Debates- Friday, 20th July, 2012

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Friday, 20th July, 2012

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to acquaint the House with the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery, of a delegation from the Namibian Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Communication Technology (ICT). 

The delegation is being led by Hon. L. Witbooi, MP and Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on ITC.  Other members of the delegation include:

Hon. S. Makgone, MP;
Hon. I. Shixwameni, MP;
Hon. B. Ulenga, MP;
Hon. S. Swartz, MP; and
Ms N. Lizazi, Parliamentary Clerk/ member of staff. 

I wish, on behalf of the National Assembly, to receive our guests and warmly welcome them in our presence. 

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!  


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Good morning, Dr Scott. 


Mr Speaker: Order!

Address the Speaker. 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, after the Magoye By-election, I asked His Honour the Vice-President which investor the Patriotic Front (PF) Government had found as an equity partner for Albidon Mine, which had been shut for nearly a year in the constituency that I represent. In his response, he told me that …

Mr Speaker: He told the House. 

Mr Nkombo: Yes, the House, through me … 


Mr Nkombo: … His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Sata, had indicated in Magoye that he had found an equity partner and that on that particular Monday, the negotiations would be finalised. 

Mr Speaker, we read, yesterday, that the prospective equity partner and the owners of Albidon Mine had talks which collapsed seven months ago. I would like His Honour the Vice-President to tell this House, through me, what the position is regarding Albidon Mine, especially, with regard to the resettlement and employees of the mine. 

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, it is, indeed, true as the questioner states that the talks with the preferred australian investor have collapsed. In fact, I think, yesterday, the Australian investor posted on the web a statement to the effect that the talks had collapsed. 

We are going ahead with the second most preferred investor. I wish to assure the House, through you, Sir, that we will work closely with the hon. Member of Parliament to do what we can to get an optimum solution. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: It is unfortunate that the price of zinc is not buoyant enough to actually give us the results which we want. 

Hon. Government Member: Nickel.

The Vice-President: Sorry, it is actually nickel, not zinc.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Kalaba (Bahati): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President the position of the Government on the issue of Truvada, an HIV/ AIDS medicine. We have read in the media recently that the American Authority on Food and Drugs has recommended Truvada a preventive medicine for HIV/AIDS. 

Does the Government have any plans to bring this drug on the market as a preventive measure?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I have been made to understand by the hon. Minister of Health that the drug in question has not yet been approved for use in Zambia as, how I shall put it, the morning after pill. It is a drug one can take after being exposed to risks because it is believed to have the ability to wipe out the virus. That is what is being said in the Unites States of America (USA). 

In this respect, it is, no doubt, superior to other forms of treatment, such as taking a shower and …


The Vice-President: … applying battery acid to the membrum virile, Sir. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the Government house for the Vice-President is empty. May I know where His Honour the Vice-President lives, who pays the rentals and how much the rentals are. 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, my wife and I live in our home in New Kasama. There is no rental charge since I own the place. There is no housing allowance as well. There is some catering and labour allowance. The Government house is used for meetings, for example, of the Ministers’ Spouses Club, receptions and other official events. 

I think that about half the Vice-Presidents that we have had in this country have chosen to live in the Government house and the other half have preferred to stay in their own homes. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the Government of the Republic of Zambia made an announcement yesterday to the effect that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will only purchase 150 bags of maize per small-scale farmer.

Mr Speaker, it is a matter of public knowledge that most of the small-scale farmers in the country produce more than 150 bags of maize.

Sir, I would like to find out from his hon. the Vice-President what measures the Government has put in place to ensure that small-scale farmers are protected from the vultures who are now swooping onto the market so as to prey on those who are unable to sell their maize. 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, let me start by drawing the hon. Members attention to the fact that there is an urgent question coming up on the Order Paper which will deal with the buying of maize from small-scale farmers. I do not want to aim at giving a complete answer at this point because it will be a duplication of the answer which will be given later. 

Sir, furthermore, I will be moving a Motion to adjourn the House in which I also hope to talk about the need for the hon. Members of Parliament to support our maize marketing efforts. The maize marketing system, as it exists, at the moment, is not only targeted at small-scale farmers. The system targets even big members who belong to the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), who with specific authority from the Government, were able to sell their maize to the FRA. We cannot have taxpayers subsidising big farmers.

Mr Speaker, 150 bags is more than seven and half tonnes of maize, which is considerably more than the half hectare of maize which the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) enables the farmer to grow. A farmer who grows more than seven and a half tonnes of maize is not our target group. The target for the FRA and FISP are the genuine small-scale farmers. We need to make sure that subsidies get to the intended beneficiaries and not to people who are either emergent or commercial farmers.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, as representatives of the people, we receive a lot of concerns from them. Cattle farmers in the western and southern parts of our country are extremely worried about the Government’s position regarding the cordon line in those parts of the country. What exactly is the Government’s position on the cordon line?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the answer to that question is that the cordon line has proved to be inadequate protection against the spread of cattle disease from Angola into Zambia. The cordon line has been heavily vandalised after being installed at a huge cost and was refurbished with aid money at one stage. Therefore, we are going to focus on vaccination to get ride of the contagious diseases, such as the contagious bovine pleuro-pneumonia (CBPP) in the areas in question. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease between Kazungula and Zimba, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President what measures the Government is putting in place to contain the outbreak of this disease.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the programme of vaccination is on the way.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwango (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, does His Honour the Vice-President know whether the Government has any intentions of realigning ministries in the near future?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, we will cross the bridge when we get there. I do not particularly like the realignment of ministries because it means being subjected to more attacks during the Vice-President’s Question Time. I was subjected to so many attacks yesterday regarding this issue. We hope we will not be doing any realigning in the near future.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyitu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, there is a looming situation of loss of employment by the domestic workers following the increase in the minimum wage. What measures has the Government put in place to curb the looming loss of employment?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I will refer the hon. Member to the Order Paper. The first question, which is No. 544, is an urgent question aimed precisely at the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security looking at issues to do with the minimum wage and its implications.

