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line Home arrow Debates & Proceedings arrow Third Session of the Tenth Assembly arrow Debates- Tuesday, 10th February, 2009 Friday, 31 October 2014  
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Debates- Tuesday, 10th February, 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 February 2009
DAILY PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES FOR THE THIRD SESSION OF THE TENTH ASSEMBLY

Tuesday, 10th February, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours

[MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

NATIONAL ANTHEM

PRAYER

_____

ANNOUNCEMENTS

ACTING LEADER OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS IN THE HOUSE

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, in the absence of His Honour the Vice-President who is attending to other national duties, Hon. G. W. Mpombo, MP, Minister of Defence has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House from today, Tuesday, 10th to Wednesday, 11th February, 2009.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

EXHIBITION BY THE LUSAKA NATIONAL MUSEUM

Madam Deputy Speaker: I wish to inform the House that the Lusaka National Museum in collaboration with the Commonwealth Forestry Associations, Zambia Branch and Mike’s Agricultural Products Enterprise (MIAPEN) Zambia Crafts will be conducting an exhibition of arts and crafts for hon. Members of Parliament. The exhibition will take place in the main reception area of Parliament Buildings from 11th to 20th February, 2009. This exhibition is being done under a programme called “They Lived Science”. The theme of the exhibition is “Monkey Orange: a Small Story with Big Issues.”

Among other issues, the programme aims at promoting environmental sustainability through cultural heritage, forestry and innovations.

Hon. Members are invited to attend the official launch of the exhibition on Wednesday, 11th February, 2009 at 0930 hours on the terrace in front of Parliament Buildings.

Thank you.

_____

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

2008 GRADE 9 EXAMINATION AND 2009 GRADE 10 SELECTION

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, I rise to make a Ministerial Statement on the 2008 Grade 9 Examination and 2009 Grade 10 Selection.

Madam, I wish to inform the nation that the processing of the 2008 Grade 9 Examination has now been completed and the selection exercise of the Grade 10 pupils for the 2009 academic year has been concluded.

Madam Speaker, before I highlight the salient features of both the examination and selection, I would like to inform the nation through this august House that the practice of selecting pupils to Grade 10 using the cutoff point system has been stopped. Selection of pupils to Grade 10 will be based on obtaining a full certificate.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: All the pupils who manage to obtain a full certificate in the Grade 9 Examination shall proceed to Grade 10.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the following features are to be noted:

Number of Candidates

In 2008, 254,032 candidates (134,101 boys and 119,931 girls) registered for the examinations compared to 218,736 (116,495 boys and 102,639 girls) candidates in 2007. This is an increase of 16.1 per cent in the number entered in 2007. The total number of candidates who sat for the examinations in 2008 was 228,107 (121,365 boys and 106,742 girls) compared to 189,599 (102,354 boys and 87,065 girls) candidates in 2007. 

Number Selected

Madam Speaker, following the change in the policy of selection of pupils to Grade 10, all the candidates who obtained full Grade 9 Certificates in all the provinces have been selected to Grade 10.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: The number of candidates with full certificates who have been selected to Grade 10 is 110,798 (64,797, boys and 46,001 girls). This gives a progression rate of 48.57 per cent (53.39 for boys and 43.1 per cent for girls) compared to 37.15 per cent in 2007.

Madam Speaker, this year’s progression rate is 11.42 per cent more than that of 2007. This indicates that more children have been accorded an opportunity to proceed to high school.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the performance percentages province by province are as follows:

(i) Northern Province had  21,676 candidates who sat for the examination, out of this number, 10,019 have full certificates (6,703 boys and 3,316 girls), giving a pass rate of 46.22 per cent compared to 41.8 per cent in 2008;

(ii) Luapula Province had 14,225 candidates who sat for the examination. Out of these, 7,323 candidates (4,838 boys and 2,485 girls) obtained full certificates, giving a pass rate of 51.48 per cent compared to 58.4 per cent in 2007;

(iii) Southern Province had 28,901 candidates who sat for the examination. Out of these, 14,406 candidates (8,407 boys and 5,999 girls) obtained full certificates, giving a pass rate of  49.85 per cent compared to 53.09 per cent in 2007;

(iv) Eastern Province had 19,003 candidates who sat for the examination. Out of this number, 9,084 candidates (5,967 boys and 3,117 girls) obtained full certificates giving a pass rate of 47.80 per cent compared to 53.35 per cent in 2007;

(v) Copperbelt had 52,568 candidates who sat for the examination. Out of this number, 24,221 candidates (12,851 boys and 11,350 girls) obtained full certificates, giving a pass rate of 46.04 per cent compared to 49.46 in 2007;

(vi) North-Western Province had a total of 12,379 candidates (7,353 boys and 5,026) who sat for the examination, 6,278 candidates (3,878 boys and 2,405 girls) obtained full certificates, giving a pass rate of 50.71 per cent compared to 49.20 per cent in 2007;

(vii) Central Province had a total of 23,766 candidates (12,567 boys and 11,199 girls) who sat for the examination, 12,468 candidates (7,199 boys and 5,349 girls) obtained full certificates, giving a pass rate of 52.46 per cent compared to 49.17 per cent in 2007;

(viii) Western Province had 12,222 candidates (6,885 boys and 5,337 girls) who sat for the examination. Out of this number 5,966 candidates (3,554 boys and 2,412 girls) obtained full certificates, giving a pass rate 48.81 per cent compared to 45.57 per cent in 2007; and

(ix) Lusaka Province had 43,367 candidates (21,255 boys and 22,112 girls) who sat for the examination. Those who obtained full certificates were 21,053 (11,485 boys and 9,568 girls) giving a pass rate of 48.55 per cent compared to 54.07 per cent in 2007.

Absentees

Madam Speaker, out of 254,032 candidates who entered for examination, 25,925 candidates (12, 736 boys and 13,189 girls) were absent from the examinations compared to 29,116 in 2007. Luapula Province had the lowest rate of absenteeism at 7.80 per cent (6.91 per cent boys and 9.11 per cent girls). Western Province had the highest absenteeism rate at 13.27 per cent (11.96 per cent boys and 14.91 per cent girls) …

Mr Sing'ombe: Matokwani!

Professor Lungwangwa: … followed by North-Western Province at 13.21 per cent (12.58 per cent boys and 14.11 per cent girls)

Overall, there was a decrease in absenteeism which was at 10.21 per cent in 2008 compared to 13.32 per cent in 2007. Madam, factors such as relocation resulting from deaths in the family, especially of parents or guardians and to a certain extent, early marriages, pregnancies, deaths and loss of interest in learning are accountable for the absenteeism.

Madam Speaker, in order to curb absenteeism, the Ministry of Education has put a number of strategies in place such as school bursaries for the vulnerable school-going children and school feeding programmes in some schools. In addition, the ministry has strengthened guidance and counselling in schools.

Examination Malpractices

Madam Speaker, only fifty-six candidates were involved in examination malpractices in the 2008 Examinations. The nature of malpractices was largely related to smuggling of material into examination rooms by the candidates and being assisted in the examination rooms. The stringent measures the ministry has adopted to cur malpractices are paying dividends.

Schools were closely monitored during the examinations period by standards officers from all levels, officers from the Examinations Council of Zambia as well as officers from the security wings of Government.

Special Education Needs

Madam Speaker, 196 candidates (120 boys and 76 girls) with special education needs sat for the examination in 2008. Out of this number, 118 pupils (74 boys and 44 girls) were selected to Grade 10.

Release of the Results

Madam Speaker, members of the public are advised to obtain the results from the schools where pupils wrote their examinations. No results will be given from the Ministry of Education Headquarters or the Examinations Council of Zambia.

Opening Dates

Madam, Grade 10 classes will begin on Monday 16th February, 2009. The grace period ends on Friday, 27th February, 2009. Pupils who fail to report at their respective schools by the end of the grace period will lose their places.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Lay the paper on the Table!

Laughter

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 Education.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwenzi): Madam Speaker, what criteria is the ministry using in selecting pupils to technical schools?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, I am not quite sure what the hon. Member is asking because the criteria is set namely; a full certificate at the Grade 9 level.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Madam Speaker, from the ministerial statement, it is clear that in all categories, we seem to have more boys than girls sitting for examinations, and yet we know that we have more girls in terms of population compared to boys. My question is: When is the hon. Minister going to extend the Free Education Policy to Grade 12?

Mr Magande: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, we have a committee that has been working on that particular issue and it has not yet completed its work. The issues that are being looked into are those of the cost of extending free education to Grade 12; taking into account the number of pupils to be involved; the number of teachers to be recruited; the procurement of educational materials; classrooms to be constructed and various other valuables which go into that kind of provision.

The hon. Member will appreciate that this particular exercise is extremely onerous. A lot of data gathering and analysis is required. This is what this committee is doing. At the moment we cannot precisely say when that exercise will be completed. However, my officers are working extremely hard in this exercise. Of course, a final document will be brought to the attention of the Government.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Madam Speaker, looking at the pass rate that the hon. Minister has given, it is evident that half the classes are failing. What would we attribute this to? Have you now got qualified teachers to teach Grades 8 and 9? In the past, the same teachers who taught Grade 7 also taught Grades 8 and 9.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, if we look closely at the statistics, especially the progression rate, we can see that there is progress in terms of the proportion of pupils who are leaving Grade 9, going to Grade 10. For example, last year we were talking about a progression rate of 37 percent and now we are talking of about more than 48 percent progression rate and that is an improvement as far as the proportion of children who are passing the examination, going to Grade 10 is concerned.

Madam Speaker, I would not say that half are failing, but that, yes, there is, like in every other examination, an appreciable improvement in the performance of pupils.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr C. B. K. Banda, Sc. (Chasefu): Madam Speaker, I note that the pass rate for the Eastern Province has reduced from 53.7 percent or thereabout to 47.8 percent. What factor or combination of factors is responsible for this reduction and what do you intend to do to ensure that come next year, the pass rate will improve.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker that is what we are doing, not only in the Eastern Province but also in the other provinces as well where there has been a drop in the pass rate. In our post examination analysis, there are a number of factors we are taking into account to examine, for example, why certain provinces have had a drop in the performance compared to last year. There are, of course, a number of factors which have to be looked into, for example, the teacher-pupil ratio, textbook-pupil ratios and various other factors which go into examination performance of pupils.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Madam Speaker, it is public knowledge that in every district, there are basic schools, upper basic schools and in certain instances, high schools. The question that begs an answer is, what criterion is the ministry going to use for those pupils who will be accepted to high schools that have boarding facilities based on the statement by the hon. Minister.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, clearly, I did not understand the question because the criteria for going into our different categories of schools, boarding, day or technical, is based on the full certificate that has been obtained. I am not quite sure what the hon. Member is asking about because the criterion is uniform, whether for a boarding school or any other school.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Madam Speaker, the points cut off system was designed to tailor the number of students who pass to the number of schools or places available. In the event of changing the system to full certificate, I would like the hon. Minister to inform the nation whether we now have enough infrastructure to cater for the extra number of pupils who come through the full certificate system and what will happen to the other pupils who were cut-off but had full certificates before this year.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the proportion of pupils to the number of classes that are available is a matter that we are looking into. This type of a system affords us an opportunity to critically look at the availability of infrastructure in relation to the number of pupils who ought to be entering high school. In cases where there are shortages of classrooms, we have embarked on an infrastructure development programme to meet the high school place requirement in our schools.

Madam Speaker, we are not looking at this in retrospect, but from a point of view of policy change. The policy change was effected last year and we cannot now look at it retrospectively.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.
Interruptions

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, from the figures that the hon. Minister has given, it is evident that the cut off point system was …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Can we lower our voices, please?

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the cut-off point system was a form of affirmative action because the cut off point for girls was lower than that for boys. Now that the criterion is a full certificate, and from the figures we can see that there are almost 20,000 more boys than girls, what affirmative action will the Ministry take to ensure that more girls are accepted to Grade 10 than there are this year?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member has probably missed the point here. The cut off point system is inequitable in as far as affirmation of girls proceeding to Grade 10 is concerned, because it means that you are cutting off from those who have passed, but in this case, all those who have passed are proceeding to Grade 10 as opposed to finding the most appropriate cut off point system. This one is highly equitable.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, throughout his presentation, the hon. Minister of Education kept mentioning the term “full certificate”. For the sake of clarity, could the hon. Minister explain what a full certificate is.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, a full certificate at the Grade 9 level is obtaining a minimum of 40 percent in any six subjects. Someone can get less than 40 percent in English and can still proceed to Grade 10 as long as he or she has a minimum of 40 percent pass rate in any six subjects.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr C. Mulenga (Chinsali): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government has intentions of extending the same system to pupils graduating from Grade 7 to Grade 8.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, clearly, the answer is no, because we are moving towards a universal basic education system in which a child entering Grade 1 should be able to complete nine years of basic education. What is hindering this, at the moment, is the inadequate school places. However, the ultimate goal is that all children entering Grade 1 should complete Grade 9 as part of the universal basic education system.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-Tezhi): Madam Speaker, it has become common for all schools, particularly boarding schools, to keep increasing boarding fees year in and year out. Is the hon. Minister considering coming up with a standard fee so that those who have lost jobs, especially on the Copperbelt, can manage to take their children to school?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, boarding fees are set by the Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) at the school level. A number of factors are taken into account, including ability to pay, which are assessed and if there is any problem in that area, this is normally attended to administratively.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Speaker, with regard to the feeding exercise to minimise absenteeism, where will the food come from? Further, is there a guarantee that there will be some transparency and food will not be misused?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the School Feeding Programme has been in effect for sometime now in selected areas that are food deficient. Last week in my Ministerial Statement, I indicated that there are more than 244,000 children on the School Feeding Programme. The School Feeding Programme is based on the procurement of food supplements from both internal and external resources and with effect from this year, we are focussing on a home grown school feeding programme, whereby the food that goes into feeding children in the food deficient areas that are selected, will be of course bought locally. That way, we hope that as an education sector, we shall contribute promoting productivity among small-scale farmers, using resources from our partners, the World Food Programme (WFP), as well as our own resources to procure foodstuffs that go into the School Feeding Programme. Therefore, we make sure that there is accountability for the food that is procured and there is no loss or wastage of the resources and food that is procured.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Madam Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to be very clear on what this criterion is all about. Hillcrest, David Kaunda, Chizongwe and other technical schools are schools of excellence. Is he saying that as long as one has met the 40 per cent pass rate in the other six subjects but gets 30 per cent in mathematics, he or she can still go to these schools?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member is asking a curriculum question. The question is that, do we have a component of technical subjects in the basic education curriculum which ought to be the criteria for selecting pupils to Grade 10. That, of course, is the problem at the moment in the sense that the component of technical subjects at the basic education level is deficient as it were. My ministry is looking into that problem and very soon we shall have a national curriculum symposium which will be looking at the linkage among the various levels of the education system so that problems such as the one the hon. Member is raising will be addressed and we look at the basic education curriculum and see how best it can suit, for example, the various types of schools that we have.

_________


QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

PROVISION OF SOLAR PANELS TO MUKANGA RESENTLEMENT SCHEME HEALTH CENTRE

94. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Energy and Water development when the health centre at the Mukanga Resettlement Scheme in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency would be provided with solar panels for electrification purposes.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Chibombamilimo): Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Energy and Water development will provide solar panels for electrification purposes at the health centre at Mukanga Resettlement Scheme in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency when funds are made available.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, the health post will be officially opened this week, and yet there is no electricity there. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the ministry has any intentions of electrifying the area in the 2009 financial year.

Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Madam Speaker, I have already said that we will do that when funds are made available. However, I have asked the officers at the Ministry of Energy and Water Development to make sure that all the health centres that have been completed should be considered for electrification since the Government has given us, at least, a handsome amount of money in the budget.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

NUMBER OF LOCAL AND EXPATRIATE EMPLOYEES RETRENCHED IN MINE COMPANIES IN 2009

95. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) how many employees were retrenched in 2008 in the following companies:

(i) Kansanshi Mine Plc;

(ii) Bwana Mkubwa Mine Plc;

(iii) Luanshya Copper Mines Plc;

(iv) Konkola Copper Mines Plc; and

(v) Mopani Copper Mines Plc; and

(b) how many of the employees at (a) above were expatriates.

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Madam Speaker, mining companies listed in the question, retrenched 489 employees broken down as follows:

(i) Kansanshi Mine Plc   –    70

(ii) Bwana Mkubwa Mine Plc   –  345

(iii) Luanshya Copper Mines Plc  –     8

(iv) Konkola Copper Mines Plc  –   30

(v) Mopani copper Mines Plc   –   36

Total                 489

Madam Speaker, the number of expatriate retrenched is as follows:

(i) Kansanshi Mine Plc   – Nil

(ii) Bwana Mkubwa Mine Plc  –  Nil

(iii) Luanshya copper Mines Plc  –  8

(iv) Konkola Copper Mines Plc  –  30

(v) Mopani Copper Mines   –  36

Total      –  74

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, before mining companies retrench workers, the ministry is informed about the number of workers to be retrenched. Would the hon. Minister inform this House whether he has received any correspondence concerning the retrenchment of workers in 2009?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for his follow-up question. However, I would like to inform him that the Government has various portfolios and that the question would be best handled by the Ministry of Labour and Social Services.

I thank you, Madam.

