Debates- Thursday, 11th October, 2012

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Thursday, 11th October, 2012

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that the hon. Minister of Finance will tomorrow, Friday, 12th October, 2012, present to this House, the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year 1st January to 31st December, 2013.

In accordance with the established practice, the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year 2013 will be referred to the Expanded Committee on Estimates for further consideration. The Expanded Committee on Estimates will comprise the hon. Members of the Committee on Estimates, Chairpersons of all the General Purposes and Portfolio Committees and the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Reforms and Modernisation Committee.

While the Expanded Committee on Estimates is meeting, the House, as usual, will continue with the general policy debate on the Budget and consideration of any other business. The Expanded Committee on Estimates will hold its first meeting on Monday, 15th October, 2012, and will be expected to present its report to the House on Thursday, 1st November, 2012.

I thank you.




The Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Simuusa): Mr Speaker, during the Official Opening of the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, directed that I issue a ministerial policy statement in this august House on land reforms and environmental protection.

Sir, the reforms that have been taking place in the lands, natural resources and environmental sector, since the Patriotic Front (PF) Government came into office, are meant to ensure sustainable use of the land, natural resources and the environment. To this effect, the pronouncements that I will make in this august House, today, form the blueprint of the Government policy and what the Government has put in place for the implementation of programmes in this sector.

Mr Speaker, let me start by commenting on land administration. There is a need for security of tenure in order for land to be productively used for residential, industrial and agricultural purposes. Security of tenure needs to be guaranteed for both State and customary land.

Sir, the House will recall that during his Official Opening Address to this august House last year, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia stated that the Government, in consultation with the chiefs and other traditional authorities, would introduce legislation to ensure security of tenure for customary land. I am pleased to report that work on this process has commenced.

Mr Speaker, with regard to decentralisation, as you are aware, land administration has not yet been devolved to district level. The ministry has presence at provincial level. To this effect, the various councils throughout the country continued to act as its agents in accordance with Land Circular No. 1 of 1985. 

However, the administration of both customary and State land has posed a number of challenges to the ministry. As a result of these challenges, measures have been introduced to promote good governance, decentralisation and transparency in land administration and management in the country.

Mr Speaker, regarding land audits, I wish to inform the House that my ministry intends to embark on comprehensive countrywide land audits for all categories of land in order to plan for sustainable use of land resources for agriculture, residential, commercial and industrial development. This exercise will commence before the end of the year and will continue into the year 2013. Also, as per the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto, a Land Audit Commission will be constituted in consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

Sir, concerning illegal land allocation, my ministry is responsible for the administration and allocation of land. Our agents, the councils, have a mandate to create plots, scruitnise applications and make a recommendation to the ministry for allocation. May I take this opportunity to caution members of the public to desist from acquiring pieces of land other than through the set out procedures. Anarchy in land allocation shall not be tolerated. We would like the country to develop in a well-planned and co-ordinated manner and ensure that there is equitable access to land by all Zambians.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the Land Development Fund (LDF), as you are aware, this august House passed the Lands Act of 1995 which created the fund. This is a fund which is meant to open up new areas for development. It helps councils to prepare layout plans, undertake surveys, open up roads, and provide water and electrification to the areas that are identified by the local authorities.

Mr Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to encourage all district councils, especially the newly created ones, to apply for finances under the Land Development Fund. This is a sure way of taking development to all parts of the country. 

However, I have to caution councils about the tendency to misuse these funds which are intended to benefit the people. The fund is not meant for payment of salaries and allowances for council meetings, among other things. Therefore, I wish to make a special appeal to the hon. Members of this august House to take keen interest in the usage of this fund through their respective councils.

Mr Speaker, I do not need to emphasise the need to conserve our forests. The world has recognised the important role that forests play in the socio-economic welfare of the people. Forests are also important in mitigating the effects of global warming and, as such, we, as a nation, cannot afford to remain behind. In this regard, I call upon all traditional leaders and all hon. Members of Parliament to take keen interest in the conservation of forests in our areas. 

Sir, the wanton destruction of our forests and encroachment of forestry reserves by local communities should be stopped forthwith if the country is to contribute its share in the reduction of greenhouse gases that are contributing to global warming in addition to its adverse effects on our planet.

Mr Speaker, may I take this opportunity to encourage people to plant trees and ensure that five trees are planted for each tree that is cut. My ministry has begun massive afforestation and re-afforestation by way of a National Tree Planting Programme. Special emphasis will be placed on establishing provincial and local supply of forest plantations to meet the ever-rising demand for timber both locally and within our region.

Sir, I will shortly deliver another ministerial statement to give details of the National Tree Planting Programme and how we shall all participate.

Mr Speaker, my ministry will be presenting a Revised Forestry Bill which will provide a framework for sustainable management of our forestry resources. Further, the ministry is, currently, reviewing the Timber Export Policy of 2003 in order to introduce measures that will enhance value addition to the timber industry. In addition, the ministry is developing the Bee-Keeping Policy which will strengthen and regulate the sector.

Mr Speaker, in order to sustain Zambia’s socio-economic development, it is incumbent upon every citizen to protect and conserve the environment and utilise national resources in a sustainable manner and maintain a clean and healthy environment. In this regard, the PF Government shall safeguard the environment by promoting sustainable investment through expeditious application of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (IEA) under the enabling policy and legal framework that the Government has formulated.

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that the Government is resolved to building sufficient capacity in this sector to enable the implementation of home-grown sustainable natural resource management programmes. One of the priorities of the programme will be the involvement of local people in wetlands vis-à-vis management and utilisation of wetland Management. 

Sir, Zambia, like many other countries, is already affected by the adverse effects of climate change, as can be seen by the increased incidences of erratic rainfall and drought patterns. The country’s key sectors, such as agriculture, wildlife, forestry, water, energy and human health have already been adversely affected by climate-induced changes, thereby significantly affecting the economic, social and environment dimensions of our national, sustainable development.  

Mr Speaker, the PF Government is determined to treat climate change with the seriousness it deserves so as to ensure that we make efforts to reduce poverty among the people. Zambia will also continue to domesticate international instruments that have a bearing on the management of the environment.

Sir, in order to address climate change more comprehensively and in an effective manner, the Government has reached an advanced stage in formulating a National Climate Change Policy. This policy is being developed to support and facilitate a co-ordinated response to climate change in our country. 

Mr Speaker, the policy will enable Zambia to adapt its climate-sensitive sectors of the economy and its society to meet its development goals through the articulation of a low-carbon resilient pathway.

Mr Speaker, on international boundaries, the Government is under international obligations to fulfill the African Union (AU) declaration to demarcate and reaffirm all international boundaries in Africa by the year 2017. The Government will set aside resources and undertake technical programmes in collaboration with its neighboring countries to realise this declaration. The exercise of international boundary demarcation is ongoing. To this effect, I wish to inform the House that the physical demarcations of the Zambia/Malawi and Zambia/Mozambique border have been completed.

Mr Speaker, following the creation of new districts and a province, the Government, through my ministry, is engaged in the preparation of narrative descriptions and boundary maps to facilitate issuance of statutory orders, thereby providing a legal framework for the newly established boundaries. The ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, will further develop, produce and print typographic maps to facilitate physical and socio-economic planning of the new province and districts.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister.

Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that comprehensive statement. However, can the hon. Minister confirm that the Provinces and District Boundaries Act stipulates that the narrative and physical structures of a declared district or province should be a prerequisite to its re-naming or naming. 

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I think the hon. Member is aware that the naming of districts and provinces has already been done at Presidential level. Therefore, based on the guidelines and the boundaries that have been discussed on the ground with all the players, the maps will be adjusted accordingly. Shortly, we shall issue them out with the names that have been announced.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, the acquisition of land for development in various provinces is very critical, and so is the involvement of traditional leaders. It is very difficult to acquire land for development in some parts of this country, especially in the Western Province. Has the hon. Minister been able to engage the traditional leaders in that province so that development may be taken to that area?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I have acknowledged, on several occasions, that traditional leaders are partners in governance with the Government, especially on land issues. There have been challenges in this area and I have received similar complaints to the ones being raised by the hon. Member. In this regard, I am embarking on a countrywide programme to visit traditional leaders and local councils so that we co-ordinate on the land development issue and bring it in line with our Government’s intention to make land accessible to all Zambians. 

