Debates- Wednesday, 3rd October, 2012

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Wednesday, 3rd 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 Bank of Zambia (BOZ) will hold a half-day workshop for all hon. Members of Parliament on the re-basing exercise on Monday, 22nd October, 2012, in the Auditorium, Parliament Buildings, at 0930 hours. The aim of the workshop is to update hon. Members of Parliament on the status of the project and discuss how hon. Members can assist with the dissemination of vital information on re-basing in their respective constituencies. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members to attend this very important workshop.

I thank you.




71. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    when the contractor working on the Mongu-Kalabo Road would start constructing the road from the Kalabo side so that the people of Kalabo could also get employed, as was the case with their colleagues from the Mongu side;

(b)    when farmers in Kalabo, whose fields were destroyed during the construction of the road, would be compensated as was the case with their counterparts in Mongu;

(c)    when construction of the Mongu-Kalabo Road would be completed and;

(d)    what the life-span of the road would be, considering the nature of the terrain.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, the on-going works on the 35km between Mongu and Tapo in the Zambezi Flood Plain are being undertaken from the Mongu side. However, once the bridge is constructed across the Zambezi River, by the end of 2014, works will commence from the Tapo side. This will provide large-scale employment on the Kalabo side.

Sir, a team comprising staff from the District Commissioner’s office, the District Agriculture Co-ordinating Office (DACO) and our office in Mongu left for Kalabo yesterday and they should have commenced paying the affected families today.

Mr Speaker, the construction of the Mongu/Kalabo Road is expected to be completed in March, 2016. 

Sir, the life-span of the road is estimated to be between fifteen to twenty years. The road is, however, expected to last even longer with appropriate regular routine and periodic maintenance interventions.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the response given by the hon. Minister. However, I would like to know how much money will be paid to the farmers.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the amount is K163 million.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, now that the Government has started compensating people, in monetary terms, who were displaced due to some construction works, will it also consider compensating, in monetary terms, the people of Gwembe who were displaced during the construction of the Kariba Dam?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, that is a very important question and, historically, it has raised a lot of anxiety. However, I am constrained from answering it because it does not fall under the portfolio of our ministry. It should be asked afresh so that the right authority can answer the hon. Member of Parliament.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm reports that, when this road construction project was temporarily suspended, some building materials, which were already on site, were ferried to some other provinces.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, I can only assume that the hon. Member of Parliament is referring to the bailey bridges which were initially supposed to be used in the plains. However, the design was changed to concrete, but most of the bailey bridges are still in Mongu. We were there last month and found that only two or three were used along the Maamba Road. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed this House that the road between Kalabo and Mongu will take us up to about 2016 to complete. This is a stretch of less than 100km. Why should such a short road take all that time to complete?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the entire stretch, from Mongu to Kalabo, is 74km. The stretch being referred to is from Mongu to Tapo and is 34km. It passes through one of the most treacherous terrains; the Zambezi Flood Plain. Further, the window for construction works is only six months per year, hence the extended duration of the works.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Sir, is there a guarantee that, come 2016, the bridge will be completed? It might be that we are being wasteful because this bridge was meant to take only three years to construct, from 2002 to 2005. 

 Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, works on the bridge are likely to commence in 2014 and we expect to finish construction of the bridge across the main Zambezi River by 2016.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


72. Dr Kazonga (Vubwi) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    what the main objectives of the Technology Information Resource Centre established under the National Technology Business Centre were;

(b)    whether the objectives were being met; and

(c)    if not, why.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Professor Willombe): Mr Speaker, the Technology Information Resource Centre (TIRC) was established under the National Technology Business Centre (NTBC) to provide an online technological data bank for the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship. The specific objectives of the centre are to:

(a)    identify, acquire and store technological information and data relevant to various stakeholders, such as researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and the general public;

(b)    serve as a conduit for technological information to aid technology transfer; and

(c)    provide stakeholders with a search base for technological data and information.

These objectives are being met as evidenced by the number of stakeholders, like entrepreneurs, who have been able to acquire information on the manufacturing processes for various items, such as welding rods, plastic bottles, drying and processing of fruits, which normally go to waste in times of abundance, and manufacturing of cosmetics and medical equipment, among others. 

Sir, the outputs of technological information and data at the centre are being manifested through the establishment of enterprises, such as Mwekatech Limited based in Kitwe, which manufactures welding rods, Muben Plastics, which manufactures plastic bottles, and Chikwankwa Food Processing Limited, which processes mangoes, guavas and other fruits. Thus, through the TIRC, various stakeholders are equipped with current technological information in order for them not to re-invent the wheel in their operations.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, may I know …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to raise a fundamental point of order arising from Part 3 of the Constitution of Zambia, in particular, Article 11 (17) and (20). The Government of the Republic of Zambia issued Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 34 of 2011 the subject of which was the registration of mobile telephone sim cards used by individuals and organisations.

Mr Speaker, the rights of individuals are so fundamental that they cannot be violated or abrogated by a mere SI without putting safeguards that the privacy of individuals will not be violated. The measures being effected by the Government are not unique to this country and I am aware that similar action was attempted in the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA) and other jurisdictions. However, the people of the countries I have mentioned and others I have not mentioned rose and objected, raising the fundamental issue of the violation of the right to privacy.

Mr Speaker, the move by the Government to register mobile phone sim cards entails that those who would want to violate the privacy of others will be able to do so. They will know which phone is being used and the purpose for which it is being used.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Those who have the evil intention of violating people’s privacy will use this law which is being operationalised.

Mr Speaker, I am aware that, in this country, there is no mechanism that has been put in place to ensure that people’s privacy is respected. The hon. Minister responsible for this portfolio has not come to this House to assure us that the registration of sim cards will not be abused by those in authority. 

Mr Speaker, we are also aware that the Government has been manoeuvring to subjugate the views of those who contribute to online publications, but was having difficulties in doing so. It has now decided to use this SI for the same purpose.

Sir, the point of order I am raising is a fundamental one and relates to the rights and obligations of Zambians in this country. Is the Government in order to introduce a law that will violate the rights of individuals without putting in place mechanisms to protect those rights? Issues of fundamental human rights, under Part 3, are very dear to all of us and we should all be seen to be protecting those rights.

I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that we are a constitutional democracy and, as such, one of the fundamental tenets that we observe and respect is the doctrine of the separation of powers. In our democracy, the three organs of Government are equal and co-ordinate, meaning that none is superior to the other. Unlike in the UK, where the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty is observed and, by implication, the legislature there is superior to the two other organs. This is not the case in Zambia. The practical implication of this, and in terms of Article 28 of the Constitution, is that, where it is believed that any right has been or is about to be infringed upon, the appropriate arm of Government to intervene is the Judiciary. 

I agree that this exercise raises a fundamental question that touches on the rights and liberties of citizens, but it is not for the Speaker to determine the constitutionality or otherwise of this measure. At best, we have a standing committee that has been assigned the task of superintending over subordinate legislation more popularly referred to as delegated legislation within the Committee system. That is the Committee that is charged with the task of determining the propriety or otherwise of this legislation. That is as far as the ruling of the Speaker goes on this subject.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member may continue.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, the answer read by the hon. Deputy Minister to part (b) of the question, in particular, indicates that the objectives of these centres are being met. How are the typical rural areas benefiting from the attainment of these objectives? Examples of these typical rural areas are Zozwe, …


Dr Kazonga: … Tafelansoni, … 


Dr Kazonga: … Washishi, Chembe, Chienge and Nsama. How are these areas benefiting?

Professor Willombe: Mr Speaker, while the objectives of the centre are being met, there are, of course, some challenges, such as the one the hon. Member of Parliament has posed. However, to address these kinds of challenges, the centre plans to commence the provision services through a mobile platform as well as by establishing similar centres in some provincial headquarters. Other places that have been targeted to be provided with the service include colleges, universities and business associations. 

I thank you, Sir.


73. Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central) (on behalf of Mrs Mazoka (Pemba)) asked the Minister of Health when medical staff would be posted to Pemba High School Clinic.

Dr Chikusu paused.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Nkombo is a proxy, in case you are wondering.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, Pemba Health Centre 
is a health post and the approved health staff for a health post are the health post in-charge, who is a Registered Nurse or clinical officer, a Zambia Enrolled Midwife, a Zambia Enrolled Nurse, an environmental health technologist, a medical records clerk, a cleaner and a watchman.

 Mr Speaker, Pemba Health Post already has one qualified health worker, a Zambia Enrolled Nurse. Further, the Government has adopted a phased approach in filling positions to reduce the variance between the approved establishment and the staff-in-post in all the public health facilities in the country, including Pemba Health Post. The Government, through the Ministry of Health, recruits qualified health workers every year, based on funds made available in the National Budget for net recruitment, as a way of addressing the critical shortage of health workers in Government health facilities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Deputy Minister elaborate what approach this is, rather than telling me that it is tied to the availability of funds. What is the actual approach that will be used to fill these establishments?

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I do appreciate the concern of the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central. We have not let him in on the details of how we will proceed in these matters and, perhaps, it is not practicable for us to do so. Nevertheless, I will answer as follows: in view of the shortage of health workers, which we have discussed from time to time, there has to be a regular review of availability of staff, on one hand, and vacancies and the impact of those vacancies on the performance of a given function, on the other hand. Therefore, when we talk of a health post and what we describe as the functions of a health post, we would have to examine whether this particular place has a more urgent need to fill that position than any other place. I am afraid, it does creep onto the subjective element, which might not be appreciated by the hon. Member. However, the intention is that, by a regular review of the functions of individual institutions, we are able to determine where the few workers who are available should be posted. That is our internal mechanism.

I thank you Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister of Health clearly, there is one qualified member of staff at this health post, who is an Enrolled Nurse. I am also aware that the hon. Minister of Health informed this House that an Enrolled Nurse is not authorised to prescribe medicine. Who prescribes medicines to patients at this health post, considering that there are no qualified personnel to do that?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I attempted to show that every institution has a description of the functions that it is mandated to carry out. On that basis, the ministry is able to say which necessary staff should be available. If we were to examine the responsibilities and functions of a health post, they do not include the level of prescription that the hon. Member is referring to. In other words, in the event of an illness which requires a prescription, for example, by a doctor, clearly, we would not expect a health post to be handling that. The health post, however, has access to institutions where it can obtain such services. We are talking about the limitations of a given institution and the description of the functions of that institution, in this case, a health post.

I thank you, Sir.                                                                                     
Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, Pemba is just one of the health posts without staff. The Ministry of Health indicated to this House, that it was going to build 650 health posts. He has difficulties staffing the very few health posts that are there. How 

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I must re-establish some commonality of understanding over the relevance of the description of an institution. A health post, which is the institution that the hon. Member is referring to, has a number of limitations on the kind of personnel that is expected to work in it. In this case, a health post should have the minimum of a community health assistant. We have not yet acquired that number of community health assistants. However, anybody employed before that community health assistant becomes the established common denominator for all our health posts. Anybody equivalent to a community health assistant or higher may be deployed. I said that 300 community health assistants graduated earlier this year, and a further 500 are waiting to be trained. 

Sir, it is my understanding that, as the health posts are being built, the appropriate members of staff, namely, the community health assistants, will be available. I understand that when we have a health posts with a description of its functions, it, occasionally, gets presented with conditions above what it should be handling. This is true of any level of the health care system. We have to have a referral system that is capable of coping either directly within the institution or by some mobile arrangement. I believe that this is the way forward, and that it will work.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, we have heard the reasoning of the hon. Minister. However, he is avoiding the actual question that has been posed to him. Now that Pemba is a district, I expected that hon. Minister (pointing a finger)…

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mind your fingers.

Mr Ntundu: Pemba High School Clinic is the biggest in Pemba and I expected the hon. Minister to say that this clinic is going to be upgraded so that Pemba can have the required medical staff.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is known for expecting certain answers.


Dr Kasonde: I am unable to oblige him with all the various answers that he has been expecting. However, I hope that another occasion will arise when we can come back to all those numerous expectations of the hon. Member. On this occasion, I chose to stick to the question as it had been presented. I visited Pemba recently.  Unfortunately, the hon. Member for that area is not here for me to ask why the address she gave me to visit happened to be an incomplete house. If we are talking about the creation or building of a district hospital in Pemba, yes, we do intend to pursue that line. However, that was not the question. I request the hon. Member to stick to the question at hand and raise an appropriate follow-up question for us to answer in good time.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, since the problem is the shortage of staff, there are some areas where personnel is adequate because nurses are married to, for example, teachers. Why can the ministry not carry out a research to look for a teacher who is married to a nurse somewhere and transfer that person to Pemba so that the wife is able to attend to pupils there?


Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Minister is at liberty to respond to that. I will not insist.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, at least, I will have the opportunity to disclaim any capacity or responsibility for match-making.

I thank you, Sir.



74. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    when the newly-created Nsama District would be connected to the National Electricity Grid;

(b)    whether the Government had any plans to provide all Government institutions in the district with electric power; and

(c)    whether any studies had been conducted to establish the nearest source of power and, if so, what that source was.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, currently, the Government, through the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), has commenced feasibility studies of all newly-created districts. It has already engaged the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to provide detailed plans on the establishment of the new district centres so that they can be used as a basis for planning the electrification requirements.

Sir, when feasibility studies are completed and funds sourced, through the 2013 National Budget, Nsama District will be connected to the National Electricity Grid.

Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to provide all Government institutions with electric power in the district.

Sir, no official studies have been carried out yet but, from the technical point of view, it is prudent to connect Nsama District from Mporokoso, which is 100km away.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, what is the purpose of these feasibility studies that the Government is carrying out? What will be included in those studies?

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, the feasibility studies will involve the identification of the source, which is Mporokoso. It will also identify the route and consider the environmental impacts. The costing is also involved in the feasibility study.