LEGITIMATE OWNERS OF HOUSES IN R AND Q SECTIONS OF NCHANGA WARD

96. Mr Simuusa (Nchanga) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development who the legitimate owners of the houses in the R and Q Sections of Nchanga Ward, adjacent to the Konkola Mine Plant, were.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, the legitimate owner of the houses is the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH). These are semidetached houses comprising 101 units in Section R and 7,007 in Section Q and are occupied by former ZCCM employees and non-miners. The units were classified as substandard and therefore, were not offered for sale as they were meant to be demolished. The tenants in these housing units do not pay any rentals.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, there is a serious problem of accommodation in my constituency. Some miners are looking for accommodation and some teachers live in classrooms at the moment. Why is the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development not quickly handing over the units to the owners or offer them for sale to the Government so that the problem of shortage of accommodation in Nchanga can be alleviated?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I have difficulty answering the hon. Member’s question because the occupants of the houses are actually his constituents. They could be former miners, but are still his constituents. The Government will be looking into some of the points he has raised.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the houses were declared substandard. This was in 1997 which is about twelve years ago, but people are still occupying them. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government has intentions of demolishing the houses or not.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Chipili for his follow-up question. However, in our earlier response, we indicated that the houses were not offered for sale as they were meant to be demolished. However, ZCCM-IH is reviewing the matter considering the fact that the issue of accommodation is quite acute in Nchanga and might continue to conduct some surveys of the properties to see whether they can be offered for sale to the sitting tenants.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Katema (Chingola): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if the ministry is not contemplating selling the houses quickly so that the sitting tenants can upgrade them by renovating them rather than dillydallying.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for his suggestion.. I will be engaging ZCCM-IH to find the forward with regard to the properties in question.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that the houses do not belong to either the sitting tenants or ZCCM-IH since they have not been sold. Why then is the council asking the sitting tenants to pay land rates?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I did not state that the houses do not belong to ZCCM-IH. They belong to ZCCM-IH as it is the one looking after these properties. However, I thank the hon. Member for bringing to our attention the fact that the sitting tenants are requested to pay land rates. In fact, the houses are not supposed to be occupied. However, we will look into this matter and find a way forward with ZCMM-IH.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has told the House that the houses are in a substandard condition. Is the Government in order to continue allowing people to live in substandard houses which can collapse anytime and are, therefore, a danger to the people occupying them?

Mr. M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I would like to remind the House of the problems that ZCCM-IH had in Nkana when the people of Nkandabwe were told to vacate their houses which were in a caving area. To date, the people are still occupying the houses because some of these matters tend to be turned into political issues by ourselves in this House.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

OPERATIONS OF MAAMBA COLLIERIES LTD IN 2007 AND 2008

97. Mr Simuusa asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) how much money was spent on personal emoluments by the Maamba Collieries Ltd in 2007 and 2008;

(b) how much coal was produced in the same period; and

(c) how much revenue the company collected during the above period.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, Maamba Collieries Ltd spent K31,850,445,312 on personal emoluments in 2007 and 2008 broken down as follows:

Year   Amount Spent

2007   K17,801,223,965

2008   K14,049,221,347

Total               K31,850,445,312


(b) Coal Produced in 2007 and 2008

Madam Speaker, from January 2007 to August, 2007, Maamba Collieries Limited produced 18,646 metric tonnes of coal. Thereafter, during the rest of the year, coal production was disrupted due to the withdrawal of mining equipment by the two contract miners (G and G Services and Bell Equipment Switzerland Ltd) in protest of the scheme for payment of Maamba Collieries Limited creditors. There was no production up to the end of the year.

In 2008, Maamba Collieries Limited had no coal production due to the selected contract miner’s (Keren Mining Limited) inability to mobilise mining equipment within the requested timescale and their mining contract was cancelled towards the end of the year.

However, Maamba Collieries Limited had sales of 6,408 metric tonnes of remnant coal. Madam Speaker, the company collected K12,432,185 in revenue in 2007 and 2008 broken down as follows:

Details    2007   2008
    ZMK   ZMK

Coals Sales   8,786,796,000  1,758,538,000
Rental Income      183,194,000     346,842,000
Sundry Income       769,762,000     587,053,000
(Lodge and Private school)
Total    9,739,752,000  2,692,433,000

Madam Speaker, the House may wish to know that ZCCM-IH provided the money to meet the expenditure on personal emoluments in 2007 and 2008 to supplement the revenues generated by the mine whilst looking for a strategic equity partner to revamp the operations of the mine.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, the figures the hon. Minister has given clearly show that for two solid years the performance of the mine was very poor. Why has it taken ZCCM-IH so long to come up with a partner when they knew very well the gravity of the situation on the ground to date? Where is the sense of urgency?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member should have first declared his part of the problem, as former Mining Director of Maamba Collieries.

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, we have to deal with issues systematically by going through the processes of advertising in the print and electronic media to find an equity partner for ZCCM-IH in Maamba Collieries.

Madam Speaker, Silock Enterprises Limited, which was picked through a selective tender, is currently carrying out overburden striping at Maamba Collieries. Within a period of two to three months, Maamba Collieries should be able to supply our mines with coal.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, Maamba Collieries has been hiring equipment for more than nine years. At the moment, the Maamba Coal Mine has hired Oriental quarries to provide equipment to the mine. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether Maamba Collieries, through the ZCCM-IH, has any intention of purchasing equipment to avoid hiring of equipment, and if so, when will this be?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I have informed to this House that through a selective tender, the company that is on site in Maamba Collieries is Silock Enterprises Limited who is carrying out stripping operations.

Madam Speaker, ZCCM-IH is taking a route that will ensure that there is a suitable equity partner for Maamba Coal Mine who will recapitalise the operations and see to it that operations at the Maamba Coal Mine are revamped.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Msichili (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, for a long time, we have had a lot of deforestation in this country, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why Maamba does not come in to fill this gap by providing coal for domestic use?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I am sure the hon. Member has in mind the coal briquettes that were prepared by the National Council for Scientific Research. However, we have to see to it that operations at the Maamba Coal Mine are normalised before we can go ahead to supply domestic coal.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Madam Speaker, over a number of years, we have seen a number of companies coming into Maamba and leaving. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how much has been recovered from these mining companies in terms the environmental protection fund and what we are trying to do to mitigate the issues of environment in that area?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I can only assure the hon. Member that as a Government, we have the Mine Safety Department and the Environmental Council of Zambia that are monitoring the environmental impact in Maamba.

As regards the issue of funding, I would request the hon. Member to submit that as a new question.

I thank you, Madam.

CONSTRUCTION OF RURAL HEALTH CENTRES AT MUSAILA AND MUTWEWANKOKO IN BAHATI

98. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Health when construction of rural health centres at Musaila and Mutwewankoko in Bahati Parliamentary Constituency would begin.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Akakandelwa): Madam Speaker, construction of a rural health centre at Musaila started in February, 2008 using the Constituency Development Fund. The structure is at the window level. Progress of the works is dependent on the release of the Constituency Development Fund.

Construction of the rural health centre at Mutwewankoko has been included in the 2009 Action-Plan by the Mansa District Health Management Team. Construction will start as soon as funds are released by the Government.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware of the involvement of the Members of Parliament and council through the Constituency Development Fund?

Mr Akakandelwa: Madam Speaker, if only the hon. Member of Parliament had brought to the attention of the Government this need, we would have probably come in by now. Every Member of Parliament mobilised the community to commence this project.  They only came to the Government when they were looking for the prototype structure plans, but we will consider that request.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I would like find out from the hon. Minister when the Government will implement the projects that were earmarked for the 2008 financial year in terms of infrastructure in Luapula Province.

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Madam Speaker, it would have been better if the hon. Member of Parliament had been specific, but since he has not, I would like to inform him that enough funds have been set aside to complete almost all the uncompleted structures this year.

I thank you, Madam.
   

CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW BRIDGE ON MANSA RIVER

99. Mr Chimbaka asked the Minister of Works and Supply whether there were any plans to construct a new bridge across the Mansa River to connect Bahati and Mansa Central Parliamentary constituencies.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Ndalamei): Madam Speaker, the Ministry, through the Road Development Agency, has no plans to construct any bridge across the Mansa River to connect Bahati and Mansa Central constituencies, following the construction of a bridge across the Mansa River at Chibalashi. These two constituencies are well connected at three points as follows.

(i) on the eastern side, there is the new Mansa Site Bridge connecting the two constituencies from a density area across Mansa River to the Mansa/Kalabo Road at Chibalashi;

(ii) on the northern side, there is the Mansa Bridge, which is the main bridge on the Mansa/Kawambwa Road located near the provincial administration; and

(iii) on the western side, the constituencies are connected by a bridge across the Mansa River on the Matanda/Kabunda Road.

In conclusion, Madam Speaker, the two constituencies are well connected unless the hon. Member is referring to a point along the Mansa River which might not be on the core road network.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chimbaka: Madam, I am aware that there are those links, but I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if he is aware that the Government, through the National Housing Authority, has approved plans to establish a new town with 500 houses. Is he also aware that according to that approved plan, there is a provision to construct a bridge to link the two sides? If he is not aware, has he made any effort to find out from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing?

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): The future plans will be communicated appropriately and when the need arises to construct a bridge, this will be done as part of the preparations for the establishment of the beautiful town he is talking about.

I thank you, Madam.

DEPLOYMENT OF FISHERIES OFFICERS TO CHILUBI DISTRICT

100. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives when the Government would send more fisheries officers to run the following stations in Chilubi District:

(i) Muchinshi;
(ii) Chaba;
(iii) Kawena; and
(iv) Bukotelo.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Madam Speaker, staff recruitment by the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is an on going exercise when the Treasury grants authority. From recent authorisation by the Treasury, one fisheries technical officer is earmarked for Chilubi District. More officers at the level of assistant fisheries technician will be posted to Chilubi District as soon as authority is granted for recruitment of officers at this level.

Madam Speaker, currently, Chilubi District has only two fisheries officers, which is inadequate. It is the wish and desire of the ministry to see that core programmes are adequately staffed to provide necessary services to the farming communities.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives aware that one of the fisheries officers based in Chilubi is currently on suspension while the other is on and off duty due to a health condition?

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for asking that question. Yes, we are aware of that inadequacy. We have, currently, one fisheries officer at Nsombo Fisheries on the shore of Lake Bangweulu and the other at Samfya. We have instructed both of them to co-ordinate with the fisheries officer in Chilubi because they are working on the same lake. In fact, they are the ones who will go to Chaba.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Madam, can the hon. Minister confirm whether it is in order for fisheries officers to arrest marketeers found selling dry fish from 1st December to 28th February?

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulonga: Madam, we do not have such reports as a ministry. However, there is what we call a certificate of origin used generally during the fish ban. All fishmongers in the lake areas that are not affected by the fish ban are supplied with certificates. However, if fishing has been done during the ban, then the people involved are dealt with by the ministry.

I thank you, Madam.

SENSITISATION ON SURRENDER OF NATIONAL REGISTRATION CARDS FOR DECEASED PERSONS

101. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Home Affairs whether the Government had any plans to sensitise people in rural areas on the need to surrender the national registration cards of their deceased relatives to the relevant authorities.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Bonshe): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship has been sensitising members of the public on the need to surrender national registration cards for deceased relatives to the National Registration, Passport and Citizenship offices. The Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship has been working through the chiefs and headmen to ensure that national registration cards are surrendered by their subjects to be forward to the National Registration, Passport and Citizenship offices.  This programme shall be further enhanced.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Home Affairs intends to step up the exercise of sensitising people in both urban and rural areas on the need to surrender national registration cards of their deceased relatives basically to capture the deaths that occur and for security reasons to avoid fraud.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, that activity just outlined by the hon. Deputy Minister has never taken place in Chilubi from time immemorial, when does the hon. Minister intend to carry out the exercise in that area?

Mr Bonshe: Madam Speaker, it is not true that this exercise has never taken place. In any case, the hon. Member of Parliament is better placed to sensitise his people on the need to surrender the national registration cards for deceased persons. I would urge all hon. Members to do this as they address meetings in their constituencies, as they are also part of the Government.

Madam Speaker, during the period of mobile national registration, our department sensitises people in all areas about the need to surrender national registration cards for deceased persons. This is an on-going exercise.

 I thank you, Madam.

STRATEGIC EQUITY PARTNER FOR MAAMBA COLLERIES

102. Mr Simuusa asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development who the strategic equity partner expected to partner with the ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc in the recapitalisation of the Maamba Collieries Company Limited was.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, the process to identify the strategic equity partner for ZCCM-IH Plc in the recapitalisation of Maamba Collieries Limited began in October, 2007, when ZCCM-IH put a request for proposals in the press, inviting qualified and experienced companies to bid as strategic equities and technical partners in the company.

Madam Speaker, thirty-six institutions expressed interest in partnering with ZCCM–IH. However, on the closing date, 28th March, 2008, only eleven bids were successfully lodged.

ZCCM–IH constituted an evaluation team comprising several stake holders to evaluate the eleven bids. The following three bidders were short listed after the adjudication of the bids:

 (a) Aldwych International (United Kingdom);

 (b) Nava Bharat (Singapore) PTE Limited; and

 (c) Vedanta Resources Plc (India).

Madam Speaker, the three pre-qualified bidders where then requested to submit their best and final offer by 2nd January, 2009. By the same date, only Nava Bharat (Singapore) PTE Limited and Vedanta Resources Plc (India) lodged their proposals.

The evaluation team finalised the adjudication and recommended Nava Bharat (Singapore) PTE Limited to ZCCM–IH as the preferred bidder expected to rehabilitate the mine and develop a thermal power plant at Maamba.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, I would like to know when the strategic equity partner will move in and start operations at Maamba and when construction of the thermal plant will begin.

Interruptions

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the hon. Member that ZCCM-IH will be carrying out further negotiations with the preferred bidder to see how they can proceed …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! I think there is loud consultation. You may continue hon. Minister.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, the point to note is that the technical team made a recommendation to ZCCM-IH, who in turn have to engage the company to see how they can best develop the mine and the thermal plant.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed the House that three companies were short listed, and Nava Bharat (Singapore) PTE Limited was picked. I would like to know what criterion was used to pick this company.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I did not state that Nava Bharat (Singapore) PTE Limited was picked, but that it was recommended by the technical team, to ZCCM-IH. However, as regards the criterion used, it is quite a lengthy paper which I will lay on the table with your permission.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr M. B. Mwale laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Member: Takabelenge! Mwila tabelenga nokubelenga.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, I believe we lent lessons from the way the mines were privatised on the Copperbelt. I would like to know whether the Government has put measures in place to ensure that we do not end up the losers when we bring in the strategic equity partner for Maamba Collieries Ltd.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I thank Hon. Chanda, who is so passionate about mining, for that question. The Government learnt many lessons from the privatisation of ZCCM and other companies. Therefore, as a responsible Government, we will be responsive to a number of issues to ensure that Zambia is not disadvantaged.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

DEGAZETTING AREAS FOR RESIDENTIAL USE

103. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources whether the ministry would consider degazetting parts of the following areas to provide land for residential purposes:

 (a) national parks;

 (b) game management areas (GMAs); and

 (c) protected forest areas.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Mwangala): Madam Speaker, with regard to part (a) of the question, the ministry has no plans of degazetting parts of any national park in the country for residential purposes, as there is enough land outside the parks for people to settle.

Furthermore, the House may wish to know why we protect national parks. We do so for the following reasons:

(a)  to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage;

(b) to promote the sustainable use of the natural resources of the area;

(c) to promote understanding and enjoyment (including enjoyment in the form of recreation) of the special qualities of the area by the public; and

(d) to promote sustainable social and economic development of the communities of the game management area.

Madam Speaker, regarding part (b) of the question, the ministry has no plans to degazette parts of any GMA in the country for residential purposes. GMAs are primarily for sustainable wildlife utilisation, but also allow for land use, including human settlement.

However, Madam Speaker, the other land use should not encroach onto areas reserved for wildlife conservation and utilisation.

With regard to part (c) of the question, my ministry can consider degazetting parts of the protected forest areas. In fact, we have done this in the past. However, currently, there is enough land for people to settle on. Therefore, the ministry is not, in the near future, considering degazetting parts of protected forest areas to provide land for residential purposes.

Madam Speaker, protected forest reserves are managed to prevent ecological disaster such as massive soil erosion and drying up of rivers due to excessive water runoff. Forests also protect water catchments, supply timber, fuel wood and non-wood products.

Other than the above uses, forests play a vital role in the mitigation and adaptation of the effects of climate change, as they act as carbon sinks. Carbon emissions contribute to the depletion of the ‘azone’ …

Hon. Opposition Members: Ozone!

Mr Mwangala: … layer, thus causing global warming with its negative impacts on our planet.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, is it not possible for the Government to turn some of the parks, which have no animals, into forest parks where people can reside and venture into activities such as bee-keeping?

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Ms Namugala): Madam Speaker, we have enough forest reserves where bee-keeping and other activities can be conducted. Currently, about 9.6 per cent of Zambia’s land is in forest reserves. With regard to depleted areas, the Government intends to restock game reserve management areas and national parks.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr P. P. Chanda (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, our land has not been audited for a long time. I would like to find out how the ministry came up with the information that there is enough land for human habitation.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Madam Speaker, several initiatives have been used both at the local, district and provincial levels to try and determine the land use. As a Government, we have just completed what we call an integrated land use assessment survey. This is supposed to help the Government determine the extent of encroachment and land use, generally.

Also, as we go outside Lusaka, …

Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Can I, please, request hon. Members of Parliament to consult quietly because it is becoming obvious that we have a house within a House. Can hon. Members, please, consider this advice from the Chair? The hon. Minister can continue, please.