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr B. Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, is there any law which deals with people who illegally allocate land?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, the law is very clear. It states that all land is vested in the President, who has given the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection the mandate to administer it on his behalf. The ministry, in turn, has appointed local councils to help in administering land. The only legal entity that can allocate land is the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, through the Commissioner of Lands or the President. Anything outside this framework is illegal and makes those involved liable to prosecution.  

Mr Speaker, I have been encouraging our law enforcement agents to get involved, apprehend and prosecute all the people who are involved in illegal land allocations. These agents will go further to demolish illegal structures. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, one of the reasons for the excitement on the part of Zambians when the PF assumed power was that the people believed that they would have easy access to land, especially in prime areas. One year later, we see that prime land is in the hands of foreigners and, currently, foreigners are able to access land more easily than Zambians. One year …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Ms Namugala: … after the PF took over power, it has continued to give land to foreigners at the expense of indigenous Zambians. These foreigners are speculating on land. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, I know that you have the liberty to preface your question. Please, strike an appropriate balance in order for us to make progress.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, how are foreigners able to access land on which they speculate, and yet indigenous Zambians continue to fail to access prime land?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, it is very interesting to hear the hon. Member raise this point when this situation was, actually, created and promoted by the previous Government, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). Currently, we are trying to correct the situation. In fact, when she said that foreigners were still accessing this land, on this side of the House, we were saying, “Where?”  This is a very serious issue and that is why, as a PF Government, we said that we needed to review the Land Act. There is an opportunity to change things through the on-going Constitution Review and, as a ministry, there are some reforms we have suggested, especially in this regard, that will address this problem. 

Mr Speaker, as a challenge to the hon. Member, I would like her to also encourage us, as Zambians, to make our minds on what we want to do with our land because most of the land which is owned by foreigners is sold by Zambians. Therefore, we should ask ourselves if we want foreigners to own our land. If not, we should also ask ourselves if Zambians should not sell land. Currently, the law does not allow foreigners to own land except, as you are aware, through a company or a trust. 

Mr Speaker, the Land Reforms include us, as a ministry, and we have already started looking at reviewing the Land Act. I, therefore, encourage the hon. Member to come and make a submission on her concerns. As a Government, we are very serious about rectifying the situation. We will look at this because the land issue is becoming very critical in our nation. We will not sit idly by.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has articulated, in great detail, the role of local authorities in the administration of land. Why does it take very long for the ministry, through the Commissioner of Lands, to issue offer letters after the local authorities have done their part?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I have admitted before, on the Floor of this House, that there is a challenge at the ministry vis-à-vis efficiency in handling paperwork among other things. This will soon be a thing of the past. Very shortly, everything at the ministry will be computerised. I can assure you that you will be able to get an offer letter and a title deed between twelve and seventeen days. That is a promise to the nation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his addendum to the President’s Speech (ministerial statement) which is very good. Will he consider re-introducing something like the Industrial Plantations Unit (IPU), which managed to plant many trees throughout the country, so that this afforestation programme is properly spearheaded? 

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, without pre-empting the statement I will make to this House, I can confirm that there is a programme called the National Tree Planting Programme (NTPP) or the Afforestation and Re-afforestation Programme that we will launch shortly. The only industrial plantation that we have in this country is on the Copperbelt Province, and it is run by the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO). We are going to have an industrial plantation in every province that will be as big as the one on the Copperbelt. This will satisfy the high demand we have for timber.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, what advice would the hon. Minister give to the traditional rulers on legal provisions that will assist them to promote the protection of trees which are outside forest reserves?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, some of the stakeholders we will engage in this tree-planting exercise are the traditional leaders and the communities. This will be done to sensitise them on the value of trees. Once they understand the value of trees, they will appreciate this exercise. I am on record as having said that, as a country, we have not fully appreciated the value of trees, which I have called the ‘green gold’. Immediately our traditional leaders and our people appreciate the value, they will impress upon their subjects to stop the destruction of forests.  

Sir, I admit that the law on protection of our forests is weak. There is a Forestry Bill that I will introduce to the House shortly. It will address that aspect and give traditional leaders and the Forestry Department more teeth to arrest the destruction of our forests. After the Forestry Bill has gone through, the department and traditional leaders will be backed by the law.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, one of the problems related to preservation of trees is that of bushfires. In the absence of a clear legal framework on bushfires, what is the ministry doing to drastically reduce the incidence of bushfires?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, there will be an increased effort in the sensitisation and interaction with members of the public, through the media, to educate them on the importance of preserving the forests, especially by preventing bushfires. 

Sir, as far back as I can remember, there has been this culture of burning forests and cutting down trees, especially around June and July. What is required is a change of approach, attitude and understanding. During the serious awareness campaigns that we will conduct, we will educate the people on the effects of bushfires on our eco-system. We expect a reduction in the incidence of bushfires when people understand their implications. However, practically, we will acquire and give equipment to the Forestry Department to contain the fires. We will also place fire breakers around forests so that we can control the spread of bushfires. This will happen soon because we are cognisant of what the hon. Member is saying.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, there are game lodges in the game management areas (GMAs) that have ninety-nine-year lease title deeds. What is the policy of the ministry on issuance of title deeds in GMAs? Do we not realise that the practice could lead to privatisation of these areas?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, as far as I know, a GMA is a protected area and a title deed cannot be issued in such an area. If the hon. Member has come across a title deed that has been issued in such an area, I would like to see it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, as we embark on the land audit, could the hon. Minister give us a bonus answer on how many pieces of land each Zambian is entitled to.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I do not know how to answer that question because, as far as I am aware, legally, there is no limit on the number of pieces of land that a Zambian can own. If you are rich like Hon. Mbulakulima, you can buy as many pieces of land as you wish. However, in terms of allocation, there are unwritten rules on how much land can be given to an individual. 

Mr Speaker, when we conduct this land audit, it will be very clear which land is owned by whom. We will also record the details of ownership, use and gender ratios. Knowing how much land is owned by females and males will enable us to see whether our policies are effective. After this information has been provided, I would like the hon. Member to tell me how many pieces of land he thinks would be fair for a Zambian to own.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, does the PF Government have any programme for sensitising Zambians against selling land to foreigners?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I have already said that there is a need for us, as Zambians, to discuss the issue of land. In the case of Zambians selling land to foreigners, an issue that was raised earlier, there is an argument that the only resource that we have, as Zambians, which we can use to get wealth from foreigners, is land. Before I answer that question, I would like to hear the debate from Zambians. What do we want to do with our land? Do we want to give it out to foreigners? That debate will be going on even as we address the legal framework.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has, actually, encouraged the new districts to apply for the Land Development Fund (LDF). How much money can the new councils apply for?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, we do not have a limit on the amount of funding the new councils can apply for because, once they apply, there is a committee that sits to look at the applications. I know that we have released amounts in excess of K1 billion to various councils around the country. Therefore, it depends on the kind of application that is submitted to my ministry and, later, considered by the committee. If the committee approves it, then the council gets the money that it applied for.