I thank you, Sir.


75. Mr Taundi (Mangango) asked the hon. Minister of Home Affairs when the Government would undertake the following at Nyango Police Post in Mangango Parliamentary Constituency:

(a)    increase staffing levels;

(b)    rehabilitate office accommodation and holding cells; and 

(c)    build housing units.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, the Zambia Police Force recently recruited 1,500 trainee constables, who are undergoing training at the three police training institutions, namely, Kamfinsa School of Public Order Maintenance, Mobile Unit, Sondela Paramilitary Police Training School in Kafue and Lilayi Police College.

Sir, the Government will send additional manpower to Nyango Police Post in Mangango Parliamentary Constituency upon the passing out of the recruits currently undergoing training at the police colleges. The recruits are expected to be posted in March, 2013.

Sir, the Government intends to ensure that officers operate in a humane and suitable environment. It, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, intends to rehabilitate the offices and holding cells at Nyango Police Post during the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) period, which is from 2011 to 2016, when funds are available for such projects.

Mr Speaker, the construction of staff houses at Nyango Police Post is under consideration in the Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP) for the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is the wish of the Government to improve accommodation for police officers throughout the country in order to motivate them. Construction of staff houses and other support infrastructure will only commence once funds are available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Taundi: Mr Speaker, this police post is run by one police officer, yet the distance from Kaoma to Nyango is about 40km. The nearest police post, at Mangango, is about 18km away. How can this police officer manage to control crime in the area, considering that police officers will only be deployed to the area in 2013?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, currently, the staffing levels are quite low for historical reasons. That is why this Government decided to recruit the 1,500 trainees. They started their training in July, this, year and will pass out, some time, in January, next year. As soon as they pass out, we will deploy a few officers countrywide.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


76. Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali) asked the hon. Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    how many road traffic accidents occurred from September, 2011, to August, 2012, countrywide;

(b)    of the accidents at (a), how many occurred in the Eastern Province;

(c)    how many of the accidents above involved  public transport;

(d)    how many lives were lost in the accidents at (c) above; and

(e)    what measures the Government had taken to reduce the number of traffic accidents involving public transport.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the country, as a whole, recorded 18,876 road traffic accidents for the period 1st September, 2011, to 31st August, 2012.

Sir, the Eastern Province, alone, recorded 954 road traffic accidents of which fifteen involved public service motor vehicles and twenty-six lives were lost.

Mr Speaker, the measures that the Government has taken to reduce the number of accidents involving public transport are:

(a)    to determine the cause of road accidents. These causes are:

(i)    over-speeding;

(ii)    vehicles that are not road-worthy;

(iii)    the human element (unlicensed drivers, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and fatigue);

(iv)    non-observance of road signs; and

(v)    the state of our roads, for example, potholes.

Mr Speaker, the Government is reinforcing local and highway patrol teams with the view to conducting random police checkpoints in order to remove vehicles that are not road-worthy and unlicensed drivers, who are not only a danger to themselves, but also to other road users.

Sir, stakeholder institutions, such as the Road Traffic Department, the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and the Road Development Agency (RDA) have been tasked with the responsibility of coming up with regulations aimed at minimising the incidence of public transport  moving at night. 

Mr Speaker, the Government has embarked on the construction of speed humps on highways and mounting of appropriate signage at danger spots in order to compel drivers to reduce speed. Those who have been on the Great East Road or the Great North Road will have seen some of these speed humps.

Sir, the Government is considering the installation of speed limiters on public service vehicles. The current speed limiters have been easy to tamper with. Therefore, the Government is scouting for appropriate speed limiters that cannot be easily tampered with.

Mr Speaker, the Government is also embarking on the re-training of traffic police officers in order to enhance their effectiveness. It is also constantly improving the state of our roads in order to make them safer.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr V. Mwale: Mr Speaker, when will the Government implement the new speed limiters that the hon. Minister has talked about?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, we are scouting for limiters to find some that cannot be easily manipulated. We have not settled on a specific type yet. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, we are happy that the Government has seen the need to improve the state of the roads, which is one of the factors contributing to accidents.

Mr Speaker, Lukulu just experienced some accidents. When will the Government carry out some works on the Lukulu Road?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, perhaps, the hon. Member could pose the question to our colleagues at the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, public transport is comprehensively insured … 

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member for Lukulu West in order to start lamenting about road accidents when he informed the House yesterday that there is only one vehicle in Lukulu … 


Mr Mwiimbu: … and that the vehicle is his?


Mr Mwiimbu: Is he telling us that it is his vehicle that was involved in the accident?


Mr Speaker: I think that the hon. Member is worried about his safety.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, public transport is comprehensively insured. The victims of the accidents are supposed to be compensated when such accidents occur. Can the hon. Minister confirm to this House that all the victims who are involved in these accidents are compensated.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, we can carry out research on insurance to find out whether payments are made.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, in his answer to an earlier question, the hon. Minister said that the ministry is still scouting for the type of speed limiters to install.

Mr Speaker, is it going to scout in perpetuity or does it have a timeframe within which we can expect to see the speed limiters on our roads?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, every life that is lost on the road is precious. We want to do a good job to get appropriate speed limiters. We are not going to bind ourselves to time. We want to get the appropriate gadgets.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr B. Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, is the Government considering stopping public transport from moving at night?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, that is one of the measures that are being considered. However, we would have to consult with all stakeholders to find the best way possible of doing that.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, some of the humps that are being built have sharp edges, some are ugly and others cause accidents. Is the ministry considering putting up standard humps?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the installation of humps is carried out by the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication. Our colleagues would be in a better position to answer this question. However, we are also concerned about the irregularities of some of these humps, which can be a danger to road users.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the measures that the ministry is taking. However, what are its plans? Is it thinking of offering road safety tips to motorists on the highway, instead of concentrating on finding faults with would-be offenders on the road?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, one of the major functions of the RTSA is to conduct sensitisation on road traffic safety and regulations. In the past, it would go to schools and work with non-governmental organisations to sensitise road users.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that over-speeding is one of the causes of accidents. Is the ministry considering reducing the speed limit from 100km per hour to less? 

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, studies need to be carried out. On local roads and highways, there are speed limits, but these are arrived at after studies are undertaken. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kambompo West): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister talked about a survey on how many people are compensated after these public accidents, which he could not undertake. When will this study  be done and its results brought to this House?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, that is not the mandate of the Ministry of Home Affairs. There is an appropriate ministry that deals with those issues. I think, the hon. Member should redirect that question to the ministry responsible for that. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, are the officers who do the patrols in the night using the RTSA vehicles trained or they are just picked from the community?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I think, that question should be redirected to the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, what measures is the Government putting in place to protect road signs as these are usually vandalised?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, road signage is very critical for road safety. We, therefore, appeal to all hon. Members of this august House to appeal to their constituents to respect road signs. On our part, we try to embed them as deeply as we can so that they are difficult to remove. Above all else, it is a matter of sensitisation and it is for the safety of both pedestrians and motorists.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Quality!


77. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Finance:

(a)    why the demurrage charged by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in their court yards was very high; and

(b)    whether the Government had any plans to reduce the fee.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Sampa): Mr Speaker, the ZRA does not charge demurrage fees. Demurrage charges are fees imposed by transporters of goods for any delay that is caused by their clients. What the ZRA charges are storage fees for the use of the Customs yards or warehouses where imported goods are kept before taxes are paid. The charge applies on goods that remain in the Customs premises for a period beyond what is prescribed in the law, which is, currently, five days.

Mr Speaker, the storage charges arise under the following circumstances:

(a)    people who are not able to pay tax upon receiving tax assessment are given a grace period of five days within which taxes should be paid before imported goods are moved out of the Customs premises. If the goods remain in the Customs premises longer than five days from the day tax assessments are done and given to the client, the ZRA charges storage fee per tonne for each category of goods;

(b)    when taxes on imported goods have been paid, but goods remain in the Customs premises beyond two days, storage fees are charged per tonne for each day that the goods remain on the premises. The charge for both instances is, currently, at K18,000 per tonne or per 1,000 litres. The charge is meant to discourage importers from keeping their goods in the Customs yards for too long. With the growing trade between countries, there are many transactions at Zambian borders. Therefore, it is very important for the ZRA to ensure that importers do not keep their goods for too long in the yards to allow for other goods that are coming in to assessment have room and be inspected in a suitable environment; and

(c)    the Customs yards need security and maintenance. Therefore, the money collected is used to secure and maintain the yards and warehouses in which imported goods are stored.

Mr Speaker, the ZRA has not seen the need to reduce storage fees as the current charges are working well. However, there is room to consider revising the charges should they pose a challenge to trade facilitation at ports of entry.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, the question that has been raised by the hon. Member is very important. The charges that the ZRA imposes on innocent importers are extremely high. This is a fact and it has been confirmed by one PF hon. Member. Since the Government promised that it would do everything for the people of Zambia when it took over power, and this is one of the issues it is supposed to deal with so that importers…

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, due to these high charges that the ZRA is imposing on importers, importers end up losing their goods. Will the hon. Minister, therefore, seriously consider reducing the charges so that importers are helped.

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, at least I survived being pointed at.


Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, I agree with the hon. Member. In order to encourage trade, we need to remove all barriers and, indeed, high taxes discourage trade. So, we are looking at ways, together with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, of making the transportation of goods at all borders smooth. 

I thank you, Sir.


78. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development in which provinces the following mineral deposits were found:

(a)    Uranium;

(b)    Nickel;

(c)    Gold; and

(d)    Diamonds.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, the minerals mentioned above are found in the following provinces: 

    Mineral        Province

    Uranium        Southern

    Nickel            Southern; 
                North-Western; and

Gold            North-Western

        Diamonds        North-Western

Mr Speaker, there are no discoveries of commercial quantities of diamonds reported in Zambia yet. The presence is reported as mere occurrences and we have deposits in terms of defined resources.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, may I know …

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, is the Senior hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central, Mr Jack Mwiimbu, in order to fail to distinguish Lukulu West Constituency from Lukulu District, because the Katunda-Lukulu Road is not in Lukulu West? Is he in order to mislead the nation that it is only my vehicle that moves on the Katunda-Lukulu Road?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, it would not be in order for me to make a ruling on that point of order when the hon. Member is not in the House. So, I would suggest that you pursue this matter during the tea break.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, what developmental plan does our Government intend to put in place as a way of promoting the extractive industries in these areas.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to ensuring that we have a plan to complete the mapping of the country in record time, as evidenced by the serious commitment in the President’s Speech to increasing geological mapping in order to ensure that the entire Republic of Zambia is covered.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr M. B. Mwale (Malambo): Mr Speaker, are there any plans by any uranium exploration company to develop the first ever uranium mine in the near future so that we may diversify our mineral production portfolio?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, in fact, it is good to note that the hon. Member of Parliament for Malambo, Mr Maxwell Mwale, left a very significant amount of work being done in the ministry. Indeed, there are plans to increase the exploration of uranium in order to upgrade the mining sector in this country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Sianga (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, which district in the Western Province has deposits of diamonds?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I want to categorically state that there is a huge deposit of minerals in the province, and we are determined, as the Government, to ensure that these minerals are explored for the benefit of the people in the province. The geological mapping that we have done in the province includes several districts, starting from Mumbwa. You can count on this Government to develop the Western Province.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, I visited some place recently …

Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point if order is raised.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, it is very well known that I rarely rise on points of order. Is the hon. Deputy Minister in order to mislead this House and the entire nation that Mumbwa is in the Western Province? I need your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: I am sure that it was a slip of the tongue on his part. Certainly, Mumbwa is not in the Western Province.

Ms Imenda: … and saw a map which was showing that the whole of our country is divided into blocks and licences have been issued for most of these blocks. Could the hon. Minister, please, educate me on what mining activities are being undertaken by the licence holders.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, we will start from Mumbwa because we have large deposits in that area. On the part of the Western Province, we have areas like Kalabo Central, where Hon. Miyutu can count on us to help facilitate mining activities. So, the impression that Mumbwa is in the Western Province was the result of a slip of tongue, as guided by the hon. Speaker.

Mr Speaker, we are in the process of exploration and this will precipitate the commencement of actual mining. Once we discover the minerals, you will see the mining activities taking place. As for now, all we are doing is exploring so that we can define the resources in each area. That is why His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, in his address to Parliament, indicated that we are increasing geological mapping in order to ensure that mining operations start in record time.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, does the uranium that the hon. Minister talked about in the Southern Province include what is in Siavonga District? If so, are there companies mining uranium in the district?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, yes, the uranium deposits in the Southern Province include those in Siavonga and we are currently exploring. As a Government, we will ensure that the safety of the people is taken care of before we can move on to actual mining.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, I am impressed to hear that there are diamonds in the Northern Province. What is the exact location of the diamonds in that province?

Mr Speaker: I hope, hon. Members have not begun prospecting on the Floor of the House.


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I am very happy to note that the hon. Members of Parliament are intensively following the debate. You can see that this Government is following the President’s directive to hon. Ministers to give well-researched information to the House. We have huge deposits of diamonds in Mpika, Kaputa, and Chienge. The hon. Member’s constituency falls within that area.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Deputy Minister for giving answers by making reference to the President’s Speech under the mining portfolio. 

Mr Speaker, key among the issues that the President referred to under the mining portfolio is, and I quote:

“The mining sector has continued to perform very well. This is due to the favourable investment climate prevailing in the country, coupled with high prices of metals.”

Mr Speaker, I have the privilege of representing a constituency that has a nickel mining project. It is true that, for over a year now, it has been under care and maintenance. If what is contained in the speech about a favourable investment climate is true, I would like to know at what stage this Government is regarding the engagement of an equity partner, a promise that it has been making for a long time now. Why has it taken so long to get an equity partner for the Munali Nickel Project? 