Ms Namugala: I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam, I was saying that one just has to drive to Katuba to see that there is so much land. Unfortunately, every one wants to be in Lusaka, Ndola or Kitwe. As a result, the demand for land the urban areas is high. We also have to bear in mind the need for sustainable development and that we are not the last generation. Therefore, we need to ensure that development is sustainable so that future generations …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: … can also develop.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has just stated that it is important to ensure sustainable development and that future generations should not be disadvantaged. Could the hon. Minister comment on a matter in Lusaka where a Multi Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) in a forest which is supposed to be a protected area is to be developed. How does this dovetail with the need to preserve the environment for the future?

Ms Namugala: Madam Speaker, where there is a genuine need, the Government can degazette land. We have indicated that, in the past, we have degazetted forest reserves. The land in question, in Lusaka East, is going to provide employment opportunities for Zambians.

Madam, may I appeal to the House to support initiatives by the Government to drive the economic agenda of this country forward.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister stated a land survey has just been completed. I would like to find out when the land survey report will be made available to members of the public and stakeholders such as hon. Members of Parliament.

Ms Namugala: Madam Speaker, hon. Members of Parliament are key stakeholders because they can help the Government to deal with issues such as deforestation. The report will be out before the end of the year and will be made available to hon. Members of Parliament.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

_______

MOTION

BUDGET 2009

(Debate resumed)

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Madam Speaker, I rise to continue from my debate of last week. I totally support the Motion on the Floor as we go into Committee of Supply and consider this year’s estimates.

Madam Speaker, allow me to join those of my colleagues who have congratulated the new hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on his new role. I wish him success as he performs his duties in this challenging, and yet interesting portfolio.

Madam, whenever Dr Musokotwane appeared as a witness before various committees here at Parliament, he was a good witness with a fine mind. One only hopes that even as an appointed hon. Minister, that fineness of mind shall continue.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Zambian people and the previous cabinet, allow me to also congratulate the immediate former hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, ‘Dr Magande’ on a job well done.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Madam, every year, when presidential and budget speeches are presented to this august House, Hon. Members of Parliament and the public at large always have an opportunity to commend or criticise the two speeches. It is at this point that some hon. Members of Parliament have commented that the Presidential Speech was hollow, empty or was a bad speech, and yet others have said that it was excellent, inspiring or the most beautiful speech ever. In this regard, no one should be blamed because that is our fashion.

Madam Speaker, in describing this year’s Presidential and Budget speeches, I cannot agree with my colleague Hon. Jonas Shakafuswa who described the President’s Speech as a skeleton and the Budget Speech as flesh to be added on to the skeleton. The question that awaits an answer is whether this year’s Budget has added some flesh to the skeleton Presidential Speech.

Madam Speaker, I think this year’s Budget has added some flesh to the skeleton Presidential Speech. I am saying so because in some areas like education, health, tourism and agriculture, considerable amounts of money have been pumped in, which is commendable. In this regard, allow me to call this year’s Budget a fair one. What remains at this juncture is the implementation of the budget. However, much as I have regarded this budget a fair one, the MMD Government needs to wake up from slumber to address certain issues that have gone wrong in various sectors of the economy such as agriculture, mining, tourism and infrastructure development.

Madam Speaker, the area where the MMD Government has failed lamentably is agriculture. The MMD Government has turned this country into a parasitic nation …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: … or a begging nation where appeals for food aid have been the order of the day. Before the MMD Government came into power in 1991, there was very little talk of food aid by our people, especially in rural areas. In the past, storage sheds and silos used to be full of maize, cassava, groundnuts and rice, but since the arrival of this Government, the state of agriculture is in shambles.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Madam, our people have been turned into beggars. Each time I go to address meetings in my constituency, I read hunger in the faces of the people. Each time hon. Members of Parliament go to address meetings in their constituencies, the word that is heard is hunger. When you greet the people, the answer has now changed to, “njala, inzala, insala or tala”. These words mean hunger. Any way, I always remind our people that this Government is responsible for all this.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Madam Speaker, Zambia used to be one of the food baskets in our region. Today, dubious businessmen from South Africa are busy tricking us into wanting to supply us with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Zambian people have been impoverished and these dubious businessmen want to take advantage of the situation.

Madam, the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) has not performed to expectation. Most peasant farmers are stuck at the same level and have not developed. Input distribution in this country is in a mess. Farmers have cried foul. This is the only country where rains begin probably in October and November, but basal dressing is supplied at the end of January. That is being insensible. The Government appears not to have any solution to this problem.

Madam, one major area of concern is fertiliser production and pricing in Zambia. Production of fertiliser is very low and prices have been rising every year. However, despite the country having great potential in fertiliser production, the MMD Government has left the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) in Kafue to rot. Before the MMD Government came into power, NCZ was doing fine but now it is a white elephant. How many citizens have died in Kafue as a result of this Government’s inefficiency? There are many. Every year, workers at NCZ have demonstrated to an extent of reaching the State House gates, but nothing has happened. NCZ needs immediate sufficient capital injection for it to come back to life. If we import a lot of fertiliser from countries such as South Africa, we are importing unemployment into Zambia whilst creating employment for the exporting nation.

Madam Speaker, what is so difficult about us revamping NCZ so that we can produce our own fertiliser? The NCZ management has told this Government that all they require is probably US$70 million which is equivalent to about K350 billion for it to come back to full production. My heart bleeds when I see that in this year’s Budget, only K30 billion has been provided for the recapitalisation of NCZ. Would you call that sensible? Would that be called a serious government?

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Ngoma: Madam Speaker, this Government wants foreigners to come and get NCZ on a silver platter so that they can show us the way forward. We are the ones who created NCZ and it is our baby. NCZ is neither a baby of the Chinese nor the Koreans. NCZ is a Zambian baby which needs to be revitalised.

Madam, we all know that the policy of MMD is to sell everything the country owns, but why should we sell everything at the expense of our own security? Tell me of a country on earth whose preoccupation is privatisation. Probably, Zambia is the only one. For our nation to develop, the Government needs to reconsider privatisation. They have to stop thinking of privatisation each time there is a problem in a parastatal organisation. They should stop thinking about privatisation at breakfast, lunch, supper and even in the night.

Laughter

Mr Ngoma: That is not the only solution.

Madam Speaker, I would, however, like to laud the decision by this Government to form the Ministry of Livestock and Veterinary Services. This has been long overdue.

Madam Speaker, before the Movement for Multi-party Democracy came into power, the soils of Southern Province, the plains in the Western Province and the plateaux in Eastern Province used to have plenty of animals. With MMD in power, diseases such as denkete, corridor, chigodola and chipumphu have decimated the animal population.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Madam Speaker, it is possible to reduce livestock diseases as well as increase livestock production in this country. Had MMD fully funded the Balmoral Research Institute here in Lusaka, Zambia would have had the full capacity by now to produce its own vaccines. We would have had sufficient vaccines for livestock in this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Madam Speaker, I have noted that there is an amount of money that has been allocated to that institute in this year’s Budget. Sadly, the money is coming at a time when most of the vital equipment for the manufacture of vaccines at the institute has been sold to Malawi. We are now trying to revamp the institute after having sold the equipment.

Madam Speaker, the only solution has been to import cattle vaccines from Botswana, which has complained about Zambia not having a sensible importation schedule. This makes Zambia look like a nuisance to Botswana. For the sake of doubting Thomases in this House, allow me to quote page 15 of last year’s Committee Report on Agriculture. When your Committee went to Botswana, this is what they were told, and I quote:

“Your Committee were informed that, in Zambia, the agents for Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) were the Livestock Services, who were making orders on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. The Director stated that BVI was very prepared to help the Republic of Zambia in disease control programmes but were often disappointed due to the fact that orders were not made in accordance with their vaccine schedules and did not show commitment to that cause.”

Madam Speaker, that is our neighbouring country complaining about our management that is so poor. When all is said and done, let this Government improve agriculture with prudence.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: The Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) must be improved like Malawi has done. Malawians learnt the concept of FSP from Zambia. However, the programme is more successful in Malawi than it is in Zambia it originated from.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Madam Speaker, I am appealing to this Government to revamp the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) by providing sufficient capital injection rather than the K30 billion which has been myopically provided.

Madam Speaker, this Government must improve the supply and distribution of inputs. We do not want to see this kindergarten arrangement that is in place now. The Balmoral Research Station in Chilanga must be revamped so that we can produce our own vaccines for livestock, and employ and retrain more extension officers.

 Madam Speaker, allow me, very quickly, to talk about issues such as tourism. Tourism should not …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours. {mospagebreak}

[MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Ngoma: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was talking about tourism. We need to be serious as far as tourism is concerned. The marketing component of tourism is insufficient even though considerable amounts of money have been pumped into this sector. I, therefore, would like to call upon the Government to find ways, within the allocations, of increasing the marketing component of tourism.

Madam Speaker, tourists do not just visit anyhow. Much as we would like to develop the infrastructure, we should also look at the aviation sector in this country. Zambia is the only country with a very high cost of jet fuel, and this has to be reduced, because airlines have complained about this for a very long time. This is a country that has no national carrier. Our national carrier would have taken advantage of the present situation and probably found ways of bringing tourists to our country.

Madam Speaker, I risk being ‘chewed’ by my colleagues if I do not talk about the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Madam Speaker, CDF is probably one excellent concept that the MMD has agreed to.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Madam Speaker when this Government does well, we want to commend them.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: CDF is a very good concept. However, if we had proper CDF, we would do away with institutions such as the Road Development Agency (RDA). The colossal amounts of money being pumped into RDA, which probably translate to over K5 billion per constituency, would be more useful as CDF. If that money could be put to use in places such as Sinda, Chimbamilonga and Kafulafuta, there would be a lot of development. All the roads and bridges in this country would be worked on.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Madam Speaker, now there is proper accountability for CDF because hon. Members of Parliament have offices. Glory be to God that we have offices in our constituencies with qualified staff …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: …who have the capacity to organise our constituency members into doing things that are meaningful.

Madam Speaker, MMD appears to be backtracking now. During the campaigns, there were some pronouncements that CDF should be increased to K1 billion. Probably, this even added to the vote for MMD. Now you want it to remain at K450 million, and yet the exchange rate of the US Dollar to the Kwacha has skyrocketed. This simply means that the value of the CDF has gone down.

Madam Speaker, Hon. Tetamashimba is another nice politician who should have taken advantage of this by increasing CDF to make MMD more popular. Short of you doing that, believe you me, 2011 is coming, and you will see what is going to happen. We shall see no development with this kind of money. The only development that I have seen and probably most constituencies too, is as a result of CDF.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Some prudent hon. Members of Parliament have utilised it effectively.

Madam, Speaker, with these few words, I take my seat.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Madam Speaker, I would like to comment on the budget presentation made by my brother who is sitting in front of me.

Firstly, I would like to talk about technology. Zambia must put a lot of money in technology if we have to succeed. This country is lagging behind in terms of technology and this has led this country to go down to the state it is in now.

Madam Speaker, it is very disheartening to find that Zambians cannot make a road, and yet last week, one speaker was boasting of having a lot of engineers in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, at the vocational training level it is very important to train artisans who are the people who do the job.

Mr Shakafuswa: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: In this field, we have engineers who do the paper work. Then we have the artisans; technologists, who do the actual work. You must listen very carefully to what I am saying.

Laughter

Mr Nsanda:  If you do not train artisans, the country will not develop. I remember that we were the last people to undergo apprenticeship in the mines in 1972. Kaunda stopped the programme of apprenticeship. Instead, …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Will the hon. Member for Chimwemwe address Kaunda properly.

Mr Nsanda: Madam Speaker, I meant the former President, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda. Trades Institutes were built in Mansa, Kasama, Livingstone and Lusaka. These institutes have produced a lot of people who compete more favourably in society than engineers, and yet engineers are more educated. This is because artisans do the actual job and they take care of the development of this country because they are at the bottom of the rung where the actual work is done.

Engineers like my friend, Hon. Simbao, will do the drawings, but when it comes to the actual job, I have to do it.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Nsanda: You may think that artisans are no important. That is not true because we are very important. Therefore, we must encourage our children to take up these jobs after training because one can be an engineer with two or even seven degrees, but when he or she grows up, he or she will still compete with a carpenter. A carpenter can even do much better than an engineer who just concentrates on paper work in real life. A carpenter can make a factory where he or she can make furniture. He or she can also make a factory where he or she can do the winding of alternators and other motors and make money.

Madam Speaker, we have produced people up to the level of Vice-President from trades schools. Dr Nevers Mumba is from a trades school, and yet he has been the Vice-President of this country while engineers have not.

Laughter

Mr Nsanda: Therefore, I would like to urge this Government to put a lot of money into technical education.

Mr Shakafuswa: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: Madam Speaker, the mines used to train all the artisans every year. After selling the mines, nobody trains anybody. This is the reason you are getting people to come and carry out building works in Lumwana from South Africa.

Hon. PF Members: From China!

Mr Nsanda: No, they are getting them from South Africa. I am saying this because I have a contract with this mine to transport labourers from Botswana to Lumwana.

It is so bad to see this. What are the Zambians doing? Bricklayers, carpenters and electricians all come from that side. The money the labourers from Botswana get is more than what a Zambian engineer gets because they come from outside. The question is what is there for Zambians? This is why we have to put a lot of money in technology if we have to produce enough food.

Madam Speaker, with regard to farming, there are no proper training institutes for farmers to teach them farming skills. If you visit some of the commercial farms, you will find that most commercial farmers who come from outside use our children as labourers. They cannot even run a farm. I would therefore, like to emphasise that this Government of Mr Mpombo should train our children.

Laughter

Mr Nsanda: Madam Speaker, the Yellow Book shows that we are going to have a new trading centre built by the Chinese. What are the Zambians going to benefit from that? We are taking this country back to the days of slavery where our children will end up as workers to these foreigners. This is what has led to what Zimbabwe is today. Zimbabweans were not given chance to develop as Zimbabweans. Foreigners took control of the economy and people only came to realise this when it was already too late. When this happened, people started thinking that maybe the leader of that country was crazy or something of that sort because they were giving away what belonged to them slowly. By the time they realised what was happening, the situation was already bad. Therefore, the syndrome of giving away business premises to foreigners, especially the Chinese and others is very bad. Almost everything is being given away.

Madam Speaker, today, as I was walking near the Central Police, I noticed that the building for the Engineering Services Corporation of Zambia Ltd (ESCO) had been sold and razed to the ground. I do not know how much that building has been sold at. The building is gone and there is just the plan of the new structure to be built in its place and the name of the investor who is taking over.

Madam Speaker, I have been in this House for some time now. When I first came to this House, I sat there (pointing at the last bench of the Government side).

I have been looking at the newspapers and I have seen how the Government has privatised almost all the companies. The mines and many other companies have been sold. Today, as I stand here, I do not know how much the Government sold these properties at and who the beneficiary of this sale.

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: I do not know who the beneficiary is. You cannot sell all the parastatal companies and land without having a bank account for the money realised from the sale. Where is the money from the sale of these properties? What is Zambia benefiting from the sale of all these companies? We have sold the banks. The banks are gone.

Mr Kambwili: Now they are selling ZAMTEL!

Mr Nsanda: Yes, today, we are selling the Zambia Telecommunication Limited (ZAMTEL). It is in the process of being sold and this has been confirmed. We do not know who is buying it and who is going to get the money from the sale.

Hon. PF Members: Foreigners!

Mr Nsanda: We have a big problem with this Government. The leaders in this Government must tell us why they are selling the properties and how much they have realised from what they have already sold.

At the moment, ZAMTEL has 3,000 employees. Where will they go? Obviously, they will be fired.

Dr Scott: Terminally!

Mr Nsanda: I come from the Copperbelt and I am talking from experience. Investors who bought some of the companies such as mines found skeletons. This is because immediately the workers are alerted about the Government’s intention to sell the mines or any other industry, they strip the company off and leave nothing. For this reason, I am urging the Government to be careful as it makes decision to sell companies. We have seen this happen before.

Madam Speaker, I can assure you that in the next six months, ZAMTEL will be stripped to nothing because the workers know that there is nothing for them. They have seen that workers from the United Bus Company of Zambia (UBZ) and other companies have not been paid their terminal benefits to date. They are aware of the situation and have started to pay themselves through asset stripping at the moment. This Government must work up and make a decision on either to sell what is there for Zambians or leave it for them.

Last year, the Government argued about giving other telephone operators access to the gateway. The Government refused, saying they could not give it away for security reasons. Now you want to sell the only means of communication you have. In case of war, how are you going communicate, if they switch off? What are you going to use? Are you going to use drums or whistles like in the olden days?

Laughter

Mr Nsanda: A country without communication! I have never seen a country with that kind of communication.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear! Tell them!

Mr Nsanda: How are you going to communicate? Mr Mpombo? You must have …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Speak through the Chair, please.

Mr Nsanda: Sorry, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Do not provoke others to come in.

Laughter

Mr Nsanda: In case of war or should anything go wrong in the country, we must have our own communication system. If you sell your communication system to outsiders and provoke the same people, do you think they are going to give you the facility to communicate? They will not.

Madam Speaker, I, therefore, urge the Government to think about the future of our children and leave some of these companies for them. Let our children come and sell them in future.

I do not know who gave this Government the idea of selling parastatal companies because we have benefited nothing from this.

Hon. Government Member: Is it parastotols or parastatals?

Mr Nsanda: Parastatals. That is not my language, I am a Bemba.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: For example, the people who bought the Luanshya Copper Mines made their money and walked away. The same will apply to the people who are coming to buy ZAMTEL. They are not buying it because they want to help Zambia. Firstly, they will conduct some feasibility studies and if they find that they can make money out of it, they will come in and even take some of the assets away.

At one time we had Exide Batteries in Kitwe were batteries were produced. Unfortunately, investors bought the company and there is no other company producing batteries in Zambia?

Hon. PF Members: No!