I thank you, Sir.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, early this year, the Government went ahead and made an assurance on the Floor of this House that the road between Landless Corner and Mumbwa was going to be tarred. We have had many accidents happening on that road because the Government has not worked on it. Can His Honour the Vice-President inform the House and the nation when this road is going to be worked on.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the construction of that road is unfortunately a matter that is in court. Even though I take the hon. Member’s concern to heart, I still wish to state that it is really difficult to work on that road with the legal proceedings at their current stage.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock categorically stated that the Government would not be involved in the pricing of cotton. That statement is very unfortunate in a country like ours were the textile industry has gone to sleep. Why has the Government neglected cotton farmers, who are subjected to selling cotton at 30 cents, when Zimbabwe uses the same Liverpool and New York price of 80 cents?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is not true that the Zimbabweans are buying a kilogramme of cotton at $80 cents. The hon. Member for Namwala is shaking her head as if there is some sort of … 

Mr Speaker: Address the Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, you will note that the hon. Member is shaking her head as if they had something in Namwala that could, like some sort of Internet, tell them the price of cotton that I do not have. I looked it up on the Internet, yesterday morning, and there is simply no truth in that assertion. If there was any, I would recommend to all Zambian farmers to smuggle their cotton into Zimbabwe and sell at double the price.

Hon. UPND Member: Aah!


The Vice-President: However, it is untrue. The farmers are asking for 40 cents and are not getting it from any buyer in Zimbabwe. 

Mr Speaker, the cotton industry has been liberalised for the last twenty years, a period which has not been under the PF, but the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government. During this period, there have been no interventions in the industry. It is most unfortunate.

 Sir, we have a tripartite system asking to be activated among the growers, the buyers – that is the ginners, who are the middlemen between the growers and the international market − and the Government. There is no pricing formula that relates the Liverpool price to the price paid to small farmers here in Zambia. There is no mechanism for dispute resolution. The bank account in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, which was intended to assist with small-scale cotton production, is empty and no one can figure out where the leak is. This is what we have inherited.

Mr Speaker, we are attempting to get this industry to see sense and stop simply slandering one part against the other. The ZNFU, for example, has been very lax because where you have out grower systems, there should be strict understandings and pricing formulae and agreements on what happens when the market bottoms out, as it has, at the moment and what happens when the market hits peak, as it did last year. This has nothing to do with the Government doing any price, setting because there is no price-setting in the cotton industry, …

Ms Kalima: Time!

The Vice-President: … unlike the suggestion made by the hon. Member for Muchinga yesterday, that the MMD paid …


Mr Speaker: Order!

You will lose more time in the process.

The Vice-President: … more for cotton than the PF. The MMD Government never bought 1kg of cotton …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: … and the PF is not going to buy 1kg of cotton.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I would like to know what Judge Lovemore Chikopa is still doing in the country …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Pande: … and how much the Government has spent on his upkeep to date.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member, surely, knows that he has blind-sided me. Would I come to this House with figures on how much it costs to keep a Judge accommodated and fed in Lusaka? He should have given me some informal advance notice and I would have given him the Kwacha and the last ngwee that has been spent on the upkeep for the Judge.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, there has been apprehension as regards uranium mining from certain quarters of the Zambian society. I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President what the Government’s position is regarding uranium mining in this country, … 

Mr Muntanga: Especially in Siavonga.

Mr Hamudulu: … especially in Siavonga, where we have one uranium mine.

Mr Speaker: The question is directed to His Honour the Vice-President exclusively.


The Vice-President:  Mr Speaker, whether we are mining or not, the standards that we apply are those laid down by the International Atomic Energy Authority. We will ensure that they are enforced.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mulomba (Magoye): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President why the FRA has reduced satellite depots, thus making it difficult for farmers to deliver their produce.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the satellite depots where what you might call electoral depots. They were hastily put in place for the purposes of buying votes, to put it crudely, from small-scale farmers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

The Vice-President: Those who were active before the middle of last year will remain so, but those that were hastily cobbled together and improvised in the run up to the elections will be abandoned.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, we have noticed, in the past that, each time the President goes out of the country, an hon. Minister is appointed to act as President. Now, under the current Constitution, the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central qualifies to be Vice-President. Why is it that it is impossible for a person who qualifies to be Vice-President to act as President? What is the problem?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would first of all refer the question to the Hansard because the verbatim record of this House contains this question and my answers to it are on more than one occasion.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: However, Mr Speaker, I would actually like to slightly turn the tables, with your indulgence, and ask the hon. Member whether he is proud to be a citizen of a country which, for fifteen years, has excluded some of its citizens from the right to stand for the presidency and I am not talking about citizens from outside Africa, but people whose mothers come from across the border, even Lozis, whose mothers were born in the Caprivi Strip and even…


The Vice-President: … the people in the Northern Province, whose mothers or fathers were born in Tanzania. There are people in this House, apart from me, who do not qualify to be Presidents.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Perhaps, he would like to tell me informally afterwards or by way of a note if he is proud of this arrangement.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President why the Government has delayed in awarding tenders for the supply of fertiliser under the FISP. This delay will affect the timely distribution of farm inputs and, subsequently, affect the yield in the 2012/13 Farming Season.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there is no delay in the issuance of tenders. In fact, the full quantity of fertilizer, equal to the election year quantity, has been awarded. The D-Compound is currently being mixed and granulated at the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) in Kafue, and urea is expected to be ready for distribution soon. It is only July. I have a bone to pick with the hon. Member for Muchinga for telling people that there is no fertilizer in the country. Have you ever seen fertiliser being distributed in July?


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes, yes!

The Vice-President: Under the first MMD Government, yes. Otherwise, no.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya(Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, the use of campaign materials in this country has encouraged electoral corruption. May His Honour the Vice-President shade more light on whether we will see the ‘burning’ of this in the Constitution?

Hon. Member: Burning or banning?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the burning we saw in Livingstone.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, as for the banning, with your indulgence, I would beg to be excused from making predictions of what will be in the new Constitution.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, could his Honour the Vice-President guide the House on when the Government hopes to lift the ban on the export of maize bran so that the millers who are stuck with it can find relief.

Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the ban will be lifted when the dry season is over. It is because of the need for supplementary feeding during the dry season that, perhaps, this ban is, unfortunately, necessary.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President, if there is going to be a special arrangement for hon. Members of Parliament to submit, as a body, to the Technical Committee of the Constitution making process, especially that there is a party list and other Articles that concern hon. Members of Parliament.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am quite sure that there will be every opportunity for the hon. Members of this House to submit their views on the Constitution.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, is the conscription of school-leavers and grade seven drop outs to the Zambia National Service official Government policy, as most of our youths are quite anxious about this?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the details have not been published yet and, in fact, there are clearly all sorts of special cases. For example, for a school-leaver who wants to study medicine, which is a process that takes nearly eight years in Zambia, we do not want to put another year-and-half to this. There are many details. I urge the hon. Member to be patient for those details and wait for the opportunity to submit information, should he not be satisfied with the details when they are published.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, in the recent past, the PF Government said that the PF Secretary-General would be recognised above the Speaker and the Chief Justice on State visits. I want to find out from His Honour the Vice-President whether the Government is planning to go the communist way, which recognises the political parties above Government systems.
Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the recognition of one individual, who is the Secretary-General of the PF, above certain other people, is not the same thing as recognising the party as superior to the Government. Although the party, of course, constitutes the Government, it is because of the party that we are in the Government. So, we are merely recognising that fact. It does not mean we are going to read Das Kapital and implement it.

