriculture to make it to the National Council for Scientific Research. Before it was changed, we had moved a lot of stages. We even bred our own type of cattle. We had to cross-breed a buffalo with a cow and called it a beefalo.

Ms Namugala interjected.

Mr Muntanga: Yes, maybe, it is too strange for you. After producing a beefalo, we had to look at our output from the animal which could be suitable for Zambian environment.

Madam Speaker, when we went to Mount Makulu, I got a sorry sight. There are officers that have shared Mount Makulu land for their plots …

Ms Cifire: Arrest them!

Mr Muntanga: Arrest them when you are allowing them to do it. You can make reshuffles for ministers who are corrupt today, but you will note that even the other one who goes there is also corrupt. This will continue until there is no end to it. All land that was used for research is gone. These are not allegations. Push me, and I will show you.

Madam Speaker, what we are saying is that we want equitable distribution, we do not want the Ministry of Education to compete with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training, and this is a danger usually because the other one thinks education is more important than the other and then you throw away 300,000 kids in the streets. Only 10 per cent can go to science and technology. As for these other colleges you have all over, funding is not there. We want to appeal to this Government that an issue of science and technology is very important. Therefore we should be able to explain for whatever we are doing.

Hon. Member for Pambashe, the Masuku Wine you produced has gone under because there is no production. We want to have industrial development where companies should use that science and technology. Unfortunately, they cannot use it because they are disorganised and do not know where to go. NORTEC and ZIT were attached to the mines and when students graduated from those colleges, the mines used to take them on.

Madam Speaker, this is the reason we are having people like the Chinese coming into this country because they think that they are the ones who can understand the Chinese technology. If you went to China, they will just tell you to take the money and then they will use their technology. Therefore, when are we going to stand alone and use our own technologies for whatever is brought in this country? For instance, when are we going to tell them that we have our own technology, so just give us the money and we will sew certain suits or dresses ourselves? Why is it that we should always have endless meetings? Even making a book, you must have someone from outside to tell us how to make a book. Surely, we do not need that.

You go to students in schools, JETS fairs; the competition of schools then was a big issue and …

Major Chizhyuka: Even the ballot paper.

Mr Muntanga: … to do JETS in schools was a big issue. We have somebody in Mporokoso who has designed a generator to produce electricity and he only wants K80 million to advance this technology, but he has not been given the money.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Muntanga: Yes, you should have read the report from the Committee on Education, Science and Technology. The man could not get K80 million, and what is K80 million from you as a Government to give this person so that he proves the technology? Why should it be so? The Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training is a ministry that encompasses several ministries. It is a ministry where in agriculture you go to, Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development and many others that you may think of.

As regards tourism, you need to understand what to do when there is an outbreak of tsetse flies. You should be able to know why you want to cross breed these insects so that they stop. Again, this is where science and technology will come in to investigate. Gone are the days when we had Professor Goma who would tell you what type of mosquito was at Goma Lakes. If you took a mosquito to Professor Goma, he would say that this mosquito is not from Kariba, but my lakes here.

Mr Kasongo: Even climate change.

Mr Muntanga: Are we ready for that climate change? This is why I decided to stand up and debate because we need to be serious with certain debates. We do not need any hon. Minister to stand up and brush off the debate by Members of Parliament. You need to listen. Unfortunately, when you stand up, you brush us aside saying, there is nothing we have researched.

Madam Speaker, when are we going to be serious? These are hon. Members and once you are given an honour to be a hon. Minister, first and foremost, we believe you are more intelligent than others, but if you start showing us signs of playing, we will check and ask why you are there.

Perhaps, we should remind you about this problem. We are not even talking about education levels because the people that started this country did not have the education that all of you have. We had a hundred graduates at independence. What did they do? They did a lot of work.

 Madam Speaker, we want to appeal to other ministries that this is not only up to the Ministries of Education and Science, Technology and Vocational Training. It is up to every single ministry. Perhaps, it is time Hon. Daka, who is Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training should tell the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the Minister of Health to also contribute to the budget for research so that research is not destroyed in this country.