Mr Nsanda: It has relocated to Kenya. The equipment is in Kenya. Today, the engineers seated there, cannot make a battery.

Laughter

Mr Nsanda: They have to import.

Laughter

Mr Nsanda: In Zambia, you cannot make a tyre for a bicycle in Chipata. No one can make a tyre for a car here with all the celebrated engineers seated there. They cannot make tyres in this country because we sold Dunlop. Where is Dunlop? The equipment for this company is in Zimbabwe. If you want to buy a tyre, you have to go to Zimbabwe. Does it mean that we Zambians do not see what we are doing to date? Is it a deliberate move to make this country poorer?

Mr Kambwili: No, it should be on the right track! PF is on the right track.

Mr Nsanda: We have to make Zambia go forward by looking into the future of Zambians. Unfortunately, we are not thinking of our children, but are thinking of ourselves, today.

Mr Kambwili: And foreigners!

Mr Nsanda: We must know what we are going to benefit from the sale of companies.

In the last term, we had the problem of the Zambezi Oil Transport (ZOT) in Ndola. It took us long to sell this company. Where is it today? It even cost my hardworking brother a job in Ndola.

Laughter

Mr Nsanda: The people who bought this company are gone and have taken the money with them. We must be very careful with what we do.

Hon. PF Member: Ubwekeshepo apo!

Mr Nsanda: We must be very careful when we sell these properties. Who is the beneficiary of the sale of these properties? What benefit are we going to get as a country? The Government must explain to us, especially on ZAMTEL. They must explain to the nation that after they have sold the company, they will use the money to build schools and buy medicines for the hospitals. Who is going to get the money? Which account is the money going into?

Madam Speaker, Zambia has invested billions of Kwacha in ZAMTEL. We have invested billions both in cash and training of the personnel. Whoever will buy the company will come either from our neighbouring countries or elsewhere and will bring in their own people to work in the company. They will fire the Zambians. They will have nothing to do with the Zambians. By selling it, you have indicated to the nation that the workers at ZAMTEL are useless. I do not know what you can call this parliamentary or not.

Laughter

Mr Nsanda: The new owners of the company will tell our Zambian workers that the people who sold the company off had no use for them, hence they too do not need them. This is what you are telling those workers at the moment. You are telling them that they are not needed because they do not know what they are doing.

The country would like to know who the beneficiaries are, who is going to buy the company and what they are going to do after they buy. The nation must know who these people are and why we want to sell. You sold the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO), where is the money from the sale? Who has benefited from that sale?

Dr Scott: Mpombo!

Mr Nsanda: During the elections, there is no difference between the people who vote for the ruling or opposition parties, especially when they go to the hospital, there is no medicine for MMD or PF. We all suffer from the same diseases. If you go to the butchery to buy meat, there is no meat for MMD, UPND or PF. We are all suffer the same costs because we are all in the same boat. Who is benefiting, therefore?

Hon. PF Members: The Chinese!

Mr Nsanda: I have never seen a foreigner walking in the streets. I have never seen a foreigner drinking Chibuku. It is only my fellow Zambians who are found in taverns.

Laughter

Mr Nsanda: Foreigners who come to Zambia are either in the Intercontinental Hotel or other good places having a good time in town.

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Right!

Mr Nsanda: We need our fellow Zambians to enjoy what our forefathers worked for.

Our fathers were enslaved here in Zambia. They worked as slaves for the whites. Now you also want to import other things that look like white. Of course, not like my Vice-President.

Laughter

Mr Nsanda: I feel very sad when I hear our children saying “Sir” to those little things.

Dr Chishimba: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: Please, give look at the plight of Zambians because they are suffering.

Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the hon. Minister who presented this budget that there is no hope to alleviate poverty in Zambia. At the moment, mealie meal prices have gone up. This is because some of us seated in here get free mealie meal.

Hon. Government Members: Who?

Mr Nsanda: On the Copperbelt, mealie meal costs K80,000 per 25kg bag, for your own information. You must do something to alleviate the poverty of our people. They are the people who voted for you and enabled you to come here.

Madam Speaker, if you do not look after the people who vote for you, they too will not look after you tomorrow. The fiitenge you gave them, nafijujuka nomba.

Interruptions

Mr Nsanda: The sugar you gave them has been consumed …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! What do you mean?

Mr Nsanda: The colour of the fitenge we gave them, has faded.

Laughter

Mr Nsanda: And they have already consumed the sugar …

Laughter

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member’s time has expired.

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Madam Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this very lively debate on the Motion.

Madam Speaker, I will cover my presentation in three stages. In the first stage, I will give my preamble and then I will make some comments on specific issues relating to this year’s Budget. Finally, I will lay on the Table of the House, a document on Chinese investment in Africa and Zambia in particular.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on presenting the Budget Address in a very special fashion because I have witnessed six budget speeches so far. Two in the first MMD Republic from 1991 presented by Hon. Penza, May His Soul Rest In Peace. Followed by Hon. Kasonde, …

Mr Nsanda: May His Soul Rest In Peace.

Mr Mwanza: Hon. Nawakwi -  yes, May His Soul also Rest In Peace.

Interruptions

Mr Mwanza: I mean Hon. Kasonde.

Laughter

Mr Mwanza: Hon. Nawakwi and Hon. Kalumba who is sharing the platform with me, ,Hon. Magande and two weeks ago, Hon. Dr Musokotwane.

Madam Speaker, among all these hon. Ministers of Finance and National Planning, I noticed that Hon. Musokotwane presented the Budget Address in a different fashion in that he was articulate, knowledgeable and intelligent.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: The other hon. Ministers I have talked about also presented the budgets in their own style. I recall late Hon. Penza being acrobatic, Hon. Kalumba was equally acrobatic, but Hon. Magande was gentle in the presentation of the budget.

Laughter

Mr Mwanza: Hon. Dr Musokotwane, I would like to thank you and commend you for bringing a new style of presenting budget speeches to the House.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: Madam Speaker, now I would like to comment on the specific issues that are outlined in the budget. Firstly, I would like to talk about agriculture. I would like to seize this opportunity to agree with my brother Hon. Ngoma who talked about the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia. It is important that our Government, although now it may be too late, but in the next budget presentation, considers putting the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia back to life because we are spending a lot of money importing fertiliser from outside when this can easily be produced locally.

Madam Speaker, I agree with the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning when he said that the Government is reviewing the various items on the Fertiliser Support Programme. This is the right time to review it and when doing this, I also wish to request my Government to consider not only fertiliser, but also weed killers and pesticides to ensure that when people apply fertiliser, they also apply these to ensure that their crop is secure.

Madam Speaker, I would also like to say that we should extend the Fertiliser Support Programme to crops such as soybeans, sunflower and cotton because from these three crops, the farmer will benefit from the cake as well as the oil and this is critically important, especially in our rural communities.

Madam Speaker, I would now like to comment on the Food Reserve Agency. It has been gratifying to note that FRA will start concentrating in rural areas because this is what it is supposed to be. I would request that my Government, especially the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, considers increasing buying depots, especially in rural areas, to cut down on the distances because most farmers travel long distances to take their produce to markets.

Madam Speaker, I feel that there should be emphasis on the training of extension personnel. Year in and year out, we are told that extension officers are trained, but I come from a rural constituency, and yet I do not see these people. Maybe they are on the Copperbelt. Therefore, it is important that when we have the next recruitment, we ensure that the rural areas are catered for in terms of this human resource.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: Madam Speaker, in my constituency, in most of the farming blocks, if they are five of them, for instance, only two have extension officers. This is not acceptable and we need to improve on this.

Madam Speaker, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to renovate provincial farm training centres. When I was young in Mwense, we used to see farmers going to a training school to learn basic skills such as planting, weeding and so on and so forth, but this is not heard of nowadays. If ever we hear about them, it is on the line of rail and maybe in the Southern Province.

Madam Speaker, I would like to say that the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives should ensure that all the provincial farm training centres are made functional.

Madam Speaker, to this end, I would like to address the question of the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry in Zambia, today, is dominated by Zambians of Asian origin. Please, do not misunderstand me. Much as we have these Zambians of Asian origin, we should also have indigenous Zambians participating in the buying or growing of tobacco.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: Madam Speaker, this is so because the Tobacco Board of Zambia Act which regulates the conditions of the Tobacco Board is old fashioned. This is one of the oldest Acts that I have come across. Therefore, the Government should repeal it so that many Zambians can grow tobacco. Like I said, the Tobacco Board is old. Therefore, the hon. Minister should consider dissolving it so that new board members with the right qualifications are appointed.

Madam Speaker, I would like, also, to address issues relating to the education sector. I wish to agree with other Members of Parliament who have commended the work of the hon. Minister of Education.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: Generally, he has done extremely well in ensuring that hon. Members of Parliament are informed about what is taking place in their constituencies with regard to education.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: Madam Speaker, as Member of Parliament for Solwezi West, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for giving us money to construct a basic school at Nyansowe at a cost of K3.5 billion. This is a remote area and we have never seen this kind of investment before. The Chinese contractor who is there …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: … has worked very hard and the construction of this school is likely to be completed soon. Hon. Professor Lungwangwa, I thank you for this.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: However, Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister will recall that sometime in 2006, he was the guest of honour at our traditional ceremony called Kufukwila at Chief Mukumbi’s palace. At this ceremony, the hon. Minister indicated that the Government would consider renovating the basic school and upgrade it to Grade 12. This has not happened. I hope the hon. Minister will at this issue again to ensure that the school in Mukumbi Capital is upgraded to Grade 12.

Madam Speaker, the other point I would like to raise relates to the teaching profession or teaching service. I would like to state that teaching is a vocation and not a profession. It can only become a profession when the ministry considers introducing the teaching council that will be responsible for regularising the teaching service conditions and also various aspects of the profession. Within that council, a membership criterion should be introduced so that teachers are graded. In other professions, there is a member, an associate, fellow or student member while in the teaching service, this is not applicable. All the conditions are anchored in the Teaching Service Commission (TSC).

Madam Speaker, the teaching council should also produce a code of ethics for teachers. Most teachers these days are reported about in the newspapers for misconduct. This has a bearing on their profession. If we introduce the code of conduct for teachers, it will mean that erring teachers will be professionally dealt with like what happens in other professions such as accountancy, human resource and many others which I am very familiar with.  I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister to ensure that this process is given some prominence. This will entail that teachers will have to apply for membership to the teaching council that will offer certificates for associates, members and fellows. That way, teaching will become a profession and not just a vocation.

Madam Speaker, I would also like to implore the hon. Minister to undertake regular visits to schools. This is very important because in the management course that I took, I learnt that you need to move around to find out what is happening and this is called management by moving about or wondering about.

Madam Speaker, I have a lot of respect for the teachers in the UNIP Government such as the late Wesley Nyirenda, who was Speaker of this House. May His Soul Rest in Peace. Late Hon. Nyirenda made me become a teacher because of the counsel he gave us when we were young boys in Mwense. I also remember that Hon. Miyanda, in the advent of the MMD Government, tried to visit all the schools and knew them like the back of his palm. We need to emulate his example. We also need to emulate the example of Hon. Dr Chituwo who was once hon. Minister of Education and he also tried to move around to inspect schools.

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Mr Mwanza: I have heard that the Professor has so far …

Laughter

Mr Mwanza: … visited …

Laughter

Mwanza: … Matero Constituency.

Laughter

Hon. Opposition Member: Only.

Laughter

Mr Mwanza: Madam Speaker, he has visited Matero and many other places, but I would like him to visit more places.

Laughter

Mr Mwanza: I would like him to do more than that.

Laughter

Mr Mwanza: Madam Speaker, I would also like to thank the hon. Minister of Health for the brand new district hospital in my constituency called Lumwana …

Mr Kambwili: Brand new.

Mr Mwanza: … which was constructed recently at a cost of K11.2 billion. Hon. Minister, I thank you for that. This is definitely going to change the face of Solwezi West Constituency.

Mrs Musokotwane: Aah!

Mr Mwanza: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Government for appointing Hon. Ben Tetamashimba as the first Kaonde Minister of Local Government and Housing.

Laughter

Mr Mwanza: We are thankful to the Government for this appointment because Hon. Ben Tetamashimba will be able to coordinate the amendments he has talked about in the budget before this House.

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Mr Mwanza: Madam Speaker, I would also like to talk about the issue of water supply. This august House knows that in every province there are elevated water tanks. In my constituency, they are at Chief Mumena’s palace, Chief Mukumbi’s palace and Mwajimambwe at the turn off to Lumwana. The tanks are dry. Therefore, with the injection of K214.4 billion, so that the people in rural areas can drink clean and safe water.

Finally, Madam Speaker, I would like to refer to the issue of Chinese investment in Zambia. I have downloaded a document from the website for the centre for Chinese studies on the internet. According to this information, the Chinese Government has invested colossal sums of money in Zambia. At the moment, the investment stands at US$7.5 billion and it is bound to increase by the end of the year to US$10 billion.

However, there are about eleven donor countries that give us support and together they contribute about US$45 billion which is about 23 per cent of the total donor fund. This means that each one of them is contributing approximately US$4 billion. This cannot be compared to China which is giving us a colossal amount of US$10 billion. Hon. Members of Parliament who are interested in learning about Chinese developments in Zambia should read this publication. I am aware that some hon. Members have made comments to the effect that the Chinese are not good at labour relations. This is unfortunate because the Chinese follow the Minimum Wages and Conditions of Service Act enacted by this Government.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Interruptions

Mr Mwanza: Madam Speaker, the minimum wage stands at K268,000.

Mr Kambwili: Where are the unions?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwanza: In other countries, the Chinese are doing a commendable job. For example, in South Africa they are getting all the contracts to resurface roads.

Hon. Oppositions Members: Aah!

Mr Mwanza: In Ghana they are also doing a lot of projects. This document is based on a case study which was conducted on Zambia, Ethiopia and Ghana. Hon. Members can find out how much investment the Chinese Government has made in Africa and Zambia in particular.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Mwanza: At the moment, Zambia stands to benefit from Chinese investment …

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Mwanza: … contrary to some assertions being made by the Opposition, especially the Patriotic Front. They have a hidden agenda …

 Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwanza: … and are only interested in bringing in cheap labour from the Taiwanese.

Madam Speaker, with these few remarks, I would like to lay this document on the Table.

Hon. MMD Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza laid the document on the Table.

Mr Mwanza left his microphone on.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Switch-off your microphone, please.

Mr Syakalima (Siavonga): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this chance to debate the budget. I would like to start by commenting on the statement by the Head of State that his priority would be to fight poverty. Further, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, on the first page of his Budget Speech stated, and I quote:

“I see all our citizens, in all corners of our country, waking up each morning well nourished, in decent housing, with access to clean water and sanitation. I see our citizens having paved roads that do not flood each rainy season, reliable and renewable energy, and high quality health and education services that are within easy reach.”

This is a very serious statement and if the hon. Minister does not achieve this, the Government will be indicted for this.

Mr Speaker, in a country …

Hon. Members: It is Madam Speaker!

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, in a country where poverty stands at 64 per cent of the national population, the Government has a mammoth task ahead. If it was a journey of 1,000 kilometres, it means that we have only walked five kilometres and therefore, have a long way to go. The fight against poverty, alluded to by the President, is not for short distance runners, but long distance runners and I do not see anybody who is a long distance runner there (pointing at hon. Government Members).

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, a recent survey by the Central Statistical Office revealed that 45 per cent of children in this country under five years are stunted and 21 per cent of those children are severely stunted. This shows that we have a very big task ahead of us. These children are stunted because they are undernourished. However, the hon. Minister says that he has vision of our citizens waking up each morning well nourished, when we already have 45 per cent of our children under five years old malnourished.

The causes of poverty are many and this is just one of them. It does not make sense that 45 per cent of children should be hungry and unable to get basic food in a land of plenty. The Bible says that in the midst of plenty, only a fool starves.  Likewise, in the midst of plenty, only a foolish Government can starve its own people.

Mrs Musokotwane: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, we must, therefore, put in place mechanisms of fighting poverty and stop doing the same old things all the time. What has not changed is that everybody has been praising the style, intelligence and so forth of Hon. Musokotwane. We have heard these words several times whenever there is a new hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. I would like to warn Hon. Musokotwane that the same people who have been praising him have also said the same things about his predecessors.

When the late Hon. Emmanuel Kasonde spoke here, we heard the same people say the hon. Minister’s speech was wonderful, he was very intelligent and so on and so forth. When my brother there (pointing at Mr Magande)  was appointed Minister of Finance and National Planning, they said the same words. Do not buy into them, Hon. Dr Musokotwane, …

Mr Nsanda: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: … because we know them and if you are not careful, they can abandon him.

Mr Mooya: Short distance runners.

Mr Syakalima: They are short distance runners.

Laughter

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, these are the people who cannot distinguish between being busy and being productive. They behave like human windmills and are always rushing for work, but achieving literally nothing. So the new hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has to be conscientious in the way he deals with his colleagues because there is no coordination in Cabinet. Hon. Ministers must collaborate because at the moment, each one does what he or she thinks is right. Admittedly, the new hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is intelligent, but he should not buy into the words of his colleagues.

Madam Speaker, this is a land of plenty. In this country, 90 billion cubic litres of underground water remains unutilised. Another 120 billion cubic litres of water goes to waste every year, and yet we are a hungry nation. We do not utilise our own resources in the most prudent manner. Today, people are queuing for mealie-meal because we do not have maize.

Madam Speaker, to make matters worse, nobody seems to be telling the truth. We do not know who is importing maize.  The last 100 days have just been full of scandals. The new American President has promised to do something about the current global financial crisis in 100 days.

Mr Nsanda: Ninety days.