Hon. Members: hear, hear!

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, I am racing against time. In view of the depressed cotton prices, can His Honour the Vice-President state whether the Government intends to resuscitate the Mulungushi and Kafue textiles.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, certainly. I recall stating, not too long ago, that the Mulungushi Textile will be resuscitated. However, I am not sure whether Kafue Textile is a state to be resurrected. However, now that it has already been announced by His Excellency the President, I can confirm to the hon. Lady that, yes, that will be the case.


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President’s Question time expired.




544. Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe) asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security:

(a)    whether the Tripartite Consultative Council was consulted before issuing the Statutory Instruments (SIs) in which the minimum wages were revised upwards;

(b)    whether farm workers were covered in any of the three SIs and, if so, which one;

(c)    what the immediate and long-term effects of the raised minimum wages on the economy were; and

(d)whether the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) was among the  stakeholders consulted.{mospagebreak}

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mbulu): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security held a Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (TCLC) on the 21st of December, 2011. Among the items on the agenda was that of the minimum wages. The discussion looked at two aspects of this matter. Firstly, the council agreed that having sector-based minimum wages was the right approach since different sectors have different capacities to pay. Due to the complicated nature of the sector minimum wages, it was resolved that a committee be put in place to work on this quickly.

Mr Speaker, since there was an outcry and concern from the public and this hon. House regarding the implementation of the minimum wage, we had to continue with the existing arrangement. The Tripartite Council members were invited to make submissions to the ministry on the matter. The ZFE proposed a 15 per cent adjustment. After considering the cost of the basic needs basket, we arrived at a compromised position, which we have issued.

Mr Speaker, as for the issue of whether farm workers are covered in any SI, it must be appreciated by this august House that these workers are in two categories. Those in commercial farms are covered through the process of collective bargaining. The other workers enter into individual contracts, which are supposed to be attested to by our ministry.

Mr Speaker, our position on the anticipated immediate and long-term effects of the raised minimum wages on the economy is as follows:

(a)we have a conviction, as a ministry, that an increase will be realised in worker’s productivity because workers will be motivated to work harder; 

(b)the raised wages will stimulate consumption by putting more money in the pockets of low-income earners; and

(c)the standard of living for the poorest and most vulnerable will be improved.

Mr Speaker, in Zambia, wages are determined through the following three mechanisms or processes:

(a)collective bargaining. This is where trade unions negotiate with employers for wages and conditions of employment and service for their members;

(b)individual negotiations. This is were individuals in management positions  individually negotiate with their employers for wages and conditions of employment and service; and

(c)the issuance of an SI by the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security. The hon. Minister responsible for labour is empowered, under Section 3, Sub-section 1, of the Minimum Wage and Conditions of Employment Act Cap. 276 of the Laws of Zambia, to prescribe wages and conditions of employment for workers who do not fall in the two categories described above and these are vulnerable workers who are neither in management nor represented by a trade union.

Mr Speaker, I wish to emphasise that the minimum wage is part of the Government’s general responsibility to ensure that there are socially-acceptable employment standards prescribed and enforceable. The objective of the minimum wage is to basically protect the lowest paid workers who are usually vulnerable to exploitation because they are not unionised. Additionally; Zambia has international commitment to ensure that adequate minimum wages are set in line with the Minimum Wage Fixing Machinery Convention of 1928, International Labour Organisation Convention No. 26.

Mr Speaker, this convention recommends that minimum wages be set according to the general level of wages prevailing in the country, taking into account the necessity to enable the workers concerned to maintain a decent standard of living.

Sir, the last TCLC was informed about the intention to raise the wages. The hon. Minister responsible for labour is not under any obligation whatsoever, to consult trade unions or employers when prescribing minimum wages for the workers who do not belong to trade unions.

Mr Speaker, this is the position in line with the current law.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the answer is not satisfactory. May I know why the recommendations of the Technical Committee appointed by the TCLC were not presented before the main body so as to agree on the way forward? This is because the hon. Minister assured this House that the Government was going to consult widely. Why did they forgo the aspect of taking back the recommendations of the Technical Committee to the TCLC?

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Shamenda): Mr Speaker, there are two aspects which are being confused here. We found a mess in the administration …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Minister, unfortunately, the word ‘mess’ is not part of our vocabulary here.

May the hon. Minister continue.

 Mr Shamenda: I sincerely withdraw it, Mr Speaker.

Sir, we found disorder in the administration of labour in this country. We have no labour or employment policy. When you talk about the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, in this country, the only thing that comes to mind is strikes and salary increments.

Mr Speaker, labour administration goes beyond that. We need to create decent employment. There are many issues which need to be debated and discussed pertaining to the labour market in our country. Unfortunately, this was not being done.

Sir, when we took over Government, we had our first meeting where we discovered that the only thing people were talking about, particularly our friends from the ZFE, was the narrow aspect of reducing even the little that the poor of the poor are getting. They were complaining that the contributions to the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) were too high and the penalties put on people who are not respecting the law and so on and so forth. The major issues on how to create employment and improve on productivity were not discussed.

Mr Speaker, in our wisdom, as a new Government, we proposed that our approach to the determination of the minimum wage be two-fold. We should look at this issue sector by sector because, as the hon. Deputy Minister indicated, the capacity of companies differ from sector to sector. You are not going to put the bankers and a construction company in the same arrangement.

So, we said that we were going to constitute a committee and we asked for nominations from our social partners. As a result of the complexity of what is involved, we said that we were going to give it time. As I am talking to you, we have not received any meaningful submission from the ZFE.

Hon. MMD Members: Question!

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, if the employers who are in this House have made submissions, they should make those copies available to my office.

Sir, because of the pressure, as the hon. Deputy Minister indicated, people are being paid slavery wages. Honestly, when are we going to be a humane society? 

Mrs Masebo: The PF is for the poor!

Mr Shamenda: The PF was elected on the platform of uplifting the wellbeing of the poor.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shamenda: People who are complaining and insulting this Government get a minimum K20 million per month plus a free car and fuel. They are asking for 15 per cent …

Hon. Opposition Member: Where?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Do not question the hon. Minister. He is responding. If you have follow-up questions, you will ask them later. You cannot ask follow-up questions while seated.

May hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, 15 per cent of K20 million, and I am being very liberal, is K3 million. Fifteen per cent of K250.00 is K35.00. With the 15 per cent of the K20 million, you can employ six maids.

Hon. Opposition Members: For what?


Ms Namugala: How many people get K20 million?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, those who are getting below the poverty datum line arrangement have children whom they have to send to school. We shall have a situation where those of us who are privileged in this House shall continue to be hon. Members of Parliament and so will our children. 

Hon. Government Member: Like Muchinga!

Mr Shamenda: Those whose parents are domestic workers, will continue being maids to our children. Is this a fair society?

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Shamenda: Sir, all we are asking is the barest of the minimum for the poor.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Do not even bother!

Mr Shamenda: Sir, if I tell you that we are going to revise the minimum wage, and I ask for your submissions, and you give me unreasonable ones, I have the right to ignore them and to come up with initiatives which are reasonable. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shamenda: That is what a reasonable Government does.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, in the previous arrangement, employers were conniving with the Government to exploit the workers. We are not going to be party to that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shamenda: That is why any person who feels aggrieved …

Mrs Masebo: That is why they were burying money!

Mr Shamenda: We have a responsibility to take care of the poor.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, we have children of the poor who walk 15km to school. Meanwhile, in the same constituency, we have one respectable citizen with 1,200 bicycles in his house. Is this the type of fairness we want in this country?

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Shamenda: The poor will rise against us.


Mrs Masebo: Tell them! They said it was normal to have 1,000 bicycles!

Mr Shamenda: How can you say it is normal to have that type of an arrangement?

Mr Speaker, this Government will make sure that there is equality in this country, and we have no apologies to make. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mwimbu: On a point of oder, Sir.
Mr Namulambe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I am sorry to disturb the hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa …

Mr Speaker: Order!

I have given the Floor to the hon. Member for Monze Central.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the tradition of this House demands that if you have an interest to serve, you have to declare it. The hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security, who has informed this nation that under the MMD, there was disorder in the management of labour affairs, was the President of the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) then and it was during that era when trade unionism in this country collapsed. Is he in order to apportion blame on the MMD when it was him who created the disorder when he was the President of the ZCTU?

Hon. Opposition Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! 

The point of order raised by the hon. Member for Monze Central is, again, one of those points of order that seek to use the facility of a point of order to debate. I think, the hon. Minister is in order to make the assertions that he did without implicating himself as expected by the hon. Member for Monze Central, especially if there is no cause for him to implicate himself. I think, the hon. Minister was perfectly in order to make the assertion, and I do not think we should qualify the debate or contribution being made by individual hon. Members. If you have any questions, please, put a direct question to the hon. Minister and he will be able to clarify whether or not the union was failing in that regard as alleged by the hon. Member for Monze Central. 

May the hon. Member for Liuwa continue with the contribution.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker,…

Mr Namulambe: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security in order to evade my question which is, “Why did the Technical Committee not submit its recommendations to the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council?” The hon. Minister, instead, went ahead filibustering without answering my question? Is he in order not to respond to the question? 

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! 

As I followed the debate and the response, to be specific, that aspect was actually addressed. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: It was addressed in the midst of the explanation. For avoidance of doubt, I would urge the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security to reiterate that position as he continues to respond.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the employment statistics in this country show that the majority of people are employed in the informal sector and their employers are in the informal sector. You see this in markets and little shops. With these minimum wages that have been prescribed and the obvious loss of jobs that is already occurring because the ministry has actually threatened employers not to dismiss anyhow, can the hon. Minister explain how these people are going to improve their livelihoods when they are being thrown out of jobs?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, I am sorry if I was not very clear initially. I said that we looked at two aspects when we were dealing with the minimum wage. There was the urgent issue of trying to cushion the poor of the poorest. At the moment, the law which is in place mandates the hon. Minister to prescribe the solution after consultations. It is up to the person who is consulting to determine the level of how you are going to consult. It is my own view on how I am going to consult. On the issue of the minimum wage, there are many stakeholders involved. We have statistics from the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) and the Central Statistical Office (CSO). There are capable economists in the ministry. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning has various expertise. When you consult the ZFE, they give you a proposal of 15 per cent and when you throw it out, they say you had not consulted. I find it very difficult to swallow this because I am trying to protect the interest of the poor.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, the second aspect is that this Technical Committee is established for us to have discussions. One of the terms of reference for the Technical Committeeis to identify what sectors we have. Is Nakambala a manufacturing industry or an agriculture industry? In what sector is Zambeef? These are the issues which we have to look at. After we have identified the sectors, we shall sit down and then have a corecus. In the final analysis, the Government will need to make a decision. We shall have to take a decision because we are a Government. 

Mr Speaker, when you are consulting people, it is not like collective bargaining where you need to reach an agreement. There is a very big difference. If I consult you or ask for your opinion, I have got to take the final decision.That is why I am in charge. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, I think, I have adequately discussed the issue raised by my brother from Mpongwe. 

Sir, I would like to talk about the issue raised by the hon. Member for Liuwa. For example, if you are a teacher and one of your students gets 10 per cent and the other gets 55 per cent, the basis on which you will be thinking of encouraging your students to do very well is to bring the one who gets 10 per cent to be over 45 per cent. If you concentrate on improving on the percentage of the one who gets 60 per cent so that they get a 100 per cent, and one who is getting 10 per cent just improves to 15 per cent, you will have a country of illiterates. 

If we are talking about the disparities that we have, it is important that we also talk about a living wage, employment and jobs. The PF Government promised decent jobs, not slavery. For example, consider a person who is paid K250,000 per month and has to buy a bag of charcoal at K110,000, a bag of mealie-meal at K42,000 and, to be conservative, pay for a two-bedroomed house with no electricity at about K150,000. We should be humane. I apologise in advance but, if officers who attend seminars can get K750,000 per day for sleeping, in some cases, are we being unfair … 


Mr Speaker: Order, order!

Mr Shamenda: … to ask somebody to pay a worker an amount that is more than the daily sitting allowance of another. I think we have no moral right, in this august House to start preaching the perpetuation of citizens’ poor livelihoods. We have other people who cannot even afford a pamela. Then you have a situation …

Mr Speaker: Order

Can the hon. Minister, please, avoid using words that are not part of the official language.

Mr Shamenda: I apologise, Mr Speaker. We have people who cannot afford to buy a 5kg bag of roller-meal while some of our citizens who have forty-six bags of mealie-meal in their houses. When asked why they have so much mealie-meal when they are not millers, they say they are being persecuted.