Madam Speaker, we had reached levels where we had a seed for Zambia. We had the Mount Makulu MM603, 604 and MM 705. Those were hybrids that were very good. We have now bought hybrids developed in neighbouring countries like Diplobia and things like that. What has happened to our research and adopted cropping systems for the animals and diseases? How are we going to respond?

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training is a cross-cutting ministry and what the Committee has brought out is very important. I must thank you. Sometimes, we debate here and you have not read the report. I have seen hon. Ministers stand here without having read the reports then get busy giving excuses for not being able to do this or that.

These are the Speaker’s reports requiring Government action and replies. You, hon. Ministers, must understand that if your Permanent Secretaries are going to give replies that sound like you are playing the radio ...

Hon. Opposition Member: We will do when funds are available.

Mr Muntanga: … we do not want that. We demand that you read, input and show intelligence.

Hon. PF Member: Teach them!

Mr Simuusa: If they do not have intelligence, they do not have it.

Mr Muntanga: You should be able to say this is not correct.  I look at all of you and you are all educated and intelligent people. There are Professors, Doctors and so on.

Hon. Member: Fashion!

Hon PF Member: Dr Kombo!

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, your report is very important for the development and benefit of this country and should, therefore, be taken seriously. I have chosen to take this line and appeal to my friends, the hon. Ministers that when you address an issue like this one, you must think that Zambia needs this type of support and that there must be immediate response to these questions. If we do not do that, we will be throwing Zambia to the wind.

 Next time, you will be hiring someone to write a letter for you and yet, you are calling yourself as a doctor, but you cannot write because you do not understand. We do not need that.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, I wish to add my voice to the debate on this very important motion on education, science and technology. As I am debating for the first time since the appointments, let me begin by congratulating those colleagues who have been appointed to ministerial and deputy ministerial positions. Some have even been elevated to higher positions like Hon. George Kunda, now His Honour, and Hon. Tetamashimba who is not here and has achieved his long-held ambition of getting into Cabinet. Though he is not here, I congratulate him and others.

 I also welcome those who have moved to the back bench. There is, indeed, a wealth of experience on that important bench which others refer to by some names such as kanakuzingwa or whatever, but you find the Kalumbas, the Mabengas, the Silavwes and the Nyirongos. You will learn a lot from there. Therefore, you must feel comfortable because you are part of the whole House. This is the nature of business. You are very welcome.

Madam Speaker, for those on the backbench of the MMD, I would like advise patience.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! You have done enough justice to that topic. Can you come to the report?

Laughter

Dr Machungwa: Thank you Madam Speaker. I just want them to have heart.

Madam Speaker, in supporting the Motion, I first wish to commend the Mover, Hon. Garry Nkombo and the Seconder, Hon. Emmanuel Munaile for their very lucid presentations to the House.  I also wish to commend members of the Committee for a job well done.

Madam Speaker, funding of education is extremely expensive and has been very problematic in this country for a very long time, especially beginning from when economic decline set in this country in the mid-1970s. As the economy deteriorated, it became increasingly difficult to fund education, especially higher education.

Madam Speaker, funding of tertiary and higher level training has been a problem for some time. When there was a change in Government to re-introduce multi-party politics in 1991, this was and it continues to be a problem.

For university education, after some time, it was agreed that students and their parents or guardians should contribute towards education tuition. What has happened is that whereas we used to …

Mr Tetamashimba walked into the Chamber.

 Dr Machungwa: Welcome, Hon. Tetamashimba.

Laughter

Dr Machungwa: I was congratulating you for achieving a long-held ambition. Now you are in.

Mr Tetamashimba: That is malicious.

Dr Machungwa: Welcome.

 Madam Speaker, we progressively started to increase the contribution of the parents and guardians towards education and especially higher education. This has not worked very well. The 25 per cent which is being contributed is still not adequate to help the state run these training institutions very well.

Madam Speaker, there were attempts to look at what is happening in other countries. For example, in Ghana, there is a loan system where the Government, through the universities, gives students loans and when they graduate and begin work they begin paying through their social security institution to the State.

Madam Speaker, the legislation which enables that system was studied and it was hoped that soon, the Government would go that route to make it easier to fund education. For some strange reason, there has been some kind of inertia. Maybe, our colleagues want to re-invent the wheel and start afresh.