Mr Syakalima: However, for us it has just been one scandal after another. Who is going to tell us the truth about the mealie-meal crisis?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, I would now like to talk about agriculture so that …

Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker is the hon. Member of Parliament debating in order to pre-empt the statement to be made by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives who will ably respond to the point of order as ruled by Mr Speaker. Is he in order to be in such a hurry to have this statement? I need your ruling, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member’s concern is the issue that has been ruled on by the Chair, directing the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to come up with a statement with regard to the mealie meal situation in the nation. Indeed, as earlier ruled, when an issue is pending, you risk speaking off it because there is a standing ruling that we are waiting to get answers from. Therefore, the hon. Member, in debating, should consider that …

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! … the ruling has been followed up and a statement will be made in this House accordingly. In the same vein, when the hon. Member talks of scandals, he may have to substantiate some of them because they could be allegations.

The hon. Member may continue, please.

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, I was trying to demonstrate to the House that 90 billion cubic litres of underground water remains unutilised while 120 billion cubic litres goes to waste. If you were harvesting or damming this water, we could not have been talking about importing maize today or queuing for mealie meal. This is what is making the 45 per cent of under five children stunted, and yet they are the same children we want to take to school.

The hon. Minister of Education stated that he is building schools for such children. What intellectual capacity will be built in them, literally nothing? This is why I was saying that ministries are linked, but because you have a blotted cabinet, it is unable to coordinate properly. You want to build schools for these children when there is little attention paid to them. If we went back to today’s pronouncement that 110,000 pupils marginally managed to get a certificate at Grade 9 while 117 failed to get more than 40 per cent to manage a certificate, you would not be surprised to learn that the pupils who failed are probably among those who were not well fed. As a result, they became intellectually bankrupt in school. Those are the linkages that we want a system of governance to work on.

Furthermore, I believe that we are still lagging behind in the area of education. We are still the least, but maybe now, Zimbabwe has caught up with us. However, we are still the least spenders on education. Therefore, do not look at the entire budget, but the Gross Domestic Product. How much do we spend on education as a percentage of GDP? Last year, we spent K3.2 billion and maybe this year, we shall spend K3.3 billion. It is not about rating the total per cent of the budget, but about your GDP because this is what explains a country which is very conscientious with education.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Education said that he was going to produce 200,000 desks, but against which backdrop? You are talking of five children occupying a two-seater desk. If you are going to produce more than 200,000 this will entail that five children will occupy a two-seater desk. When you say that you are going to have 2,500 classrooms, how many spaces are you creating and against which backdrop because you are creating 112,500 spaces only. Over a million children are unable to access school with a population growth of 2.6 per cent? Do not come here with raw data.

By 2011, you will be producing eighty-eight high schools against a backdrop of 150 constituencies in this country. That is what we do when we start doing district as well as constituency mapping. Unfortunately, the hon. Minister of Education is not sure of the percentage to put there.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Education was clever enough, today, to avoid giving some statistics when he was answering the questions on his ministerial statement. He just gave us the progress. You can have a progression ratio as well as the increase in net enrolment, but against which backdrop? Those are the questions that you must answer. Admittedly, we are doing something, but it is a drop on a hot pan.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Syakalima: These are the challenges we must face rather than this type of intolerance that we sometimes get from the Government bench which sometimes disguises itself in rhetoric. That must stop. Mind you, in the dictionary of morals, a false promise is a theft of trust by calculated pretence, and God forbids this.

Hon. Members Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: There is a need for fidelity among you people who have been given the mandate to govern the country.

Madam Speaker, as regards science and technology, colleagues, you are not serious.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Address the Chair.

Mr Syakalima: This year, the allocation to science and technology has been reduced. I was extremely shocked to the bone marrow when I read the President’s Speech in that he never mentioned anything about science and technology. Science and technology is a subject on its own, and inadvertently, it looks like it has been glossed over by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, and yet people have now turned to science and technology as the anchor of economic advancements.

Madam Speaker, the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, once said, and I quote:

“We in Africa lagged behind when there was Industrial and Agrarian Revolutions.”

 Madam Speaker, today, we should not lag behind in science and technology. We are lagging behind ourselves. We are even reducing the allocation to science and technology.

Madam Speaker, according to the 2008 report on the Fifth National Development Plan, its theme was, and I quote:

“Broad based wealth and job creation through citizenry participation and technological advancement.”

Madam Speaker, your own report says that you are going to do this to create jobs and improve the economy through technological advancement. Therefore, if you are not doing that which you know, what type of people are you? Science and technology by their nature are very expensive. You cannot treat them like your backyard garden, no. You stated how you are going to create jobs and run the economy, but you did nothing about it and none of you seem to be coordinating science and technology. The report stated that science and technology did not perform satisfactorily.

Laughter

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, if their own report was not satisfactory, then they need to bring about satisfaction with the advancement of science and technology. In any case, maybe you are right. Who can be thinking wisely in the midst of poverty?

Laughter

Mr Syakalima: Technological and scientific endeavours do not flourish in societies where people have to fight for food and shelter.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: They do not. May be this is why you have abandoned it half way. Do not abandon it. We shall make sure that you provide for science and technology. You want us to lag behind. If you go to other countries, the only thing that you watch on television is people starving in Zambia. They are eating roots.

Laughter

Mr Syakalima: I feel bad, but I know that this country shall one day rise from this dust of shame.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr P. P. Chanda (Kankoyo): I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam, I will start my debate with the issue of Pay as You Earn (PAYE). The issue of Pay As You Earn is a merry-go-round where employees are always chasing nothing because as you are all aware, respective unions meet employers every year to negotiate for improved salaries.

Hon. PF Member: Tell them.

Mr P. P. Chanda: On the other hand, the Government comes to this House to present figures that tend to show that benefits will be enjoyed by the employees in that current year. It is a merry-go-round.

Hon. PF Member: Tell them.

Mr P. P. Chanda: Employees will never benefit. I disagree with the statements that whatever is provided for in the budget will benefit employees.

Madam Speaker, I also want to talk about water supply and sanitation.

Hon. PF Member: It is in a mess.

Mr P. P. Chanda: Yes, money has been provided for in the budget for water supply and sanitation, but why have we failed to prevent cholera in this country? If we are serious about this issue, why do we run around each year to hire toilets and supply chlorine when, on the other hand, people are dying? Let us be serious about the way we do things.

Mr Kapeya: Yes, tell them.

Mr P. P. Chanda: Let us assume all those people who are dying from cholera were our relatives. How would we feel?

Mr Kapeya: Imagine!

Mr P. P. Chanda: You have been given the mandate to run this country. Therefore, you must run it properly. This management of fire-fighting should stop.

This is the problem. When one is talking about people dying, others are going out.

Hon. MMD Member walked out.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member should debate.

May he continue, please.

Mr P. P. Chanda: Madam Speaker, it is a shame for us to compare ourselves to a neighbouring country that has been hit by cholera when we know the problems in that country and which cannot be compared to our situation in Zambia. We always say that this is a peaceful and stable country. How stable are we if we cannot provide for our people?

Mr Kapeya: Tell them.

Mr P. P. Chanda: When are we going to do away with this shameful disease …

Madam Speaker: Order! Will the hon. Member remember the guidance of the Chair? You have the all the words in the world to use.

May he continue, please.

Mr P. P. Chanda: Madam Speaker, it is unacceptable to have outbreaks of cholera year in and year out. If nothing is done to prevent this disease, I am sure this Government will be cited for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court ...

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr P. P. Chanda: … because cholera can be prevented. Why do you not prevent cholera now since money has been allocated for the prevention of cholera? Now, instead of this money going to the intended purpose, it will end up in people’s pockets. They will start stealing. I have refused to call those people corrupt. They are thieves. Do something about those thieves. They are the ones who are killing the people who are dying of cholera in Kanyama and Matero. I am lucky that there is no cholera in Kankoyo Constituency.

Madam Speaker, let me now talk about what I term a culture of insulting leaders. I think I do not know where we are going as a nation. One can wake up one day and start insulting the leadership at any level. What message are we sending to the investors and foreigners who are in this country? I think we are sending a message of disrespect to the leadership of the nation.

Madam Speaker, in the previous Government, we saw a Chinese lady trying to display her martial arts skills to a deputy minister. I do not know if I can call this lady an investor. Sadly enough, this trend has continued. This year, an hon. Minister and his entourage were kicked out of a mining plant. There is a saying that goes you reap what you sow. We are sowing insults on the leadership and this is what we get from the foreigners. They start disrespecting our leaders. I think, as a nation, we must drop this culture we have acquired. I was not brought up in such a way and I feel hurt when I see leaders being insulted.

Madam Speaker, I do not intend to debate ourselves, but I just want to make reference to what happened last year when the hon. Members of this House were given a 15 per cent increment. It is obvious that we were insulted for nothing, but a 15 per cent increment that was given to each and every civil servant.

Hon. Member: You did not deserve it.

Mr P. P. Chanda: I think that we should put a stop to this moral decay.

Laughter

Hon. MMD Member: Hammer!

Mr P. P. Chanda: I call it moral decay because immediately you start to insult your leaders, you eat into the moral fibre of the nation.

Madam Speaker, I am aware that we are servants of the people. However, even servants deserve respect and, therefore, all the leaders in this country should be respected.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chanda: There is no need to take joy in insulting people who are in leadership. I think my message is very clear for those who are in the habit of insulting leadership at any level.

Hon. Member: Very clear!

Hon. Member: We need appreciable increment.

Mr P. P. Chanda: Madam Speaker, let me now talk about health. I do not want to talk for twenty minutes. Therefore, I will not talk much on health. However, I am the bearer of a message from the people of Mufulira, and Kankoyo, in particular, that the hon. Minister of Health should visit the Ronald Ross Hospital and see what is happening at that institution.

Hon. Minister, I know you are a hard worker and I am sure you will respond to this simple request from the people of Mufulira. When you go, please share with us your findings in this House …

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Speak through the Chair.

Mr P. P. Chanda: Through the Chair, of course, Madam.

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear, Kankoyo!

Mr P. P. Chanda: Hon. Minister, please come and share with the House the state of that institution. In my previous debate, I indicated that if the Ronald Ross, the man the hospital was named after came back today, he would ask us to stop calling this hospital after him ...

Mrs Masebo: Call it Kapembwa!

Mr P. P. Chanda: … and instead call it kafwafwa!

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr P. P. Chanda: However, since I am just a bearer of the message, I think the hon. Minister has heard my message and taken it.

Hon. Member: Aya ku South Africa!

Mr P .P. Chanda: Madam Speaker, regarding the mines, I would like to tell the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, in case he did not know, that the miners on the Copperbelt supported the idea of the windfall tax. However, the turn of events has disappointed a lot of people.

 Why do you want to turn this country into one where laws are made in the morning, but made irrelevant in the afternoon? I think we are not serious about what we do. If people supported the initial decision, why should you change that decision without the support of the people?

Madam Speaker, although the hon. Minister done away with the windfall tax, there are no benefits because people are still losing jobs on the Copperbelt. What have you achieved by removing the same tax? You must be relevant to the people.

Madam Speaker, while the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is busy removing such taxes, is he aware that there are companies such as Konkola Copper Mine Ltd (KCM) and Mopani that are not being honest in declaring the value of gold, silver and selenium that they extract from the slimes?

Hon. PF Member: Teti beshibe.

Hon. Member: Kuti bamupelafye cell phone.

Mr P. P. Chanda: If he is aware, what is he going to do about it?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Speak through the Chair to avoid other hon. Members responding to you directly. That is the purpose of speaking through the Chair.

Mr P. P. Chanda: I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam, I do not see the purpose of opening new mines if this is the way we are going to lose our wealth in this country in this manner. If copper and other minerals were depleted, today, can we imagine were we would be if we were not mining anything at all? That time will come.

Madam Speaker, we have failed in agriculture and everybody has said so. We are poor despite all the copper we have, and yet you want to open more new mines to take the cooper out and we remain poorer.

Hon. P F Members:  To China.

Mr P. P. Chanda: I think it is not fair for you to do away with the windfall tax because you are afraid of taking the bull by its horns. Hon. Minister, through the Chair of course, this is a very big political blunder.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr P. P. Chanda: I say so because come 2011, politicians will go to undeveloped areas of Zambia and tell the people that there is no development because the Government failed to collect money from the mines.

Hon. Member: Tell them!

Mr P. P. Chanda: It is a brotherly warning.

Mrs Masebo: Free of charge!

Mr P. P. Chanda: Very free. This will cost you votes in 2011 if you do not do something about it. I think that because of being a coward, this is why …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Withdraw that word.

Mr P. P. Chanda: Humbly withdrawn, Madam.

Hon. Members: Humbly!

Laughter

Mrs Masebo: Timid!

Mr P. P. Chanda: Madam Speaker, it is because they do not like talking about hot issues. Therefore, when things heat up, you start scrapping taxes. In the meantime, parliamentarians, especially at the back bench, suffer because they cannot get enough CDF. I think we should put Zambia first. I am aware that you rescinded the decision on tax because you feared some people who were talking against it. It is the same people who will be on you in 2011.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to that of others who have debated this very important motion.

I will begin my debate with a reflection on what his Excellency the President said on his inauguration in November, 2008, and was repeated during the official opening of Parliament in January, 2009. This is with regard to the fight against poverty. This is a very important theme for any serious Government.

Madam Speaker, this was echoed by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning when he told us the kind of Zambia he would like to see through the 2009 Budget. He said he would like to see a healthy citizenry that had adequate water and good sanitation and housing. Indeed, this is a good vision. Alas, this vision that has been well articulated by both His Excellency the President and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has not been catered for in this year’s Budget.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I will start with a very important sector which is very close to the hearts of most hon. Members of Parliament from the rural areas. This is the agricultural sector. When the budget was announced, I quickly commented to the press that I was very excited about this year’s Budget because the hon. Minister had indicated that he had increased the allocation to agricultural sector by 37.7 per cent. I said, “Well, what else would I be looking for?”

Madam, I was also excited when I heard that the hon. Minister of Health was going to complete the district hospital that has been under construction for the last three years in Chongwe. Obviously, I thought that it was generally a good budget.

However, when I analysed the Yellow Book, I was surprised to find that the allocation to the agricultural sector had been reduced by about K300 billion. When you compare the 2009 budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector to the 2008 allocation, you will find that there is a reduction of K300 billion not in monetary terms. This is happening in a year when another ministry has been created within the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. We would have expected more money to be allocated to this sector. Since we now have two hon. Ministers, it means that most of the money is likely go towards establishing new offices and employing staff.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Unless you are telling us that the new hon. Minister is running a department and not a ministry.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I am appealing to the hon. Minister, as the budget is being finalised, to find more resources for the agricultural sector. This is because agriculture is the only sector that can create immediate employment.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: You do not need to be a degree holder or know how to speak English to engage in agriculture. As long as you are healthy, you can produce food. In addition, agriculture has multiple effects because we will not have to import maize or give subsidies to people because we would have invested in the right sector. 

Madam Speaker, I also note that the allocation to the tourism sector has increased from K27 billion to K76 billion. This is a very sharp increase. Indeed, tourism, like agriculture, is one of our major investment sectors. However, in a year in which the world is experiencing a credit crunch, we have to set our priorities right. We need to prioritise sectors that are going to give us results almost immediately.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: One such sector is agriculture because within the same year, if we are given fertiliser in Chongwe, for instance, we can produce enough to feed everybody, including those from fishing areas.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: We can even have enough to export.

However, if you invest in the tourism sector by constructing a road or five star hotel in a park in a year in which tourist bookings have reduced by 25 per cent, like we have been told, we might not get the necessary economic growth from the sector.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, agriculture is the only way to survive.

The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning also talked about a target of 5 per cent GDP. I was wondering why we were being timid. I was hoping that GDP could be at 7 per cent so that if we fail, we go down to 6 or 5 per cent. Can you not see that if you put it at 5 per cent, you are aiming low and might end up at 3 per cent?

 We have been told that there cannot be poverty reduction if GDP is below 5 per cent. It simply means the growth of the economy is very small because there are no activities in the economy to create employment, wealth or reduce poverty. Even in the Fifth National Development Plan the GDP target is 7 per cent.

Therefore, whilst people say that this year’s Budget is, ordinarily, fair, I think it would have been a very good budget if it was for last year when we did not have an economic crisis. At the moment, we need more money. We needed a budget which follows the statement made by His Excellency.

In the area of local government and housing, I was very excited when I read the statement by His Excellency on the Decentralisation Implementation Plan (DIP) being accelerated this year. Obviously, this is very good because that is what all hon. Members of Parliament and the people out there are crying for.

The President also talked about establishing the Local Government Service Commission this year to build capacities in the councils. This will enable councils to implement the DIP. He also talked about water and sanitation and I said, “Hooray, …

Hon. Members: Hooray!

Mrs Masebo: … now we are done!”

Mrs Masebo: Hooray!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Laughter

Mrs Masebo: I thought that, at least, things were going to move because I could see the political will at the highest level. However, in the budget, under the decentralisation sector, I find that the allocation in last year’s budget has been reduced. Therefore, what do we mean when we talk about accelerating the DIP? Worse still, even the allocation to water and sanitation has been reduced. I know that hon. Members of Parliament from both your left and right would like to see an improvement in the water and sanitation sector.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: For example, I know that there is cholera in Mpulungu and Chienge because the water system has collapsed. I am also aware that in the rural areas, there are no water systems to talk about because most of them are old. Therefore, we need investment in that area. In Chongwe today, people drink water that directly from the Chongwe River. The water treatment system is non existent.