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central is one of the most progressive people that we have in this House. When dealing with issues of nickel mining in Mazabuka, the ministry has always incorporated him so that he is up to speed with what the Government is doing. I am very glad because he has been very sober when it comes to working with the Government in this area. 


Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, we have had a few challenges regarding the shareholding of Jinchuan, an Australian firm that has been charged with the operation of this mine. We have been trying to look for a strategic partner who will continue with the operations of the mine. 

Sir, the mine had many plan difficulties, such as the dilution, in terms of the recovery, and the plummeting of the nickel price, which contributed heavily to making the mine non-viable at that time. The Government is, therefore, determined to find a partner who will develop this resource. We are also working very closely with the union and the area hon. Member of Parliament to ensure that the workers at the nickel mine in Mazabuka are safeguarded and have a lifeline. 

Mr Speaker, in this area, the corporate social responsibility that the mine committed itself to providing has been going on very well. Where the mine has not done well in terms of meeting its responsibilities, the area hon. Member of Parliament has been very helpful in supporting the Government to ensure that this is done. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


79. Mr Ntundu (on behalf of Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central)) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    when the construction of offices for the new headquarters of the Southern Province would commence;

(b)    who the contractors of the project were;

(c)    what the estimated cost of the project was; and 

(d)    what the timeframe for the completion of the project was. 

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the construction of offices for the provincial administration in Choma will commence as soon as the money requested for in the 2013 Budget is made available. The design and bills of quantities for the main administration block are ready. This six-storey block is similar to the one we are constructing for the Ministry of Justice here in Lusaka. 

Mr Speaker, the contractor will be identified through an open tender to be advertised in the first quarter of 2013. 

Sir, the cost of building the administration block is K42 billion while the construction period is estimated at eighteen months. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, Gwembe has been a district for over twenty years now, yet its offices are under trees. The hon. Minister has just stated that the construction of the provincial administration block will cost K2 billion. Are you sure, hon. Minister, that it will be possible for you to build …

Hon. Government Members: K42 billion!

Mr Ntundu: Why did you not ask the question if you know the answer?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Address the Speaker. 


Mr Ntundu: I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: I do not know whether you will ask the Speaker a question.

Mr Ntundu: Sir, I need more of your protection. 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Gwembe, what is the supplementary question? 

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, how possible will it be for the PF Government to build a provincial administration office block at a cost of K42 billion which will supervise offices in Gwembe that are operating under trees?

Mr Ntundu: How possible will this be?  

Mr Speaker: I will not request the hon. Minister to answer that question. Let us move on to the next question, unless there is another supplementary question. 

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, the site for the construction of the provincial administration office block is an airstrip. Is constructing another airstrip going to be done concurrently with the construction of the office block? If not, what is the alternative for the airstrip that will be destroyed to pave way for the construction of the offices? 

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, what we know is that the airstrip that the hon. Member referred to is not being used. This is why this space has been rightfully allocated for the construction of the administration block. We also know that this Government is constructing airports throughout the country and, Choma being a new provincial headquarters, will be catered for. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the office block is still under construction. I would like to know if the headquarters have completely moved from Livingstone to Choma. If so, are they operational? If not, when will this be done?

Mr Speaker: Please, follow through the responses from the hon. Minister very carefully. 

Hon. Minister, speak for yourself.  


Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the answer did not mention the office block being under construction. We have requested for funding in next year’s Budget so that construction can commence in the first quarter of next year. 

Mr Muntanga: With hands in the pockets?

Dr Mwali removed his hands from his pockets. 


Mr Speaker: Order!

Are you through, hon. Minister?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, I also stated that the construction of the office block will take eighteen months. That means that it will not end next year. In the interim, the provincial administration will be accommodated in the current offices of the district administration whose offices will move into our building in Choma once the two buildings are rehabilitated. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the Government plans to construct airstrips in all the provincial headquarters. In my opinion, it would be good to look for alternative land for the construction of this office block so that you just develop the airstrip that is already in existence into an airport. Does the Government think it is being prudent?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the best I can say is that the consultations that were undertaken were exhaustive.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, it appears, to me, that the period of eighteen months is very dear to the PF Government. As we heard, there was six months to go before Chalimbana is ready. May I find out from the hon. Minister whether this period of eighteen months within which the provincial headquarters will be ready has been well thought through or shall we come next year, again, only to be told funds were not available.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, in terms of construction wisdom, it is well-thought out but, in terms of the availability of resources, that is not the issue.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


80. Mr Sililo (Mulobezi) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock when the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) would open satellite depots at the following places in Mulobezi District to facilitate the buying of crops:

(a)    Kamanga;

(b)    Bwina;

(c)    Nawinda;

(d)    Kasompa; and

(e)    Namena.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Mwewa): Mr Speaker, Kamanga, Bwina and Nawinda satellite depots are, currently, operational. Namena Depot is surrounded by the following five operational satellite depots:

Depot            Distance from Namena (km)

Mulauli                 15

Magumwi                 10 

Salumbwe                 15 

Maibwe                 23 

Kegaya                 12

Sir, all these depots are within an accessible radius for the farmers in Namena to deliver their produce. As a matter of fact, farmers from Namena are already delivering their crops to the five satellite depots. On the other hand, Kasompa, which is approximately 40km from the main depot, is a maize-deficit area. In view of this, it is not economical to operate a satellite depot there.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, in order to adequately respond to the challenges of rural development, in particular, high levels of poverty, this House urges the Government to re-focus the its rural development policy.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Mucheleka: Thank you, Mr Speaker. This House wishes to urge the Government to formulate a stand-alone rural development policy and systematically implement it in order to deal with the problem of rural poverty. 

Sir, let me begin by expressing my profound appreciation to you for allowing me to move this Motion, whose aim is to persuade the Executive to formulate and implement a rural development policy that is detached from other policies, such as those on land, agriculture and environment. The justification for the formulation and implementation of a stand-alone rural development policy is informed by the failure of previous and current generic policies to focus adequate attention on sustainable rural development with the aim of significantly reducing poverty.

Mr Speaker, a separate policy on rural development will help the Government to mainstream and accord rural development the much-needed priority. By so doing, the Government will be dealing with the problem of poverty in a more deliberate and systematic manner. My ardent belief is that the rural development policy will aptly respond to the challenges of rural poverty and enhance the rural livelihoods of the majority of the people of Zambia, who continue to wallow in abject poverty.

Sir, we need to clearly analyse the situation of poverty in Zambia. According to the Central Statistical Office (CSO) 2011 Census of Population and Housing Summary Report, out of 13 million Zambians, about 60.5 per cent or 7.9 million people, were resident in rural areas. Of this rural population, 77.9 per cent were living in poverty, as at 2010. This means that poverty in Zambia is more of a rural, rather than urban, phenomenon and, to a large extent, even urban poverty could be said to be an extension of rural poverty, as people attempt to escape poverty by migrating to the rural urban areas in search of economic and social opportunities that are denied them in the rural settings. This suggests that the benefits of economic growth are by-passing the rural population.

According to the 2012 CSO Living Conditions and Monitoring Survey Report, a further analysis of poverty by province reveals high levels of poverty by 2010 in predominately remote provinces, especially in the Western Province, at 80.4 per cent; Luapula, at 80.5 per cent; the Eastern Province, at 77.9 per cent; and the Northern Province, at 75 per cent. The worst case was Luapula Province, which recorded a substantial increase in the incidence of poverty, from 73.9 per cent to 80.5 per cent between 2006 and 2010.

Sir, from the statistics I have mentioned, it is clear that rural areas are home to the majority of poor farmers in the country and most of them suffer annual food deficits due to, among other issues, lack of farming inputs, inadequate market for agricultural produce and poor road infrastructure. These problems require focussed attention from the Government for people in the rural to be able to produce surplus food for their own consumption as well as generate revenue for other needs.

In order to reduce the high poverty levels in the rural areas and promote rural development, there should be a district rural development policy, which shall embody and mainstream such aspects as:

(a)    stimulating rural development and industrialisation through enhanced agricultural productivity and promotion of agro-business in an effort to increase employment opportunities in rural areas;

(b)    improving the provision of basic services, such as water and sanitation, health, education and skills development; and

(c)    investing in key economic infrastructure, such as feeder roads, water canals, tourists’ access roads and electricity access.

Mr Speaker, since 2000, Zambia has used several instruments to promote economic growth and poverty reduction. Some of the instruments are the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), the Transitional National Development Plan (TNDP), between 2003 and 2005, and the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP), between 2006 and 2010. The FNDP scored successes at establishing positive macro-economic fundamentals. The annual inflation rate dropped to a single digit and growth averaged around 6 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) per annum. This was a positive development, and the MMD Administration should be commended for the macro-economic out-turn achieved between 2000 and 2011.

Sir, currently, Zambia is implementing the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP), which will run from 2011 to 2015. It is expected, upon completion, to coincide with the attainment of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, the 2010 progress report indicates that Zambia is far from attaining MDG Number One of reducing extreme poverty by 50 per cent.

Mr Speaker, in view of the foregoing, it is apparent that the country is at a crossroads with regard to poverty reduction and rural development. This is because the economic growth experienced, so far, has not translated into significant reduction of poverty levels and improved the livelihoods of the majority of Zambians in rural areas.

Sir, job creation, which is one of the surest ways of reducing poverty, has not been commensurate with the gains registered from the economic growth. I note, with sadness, that the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) missed the opportunity to significantly contribute to poverty reduction in Zambia.

Sir, lack of a clear and comprehensive rural development policy and the political will to improve the livelihood challenges of the rural people could have contributed to this failure. Poverty and inequality have become more pronounced while the country has been boasting of a sound economic growth.

Mr Speaker, evidence shows that Zambia has one of the highest inequality indices in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is, partly, due to the huge gap that exists between the rural and urban areas of the country.

Sir, much of the gainful economic activities are concentrated in the highly urbanised areas of the Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces, leaving the rest of the country under-developed and its labour mainly dependent on subsistence agriculture.

Mr Speaker, the high expenditure inequality index of over 50 per cent, as measured by the Gene co-efficiency, which measures the extent to which the distribution of income or, in some cases, consumption expenditure among individuals or households within an economy diverts from a perfectly equal distribution. This does not come as a surprise because the gap between the rich and the poor has remained quite wide. The main problem that high expenditure inequality causes in the development agenda of poverty reduction is that it erodes all the gains that are associated with income or economic growth. Therefore, in order for economic growth to benefit the poor, it should be accompanied by a progressive re-distribution of income that is also in favour of the rural poor.

Sir, it is my considered view that all hon. Members of Parliament get concerned, not only with urban poverty reduction, but also with rural poverty reduction, especially that, even here in Parliament, over 60 per cent of the hon. Members represent rural constituencies.

Mr Speaker, I am not, in any way, suggesting that the urban areas should be ignored. In any case, as I earlier said, one would argue that even urban poverty is, to a large extent, an extension of rural poverty. This is backed by the fact that, in Zambia, urban areas have recorded a high population increase. This is partly because people in rural areas have continued to migrate to urban areas due to various push factors in the rural areas, while the urban areas have provided pool factors that have created an incentive for people in rural areas to continue trooping to the urban areas. This, in turn, has helped to exacerbate urban poverty. The onus is, therefore, on all of us, hon. Members, to help create incentives and pool factors that are in favour of the rural areas.

Sir, it is in this light that I noted, with interest, when His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, in his address to Parliament, during the Official Opening of the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, on Friday, 21st September, 2012, indicated that his Government is committed to the creation of employment, promotion of rural development through stimulated agriculture productivity vis-à-vis establishing agro processing industries and upgrading of feeder roads.

Mr Speaker, this is a welcome move. However, the Government should ensure that such efforts are directed and guided by a rural development policy so as to take into account the disparity and diversity between rural and urban areas.

Sir, it is clear that, once a policy on rural development is in place, it will form an appropriate mechanism for the allocation of budgetary funds so that rural areas benefit equally. It is for this reason that some of my fellow hon. Members of Parliament have advocated, on the Floor of the House, and I agree with them, that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which is well-suited for poverty reduction, should take into account the disparity between rural and urban constituencies. For instance, why should Lusaka Central Constituency, which has all the infrastructure, receive the same amount of CDF as Lubansenshi Constituency, which is devoid of any roads, electricity supply and other infrastructure developments?

Mr Speaker, if the rural development policy was explicit enough, by being separate from other policies, budgetary allocations, such as the CDF, would be appropriately guided. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours to 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that the way forward for rural development and poverty reduction would be to change our course. The main reason for failure to have inclusive growth and reduce rural poverty lies, in all probability, in the lack of a specific and comprehensive rural development policy to address the specific livelihood challenges faced by the majority of our people in the rural areas.

Mr Speaker, I, therefore, wish to call for the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive rural development policy, which would ensure that there is equality and equity in the distribution of economic benefits between the rural and urban areas.

Sir, while appreciating the efforts made by successive Governments in combating both urban and rural poverty, the impact has shown mixed results. Urban poverty is lower relative to rural poverty. The rural areas, on the other hand, have lagged behind mainly due to, among other constraints, institutional and structural failures and rigidities in the rural sector.

Mr Speaker, the situation calls for a serious reflection by all concerned stakeholders, especially those in the Executive. I hope that, as we go on, hon. Members of the Executive wing of the Government will listen to this important Motion. There is, indeed, a need to change course in the manner the country addressed the serious challenge of rural poverty.

Sir, the other reason the rural areas have lagged behind is the urban bias in resource allocation. Urban areas have been consistently favoured at the expense of rural areas that have often been given a raw deal as the bulk of the budgetary and other resources are largely retained or spent in urban areas. The bias in resource allocation is caused by politicians in successive Governments, planners, journalists and bureaucrats who are all drawn to towns or are based there. Unless we do something about this, we will all continue to be, by and large, willing victims of the urban trap.

