Debates- Wednesday, 26th September, 2012

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Wednesday, 26th September, 2012

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have received communication to the effect that, in the course of business, His Honour the Vice-President will leave the House to attend to urgent matters of national importance. In his absence, Hon. E. C. Lungu, MP, Minister of Home Affairs, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business for the remainder of the day.


Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that, following the recent abolition of some Government ministries and departments, and the establishment of new ones, the Standing Orders Committee has renamed some of the Sessional Committees as follows:

(a)    the Committee on Local Governance, Housing, Environment and Chiefs Affairs will now be known as the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs Affairs;
(b)    the Committee on Lands, Energy and Water will now be called the Committee on Lands, Environment and Tourism;

(c)    the Committee on Economic Affairs will now be known as the Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour;

(d)    the Committee on Labour, Youth and Sport will now be known as the Committee on Youth and Sport; and

(e)    the Committee on Tourism, Information and Broadcasting Services will now be known as the Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services.
The names of other committees will remain the same.


Hon. Members, in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order No. 131, the Standing Orders Committee has appointed hon. Members to serve on various Sessional Committees for the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly as follows:

Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services

Hon. Mr Deputy Speaker, Chairperson;

Hon. Minister of Justice;

Hon. Chief Whip;

Hon. J. J. Mwiimbu, MP;

Hon. M. J. B. Ng’onga, MP;

Hon. G. G. Nkombo, MP;

Hon. Professor G. Lungwangwa, MP; and

Hon. C. Namugala, MP.

Reforms and Modernisation Committee

Hon. Minister of Finance;

Hon. Minister of Justice;

Hon. Minister of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection;

Hon. Deputy Chairperson of the Committees of the Whole House;

Hon. H. I. Mwanza, MP;

Hon. G. Namulambe, MP;

Hon. L. C. Bwalya, MP;

Hon. M. Lubezhi, MP;

Hon. P. M. Mucheleka, MP; and

Hon. S. Katuka, MP.

Committee on Government Assurances

Hon. S. Chisanga, MP;
Hon. C. Antonio, MP;

Hon. M. Ndalamei, MP;

Hon. J. Zimba, MP;

Hon. R. L. Mpundu, MP;

Hon. G. Monde, MP;

Hon. Reverend H. J. Sikwela, MP; and

Hon. A. M. Chungu, MP.

Committee on Delegated Legislation

Hon. C. Mweetwa, MP;

Hon. M. Lubezhi, MP;

Hon. M. Mutelo, MP;

Hon. J. E. S. Chishiba, MP;

Hon. I. K. Banda, MP;

Hon. A. Sichula, MP;

Hon. D. Mwango, MP; and

Hon. A. D. Mbewe, MP.

Committee on Estimates

Hon. H. H. Hamududu, MP;

Hon. E. M. Sing’ombe, MP;

Hon. Dr E. Kazonga, MP;

Hon. D. Siliya, MP;

Hon. L. Chabala, MP;

Hon. C. Matafwali, MP;

Hon. R. L. Mpundu, MP;

Hon. L. Mulusa, MP; and

Hon. L. A. Lufuma, MP;

Committee of Local governance, Housing and Chiefs Affairs

Hon.E.M Sing’ombe, MP;

Hon. M. Ndalamei, MP;

Hon. M. C. Mazoka, MP;

Hon. H. S. Chansa, MP;

Hon. M. Chishimba, MP;

Hon. Dr. E. Kazonga, MP;

Hon. A. Mbewe, MP; and 

Hon. G. Namulambe, MP.

Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour

Hon. C. W. Kakoma, MP;

Hon. V. Kalima, MP;

Hon. Dr. S. Musokotwane, MP;

Hon. K. K. Hamudulu, MP;

Hon. M. H. Malama, MP;

Hon. F. Mutati, MP;

Hon. L. Zimba, MP; and 

Hon. D. Mwango, MP.

Committee on Communication, Transport, Works and Supply

Hon. K. Simbao, MP; 

Hon. W. Banda, MP;

Hon. V. M. Mooya, MP;

Hon. A. M. Chungu, MP;

Hon. L. Chabala, MP;

Hon. O. C. Mulomba, MP;

Hon. M. Chishimba, MP; and 

Hon. K. Konga.

The other Committees will be announced tomorrow. After I have completed announcing and the composition of the Committees and the Public Accounts Committee has been approved by this House, any Hon. Member who finds that they do not belong to any Committee should inform the Office of the Clerk accordingly.

Thank you.




21. Mr Chingimbu (Kabompo East) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    when the following districts would be connected to the national electricity grid:

(i)    Chavuma;

(ii)    Kabompo;

(iii)    Mufumbwe; and 

(iv)    Zambezi;

(b)    what the estimated cost of the project above would be;

(c)    how much money, per month, was spent on the operation of the thermal generation of power in each district above; and

(d)    how much money would be saved per month, once the four districts were connected to the national grid.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, Chavuma, Kabompo, Mufumbwe and Zambezi districts will be connected to the national grid as soon as funds are secured for the project. The estimated cost for the project is K700 billion. 

Mr Speaker, the cost of operating thermal power generators in the mentioned districts is as follows:

    District    Fuel    Labour and Maintenance of Generators
        (K’ Million)    (K’ Million)

    Chavuma    210

    Kabompo    549

    Mufumbwe    329

    Zambezi    554
    Total    1,600,000    200
    Grand Total    1,800,000

Mr Speaker, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) will save K1.8 billion per month, which is equivalent to K20 billion per annum when we connect these areas to the national grid.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chingimbu: Mr Speaker, does the Government plan to cut down the cost by implementing this project in phases, because the amount that the Government is spending per month is, more or less, that required for the project?

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, we have been looking at the cost involved and are currently considering other options, considering the fact that it will not be feasible to find the amount of money that is required. We are also trying to carry out feasibility studies on implementing the project in phases.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, what is the nearest point at which the national grid would connect these four districts? Further, what is the amount of work that has already been done under the Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP) in trying to connect these four districts?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, since I have the option of answering only one question, let me answer the second. The Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has been carrying out feasibility studies and we are considering mini-hydro power stations. Other reports are just coming in and we are yet to study them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, when will this project be completed since it has been indicated that this project will be funded?
Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, every project has a commencement date, duration and completion date. We are, currently, carrying out feasibility studies on how to connect these towns to the national grid, which is about 700km away. However, with the studies that I am talking about, there is the option of powering these districts using mini-hydros and other energy sources. So, we cannot talk about the project’s completion date.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, the lines were cleared and poles lined from Kasempa to somewhere near Zambezi, why were the poles then moved to a destination that nobody knows?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I am afraid, he is directing that question at the wrong people. If the poles were put there and later removed before our time, then, it is difficult for me to answer the question. All I can say is that we are more than committed to powering the towns using the cheapest modes of energy and most cost-effective ways. That is the reason we are carrying out various feasibility studies on various options. We are also looking at the Chikata Falls as a possible source of hydro-electricity. We have also signed contracts with the Germans to try and power even places like Ikeleng’i and other districts. When the report is submitted, we will study it and see the best option to follow. That is the new direction that we are taking.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sayifwanda (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, although my question has been overtaken by events, I will try and come up with a new one.  

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mrs Sayifwanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

A point of order is raised. 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious constitutional point of order based on Article 44 (2) (e) of the Constitution of Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, recently, this august House approved the creation and re-alignment of various Government ministries, departments and statutory bodies. Last week, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, announced that the Road Development Agency (RDA) had been removed from the Ministry of Works and Supply, whose nomenclature I am not yet able to complete …


Mr Mwiimbu: … due to the length of the title. 

Mr Speaker, the responsibility to create and align various Government portfolios is a preserve of Parliament.  

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, on various occasions, we have raised concerns whenever the Government makes pronouncements which violate the Constitution. 

Mr Speaker, the question that begs an answer is whether this Government is in order to continue violating the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, which we have sworn to protect. Not too long ago, my brother-in-law, the hon. Minister of Justice, swore before you, to protect the Constitution of Zambia. Is the Government in order to continuously violate the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia with impunity? The Executive knows that the power to approve the re-alignment and creation of various Government ministries and departments is vested in Parliament. I need your serious ruling. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Article 44 (2) (e) refers to the establishment and dissolution of Government ministries and departments. Unless my civic education is not up to date, …


Mr Speaker: … the body in question is a statutory agency. This means that it was established by law. Assuming, since this ruling is ex tempo, that I was wrong, the Executive has the prerogative to establish and dissolve such Government ministries and departments subject, of course, to approval by this House. If that was so, I have no doubt in mind that, sooner than later, His Honour the Vice-President will bring before this House an appropriate Motion to ensure that all of us uphold the Constitution. 