Madam, we continue to have these problems which are not going to go away because funding education is very expensive. It is incumbent upon our colleagues in the Government to follow up these ideas. If they cannot and want to re-invent the wheel, or come out with pull outs or rub it out the hat to fund it, let them do that. However, as long as we keep doing things in the same order of business all the time, we will not progress.

Madam Speaker, the population of the country is increasing and our economy is not growing at the rate we would wish it to grow to support higher education and even lower level education. Unless some different kind of initiative is brought out, we are not going very far.

Presently, the Government is giving grants to three public universities; the University of Zambia, the Copperbelt University and now the Mulungushi University.

When I was reading the report, I was interested to see the fees that are being paid by students to the three universities. Obviously, the fees are not enough. The reason is that a lot of our people may not be able to afford. The unfortunate part of it is that, even when they give these bursaries, there no proper means test. You find that a child of a Minister or a hon. Member of Parliament is receiving bursary when there are other needy people who should get the bursary. Madam, because of lack of a proper means test, we find that people who can afford are the ones getting the support and those who cannot do not get the support. Madam, we cannot continue that way. Something must be done to be able to identify those who really need it and let those who can afford be able to pay towards that.

Madam Speaker, when I looked at the fees, I noticed something interesting. At the University of Zambia, the fees range from K6 million for those in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities to K7.4 million for those in the School of Natural Sciences and Engineering, it may be a little bit higher for those in the School of Medicine, per year.

Madam, that information is in the report. At the Copperbelt University, fees range from K5.7 million to K7.5 million depending on the field in which they are. When you go to the Mulungushi University, students are required to pay K27 million per year. This is a public university. According to the Vice-Chancellor of the Mulungushi University who appeared before Madam Speaker’s Committee, the university was established as an economic venture and it is intended to be self financing. It was intended to be an option university for those that could manage. This is at page 25 of the report.

Now, this is a Government university. Are we trying to set up an elitist university for the bourgeois who can afford to send their children to that university? Surely, if they can afford, why not let them go to a private university where they can pay all they want? You see, we have problems at public universities. We are setting up an institution with public resources to exclude those who might be very bright, but cannot afford the fees at that university and we are saying it is a public university. What kind of warpped thinking is this? I do not agree.

Mr Chanda: On a point of order, Sir.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I rise on very serious point of order. Is the hon. Minister of Education in order to keep quiet when there have been reports of examination leakages throughout the country? Is he in order to keep quiet without informing the House on what measures the Government is taking.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: The point of order is in relation to examination leakages. Yes, it is important that the nation would want to know what is happening, but the Chair is not aware whether the exams are over or whether giving a statement in the midst of these occurrences would really give the entire picture of what is happening. I am sure that the hon. Minister, at the right time, may brief this House and the nation on the status of examination leakages and arrests of those that may have been involved in that malpractice. The hon. Member for Luapula may continue.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, I thank you.

As I conclude on this particular point, let me mention that the Zambia Open University is a private university set up by academics originating from the University of Zambia. What they are charging is K4.3 million per year. Of course, it may be argued that it is a non-residential arrangement. Therefore, it is expected to be slightly cheaper. However, when you look at what they are doing in the report and the salaries that they are able to pay, I think they are doing very well. If a private university can charge K4.3, there is no justification for K27 million, unless you are just trying to build that university for some people somewhere.

Mr Kasongo: They are outrageous!

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, for the public and private institutions to run effectively, efficiently and be highly productive, they need financial inputs which I have been talking about. These are material and human inputs. Now, let me talk about human inputs. They need teachers, lecturers, researchers and other practitioners who have skills and integrity to perform. Of course, they need students who come from our secondary schools or ‘high basic schools’ because the hon. Minister wants to call them ‘basic basic’ …

Laughter

Dr Machungwa: They come from these high schools.

Now, let me come to the issue that has been mentioned by Hon. Chanda. This is the issue about examination leakages. Madam Speaker, with your permission, let me just quote briefly from the Daily Mail, of Tuesday, 18th November, 2008, Page 2.

“Three Priests arrested over leaked exam papers.”

Interruptions

Dr Machungwa: Listen to me very carefully.