Sir, the situation in the rural areas has been made worse as most funds allocated by Parliament, through the Budget, to the rural poor have neither been sufficient nor fully used for their intended purposes. It is clear from the annual reports produced by the Office of the Auditor-General that there have been glaring irregularities in the use of funds, especially on programmes for the rural poor. Very often, funds meant for the rural poor have been misapplied, misappropriated and even blatantly stolen. I may not be able to give a specific break-down of resource allocation between urban and rural areas because no such data is currently available. However, the levels of development in rural areas are evidence that there is a very serious urban bias in resource allocation.

Mr Speaker, Zambia can, however, bounce back and embark on an inclusive sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. This can be done by using the Vision 2030 document, whose goal is that of Zambia becoming a prosperous middle-income country by 2030, the SNDP and other successive national development plans and strategies. However, it will require a radical shift in the manner we plan for development. We need a renewed political will and interest, as opposed to mere political rhetoric, in dealing with issues of the plight of the rural poor.

Mr Speaker, rural poverty reduction can only meaningfully take place once the rural development policy is formulated and implemented. This would, further, require an increased allocation of financial resources with strengthened institutional capacity at all levels and implementation of the National Decentralisation Policy, which was adopted in 2002, but was never implemented. It is important to note that decentralised authority should be accompanied by fiscal decentralisation so as to strengthen citizen participation and hold the Government and other stakeholders accountable in public service delivery.

Mr Speaker, the rural development policy would, further, need to be backed by consolidated district development plans and budgets, whose inputs would come from the lower structures, including wards. For instance, at the district level, the District Development Co-ordinating Committee (DDCC) and other identified structures should be at the centre of implementing rural development programmes. In driving rural development policies, the DDCCs would prioritise programmes and activities in key sub-sectors, such as agriculture, health, infrastructure (rural transport and electrification, feeder and access roads as well as irrigation), social protection, and water and sanitation. These would, further, need to be supported by very efficient and effective monitoring and evaluation systems that are able to track implementation and key performance indicators with measurable targets. The new rural development policy would also help in identifying and creating clusters of growth within the rural economy. These would, eventually, create pull factors in the rural economy with enormous incentives to retain the majority of the people in the rural sector. The rural people would be expected to, eventually, begin to identify more sustainable economic opportunities through which they can improve their livelihoods. A clearly-defined and comprehensive rural development policy would promote conditions and investments necessary for creating alternative livelihood opportunities for not only the rural people, but also other players, including the private sector.

Mr Speaker, formulating a rural development policy could neither be new or peculiar to Zambia. The Kenneth Kaunda Administration once had a very robust Rural Development Policy, which was implemented with the backing of the necessary institutional and structural setups. The achievements of the implementation of the Rural Development Policy under the Kaunda Administration are well-documented. 

Sir, my call for the formulation of a rural development policy is, further, informed by what is happening in countries within the region where better economic results have been achieved because of the implementation of rural development policies. What is also true is that some countries have even gone as far as setting up stand-alone ministries and institutions responsible for rural development. In view of the foregoing, the way forward is for us to come together and develop the country by formulating and implementing programmes that support rural development. My call for the formulation and implementation of a rural development policy and programmes is, therefore, not misplaced, but well-intended and timely so that the situation does not totally spin out of control.

Mr Speaker, assuming that the Executive would be receptive to the proposal for re-thinking of the policy on rural development, I would, then, urge it to, among other approaches, consider the adoption of the Sustainable Rural Livelihood Framework (SRLF). This analytical framework was developed in the 1990s and owes much to the earlier works of Robert Chambers, an acclaimed economist and rural development practitioner. Substantial development and application of the framework was done by the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department for International Development (DfID), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Care International and Oxfam International. It has proved to be a useful tool in raising an understanding of local livelihoods, planning new development activities and evaluating the impact of existing interventions.

Mr Speaker, I also wish to note that, although agriculture is not the panacea for rural development and poverty reduction, it attempts, to a large extent, to offset the burden of suffering borne by the people in rural areas. Many more people in the rural areas, like their urban counterparts, have tended to diversify their sources of livelihood through crop diversification and other non-farming economic activities. To this end, the SRLF, as will be envisaged in the policy, will help policy makers, planners and other actors to understand the kind of rural development policy required and the relevant interventions for different beneficiaries and locations, respectively.

Mr Speaker, it is important to note that agriculture still remains a key sector in Zambia as most of the rural people still depend on it and other related activities for their livelihoods. However, the SRLF, once used in informing the kind of rural development policy to be formulated, will clearly show that we need to think beyond the agricultural sector as the only important means of migrating away from poverty. This framework emphasises a focus on people, assets, activities and access, rather than on sectors and their performance, which is the conventional point of entry of previous and current development policies.

Sir, we, therefore, require a very clear understanding of livelihood assets and access, and their required combination. The rural livelihoods of natural, physical, social, and financial capital would be analysed and understood in the manner they should be combined and utilised in order to get our people out of poverty. This would help inform the kind of interventions and programmes that would be relevant in pushing the people in rural areas out of poverty over. 

Mr Speaker, the SRLF approach would also help bring to the fore specific needs of the different rural people across the country and, therefore, help in the specific interventions to be made by the Central Government, local authorities, private sector and other stakeholders in rural development. The framework would, further, help people in understanding the livelihoods of poor people and assist in the identification of appropriate entry points and sequencing of more effective development policy and interventions.

Mr Speaker, while calling for the strengthening of institutional capacity as well as accountability for poverty reduction funds, it is my considered view that this is the time to formulate a stand-alone and comprehensive rural development policy. We can then, within the policy, mainstream the pro-poor sectors that I earlier mentioned. 

Mr Speaker, we cannot afford, at this stage, to continue with the same urban bias in the allocation of resources and opportunities. I, therefore, wish to request all hon. Members of this august House to be compassionate and help in addressing the enormous challenges of rural poverty. We cannot continue to confine our people to perpetual poverty by paying only lip service to their plight. Now is the time to stand up and be counted by supporting this noble Motion. Let us all be on the right side of this argument by supporting the lifting of our people out of poverty once and for all. I sincerely request the noble men and women in this House to rise to the occasion and unreservedly support this Motion.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mr Hamududu: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to second the Motion moved by the hon. Member of Parliament for Lubansenshi urging the Government to refocus the rural development framework in order to adequately respond to the challenges of rural development. 

Mr Speaker, there are many reasons for a call for the formulation of a stand-alone comprehensive, coherent and sustainable rural development policy for the Government to address the acute poverty in our rural areas. The mover of the Motion has adequately explained the magnitude of poverty in our rural areas using credible statistics. 

Sir, firstly, the need for a comprehensive rural development policy underlies the fact that past Governments’ policies and strategies failed to build the necessary capacity that was supposed to bring about sustainable development in rural areas. From 1964 to the late 1970s, the Government was able to expand and strengthen basic social services, such as health and education, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Zambia also made rapid socio-economic development and registered high social development indicators in rural areas. However, by the mid-1980s, these achievements could not be sustained due to a number of factors, such as the effects of the economic shocks of the mid-1970s precipitated by high oil prices and downward swing in our copper prices, among other factors.

Secondly, the formulation of the rural development policy relates to the fundamental structural reforms that have taken place during the last decade or so. The broad objectives of these reforms have been to ensure macro-economic stability and improve market efficiency. As a result of these reforms, Zambia has progressed significantly in re-establishing macro-economic stability as evidenced by single-digit inflation, an average annual growth rate of 6 per cent of the economy, a fairly stable exchange rate regime and a four-month import cover foreign reserve position. However, these macro-economic achievements have not benefited the majority of Zambians, particularly, those living in rural areas. For macro-economic achievements to have a significant impact on rural development, fundamental strategic changes are needed in the rural economy. 

Thirdly, the call for the formulation of a comprehensive rural development policy arises from the unsatisfactory performance of the agricultural sector, which is the economic base of the rural areas. A wide range of policies and institutional reforms at the macro and sectoral levels have contributed to an increase in the growth rate of agricultural production since 2002. However, this level of growth is too low to have any significant impact on rural development, in general, and on abject poverty, in particular. 

Moreover, the support to agriculture by the Government has been skewed largely towards one crop, which is maize, while the performance of most crops and the livestock sector has remained poor. As a result, the food security situation has remained one of the major problems in most rural areas of our country.  Therefore, there is a need to increase agricultural productivity by improving markets, promoting private-sector investment, developing the physical infrastructure and human capital, and conduct demand-driven research and extension services. Above all, there is a need to involve rural people in their own development. That is the bottom-up approach.

Mr Speaker, fourthly, the formulation of a rural development policy will strengthen the linkages between various sectoral strategies meant to address rural development issues, improve coordination and set implementation priorities. 

Mr Speaker, fifthly, Zambia has proclaimed her long-term development perspective, the Vision 2030. There is, thus, the need for a rolling rural development policy that translates the vision into specific medium-term implementable programmes.

Mr Speaker, the sixth point is that the formulation of the rural development policy will emphasise the need for economic diversification in our rural areas. Even though agriculture is the backbone of the rural economy, diversification of opportunities for earning an income in the rural areas is crucial for rural development. This is especially important in addressing youth unemployment areas and reducing household vulnerability to environmental changes and fluctuating market prices on agricultural products in the rural. 

Lastly, Sir, the rural development policy is needed to recognise and synergise the inter-relationship between the rural economy and urban markets. One key area of focus is improved access to markets and forging stronger networks to facilitate access to financing and skilled capacity. One key area is ensuring that the rural economy is linked to the new engines of economic growth, such as mining, manufacturing, construction and tourism, so that growth in this country is inclusive, not creating the economic enclaves we are seeing around the country.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, it is imperative that the Government formulates a targeted, consistent and clear rural development policy framework that will allow the rural people to have economic opportunities that empower them to leap out of poverty in a more sustainable and coordinated manner. Such a policy will ensure that the rural areas are viable, prosperous and active, improve the environment and ensure the sustainable use of renewable natural resources.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, I rise to support this Motion because, first and foremost, the people in the rural areas should be a very happy lot today, knowing that we have brought their cause to this House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, amongst all the hon. Members of Parliament, I may be the one who comes from the most rural part of Zambia. The only thing that I have in my constituency, fortunately, is the tarmac road and a power grid along the main road. These two facilities serve only a tiny percentage of the constituency. It is very saddening that, at times, I hear people saying that they may die without ever travelling on a tarmac road. It was for this reason that I tried hard to tar the Mbala/Nakonde Road so that we could take care of the other side of the constituency. As for electricity, again, we are very fortunate that we have started penetrating the most rural part of the constituency.

Mr Speaker, therefore, this Motion is very appropriate. For once, we can talk, very well, about our people in the rural areas. I think that the problem that has arisen in Zambia is that there are some people in the country who really have never seen a rural area.

Hon. Opposition Members: Kambwili, Guy Scott!

Mr Simbao: I have heard of people who are called by some names but, when you ask them if they know where their village is, they tell you that it is in Kabwata or Chilenje yet, going by their name, they are supposed to come from some rural area. So, we have a problem of people not having been to the rural areas. It is for this reason that some people can find it very difficult to support Motions like this. However, in reality, the real problem in national development lies in the rural areas. If we do not bring the rural areas on board in this country, we are not going anywhere.

Mr Speaker, It does not matter which Government will come, we will still be struggling with the same poverty. Everyone is attracted to urban areas, and the reason is very simple. Things look very attractive here in urban areas because it is possible to live in an electrified house, get on a mini-bus, and take a child to a proper school. Hence, everyone fights to come here. However, others have replicated what is here in the rural areas, which have now become attractive to live in.  This problem started when white people were ruling this country; before Zambians ruled this country. This separation started then. It is not here because blacks are the ones ruling this country. It is just that we have not applied ourselves to solving the problem. Once we get here, most of us tend to forget about our rural areas. 

Mr Speaker, I am very impressed with some of the hon. Members of Parliament who are here, who are always going back to their constituencies every weekend, especially the ones whose constituencies are very near Lusaka. I feel sorry for myself because I am 1,000km away from my constituency, and I cannot visit it like others visit theirs. However, the point is that we can all put our minds together and upgrade the rural areas. If I went to my place today, I would not be able to watch television, have internet access or cellular phone communication. Therefore, this scares some people from going there. The problem is not the people there, but we, here, who know what to do for those people, but are not doing anything for them. We are the problem.

Mr Speaker, I must suggest that the party in power today must not think of the past. It must, instead, think of the present and the future. The people in the rural areas are not going to cry on the shoulders of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) or the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Governments, which are gone. It is the present Government that must change things. Hon. Mwila, like me, comes from a rural area. 

Mr Speaker, let us support these people. I suggest that we classify the villages as basic, middle basic and other categories, and seriously look into what we should push for in each category of villages. Some villages are worse than others. 

Sir, the very basic villages would need a lot of investment. We should make these villages compete by telling them that the more they got better, the more the help they would get from the Government. Currently, all the areas are treated the same as if the problems are the same. However, we should create a situation in which the Government is willing to push a lot of money into these villages and the villagers that, if they improved their villages, they would get more investment. 

Mr Speaker, I am sure that the people in the villages would be very happy to see their villages develop. From my observation, the people in the villages seem not to care about education. This might be because they have seen that educated people have problems as well, or that they tend the ground and grow little food for themselves and do not really care much for fancy clothes and vehicles. They may have a special item of clothing for church and consider that enough. Hence, there is no need for them to push themselves up. Therefore, we, who have come to this level, must be the ones to really look at taking care of these people. We must fight to make our villages look like Lusaka, and that is possible. That is what has happened in many countries that have developed. They used to have the same situation as ours. However, they decided not to be selfish and channelled more investment to the areas that lacked investment. Therefore, it is important that we start thinking in that line; that we can really modernise a rural area and make it a town.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support this Motion. 