Mr Speaker, in short, the PF Government is ready for any intimidation from the elite who want to trying to perpetuate the poverty of the poor. It will not be party to that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, that is a very good display from the hon. Minister on how they are trying to help the poor. However, does he realise that the poor people whom he is talking about are also employing other poor people, and that some of the people who employ maids and other domestic workers are teachers, who have had a 15 per cent salary increase. We have heard that, if any employer dismisses a domestic worker, they will face the law. We have further heard that they need to consult labour officers. How many labour officers does this Government have to cater for the many people who are employing maids and gardeners, and exactly what law are they going to face? Are they going to be jailed? Can the hon. Minister clarify that matter.

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, I do not know how many questions the hon. Member has asked, but the answer to one question that I choose to answer is that the poor should avoid employing fellow poor people.

I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Sayifwanda (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, I have been quiet for a long time. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister, …

Ms Kalima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, I apologise to my aunt, who was on the Floor, for disturbing her debate. 

Sir, the hon. Minister, in his answer, stated that there are officers who receive K750,000 for eating and sleeping without mentioning them. Is he in order to simply say ‘officers’ without exactly specifying the category of these officers?

Mr Speaker: Well, we are back to our perennial problem of using points of order ...


Mr Speaker: ... as an avenue for debate. We should not use points of order in that manner. That is another attempt to use points of order to debate. So, I am afraid, I will not uphold the point of order that the hon. Member for Kasenengwa has raised.

Ms Sayifwanda: Mr Speaker, through you, I would like the hon. Minister to inform this House and the nation at large on the disorder he talked about. The hon. Minister was the former President of the ZCTU during the time he claims there was disorder. What role did he play in clearing the disorder that he talked about in the system because he did not declare interest when he was informing the nation?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, that is why I decided to become the hon. Minister. The first thing that I did, when I took office, was to lobby the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to send experts. We now have a committee in place and we will overhaul the labour laws in this country. I look forward to the hon. Members of Parliament making contributions so that we have pieces of legislation that will protect the weak in our society. We will also have a piece of legislation that will concentrate on improving productivity. I am sorry to say that the working culture in this country is not very good. We need to change the mindset and this is what we are working on. I would like to urge the hon. Member of Parliament for Zambezi East to join this Government in improving the well-being of the people who elected us. Let us not exploit them. Let us see how we can uplift their well-being. Let us not give more to those who already have and take the little from those who do not. This is the position of the PF Government: To improve the well-being of the poorest.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

545. Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    why the FRA was compelling the small-scale farmers to open personal bank accounts as a pre-requisite to selling their crop to the FRA, as advertised in The Post newspaper, issue No. 5752, of Wednesday, 18th July, 2012;

(b)    whether the ministry was aware that small-scale farmers are financially constrained to meet the pre-requisite set by the FRA; and 

(c)    what measures the ministry had put in place to assist the poor small scale farmers who will not be able to meet the FRA demand.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Mwewa): Mr Speaker, the FRA will not compel small-scale farmers to open personal bank accounts as a pre-requisite to the selling of their crop. However, the spirit of the advertisement in The Post newspaper of Wednesday, 18th July, 2012, was to encourage many small-scale farmers to open bank accounts for ease of payment and to enhance internal controls. To this effect, the advertisement will be rephrased in order to reflect the intention of the FRA to persuade farmers to be paid through their bank accounts. Furthermore, farmers will have a choice to be paid electronically through the banks or through the existing system, which is over the counter.

Mr Speaker, in light of the answer given in part (a), there are no pre-requisite conditions set by the FRA for grain purchases, hence the new payment system will run concurrently with the existing one.

Sir, farmers who will not be able to open bank accounts will still be paid through the existing system, which is over the counter.

Thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Deputy Minister has stated that they are going to rephrase the advertisement because it read that they would not deal with any farmer who would not have a bank account.

Mr Speaker: I was expecting a question.


546. Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)which district in the Southern Province sold the highest tonnage of maize grain to the FRA during the 2010/2011 Marketing Season;

(b)which depot in Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency sold the highest tonnage of maize grain to the FRA during the 2010/2011 Marketing Season; and

(c)whether the Government had plans to provide farmers with empty grain bags for use during the 2011/2012 Marketing Season.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, during the 2010/2011 Marketing Season, Kalomo District sold the highest tonnage of maize in the Southern Province, which was 114,872 metric tonnes.

Sir, Kalemu Depot sold the highest tonnage of maize grain in Dundunwezi Constituency during the 2010/2011 Marketing Season, with 9,998 metric tonnes.

Mr Speaker, the Government plans to provide farmers with empty grain bags during the 2011/2012 Marketing Season through the FRA at a fee to be announced in due course.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm whether it is true that a very productive area like Dundumwezi will, this year, be given two satellite depots.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Chenda): Mr Speaker, the intention of the Government is to make it easy for the farmers to sell their produce and, therefore, we have no intention, whatsoever to reduce the genuine satellite depots, except those which were set up for political reasons last year just before the elections.

I thank you, Sir.


547. Mr Chitotela (Pambashe) asked the Minister of Health why central and general hospitals in the country continued to demand payment of user fees from patients when these fees had been abolished.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, the Government recognised the need to scrap medical user fees on primary health care services because they posed a financial burden to poor households’ access to health services. In this case, primary health care services are considered to be those offered at health posts, health centres and district hospitals, and all medical services at these levels are to be offered free of charge. Some services, however, such as medical examination for clients from private companies may attract fees to be borne by the private entity requesting the service. Also, where a patient desires to be treated at a high-cost section of a hospital, fees will be charged. In addition, super-specialised services such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerised tomography (CT), which are not primary services, attract fees, but exemption criteria do exist in our health institutions.

Mr Speaker, in our general, central and tertiary hospitals, all referred patients from lower levels are seen at no cost at all but, should they bypass primary levels, a bypass fee is charged to ensure that the referral system works.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, why is the Eye Clinic Department at the Kitwe Central Hospital charging patients K50,000 as consultation fees even after patients have been referred to the hospital by the clinics?

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I am grateful to the hon. Member for Pambashe for informing me about this fee. We know the history of it. The development of that service initially required a specific fee. We subsequently abolished the fee and, whenever a person has been referred from a lower level to the central hospital, they should not pay any fee. If the hon. Member could establish exactly the circumstances of the individual case, we should be able to deal legally with anyone who is disobey the rules.

Thank you, Sir.


548. Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi) asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health:

(a)whether there were any self-help projects that were funded by the ministry in the 2011/2012 Financial Year; and

(b)of the funded projects at (a), if any, how many were in Lupososhi Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kazunga): Mr Speaker, in 2011, the ministry funded fifty-one community self-help projects countrywide.