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, the Department of Town and Country Planning is key in land administration, but I have not heard the hon. Minister make reference to it. What strategic and policy moves is the Government making to reposition this department in the challenge of land administration and management?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I will come to give all the details on that matter. We are, currently, re-organising. When I give you the full details, you will appreciate that all the elements that are involved in land administration and management will link very well. You will see the results soon.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, we have an office for the Forestry Department in Senanga, but it has no furniture and other office requirements. Will the ministry provide the department with a vehicle, preferably a Toyota Landcruiser, to facilitate the protection of the forest in the district?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, one thing that the ministry has acknowledged since the PF Government came into power is that the Forestry Department has been neglected over the years. This is demonstrated by the way forests have been neglected by the previous administration. This is how the department was neglected, showing that the Government did not put its priorities in the right places. As a new Government, we want to put those priorities where they belong. Therefore, the hon. Member will soon see the rehabilitation works, after which we will provide facilities like transport, equipment and furniture to the Forestry Department, even to the office in Sesheke. We will immediately embark on these works.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mutati (Lunte): Mr Speaker, may the hon. Minister clarify the ownership of, particularly, traditional land vis-à-vis large-scale agricultural ventures. I think that there is considerable confusion about the process, procedure and title to such land. It would assist if this matter were clarified.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I am aware that most large tracts of customary land are in the hands of traditional leaders.  

In this case, we normally convert such land to State land with the consent of the chief, local council, the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) and the person applying for that particular piece of land. Once this piece of land is made available by the chief, the ministry proceeds to demarcate it in the manner that it sees fit. If a particular piece of land is farmland, the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection works in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, which gives a recommendation. After the recommendation, the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection then proceeds to issue title. This is what has been happening in farming blocks, such as Nansanga. Not too long ago, the ministry processed a deed of title for another farming block. 

Mr Speaker, where a farming block is concerned, the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection is the one to issue a deed of title, but only with a recommendation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

I thank you, Sir. 

 Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, what measures has the Government, through the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, put in place to see to it that, for each tree that is cut, five are planted?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I would like to use this opportunity to solicit the support of this House for the Forest Bill that is coming. In this Bill, we are re-introducing forest rangers and honorary forest scouts countrywide who will have the law on their side.  There will be over 200 of them and they will be monitoring the cutting of and replanting of trees. The rangers, guards and people involved in the sensitisation will be able to know where a tree was cut, who cut it and where the other five have been planted.  

Apart from that, we shall be sensitising and will continue talking the way we are talking …


Mr Simuusa: … to make people appreciate the value of trees so that when someone cuts a tree, he/she plants five more and, if possible, six. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




121. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)whether the Government had any plans to subsidise the growing of cotton as was the case with maize; and 

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

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Kazabu): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to support cotton growers through the revised Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). This is being done as a way of diversifying the inputs being offered under the programme. 

Mr Speaker, the support to cotton farmers will be rolled out during the 2012/2013 farming season, with a target of 28,000 farmers. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, is the Government considering assisting farmers to increase the price of cotton next year since this has completely failed this year? 

Mr Ng’onga: Question!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, by subsidising the production of cotton, the Government is already assisting the farmers to have the profit of the cotton increased. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, cotton is a cash crop. 

I do recall that the FISP was specifically designed to support the staple food. May I find out from the hon. Minister whether there is now a programme to support all other cash crops such as coffee, tobacco and groundnuts? 

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, in the Government’s policy of crop diversification, many other crops have been included for subsidy.  We have included, in the 2012/2013 FISP, sorghum, cotton and groundnuts. We do, therefore, have plans to rollout this programme. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the genesis of subsidising maize came into being when the country had a famine. It was a year of hunger and the Government made a policy to subsidise maize production. 

Mr Speaker, concerning the subsidising of cotton production, I know that this Government wants to pretend to put more money in the farmers’ pockets. How is it going to put more money in the pockets of people by subsidising cotton whose price is determined by the world market? 

Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, when the Government put the crop on a programme of crops to be subsidised, we planned to assist the farmer to meet the required profits and negotiate with the players in the cotton industry who are the merchants that sponsor the farmers. This is why we have put the crop under the FISP to try to begin to negotiate the pricing.

Mr Speaker, we are aware that the cotton price is determined by the international market. We will put in place some mechanism to try to safeguard the investment of the farmers. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, the cotton that is produced in Zambia is, by and large, exported in row form as lint. As my colleagues said, the reasoning behind subsidising maize was to enhance food security in the nation. May I know what the balance is between subsidising manufacturing in other countries where the cotton goes and doing so in the national interest?  

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the vision of the Government for the cotton industry is to revamp the textile industries that we had before so that we can add value to the cotton production. Therefore, as we roll out the inclusion of cotton under the FISP, our vision is to look at the comprehensive processing and value addition so that we actually guarantee the value that we get, as a country, from cotton growing. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister whether, after subsidising the crops that have been included in the FISP, the Government will proceed to buy all the products that will be produced such as cotton, groundnuts and sorghum as the case is with maize. Will the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) be able to do that?

 Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the position of the Government is to try to appropriate a market for the farmers. 

Sir, cotton is still under private sector control in terms of marketing. By the inclusion of all these crops, however, the Government is going to engage the private sector and negotiate better conditions for marketing the crop. I think that this will add value to the growing of cotton. 

Mr Speaker, as for other crops such as rice, which is currently being bought by the FRA, we are yet to decide which crops will be included in the FISP. However, I believe that the already existing measures will enable a farmer to sell his/her crops to private markets.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, I am extremely worried about the answer which the hon. Minister has given.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Mr Speaker: Order!

That worry is personal.


Mr Simfukwe: Sir, every time we subsidise a commodity or a crop, we distort the market. At the moment, we are still struggling to manage the maize subsidy. Due to the subsidy of maize, we have problems because some farmers have stopped keeping livestock and growing very valuable commodities in some areas because they find it cheaper and easier to grow maize, and yet our maize is the most expensive crop on the world market. 

Is the hon. Minister basing his argument on well-studied information? Has there been adequate consideration of the distortions that will take place when cotton or, indeed, any other agricultural commodity is subsidised? Has the hon. Minister also studied the situation and found that what the farmers need is a protection of a minimum price rather than a subsidy?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has said he is extremely worried, but I suppose he is aware that we have a bumper harvest on subsidised maize because we have enabled the farmer to produce it. In the absence of subsidies, a farmer would find it difficult to access components such as fertilisers which enable them to produce. As long as the prices for commodities such as fertilisers, which enable the farmer to produce them, are going to remain unclear, it is incumbent upon the Government to intervene at production level. The hon. Member is aware of this, and this is a researched response I am giving.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, a maize farmer is expecting four bags of fertiliser and one 10 kg bag of seed. What does a cotton farmer expect from this programme?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, a cotton farmer expects cotton seed and one bag of D-Compound fertiliser.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Member: Ehe!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that most of the cotton that is grown in Zambia is grown as a result of out-grower schemes that are being financed by private institutions? Now that the Government has decided to subsidise the growing of cotton, has it not realised that it will discourage the out-grower schemes from financing the farmers or finding a market for subsidised cotton growing and the whole cotton industry will collapse?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the subsidy that we have provided to the cotton farmers is a supplementation approach to the private sector. This is a subsidy that will reduce the investment of a farmer into cotton. Negotiations are taking place so that the cotton merchants will be able to pay at good profits to growers or farmers through the subsidy that the Government has given.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what is being done about the international cotton merchants who have continued paying farmers K1,600 instead of K1,700 per kg?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we are trying our best to ensure that the merchants oblige to their contractual obligations as agreed with the farmers. Therefore, the issue of the market for cotton that shrank in the last marketing season was beyond the Government’s intervention. We are engaging the merchants to ensure that they buy according to what has been agreed.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, the World Bank and other multinational think-tanks have expressed concern at the continued subsidies in the agriculture sector, particularly for maize. We are now told that a whole array of other crops is lined up for subsidies. What policy alternatives is your Government considering in view of this advice?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the whole essence of subsidising was, actually, to wean-off the farmers and that was the original policy. As we rollout the programme to include more crops through the diversification process, we will also wean-off the farmers. We will not leave the policy open.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


122. Mr Chishiba (Kafulafuta) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when communication towers would be constructed at the following locations in Kafulafuta Parliamentary Constituency to improve mobile telephone communication:




(d)Mumana School; and


The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, there are plans this year by any of the service providers to construct specific communication towers at Katonte, Mpulabushi, Kalemuna, Mumana School and Mobe.