I thank you, Sir.

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

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, from the outset, I would like to support the Motion on the Floor. I am aware that the mover of the Motion got all his literature from the civil society. He assembled it so that we can digest it and see the way forward for the people of Zambia. Equally, my brother who seconded it, being an economist, thought through it to see what could benefit the people of Zambia.

Sir, it is a well-known fact that there are high poverty levels in Zambia, and we ought to do something in order to change the situation, especially in rural areas.

Mr Speaker, I would like to see a situation where people start migrating from the urban to the rural areas because, currently, some people trek all the way from Kalabo or Shang’ombo to Lusaka in the hope of getting employed. However, if you look at the way our first President and his team planned, you will note that each province had an activity. Mwinilunga, for instance, had the pineapple industry and the people in that area were engaged in growing pineapples and could earn some income by which they sustained their livelihoods. In Luapula Province, the Government established the Mununshi Banana Scheme, Kawambwa tea Company and Mansa Batteries. If you went to my cousins in the Western Province, you found that the cashew nut industry was promoted in that area. However, I heard that one of our neighbouring countries, which got cashew nut seedlings from the Western province, is doing better than us, who were the pioneers of that project. In the North-Western Province, there was a rice plant that was installed in Solwezi because the Government wanted people in Zambezi to grow rice like those in the Western Province. In Mpongwe, we had the Mpongwe Wheat Scheme. Mpongwe is named after the big farm that was started there. The people were able to get employment.  Think of the Nakambala Sugar Estate. Mazabuka is a town today … 

Hon. Opposition Member: It is a city.

Mr Namulambe: … and will soon be a city. All this is because of the sugar plantation. People had foresight about certain things. Today, we heard the Head of state talking about zoning the nation in order to see what economic activities are viable in various districts or provinces, improving on what people can do best in their respective areas and funding them.

Sir, for instance, we have a ready market in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The chickens that are eaten in the DRC pass through Zambia from South Africa, yet we are able to rear chickens in Zambia. In Kasumbalesa, today, there are many goats. The prices of goats at Kasumbalesa are higher than that in Gwembe or any other place. Why can we not capitalise on these factors, see what potential each district has and come up with solutions that can help the people in those respective areas?

Mr Speaker, unemployment in this country cannot only be reduced by attracting foreign investors, but also by looking at the ideas that we can come up with. Yesterday, somebody was debating on the issue of being proud of the investors in the mining sector. The argument that we are exporting minerals was good, but when these minerals finish, we just remain with ditches. So, what other developmental programmes should we come up with for Zambia to sustain itself?

Sir, these are the issues that we should be thinking of for Zambia to remain a country that can export food to other countries. We can diversify in many areas and see which things can be done by the people of Zambia. Our country is not going to be developed by people who come from other countries. If you look at First Quantum Minerals, it is a company owned by two brothers, yet we go there to look for jobs. Can we not think of other things that we can do to help create employment for our people and produce things that we can export?

Mr Speaker, when I was hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development, I interacted with the Chinese Youth League when they visited Zambia. They said that the timber which was used for making doors in China came from the Western Province. They were looking at ways of imparting skills in the local people so that they produce the doors locally, instead of exporting raw timber to China. That would enable us export timber products to nations around the region, instead of importing finished products made from our own raw materials.

Sir, by zoning this country, we can, for instance, know that in the Western Province, the specialty is cashew nuts and rice production, and fishing. This will help us know the skills that are there, and, hence, set up a university that would provide the knowledge relevant to the economic activities in the province. 

Sir, it is necessary to support a deliberate policy on rural development. Yesterday, the hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa, Mr Hamududu, argued that we could improve on the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) and the Vision 2030 by accommodating such ideas, which would help reduce poverty in rural areas.

Mr Speaker, any person who sympathises with the suffering people in rural areas should not object to this Motion, which is intended to benefit the rural poor. Of course, some people who lived in the United Kingdom are not like us who grew up in villages. We understand the feelings of people in rural areas because we are part of them. Hence, we come here to speak on their behalf so that the people whom they elected into the Government should find a platform for reducing their high poverty levels. 

Sir, in this way, people will appreciate our leadership. It is for this reason that I sincerely support this Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Let me take a few debaters from my left before I come to my right.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I promise not to consume the entire twenty minutes because I believe that this Motion is straightforward and well-intended. 

Sir, let me begin by thanking the mover of this Motion, the hon. Member for Lubansenshi, Mr Mucheleka, and the seconder, my younger brother, the hon. Member for Bweengwa, Mr Hamududu. I note that their constituencies are both predominantly rural.

Mr Speaker, it is true that most, if not all, the untapped potential is in the countryside. It is my sincere hope that any well-meaning hon. Member of Parliament will stand to support this non-controversial Motion.

Sir, in this country, we have, although rarely, talked about people who are displaced across borders. These are called refugees. People who are displaced within the country are normally called internally-displaced people and we have many in this country, some of whom now have new names, such as street traders. The majority of them have migrated from rural areas to urban areas in search of a better life. I think that this Motion is very non-controversial and requires to be supported.

Mr Speaker, to refocus rural development, we need to be holistic in our approach. We should not look at a rural area in isolation because, then, we may be missing the target. It is generally believed that where roads go development will always follow. As such, there are places, such as Chavuma, where the people, some of whom have probably attained the age of thirty, but only seen a bituminous road this year or the last, thanks to the MMD, which constructed the road there.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, it is true that access to areas like Chavuma will now become easier. If such areas become easier to access, then Government policies should be skewed towards coming up with deliberate plans, for instance, to establish MFEZs in those areas because that is how towns actually start to grow.

Sir, we have the Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) that is coming up to the East of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. If this MFEZ was in Kaoma, I think that my cousins from the Western Province would find joy in not coming to Lusaka where people have been living in squalor for a long time. So, I would like to argue that the squalor that we see in cities is a result of having no plan to develop those areas in the country’s periphery. If we tried to do that, I am sure that most people would be satisfied not to know where Lusaka is.

Sir, in Zimbabwe, the communication infrastructure is good. If you are coming out of Harare, which is the centre, you can get to Mutare without necessarily going to Masvingo. When you get to Vuma or Beatrice, you will find a road that cuts across to the Eastern highlands, and you can see that many economic activities are taking place along that road.

Mr Speaker, look at the Royal Bafokeng Tribe in South Africa. This is where one of the most ultra-modern football stadia ever was constructed for the World Cup. It was built in Rustenburg, which was a predominantly rural area, but the Government of South Africa managed to develop that place to levels at which you see that there is so much activity there. It may sound complicated, but I think that, with time, it is achievable as long as your trajectories of national development are clear.

Sir, allow me to give an example of the national parks that we have in the country, which include Liuwa, Luangwa and Kafue. These are mainly located in rural areas, but one might wonder why we have many people from all parts of the world to hunt for trophies in those areas. 

Sir, the people in Liuwa live in abject poverty, yet the potential to develop the area is there. I want to argue that the licence to hunt a lion for trophy might cost K25 million or $5,000 dollars to buy it from a person here. However, that trophy, when exported, could fetch in excess of $50,000, which is money that is being generated out of our potential. 

Mr Speaker, I think that the Government will do well to engage us in re-designing the hunting concessions so that they are tailored towards benefitting the people who are in those areas. That way, people will not rush to town to sell on the streets of Cairo Road.

Mr Speaker, maize has been the predominant cash crop in Zambia. If the current situation in the country continues, then, there is no way we will develop our rural areas. What happens is that at the end of the marketing season, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock tells the FRA to borrow money to pay farmers. 

Sir, my constituency, which is predominantly rural, although we are peri-urban, together with Magoye, which was amputated by the PF to make Chikankata District, has farmers who are owed about K31.5 billion.

Mr N. Banda: Only?

Mr Nkombo: It would be good if the hon. Minister behaved himself.

Mr Speaker: Only address the Speaker.

Mr Nkombo: Yes, Sir.

Mr Speaker, if K31 billion can be considered small, then, I think that we need to search our souls and understand that what might be ‘only’ to Hon. Banda might be much more to the person who voted him into this House. If that K31 billion was to be paid to the farmers in Mazabuka, do you think they would need to come to Lusaka? After all, there are robbers here.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, there are no robbers in Mwanachingwala. The reason I mentioned the issue of internally-displaced persons is that even poverty can displace people. They will move from the villages to town to seek assistance from those of you who have formal jobs. That is internal displacement. 

Sir, I think that we should take these Motions seriously. An hon. Member cannot trivialise K31 billion. Has he even seen it? Does he know how it can change someone’s life?

Mr Speaker, these are the issues that His Excellency the President was referring to when he said that we must teach one another how to accommodate divergent views because my view could help you stay in power. Advice can be given, but it is up to you to take it or not. I was asked to come here and represent the internally-displaced people.


Hon. Ntundu: Kambwili is a good man.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Why not emulate Hon. Kambwili?


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, it is true that, in this House, nearly all of us with green national registration cards (NRCs) come from a district and a village under a chief, except for His Honour the Vice-President whose chief might be Queen Elizabeth. 


Mr Nkombo: I think that all these details are there in some institution of the Republic of Zambia. However, by virtue of the fact that he is a representative here, the people who he represents require to be represented adequately so that development is taken there.

Sir, the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West has been lamenting the PF Government’s failure to re-focus development initiatives so that everybody can have a fair and equitable share of the natural endowment the Lord granted us.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, I would like to appeal to the hon. Members from your right to support this Motion because most of them, like me, represent rural constituencies. They should not be deceived by Hon. Mwaliteta … 

Mr Mwaliteta: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, I am hon. Minister for Western Province, the area where my sister comes from and I am seated here, quietly listening to her. Is she in order to say that I am misleading my colleagues on the right?


Mr Speaker: She is certainly not in order.


Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, most of the hon. Members of this House represent people from the rural areas. Therefore, I urge them to understand that this is not a political issue. It is about our people, whom we should think of. This Motion was moved by an Opposition hon. Member, but the Government should support it because it can be of benefit to our people. 

Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to talk about infrastructure development, which is a policy issue. Yesterday, when my brother, the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West, was debating, I almost shed tears because of the way he expressed himself. What he said in his debate covered issues that affect me because the people of Luena, whom I represent, are very poor. In that area, there is no proper infrastructure. I suggest that a policy be put in place to deal with this issue because the rural areas have been neglected in terms of infrastructure development. Therefore, there is a need for a policy shift in the direction suggested by this Motion

Sir, just to add to my brother’s lamentations of yesterday, now that there is the Mutanda/Chavuma Road, I would like to suggest that we also have a Kabompo/Lukulu Road. Let us look at that area as well. The Executive should consider developing these rural areas, where most of us come from. Let us build houses in our home towns. I think that the Government should try and give us some incentives so that we are able to develop our areas. This way, we can have infrastructure development. 

Mr Speaker, the next point is on agriculture. Most of the food is produced in the rural areas where people are very poor. For example, most of our maize comes from the rural areas. This year, there was an outcry about the way the FRA was buying maize from the farmers. There was also an issue about farmers opening bank accounts. We all know why these people have been complaining about such conditions. How will the people in Sikongo, Simaa, Sikeyenge, Sikusi and Mabili open bank accounts? There are no banks in those areas. We need a policy shift in order to favour the rural areas. 

Sir, there is also the issue of rice and cassava production.  When we talk about crop diversification, we do not mean the production of maize alone. The last time there was a drought in this country, most places, especially in urban areas, had food shortage. I recall Mr Lackson Nthani reporting that there was lucrative trading of cassava in Mongu at Mulambwa Harbour, and that the people of Mongu were not starving. Therefore, let us encourage the growing of other crops because this can be done in rural areas. 

Mr Speaker, let me also talk about livestock. Most of our meat comes from rural areas, such as the Western Province, but nobody wants to talk about it. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock and the veterinary officers banned the transportation of live cattle from one area to another, but have allowed them to be transported as carcasses. However, you will find that most of the meat that we eat comes from the Western Province. 

Sir, in terms of industrialisation, there is the issue of value addition to our agricultural products, such as cashew nuts. We need a policy shift so that we look into this issue. It is very important. We can enhance the livelihoods of the people who are growing these crops in the rural areas. This way, employment will be created and people will be able to earn an income. The Government should create micro-finance institutions in order to help people to access capital. These are issues that the Government can look at. It should give tax holidays to those who want to invest in rural areas. This will help the Government to have all these industries we are talking about put in place. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to talk about the CDF. I have always held the view that the idea of equal sharing of the CDF is not fair. For example, the allocation of equal amounts of money to His Honour the Vice-President, Dr Guy Scott’s constituency and Luena Constituency, which has no single boarding school, road, electricity and safe drinking water, is not reasonable. Some of the people in these urban constituencies were given solar geysers whilst the poor people in Luena do not even have taps. There are some people who have never seen a tap in their lives. The schools are made of mud and poles. I appeal that the CDF issue be looked at seriously. The people in the rural areas should be allocated more money because they have been deprived of development. 

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I would like to support this Motion. 

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Youth and Sport (Mr Kambwili): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to debate this Motion. I will equally be very brief. 

Sir, this Motion can best be described by a saying from my home area. Where I come from, we say, “Mwinshinshya nshilanya.” This literally means, “Please, do not judge or stop me before I finish.” From this Motion, I can see that people are judging the PF Government before it has been given the chance to perform. 

Mr Speaker, what we are talking about…


Mr Speaker: Let us have some order, please.

Mr Kambwili: What we are talking about ...

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, is it in order for the hon. Minister not to translate the Bemba proverb that he quoted properly? What is mwinshinsha nshilanya?