The hon. Member for Zambezi East may proceed. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sayifwanda: Mr Speaker, the hottest issues in the North-Western Province are the M-8 Road and the connection of various areas of the province to the national electricity grid. The hon. Member’s question was straightforward. When will the districts in question be connected to the national grid? 

Mr Speaker, “as soon as funds are available” is a vague statement. I would like a policy commitment from the hon. Minister on when these districts will be connected. 

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, we said that the project will start when the funds are sourced. The amount we are talking about is K700 billion. Therefore, we are looking at other options and have started feasibility studies. 

Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to give the House a synopsis of what is happening on the ground. There is a contract that was signed for Chikata Falls on 16th May, 2012, between REA and SEMEC International at a contract fee of K87 million to carry out a feasibility study for four months. We also have another contract that was signed on 16th May, 2012, between REA and the Germans at a contract fee of K160 million to carry out feasibility studies for four months to find a way forward on how we can improve the existing power plant and add about 1.5mw to supply Kaleni, Jimbe and Ikaleng’i districts. There is another four-month feasibility study being undertaken for Kasanjiku mini-hydro power station. It was also signed on 16th May, 2012. Another feasibility study contract was signed recently for Chavuma/Chanda Falls. We are very committed to electrifying the districts in question. All the things I have talked about will be done in 2012. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: These are our districts. As a Government, it is our responsibility to power them and we are doing everything possible to do so. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I would like to the hon. Minister to clarify on the feasibility studies, particularly for Mufumbwe. I know that the clearing of vegetation was done and, indeed, as the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo West indicated, poles were put up. In my understanding, the feasibility studies were done. Are you going to re-do these studies for Kasempa/Mufumbwe?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, we are not going to re-do the feasibility studies. The clearing of vegetation was done because we wanted to put up the power line for about 884km. We are, therefore, not re-doing the studies. We already have the information. All we are looking for are funds. However, we are thinking of other options, which I mentioned. For Kasempa/Mufumbwe, feasibility studies have already been done. 

I thank you, Sir. 


22. Mr S. Chungu (Luanshya) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the Government would repair the broken-down water and sewerage system at Levi Chito Police Camp in Luanshya Parliamentary Constituency. 
The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the water and sewerage system at Levi Chito Police Camp in Luanshya Parliamentary Constituency is functional. It is not completely broken down. However, it has some broken pipes that urgently require attention. In order to facilitate rehabilitation works at the camp, the Government has instructed the office of the Inspector-General (IG) of Police to come up with a bill of quantities (BOQ) so as to ascertain the cost of works to be carried out.

Sir, the Government, through the Zambia Police Force, plans to repair the water and sewerage system at Levi Chito Police Camp in Luanshya Parliamentary Constituency when funds are made available in the 2013 Budget.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister should consider taking a leaf from the Mazabuka Central Police Station on how to keep all police stations in the country in a hygienic condition. I wish to declare that Mazabuka Central Police Station is the cleanest in the whole country.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr E. C. Lungu): Mr Speaker, Mazabuka Central Police Station is under the Zambia Police Force. So, it is we who made it possible for it to be what it is today. Thus, we are going to transfer the sanity that exists there to Police facilities across the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr S. Chungu: Mr Speaker, when, exactly, will the Government send a team of people to go and assess the works? The hon. Deputy Minister is saying that the water and sewerage system is still functional in Levi Chito Police Camp when that is not the case.

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, I spoke to the police command and the water and sewerage provider in Luanshya this morning and I was assured that there are men on the ground doing some work. That is why I had the courage to tell the House that complete works will be done in 2013, subject to the availability of funds.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, the issue of broken-down water pipes and sewer systems is not only affecting Levi Chito Police Camp, but also, I think, Police facilities countrywide. Will the instruction given to the IG regarding Levi Chito Police Camp be extended to other police stations?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of Police infrastructure countrywide is a major challenge that we are facing and we will endeavour to include it in the 2013 Budget. As for Wusakili, where my brother comes from, the problem there has been attended to. We will be in touch with him from time to time so that we can attend to problems as soon as they arise.

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a)    when the Luangwa Bridge on the Great East Road was last inspected to determine its fitness for continuous use; and

(b)    whether the Government had any plans to replace the bridge with a concrete one.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, the last inspection of the bridge was undertaken in 1997 by Zulu Barrow Development Consulting Firm with funding from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). It was consequently serviced and certified fit for continuous use.

Sir, in 2013, the Road Development Agency (RDA) will commission a study to assess the adequacy of the bridge in view of the improvement that will be made to the Great East Road, that is, the stretch from Luangwa Bridge to Mwami Border. With these improvements, we anticipate that the Great East Road will attract increased traffic, which is going to have a bearing on the structural adequacy of the bridge. So, we await the findings of that study.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, being a frequent user of that road, I would like the hon. Minister to take note that driving on that bridge …

Mr Speaker: Is that a question or not?

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister indicate the lifespan the 1997 study gave to that bridge?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, following the work that was undertaken in 1997, the bridge was given a lifespan of fifty years of continuous use.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, were there any plans in place for the bridge to be continuously inspected even after being serviced in 1997?

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, it is normal practice for the bridge to continuously be checked for suitability of use. We need to continuously check whether the bridge is being overloaded.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, is the Government not considering sending experts or engineers to go and inspect this bridge as quickly as possible since it is, currently, not in good condition?


Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I think, we are not the experts who should tell whether a bridge is fit for use. However, I assure the hon. Member that, should there be any threat to that effect, the bridge will be closed promptly to save the lives of the people.

I thank you, Sir.


24. Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    what measures the Government had taken to prevent the recurrence of typhoid fever outbreaks, which claimed many lives in Kalabo District during the 2011/2012 rainy season; and

(b)    when qualified health personnel would be posted to the following health  facilities in Liuwa Parliamentary Constituency:

(i)    Sishekanu;

(ii)    Salunda;

(iii)    Luola; and

(iv)    Siluwe.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Health has taken the following measures to prevent the recurrence of typhoid fever outbreaks in Kalabo District:

(a)    continuous monitoring of drinking water to determine residual chlorine;

(b)    strengthened the Epidemic Preparedness Committee (EPC), which oversees the prevention and control of epidemics in the district;

(a)    engaged the Western Water and Sewerage Company (WWSC) to ensure that Kalabo District does not experience erratic water supply in order to ensure that residents do not resort to unsafe water supply sources;

(b)    distributed bottles of chlorine for domestic water disinfection; and

(c)    environmental technicians examined restaurants and butcheries, and encouraged food handlers to maintain high standards of hygiene.

Mr Speaker, a Zambian Enrolled Nurse (ZEN) has been posted to Sishekanu and two community health assistants have been posted to Luola to offer primary health care services to the community. Qualified staff will be posted to Siluwe and Salunda in 2013, specifically in the second quarter.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, can consideration be given to quickening the deployment of staff so that it is done now, rather than in 2013, because the health posts that have not yet received personnel were completed more than two years ago. 

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, we are aware that the health posts have been completed. That is why we are making efforts to send the community health assistants in 2013.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that we still have no reliable supply of clean water and that there is no distribution of chlorine to the community, which are among the measures he has said the Government has put in place to curtail further outbreaks of Typhoid Fever?

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Kalabo Central for bringing that issue to our attention. I was talking to the District Medical Officer just before I came to Parliament and he confirmed that everything we have said is actually taking place there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, did the Government establish the cause of the outbreaks?

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, at the time of the outbreak, we moved in to ascertain, by laboratory analysis, that it was actually Typhoid.

I thank you, Sir.


25. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

    (a)    when the distribution of farming inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) for the 2012/2013 Farming Season would start;

    (b)    which authority would be responsible for distributing inputs in rural areas; and

    (c)    when transporters who transported inputs for the 2011/2012 Farming Season would be paid.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Mwewa): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has reached an advanced stage in preparing for the distribution of agricultural inputs for the 2012/2013 Farming Season under FISP. The ministry will officially launch the distribution exercise in September, 2012.

Sir, the ministry will remain the legitimate authority that will spearhead the countrywide distribution of inputs under FISP. However, it will work with localised camps and District Agriculture Committees in the selection and approval of beneficiaries.