Sir, none of the projects funded were in Lupososhi Parliamentary Constituency. The reason for not funding any community self-help project in the constituency was that, there were no applications received from there as this is a demand-driven programme. However, I would also like to point out that, over the years, the applications received surpass the amount of resources allocated to this programme to support the projects in all the constituencies.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, may I find out where these application forms are so that the people of Lupososhi Constituency can access them.

The Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Dr Katema): Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to inform my colleagues, the hon. Members of Parliament, that we should take interest in knowing about the programmes which my ministry is implementing in the communities, so that they, in turn, can also educate our communities on how they can access these programmes.

Sir, the Self-help Programme is one through which communities identify and undertake projects which they know will benefit the entire community. The communities which have benefited from this programme include those which have built themselves footbridges because they felt that there was a pressing need for them. Some of them have built houses for critical workers. If a community thinks that it needs a house for a teacher or health personnel, my ministry does encourage such communities to access these funds and sort out that very pressing problem.

Mr Bwalya: Forms?

Dr Katema: Forms are available at the community development office in the districts. In fact, these forms are available even at lower levels, such as at the sub-centres. Hon. Members of Parliament even know where they get the forms for their women empowerment programmes. Thus, they can also access those forms from the very places where they get the other forms.

I thank you, Sir.


549. Mr Mufalali (Senanga) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)when health facilities would be constructed in the following places in Senanga Parliamentary Constituency:


(ii)Lumbe Nanyezu;




(vi)Sitanga Manyanga; and


(b)when the theatre equipment at Senanga District Hospital, which is obsolete, would be replaced; and

(c)when Litambya Rural Health Clinic would be upgraded to a specialised hospital to cater for diseases like leprosy and tuberculosis.

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to its vision of delivering health care as close to the family as possible. In this regard, the Government has embarked on a process of constructing 650 health posts across the country under a US$50 million credit line from the Government of India. In addition, 125 health posts have been planned for using the Ministry of Health Budget.

Sir, four health posts will be constructed in Senanga Parliamentary Constituency at Mumbula, Lumbe Nanyezu, Mutwa and Muweswa in 2012. The construction of health posts at Songa, Sisheshe and Sitanga Manyanga will be considered later.

Mr Speaker, the ministry has a provision in the 2012 Budget for procuring theatre, kitchen and laundry equipment for seventy hospitals. Senanga District Hospital is expected to benefit from this when the procurement is concluded.

Sir, the Government has no immediate plans to upgrade Litambiya Rural Health Centre to the level of a specialised hospital to deal with disease such as leprosy and tuberculosis.

Thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, when is the equipment going to be bought is it in this year’s Budget or in the coming year?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I will compliment the hon. Member for getting down to the specifics. I would also like to compliment him for encouraging us to learn to use tongue twisting names of areas which are being talked about in the principal question.

The answer to the question which the hon. Member has raised is actually in the statement of the hon. Deputy Minister. If I may read, it says, “the ministry has a provision in the 2012 Budget for purchasing equipment”.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.


550. Mr Chungu (Luanshya) (on behalf of (Mr Chisala) (Chilubi)) asked the Minister of Justice:

(a)how many civil cases had been handled by the following courts as of 31st December, 2007:

(i)subordinate courts;

(ii)Industrial Relations Court;

(iii)High Court; and

(iv)Supreme Court;

(b)of the cases at (a) above, how many had been disposed of as of:


(ii)2009; and

(iii)2011; and

(c)what the reasons for the delay in the disposal of the cases had been.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mrs Mwamba): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that, in the subordinate courts, in 2007, there were 9,867 civil cases which were handled. The number of cases disposed of were:

    Year                 Number of cases disposed 

    2008    5486
    2009    6155
    2011    6715

Sir, the delays in the disposal of cases are mainly caused by the high number of cases, which outstrip the available human resource, especially in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt Province. There is also a shortage of court rooms throughout the country. In places such as Luangwa, Chongwe, Chinsali, Chama and Mpulungu, the subordinate and local courts share courtrooms.

Mr Speaker, the Industrial Relations Court handled a total of 278 cases. Of that number, 193 cases were registered in 2007 and 85 cases were carried forward from 2006.

The total number of cases disposed of were as follows:

    Year          Number of disposed cases


Mr Speaker, the reasons for delays in the disposal of cases are: failure by the parties to promptly attend to their cases, increase in the workload at the Lusaka Industrial Relations Court and shortage of courtrooms. Currently, there is only one courtroom for the four Judges at the Lusaka station.

Sir, the number of civil cases handled by the High Court, as at 31st, December, 2007, was 1,222. The disposal rate was as follows:

    Year                              Cases handled 
       2008    486
    2009    441
    2011    295

Sir, the reasons for delays in the disposal of some cases were adjournments occasioned by the parties and the less number of Judges and courtrooms as compared to the number of cases that are brought to the courts.

Mr Speaker, in the Supreme Court, the handling and disposal of cases was as follows:

    Year                                Cases handled                          Cases disposed of
       2007    371    276
    2008    383    106
    2009    478    348
    2011    285    154

Sir, the reasons for delays were the adjournments occasioned by the parties due to diverse reasons.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chungu: Mr Speaker, is the Government putting in place any measures, to ensure that High Court cases are heard more speedily, especially in areas where there are no resident High Court     Judges?

Mrs Mwamba: Mr Speaker, it is the priority of the PF Government to enhance the delivery of justice by constructing more courtrooms. Right now, there is a programme running to that effect and money is being released for the construction of courtrooms.

I thank you, Sir.


551. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    when the rehabilitation of the turbines at the Kariba HydroPower Station would be completed;

(b)    what the estimated cost of the rehabilitation of the turbines was;

(c)    of the turbines at (a), how many were fully operational, as of 30th April, 2012; and

(d)    what the full capacity of the hydro-power station currently was.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr C. Zulu): Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of turbines and generators, which was initially scheduled for completion by mid-July, 2012, will further be delayed until the end of October, 2012, the reason being that the last machine (Unit four) being worked on, suffered an electrical fault on 1st July, 2012, during electrical commissioning tests. Detailed investigations are underway to determine the extent of the damage and corrective measures to be undertaken for repair works.

Sir, the estimated cost of rehabilitation for the turbines is K293 billion and, for the generators, the cost is estimated at K40 billion while the cost estimate for upgrading the turbines and the generators is K139 billion and K87 billion respectively.

Mr Speaker, therefore, the total cost estimate for rehabilitation and upgrading of turbine and generators, including ancillary equipment, is K432 billion and K127 billion, respectively.