Sir, this Government discovered that most chiefdoms and chiefs’ palaces had no mobile coverage. Due to this, the Government has made it a priority to extend communication towers and services to cover all chiefdoms within the shortest possible time.

Mr Speaker, extension of mobile phone coverage to areas that are not serviced other than chiefdoms will only be considered after coverage has been extended to all chiefdoms. The chiefdoms that have been identified as having no coverage are one hundred and eighty-three. As we stated last week, surveys to select suitable sites where towers will be erected for best coverage and other resource requirements will be established such as the height of tower required, access roads and power commenced on 12th August, 2012 and were completed …

Mr Mwamba entered the Assembly Chamber.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member may continue, please.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, let me repeat my answer for the benefit of the hon. Member of Parliament who asked the question. The surveys commenced on 12th August, 2012 and were completed at the end of September, 2012. The tower construction schedule will now be developed as the surveys have been completed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishiba: Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether there are other plans that the ministry intends to bring to the fore so that all hon. Members of Parliament can help in the process of identifying networks in their respective constituencies while Parliament is still in session.

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, I presume we do not need that assistance, but we are going to ensure that the places the hon. Member of Parliament has mentioned are covered through the overlaps. 

Sir, we do realise, like we said last week, that there are overlaps. Our towers are not located specifically to a sub-town or town, but we look at the way we are going to extend the coverage. If we say we will erect a tower in the Mobe area, it does not mean that the tower will be erected exactly at Mobe. We will position it at a place where we think the coverage will be extended around that area. You might think the area is not covered because you are not seeing the tower on the plan at Mobe, but it will be covered either through the chiefdom or through some other plans. Be rest assured that we will erect these towers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, the scenario in the Western Province, Lukulu, in particular, is that there is only one chief gazetted and that is Senior Chief Ananganga. This means only one tower can erected. What is the position of the sub-chiefs, who are otherwise known as Indunas in our culture? Does this mean Lukulu West shall not have any tower and, hence, no network? I would like to know the Government’s position in view of these issues I have raised.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I take Hon. Mutelo’s concerns very seriously but, please, remember that one chief may have been captured, but we are also considering sub-chiefs who are, mostly, in the Western Province. We will go into areas headed by sub-chiefs as well because co-ordinates for that were taken.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, it has been learnt that, in other countries, the use of communication towers is regarded as a thing of the past, and has been completely done away with. Instead, mobile service providers such as Vodacom are using satellite for communication purposes.

Sir, that being the case, is the ministry not considering advising the Zambian communication service providers to emulate their colleagues, Vodacom, that is using satellite?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, even where a satellite is utilised, at the landing site, there is a need to have a tower. So, there is still a need for a combination of towers and satellite.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister considering providing networks to constituencies such as Sikongo that has no network?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, the answer is yes.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


123. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when boarding secondary schools would be constructed at the following places in Kabompo District:

    (a)    Kabulamema;

    (b)    Mumbeji;

    (c)    Pokola; and


The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the construction of boarding secondary schools in all the ten provinces of Zambia is an on-going programme. Therefore, construction of boarding secondary schools at the following places will commence after the Government has secured sufficient funding to undertake the projects.

Sir, in addition to that, the hon. Member should recognise that we are already constructing a secondary school in Kabompo District.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the general answers that the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is giving in terms of beginning the works when funds are found. We are getting quite impatient with such answers because the Government is supposed to source funds. That is why you have been put there …

Mr Speaker: What is the question?

Mr Lufuma: Is the hon. Minister aware that in Kabulamema and Mumbeji, the community has already commenced and put up structures and is merely asking the Government to assist it to complete the structures?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, we are aware of the challenges, and it is not only Kabompo which has those exceptional challenges, but also across the country. Our infrastructure programme can only be operationalised to the extent that the money that is available will permit. The hon. Member for Kabompo West should also know that we have a backlog of infrastructure that is incomplete, which we inherited from the MMD, and which we are trying to complete. The same people have been saying there is no continuity under the PF Administration, and yet we are already providing that continuity.

Therefore, we are committed to constructing additional secondary schools when the money is available. I wish the hon. Member had got our infrastructure plan for 2012, which stipulates very clearly the sites that have been identified by the PF Government for construction of additional secondary schools. If he does not have the plan, I can provide him with a copy tomorrow.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, this Government has informed us that it is introducing a new policy of primary and secondary schools, and is doing away with basic schools. Given that there are no immediate plans to construct secondary schools in Kabompo West, where will the pupils that will complete primary school go for their secondary school education, considering the long distances involved?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, we are going to phase out basic schools and go to the conventional primary and secondary schools. The hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, on the Floor of this House, said that we were not able to commence that commitment in the 2012 Budget. However, in the 2013 Budget, the ministry has committed some funds with a view to, within the phased approach, commencing the transformation or the phasing out of the basic schools and re-introducing secondary schools.

Sir, we cannot do this in one year. That is why I am saying it is going to be carried out in phases. I am sure Kabompo is one of the many constituencies that will benefit from this project.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that Standing Orders 19, 20 and 31 be suspended to enable the House to sit from 1415 hours until business has been concluded on Friday, 12th October, 2012, and also to omit the Vice-President’s Question Time from the agenda.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the House is aware that in accordance with its tradition, the hon. Minister of Finance presents the National Budget on a Friday afternoon each year. This Motion is straightforward and simple and seeks to enable the House to sit in the afternoon, that is, tomorrow, Friday, 12th October, 2012. Hon. Members will be aware that Standing Order 19 provides that the House shall sit at 0900 hours on Fridays, which is in the morning, and suspending this Standing Order will enable the House to sit in the afternoon tomorrow. This will facilitate the hon. Minister of Finance’s presentation of the 2013 National Budget to this august House.

Sir, the suspension of Standing Order 20 will allow the House to sit until business is concluded instead of being restricted to the normal hour of adjournment. Further, Standing Order 31 provides for the Vice-President’s Question Time for thirty minutes on Fridays. The suspension of this Standing Order will enable the House to dispense with the Vice-President’s Question Time and, thereby, provide sufficient time for presentation of the Budget.

I received communication from the hon. Member for Kalomo Central that he was going to miss the Vice-President’s Question Time. I think, maybe, in the future years or sessions, we might consider moving the Budget presentation to the day before or something of that sort. In Britain, one of the public’s favourite television programmes is the Prime Minister’s Question Time. It is very popular there, and should be more popular here, especially for those asking the questions.


The Vice President: Mr Speaker, this is a purely procedural Motion that I believe is non-controversial, but is necessary, at this stage, as a housekeeping measure. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members of the House to support it.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, in supporting this Motion, which is very straightforward, I wish to state that I am eager to hear the Budget of the Patriotic Front (PF) in its second year of governance. Therefore, I have no objections to suspending these Standing Orders. Yes, it is true I complained that we are foregoing His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time because I really needed His Honour the Vice-President to answer questions such as how much money he uses to fly back and forth to Mufumbwe for the by-election campaign …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: … so that he could tell me this on the Floor of the House. Unfortunately, I will not ask him that question, but I would like him to keep in mind that I have such questions for him. I also wanted to know the difference between the President using a motorcade to and from the airport and flying by helicopter whenever he is travelling. Which is cheaper, and will these expenses be indicated in the Budget? I am looking forward to having such issues clarified.


Mr Muntanga: His Honour the Vice-President has said the Prime Minister’s Question Time is popular in Britain but, unfortunately, for us, we have no access to the President. We would have loved to have the President, himself, come here to answer questions. Nonetheless, perhaps, in future, we should increase His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time to one hour … 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: … so that he can answer properly and stop the diversionary measures and not answering properly. It is on this premise that I do not want to miss His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time on any Friday. I, however, support the suspension of the mentioned Standing Orders, but with a plea that, in future, His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time not be removed from the Business of the House on the day of the presentation of the Budget.

I thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, as we suspend the Standing Orders pertaining to the sitting of this House and His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time, there are issues that I would like to raise. These are matters I would like the Government to address and on which we have not been informed, considering that in less than forty-eight hours the hon. Minister of Finance will present the National Budget.

Mr Speaker, you will recall that I raised a point of order pertaining to how the Government was going to present the Budget and who was going to do this, in the absence of the hon. Minister of Finance, who cannot do so because he is currently the Acting President of the Republic of Zambia. You are aware that the President of the Republic of Zambia does not sit with us in this House when the Budget is being presented, as per our Constitution. The question that begs an answer and that is causing anxiety among us here and among members of the public is: How are things going to be done tomorrow? We are entitled to know. What measures has the Government put in place to ensure that there is orderliness in the conduct of the Government Business on the Floor of this House?

Mr Speaker, when the President is to address this House, we are informed in advance and a notification is made to you that the President will come and address this House. In this very awkward situation, we have not been informed whether the Acting President will present the Budget on the Floor of this House. 

Mr Kakoma: And whether he will sit in the Speaker’s Chair.

Mr Mwiimbu: Indeed, is he going to sit in the Speaker’s Chair because there is nothing like the President’s seat when the Budget is being presented?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Further, Mr Speaker, we are aware that a delegate does not delegate. We are aware that the current hon. Minister of Finance is a delegate of the President and, therefore, cannot delegate someone else to act as President. We have not been informed about what is going to happen regarding this situation. 

An Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mr Mwiimbu: I am aware that one of our friends is very independent of wisdom and he keeps making comments while seated.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the issue which we are raising is very important. It is a constitutional issue which needs to be addressed. The other issues which I thought I was going to raise with His Honour the Vice-President during his question time is that of disorderliness in the way the Ruling Party is running the Government Business in this country. In other jurisdictions where there is prudence in the management of government business, it is unusual to find a situation where, in the morning, a minister reports to the Vice-President, and, in the evening after tea, the Vice-President reports to the minister.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: I have noted that this scenario is causing a lot of stress on His Honour the Vice-President. It is not fair.


Mr Mwiimbu: I recall that my late learned hon. Colleague, Mr George Kunda, SC., had expressed concern over this awkward situation, but was called all sorts of names. He was called the dullest lawyer in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region by those colleagues on the Government side, but they have now realised that there is, actually, a legal impediment to His Honour the Vice-President’s acting as President. However, they have never come to the Floor of this House to inform the nation why His Honour the Vice-President, who is supposed to be Acting President when the President leaves the country, cannot do so. He cannot act …

Mr E. C. Lungu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, I rise very reluctantly and I apologise to my colleague who is on the Floor of the House. Is the hon. Member for Monze Central in order to debate matters that are completely outside the Motion?

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr E. C. Lungu: The Motion on the Floor of the House, Mr Speaker, is for the suspension of Standing Orders 19, 20 and 31 to enable the House to sit from 1415 hours until business has been concluded on Friday, 12th October, 2012, and omit His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time from the agenda. With due respect, the hon. Member for Kalomo Central, Mr Muntanga, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Minister should address the Chair.

He may continue.

Mr E. C. Lungu:  … debated very well. He addressed the issue of His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time and the reason we should adjourn.  The hon. Member for Monze Central, on the other hand, is talking about something completely outside the Motion. 

Sir, I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, one of the fundamental principles governing the debates in the House is relevance. It is very important to observe this because, if we do not do so, we can lose direction. In this particular case, there is a very specific Motion and specific Standing Orders that have been singled out by His Honour the Vice-President on the Floor. As much as those seemingly collateral issues are interesting and exciting, perhaps, they do not sit squarely with the Motion at hand. 

In order to continue debating relevant issues, I will strongly urge the hon. Member for Monze Central to bear in mind the purpose of the Motion. I know that there are very interesting questions about things like what will happen tomorrow. However, all those issues have been taken care of.  Let us wait for Friday, 12th October, 2012, for those issues to unfold. 

My ruling is that the hon. Member for Monze Central is out of order.

The hon. Member for Monze Central can continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Thank you, Mr Speaker. 

I have been requested, as Member of Parliament, to support the Motion. However, I do not support it …


Mr Mwiimbu: … for various reasons that I want to give.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I do not support the Motion because the procedures of this House are being violated by our colleagues on the right.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Our colleagues on the right are taking us for granted. They think that, whenever they make a request, this august House will be used as a gong to endorse the Motion. 

Sir, I do not support the Motion because I am anxious about what is going to happen tomorrow.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Mwiimbu: I do not support the Motion because of the unconstitutional manner in which the Government is governing this country. I cannot support the Motion because I will never be taken for granted by those on your right. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the two hon. Members of the Opposition for their overwhelming support for this Motion …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: … and, especially the hon. Member for Monze Central, for his concern for my mental health. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: It is very strengthening to me to know that there are some people who care.

With those few words, I ask the House to help me pass this Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.{mospagebreak}


(Debate resumed)

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Shamenda): Thank you, Mr Speaker for giving me the Floor.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha left the Assembly Chamber.

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, before I make my contribution, I would like to congratulate the man who just walked out of the Assembly Chamber on his election as Member of Parliament and appointment as hon. Minister of Justice. (The hon. Minister of Justice still in his seat.)


Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for according me this chance to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor of the House. 

From the outset, I wish to state that I am very proud to be part of the team that is working vigorously with the President to restore the shattered dreams and lost dignity of the people of this great nation. 

Sir, I would like to describe the landmark address given by His Excellency the President as a new lease of life. Firstly, one would observe that the speech outlined the results that have been achieved over the past one year, challenges faced and the outlook for the future. Indeed, it was an inspiring address in that it gave some practical action that has been taken since the President addressed this august House last year.

Mr Speaker, of course, we are not fully satisfied with the progress that has been made in the last twelve months. We will, therefore, continue to work tirelessly to bring development so that our people can live under better conditions. Our administration will remain focused as we know that we have the trust of the people. 

Mr Speaker, allow me to re-iterate His Excellency the President’s statement that the key developmental challenges that our country faces today include high levels of youth unemployment and poverty. In this regard, the Government is unwaveringly committed to addressing these and other challenges to ensure better lives for all Zambians as per our party manifesto. Pursuant to this commitment, and in line with His Excellency the President’s Speech, I wish to inform the House about some programmes we are implementing and intend to implement in the employment and labour sector.

Mr Speaker, the PF formed a pact with the people of Zambia to deliver on, among other issues, the following:

(a)reviewing the Employment Act so as to introduce clear, legal provisions that will address the casualisation of labour and outsourcing of services;

(b)reviewing the Minimum Wages and Conditions of Service Act;

(c)carrying out a comprehensive review and amendment of current labour-related legislation, such as the Factories Act, which is now outdated;

(d)rationalising the administration of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to effectively carry out its inspectorate functions so as to promote the welfare of workers at work places;

(v)    domesticating and implementing international labour standards that Zambia is a signatory to; and

(vi)    re-establishing the Labour Department to maintain a register of available skills in the country and undertaking comprehensive social security reforms.

In line with the pact forged, through the manifesto, action is being taken in the following areas:

Mr Speaker, strengthening of labour administration, it is a fact that, when we came into office, one of the major challenges that we found in the labour sector was the inadequate capacity in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for effective labour administration. Cognisant of this challenge, the Government has undertaken a review of the structure of the ministry and, particularly, that of the Department of Labour. With the revised structure, we will be able to employ more qualified labour officers and inspectors to provide the much-needed efficient services to our people.

Sir, my ministry is engaged in discussions with Airtel to establish a helpline for members of the public to lodge complaints with the ministry. This effort will improve service delivery to the public. With an efficient and professional labour administration machinery, we will be able to deliver effective governance of the labour market and address challenges such as casualisation of labour.