Mr Speaker, most of the local transporters, except for a few with questionable documentation that requires further verification, have been paid for services rendered during the 2011/2012 Farming Season.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, what will the FISP package be like? That is, how many bags of Urea and D-Compound fertiliser will each farmer receive?

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Chenda): Mr Speaker, the pack will consist of four bags of fertiliser and a 10 kg bag of seed. Of the four bags of fertiliser, two will be Urea while the other two will be D-Compound.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, Mr Chenda is a very good hon. Minister. However, his party promised people more money in their pockets but, now, it has delayed paying the transporters. Is that not going against its wish of having more money in people’s pockets?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, the amount that was due to transporters was K42.7 billion and the only outstanding amount now is K2.8 billion, which is under reconciliation. So, we have actually paid the transporters.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, how much money will a farmer pay for each package?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, the contribution from a farmer for each bag is K50, 000 which, including seed, works out to K280, 000.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister well, he indicated that the distribution of inputs will commence this month. Is he aware that the month will be ending in the next four days? Is he confirming to this House that this particular exercise will commence within this week?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, indeed, I am confirming that the launch will be done in the remaining four days.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I am sure he has a calendar.


Mr Chishiba (Kafulafuta): Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to register my lamentation over the four bags of fertiliser that will be given to farmers. I still remember very well that …

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Speaker: It is question time.

Mr Chishiba: … a total of fifteen bags were going to be given, instead of four yet, now, the Government has reverted to four bags. Can the hon. Minister come clean on this promise?

Mr Speaker: I am not sure whether you have put any question to the hon. Minister.


26. Mrs Chungu (Lufwanyama) asked the Minister of Health when the newly- constructed Lufwanyama District Hospital would be opened to the public.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Mulenga): Mr Speaker, the newly-constructed Lufwanyama District Hospital will be opened to the public in the first quarter of 2013. This is because the hospital is currently still under Phase III of construction with work expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013. As soon as it is completed, medical equipment, furniture and staff will be sent to the hospital for it to be opened to the public.

Thank you, Sir.

Mrs Chungu: Mr Speaker, what are the main reasons for taking so long in opening this facility?

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, first of all, the hospital is not completed. Had it been completed, it would have been opened to the public. Secondly, I think, it is because the funding was done in three phases. 

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.


27. Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi) asked the Minister of Local Government 
and Housing:

(a)    when the construction of ten medium-cost houses by the Luwingu District Council in Luwingu District would be completed;

(b)    how much money the Government had spent, thus far, on the project;

(c)    who the contractor for the project was; and

(d)    whether the tender procedures were followed in awarding the contract.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Tembo): Mr Speaker, the construction of ten medium-cost houses by the Luwingu District Council will be completed by December, 2012. The Ministry of Local Government and Housing has commenced the remittance of the balance of K300 million, which will be completed by the end of this month. 

Sir, the Government has, so far, spent K700 million on this project. 

Mr Speaker, the contractor for the project is Torage Engineering Limited.

Mr Speaker, the Luwingu District Council followed tender procedures and worked in with the Provincial Tender Committee (PTC).

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, what steps will the ministry take to ensure that future projects implemented by the Luwingu District Council are completed within the stipulated time?

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, it is good that the hon. Member of Parliament is quite concerned about the progress in his constituency. However, let me inform him that we did not have any engineer in the province in the past. We have now engaged some engineers at the provincial level and this will ensure that most future projects will be monitored effectively.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, this is, indeed, a very good programme. However, are we going to see additional houses being built in Luwingu District? Secondly, is there any other district council that has benefited from this programme?

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, this is an on-going pilot project. I assure the hon. Member of Parliament that the programme will be rolled out to other districts once it is successfully implemented. As for the second question, I will just give the bonus answer by saying that about ten districts have benefited from the same pilot project. These are Luwingu, Nyimba, Lufwanyama, Kazungula, Senanga, Chibombo, Chongwe, Kasempa, Chinsali and Chadiza.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I am wondering why an engineer is needed for such simple and straightforward construction. Why was a clerk of works not engaged?

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, I think, I indicated, initially, that we did not have provincial engineers. I know that, even at the district level, we have District Planning Officers (DPOs). Engineers are there to monitor such projects because they are undertaken by local authorities that cannot monitor themselves and, therefore, need to be monitored by outsiders.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


28. Mr Lufuma asked the Minister of Youth and Sport:

(a)    what led to the closure of the youth skills training programme in Kabompo District, which was being implemented with the assistance of the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) and the German Technical Co-operation to Zambia (GTZ);

(b)    whether the Government would assist in reviving the programme so as to enable the youths in the area acquire various survival skills;

(c)    if so, when the programme would be revived; and

(d)    if there were no plans to revive the programme, what the reasons were.

The Minister of Youth and Sport (Mr Kambwili): Mr Speaker, the reason that led to the closure of this project was, mainly, gross mismanagement of funds by the board, which comprised members from the Kabompo, Mufumbwe and Zambezi district councils. The other reason was that this was a self-sustaining project in which the youths were given a contract by a United Kingdom (UK) company to process timber, which they were selling to sustain the running of the youth programme. Unfortunately, this contract was terminated. So, there was no money to sustain the project.

Mr Speaker, the ministry is, currently, running a youth resource centre in Manyinga in Kabompo District, which is offering skills training to the youths as per the Government programme. The approach changed due to the closure of the skills training programme. However, we need to consult all stakeholders to ascertain whether, indeed, we can revive this programme. The revival of the programme would, mainly, depend on the outcome of the consultations.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, since the closure was necessitated by the mismanagement of resources by councils, what punitive measures have been put in place to ensure that the councils are made to manage resources prudently?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I wish that this had happened when the PF was in power because we could have taken appropriate action. Our colleagues neglected to take action and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it now. As I have stated, we have already opened another skills training centre. So, there is no reason to look behind.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, youth skills training centres are part of youth empowerment. On 12th March, 2012, the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport was directed by His Excellency the President to prepare a plan for youth empowerment. How far is this plan in the making? At what stage is he and when will he release it to the nation so that we inform our youths in the constituencies to look out for that empowerment by the PF Government, who are now in power?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the plan is almost complete. By the first week of next month, it will be handed over to His Excellency the President. Thereafter, I will issue a ministerial statement on the matter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Sir, does the hon. Minister have plans to roll out skills training centres in all the districts, including Chadiza?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, yes, I do.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


29. Mr Sichula (Nakonde) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    whether there was any company that has prospected for minerals in Nakonde District;

(b)    if so, what the results of the exercise at (a) were; and

(c)    if not, when the Government intended to start prospecting for minerals in the District.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, there are, currently, three companies prospecting for minerals in Nakonde District. These are:

(a)    Zirconia Investments;

(b)    Kouri Mining; and

(c)    Oracle Enterprises.

Mr Speaker, the mentioned companies have not reported the discovery of any mineral deposits yet to the  ministry.

Mr Speaker, the Government does not prospect, but plans to conduct detailed geological mapping to generate information to be used to encourage more exploration activities in the area.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr M. B. Mwale (Malambo): Mr Speaker, are there any plans to carry out a countrywide extensive exploration programme with partners, which would have an outcome of mineral deposits packages that would be subject to bidding by interested parties?

 Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has answered the question the way it was supposed to be answered. I have the opportunity to execute that programme, which he never did when he had the opportunity. 

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichula: Mr Speaker, what is the maximum and minimum time for prospecting?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, a prospecting licence is issued for a period of three years and is renewable for another two years.

I thank you, Sir.


30. Mr Simbao (Senga Hill) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    what plans the Government has to ensure the sustainability of operations of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA);

(b)    when the TAZARA employees at Chozi Station last received their salaries;

(c)    whether the employees at (b) above are owed any remuneration arrears, and if so:

(i)    for how many months; and

(ii)    how much money is involved; and

(d)    when the arrears will be paid.

 Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the vision of this Government is for a TAZARA that is financially recapitalised, physically reconstructed and organisationally restructured. The Government’s plans towards this end are being realised, starting with the full disbursement of the K45.5 billion grant provided for under the 2012 Budget. These funds are being used now, not only to pay company retirees, but also to address the long-deferred recapitalisation and the much-needed rehabilitation of company infrastructure. The Government is doing this as part of its shareholder responsibility.

Sir, in March, 2012, the two Governments of Zambia and Tanzania signed an agreement with the Chinese Government for a special loan amounting to K214 billion. This loan shall be utilised on the implementation of the fifth project of the Economic and Technical Co-operation for TAZARA. 