Sir, as of 30th April, 2012, three turbines were fully operational, namely; unit one, unit two and unit three. The current capacity of the hydro-power station is 540 mega watts.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I recall that the PF Government used to blame the MMD for power outages. However, in their administration, the situation is even worse. Of the three turbines that you have said to be fully operational, and looking at the power outages we are currently facing, what is the capacity of output, in megawatts, on each turbine?

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has asked two questions. However, I will respond to the question which, I think, is more relevant to the principal question. One unit is 180 mw, so, if you take three, we shall have a total of 540 mw. From four units, we would have 720 mw.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister if, apart from the rehabilitation works that are going on, there is some work which is intended to expand the power station?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, there is an extension programme going on at Kafue North Bank, that is, by adding two machines. By November, next year, we will have one coming online and, by January, 2014, we will have the second one coming on line. That will complete all the works going on at the Kariba North Bank.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, since we are talking about electricity, may I find out from the hon. Minister whether Zambia still has stake in the Kariba South Bank or it has given its shares to Zimbabwe since we are always giving away our assets to other countries.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I think there is nothing for nothing. There have been protracted negotiations on the joint owned equipment between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Kariba South Bank belongs to Zimbabwe while Kariba North Bank belongs to Zambia. So, as it is at the moment, we do not have any stake in that power station. We have our own power station.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, given the power outages that we are experiencing, now, what is the total output that is required to ensure that the outages are eliminated?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, it is very difficult to know that, just as one can never eliminate the possibility of having higher demand at one time or another. However, it is important to note that we have planned to completely meet the demand by increasing the generation capacity. On the other hand, as we go on, there are other loads that will come on the national grid. Applications are coming in and there are more people who want to utilise our supply for commercial or mining purposes. This will still reduce the supply that is available. 

Therefore, I cannot tell the hon. Member the total output required because, currently, there are more applications coming in. We, therefore, have a backlog. What we plan for will not exactly be what will be available, but we are still planning ahead to increase the generation capacity.

I thank you, Sir.


552. Mr Kalaba (Bahati) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)whether the Government had any plans to develop the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport to enable it accommodate more airlines flying into the country; and

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

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, currently, the airport’s runway can accommodate big aircraft and its facilities can accommodate 2 million passengers per year. The Government is moving towards making Zambia a transport hub, both in the skies and on land, thus fully utilising its spatial location advantage. To this end, the Government has plans to redevelop the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, including giving it a face lift. Plans to implement these developments are underway. Advertisements for the expression of interest have been done and implementation will begin as soon as the tender process is completed.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, will the same thing that will be happening at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport be done to all other airports that we have?

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, although the principal question was on Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, let me give additional information. There is already a lot of work that is taking place at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport. There will also be some work done at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International and Mfuwe airports.

I thank you very much, Mr Speaker. 


553. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)why the Government had resorted to employing part-time nurses and medical doctors in rural health centres; and

(b)how much money the Government spent on paying the part-time nurses and medical doctors, on average, each month. 

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the Government employs health workers on permanent and pensionable basis as well as on contract for those who are above forty-five years, but below sixty years. However, due to the critical shortage of qualified health workers, there are some local initiatives whereby health workers on leave or on nights off opt to do part-time work. The exact amount that the Government spends on paying the part-time nurses and medical doctors …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]



Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that the following arrangements have been made for lunch this afternoon:

(i)there will be lunch served at 1300 hours. The lunch break will be from 1300 hours to 1415 hours and the House will resume sitting at exactly 1430 hours; and

(ii)lunch for all hon. Members will be served in the National Assembly Restaurant, here at Parliament Buildings, while lunch for members of staff and Government officials will be provided at the National Assembly Motel. It goes without saying that the lunch will be provided with the courtesy of the Hon. Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I would like to advise that hon. Members be punctual and request that all party Whips should ensure that we form a quorum at 1430 hours.

I thank you all.


Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I had started answering part (b) of the question. The exact amount that the Government spends on paying part-time nurses and medical doctors cannot be fixed since part-time work is a localised activity, but falls within personal emoluments provisions. However, the House may wish to note that rates for part-time allowances range from K50,000 to K90,000 per shift. The House may also wish to note that efforts are being made, under the recently- approved Human Resources for Health Strategic Plan, to ensure that staffing levels improve in order to reduce part-time and those on nights off recruitment and payments.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, the Government is now employing nurses on a part-time basis. Therefore, I want to know why it stills allows nurses to go out of the country. 

Dr Kasonde:  Mr Speaker, we do not object to nurses and doctors who wish to pursue other pastures to do so. We have evidence that any other option would not only be contrary to the rights to which we all aspire, but also impractical. We know that earlier experiences in which attempts were made to restrict movements of medical personnel were not successful. We do not wish to repeat that. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, it is evident that there is a need to have these nurses and nurses on the Government payroll and that they are willing to work. If this is the situation, why do you not consider awarding them fixed contracts of employment, instead of part-time arrangements, which is inconveniencing both to you and them? 

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I note from the hon. Member, the absence of what we are accustomed to, that of being absolutely sure. I am, on the contrary, absolutely sure, in my mind that we do not refuse to employ anyone who is available. Those who opt to do part-time work do so for personal reasons. It is not that we demand of them to do part-time work. We would not have them at all if we could find those who were willing to do full-time work. These are the options before us. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether the retention scheme is still operational for medical doctors and whether the Government will consider extending it to nurses. 

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, yes, the retention scheme is still operational and consideration is being given to extending it not only to nurses, but also to other health workers. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Chishiba (Kafulafuta): Mr Speaker, with the existing challenges of shortage of manpower, I would like to know the Government’s plan with regard to the expected 560 health posts to be constructed. 

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to correct the figure. It is 650. 

Mr Speaker, with regard to the human resource required, the hon. Member may have noticed that, only last week, I was officiating at the graduation ceremony of community health workers who are going to be frontliners in those health posts. This is Stage One of the plan. It is intended that, ultimately, there will be 5,000 such workers. It is also intended that, with the expansion of training, the other vacancies will also be filled. 

We have a very solid plan. It is contained in the strategic plan for human resources. We have no doubt, whatsoever, that this is the way forward. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.    


554. Mrs Mazoka (Pemba) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)how many tonnes of gold  were produced in the North-Western Province, on average, per year; and

(b)whether the gold was declared before it was exported and, if so, before which authority the declaration was made.

The Deputy Minister of Minister Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, an average of 2.51 tonnes, equivalent to 2,510.34kg, of gold is produced in the North-Western Province per year. The House may also wish to know that Kansanshi Mine is the only producer of gold in the North-Western Province. 