Mr Speaker: I thought the hon. Minister had explained that proverb. He might have paraphrased it for personal reasons, but I assume we got the sense out of the translation. Anyway, for the record, I will request him to clarify since a point of order has been raised.

Mr Kambwili: In short, this simply translates as, “Do not stop me before I finish” or “Do not pre-empt me.” It is the cry of a baby who goes to the toilet but, before it finishes using the toilet, you already want to clean it. What I am trying to say is that the issues that have been raised are those that we, as the PF Government, are already taking care of. We have told the Zambian people that it is too early for them to judge our performance. We have been in power for only one year. In the next three weeks, what is being asked for will have been taken care of. 

Sir, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs will come up with a Rural Development Policy. That is something that we are already looking into. Before the policy even comes to this House, we would have started implementing it because we have already identified the four pillars that will help us to develop the rural areas. These are the provision of electricity, good road network, health and education.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President just inaugurated the Link Zambia 8000km Road Project. Those roads will be constructed in the rural areas because we know that, once we construct roads in the rural areas, investors will automatically move there. Hon. Mutati will agree with me that, when he was going round asking for …

Professor Lungwangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, as I sit here, I feel extremely uncomfortable. Is the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport in order to use a phrase such as mwinshinsha nshilanya?


Professor Lungwangwa: This, to me, sounds unparliamentary. Is he, therefore, in order to use such a saying which, as he has explained, is, to a large extent, unpalatable? 

Mr Speaker: What the hon. Member has done is simply refer to a proverb used in a particular dialect. I understand your disposition to this given the nature and activity that it refers to. We cannot, however, take it away from the dialect. I think that he was using it to communicate a point. He translated it into English, that it means that people should not pre-empt other people’s intentions. I appreciate your disposition to this proverb, but I do not think that I would also be comfortable to rule it out of order. I think that it is figure of speech and we should take it in that light. It is coming from a particular dialect that has been passed on from one generation to the next, and is part of our culture in that sense.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I was saying that Hon. Mutati, who is the former Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, will agree with me that most of the investors who intended to invest in the rural areas first complained about the road network and, later, the inadequacy of the supply of electricity. 

Mr Speaker, as the PF Government, we have recognised that, once we work on the four pillars that I mentioned earlier, we will automatically see that even Zambian investors will move to these areas. For instance, if one wants to put up a maize-meal in Kaputa, where electricity supply is limited, he will fail. Yesterday, we heard one hon. Member of Parliament saying that his area, which is not even connected to the national grid, still experiences load-shedding despite using diesel. If we do not improve our electricity generation capacity, there will be no development in the rural areas. This is a fact that we, as the PF, have recognised. Therefore, we have since put money in the budget to support these programmes.

Mr Speaker, we are not like the MMD, which would not support any bright ideas that were brought forward. Its members kept saying, “You are pushing an open door, and we will not support you.” We are very reasonable people who will support progressive ideas. We also want to be on record having said that, although we are supporting this Motion, we are already implementing it, as evidenced by the allocations we made in the budget and inauguration of these programmes by His Excellency the President. If you want, we can tell you in detail what we are doing in the rural areas. Those who feel that the PF Government will fail, three years from now, will be silent and have nothing to talk about.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: We have a plan to develop this nation, and be rest assured that, in the next three years, some of you will resign from your political parties to join the PF.

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: There will be a feeling amongst you that there is nothing to oppose. For instance, through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, we have come up with a project to identify industrial clusters in all districts. We will target agricultural activities that will do well in each of the districts and promote them. Above that, we will even put up value-addition industries to feed off those agricultural industries. Once we do that, all this talk about job creation will be a thing of the past. If we asked anybody to tell us the formula of creating one million jobs in one year, none of you would tell us. Let me give a practical example of the workshop near the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, which was started five years ago by the former President, Mr Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. It was only opened this year, and that is when employment for the people working there materialised. How long did it take for the investor to set up and, later, employ people? Five years. Are you being reasonable, therefore, when you say that we have failed to create employment in one year? If you want us to create by-the-way jobs, like those for security guards and minibus conductors, we can do that easily. However, our target is not to create such jobs. We want to create quality and permanent jobs.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: In 2009, President Rupiah Banda took some investors to Masaiti in Ndola rural to construct a cement plant. The area hon. Member of Parliament can attest to the fact that the plant is still under construction. It will only be completed in 2013. Therefore, jobs will only become available in 2014. How many years have gone since 2009? They want us to work like magicians and create jobs by chanting abracadabra. 


Mr Kambwili: When we want to oppose for the sake of opposing, …

Mr Mweetwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to raise a point of order. 

Mr Speaker, with all due respect, is the hon. Minister on the Floor of the House in order to make a blanket inference on hon. Members of this House, especially those on your left, insinuating that they are unreasonable when they question how far the PF has gone in implementing the programmes that it promised during the election campaigns. The party, by its own volition, attached a timeframe to its promises and claimed that its leader, a man of action, would, within ninety days, do what was promised. Is the hon. Minister well-positioned to question the reasonableness of the hon. Members on your left? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

As far as I have followed the debate, the hon. Minister is referring to the expectation, as opposed to, if I may borrow a phrase from one hon. Member of Parliament, the persona of the collective House. I think that he is addressing issues of expectations and the reasonableness of those expectations. 

As you have indicated, you want to relate them to the period preceding the assumption of power; the electioneering, promises and other political activities. However, as far as this debate and the proceedings are concerned, I will confine myself to the issue of expectation, and I think that the point he is making is that those expectations cannot be fulfilled in a short period of time. Whether it is a matter of reflection after the event is open to debate. The point, however, was still made that this should not be expected to be achieved over a short period of time. 

The hon. Minister may continue. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your protection. 

Sir, we are going to develop the rural areas. We have a policy that will anchor our development of rural areas and will be brought to this House. Among the things to be done in rural areas is the construction of 650 health posts. We also intend to identify industrial clusters, like I said earlier, build roads in rural and, through the Ministry of Youth and Sport, establish provincial youth farms so that we can create jobs and take development to these areas. Therefore, for those who feel that we are going to fail, as the PF, watch the space. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: You can rest assured that these will be implemented and, in the next two to three years, there will be nothing to point at as having been the PF’s failure. 

We thank my brother, Hon. Mucheleka, for this initiative and I wish to assure him that we are working on this. To keep harmony in the House, we will support his Motion not because we are being told what to do, but because we are already doing it. 

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Sichinga): Mr Speaker, let me start by congratulating the hon. Member for bringing this Motion to the House. We acknowledge both the Motion and the very important issues that our colleagues, especially those on your left, raised. Both the mover and seconder of this Motion have raised very pertinent issues. Quite frankly, this Government has absolutely no difficulty, whatsoever, with this Motion. The reason is very simple. 

Mr Speaker, I am going to make reference to the PF Manifesto, which I have in my hand, and which I will later lay on the Table. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I will guide the House to page 33 …

Hon. Opposition Member interjected.

Mr Sichinga: If I may have your attention, please. 

I wish to refer you to page 33 and paragraph 17 of the manifesto, which specifically talks about finance and national development planning. It says, and I quote:

“Unlike the MMD, the principal objective and thrust of the PF economic policy is on pro-poor growth”

Mr Speaker, it goes on to say that, and I quote:

“The MMD’s management of the economy in recent years, while it has benefited some types of foreign investors and some classes of privileged Zambians, has left the majority of citizens in a state of helplessness and poverty, as is evidenced, for example, by the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection’s (JCTR) Food Basket research. Even positive achievements at the macro-economic level, such as a relatively strong exchange rate or a national maize surplus mean nothing to the majority of the people, who lack income to buy a balanced diet for their family or to purchase one of the second-hand imported vehicles that have become so conspicuous on our roads”

Mr Speaker, it goes on to give examples on development planning, monitoring and fiscal policies, and explain what will be done in terms of development. It is followed, in the next paragraph, by energy development, which my colleague made reference to, and other matters. 

Mr Speaker, I will lay this on the Table of House. 

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I want to suggest that we read and listen to one another because this issue of accommodating divergent views must not only on one side. It takes both sides.

Mr Speaker, I would like to proceed to the next …

Hon. Opposition Member interjected.

Mr Sichinga: You had the chance to make your point. Let me make this statement. 

Brigadier-General Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Brigadier-General Dr Chituwo: Speaker, I am most grateful to you for according me this point of order. 

Sir, I need to be guided. In the rules of procedure, are political literature, pamphlets or badges allowed in this House? The hon. Minister is referring to a political document. Is this allowed?

Hon. MMD Member: Is he in order!

Brigadier-General Dr Chituwo: Sorry, is he in order, Sir?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

The position is that, as a general rule, sloganeering, electioneering and kindred activities are not permitted. That is the general position. In this particular case, what is sought to be demonstrated, in relation to this Motion, is a policy issue. Policy issues are normally dealt with and addressed in the context of manifestos.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: That is the norm in a democracy. It is to persuade the electorate and demonstrate political intent. I think, what the hon. Minister is trying to demonstrate here is consistency.

The point was made earlier that this Motion is pre-emptive. In order to demonstrate the pre-emptive nature of the Motion, the hon. Minister is relying on a promise or a position that was taken even before they came to the House as proof of that intention. Although it is of a political character, I would admit it to the extent that it is meant to demonstrate and found a policy issue. Therefore, I will allow the hon. Minister to table it before the House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Boma!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, how grateful I am to your guidance.

Sir, let me go to page 40, of the MMD Manifesto under commerce, trade industry development. Again, it makes specific reference to the following, and I quote:

“Our cause is pro-poor development with a focus on rural development.” 

It is, therefore, gratifying that the Back Bench Members in this House have moved this Motion, although we consider it unnecessary because we are already implementing its recommendations.

Mr Speaker, we recognise that 57.8 per cent of our people are in the fifteen to sixty-four the age group and live in rural Zambia while 48.2 per cent of the same age group live in urban areas. Our strategy, therefore, will have a great impact on wealth and job creation for the masses we must inevitably target as far as development is concerned.

Sir, the mover of the Motion has made reference to poverty and we totally agree. However, in order to actualise sustainable economic growth in Zambia, it is imperative that an appropriate policy framework and strategies are implemented, not stand-alone units.

Mr Speaker, I accept the submission by one of the Members on your left that what we are discussing is an integrated or a holistic approach. We divide them into ministries for the convenience of treating the subject matter. So, in this particular case, I want to make reference to the fact that all the ministries, such as the ministries of Finance; Local Government and Housing; Chiefs and Traditional Affairs; Gender and Child Development; Agriculture and Livestock; Commerce, Trade and Industry; Tourism and Arts; Transport, Works, Supply and Communication; and Mines, Energy and Water Development are all working together to ensure that we address the issues that the mover has raised. So, we are having a concerted focus on rural development. The Government can and will achieve a significant reduction in rural-urban migration as well as real economic development across the country, not just rural areas, but also urban areas because there is also what we call urban poverty.

Sir, the theme of rural development is not new to us. Various Governments have, in the past, undertaken various initiatives. Many of you will remember the Village Industry Services (VIS), Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) and Small Enterprises Development Board (SEDB). All these measures were aimed at addressing the economic imbalance between urban and rural areas. They sought to specifically target the rural areas.

So, Sir, one of the most notable outcomes of the previous Government was, obviously, the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) instituted to address this particular matter. However, the challenge we have had is that there was an attempt to transplant the solution as though it was the panacea to the problems of all the areas around us. 

Mr Speaker, for the sake of time, I will just say, last April, I addressed this House through a ministerial statement. Just in case some have forgotten what I said, since we seem to be very forgetful, let me just make reference to that statement. I refer you to page 5 and quote as follows:

“Our Government has already noticed that Zambia’s export portfolio is still largely dependent on mineral exports, making the economy highly susceptible to external shocks, such as global demand and price slumps. Because of this, our Government has embarked on creating a resource map in all districts and provinces in order to create industries in those identified potential products.”

It went on to talk about the way forward, as I quote again:

“It is in this spirit that we are taking critical steps in all our trade negotiations to ensure that we add value to our products.”

Mr Speaker, I went further and actually produced a resource map that this Government had done for each district and province. It was distributed to each of the hon. Members of this House, who were then requested to get back to us and validate what we had submitted.

Sir, I am a very disappointed person to say to you that, despite the Government coming to this House in April to distribute those documents, I have received only one response. It neither came from the Opposition nor the mover nor even the seconder of the Motion. It came from an hon. Members on this side of the House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sichinga: I want to ensure that we come to an understanding. 

Sir, as part of our work in progress, we have here a copy of the Rural Industrialisation Programme, which forms the basis of the submission we made in April. Let me also say that that had been captured not only in the budget that we had presented last year and what we have submitted for consideration this year, but it is also captured in my own ministry’s Strategic Plan, which we have distributed to the whole House. 

We have not only done that, Mr Speaker, but also taken steps to reflect what is obtaining in each of the districts. As I speak to you, every district will have an industrial cluster based on the resource mapping that we have already done. We did it as of April this year and we are still waiting for you, hon. Members, to come back to us and tell us whether you agree with what we would like to do in your constituencies.

Mr Speaker, we have decided that we will move ahead. Each of these clusters will provide for manufacturing and value addition in each of your areas based on their resource and agricultural endowment, exactly, the things you have talked about.

Sir, the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development is going to generate additional electricity through the investment that has already been made. So, we are going ahead with establishing industrial clusters in the localities. These institutions will be set up as companies and you, the hon. Members of Parliament, are an integral part of what has to be done. This, Hon. Hamududu, is the bottom-up approach that you talked about. However, if hon. Members of Parliament, the people’s representatives, cannot give us feedback, how do they expect the ordinary citizens to do so?