Further, Mr Speaker, the Government intends to review the TAZARA Act in order to attract private-sector investment. The ministry also intends to restructure management in order to improve operations of the company. The Government will also rehabilitate and upgrade the railway infrastructure in order to enhance the company’s capacity, and will mobilise additional resources to enhance the authority’s working capital so as to restore customer confidence.

Sir, the TAZARA employees at Chozi Station are, currently, being paid their August, 2012 salaries. There are arrears for two months, between January and July, 2012, and the amount involved is K3.5 billion.

Lastly, Mr Speaker, the payment plan for the salary arrears, which is, currently, being implemented, is as follows:

(a)    the July, 2012 salaries were paid out in mid-September, 2012;

(b)    August, 2012 salaries will be paid out by end of September, 2012;

(c)    September, 2012 salaries will be paid out by mid-October, 2012; and

(d)    October, 2012 salaries will be paid out at the end of October, 2012.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister talked about improving the operations of the company. What exactly is he talking about in terms of running the trains?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, the Government has endeavoured to bring sixteen locomotives with funding from both the Tanzanian and Zambian Governments. There are also a number of wagons that were on the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) rail line. We are bringing those back. We will also try to rehabilitate them so that we can have a reasonable fleet running between Tanzania and Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for this opportunity to ask the hon. Minister a supplementary question. In an attempt to improve the operations of TAZARA, one of the suggestions was that the TAZARA Act be amended to facilitate private-sector participation. What model of business does he intend to use in this regard? Is it concessioning, management contraction, build-operate-and-transfer or privatisation?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, we have to amend the Act to enable us to determine the business model we should go into, whether public-private partnership or concessioning. In principle, this will follow from the amendment of the Act, to which both Governments have agreed. However, we have not gone deep into seeing how we will model the running of the company.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, is it possible for the hon. Minister to indicate the timeframe within which TAZARA is expected to be rehabilitated so that it can play its meaningful role in the economic development of this country?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, bringing TAZARA to its full operational capacity and making its operations efficient will depend on how much money we are going to source and the mode of management we will use. Currently, we are trying to amend the Act, then, we will get to that. Therefore, the time it will take to rehabilitate the company’s infrastructure is not known as it will depend on how much money we will get. When we do get the money, we will inject it into the company and see how we can move forward.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, how soon will the Act be amended? Will it be during this sitting or the next?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, the board has already given us permission to go ahead with the revision of the Act. However, we are yet to find out when it will come to the House. Suffice it to say that they are working on it as I speak.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sayifwanda: Mr Speaker, if I got the hon. Minister correctly, he said that the August salaries for TAZARA employees will be paid at the end of this month. How are these people surviving? Are we not taking them back to begging?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I think we must realise that TAZARA had been neglected for too long. We picked the company when it was in a total mess and we just …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Minister, the word ‘mess’ is unparliamentary.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I apologise. It was in shambles.


Mr Speaker: Order!

That is equally unparliamentary, hon. Minister


Mr Speaker: Order!

I hope I am not limiting your vocabulary.


Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I thank you. My vocabulary is still afloat. It was in bad shape …


Mr Yaluma: … or, so to speak, totally in tatters. When we took charge of the Government, we went ahead to see how we could promptly assist the company. As highlighted in the answer to first question, we injected K45 billion and we are injecting some more. However, we have only the money to bridge the gap up to one or two months’ arrears in lieu of payment, which is a good step forward. I think that the Government must be commended for that. Otherwise, TAZARA was eighteen months behind schedule in payments. Therefore, we feel you must applaud us for what we have done.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, TAZARA has been operating on a protocol basis. Hon. Minister, is the loan that has been signed part of the 14th Protocol that was approved two years ago?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, yes, Hon. Professor Lungwangwa is right. However, that money has not been paid into our coffers yet. We are using our initiative, currently, to source funds to bring TAZARA back on its feet. The money that was signed for is pipe dream money. It is yet to come.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, mine is a follow-up to the question asked by my colleague from Lukulu West on which business model this Government intends to adopt for TAZARA, to which the hon. Minister responded  that he is awaiting the revision of the Act. That is fairly appreciated. However, in normal management practice, what should come first? Is it the revision of the Act or the identification of the model to adopt? I want him to tell me which of the two activities takes precedence?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, that question is as good as asking what comes first between the egg and the chick. Of course, we need to review the Act because, in order to do away with what was instituted – the existence of TAZARA was purely a result of the relationship between the two Presidents, Dr Nyerere and Dr Kaunda, and the comradeship with China. It was based purely on mutual understanding. We are now trying to move away from that and make TAZARA a profitable business. In order to do that, we will have to revise the Act. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say that there are salary arrears of two months at TAZARA. Do these arrears apply to our friends in Tanzania?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, when the TAZARA Board, which is comprised of Tanzanian and Zambian representatives, sits to plan for the future or settle the debts, they discuss. After they agree, they implement what has been agreed by both sides. Yes, indeed, they the situation is the same on the Tanzanian side.

I thank you, Sir.


31. Mr Mushanga (Bwacha) asked the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when the Government would rehabilitate infrastructure at the following high schools in Kabwe:

(i)    Angelina Tembo Girls;

(ii)    Bwacha;

(iii)    Mukobeko; and

(iv)    Raphael Kombe;

(b)    whether the Government had any plans to expand the infrastructure at the schools at (a) in order to cater for the growing population of pupils and, if so, what the plans were; and

(c)    when the Government would construct science laboratories and school halls at Mukobeko and Raphael Kombe high schools.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that many of our schools, especially at the secondary level, require rehabilitation. It is as a result of this awareness that the ministry has provided a budget line to deal with the rehabilitation of secondary schools, subject to approval by Parliament. However, hon. Members should recognise the fact that we have so many schools that are just like the ones I have mentioned in Kabwe. Therefore, our rehabilitation exercise will only be successful depending on the resource envelope that will be given in the 2013 Budget. The work is going to be done in phases.

Mr Speaker, the answer to parts (b) and (c) of the question is the same. The Government will only expand infrastructure at Bwacha, Mukobeko, Raphael Kombe and Angelina Tembo, and construct laboratories and school halls depending on the allocation to the ministry in the 2013 Budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, if the money is not made available through the budget, what will be the way forward?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament sits in this august House. He is, therefore, aware that the rehabilitation and construction of new buildings depends on the money that the ministry is given by this august House. Consequently, when the 2013 Budget is brought to this august House for approval, we should rise to the occasion, as hon. Members of Parliament, and argue that the ministry be given enough money so that we tackle these historical challenges, just like my hon. Minister said yesterday. We need to work collectively to ensure that the ministry gets enough money in order for us to start developing infrastructure.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, part (c) of the question is asking the Government when it will be able to construct science laboratories at Mukobeko and Raphael Kombe high schools. What is happening, currently, in terms of the teaching of science subjects at the two schools? Bearing in mind that question, can the hon. Minister also talk about the quality of the education being received by the pupils at such schools.

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, that is a valid question. 

Sir, the challenges are not as simple as they sound when we give these answers. From the ten indabas we have held in the provinces, it has come out clearly that the challenges are enormous. There are 226 secondary schools that need rehabilitation. Of these, 143 are day schools while eighty-three are boarding schools that were built either before or shortly after Independence.

Mr Speaker, to completely rehabilitate these institutions, it will take the colossal sum of K1.4 trillion or more, which is beyond the budgetary allocation that we get, as a ministry, in terms of the non-personal emoluments funding for the ministry. Therefore, the ministry has now decided that, even if it is through a piecemeal approach, it will begin addressing the serious challenges that risk the future of our children, particularly those in boarding schools, by allocating a budget line specifically for rehabilitation of infrastructure.

Sir, the state of science teaching in our schools is worrying. For a long time, we have invested heavily in primary schools at the expense of the secondary schools. I must also quickly state that the increased investment in primary school education has led to increased enrolments. This means that the existing secondary schools have had to enrol more than the infrastructure was meant for. So, there is a lot of over-stretching of the infrastructure at the secondary school level. It also means, sadly, that we had to convert the existing laboratories, particularly in schools that were built by the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government, into classrooms. Therefore, we now have the onerous task of building new facilities. However, we have to bear in mind the fact that the budgetary allocations may not allow us to move at a pace that we would want to.