Laughter

“Three Catholic Church Priests, who are teachers at St Charles Lwanga Secondary School in Mansa have been arrested in connection with leaking Grade 12 Examination Papers. The teachers who where picked together with four pupils for allegedly being in possession of original copies of pre-written Grade 12 Examination Papers are due to appear in court on December, 5. They have been charged with unauthorised possession of examination papers or information.

Over the past two weeks, over 40, Grade 12 pupils from different schools in Luapula have been arrested for allegedly being in possession of examination papers. The pupils were arrested at St Charles Lwanga, St Clements, Kabunda Girls, Mansa High School and Mansa Skills Secondary schools while others were caught in Mwense and Kawambwa. Meanwhile, all arrested pupils have been barred from writing Grade 12 Examinations for two years.

Kasama residents have appealed to the Ministry of Education to dismiss teachers who are allegedly involved in examination malpractice because they are compromising the standard of education.”

Madam, I would like to say that these …

Major Chizhyuka: Which Church?

Dr Machungwa: It is not a question of Church.

… are teachers. We have had problems of examination leakages in this country, but in the last several years, these leakages are occurring at examination centres. The Examination Council of Zambia has managed to put up a system where the leakages are not at their office, but happening in the schools because the teachers are entrusted with these papers. Although Luapula is mentioned, in the past years, there have been reports from all over the country. To safeguard the integrity of our education system, what is the hon. Minister or Government doing to ensure that the credibility of our system remains intact? This is extremely serious because it undermines integrity and credibility, and reduces the respect and standing of the education system or even our universities. Some of the students you find at the universities got there because of examination leakages, when they are not supposed to be there. What are we supposed to be doing?

Major Chizhyuka: Arrest the father!

Laughter

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, about 119,000 pupils complete form five every year. Of these, 81,000 take examinations set by the Examinations Council of Zambia. Another 38,000 take external examinations set in the United Kingdom, like the General Certificate of Education (GCE) or Cambridge Certificate.

Madam, from my research, I am sad to report that, in fact, the number of those wanting to take examinations from the United Kingdom is increasing because of the leakages and it appears that we are not able to control them.

Madam Speaker, I looked at some figures from Mpelembe Secondary School on the Copperbelt. It is a school which has a very high reputation where they are now deciding that they will stop taking examinations from the Examinations Council of Zambia, but from GCE or Cambridge. Now, I looked at the fee sheet. Each student per entry pays £9.30. If they are taking eight subjects, they pay another £15.90 per subject and then they pay an administration fee of £100. For one student who is taking eight subjects, the student will pay about £236.50, which works out at current exchange rate to K1.8 million. The total cost at one sitting in our country, considering that about 38,000 are taking external examinations, comes to £9 million or K68 billion.

Mr Kasongo: Externalised.

Dr Machungwa: Yes, externalised. The hon. Minister can check these facts because they are coming from various institutions including the ministry, the Examination Council of Zambia and the schools. This number is increasing. Do we really need to sit quietly and fold our hands while the integrity and credibility of our education system is being jeopardised so that most of our students go through this? Here, to sit for an examination, all they pay is about K37,000 but now each student is being forced to pay K1.8 million abroad. Can the hon. Minister not come up with some piece of legislation which will make it an offence, especially for those teachers - I do not care if they are fathers, mothers, brothers, monks or whatever born again - so that they can go straight to jail and even if they come out, they are not going to get a job in the teaching profession in this country?  It is not a church thing because some of the leakages have occurred elsewhere. We have to protect the integrity of our education system.

Madam, the hon. Minister should begin thinking about it. I used to be a Head of Department in a university where I used to teach. When certain people applied for a job, because of the lack of integrity and credibility of the country where they came from, we never took them on. We had various others who were coming from respected countries and we allowed them to come. When I went to study abroad, I was admitted straight to a Master’s because I had a bachelor’s degree. People from seven other countries had to have a Master’s before they could be admitted to come there. That is what this country can do.

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa: Nkala pansi iwe. This man is my mulamu but he is causing problems.

Laughter

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Continue debating!

Laughter

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, what I am asking the two hon. Ministers is to safeguard the integrity and credibility of our education system. We do not need to have it undermined. We need to strengthen it. Let us protect our own institution and support the examining body. Let us strengthen it and take out these leakages so that we can move forward.