As the President highlighted, great strides have been made to enhance good governance in the country. With regard to the labour sector, we have vowed to not let what we saw in the previous administration happen, again, in this country. We cannot talk about good governance when our labour laws are not democratic. I am, therefore, glad to inform the House that a comprehensive review of our labour laws has reached an advanced stage. Our intention is to put in place laws that will protect our workers but, at the same time, remain friendly to business.

Mr Speaker, we held meetings with our social partners during which we agreed to review all the labour laws. This will ensure that our labour sector is modernised in line with international standards. To this end, we have engaged an internationally renowned Zambian Labour Law Professor based at the Cape Town University in South Africa to prepare an Issues Paper which will be the basis for the comprehensive labour law reforms. At an appropriate time, copies will be availed to hon. Members of Parliament for them to make comments. I am glad to inform the House that the Draft Issues Paper is ready and being circulated to a wide range of stakeholders for their input.

Mr Speaker, another area that this Government is working on is the streamlining of the Wage Policy. Recently, in line with the PF Manifesto, we revised the minimum wages for domestic, shop and general workers so that our people can get decent wages. Despite the good intentions, there were some concerns from a small section of our society.

Hon. Opposition Member: Question!

Mr Shamenda: I would like to assure this House that the revised minimum wages have had 80 per cent acceptance. Most employers who have had problems effecting the new wages have had discussions with my ministry behind the curtains. We believe, as a ministry, that issues will only be resolved through dialogue and, particularly, in the board rooms and not through newspapers.

Mr Speaker, in order to improve the system for determining the minimum wages in our country, we are developing a sector-based minimum wage setting mechanism. To come up with these, a tripartite team of officials, led by the ministry had to undertake study visits to South Africa and Kenya between April and September this year. The proposed mechanism is ready to be tabled for discussion with our social partners. The system will ensure that employers pay in accordance with the economic realities in their sectors. This is a challenging undertaking, but in collaboration with our partners, we have done the necessary ground work to implement the system. 

Mr Speaker, as stated by His Excellency the President and clearly stipulated in the PF Manifesto, this Government intends to improve social protection services and broaden their coverage. This will be achieved through the integration of the various social safety-net programmes as well as improvement of the efficiency of pension schemes and the quality of benefits. In line with this intention, the Government has embarked on a process of comprehensively reforming the pension system in our country. This will entail the establishment of a strong multi-layer pension system in which workers will be expected to contribute to a mandatory national scheme and also have other options. The reformed pension system will provide workers with meaningful incomes, which shall be paid timely, in retirement. 

Related to the social security reforms, we shall soon table Bills to amend the Worker’s Compensation Act to address the issue of benefits payable under it. The National Pension Scheme Authority Act will also be brought before this House for amendment. We, therefore, hope that our colleagues will support these reform proposals once they are brought to this House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, let me turn to the issue of employment creation. As we all know, the challenge of unemployment has been with us for a long time. This is because of the failure of successive governments to proactively tackle this issue. It is for this reason that His Excellency the President should be commended for his leadership, following the measures that he outlined in the speech made on the Floor of this August House. It is no wonder he is called a man of action.

Mr Speaker, let me comment on the benefits derived from the creation of new districts. I wish to state that from the labour point of view, the initiative to create new districts will spur economic activities, particularly in the rural areas where most of our people reside. With increased economic activity, through infrastructure development and setting up of institutions and businesses, employment will be generated for our people. In addition, this will contribute to the efforts being made to implement the Decentralisation Policy.

Mr Speaker, the other factor that needs to be considered on employment creation is the national strategy on industrialisation and job creation. The ministry has been part of the Government process to design and implement a national strategy on industrialisation and job creation. This strategy will ensure that employment creation activities are co-ordinated systematically and synergised. In addition, the Government will integrate decent work principles through the national framework for job creation. 

Mr Speaker, in 2013, we shall establish Public Employment Exchange Services in all the ten provinces of Zambia. This is because we have noticed that one of the factors that hinder our people from getting employed is the lack of access to the labour market. The Public Employment Exchange Services will facilitate the registration of job seekers and prospective employers as well as match job seekers with employers. In addition, it will provide career guidance and job counselling services in the quest to shorten unemployment spells for job seekers.

Mr Speaker, apart from the establishment of Public Employment Exchange Services, we are working on an apprenticeship programme. This programme is aimed at improving the chance of being employed of people, particularly the youth, as they will be afforded a chance to acquire work experience while under training. Ultimately, these reforms will …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Can we have some order on the right, please.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shamenda: … contribute to the efficient functioning of the labour market.

Mr Speaker, another area of priority to our Government is the promotion of the national labour productivity in the country. In order to achieve this, my ministry is in the process of setting up national productivity measurement systems with technical assistance from the ministry. Both public and private enterprises will be able to use the system to improve productivity. This is not only important for gross domestic product (GDP) growth, but also for ensuring that productive workers are remunerated accordingly. 

Mr Speaker, the ministry has embarked on a programme of strengthening of social dialogue. We have taken great steps to ensure that there is good governance in our relations with trade unions and employer organisations. We are proud to say that the days are gone when the Government used to interfere in the administration of trade unions. One cannot talk of good governance when the Government interferes in the operations and elections of trade unions and employer organisations.

Mr Speaker, to demonstrate our resolve on this issue, my ministry has agreed with its social partners to review Statutory Instrument No. 23 of 2008 that gave power to the Labour Commissioner to preside over elections of trade unions and employer organisations. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours. 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that in order to build on the efforts I had outlined, the Government has taken steps to improve the operational mechanisms of the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council. All these are being undertaken to ensure that open dialogue and democracy are encouraged in the labour sector.

Mr Speaker, we intend to bring a Bill that will amend the Zambia Institute of Human Resources Management Act to uplift the human resource profession. This Act will be strengthened to ensure that unqualified personnel do not practice as Human Resource Managers. This measure is intended to reduce conflicts at places of work.

Mr Speaker, in summary, these and other programmes are being undertaken so that our people can live better lives.

Mr Speaker, investors operate in our constituencies and hon. Members of this House are the chosen representatives of the constituencies. Therefore, I believe that the best labour officers we can have are ourselves. In this regard, I wish to implore my fellow hon. Members of Parliament to take an active interest in labour issues in our constituencies.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to urge our friends in the Opposition to stand with this Government as we implement the progressive ideas contained in the President’s Speech. Let us remember that service to our people is supreme over our partisan interests.

Mr Speaker, I am lucky that Hon. Professor Lungwangwa is not in the House because I overheard him saying that he would tear my speech to pieces after I have delivered it.


Mr Shamenda: I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Wina):  Mr Speaker, they are trying to confuse me before I start.  

Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to contribute to debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia. Mr Michael C. Sata’s Address that was delivered to this House. The Speech was meant to extend an olive branch to all Zambians, including the Opposition, to work together in unity to develop our country. This is because the task of rebuilding Zambia requires our collective will and actions. I, therefore, appeal to all to heed the President’s appeal and find ways in which we can all work positively to advance our unity and development collectively.

Mr Speaker, I also appreciate the President’s decision to give priority to the development of new roads that will inter-link Zambia. We look forward to seeing each of our provinces having three new major roads in the coming few years where they were non-existent.

Sir, let us face it. This is only the second time in the nearly fifty years of Independence that a massive road-link has been initiated. The first time was in the first fifteen years of Independence when the tarring of roads was done in all the provincial capitals.

Mr Speaker, allow me to join those who have welcomed the great step forward of winning international investor support for the Eurobond. I can understand where some misunderstandings may come from. Some people fear that the PF Government may act in the same way their predecessors, the MMD, did. What the MMD borrowed was for their consumption. 

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

Mrs Wina: Let me inform them that for the PF Government, the Eurobond will be used for investment in productive sectors.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Wina: Mr Speaker, we have plans to use this money in a prudent manner so that it brings out good returns to enable us to pay back.