Mr Speaker, I assure this august House that everything will be done to meet this challenge head-on because the future of our children will depend on how knowledgeable they are in the science field. I do not want to go beyond what I have said because doing so would amount to mere speculation. For now, I can only hope that the budgetary allocations will be favourable so that we can do more in this area.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, does the ministry have any plans to hand back the infrastructure development task to the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, we are still discussing with other ministries the possibility of doing what the hon. Member has asked about without slowing down the pace at which we are moving. A decision cannot be arrived at without consultations. 

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I am extremely astounded and shocked that the hon. Minister can stand on the Floor of this House and adopt a defeatist approach with regard to the management of education in our nation.


Professor Lungwangwa: Sir, the hon. Minister said that he will only have plans to address the challenges being faced in high schools when resources are available. Is that not a defeatist approach to the development of policies and plans for our country?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I am excited to hear that coming from Hon. Professor Lungwangwa who, I repeat, was the hon. Minister of Education at one stage …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Phiri: … and embraced the Basic Education Sub-Sector Investment Programme (BESSIP), which expanded the primary education sector. 

Sir, I have never been defeated by challenges. To me, challenges are opportunities to show that we can do better than the leaders who passed through the office before us.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, when we present our budget, you will be seeing a budget line specifically for rehabilitation of our dilapidated educational infrastructure. If that sounds like defeat, then I do not know what the term means.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


32.    Mr Chishiba asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock when the abandoned Mutaba Agricultural Training Centre in Kafulafuta Constituency would be resuscitated to promote sustainable farming methods.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Kazabu): Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to the promotion of sustainable farming methods throughout the country. In this regard, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock allocated K274 million towards the rehabilitation of Mutaba Agricultural Training Centre. These funds were released towards the end of 2011. The tender procedures have been finalised and the works are scheduled to commence soon.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chishiba: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for that question coming from the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock.

Mr Speaker: Did you mean the answer?


Mr Chishiba: Mr Speaker, what will the package for the resuscitated institution be?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, the package will include the general rehabilitation of infrastructure at the centre.

I thank you, Sir.


33.    Mr Njeulu (Sinjembela) asked the Minister of Defence:

(a)    whether the Government has any plans to revise the recruitment age for military personnel from the current eighteen to twenty-five to eighteen to thirty-five years; and

(b)    when the recruitment process will be decentralized to the district level in order to give a chance to as many citizens as possible to participate.

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, … 

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister of Defence, who is reading the answer, in order to whisper. He is barely audible.


Mr Speaker: This is an appropriate point of order because it relates to the proceedings, unlike many other unusual points of order. 

Hon. Deputy Minister, the point is that you are not sufficiently audible. Make yourself audible.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, there are no plans to revise the recruitment age for military personnel from the current ages of eighteen to twenty-five years for direct entrants and  eighteen to thirty-five years meant for entrants with professional qualifications.

Mr Speaker, people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five years are the ones who are physically and medically suitable to meet the standards set out in the training policy for direct entrants, who are expected to undergo vigorous training, which is an international norm for military institutions. For the professional category, people between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five years are physically and medically suitable to meet the standards set out in the training policy for professionally-qualified entrants, who may not undergo vigorous training due to age.

Sir, there are no immediate plans for the recruitment of military personnel to be decentralised to the districts. It will continue to be done at all provincial centres in order to capture a national character in the Zambia National Service, Zambia Air Force and Zambia Army.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Deputy Minister tell us why there is a disparity between the National Youth Policy, which classifies those within the ages of eighteen and thirty-five as youths, and the one being used in the defence forces?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I would like to repeat my earlier response: only people between eighteen and twenty-five years are physically and medically suitable to meet the standards set out in the training policy for direct entrants, who are expected to undergo vigorous training. You should not expect us to recruit someone who has reached the age of Hon. Kaingu. He is too old.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.



34.    Mr Mutale (Kwacha) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry why Dunlop Zambia Limited relocated its operations to Zimbabwe in the early 1990s.

Mr E. C. Lungu (on behalf of the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry ( Mr Sichinga)): Mr Speaker, Dunlop Zambia Limited left Zambia in the early 1990s due to the liberalisation of the economy, which made it uncompetitive for the company to continue its operations in Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, was it not that the conditions under the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government were unfavourable for the company to continue its operations?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, I am not a spokesperson for the MMD, … 


Mr E. C. Lungu: ... but suffice it to say that the economy is growing and, if Dunlop wishes to come back, it is welcome.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, the number of vehicles that we have in this country is a clear indication that there is a huge demand for tyres. Is the Government thinking of resuscitating the enterprise? 

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, I believe that everyone is aware of the fact that it is not the Government’s business to be in business. That is why we are saying that anyone who wants to set up such a business is welcome.

I thank you, Sir.

35.    Mr Simbao asked the Minister of Labor and Social Security:

(a)    how much salary increments, in percentages, were awarded to the following categories of employees in the public sector in 2012:

(i)    senior medical doctors;

(ii)    junior medical doctors;

(iii)    paramedics;

(iv)    teachers;

(v)    police officers; and

(c)    whether the nurses were awarded the 100 percent salary increment in 2012 as promised by the Government and, if not, why.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mbulu): Mr Speaker, senior medical doctors, junior medical doctors, paramedics, teachers and police officers were awarded a 15 per cent salary increment in 2012. 

Sir, the nurses were not awarded a 100 per cent salary increment, but 15 per cent. This is because they belong to trade unions. It is the Government’s policy not to interfere in the process of collective bargaining because this is where conditions of service are determined. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, this Government had announced that nurses had been awarded a 100 per cent salary increment. Was it not aware of the existence of the trade unions when the pronouncements were made? 

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Shamenda): Mr Speaker, having looked at the conditions of service, both globally and regionally, the Government observed that the health personnel deserved a 100 per cent salary increment. 


Mr Shamenda: Sir, what was supposed to be provided was determined by what was in the Treasury at the time of negotiations. As emphasised by the hon. Deputy Minister, this Government does not interfere in the processes of collective bargaining. It is the ability of the employer to pay and sustain the institution that determines the increment percentage.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, I am surprised that the hon. Minister is now recognising the need to assess the capacity of the employer to pay. 


Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, will this Government be mature enough to accept that the pronouncement that was made …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Let the question be completed.

Ms Namugala: … was yet another populist pronouncement that the Government had no intention or ability to implement?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, this Government understands the principles of collective bargaining very well. As I indicated earlier, internationally, the process of collective bargaining depends on the persons involved. As per the International Labour Organisation (ILO) guidelines, Governments are expected to prescribe the minimum wage globally. In fact, instead of talking about the minimum wage, we are supposed to be talking about the living wage, which determines the basic wage that can be given to a person. 


Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, the Government only prescribes the minimum wage. Any conditions of service above the minimum wage are subject to negotiations. As for the question of whether it was a populist pronouncement, again, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

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

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that, after recognising the prevailing conditions of service, regionally and globally, which has led to an exodus of medical personnel from the country, the Government intended to increase the salaries of health personnel. Alas, our friends, who were supposed to have appreciated that pronouncement, were now inciting the whole country to demand a 100 per cent salary increment. They wanted to know why this increment was awarded to the medical personnel only. 


Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, you can imagine what could have happened if we had given the medical personnel that increment. I am saying so because even the well-intended minimum wage has been misinterpreted. We would like to see people getting more retirement packages than salaries. For example, the minimum payment for a pensioner at NAPSA is K586,000. If a maid who had been contributing to NAPSA retired today, she would be entitled to a minimum of K586,000.  Here we are fighting and quarrelling over this issue when we are supposed to be supporting it in order to improve the well-being of our people. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member has the right to be heard.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, when I compare what the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting said yesterday on the issue of downsizing the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and other Government-owned institutions with what the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. F. Shamenda is saying, …


Dr Kaingu: Hon. F. Shamenda, do you realise that the minimum wage has actually confused the labour market and exacerbated the unemployment levels in this country?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, there could be some distortions in the Statutory Instrument (SI) but, because we inherited it, we had to use it in the interim. That is why, in the wisdom of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, we have started working on a sector-based minimum wage. However, there are other areas that we need to clean up before that is implemented. We are consulting and trying to identify the sectors. With the SI, all we did was to adjust the figures. We are going to revise the it so that it makes more sense than the version we inherited. It surprises me that what other people get as a sitting allowance, per day, in some places, …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shamenda: … one would be quarrelling …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Let the hon. Minister complete the response undistracted.