So, please, do not judge when you cannot even make your own contributions.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Let us go further. Mr Speaker, we are not sitting by waiting to be pushed. Tomorrow morning and on Friday, we are holding an industrialisation and value addition conference at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre entitled ‘Wealth and Employment Creation through Value Addition’. The document is here and it was advertised in the newspapers. So, those of you who are serious about what you want to represent the citizens of the country for, please, pay attention to what we are talking about. Do not wait because we are on the move. We are not waiting …

Mr Ntundu: What about the workshop?

Mr Sichinga: Yes, there is a workshop, but we want to get an agreement. That is what is being talked about here.

Mr Ntundu: Workshop!

Mr Speaker: Honourable!


Mr Sichinga: We want a bottom-up approach and to make sure that everybody is carried along. We want you to participate because the issues that we have raised have got the acceptance not only of hon. Members of Parliament, but also the industry, our citizens and the specialists. That is what we have done. This is practical and you cannot deny that. Let us put politics aside.

Mr Speaker, we have also undertaken – and I hope that the Minister of Finance, if he gets the opportunity, will talk about this particular matter, but let me just touch on it – The essence of the US $750 million sovereign bond that has been issued of is to help us with infrastructure development so that the roads, energy generation, hospitals and clinics, and schools that will create the jobs you are talking about are going to be in place. This is because we do not have all the resources to have an expedited process. In its effort to create more jobs for the people, the Government has gone further to identify what is happening in every chiefdom and engage the local people on matters that affect their livelihoods. That way, we will ensure that the communities participate in these programmes, as suggested by the hon. Member for Luena.

Sir, this is why the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport, Mr Kambwili, talked about it. You cannot judge us simply because we made several promises. We made a commitment that we would come back to the House and tell you what progress we make every ninety days, and we are doing that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, we did not say that we would build power stations in ninety days. What we said was that we would get these projects started and, then, make progress, which is, exactly, what we are doing. That is the reasonable approach that we have taken in bringing about development.

Sir, the PF Government agrees with the mover of this Motion. We agree that there is a need for us to re-focus the rural development policy. There is no controversy or incompatibility in this matter. However, we have to take note that, despite having a certain position based on our manifesto, running a Government requires consultation and networking. This ensures an integrated approach to development, which is effective in implementing the programmes in our manifesto and enables us to keep the promise of putting more money in people’s pockets.

Mr Speaker, to us, this Motion is non-partisan; all of us support it and would like to see it bear fruit. We may differ in the manner in which we approach it, or the manner in which programmes are implemented, but we believe that our approach is much more meaningful, connected, supportive and inclusive.

Sir, I would like to end by suggesting that those who are very keen on the issue of rural development can attend the meeting tomorrow so that we discuss it and see how we can move forward. If you do not come, I will assume that you have agreed with us and that you have allowed us to go ahead and complete this job on your behalf.

Mr Speaker, we are aware of the Vision 2030, but that vision is far off. It is supported, in-between, by five-year national development programmes. Within the national development programmes are annual budgets and, within the annual budgets, are mid-term expenditure frameworks that roll over. Every year, you roll over that three-year programme. We are well aware of that. So, you do not need to worry. The boat is cruising very steadily. So, please, just jump on and you will cross over.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: In the proverbial Noah’s Ark, we will get you there safely but, in order to do that, we must plug all those leakages that might be occurring and this is why we are very careful to ensure that we have equitable development for all constituencies, including those that belong to the Opposition. We are mindful of the fact that we have a responsibility not only to develop the urban areas, but also the rural areas. For this, we have a plan and a vision, as I have shown you the statistics, details and what each of the ministries is doing to achieve this. So, I trust that we have convinced our colleagues and my nephew, Hon. Mucheleka, that there is no need to worry because the situation is totally under control under the PF Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga laid the papers on the Table.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank all the hon. Members of Parliament who have contributed to this Motion, especially the seconder of the Motion.

Sir, I must also thank the Government for its positive response and appreciation of the fact that we have a challenge in addressing the issues of rural poverty as well as rural development.

Mr Speaker, I am grateful to hear that the hon. Minister for Chiefs and Traditional Affairs will be able to come to the House and bring that particular policy that we are talking about in the next few weeks or so. As hon. Members of the Opposition, we will do our part, just as we have done, to co-operate. The President emphasised the need for teamwork and this is an example of team work.

Sir, with those few remarks, I thank you.

Question put and agreed to.


(Debate resumed)

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to debate the President’s Speech, which highlighted a lot of things affecting this nation. In his speech, the President emphasised, among other things, the need to avoid violence. He urged citizens to exercise self-restraint and be tolerant towards one another. The President was very particular about political party cadres engaging in violence and kept discouraging this vice when he addressed this House.

Sir, I concur with the President that the need for all of us to be tolerant cannot be over-emphasised. We, in the Opposition, also need to realise that it is important to follow the President’s directives on the issue of violence and tolerance towards each other. Tolerance should be exhibited by those who govern. If you cannot tolerate the people you govern, there is no way you can expect to achieve what you intend to achieve. Recently, we have seen situations in which the police have refused to grant some Opposition parties permits to hold peaceful rallies and, I believe, they acted under the instructions of the Government of the day.

Mr Speaker, in most cases, the provocation does not come from the Ruling Party, but that was not the case recently. Just a fortnight ago, I went to attend the funeral service for the late former First Lady, Mama Betty Kaunda and witnessed the harassment of Opposition members by PF cadres in full view of the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and his counterparts from the ministries of Defence, and Agriculture and Livestock, who just watched. To date, there has been no condemnation of that act by the Government. There is no need to start smiling and laughing when I am raising a serious issue that the President expressed concern about.

Sir, in his address to this House, the President went further to say that democracy, good governance and the rule of law …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was talking about the President’s sentiments on democracy, good governance, the rule of law as well as creating an enabling environment. It is important that we practice what we preach, especially for those in the PF. In order to provide an enabling environment for the practice of democracy, the Ruling Party must not prohibit the Opposition parties from addressing the people. 

Sir, I believe that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs has just been changed because the previous one, who is present in the House, was doing something wrong. The new hon. Minister, Hon. E. C. Lungu, should tell the police, in no uncertain terms, that it has to be professional. Hon. E. C. Lungu is actually the hon. Member of Parliament for Chawama, where there once was violence.

Mr Speaker: Address the Speaker, hon. Member for Kalomo Central.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs must take his responsibility correctly and stop being a party cadre.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: He must be an hon. Minister of Home Affairs for the State and ensure that the rules of the game are followed. We cannot sit idly if the PF is going to begin beating us up. How do we compromise if the PF sends youths to begin insulting us? We have complained about many things here, such us the insinuation that, if someone has never been a councillor before, he cannot be President. We had President Chiluba, who was never a councillor. 


Mr Muntanga: We know that the late President Mwanawasa, SC., was never a councillor, nor was Dr Kaunda. So, we do not need insinuations that belittle others when they want to participate in the affairs of the country.

Mr Speaker, we were told by the President here, in Parliament, that there is a need to work together. He remembered the good old days when he was an hon. Member of Parliament and used to smoke whatever they were smoking with his white friend.


Mr Muntanga: He mentioned one important issue to the effect that you, hon. Ministers, must listen and answer questions poed to you. He also said that the honeymoon is over. I also want to urge our friends to end the honeymoon. The President is even taking the RDA to State House because he does not think that he should leave it to you, hon. Ministers, since you are a problem and may not have zero-tolerance to corruption. Whenever I hear about you people running about to fight for contracts, I remember this advertisement on television which features Dr Bikiloni and Professor Difikoti, the two comedians, in which they are sent to feed a child with delight porridge but, instead, start eating the porridge while the child is watching.


Mr Muntanga: You are sent to deliver and serve the people of Zambia, but start running for contracts to enrich yourselves.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: You may not listen, but people are watching. We are fellow politicians. We do not want you to be arrested when you leave office. Do not behave like Bikiloni and Difikoti on television, eating the Delight porridge meant for a child.

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I rise on very serious point of order. I have been sitting here, quietly trying to follow the debate of the hon. Member on the Floor. Is he in order to continue to make insinuations that the hon. Members on your right have gone to feast on what belongs to the people when he cannot substantiate it? Is he in order to digress from the speech and make insinuations in this House that he cannot prove?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Well, as I understand the debate by the hon. Member, he is surmising that the President may have expressed the intention to take over that particular agency in order to prevent wrong-doing and assume direct control of its affairs. 

Further, I understand his debate to be a counsel, generally, against wrong-doing in the administration of contracts. That is what he seems to be saying, generally; that this should be avoided. He would not like a situation where people fall prey to these vices. This is a debate about public issues and public administration, and some of the vices that we are all dedicated to confronting and diminishing their presence in our society. That is the spirit, I believe, we should all view his debate in.

I must mention, in passing, that this House is the apex of our national politics. We deal with grave matters and, I think, we should, as far as possible, avoid, in the proverbial sense, burying our heads in the sand and confront these issues candidly. Some of them may be unpleasant, but face them we should, nonetheless. That is the way I understood the debate and, to that extent, I rule that he is in order.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba. H. Malama: Twalimyebele ati wamano, uyu Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I am most obliged. I am not surprised by the Ministry of Home Affairs. I believe that we have all taken your counsel. 

Mr Speaker, regarding the need to deliver to the people of Zambia, the President candidly said that even we, the Opposition hon. Members, are responsible. He said that we should be able to explain things to the people because we are part of the Government. That is the reason we are asking you, the PF, not to be greedy.

Mr Speaker, Hon. Sakeni, who is sitting next to you, agreed that the President will not tolerate corruption. You should follow instructions. We are informing you that you seem to be prone to these corrupt activities.

Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, there was a statement made earlier that, “Mwinshinsha nshilanya”.


Mr Muntanga: We are not interested in that. Tatwa mishinshe iyo.


Mr Muntanga: You do your business properly. Mr Speaker, what we are doing …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, let me just give guidance. Please, take your seat. I am getting concerned that you may have misunderstood the saying.


Mr Speaker: Order!

I think that the hon. Member should make his point without getting into a dialogue about that saying. Let us also not personalise the debate. There are general statements that have been made, and the hon. Member made reference to a news item in the paper. This is a general problem. I do not think that it is restricted to the colleagues that he is addressing. It is a generic problem. Therefore, we need to address and acknowledge it in that light. If we do so, we will make progress, and I will not take much of your precious time, which I am already enjoying. Unfortunately, as long as you side-track from the issues, I will do so. Therefore, let us focus on the issues. I know that it is very tempting to chide your colleagues. However, I do not think that that should be your goal. The goal should be to debate issues.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I thank you. {mospagebreak}

I assure my friends on your right that, when we advise them, we do so like one would help a child by giving it a drug to stop its stomach pains. We do that so that the child can be comfortable. All we want is the people on your right to deliver. 

Mr Speaker, the President delivered a speech, and someone said that he did not hear what he said. One day, a junior reporter went to listen to a speech delivered by one of these difficult speakers. The junior reporter said that he had heard nothing, but a senior reporter said that the speaker had said many things. 

Mr Speaker, I want to tell you that, on that day, I believe that there were no laughing matters because, if there were, I would not take the President seriously. I took everything he said seriously. Otherwise, I would be tempted to declare the 21st of September, 2012, a National Comedy Day, which I do not want to do.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, on education, the President promised to give the hon. Member of Parliament for Gweembe a university in his area. I am looking forward to the hon. Member getting that university. The President, on that day, talked about mining in Kalomo, and that we must have the Mapatizya Mine improved. I am looking forward to this Government tarring the Mapatizya Road.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: There is nothing like joking. I am saying so because some of these hon. Ministers have a habit of saying that we misunderstood the President because he was joking. 

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Muntanga: Yes. 

Sir, there was no joking because we take seriously everything that is said in this House no matter how it is said. 

Mr Speaker, regarding agriculture, the President said that the Government would not go into irrigation because it is expensive. However, the written speech tells us that 17,000 hectares of land will be farmed using an irrigation system. Nevertheless, nothing has been mentioned about how the Government is going to achieve this. We look forward to the hon. Minister of Finance, during his presentation of the budget next week, telling us how the Government will implement this project and how much money will be allocated it. Currently, there is 1,500 hectares of irrigated land in Zambia. In the sub-region, we have the biggest arable land of 55,000 hectares, which is much bigger than Tanzania. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock to come up with a programme for constructing dams in the rural areas. We can give him an alternative without referring to what he wants to do. I do not want to pre-empt much because, in actual fact, he already knows. However, he does not want to be advised. I do not want him to succeed, after all.


Mr Muntanga: This is because, if I advised him, I would be asked why I would have done that because I already have a programme. However, it is important for us, as we talk about maize, to realise that we did not allocate enough money to buy all the 1 million tonnes. We only allocated about K300 billion. Where is he going to get the money for 1 million tonnes? Why does he not budget correctly?

Sir, we agreed to apportion 10 per cent of the National Budget to the agricultural sector, but we are struggling at 5 per cent. The MMD reached 8 per cent. That is why we have this bumper harvest you are talking about.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear! 


Mr Muntanga: The party raised it up to 3.5 million tonnes. Zambia is respected in the sub-region because of that, but can the PF Government sustain that? 

Mr Speaker, we need to see tangible results and programmes. If this Government does not bring programmes and policies that we can see, then it should not bring a paper to show us that it has a programme.


Mr Muntanga: This Government has told us that it will bring its manifesto to this House. The manifestos are documents we use to campaign in order to get into Government. You do not expect a manifesto of the PF to be the same as the one for the MMD. You do not expect a manifesto for the UPND to be the same as yours. Therefore, the Executive should not come and start comparing the PF Manifesto with that of the MMD. The PF should have written its manifesto without referring to that of the MMD.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we are looking forward to seeing the party in Government stop talking about reading its manifesto. It is its paper. The Government should turn it into policies, and it is the policies we want to see. I am not going to read a PF document because I have my own.