In last year’s budget, about K400 billion was allocated to this, but this year, K214 billion has been allocated. Madam Speaker, are we serious about improving water supply and sanitation?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: What are we going to do with K214 billion for water in a year when we have cholera? I can tell you that you are making the work of the new hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing very difficult. If he does not perform, you are going to say that he has failed, and yet the funds are not sufficient.

Madam Speaker, the inflation rate this year is 16 per cent. Although the budgetary allocation to the education sector is K5 billion more than last years, when you take into account the inflation rate, which is at 14 per cent, there is no actual increase.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: You do not have to be an economist to know this.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member should not use gestures when talking.

Laughter

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank you for your guidance.

Madam Speaker, water and sanitation is cardinal to poverty reduction. When His Excellency the president talks about poverty reduction, firstly, we must ask ourselves what he means. What is poverty? Poverty is lack of access to good water and sanitation, proper housing, good infrastructure such as roads and employment. Basics such as food and clothing are cardinal to the good health of a person. Besides, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning wants to see a well-nourished citizenry by the end of this year.

Madam Speaker, by the end of this year, the hon. Minister is going to see the exact opposite of what he wants to see unless he makes some adjustments to this year’s Budget.

Madam, CDF was K60 billion last year and this year it is K67 million, and yet this the year when the President was quoted in one of our newspapers saying he was considering increasing CDF to K1 billion per constituency.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Is it not a mockery to even His Excellency for the technocrats and other implementers not to reflect the President’s statement in the Budget?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: CDF is money that filters down to the people. I know that it might not be possible to allocate K1 billion to every constituency, but the allocation should have been increased to K100 billion or K200 billion or an amount which makes sense …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … rather than allocating the same amount as last year in a year when the inflation rate is high.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, let me say that last year in August, when I still had the privilege to serve this country, and I thank the late President for this, the ministry ordered 150 vehicles for funerals and the bill then was about K9 billion. We wanted to distribute these vehicles to constituencies to be used during funerals. Some of us are targeting poverty and we have to be realistic about these issues.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam, I hope the hon. Minister will talk about the issues of procurement procedures and others when we start talking about budget execution because even when resources have been released, we still have problems. Processes are slow because of the procedures that we have put in place. As a result, we become slaves to our own rules.

Madam Speaker, the bill for the importation of the same quantity of vehicles has increased from K9 billion to something like K15 billion or K16 billion. The point I am putting forward is to stress the fact that this year’s Budget, taking inflation into account, whether in the health sector or infrastructure sector, the sectors will do less with the same amount of money than they did last year. When we make budget statements, it is important that we tell the public the facts about these issues for them to understand so that they can make the necessary adjustments. If you tell me that there is an increase in the allocation for the agriculture sector, I will go to my constituency and tell the people that this year we have more money while this is not the case. I think it is better to be factual about these issues.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, this way, we will be able to move forward.

Madam, I note that in 2008, the Government managed to maintain macro-economic stability in this country. We had a single digit inflation rate and an exchange rate which was very good. We had macro economic stability which allowed our people to do business. This year, it is slightly difficult because the exchange rate is not stable. When one is sleeping in the night, rate could be at K5,000 per US$ and the following day, it will be at K5,100. The next day it will be back at K5,000 again, and the following day it will rise again, making it very difficult to do business.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should actually consider increasing domestic borrowing by the Government. In the past, we reduced Government borrowing to unlock resources for the private sector to go to the bank to borrow and do business. This year, the situation is different. I do not know how many business people or small-scale companies can borrow money from the bank today. This is because the interest rates are high. It is better for the Government itself to move in and ensure that it borrows more money for more economic activities so that we create employment.

Madam Speaker, I am a bush economist, but for example, we hear of companies being bailed out in America and other European countries. We keep hearing of Asian countries pumping more money into the financial sector to make that money available to the private sector. We keep hearing that interest rates are going down. In Zambia, it is the opposite. In Zambia, interest rates are high. When you go to the bank, there is no money to borrow. In any case, this year, I would not even take that risk because I will just put myself in trouble. Therefore, I think that the Government should ensure that they get money and create employment by encouraging the economy to come up with various activities. I think that Government itself must play the ball to this financial crisis in the country.

Madam Speaker, …

Hon. Member: Wind up!

Mrs Masebo: I am not winding up. I am here to talk as an hon. Member of Parliament.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, under structural reforms, I note that the hon. Minister has articulated three issues. These are competitiveness, the Public and Private Partnership Policy (PPPP) and decentralisation. You will recall that even in the past, one of our policies was privatisation. It was a good policy, but the problem was the way we went about it. Now, there is this talk about PPPP. We must be careful because we might end up concessioning the utility companies or infrastructure and find ourselves enslaved to the agreements that we are going to enter into. It is very important that the Government is cautious otherwise, we will end up in a similar situation as the one where we leased out a market and went into PPPP for sixty years for a building which would only last ten years.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I recall when I was hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, we were going to end up in PPPP in the water sector. I refused because I realised that once we gave that away, the tariffs would go up immediately because those people had to recoup their money. That would have created a social problem with the people. So, as Government, we must be very careful as we enter into these PPPP contracts.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: We might find ourselves in a situation where, for instance, we give the main road to Kitwe to a private person and they put a gate there. After that, we find that people are not be able to move from Lusaka to the Copperbelt …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … because it is in somebody’s area. Therefore, let us not get excited and think that PPPP is the beginning and the end. If you study the concept very well, you will find that in countries where this policy has been adopted, it has created problems especially in the water sector and there are always riots. This is a word of caution

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, competitiveness is a good thing but people want to take advantage of it. I have noticed that people want the council to provide services at no cost. In Solwezi, a certain mine does not want to pay rates to the council. How do they expect the council to provide services to them?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam, as a Government, we must put our feet down.  I also hope that the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development and the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing will put their feet down just as the former hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development and I did. We made the mine pay the council. They cannot come here to do business without paying rates. Whenever they were asked to pay rates, they would say that business in Zambia was not competitive. What is competitive? Even in European countries, you cannot just go there and start doing business the next day. There is nothing like that.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Let us be careful with these issues. I would rather we talk about making business competitive for our own people in Zambia. For example, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry has reduced the license fees because that has an impact on our people who are trading either in restaurants and other places. Indeed, the people are happy that there is a reduction in the license fees.

When investors come here, they do not want to pay anything to the local authorities. In any case, I do not even know why. Somehow, we seem to be so scared of the people who run these mines. This time, we have even come up with a policy which is exempting them from windfall tax. We are now saying that we will tax them through hedging. Hedging kind of tax, hon. Minister is very difficult to manage. How are you going to know how much they are selling the copper at, especially that most of the mines have subsidiary companies abroad? They can give you any price.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, when I import a second hand vehicle from Japan, the customs officers will not base duty on what is on my receipt. If, for instance, I bought a car at US$1,000, the customs officers will not calculate duty based on this price but will base their duty on their list of prices. I think that we should do to the same for the mines. We must have our own price list based on the mineral prices.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: They should not give us their prices. Therefore, I hope that the hon. Minister will take some of these concerns into account. When you bring a budget, this should not be the end. In the past, we have changed figures in this House, especially on CDF.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Figures can still be changed. There is nothing wrong with that. There are so many votes where money is just lying around. For example, on Women’s Day Activities, just for matching, the allocation is K50 million. In some ministries, money is scattered all over like confetti.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam, that money can be put together and given to the constituencies.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I would like to say that in the year of an economic crunch, we must be seen to be taking steps that will really address the problems that we are faced with. I think the attitude of “business as usual” will not serve Zambia.

Madam Speaker, lastly, I wish the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning success.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe (Chimbamilonga): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the motion on the Floor. As a student of homiletics, …

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: … I learnt from Bible school that a theme is created by the owner and it must be realised after he has finished his preaching.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I said that as a student of homiletics, I know that a creator of a theme is always the author of the subject. At the end of a sermon, people realise what the preacher meant.

Hon. Member: Amen!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, equally, in this House, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning came with his own theme, and I quote:

 “Enhancing Growth through Competitiveness and Diversification”

Madam Speaker, none of us has realised anything from this theme yet. We can only make assumptions until the end of the year when we weigh his performance and see his works. For example, is the hon. Minister going to electrify places such as Kasaba Bay or pave the roads in the Multi-facility Economic Zones (MFEZ)? Only at the end of the year, can we tell whether he has failed us or not.

Madam Speaker, today, I am going to start my debate on a sad note. During the campaign period in October last year, there was an outbreak of cholera in Kaputa.

Hon. Opposition Member: Nsumbu.

Mr Sikazwe: In the Nsumbu area in particular.

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, when I came back from Russia, I was told by the Director of Health that there was a cholera outbreak. I instructed him through the Provincial Health Director that there must not be any form of gathering in the hope of reducing the contamination of the disease. Are you getting me clearly?

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: I advised that no form of gathering, be it a funeral or otherwise, should take place. Even though it was during a campaign period, the people of Chimbamilonga, who are rural dwellers, with very little education, agreed to that proposal. As a result, only two people died of cholera in the area.

Madam Speaker, health education, once adhered to, will reduce the impact of cholera. Alas, the people of Lusaka, who are the most educated people in Zambia, are dying of cholera in numbers because of not adhering to simple instructions of keeping their surroundings clean and safe. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, in 1978, cholera broke out in Mpulungu and Nsumbu. By then, the Provincial Minister of Luapula, Dr Kawimbe, who was actively practicing medicine and Dr Silwamba were the first people to discover the bacteria that causes cholera and that Zambia was under attack.

Mr Kambwili: Sure?

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, after six months, it was discovered that the World Health Organisation (WHO) was vaccinating one person for every bottle of vaccine. That vaccination was prohibited and we were then told to maintain cleanliness, keep our surroundings clean and use chlorine as a supplement.

Hon. Opposition Members: Motion!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, the leadership of Lusaka has brought its people into disrepute. Lusaka political leaders have failed to inform the people that observing cleanliness and keeping the surrounding clean is not politicking, but maintaining their lives.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, there are no politics in life and death. Cleanliness is not about politics, it is next to godliness. If one maintains cleanliness, cholera will not come near him or her.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: In Chimbamilonga and other rural districts, people use pit latrines. It is not only the people of George Compound who are doing so. The difference is that we are telling our people to boil their drinking water and clean their environment.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, I was at Soweto Market two weeks ago, and I found a group of people selling fish while there was a garbage dump right behind them. Where do you expect cholera to be? The leadership must provide the necessary information for their people. It is even better to tell them not to vote for you as long as they take care of their lives.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, I am not saying this to spite anyone. Only a clean environment is an enemy to cholera. As long as you politicise issues of water and sanitation, you are just wasting your time. All you need to do is clean the areas.

Madam Speaker, when the hon. Minister made his ministerial statement, we learnt that thirty-two deaths had occurred in Lusaka while only three people died in Kaputa, and yet you say people in rural areas cannot even vote wisely because they are dull. Here you are dying in numbers when you are supposed to be very educated.

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, let us separate politics from health issues. Dr Kawimbe and Dr Silwamba can bear me witness. They are the people who taught us to observe cleanliness. Madam Speaker is knowledgeable enough that is why we can now be viewed as models in Kaputa. We do not fear cholera, today.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, I have talked too much. It is a good thing because I have also educated the people of Lusaka. They must observe cleanliness.

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, I would like to turn to the health sector in this year’s Budget. Madam, K168 billion has been allocated towards the completion of fourteen district hospitals, among which is Kaputa.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, I am very sad …

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: … because Kaputa has been a district for more than thirty years, but to date, the construction of the hospital has not been completed.

Hon. Member: Yes!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, people stand in this House and say we cannot develop rural areas because of the economic crunch.

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: Let us be fair.

Madam Speaker, Kaputa District wants the construction of the hospital to be completed on time. This has taken too long.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: I am talking to hon. Government Members, not you, Opposition Members of Parliament.

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: It is only the Government that will drive this programme.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Health must realise that the correct planning must be made through the Department of Planning. Further, time limit is very important. We cannot be talking about Kaputa District hospital, which is just about twenty-four square metres for three years. Works can be completed within six months if we so wished. What is wrong with the supervision?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, hon. Members of Parliament can supervise some of these projects the same way we are supervising CDF and you would see the positive results. At the moment, the maternity wing was completed in three months and we are just waiting for the hon. Minister to open it officially. What can stop me from supervising the project on behalf of Madam Speaker who is busy …

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: … to ensure that Kaputa District Hospital is completed.

Madam Speaker, the generator in Kaputa District is giving us problems, as it goes on and off. Looking at the output of that hospital, we need a lot of power. Some years back, in 2003, the Rural Electrification Programme was allocated K3.2 billion. I am still asking the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development how we will get our money back since the line has not reached Kaputa District. I would like him to explain this to the people of Kaputa.

Hon. Opposition Members: Geothermal!

Mr Sikazwe: Do not worry, it will come.

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, I would like to state that Kaputa is the only district which is not connected to the national grid or given a system of electricity which worth talking about in Zambia. I can challenge the entire House on this.

Mrs Masebo: Sure?

Hon. Opposition Members: Lukulu!

Mr Sikazwe: Lukulu also, but Kaputa is on record because it was given district status earlier in 1977.

Hon. MMD Member: Were you born then?

Mr Sikazwe: I was born by then.

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, now we want the Ministry of Energy and water Development …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member should not be listening to and responding to every comment. Speak through the Chair and concentrate on the Chair.

You may continue, please.

 Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, I was trying to put emphasis on the electrification of Kaputa District. We promised the people of Zambia that we will build on continuity.

 In 2007, the late President, Dr Mwanawasa, SC. said that the Kasaba Bay Resort Project would be refurbished.  Unfortunately, his untimely death disturbed the programme. However, has successor continued talking about it and said that he was going to see what is in Kasaba Bay, and on 8th January, 2009 he visited the place. He did not want people to mislead or misinform him. The first thing his Excellency the President told me was that, “Hon. Sikazwe, I have really appreciated what you have been talking about. It is true that there is no network here”. That is what he whispered to me.

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, Hon. Mulongoti, Hon. Mabenga and my sister, the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning, also echoed his sentiments in agreement with me. I told them that the biggest problem that we had in that area was insufficient energy supply.

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Mr Sikazwe: Yes! Watch me. They are using generators.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Speak through the Chair, hon. Member.

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, we use generators. We want electricity from a source that will supply sufficient electricity to the area. I mentioned that to them and I will continue mentioning it in this House.

Madam Speaker, in 1989, the Kapisha Geothermal Plant was realised.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Can we have order in the House?

Mr Sikazwe: … I told them that Kapisha Geothermal Plant will be …

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: ... one of the tourist attractions because it will be one of the generating points in Zambia. All of us will want to go and see how the geothermal plant operates because it will be the only in the country. US$2 million has been spent on this project.

Madam Speaker, a Kenyan Consultancy Company has been awarded the contract for this project by the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and they have brought everything. They said that 47 per cent of electricity in Kenya is geothermal because they are on the stretch of the Great Rift Valley. At the moment, there is already K14.7 billion for this project.

Madam Speaker, as for my friends who want to learn more about the Kasaba Bay Resort Project, it is not Kasaba Lodge. Kasaba Bay is in Kaputa, Mporokoso, Mbala and Mpulungu districts. The rest of Kasaba is Nsumbu National Park …

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: … which is in Chimbamilonga in Kaputa District. Therefore, the money which has been allocated to this area, which you are insinuating is meant to support one investor, is not only for Kasaba Bay, but also for the entire Kaputa District and the surrounding areas. We are interested in international investment to do away with blackouts. I would like to be recorded as having said this. We, therefore, want a private investor who is serious to lessen the problems which the people of Chimbamilonga are experiencing.

Madam Speaker, there a high level of unemployment which was created by Dr Kaunda when he nationalised the industries in the area. When the Mosi-o-Tunya Hotel was to be demolished to erect another hotel in its place, you the same people refused and said it would be another Dag Hammarskjold Stadium. Now there is a five star hotel in its place and everyone wants to go and have a workshop at the Livingstone Royal.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikazwe: This is the same with the Kasaba bay. It will be a flagship of the Northern Circuit. We want to have such standards that whoever will come there will be interested in investing in the Northern Province. Do not come here and start questioning what is in Nsumbu National Park. This park and the Northern Circuit are older than the Livingstone and South Luangwa National parks.

Madam Speaker, Nsumbu National Park became a game management area in 1954. In 1972, it was given national park status. Why are people saying that it has come today because of this investment? This has been long over due.

  Madam Speaker, as people of Chimbamilonga and Kaputa in particular, we are keen to have an investor who will show that there is tourism potential in Nsumbu National Park and the Northern Circuit in particular.  Nsumbu National Park is not just a mere national park it is the only park in Zambia which has both land and waters. There are not rivers or man-made lakes; it has its own natural waters. If you talk about good fish, it is found in Nsumbu and Lake Tanganyika in particular. If you went there you would find different types of fish, namely; sardines, Nile perch, yellow belly and other aquaculture fishes. We can even boast about this because we have companies that get fish from there.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: There is nothing wrong with the Government electrifying that area to develop it and attract a lot of tourists. It is time the Government electrified Nsumbu National Park so that tourists pay less as opposed to what they are paying at the moment. You are charging K400,000 because you want to recover expenses on diesel.

Hon. Opposition Members: CDF!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, …

Laughter

 Mr Sikazwe: I want to put it on record that the Northern Circuit will be recognised because of this. I am saying this because everything is there. There are good forests and good sunshine in that area.

Hon Opposition Members: Hammer!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, I have spoken a lot about this. I now want to draw the attention of the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing because I will be inviting him to come and officiate the new market which I am building using the CDF at a cost of K300 million.

Hon. Opposition Members: Mayo!