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, like I have said before, we should be a little more humane. We have no information at hand to confirm that many companies are going under because of the minimum wage. There is no evidence, whatsoever, to prove that we have had more protests because of the minimum wage. The statistics that I have at the office, which we can go through together, show that we had more protests when there was a change of the Government in September, last year, when people realised that they had been liberated because they now had a caring Government that cared about the poor.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shamenda: Some of us, who live in comfort, instead of appreciating and seeing how we can manage the minimum wage, are the first ones to incite the public. What is being read and said in this House is a distortion of what is actually happening on the ground. The situation is calm. It is very clear that those small and medium farmers who had problems have resolved them. For instance, workers in Chisamba cannot be compared with those at the Nakambala farms. So, we usually employ that approach in our negotiations with those with collective agreements. It depends on employers’ ability to pay. However, nobody wants to listen to the explanations and face the realities. So, those with ears will listen while those who deliberately do not want to listen will create problems.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): What are you saying, I will jump on you.


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, with regard to the teachers, the remote allowance, which was at 25 per cent, has been replaced by the rural allowance at 20 per cent; the graduate retention allowance has been abolished; and the extra responsibility allowance, which was at 20 per cent, has been removed. The Government indicated that it was instituting …

Mr Speaker: What is your question? I am anxious to hear it.

Mr Mbulakulima: The Government promised to constitute a team to look at the issue of extra responsibility allowance. How far has it gone towards honouring that promise?

Mr Speaker: That appears to be a totally new question. Anyway, I will give the hon. Minister the liberty to answer it.

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, that is a completely new question.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, is the good intention of a 100 per cent salary increment still alive, considering that no bargaining unit can ignore or reject such an offer?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, the ball is now in the courts of those who are doing the collective bargaining. The intentions of the Government are to put more money in the pockets of the people and recognise that health is very important. We are losing a lot of staff in that area, which is responsible for saving the lives of our people. So, the intentions are still there.

I thank you, Mr Speaker

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, when the Government realised that the ability to pay 100 per cent was not there, did it tender any apology to the nurses?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, it was just an intention, not an offer.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister painted a very good picture of the reception of the minimum wage in this nation. Has he had even one discussion with the employers and employees over disputes over the minimum wage?

Mr Speaker: Let us leave it to the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security and all the other hon. Ministers there.

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, so far, we have had very meaningful discussions with various unions and employers. I would like to put it on record that the minimum wage is more than 90 per cent successful.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to give his honest opinion. Let me give an example of a teacher at Libala Secondary School. Is he going to manage to pay the minimum wage?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, the integrity of the Members of the PF cannot be questioned. Whatever we say is mostly the truth and nothing but the truth. So, I would like to assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala that those who have difficulties – and this we have explained even to those employers and others – let us take a leaf from what happens in other countries, where there is mobility of workers. For example, if you live in Libala, why would you employ someone to clean your house the whole day? What happens in other countries is that, when you employ someone, for instance, a gardener, he would work for you for only about four hours and then work in a different place. At the end of the day, that person would have made enough to be above the minimum wage.

Mr Speaker, for the teachers and other civil servants who live in Kamwala and leave their children on their own, it is important to start thinking outside the box. We need to discuss what is reasonable for the teachers who are living in such an environment. This is what this House can advise on. Why do we not encourage the establishment of crèches for these teachers? They can make contributions so that they leave their children with trained personnel. If there are about fifty civil servants, teachers and the like, living in a certain area, they must be able to employ three persons who will be paid a reasonable amount to look after their children. This happens in other countries. However, because here, in Zambia, we are used to doing things in a certain way, we do not want to think outside the box. This is why we have a problem. Let us learn from what we have done to improve on something tomorrow. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, the intention of the Government was to award a 100 per cent salary increment to nurses. However, its negotiators, together with the unions, only awarded 15 per cent. Does the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security feel that he was let down by his negotiators and the unions, thereby, being placed in this embarrassing situation? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, I do not know whether the hon. Member was in this House when I was explaining. I think that his mind was elsewhere. I said, at the expense of repeating myself, that we had those intentions. However, there was an outcry, similar to the one in this House over the minimum wage. 

Mr Speaker, it is these same colleagues who questioned and incited the whole nation to ask for a 100 per cent increment. As I stated earlier, this would have caused serious problems. This is why we left it to the negotiators to negotiate for something that they would be able to agree on and they agreed on 15 per cent. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.  




(Debate resumed)

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, before we resume the debate, I have some guidance to offer. 

I wish to remind the House that, on Friday, 21st September, 2012, His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, addressed this House on the occasion of the Official Opening of the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. Upon concluding his address, he handed over the speech, which was, in turn, handed over to the Clerk as is the tradition. Let me stress that the handing over of the Presidential Speech by me to the Clerk signified the laying of the document on the Table of the House.  Subsequently, again, as is tradition, the speech was distributed to all the stakeholders, including hon. Members of Parliament, contrary to the assertion made by some hon. Members yesterday that the speech was, in fact, not officially tabled in the House. 

Hon. Members, since His Excellency the President followed the Parliamentary procedure in addressing the House, I would earnestly urge you all to focus on the substantive issues. I want to repeat myself: I earnestly urge you all to focus on the substantive issues contained in the President’s written speech and, as ruled yesterday, the verbatim record, and should not be digressed therefrom by the various anecdotes and the humour that was practiced by the President, which I presume was intended to provide light moments. 

As my fellow Presiding Officers persistently guided the House yesterday, I wish to personally reiterate and appeal to you on the importance, in the interest of the nation, of the Motion before the House and the need for all of us to discharge well this function that has been assigned to us by the people of Zambia. This will not only ensure a smooth flow of the business, as prescribed by the order of business but, above all, preserve the decorum and dignity of the House. 
Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the chance to contribute, this afternoon, to the debate on the speech that was delivered in this House by the His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata. 

Mr Speaker, from the onset, I would like to add my voice to the concerns over the manner in which the speech was delivered by the President. The occasion provided by Parliament is very serious …

Mr Speaker: Order!

I am afraid ...

Mr Lufuma remained standing.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, the Speaker is speaking. 

Hon. Members, I just provided guidance. I have a role to play and part of that role is to guide. 

Hon. Members, quite frankly, it will not help to resist the guidance given by the Speaker; any Speaker and at any moment. If the guidance of the Speaker is resisted or defied, there will be no order in this House, yet my primary function is to maintain order.

Hon. Members, if you read the Standing Orders, there are other avenues through which you could contend with the directions by the Speaker. There are procedures laid down. My guidance was deliberately given this afternoon at the outset to ensure that we are on track and on track we must be. I also mentioned that we have an important assignment to discharge in our representative capacity on behalf of the people of Zambia.

I have referred to in my guidance that, indeed, maybe, the style was unusual or unprecedented, but that was a style nevertheless.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: That was a style and it is a fact after event. We must proceed with business. That speech preceded an important business, the forth-coming presentation of the budget. If we all decide that we will debate nothing but the manner of delivery of the speech, where do we go? How long and to what end? 

I hope I will not have to repeat myself. I enjoy immerse powers in this seat, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: … but I would like to practise modesty because, I think, it is the taxpayers’ interest that is an issue here and I have a duty to protect that as well because it is a public function. I repeat: I hope I will not have to say anything more about this.

You may continue if you are debating substantive issues.

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear! Long live the Chair!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for that lengthy guidance that you have just given to this House. On that account, I would like to delve directly into substantive issues that were raised by His Excellency the President in his speech.

Sir, one issue I would like to quote and highlight, as given in the speech of His Excellency the President was when he said:

“My Government acknowledges the democracy, good governance and the rule of law as well as an enabling environment; that these are essential for national development.”

Mr Speaker, I think that none of us in this House or outside can argue against this statement. However, I would like us to look at the current political situation in the country. For this statement to be true, it must be followed up by appropriate action. If you look at what is happening, politically, it leaves much to be desired because there is a lot of curtailment of freedom of speech, association, movement and human dignity here in Lusaka. This leaves us to question the sincerity of the statement I just quoted. As a democratic country, what we are seeing is the beginning of a police state.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: That is how dictatorial tendencies start.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: They start bit by bit.

Recently, I was at the Central Police Station where cadres and members of the United Party for National Development (UPND) were gassed by the police. Again, there was a rally scheduled in Kanyama which was, again, cancelled despite the fact that there was a court order for the meeting to go ahead.

Hon. UPND Members: Shame! 