Mr Muntanga: You can drop twenty of them in this House, but I will not read them. It does not concern me.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Can the hon. Member address the Speaker, please.


Mr Speaker: Let us have Order.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I know that the President said that he did not have enough qualified people. Therefore, he borrowed people like Hon. Masumba from the MMD.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the reason he has brought the PF Secretary-General into this House is for the other hon. Ministers to toe the party’s line. 

Mr Speaker, I want to know, apart from the President and His Honour the Vice-President, who else should get … 

Mr Mwaliteta: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, I do not rise on points of order anyhow, but I am compelled to do so. Is the Member on the Floor, Hon. Muntanga, who is struggling to raise issues that are closely-related to a non-existent UPND Manifesto, in order to mention the name of the Secretary-General of the PF in this House when he is not a Secretary-General here, but an hon. Minister of Justice? I need your serious ruling.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

I do not think that it is fair to debate the hon. Minister of Justice in the manner in which the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central is doing. Neither is it fair to begin speculating on why he was nominated to Parliament. I think that it is unnecessary and unfair to the hon. Minister of Justice. Therefore, the hon. Member is not in order.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance.

Sir, the hon. Minister of Justice is my friend, and he is smiling.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, as it responds, I want the Executive to tell me who, apart from the President and His Honour the Vice-President, should have a motorcade escort. Otherwise, we will be getting into dangerous terrain in this country. How many hon. Ministers should be escorted? That is wasteful … 

Hon. Opposition Member: Let the Secretary-General answer!

Mr Muntanga: How many of you want to behave like you are presidents? I would like the hon. Minister of Justice to help us because this is a legal matter.


Mr Muntanga: It is an issue that the Government must decide on and specify who should be given an escort.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Kalomo Central, I am not sure if you are still debating the President’s speech. One of the tasks that I have to perform in this House is to ensure that we are relevant in our proceedings and the debate. I do not think that we should use such an important occasion to bring extraneous matters into the House. We have a very specific item on the agenda, which is the debate. There are several issues in this debate. You rightly indicated that there are serious issues. Therefore, we need to reflect the seriousness of the business that we are transacting.

You may proceed.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President came out very strongly on governance issues, accountability, entitlements and the need to save costs. He was so particular that he referred to the hon. Ministers and us. I am duty-bound to speak out when I begin to see wrong things happen. Otherwise, we will have hon. Deputy Ministers having escorts.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

Mr Muntanga: Even in America, which is very rich, the President’s wife does not travel on Air Force One when she is not with him. Is there anywhere that is done?

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, why is it that we are not accountable to the people of Zambia? We told the MMD that it was becoming wasteful when it was trying to build another State House while there were other problems. Are we now using the Presidential Jet to transport the President’s wife? Are we now having people escorted by motorcades?

Hon. Opposition Member: They are too close to the trees.

Mr Muntanga: If you cannot see, then, you are too near. Those of us who are looking from afar can see you.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the Government has the duty to correct the situation. We were told that the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection was going to come here to make a policy statement, but we are still waiting for his statement. His ministry has many problems. 

Hon. Opposition Member: Women have finished him.

Mr Muntanga: He has not been finished by women. He is still there and he is still strong.


Mr Muntanga: I believe that he will avoid women so that he lives long.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I would like the Government to take note of that speech and, then, we will work together. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, I am grateful for this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the President’s Speech. Indeed, on 21st September, 2012, the expectations of the people of Zambia were very high. They expected to see the roadmap that the President was going to mark for the country. 

Sir, the President’s Speech does not only give direction to the hon. Members of Parliament, but also to the public. The people of Kasenengwa and Zambia at large were expectant to hear what the President was going to deliver to this House after failing to honour the promises that the PF Government had made. Alas, they listened to the speech, but nothing came through.       

Mr Speaker, I will to go straight to the substance, in accordance with your guidance. With regards to agriculture, the people of Kasenengwa and Zambia at large expected the President to address the maize marketing issue. Maize marketing was a disaster in September. As usual, the PF Government blamed the MMD. One year later, the people wanted to hear what strategies this Government had put in place to ensure that that disaster did not occur in the future, but that was not mentioned in the speech.

Mr Speaker, when the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock came to this House, he was excited about the e-voucher system. He proudly stood and spoke about how he was going to implement it. Companies in the sector had become excited. We saw things that we had never seen previously in the agricultural industry.  There was talk about sensitisation and early stocking of maize seed. I came to this House and asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock what, exactly, he had in place in terms of the e-voucher system and we were told that the system was not going to be effected this year but, rather, in 2013. 

Mr Speaker, due to the inconsistency of this PF Government, today, I would like to report to this House that the maize seed price has been increased from K120, 000 to K140, 000 at the farmer’s expense. I would also like to report to this House that the farmers, this year, will purchase maize at a higher price because the seed companies have an order from the Government.


Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, when this Government came into power, it wase very excited about the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). I heard the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock and all the PF Members talk about how the MMD Government awarded tenders to Omnia Fetiliser Zambia Limited and Nyiombo Investment Limited. They said that the MMD Government was corrupt. What have we seen today? The same companies have been awarded tenders. It shows that this Government just condemned the MMD Government without understanding what was involved in the importation of fertiliser. Nyiombo Investment Limited and Omnia Fertiliser Zambia Limited are the two companies that are supplying fertiliser to FISP, this year.

Mr Speaker, due to policy inconsistencies, we have seen the exchange rate go up. Today, the exchange rate is K5, 120. There is an increase in the inflation rate, went up by 0.2 per cent which in September. This is because of the inconsistence of this Government, yet the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry can even come to this House to brag about the PF Manifesto. I can come to this House, read a statement and hold workshops, but the issue of implementation is different. I would like to tell the PF Government that we do not want to listen to its manifesto, listen to statements or attend workshops. What we want to see is implementation. Those clusters must be established because, one year down the line, the Executive is still talking about the same thing.

Mr Speaker, 650 health posts were talked about by the President ...

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Ms Kalima: It is my voice, and I will speak, as long as the nation hears.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, 650 health posts were talked about by the President in the first speech that he delivered to this Parliament and the people in Kasenengwa and, to be specific, in Mukowe Ward, where I come from, were very excited because there is no health post in that area. In the recent speech that the President delivered, he again spoke about the 650 health posts. How many times are we going to hear about the same topic when, one year down the line, there is still no implementation?
Mr Speaker, I was happy to hear the President praise the Vice-President of the MMD, Hon. Chituwo, for having been part of the team that implemented the user fees policy. When the PF Government came into power, there was talk about abolishing these user-fees. One year down the line, things have changed because I heard the President advise the hon. Minister of Health to consult with Hon. Chituwo on how to implement the user fees policy effectively.

Mr Speaker, it baffles me when I see an hon. Minister address this House on the issue of medical insurance facilities. When I read in the newspapers, I was shocked to read that an hon. Member was talking about medical insurance policies in this country. Currently, in the United States of America (USA), the issue of medical insurance is a bone of contention, yet that is what this country wants to implement. You can see that this Government wants to implement things without analysing and consulting.

Mr Speaker, we have a patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and this patient is Zambia. I asked about the Eurobond because everyone in the PF was talking about it. I asked my friends to calculate for me the euro bond of US $750 million and it shocked me to hear that this amounted to only K3.5 trillion because, if the PF had done its calculations very well, we would not even boast about this bond. We are talking about the windfall tax, which can bring a minimum of K1.8 billion into the Treasury and there would be no need to borrow from the capital market. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Ten years down the line, we will have to pay back the Eurobond, but I heard the excitement and this made me wonder. When we advocate for the windfall tax, we are called ‘lunatics’. I want to challenge the PF Government …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

Let us give the hon. Member an opportunity to debate. I think, we all prefer to debate undisturbed. There is no reason you should counter her debate whilst seated. You can do that at an appropriate juncture, which will certainly come. That I can guarantee.

Ms Kalima: … to come up with a commission of enquiry to study the windfall tax and, later, compare it with the mineral royalty. When you find the answer, you will discover who the ‘lunatic’ is.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, when this Government …

Mr Speaker: May the hon. Member sit down.

If you go down in the annals of our Hansard, I made a ruling on this subject during a point of order. I indicated that it is not possible for an hon. Member to be a lunatic. I made this very clear. Let us not imagine, even for a moment, that the left or right would have a lunatic participating in the business of the House. 


Mr Speaker: Even in rhetoric, we should not go that far. This is a very dignified House. Every person seated here is honourable. I know that these are very emotive and politicised issues, but let us still be rational about them. 

The hon. Member may continue.

Ms Kalima: Most obliged, Mr Speaker. Thank you for your guidance. 

Mr Speaker, when this Government came into power, it rode on the good policies of the MMD Government. One of the greatest policies was the fight against corruption started by the late President Mwanawasa, SC., may his soul rest in peace. This Government has failed to fit into the shoes of the MMD in the fight against corruption. The MMD Government, under President Mwanawasa, SC., fought corruption with passion and commitment. There was no exception. It did not matter which party one belonged to. This we have not seen in this Government.  

Mr Speaker, the oil saga, which was in the newspapers, recently, was never condemned by any member of the Executive. Not even the President. 


Ms Kalima: We had the issue of Apollo. The latest; the one on ZESCO poles, …


Ms Kalima: I am referring to this issue because the President spoke about the fight against corruption. 

Mr Speaker, we had many people protesting the corruption involved in recruitment into the Zambia National Service (ZNS), Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and the Zambia Army. It was members of the Executive who were in the forefront getting their relatives enlisted. 


Ms Kalima: We did not hear any condemnation. 

Mr Speaker, latest …

Mr Kalaba: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Kalaba:  Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to rise on this very serious point of order. 

Mr Speaker, I am getting worried. You have ruled, in the past that, when we stand on the Floor of this House, we need to have facts with us. The hon. Member currently on the Floor is debating from North to South and East to West without giving this House any facts. She has talked about the oil saga, which she did not substantiate. She has talked about members of the Executive enlisting their relatives in the defence forces, which she also failed to substantiate. Is she in order to keep debating in the manner she is doing?

Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling. 

Mr Speaker: I stated, earlier, in another ruling, that we should try to debate issues. I know that it is a difficult thing to do, sometimes, but let us debate issues. Let us try and de-personalise the debates. I know that you are in political competition, which is acceptable. This is what multi-party democracy entails. However, let us also be fair to each other. Political power is like a pendulum. It swings from one end to the other. Today, the MMD is that side, the PF this side, but what happens tomorrow is for posterity to determine. 


Mr Speaker:  Let us be factual in our debates. This is a very honourable thing to do. I do not think that it is fair to throw blanket statements, accusations and characterisations. The problem with this style of debate is that we will not make progress. 

The Speaker would like to take the back seat. I prefer to take the back seat and be as silent as possible. However, as long as we are not practising self-discipline, most of the time will be taken up by the Speaker and you will not represent your constituencies. My constituency is here.


Mr Speaker: So, please, let us be factual and avoid negative generalisations. Everybody seated here is honourable. So, when you make a blanket characterisation addressing the entire Executive, I do not think it is, by any stretch, fair. Deal with the issues. The presumption is that everybody is honourable unless you prove otherwise, and if so, factually.

You may proceed.

Ms Kalima: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Recently, Sir, this House enacted the Abuse of Office Clause. It came back to this House and we supported it. I want to remind the PF Government that the Abuse of Office Clause was not just for the Opposition. We have seen the highest abuse in the PF Government. Allow me to cite The Nation Newspaper where we recently saw a picture of the First Lady using the Presidential Jet to go to Namibia. It is sad to see the worst and most shameful abuse because the adjective ‘Presidential’ …

Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, for how long are you going to caution hon. Members of this House on certain issues? You have just stated that we need to be factual. Is the hon. Member being factual?

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Chilangwa: Can she lay the information on the Table of this House.


Mr Speaker: It seems a very difficult thing to practise. Let us give her another chance.

You may continue, please.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thought you said that I should be factual.

Before I was interrupted by that point of order, I was saying that the Abuse of Office Clause was not for the Opposition alone, and I want to warn and remind the PF hon. Members that, today, they are there, tomorrow, they will be on this side.


Ms Kalima: Just like the people the Abuse of Office Clause has followed, it will also follow you too.

Mr Mbewe: It will catch up with you!

Ms Kalima: I just wanted to remind you that the Presidential Jet is for the President, and there is only one President, His Excellency Michael Chilufya Sata.

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah! 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I was following this debate very closely, and I would like to …


Mr Muntanga: But you have just come!

Mr Speaker: Order! 

He is raising a point of order.

Mr Lubinda: For the sake of my friends who are saying that I have just come, they should know that, with modernisation, Sir, you have made it possible for people to follow debate even when they are not in the House. I followed the debate very closely. 

Sir, I am very encouraged to hear the hon. Member talk so passionately about the Abuse of Office Clause. However, is she in order to imply that there is a law or regulation which restricts the use of the Presidential Jet only to the Head of State? Is she in order not to also disclose to this House that her Government, the MMD, under President Rupiah Banda, did allow the Challenger to be used not by the First Lady, but by ordinary hon. Members of Parliament and an hon. Minister who travelled to Morocco without the consent of the President at all? 


Mr Lubinda: Is she in order to imply that the Challenger Presidential Jet is only reserved for the President?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Let the hon. Member finish raising the point of order without being disturbed.


Mr Lubinda: Is she in order to confuse the House without citing the regulation that is provided for the use of the Challenger Jet? I need your ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Well, this matter has been the subject of judicial proceedings. I cannot recite the case off-the-cuff, but I will, obviously, in due course, supply it. A similar question was actually posed before the High Court. It went no more than beyond the High Court so the precedent that we have remains at the High Court.

(Debate adjourned)


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1917 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 4th October, 2012.