Mr Sikazwe: This market is comparable to some of the modern markets though you have exaggerated prices as technocrats. That market was budgeted for K700 million, but within K300 million, the market will be erected. As a result, the ministry will appreciate that only have K100 million left which I need to use to put up another market. It is for this reason that I am proposing to the hon. Minister to allocate more money for rural constituencies. For example, if you give K1 billion for rural constituencies, the cost of transport should be about K200 million like they are doing in Kenya.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: On top!

Mr Sikazwe: No! Only for the rural areas.

Laughter

Mr Sikazwe: This is because I am 1,200 kilometers away from Lusaka.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon. Member, face the Chair. Then, you will not be interrupted.

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, I was saying that I am 1,200 away from Lusaka. Therefore, transporting roofing sheets from here will cost a minimum of K20 million out of the K400 million, whereas my friend in Lusaka who is just a kilometre from the industry will not spend the same amount. Just imagine the difference.

 Interruptions

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, this Government should consider that as they allocate the K1 billion, they should consider giving additional money, like what the National Assembly has done for hon. Member who come from constituencies that are far.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Sense!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, I want to end on a very serious note. As someone with an artisan background, I would like to say that sometimes, we should appreciate what other people are doing. The Indians who constructed the smelter in Chingola must be saluted for the job their did.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Why?

Mr Sikazwe: They have done the construction within their estimated man hours and are within the cost. If anything, they have even finished earlier. If that is the way we will be doing projects, we will not be caught up with fluctuation of prices.

 Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, this is a fact in engineering, Hon. Mukanga. Our technocrats are doing well with the K14.7 billion for the electrification of Kasaba Bay. I do not expect them, for instance by June, to say that the line will end here because the money is not enough. Why did you give us K14.7 billion if you knew that this would not be enough for the job? The technocrats in the engineering department must up and show the Government that this is not supposed to be done so that the Government is not disappointed in the end. The Government is becoming unpopular everyday because of poor planning.

For instance, Madam Speaker, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) has been doing a lot of bad things. In 1989, when they were reconstructing the Kafue Gorge Power Station to restore power in some areas, Kasikalenda was left without power. This time around, they worked within time because they considered the man hours.

Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, this time, when money for projects is given, ZESCO should work within the time frame in order to complete the projects before the end of the year.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing me to contribute to this very interesting and lively debate.

To begin my debate, Madam, I am going to concentrate on the assumptions that the hon. Minister made in his Budget which I find are not in line with what is happening in the rest of the world.

Madam Speaker, one of the assumptions the hon. Minister made is when he referred to the aims of the Budget. Page 6 of the Budget Speech says, and I quote:

“(a) to achieve the growth of 5 per cent;

(b) to lower inflation to 10 per cent; and

(c)  to limit domestic borrowing to 1.8 per cent of GDP.”

Madam Speaker, the little economics I know states that if you want to have growth in an economy, you are supposed to use the productive manpower you have to its capacity. You need to use your natural resources, industries, factories or manufacturing plants to capacity. All these three factors are in decline in our country at the moment.

Firstly, with regard to the productive population, the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security told us here last week that our unemployment rate is very high.

Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

If Members are not ready to listen, the Chair needs to listen. Therefore, can you consult in lower voices.

You may continue, please.

Mr Simuusa: Thank you, Madam Speaker.

The rate of unemployment is very high in our productive labour. Our informal sector is very inefficient as it was reported, and the productive sector is very small. I think it is about 16 per cent, as the Labour Minister put it.

We do not have any factories to talk about. One hon. Member mentioned in his debate that we have to import tyres and cannot make tubes in Zambia. Everything is imported. The only industry, maybe, which we can talk about is mining. At the moment, it has been admitted in this House that mining is on the decline because of the poor copper prices.

Madam Speaker, I now ask a question: Where will the growth come from? In simple economics, all these factors of production should include the labour component which is also in the negative. Therefore, this projection of 5 per cent and the increase in the budget is questionable. I am asking myself why we are ignoring the pointers that are coming to us from all angles. Why are we planning to fail from the onset? When I look at this budget, Madam, we are saying that actually from the outset, we are planning to fail. That is what it this is showing.

Inflation is currently at 16 per cent and the hon. Minister is projecting that it will drop to 10 per cent. What will cause the inflation to go down? At the moment, we are an importing nation; the exchange rate is on its way up; we do not manufacture anything; and all the food prices are on the way up. Madam Speaker, you know that food prices are very sticky. Once they go up, to bring them down is very difficult. That is the way it works.

Where is the hon. Minister getting his data or his indicators to show that inflation will drop from 16 to 10 per cent? Last time it was projected at 9 per cent, a single digit inflation, but it is has doubled.

On foreign borrowing, we are saying that we will borrow to supplement the deficit of K3.5 trillion which is almost 3 per cent of the budget.

Madam Speaker, we are told there is a global crunch, meaning that even the western world cannot afford to give out any money, and yet we have budgeted for K3.5 trillion to come from foreign donors to supplement our budget, which is not consistent.

When I look at all these issues, I tell myself that as a country, we are planning to fail. That is what will happen. This Budget will fail. I also ask myself why intelligent people should ignore such clear and simple indicators. Why? This is because this budget will fail. Failing in this case means that before the year ends, there will be some sectors where there will not be enough funding. Where will that funding come from?

My question to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is: which ministries or areas will be sacrificed when that failure comes? As a Member of Parliament and Zambian, I will be interested to know.

Madam Speaker, already, I have started hearing excuses. If I go to some of the offices and visit some permanent secretaries to try and find funding for a road or two, I hear the phrase, “No, this years the Budget is very tight. There will be no funding. Just forget.” How in the world will I inform my people? I know that the magic wand will be waved every time anyone wants to ask for anything. I am asking myself from who and where that sacrifice will come from.

Madam Speaker, my point is that as a nation, we are putting across a budget that will fail and we need, in his response, to find out where those failures come from? Where will the deficit come from the budget?

Madam Speaker, I would like to talk about health briefly. I would like to mention the fact that when we talk about health, one of the most well funded sectors in this country is HIV/AIDS. In this budget, K170 billion has been budgeted for HIV/AIDS. When I look at the achievements in the HIV/AIDS, if you look at page 16 of the Budget Speech, item (c) says, and I quote:

“prevalence of HIV for the population aged 15-49 years, that is the major grouping in this country, dropped from 15.6 to 14.3 per cent.”

That is only 1 per cent. If you look at malaria, it was managed from 89.5 per cent to 75 per cent which was a significant drop. The same applies to maternal mortality, from 729 to 449 per 100,000 births and under-five mortality declined from 168 to 119, meaning that in all other areas which were not as well funded as HIV/AIDS, the drop was very significant. However, for HIV/AIDS it only dropped by 1 per cent. My question is, is the money that we are putting to this HIV/AIDS really achieving the target? That is the question I would like to ask. If at all this money we allocate to addressing HIV/AIDS was actually producing the desired results, we should have had more than 1 per cent decline in the prevalence rate. We should have had a more significant result.

Madam Speaker, you are aware that there are a lot of workshops, seminars and trips that are attached to HIV/AIDS. In fact it was a buzzword those days that if you want to make money you just had to go into the HIV/AIDS industry.

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: There is a lot of funding for HIV/AIDS. If all that money is achieving the target, why are we getting such a small decline in the HIV/AIDS prevalence?

Therefore, I would like to challenge the hon. Minister and this Government to revisit the strategy we have adopted as a nation to attacking and addressing issues of HIV/AIDS to see whether the colossal amounts we are apply to HIV/AIDS are really going to the intended purposes or they are just ending up in workshops, seminars and other unproductive areas so that we actually get a bigger and more significant reduction in the HIV/AIDS prevalence.

I would like to talk about a topic that is very dear to everyone here and that is Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear! Good!

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, I have been on record as having said that the distribution of resources in this country is not equitable.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, I will repeat this once more and will borrow a phrase from one of the local languages that says, “If there is a point that is always being repeated, then you know there is a problem somewhere.”

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: There is a problem here and in this case, there is inequitable distribution of resources in Zambia.

 


Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, given this scenario, I know that there can be a lot of defence from the other side. One of the hon. Ministers stood in this House and said, “As a Ruling Party and as a Government, we have to reward those who voted for us”.

Mr Ndalamei: Iye!

Laughter

Mr Simuusa: He also went on to say that as a Government they had the power to reward those who voted for them. Madam Speaker, this is what is happening on the ground despite what the Republican President said about Zambia being for all Zambians. Power is only working in the areas where the Ruling Party is powerful. Under the sub-heading Health in the President’s Speech, I will read out the names of the district hospitals that are being built and this is on page 15.

“Some of the key projects to be undertaken will be the construction and expansion of fourteen district hospitals, namely, Samfya – I can say that all the areas mentioned here are strongholds of the MMD Government.

Mr V. Mwale: Baziba ku voter abo!

Mr Simuusa: “Samfya, Chadiza, Mumbwa, Kapiri Mposhi, Isoka, Shangombo, Lumwana, Lufwanyama, Chienge, Mpulungu, Kaputa, Chama, Mufumbwe and Chongwe”.

Interruptions

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, where is the hope for me as an hon. Member from the Opposition?

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to say that hospitals are built in strongholds of the MMD. Is Samfya a stronghold of the MMD? I need your serious ruling.

Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member on the Floor has heard the concern about Samfya, he may put that into consideration as he debates.

Hon. Member: Muziziba ku voter!

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, that is only one out of fourteen and in terms of percentage, this is less than 1 percent. The point I am making is that the issues that were raised by the Hon. Puma is what is happening on the ground. Where does that leave me an hon. Member of Parliament from the Opposition? It means I have no hope of getting development in my constituency. Although it is good to improve other areas of Zambia, I would like to say that the resources should be equitably distributed. As an hon. Member from the Opposition, I need to be given more resources.

Mr V. Mwale: Why?

Mr Simuusa: That is where the Constituency Development Fund comes in because it is the only way …

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

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, as you rightly guided, we must speak factually. Is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to come to this House with wrong facts by saying that Shang’ombo is a stronghold of the MMD when the clinic he is referring to was started at the time there was an hon. Member of Parliament from the UPND. I need your serious ruling.

Mr Kambwili: Rubbish!

Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Some of you hon. Members should remember that you are referred to as hon. Members and that simply means that when you are seated, speaking and wherever you are, you have to portray that. Certain language is unacceptable. You should not use language which is not honourable in this House. The Chair has to guide that self control is one of the characteristics of being honourable.

The hon. Member on the Floor should continue debating, but putting that point of order into consideration.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, the point has been made and that is why we are having so many points of order …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! It is not for you to repeat the ruling, just continue with the debate.

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, the point I am making is that the only way we can have equitable distribution of resources in this country is through the Constituency Development Fund. If CDF is increased to say, K1 billion, as a Member of Parliament, I will make sure that the resources get down to the people. That should be the trend in Opposition controlled areas and shall I say, the whole country and that is very important. I have always stated that in my constituency Nchanga, for instance, the roads are in a terrible condition, there is not one road, and that is not an exaggeration, which is motorable. Compare this, Madam Speaker, to the fact that I have the largest contribution to this economy; almost 60 percent. How right is it that as the largest contributors to this economy, all the roads in my constituency have been run down because there is no funding coming from the Central Government? That is not right.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister talked about stimulating this budget through competitiveness. I would like to add that to the CDF, we should probably consider adding a percentage of revenue that comes from each constituency or from each district.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, since Zambia is endowed with riches, there is no part of this country you cannot produce wealth from. Therefore, if we did, that people will start to work hard and make sure that when we contribute to the Central Government, a percentage of that revenue will come back and as an hon. Member, I will be inspired. Even the people will know that if they work hard and contribute to Central Government, part of that revenue will come back to the communities for development.

Madam Speaker, it does not make any sense that after contributing so much to the economy as Nchanga, the whole constituency is in shambles. Another serious point on CDF is that the person who gets the heat when there is no development is the Member of Parliament.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister or the Permanent Secretary is not victimised. If I walk in Nchanga, people will stone me because the roads are not in good shape.

Hon. Member: Mwenze kunama bantu boza!

Mr Simuusa: They are saying, “the hon. Member of Parliament is not working” meanwhile I have no control over the resources to work on the roads.

Interruptions

Mr Simuusa: Therefore, to empower the hon. Member of Parliament who gets the blame and who is threatened by not being voted for, he or she should be given K1 billion CDF so that with that money, he or she will be able to stir development where it is needed most. After all the hon. Minister was looking for two little bridges and he had K40 million CDF and he said that we will wait for two rainy seasons before we get any money from the Central Government.

Interruptions

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, I am requesting that hon. Members of Parliament be given the responsibility …

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

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Really, listening to the debate, the Chair cannot hear anything that attracts a point of order, unless the hon. Member would like to raise a point of order on the hon. Member on the Floor.

Mr Malama: Yes, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order which threatens the lives of hon. Members.

Is the hon. Member on the Floor in order not to emphasise that as hon. Members, we do not, if anything, look at funds that are being allocated to various projects, but when there is a very serious problem, fingers are pointed at us hon. Members of Parliament and hon. Ministers without following the permanent secretaries and directors in the ministries concerned? Is he in order, therefore, not to emphasise that point so as to send a message to the people in those offices who are lazing around? Madam Speaker, I need your serious ruling because I need to see my children grow before I am stoned.

Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member raising a point of order has actually debated his own point of order, but in guiding, I would like to say that the Government is here. Therefore, though they may not respond directly to our concerns, they will get the message directly from here because those responsible for everything that is goes on in the Government are here. Do not, again, smuggle your debate into somebody else’s debate and call it a point of order. That was not a point of order and I rule you out of order.

The hon. Member may continue, please.

Laughter

Mr Simuusa: Thank you, Madam Speaker. The issue of Members of Parliament being held accountable for resources they do not control must be critically looked at.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Therefore, I would like to urge the hon. Minister to look into the budget before the House rises so that the Constituency Development Fund is increased to K1 billion, especially for Nchanga since it is the biggest contributor to this economy. Therefore, we should let some money go that constituency for developmental projects much as I agree with the developmental projects in other areas.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Mwangala): Madam Speaker, I am very grateful for according me this opportunity to debate in support of this year’s Budget. I have heard many voices, to the contrary, not appreciating the tourism industry. I have two items to discuss here. Firstly, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. I would also like to commend the various non-governmental organisations, business communities, labour leaders and Lumwana Copper Mines for supporting this year’s Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, the Zambia Association of Manufacturers has, for the first time, commended the Government for allocating sufficient funds to the industry. Further, the same industry has promised to work with the Government to strengthen the manufacturing industry. Let me come to the Zambia Consumer’s Association. I have been very quiet since I took over this seat, carefully listening to the debates by hon. Members.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, the association has also commended the Government for including some submissions from stakeholders in this year’s Budget. It has further commended the Government, for the first time, for putting more money in agriculture, and yet here, the hon. Members are condemning the Government while the outsiders are commending it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Tell them.

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, the Zambia Breweries Plc has commended the Government for reducing excise duty on clear beer from 75 per cent to 60 per cent. As you can see, they are also commending the Government, while here some hon. Members are disregarding it.

Laughter

Mr Mwangala: The reduction in duty will help to curb smuggling and will lead to improved tax compliance.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: The business community …

Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwangala: … has also commended the Government, for the first time, for this year’s budget which will create more jobs, revenue and enhance the quality of products. The economists out there are praising this Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, other hon. Members in here are saying this budget is hollow and is a skeleton.

Hon. Opposition Member: Including yourself.

Mr Mwangala: However, the Zambia United Local Authority has also commended the Government for allocating K10 billion to the Lusaka District for the repair and maintenance of drainage systems in the city, and yet some hon. Members are saying that the hon. Minister does not have a good budget when outsiders are supporting it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, let me come to tourism. I hope the people of Northern Province will appreciate the Government , ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Interruptions

Mr Mwangala: Wait mwe baiche.

Laughter

Mr Mwangala: … for supporting tourism. I would like to praise the Government for declaring tourism as another productive sector for poverty reduction, employment and wealth creation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Mwangala: The tourism industry has commended the Government for planning to review 2009, as a year for tourism opportunity and greeting new friends at our borders. Further, I wish to commend the Government for reviewing the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act to make it investor friendly, …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: … whilst protecting the integrity of the environment.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, our ministry also appreciates the Government’s programmes of supporting our tourism sector for this year to embark on an aggressive marketing campaign.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: People say they have heard about tourism.

Hon. Members:  Hammer!

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, the opening of the Kasaba Bay development project will open up the Northern and Luapula provinces under the Northern Circuit is most appreciated, as this will provide job opportunities and wealth creation to our people through both private and public sector investment.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, the sector also commended the Government, as this year, the Forestry Act and other related laws will be reviewed to improve the management of the country’s forest resources.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, the Government has been praised for injecting, in this year’s Budget, enough funds to open roads leading to major tourism destinations.

Hon. Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: The Government has allocated K99 billion for the rehabilitation of the Zimba/Livingstone Road, leading to the tourist capital, Livingstone.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, K7.5 billion has been allocated for the creation of a new tourism zone in Livingstone.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: K30.6 billion has been allocated for the rehabilitation of the Chipata/Mfuwe Road.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: K24 billion has been allocated to the road from Mbala to Kasaba Bay.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Once these roads are complete, accessibility to all tourist destinations will be easier.

Madam Speaker, let me congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning …

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: … on presenting an excellent budget.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, Hear!

Dr Chishimba (Kasama Central): Madam Speaker, let me begin by stating that the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) came into power in 1991 on a platform of change. For about two decades now, that is eighteen years, that change has not come …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

Dr Chishimba: … in accordance with the expectations of the people of Zambia. The only change that we have seen is in the leadership of the party.