Mr Lufuma: Recently, our President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, the one and only …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: … of the UPND, in the exercise of his freedom of association and speech went to Mongu and there, again, was prevented from holding even an indoor meeting on the pretext of the need to preserve security. This, hon. Members, is the beginning of dictatorial tendencies; …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: … the ushering in of a police state. That is what is happening. Surprisingly, even some sections of the media have joined in.

Hon. Government Members interjected.

Mr Lufuma: Not the nation, but the PF.

Mr Speaker: You are addressing the Speaker.

Mr Lufuma: I am sorry, Sir. Certain sections of the media have joined in, …

Hon. Government Members interjected.

Mr Lufuma: … in trying to suffocate …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Just a moment, hon. Member.

Hon. Members on my right, maintain decorum. I do not know whether the Clerk needs to translate these terms.

Mr Ntundu: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: You may continue, hon. Member for Kabompo West.

Hon. Opposition Member: Long live, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

The media has, surprisingly, instead of upholding the rule of law, democracy and human dignity, have also joined in suffocating the freedom of speech of the Opposition. Mind you, the Opposition exists, in this country, to provide checks and balances to the Government. Therefore, we must be allowed to carry out that function without any hindrance.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: When people say that a certain person or a president is self-conceited, arrogant, jealousy and bitter, we start wondering what is happening and ask who this person they are talking about is. Mr Hichilema is neither petty nor jealous. What is there to be jealous about?

Hon. Government Members: The office!

Mr Miyutu: Nothing! Ki masholi!

Mr Lufuma: He is simply carrying out the responsibility bestowed upon him by the Zambian people.


Mr Speaker: Let the hon. Member debate.

Mr Lufuma: So, what I am saying here is that I expected His Excellency the President to deliver a keynote speech, which would inspire and galvanise this country to go forward to greater heights. I expected him to address one of the key areas: the deteriorating state of our democracy, whereby the Police is suffocating our freedoms of association and speech. These are key areas that should be addressed. Surprisingly, I did not hear him condemn the actions of the Police on the Floor of the House. Even outside the House, I have not heard any hon. Minister condemn the actions of the Police and I believe that their silence means consent. The silence of the hon. Ministers means that they are in support of a Police State. Such things should be stopped.

Mr Speaker, having talked at length about the danger in which our democracy is, I would like to quickly go to some substantive issues that I expected His Excellency the President to raise in his speech.

Sir, I think that the Constitution-making process is a very serious matter. The country is almost on standstill because of this document, yet His Excellency the President did not take time to give direction to the process in his speech. We are all aware that this process has had no budgetary allocation. There has been nothing of that sort at all.

Mr Speaker, as hon. Members of Parliament, we have been insisting on having some sort of budget so that we can know how much will be spent on the Constitution-making process, but nothing was mentioned to that effect in His Excellency the President’s Speech.

Sir, The Constitution-making process has to have a timeframe. However, nothing has been said about the duration of the process. The Constitution-making process, as far as we know, also has no legal framework. It is such issues that we expected His Excellency the President to talk about and give direction, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: … but this did not happen. 

Sir, another pertinent issue that I want to look at is the Barotse Agreement, which has created a very critical situation in the country, which deserves the attention of the President. What was said about it? Nothing. It seemed as though nothing of that sort existed. That was the most serious issue amongst those which were omitted from the speech. If it was deliberate, then we are burying our heads in the sand, pretending that there is no problem when, actually, there is a big problem. If the President does not provide leadership in sorting out this situation, it will boil to an extent that there will be chaos. We do not want to see that situation. Thus, it is incumbent upon the President to look at such issues and offer direction and leadership. This is the purpose for opening Parliament; to give direction and leadership, but we did not get anything to that effect.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, decentralisation is a song that has been sung by the PF Government for some time. The party has continued to talk about the need to transfer power to the local structures, but what happened? Are we practising what we are preaching? Certainly not! Just before Parliament was opened, the project called Link Zambia 8000 was launched.


Mr Lufuma: I am afraid, if the hon. Member does not know about that project, then I do not know where he is …

Mr Speaker: Address the Speaker. Do not be detracted by your colleagues on the right.

Mr Lufuma: Sir, immediately this project was launched, His Excellency the President declared that he was its chief supervising officer.


Mr Lufuma: Sir, this is not what should happen when decentralisation is taking place. Such an act amounts to usurping the powers of the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication.

Mr Kalaba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to insinuate that the Head of State has taken over authority from the RDA when, in fact, everything that happens in Government departments and ministries is done on the President’s behalf? I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Let me provide quick guidance. That is not a point of order. It does not relate to procedure. This is a way of trying to debate an issue. Let the hon. Member express his opinion. It does not matter whether you agree with him or not. Give him an opportunity to express himself, whether he is right or not, whether sound or unsound. It is his liberty. Otherwise, as I guided earlier, there will be no order if we are going to begin censoring each other’s views. We should not censor views because this is supposed to be a battlefield of ideas. Let him fire. You will have an opportunity to react. You should not stop him from firing or misfiring.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Long live the Chair.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, these are the tendencies that we are against. They want to curtail my freedom of speech. We have to be tolerant …

Mr Speaker: Nobody will curtail speech here as long as I am in the Chair.


Mr Lufuma: … of each other’s divergent views and this, I am not seeing. If you have a different view, you are an enemy of the PF. We must stop such tendencies because democracy insists that you respect each other’s views. Tolerance is key to the success of any democracy. 

Mr Speaker, the RDA issue shows that the devolution of power has not taken place in this country. In fact, there is a centralisation of power from the ministry to the President.

The other example I can give is on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). If you have read those circulars we are getting from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, the Government is usurping the powers of the local structures. So, we are not moving according to what we preach. Let the PF move according to what it preaches.

Mr Speaker, on the creation of new districts, we have noted that there are fifteen districts that have been created, but none of them is in the North-Western Province or, probably, even in the Western Province, but we are talking about devolution of power taking place in the whole of Zambia. Are the other provinces not part of Zambia? We would like the PF Government to address such issues. I am, however, hopeful that the creation of new districts will be extended to the North-Western Province and Western provinces.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of foreign direct investment (FDI), we note that US$4.7 billion was injected into the Zambian economy, although none of these monies were injected or invested in rural areas. We need to develop the rural areas because that is where the natural resources are. I am talking about areas like Zambezi, Chavuma and Kayombo in Kabompo, which have oil reserves. The Government should be proactive and secure FDI to ensure that we exploit the oil reserves that have been given to us by God. This will enable us to address the important issues of reducing poverty, unemployment and various unfavourable situations. We will also manage to increase funding to health, education and infrastructure development. Without FDI, we will go nowhere. So, we urge this Government to look at that critically.

Mr Speaker, finally, I would like to talk about the Euro Bond, …

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

Mr Lufuma: … together with the issue of the windfall tax. I have seen a lot of excitement in PF circles regarding this money. We have to be very careful. If we do not utilise that money prudently, we shall end up where we have been. We will go back to being indebted again. 

Sir, it would have been better if the PF Government had listened to the cries of the people on the windfall tax. Why are our colleagues on your right avoiding the windfall tax? We can raise US$750 million or more through the windfall tax. Those on your right are the ones who were saying that they would introduce the windfall tax when they came into power, but they are now cowering away …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: … from taking the right direction. They should tell us why they are doing this.

Mr Speaker, I thank you very much.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity you have given me to contribute to the Motion on the President’s speech on the occasion of the Official Opening of the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. As you have guided, I will attempt to restrict myself to the substantive issues contained in the President’s Speech.

Mr Ntundu interjected.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Gwembe, you are very close to the Chair and, therefore, audible enough. Quite risky ventures you take.


Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, a number of important issues were raised by the President in the written speech. There was quite a wish-list in the speech. He talked about parliamentary affairs and reforms, socio-economic issues, the budget and the four policy pillars of the PF Government, which are local government, agriculture development, education and housing. In the interest of saving time, I will try to just comment on a number of salient issues, the first one being socio-economic affairs. 

Sir, the President indicated the macro-economic achievements of the country in recent years. He talked about the 7 per cent annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth and single-digit inflationary rate. Unfortunately, at no time did I hear the President indicate the strategies or formula that the Government intends to use to ensure that the benefits of the much talked about economic growth are transferred to the poor, especially those in the rural areas. 