Sir, I wish to further inform the House that several years ago, many of us were members of the Jubilee 2000. This was a collection of civil society organisations that fought very hard for the cancellation of Zambia’s external debt. Surely, we have not forgotten where we have come from. The PF Government, therefore, is a responsible Government and, thus, is fully aware of the problems associated with an unsustainable debt burden.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Wina: Mr Speaker, the President’s Address referred to the escalating cases of gender-based violence and sexual harassment as a national tragedy. I do not have to repeat the chilling statistics of the growing pandemic of gender-based violence. We all read about the atrocities of gender-based violence daily. Our collective action as leaders must be to work to stop the scourge.

Sir, I wish to call on all the hon. Members of Parliament, individually and collectively, to be on the frontline in fighting violence against women, in particular. As the female gender, we are your daughters, mothers, spouses and sisters. You should, therefore, show leadership in this fight against gender-based violence. Indeed, the same way you showed that leadership on the issue of circumcision.


Mrs Wina: Mr Speaker, may I also draw the attention of the hon. Members to the fact that violence against women is a violation of women’s rights. Women’s rights are human rights. They are not a gift but a right.

Sir, it is time for Zambia to move in tandem with other progressive Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries to advance gender equality. It is in light of gender injustice that the Government has considered the promotion of gender equality and equity and women’s advancement as a priority. In this regard, my ministry has been given the mandate and is responsible for mainstreaming gender in all line ministries and the entire Public Service as well as the private sector. 

Further, Mr Speaker, in our effort to combat gender-based violence and support the victims and survivors of this crime, I wish to inform the House that the ministry is currently co-ordinating the implementation of the National Action Plan on the Gender-Based Violence Act.

Sir, we are also working on dissemination of standards for the establishment and management of shelters for survivors of gender-based violence.

Mr Speaker, as a country, we have inherited a large population of children on the streets. The children on the streets are exposed to a wide range of risks, and the majority have been victims of crime, including being forced to commit acts against their will. 

Sir, in order to address the situation on the streets, the Government, through my ministry, is providing financial and technical support to Child Protection Committees countrywide. These committees co-ordinate and implement activities related to the protection of children against abuse and neglect, including those on the streets. These children will be removed from the streets to ensure that they fit into society and lead a decent life, just like other children.

Mr Speaker, in responding to the high levels of poverty among women, especially in rural areas, the Government has put in place various measures to empower women and girls. Among these is the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) that addresses agricultural input needs for peasant farmers. There is also the Women Economic Empowerment Fund, where my ministry provides small grants and time-saving technology devices or equipment to ease women’s work load. We also undertake capacity building for entrepreneur skills developments.

Sir, we are all aware of the great number of women and youths engaged in what one would call survivalist activities which enable them to achieve a semblance of sustainable livelihood. 

Mr Speaker, the greatest obstacle to this group is lack of access to credit and business information. This has to be overcome for our country to economically move forward.

In conclusion, Sir, I wish to, once again, make an earnest appeal to all of us, Zambians, to be patriotic and positive about our country. God gave us this land equitably and, with this land, its people. If Zambians are not proud of their own country, who will be proud of it?

Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to note and hear eminent personalities from outside Zambia saying that Zambia is now receiving publicity for good reasons. Let us keep it that way.

I thank you, Sir.

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

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Sichinga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make a contribution to the debate on the President’s Speech which he delivered to this august House on Friday, 25th September, 2012.

Mr Speaker, allow me to begin by thanking His Excellency the President, Mr C. Michael Sata, for his wide-ranged speech which clearly provided direction in the medium term. In fact, one would say that what he covered goes well beyond the medium term and was a candid reflection of the PF’s first year in office. 

Mr Speaker, contrary to the assertions of some of our critics, the Government has shown, beyond any shadow of doubt, that it can make even the most difficult decisions. In fact, in relation to issues affecting our ministry, the President and his Government have practically demonstrated, in a forthright manner, that it upholds free enterprise and propagates pro-market policies. 

Sir, not only have we implemented prudent macro-economic policies that have seen this country continue to enjoy a sound GDP growth, a stable currency and low inflation, but we have also seen lowered interest rates, inflation rate as well as taxes by increasing the tax-free threshold amount.

Mr Speaker, the Central Bank has continued to enjoy independence in determining the monitory policy to the satisfaction of the international community in Zambia. This cannot be better demonstrated than by the evidence of Zambia’s sovereign Eurobond borrowing in the sum of US$750 million from international markets at rates that are lower than those used by some of the well-known European countries. We have, therefore, successfully built on the achievements of the previous Government. Let me use this opportunity to acknowledge the work of my predecessor Hon. Mutati, whom I see has stepped out of the Chamber, who was part of that contribution.

Sir, nevertheless, the PF Manifesto has spelt out its overall policies as follows:

(i)creating employment (more jobs for our people);

(ii)lowering taxes; and

(iii)putting more money in our people’s pockets.

Mr Speaker, the President’s Speech, in as far as it relates to our ministry, was very clear as stated on the following pages:

(i)Page 17:    Fostering inclusive social and economic development;

(ii)Page 40:     Employment, wealth creation and empowerment;

(iii)Page 42:    Private sector development;

(iv)Page 43:    Developments in districts; and

(v)Page 69:    Stepping up efforts to address Gender Based Violence (GBV).

Mr Speaker, our ministry’s role is principally to work with other Government ministries, Government agencies and the private sector in facilitating value and employment creation and putting more money in the workers and business persons’ pockets.

Sir, one key aspect of our broad key policy framework which distinguishes us from the ideals of the previous administrations has been the refocusing of the Government’s efforts from mere economic growth, whose progress is measured only by the macroeconomic indicators, to inclusive growth policies which translate into favorable microeconomic indicators. 

For development to be real, it has to be beneficial to the ordinary citizen at the grass root level. It must translate into more money in individuals’ pockets, including our citizens in Kalomo as well as Mapatizya.

Hon. Muntaga: Aah!

Mr Sichinga: The PF has continued to put policies in place that are pro-poor and are designed to benefit a broader spectrum of our people. Instead of just the elite from Lusaka, it will benefit those from Thendele village, my home area, to those in Haamonga’s village in Mapatizya and to those in Mukelebai’s village in Shang’ombo. This is what the people voted for when they elected President Sata and the PF into office. 

Sir, as his Ministers, we are determined to play our individual roles to ensure that he delivers on the election promises. In line with the President’s Speech, we, as the PF, do not believe in confrontation, but co-operation. We do not believe in belligerence but harmony. The PF will not shove its authority around, but in humility, we shall seek to deliver development to all our people. This is the spirit of the PF Government.

Allow me to now focus on matters in the President’s Speech that relate to the mandate of my ministry.

Mr Speaker, in terms of creation employment, I wish to assure the House that my ministry has been working extremely hard on planning to develop appropriate strategies to ensure industrialisation and job creation through value addition.

Sir, only last week, I mentioned in this House that we were putting in place a robust strategy to industrialise both our urban and rural areas. This should be music to the ears of hon. Members of Parliament from the rural areas. To this end, last Thursday and Friday, October 4th and 5th, we held a successful Value Addition Consultative Conference at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre. 

The industrialisation strategy will form the policy bedrock of the Government’s National Development Agenda and strategic focus. We are ensuring that we have the right physical industrial support infrastructure and institutional and legislative framework. This will result in large and small-scale manufacturing industries being established in areas where various primary resources are found across the country. We intend to concentrate support for beneficiation of up to five raw material products in each province.

Mr Speaker, as I had informed the House last week, the ministry held this value addition conference in order to reaffirm our proposals to develop the industrial structures. Some of the key issues that emerged from that conference are in line with what has already been outlined in His Excellency the President’s Speech, such as access to credit, markets, raw materials, skills and technology. These are the building blocks that the PF is putting in place. Any hon. Member worth his salt should surely support these efforts, including Hon. Muntaga from Kalomo Central.

Hon. Muntaga: There is no agriculture bank there.