Mr V. Mwale: Question!

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, if this country continues on the current course, I am afraid that Zambia is courting disaster. This culture of thriving on untruthful statements or programmes is going to take this country backwards. The moment to face the truth has come. If we do not face the truth, the living conditions of the people of Zambia will continue plummeting.

Madam Speaker, what is more valuable than anything else here on earth is the truth. The heart is always at ease when one tells the truth. If one tells a lie, the conscious will tell him or her that he or she is lying.

Mr Muntanga: Ooh!


Dr Chishimba: This is why in a nation where there is truth, the end results are good. The truth is good and anything that comes out of it is good and appealing. Those are the words of Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe, …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: …. one of the founders of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, today, we are seeing a culture of failure to stand on the side of the truth. The situation dictates something else and what we do is completely different. The hon. Member of Parliament for Chongwe clearly demonstrated that whilst there was an indication that there is an increase in the allocation for agriculture, but when you get to read the actual details, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details, you will find that the opposite of what has actually happened.

Madam Speaker, even if that increase were true, when we look at other economic indicators such as inflation and the exchange rate, one will establish that the increase will not any way result in an agricultural sector which is actually delivering to the people of Zambia. So unless we are able tell the people of Zambia the truth, this country will not develop. Development by lobbying must come to end. Development should be based on plans such as the Fifth National Development Plan. It is unfortunate that what is contained in the Budget Speech is contrary to the plans in the FNDP. 

Madam Speaker, I must be quick to mention that politics under the MMD Government have become so partisan that even development is also politicised. This is a fiasco. Whenever an hon. Member from the Opposition attempts to give a suggestion on how best we can traverse to socio-economic independence, he or she receives negative responses from hon. Members from the Ruling Party.

Is that the way to take this country forward? As Members of Parliament, we are the stakeholders who are representing the people of Zambia who are the shareholders. Whatever we do must be in the best interest of the shareholders, the people of Zambia.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: This, Madam Speaker, must be engraved on our minds if we are to change the mindset. We need real mindsets for the challenges that we face in the 21st century. We also need to have a leadership which is empathetic because what we lack is empathy.

Madam Speaker, when you go into town, you will see how our people are suffering. Women with their children on their backs are roaming the streets selling, probably tomatoes. All this clearly indicates that this nation has reached a critical stage where we need to face the truth. Therefore, as leaders of this country, whatever we do in terms of handling of state property such as selling Zamtel, we must look at the best interest of the people. It should be in their interest and not ours.

Madam Speaker, this culture, as I said earlier, of having divergent views must come to an end. This culture has been exercised throughout our political dispensation. Therefore, if you do not root it out now, it will destroy this country. We need to find a common ground for us to unit based on what is binding us as a nation.

I strongly believe that what binds us as a nation is stronger than that which is dividing us. A time has come to appreciate ideas, to listen to the people and do what the people of Zambia are telling us.

Madam Speaker, we have to look at the stage of development at which this nation is. In a development plan, I agree that there are five stages of development and unless our nation faces the reproofs about the stages at which the nation is, we cannot go anywhere as a country. Zambia, at the moment, is still at stage one because most of our people are surviving on subsistence agriculture. This simply means that if this nation is to traverse the road to socio-economic prosperity and independence, we need to invest heavily in agriculture. As we invest in agriculture, it is critically important, as my brother Hon. Syakalima said, to invest in technologies. We need to increase efficiency in agricultural production so that our people are able to produce more and prepare this nation for conditions we can talk of. If you do not invest technology, this nation will remain at the same level while we see other nations that were poorer than Zambia at independence being richer than this country. A good example is India.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: Madam Speaker, the founding fathers provided concrete solutions to problems that the people of Zambia faced. When we had our leadership, especially between 1964 and 1972 before Zambia lost direction, development planning was key and was a tool in ensuring that each and every area of Zambia received development, and they respected development plans. We hear of the First National Development Plan from 1966 to 1970 and when you look at this development plan, you will find that it was very clearly marked. Every province identified rivers, the chunks of fertile land and marked the type of infrastructure to be built in those places.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: Today, people need houses, better schools, roads and bridges, but what we see is a scenario where we give abstracts to problems that are clearly known. This nation has reached a stage where we need to begin to answer to people’s needs and that we keep the nation informed through good economic statistics which is a way to keep the people of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, we have men and women who are founders of Zambia. They produced five-year development plans which indicated what they were able to do.  When you look at the economic report for 1975 and 1976 and also looking at the period from 1971 to 1974, there was a proper economic recession which is similar to what we are facing today. This is part of history because history teaches us lessons.

We do not want to fail like our forefathers did. We do not need to fail today. We need to continue to learn from history. We need to face the truth and look at the darkest aspect of history and be able to come up with solutions that are going to put this nation on the right path to development.

Madam Speaker, according to the 1975 Economic Report, the population of Zambia was about 4.9 million. Employment at that time in the formal sector was 386,270 in total out of which 351,190 were Zambian nationals. When you look at this figure and compare with the population then of 4.9 million and look at what is happening today, you will find that we are literally doing nothing and we have every reason to be ashamed of ourselves. This generation has a critical challenge to lead an invaluable mark on history. We need, as I said, to face the truth. We need plans that work in this 21st Century. This country cannot be held captive by ideologies or politics that have failed in the past. We need a change of mindset to move this country forward.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: Madam Speaker, between 1971 and 1974, 28,000 jobs were created and as I said, there was a global economic recession during the same period. The men and women who founded this nation were able to construct the Tanzania-Zambia Railways (TAZARA) in the same period. Nothing was used as a pretext for not delivering to the people. Why should we use the same global economic crisis as a pretext for failure to come up with plans that work?

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning ably did a wonderful macro environmental analysis, but when it comes to solutions based on the analysis, he begins to take the opposite direction. At a time such as this one, we are talking about attempting to sell strategic institutions when the world over, in countries such as the United States of America and Britain, they have set the pace. What they are doing, today, under the economic bail out plan for companies. This is what we call, in inverted commas, nationalisation, because they realise that those are strategic companies or institutions. They need to save them from total collapse so that they can maintain the people who are employed in the companies to avoid a social crisis.

In my debate on the President’s Speech, I said that Zambia needed an emergency cogent economic plan. If we do not do so, we are going to see the trend continuing where more companies will close down and as they close down, there will be a social crisis which we will fail to handle. If we maintain those people who are currently employed, we are going to see these same people continue paying taxes because the sources of revenue in this country are through taxes only. We need to provide leadership which builds us.

Madam Speaker, in my research in the library, I read what the Pope said about leadership. He said, and I quote:

“A person has trust in you and wants you to be a leader. He has trust in you because he wants you to serve him properly. Now you decide to have your hands oiled before serving the one who put you in power. Now you start collecting money not properly accounted for. You now become a leader and exploiting the masses. You start buying large farms and depositing large amounts of money in foreign lands. Such a leader loses strength in his country and disposes himself.”

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: Today, these words have come to pass, and yet men and women who stood on the side of the truth were either violently beaten up, just went into oblivion or died under questionable circumstances. We need to face the truth in this nation and support all those people who stand for the truth. Face the truth and serve the people of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, let me now look at taxation and cite the case of Mauritius. I was privileged to be sent by you, Madam Speaker, to Mauritius on a trip by your Committee.

Madam Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) policy on lower taxes is workable.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: Mauritius is a clear case of where lowering the taxes has doubled revenues.

Madam Speaker, on Page 28 of the 2006/2007 Budget Speech for Mauritius, a copy of which is in the National Assembly of Zambia library, the hon. Minister of Finance has provided a budget which is sensitive to the needs of the people regarding the tax thresholds.

In Paragraph 172, he says and I quote:

“Henceforth, there will be four categories of tax payers, each with a different threshold.”

Thus, Category A Tax Payers, who do not have any dependant, spouse or child will have an income exemption threshold of 215,000 Rupees. That is close to K2 million.

Madam Speaker, here we see a Government which appreciates the conditions under which its people live and plans on that basis.

Category B Tax Payers is for those with one dependant, or one child and the threshold is about 225, 000 Rupees.

Category C Tax Payers is for those with three dependants, or three children. Their threshold is 385,000 Rupees.

Category D Tax Payers is for those with four dependants or four children and the threshold is 425,000 Rupees.

Madam Speaker, when you take an in depth look at this budget speech, you will establish that it is possible to reduce taxes.

Madam Speaker, when it comes to reducing taxes, on Page 29 and Paragraph 76, the Minister says, and I quote:

“the fourth element is a lowering of personal income tax rates. We have a bold plan with clear milestones and targets. Our aim is to have, within three years, a flat tax rate of 15 per cent, applicable on all chargeable income.”

Madam Speaker, this was not just rhetoric. Over a three-year period, Mauritius was able to reduce all taxes to 15 percent.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: A report in the Mauritius Revenue Authority Annual Magazine establishes that tax administration has been made easier because of the simple taxation system and because taxes are lower, citizens are complying with the payment of taxes.

Madam Speaker, tax payers are looked at as clients. In Mauritius, the system is computerised such that whoever sells a piece of land is captured. Citizens have also cultivated the culture of being responsible because they know that the future of their nation is in their hands.

Therefore, having lower taxes is something that is workable.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: When it comes to empowerment programmes, the Mauritian style is not as jumbled as the Zambian one which merely talks about empowerment with no regard to whether it is for big business, small business, women or youth groups. Everyone is expected to go to the same institution. It is so jumbled up and chaotic that there is confusion.

However, the Mauritian Budget Speech is so clear. In here, the Minister is able to identify and categorise the programmes for the youth with clear figures such as, “with this programme we are going to create jobs for 5, 000 young people by the end of the year”. There are also specific programmes for women and small and medium enterprises. As such, resources are channeled to the right people as opposed to what we are seeing in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, in Zambia, resources that are allocated to particular areas end up in the pockets of the rulers. One of the founders of Zambia once talked about facing the truth, the need for fiscal discipline and the need to ensure that we uphold the tenets of transparency and accountability when it comes to the management of national resources.

Madam Speaker, the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy Government has been in power for close to two decades. That is closer to the twenty years of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) rule. The time is coming when the people of Zambia will unite and ensure that they do not give the MMD another mandate.

The MMD Government should not come here, today, and give us abstracts. They must tell us how many Zambians where homeless in 1991 and how many houses they have constructed for the homeless. Those are the statistics that we need.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: How many new roads have been constructed during the two decades of the misrule, compared to the two decades of UNIP, for instance? What UNIP did within eight years is incomparable to what the MMD Government has done in two decades.

How many jobs have been created? I was giving examples here. How many new bridges have been constructed? How many more maize sheds have been constructed? How many more rural roads have been constructed? Those are the answers that we want and for as long as the people of Zambia do not see these things, they are going to continue uniting for a common purpose and ensure that this country is put on the right path.

I still have some more questions. How many small-scale entrepreneurs have gone into large scale manufacturing and have created jobs? How many pensioners have been paid their dues? By what margin has the domestic debt reduced since the MMD Government took over power? How many new high schools have been built, not necessarily basic schools because if somebody acquires basic education, where would that person go after that?

Madam Speaker, these are facts …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order, the hon. Member’s time has lapsed!

Interruptions

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Chilanga.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr V. Mwale: Nanga ni wanu!

Mr Magande (Chilanga): Madam Speaker, I am very grateful to you for giving me an opportunity to take part in this very important debate on the 2009 Budget. Firstly, I would like to congratulate my successor, Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, who, like the Deputy Chief Whip said, delivered the Budget Speech in a very sober manner.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Indeed, I realised that I had missed something because when my colleague was delivering his speech, I did not think he had cold water in his glass because he was tossing it behind to Hon. Mpombo and it seemed that there was some champaign in the glass.

Laughter

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, indeed, this year’s Budget poses challenges to the Government of the day because of what we all know as the global financial crisis. I would like to say that in Zambia, we use, more or less, the words financial crisis rather than credit crunch. Most of us who have been overseas, especially to the United States of America (USA), will appreciate that credit cards are used even in ordinary shops. They do not use cash. Therefore, it is that problem of not being able to use a credit card in the USA which is called a credit crunch.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: In Zambia, we do not use credit cards. We use cash. Perhaps, one would say that is the major difference. However, the financial crisis has caused problems for the operations of those companies in the west that give credit. That is where our problems emanate. It is because commodities that we produce, such as copper, have found less demand by the industries in those particular economies.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

 Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, clearly, those who are alert to the situation will realise that the west is trying to take measures to correct this situation. The measures that they are taking are to try and get this credit back by encouraging their people using budgets or public money through deficit financing. In the USA, former President George Bush, at the beginning of last year, talked about a budget deficit of US$200 billion. Unfortunately, by the time he was leaving office, President Barak Obama talked about a deficit of US$1 trillion because they were going to borrow another US$800 billion to help the industries that were failing.

That is why, perhaps, as I make my introduction, I would have loved this budget to have been conscious of the fact that unless we were also increasing our deficit, we would find problems in the economy because the other people in the private sector have limited funds.

Madam Speaker, let me also say that being the longest serving hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in the recent history of Zambia, I hope this record will be broken by Dr Musokotwane by being very strict with what he will be doing at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Magande: If he will, indeed, be polluted, like the hon. Speaker ruled when Hon. Mumbi was debating, then I am sure it will be difficult to break this record.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, let me, therefore, thank somebody who identified me amongst so many Zambians in 2003 and gave me the responsibility to help in sorting out what was a serious problem at the time the financial status of the Zambian economy was bad. That is the late President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, and May His Soul Rest in Peace.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, I worked with him diligently. I was his advisor, but I discovered that while I was advising, he was also learning. By the time he was going away, I think he had also become an economist. Indeed, when we were campaigning for him, he used to say, “Lawyer wa ma Lawyer”. Nobody can dispute the legal mind of the late President. That seemed to have been one of the inputs in trying to be one of the best economists in the world.

Madam Speaker, Hon. Ngoma called me Dr Magande. Let me please, request that I should not be called Dr Magande. In 1971, after passing my examination at the University of Zambia (UNZA) in economics and mathematics, I wanted to join the Public Service of Republic of Zambia, and one of the advisors to the Cabinet at that time wanted to interview me. When I went for the interview, I was asked what I wanted to do in the Civil Service. I said I wanted to be an economist. This Briton said I could not be an economist because I had only done a few course of economics at UNZA and that I did not have a PhD. I told this gentleman that while I had a few courses of economics, I wanted to be one of the best economists in the world. Therefore, I refused to get a PhD and told him that one day, he would read about my attributes as a good economist in the world. That is why I do not have a PhD. I have refused to be given a honorary PhD. So, please call me Mr Magande, instead.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: If you are kind enough, call me Mr HIPC.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, let me also thank my colleagues who I worked with for the five and half years that I was in Government. Many of them, indeed, were very helpful to me because sometimes, they would not understand the kind of programmes that I was advising the Government on. Therefore, they made me have sleepless nights to think of how to make them understand what I wanted to do. That sharpened my mind to become, perhaps, even a better mathematician and that is why I am thanking them, today. They became part of my learning process to be where I have ended up at the moment.

Madam Speaker, my thanks go to the many Zambians, indeed, who see me walk in the streets. I walk in the streets with my head high because I think I did not steal a ngwee during my five years in Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: I was a straight person and relied on a Government salary. I think that is important when you are given the responsibility to look after people’s money. It is for this reason that when I walk around in the streets, many Zambians appreciate that while I was part of this team, we achieved a lot that has, indeed, been a land mark in the history of this country.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker if one went to the airport and tried to catch a plane, perhaps, for the first time, like I did in 1972, when going to East Africa, he or she would find a plane at the end of the runway ready to take off. As one flying for the first time one would probably think the plane will not take off, but when you inquire, you will be told that it is just taxing to take off. However, because you are a novice, you think that you can just cross to where the plane is and board it.

Laughter

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, this is the stage where the Zambian economy is. Our country is ready for take off because of what has been done in the past few years of putting in place measures, structures and systems that can help each of us to manage our businesses. I was privileged when I presented my first budget because my officers asked me what I wanted the theme of the Budget to be. I did not want a long title so I decided on Austerity for Posterity. In the Budget Speech for 2004, I, indeed, defined Austerity for Posterity. At the end of it, this is what I said, and I quote:

“Mr Speaker, we cannot allow our country to continue to be in these difficulties.
 As individuals, we cannot continue to wander around like those people who
wandered for forty years in the wilderness …

and I further said,

“ now is the time to forgo consumption for posterity”.

Madam Speaker, I would like to say that for me who has been watching what is happening, many Zambians have stopped wandering and have come back home. They are no longer outside the country, wandering in foreign lands. In the last two or three year, when I travelled outside the country, many Zambians I met said they were respected because of what was happening in our country then, which was a contribution of many of those who did not leave this country.

Many of us suffered through those days when we talked of an inflation rate of 30 per cent. Many Zambians lived through the difficult times. In 2003, we had a budget overrun. We had no money, but we had to pay the civil servants. The deficit that year was 5 per cent, and that was the money we were supposed to use to pay the civil servants because the economy was not producing enough. In 2003, the country only produced 360,000 tonnes of copper. At that time, the price of copper ore was 71 to 80 cents per pound. We felt, therefore, that we had to put in place policies to attract private sector investment not only in mining but also in all the sectors of the country.

Madam Speaker, I am happy to report that according to my copious notes, from export earnings of US$1,117 billion, we are now dealing with US$4,818 billion. This is, indeed, progress. Most of this money has been coming to this country and the rest of it has remained with those who came here as foreign investors and wanted to keep their money. Otherwise, Madam …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

(Debate adjourned)

__________

The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 11th February, 2009.

 

 

 

 
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