Madam Speaker, with that contribution, I thank you. 

The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Mr Daka): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate. In the first instance, I would like to congratulate His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Honour the Vice-President and my colleagues for doing a commendable job that we retained the party into Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: Madam, Msazala Constituency scored a landslide. I remember somebody was boasting about a landslide and I want to mention that too.

Interruptions

Mr Daka: Madam Speaker, in the first instance, I would like to commend the mover of the motion, the seconder and all those who spoke, especially Dr Chishya. I do not want to take anything away from him. I just want to say that scientists do not retire. Scientists are like wine. They older the go, the better they become.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: Madam, therefore, I want to urge my brother that he has not retired. This is when he can concentrate more on doing better research on maheu and other drinks that have come out of National Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR). I would also want to congratulate and commend Hon. Muntanga for what he has said. I also want to commend my good friend from Kantanshi Constituency. I cannot disagree with any recommendation that the Committee have observed. What I would like to say is that from next year, it is the intention of Government that we should have a college in each district.

Interruptions

Mr Daka: Madam, we have colleges in all the provinces in Zambia today. In certain provinces, we have more than two colleges like Southern Province and later on, the Copperbelt Province. It is the intension of this Government to ensure that tertiary education is improved in Zambia.

Madam, I would want to give an example of Solwezi Trades. All the students that have graduated from Solwezi Trades have found jobs at Lumwana Mine and Kansanshi Mine. That is what we want to see more in this country. As hon. Members of Parliament, as we go back, we should talk to our leaders who are our chiefs. We have a policy of zero-entropy in our ministry. Zero-entropy means that whether somebody has dropped from Grade 7, they will pick up a trade from our colleges. Whether one has dropped from Grade 9, they will pick up a trade or a crafts certificate. Where somebody has dropped from Grade 12 going into university, they will pick up something. Really, the policy that we are reviewing will be coordinated with what the Parliamentary Committee has said.

Madam, I do not want to take much of your time. I want to recommend all the speakers that have contributed to this motion on the ministry.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, to begin with, I would like to do the unconventional.

Interruptions

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam, there are one or two points in the report that should be corrected because this is a very important document of the House and it must contain factual information. On Page 15, there is reference to Norwegian donor organisation (NORAD), as the organisation that funded UNZA with K2.1 billion for student hostel accommodation construction.

That information is wrong because that money was given to the Government by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and not NORAD.  It was money that was eventually handed over to the university. I thought that we should make that correction as this document is important.

Secondly, Madam, on page 16, there is reference to the fact that organisers of the All Africa Games chose the University of Zambia (UNZA) as the village for the games. It is not the organisers, but this Government which decided that UNZA would be the All Africa Games’ village.

Hon MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: That is a statement that needs to be clear so that we all know where the decision came from.

Madam Speaker, on the same page, there is another reference to the fact that there has been a freeze on recruitment of staff at UNZA.  Madam, there has not been any freeze on recruitment of staff at the university. Those are the corrections which I thought should not dilute the importance of this document.

Madam Speaker, that having been said, I would like to thank you for having directed this important Committee to focus, especially, on one aspect of our educational system in the country, University Education. I know that some of those that have debated on this Motion have gone into other areas of the educational system even though they would like us to focus on University Education, which is important.

Madam Speaker, I would like to commend your Committee for the work that they have done. This report has raised a number of issues which, of course, as a Government, we are very aware of. The issues that have been raised can be divided into five major points:

(i) the development of universities in our country;
(ii) staff and student welfare in our universities;
(iii) stability of the universities;
(iv) relevancy of universities to national development; and
(v) governance of the universities.

Madam Speaker, these are very important issues or topics within which we can realistically look at the operations and development of our universities. These five topics boarder on very important aspects of university operations, namely:

(i) Financing of universities;
(ii) legal framework of the universities;
(iii) auditing of academic and administrative operations of the universities;
(iv) Government/University relationships;
(v) the management of universities; and
(vi) the university curriculum, including public support of the universities.

Madam Speaker, these have been tackled by your Committee, who have taken their work seriously, for which we commend them.

Madam Speaker, at this point, I would like …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

(Debate adjourned)

________

The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 21st November, 2008.

 

 
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