Mr Speaker, it is very true that, even as we talk about the macro-economic fundamentals, our people, especially in the rural areas, continue to wallow in abject poverty. I would have liked the President to indicate the specific strategies, with measurable indicators, on how the PF Government will reduce poverty. I did not, at any time, even hear how or whether or not we were on track to attaining the millennium development goals (MDGs), particularly MDG Number One, which is on reducing poverty. That is the direction I would have liked to see. Personally, much as I may welcome the US$750 million Euro Bond, it is, certainly, not something that I will celebrate.


Mr Mucheleka: Why should I celebrate? This is money that we should be able to generate internally given that …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Let us give the hon. Member the chance to debate without interference. He is engaged in a mental process and needs to concentrate.


Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, if what the PF had promised the people of Zambia was anything to go by, we would not have gone outside this country to borrow money, but raised it through the mining sector. If we continue borrowing, we will simply get into another debt trap a few years down the line, which might even be unsustainable. 

Mr Speaker, the programmes that were outlined by the President are very ambitious. One worth talking about is the 8000km Link Zambia Project. This is a very good project, but at what cost will it be implemented? How will it be financed? Is the Government going to borrow money every year? If you consider K28.5 trillion in United States Dollars, that is close to US$6 billion on an annual basis. Why not take steps to enhance our capacity to generate our own resources?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka:  We all know what is happening in the mining sector. If anything, I would have liked the President to announce a commission of inquiry into what is happening in the mining sector because we all know what happened. The problems were started by the previous administration but, unfortunately, the PF is falling into the same trap. Sooner or later, Zambians will begin to question. Time is ticking away. 

Hon. Government Member: We have five years.

Mr Mucheleka: You are talking about five years, but I want to remind you that it is not five years. You are only remaining with three years. This is your second year.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Mucheleka: Time is ticking away. So, look at how best we can generate revenue internally, and the greatest opportunity is the mining sector. In the past, you talked about the windfall tax. Why are you now shying away from it?

Mr Speaker: Order!

May the hon. Member for Lubansenshi address the Chair.

You can continue.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, the other important issue is (not speaking into the microphone) …

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member for Lubansenshi should, please, use the microphone so that we have a verbatim record.

You can continue.

Mr Mucheleka: Thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker, let me talk about local government. Yes, we have all celebrated the creation of new districts. However, I would like to be given a timeframe and specific strategies in terms of how the Government is going to fast-track the construction of the required infrastructure in the fifteen additional districts that have been created. We heard that there are some districts that were created in 1997, but they still do not seem to have any basic infrastructure, whatsoever. How is the construction of the necessary infrastructure and institutions going to be financed in those newly-created districts? 


Mr Mucheleka: So, that is what we would like to know. 

Mr Mucheleka drank some water.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, the majority of the hon. Members of this House come from rural constituencies, such as Lubansenshi and the new districts that have been created are in the rural areas. So, if almost 65 per cent of the people live in the rural areas, how is the Government going to fast-track decentralization, as opposed to wanting to centralise power further? We should give the rural areas the opportunity to participate in the governance of this country, including the sharing of the meagre resources. 

Sir, we had the same problems in the previous administration. Even currently, I see the same problems continuing. If we are talking about a paltry 3 per cent of the budget being allocated to the local authorities, how are they going to provide services or enhance their delivery at the local level? The PF has been in power for over one year, but nothing has changed. The workers in the rural local authorities still remain unpaid and some local authorities, including Luwingu District, where Lubansenshi Constituency is, are still in arrears.


Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, I mean well. I would like to suggest to the PF Government that  it comes up with specific strategies of how it will fast-track the construction of the necessary infrastructure and institutions in those additional districts without, of course, forgetting the districts that have been in existence longer.

Mr Speaker, the President talked about agricultural development and mentioned some good intentions, which I fully support. However, we would like to see how these intentions will be actualised. 

The other issue is the politics of maize, which we are still grappling with. We should be talking about diversifying our rural economies. The rural economy is not entirely dependent on agriculture. We should be thinking of how we can create backward and forward linkages between the rural and urban economies and that should be done through the improvement of the necessary infrastructure. There are some areas in my constituency that are completely impassable and not even the FRA is able to go and buy maize because there are no roads. 


Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, those are the issues we should be talking about in the agricultural sector. The Government should try as much as possible to meaningfully and practically address the institutional and structural rigidities in this sector. There is no way we can be talking about growing maize everywhere. For example, we should be talking about a critical analysis of the cashew nuts’ value chain for our people in the Western Province. Our people in the North-Western Province should be talking about pineapples. You should not force everyone to grow maize even where there is no comparative advantage. The issue of saying, “that is what we found the MMD doing” should not arise because this is the time for a paradigm shift in the agricultural sector. 


Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, on the issues of governance, what I would have liked to see, at this stage, if we mean well, with regard to issues of the Constitution, is the enacting of legislation that should indicate how we are going to protect the Constitution-making process. That has not been done. The process should not be open ended. I want to advise the Government that, sooner or later, the PF will find itself in a similar situation to the one the MMD found itself. Time is ticking away. The Constitution is important to the people of Zambia. Make no mistake. Zambians are much more conscientised than ever before. They must not be taken for granted because they are watching every step we are taking. This is timely advice to the PF Government.

Sir, the President talked about teamwork among hon. Members of Parliament, District Commissioners (DCs) and Permanent Secretaries (PSs). There is no need to politicise the DC’s office. Let us not make any mistake. The PF Government should understand that, as long as the DC’s office continues to be politicised, we will not get anywhere. If anything, I want to warn it that the majority of the civil servants are bitter about the conduct of political appointees like DCs.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: The PF Government promised …

Hon. Government Member: Question!

Mr Mucheleka: … to professionalise that office. What did it do? In no time, it reversed its decision. The people are watching because some of the DCs have become political. They are fighting political battles on behalf of the PF, but this will not work.

Mr Speaker, the President outlined the steps that the Government intends to take in the construction of 650 health posts. I have no problem with that because it will help the people in rural areas to access the required health services. What remains is the challenge of human resources. When you construct the 650 health posts, you must also plan to ensure that they posts will be staffed by a qualified human resource. We do not want to see a situation in which clinics are constructed just for them to become white elephants. When you come back here and we ask you questions, you fail to explain why you have not been able to provide the required human resource and other requisites in the health sector. 

Mr Speaker, the President also talked about creating provincial silos, which is going to enhance our crop storage capacity because, currently, most of the maize that has been grown under very difficult conditions by small holder farmers might still go to waste because there are no storage facilities and the roads still remain impassable.

Mr Speaker, with these remarks, I wish to support the President’s Speech to this August House.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, thank you very much. I would like to contribute to debate on the President’s Speech. However, I would like to start by stating that I was very disappointed with the manner in which the President presented the speech to this House …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member of Parliament for Kasempa, I have provided guidance. The guidance is very clear and it amounts to a ruling. If you have difficulty with my ruling, the Standing Orders are clear. You are free to contest it. The rules are there. So, let us follow them. We are all honourable Members and it will not do to insist on doing things that way. I will not allow it. If you have an issue with the ruling, there is a Motion to be filed and you can do that. 

You may proceed with a substantive issue.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, I cannot proceed.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. MMD Members left the Assembly Chamber.

Mr Speaker: Order!

We continue with the debate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister for Western Province (Mr Mwaliteta): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the President’s Speech, which was well-delivered for the first time in the history of Zambia. My debate will be short

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: It was delivered in a very light-hearted manner.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Please, concentrate on the substantive issues.

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, I want to recognise the pronouncements of the President concerning health infrastructure in this country. Without healthy citizens, there will never be a country like Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, the President indicated that there will be 650 health posts built in rural areas. This is a very good sign. Within a year, we have come up with 650 health posts, which has never happened before. Within a year, we launched the 8,000km Link Zambia Project. I know that this may be very difficult for other people to understand. However, it is real. We promised the Zambian people that we would change the face of this country when we took over power.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, the President said that we are committed to infrastructural development. Infrastructure has been run down for a long time. 

The President also said that unemployment levels in this country are very high, hence the capitalisation of the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ). This shows that this Government is very committed to job creation. The President indicated that our commitment to fighting unemployment will not end here. We will continue to lay the platform for creating employment. Those from the private sector who are willing to start companies so that our youths can be employed can do so. It was encouraging that the Head of State spoke in that manner. 

Sir, I support his Speech and end here.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!



The Minister of Home Affairs and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr E. C. Lungu): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1743 hours until Thursday 1430 hours on 27th September, 2012