Mr Sichinga: I will ensure that that is also done.

Mr Speaker, allow me to touch, briefly, on the need for establishing an industrial development entity and the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA). We are positioning this to provide the complete industrial development network and support system, linking the investors to the value-addition and the rural industrialisation agenda through investment promotion and facilitation by way of establishing core support ventures. I clearly stated this in my statement when we discussed the issue of industrial clusters. Therefore, I do not intend to repeat this.

Mr Speaker, the focus of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) can no longer be a matter of rhetoric. It is this focus on MSME’s that underpins the entire job creation effort. We must critically attend to the matters that hinder business, especially in the rural areas.

Mr Speaker, our efforts to industrialise both the urban and rural areas cannot succeed if the cost of doing business in this country remains high. High costs of doing business make our local businesses uncompetitive even before we can produce. This is why, in line with His Excellency the President’s Address, the ministry will continue to spearhead the elimination of administrative barriers and improve the financial environment to promote sound development of the private sector.

Sir, the acceleration of the pace at which private sector reforms are implemented is a matter of priority for the ministry. The next phase will focus on ensuring that the reforms have meaning at local authority level where the balance between raising revenues for local authority operations and pro-private sector environment have proven elusive in the past.

Mr Speaker, we have to compete with the rest of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the SADC within the frame of a Free Trade Area (FTA). There is no doubt that the FTA brings with it benefits as well as challenges, especially at national level.

However, the solution is not to close ourselves up and shy away from regional integration. Instead, we should promote industrialisation and MSME growth, which I have already mentioned. Through value addition, we expect that we can utilise and take advantage of the markets which have become available through the regional groupings.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President’s Address repeatedly called for more markets for Zambian products. I wish to inform hon. Members of the House and the nation that the ministry is, in one way or the other, working to create bigger and better markets for Zambian products. Our officers work in collaboration with their counterparts in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance to create a market within the SADC and COMESA framework, as well as beyond that. We are focusing on ensuring that we create a framework that will assure these markets and that Zambian products conform to the highest quality standards. 

In this regard, I will bring to this House four Bills to completely restructure the national quality infrastructure framework in the country. This will ensure that institutions such as the Zambia Bureau of Standards and the Zambia Weights and Measurers Agency take up appropriate functions to enable them to conform to international best practices.

Sir, furthermore, to support innovation and protection of original ideas and products, I will bring to this House an additional four Bills that will seek to close lacunas in the current legal framework and to strengthen the enforcement of intellectual property rights, patents and designs. I look forward to support of the hon. Members of this House.

Mr Speaker, as indicated in the President’s Address, while we are focusing on local investment, foreign direct investment (FDI) remains essential to our development efforts. Why? This is because we do not have enough of our own capital. We need additional capital, expertise, technology as well as the business opportunities that come with foreign investment. In this regard, I wish to bring to the attention of the House some of our investment initiatives. In the last twelve months, the PF Government, through my ministry, have undertaken trade and investment missions to the United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom (UK) where our missions were graced with His Excellency the President. We have been to Australia, India, Norway, Turkey and Finland. These missions gave investors opportunities to learn about the investment opportunities in our country. The country’s image is being enhanced because we are bringing Zambia to the world. 


Mr Sichinga: Sir, we have more missions planned. We do not believe in a one-nation focus investment promotion strategy, as was seen in the previous Government. We have a policy of treating all investors alike and giving them the same opportunities. Therefore, missions are planned to Japan, Italy, South Korea and Cambodia where we have vast experience in the use of industrial clusters as a vehicle for industrialisation.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, let me reiterate the Government’s commitment to private sector-led development. Our role, as a Government, will remain that of a proactive development facilitator. The reforms we are implementing are tailored to benefit the private sector and boost growth by reducing costs that entrepreneurs have to grapple with and creating an environment in which they can create jobs for the people, according to the promises we made to people of Zambia. The PF Government is proactive. We are ready and willing to listen to our colleagues across the Floor. We can, but are not waiting for them to make suggestions and proposals before we can act. We have a PF agenda for the nation which got us to where we are. We will continue to pursue this. Brothers and sisters across the Floor, let us work together. We seek your co-operation and not confrontation. Lobby us and visit our offices like the hon. Member for Namwala has done. She has been to our office and shared her views and made her proposals. That is what we are seeking from you. Our doors are open to you. If you continually fight us, you are not helping matters. You will be the losers because we hold the instruments of power which can bring development to your constituencies. Therefore, we recommend that you co-operate with us.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to say a few words, as I wind-up the Government’s side of this debate and leave the mover to do the final ceremony. 

Mr Speaker, the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Speech, of course, ran into some controversy about which speech to use. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed it though I have hardly been able to read something written. I also enjoyed the personality of the President who is outstandingly one of the longest serving Members of this House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: I was very sympathetic with him because we both looked at our former party members and enjoyed the interaction with them. The only difference between Hon. Dr Chituwo and me is that I am a founder member of the MMD and he is a Johnny Come Lately.


Dr Scott: We were with our colleagues. The President was with his long-standing colleagues whom he acknowledged, in particular, Hon. Dr Chituwo. He remembered how he took him to Mumbwa and tried to get him elected, and how it took time for his faith to catch on and for him to eventually win. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to register appreciation for the setting of the platform on which the PF Government will discharge its mandate to the people of Zambia in the coming year. Of course, there will be new innovations which were not covered, but the broad outline was there. 

Mr Speaker, I have listened carefully to the debates and I understand the concerns of some of our colleagues in the Opposition who wanted to hear the President talk about every single matter that they have been complaining about or losing sleep over. Unfortunately, it is not possible to say, in a one or two hour’s speech, everything that needs to be said and everything under the sun that everybody might want to know. His Excellency focused on a selected number of issues to highlight where we are coming from, what we have achieved in this one year and what we want to achieve in the years to come. 

We all received a copy of the speech and I urge all hon. Members of Parliament to have  positive and sober minds as they revisit it and read the document, again. What we found, in many cases, was that hon. Members gave page numbers to cite examples of the issues that His Excellency raised. I think it was Hon. Bwalya of Lupososhi Constituency who took his debate through, page by page, from page 15 to page 46, highlighting issues which our colleagues on the left did not initially see because they were too busy shooting from the hip. Indeed, many other hon. Members from your right explained the content, the vision and the implementation strategy contained in the speech. The onus is on us to reflect on the President’s Speech, given the well-delivered responses from this side of the House, supplemented with some answers at the Vice-President’s Question Time when it resumes normal service next week.


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, in conclusion, let me thank all hon. Members on your left who debated, including those who debated silently from their seats and say that the Government took seriously everything they raised on the Floor of the House and on our part, we will begin a process of analysing their contributions.

Mr Speaker, at the beginning, the President said, “Let us make this a collective endeavour to improve this country.” We can start trying to slit each other’s throats when we come close to the next election in 2016 but, for now, let us serve your constituents as well as our constituents.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, in his speech, His Excellency said:

“The Executive must listen to the criticism from the Opposition because in more ways than one, it will be for our own good. That is what they are there for, to provide checks and balances.”

Mr Speaker, let me equally thank the hon. Members of the Executive and the Backbenchers from the Patriotic Front Party for the clear manner in which they expounded our vision.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chungu (Luanshya): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to wind up debate. I would like to thank all the hon. Members that participated in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address to this august House. Most importantly, I would like to thank the hon. Members on your left for the manner in which they debated. I know that they debated in that manner because of the passion that they have for this country and the people whom they represent. 

Mr Speaker, on both sides of the House, we are willing to take this country to greater heights in our quest of development. The hon. Members on your left raised very important issues that I personally feel cannot be ignored but embraced. 

Mr Speaker, I would also like to thank the hon. Cabinet Ministers, their Deputies and the hon. Members of Parliament for the way they expounded their ideas on how the PF Government intends to develop this country.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1706 hours until 1415 hours on Friday, 12th October, 2012.