Mr Speaker, like any other mineral in the Republic of Zambia, before gold is exported, an export permit is obtained from the Director of Mines and Minerals Development. The export permit is only issued on production of a Mineral Analysis Certificate issued by the Director of Geological Survey. 

Mr Speaker, the Mineral Analysis Certificate, which is issued upon analysis of the mineral to be exported, contains information relating to the quantity and mineral content. The export permit is then presented to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), where the value for the minerals is declared. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr M. B. Mwale (Malambo): Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether the tonnage of the gold produced takes into account the gold contained in refinery slimes of the concentrates. 
Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, when the gold ore is extracted, the quantity is well-known and presented. After processing, whatever goes through is also recorded. Therefore, we know exactly what is extracted, processed and wasted.  The slime is taken later on and not immediately. We do not recover anything from this. 

Like I said yesterday, an SI, effective 1st June was issued to re-enforce the correct reporting of tonnage for these minerals. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the ministry has continued to allow concentrates, which may contain gold, to be exported and be processed outside the country. In view of this, I want to find out from the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development what measures have been put in place by the ministry to determine the quantity of gold in this instance.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, all minerals are analysed before exportation and contents known, except for the Blister Copper, which is a different story altogether. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, I can imagine the people of Solwezi are listening and they know that their mine actually produces more gold than copper. 

Sir, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the progress is on the implementation of Section 136 which requires that 40 per cent of the income generated through taxes is actually retained in the areas where the mines are in order to assist the people to ameliorate the impact of mining activities.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for his question.

Mr Speaker: He is not an hon. Minister.


Mr Yaluma: Yes, shadow hon. Minister of Finance.


Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, there is an exercise that we are carrying out with the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the revenue from the gold is actually collected and is not taken out of the country through other means.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that Barrick Gold, which took over Lumwana Mine, is more interested in mining gold than copper. If that is the case, why is it that Barrick Gold is not making any declarations on gold?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, we are aware that Barrick Gold has been mining and processing gold. They have started recording and reporting to us what is being processed and our people are there checking how much is being processed as a by-products of copper and cobalt.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, the answer by the hon. Minster contradicts the statement made by the hon. Deputy Minister, who said that Kansanshi is the only mine in the North-Western Province which produces gold. What is the real position?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I think I need to correct myself. Thank you hon. Minister Pande … 

Mr Speaker: In order to avoid confusion, let us refer to people on our left according to their constituencies even though they are shadow hon. Ministers, unless we make a provision in our Constitution for shadow hon. Ministers.


Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the guidance and I will try and avoid making that mistake again.

Sir, Lumwana is not yet a well-fledged gold producer as the gold is a by-product. It has not yet been declared fully as a gold producer. So, we cannot say there is any contradiction.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu(Siavonga): Mr Speaker, does the Zambian Government collect tax on the gold that is mined at Lumwana?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, firstly, any declared output of a mine is taxed. Any undeclared minerals are not taxed because they are held within the premises for inspection. Upon completion of inspection, export permits will be granted were needed. However, at the moment, Lumwana does not export gold. Kansanshi is the only mine that exports gold.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the answer given by the hon. Minister brings back the question of the hon. Member for Zambezi West.

The company mining in Lumwana wants to mine gold. Why is it that the gold is not being declared? That is the issue.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, as I said before, it is a by-product and we are in the process of trying to evaluate ways of allowing Lumwana to register for gold mining in full.

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a)whether the Government had any plans to construct a 1 x 3 classroom block and three teachers’ houses at the following basic schools in Lundazi Parliamentary Constituency: 

(v)Chanyondo; and

(b)if not, whether the school, would be considered for such construction in 2013.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, in the 2012 Infrastructure Development Plan, the ministry has provided for the construction of 1x3 additional classrooms at the following schools:

(ii)Romase; and

Mr Speaker, there are also two additional schools where 1x2 classrooms will be built. However, Chijemu and Katopola have not been considered in the 2012 Infrastructure Development Plan. If the money for the 2013 Budget will be significant, that consideration will be made. 

Mr Speaker, unfortunately, the teachers’ houses have not been considered at the schools that I have mentioned above. The hon. Minister had said, earlier, on the Floor of this House, that only 247 would be built across the country. Looking at the competing needs, it was not feasible to consider building teachers’ houses at these schools. If there is sufficient money in the 2013 Budget, that consideration will be made.

Sir, let me take this opportunity to inform the House that the 2012 Annual Work Plan will be ready today and the Office of The Clerk will make arrangements for its distribution. I would urge you to collect a copy before you travel to your respective constituencies.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


556. Mr Hamusonde asked the Minister of Home Affairs what plans the Government had put in place to reduce instances of thefts at the traffic lights on Lumumba Road near Duly Motors Limited in Lusaka.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, the Zambia Police has intensified patrols to reduce incidents of thefts at the traffic lights on Lumumba Road near Duly Motors of Lusaka. Foot patrols are conducted by both uniformed and plain-clothed officers.

Sir, the Police Force will carry out a sensitisation campaigns through forums like The Police and You to sensitise motorists to be security-conscious at all time, when they are driving so that they participate in securing their own property.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, we have traders in that area and they have been there for a long time. Is the hon. Minister aware that those people are party cadres and voters? Can he tell us how he will remove them as this has failed in the past?

Mr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, that question has to be posed to the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, what will the Government do to ensure that the traders do not cut the ropes of vehicles and trucks that use that road?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, we have intensified the patrols along that road and are also asking motorists to be security-conscious and put lorry boys at the back of the vehicles.

I thank you, Sir.


557. Mr Sing’ombe asked the Minister of Home Affairs whether the Government had any plans to construct a police post in Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency in order to reduce the crime rate in the area.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government has plans to construct a police post in Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency, as this will greatly help in the reduction of crime in the area. However, the construction of the police post will only be done once funds are made available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, would the ministry consider sending police officers in the event that the constituency decided to construct a police post using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF)?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, whenever a community participates in crime prevention, the State is always very willing to assist that community. It would be a very good idea if the hon. Member can request his constituency to do so.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, with the problems in Dundumwezi, the hon. Minister will realise that this is where two police officers were killed, would it not be possible for the Ministry of Home Affairs to send the mobile unit officers to be stationed there, as there are many of incidences that happen?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, we will take that into consideration and request the police command for the Southern Province to assess the situation.

I thank you, Sir.


558. Mr Njeulu (Sinjembela) asked the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs whether the Government had plans to recognise Chief Masinda IV of the Kwamashi people of Shang’ombo District.

The Deputy Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mrs Kawandami): Mr Speaker, the Government has no plans, currently, to recognise Chief Masinda IV of the Kwamashi People of Shang’ombo District. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Njeulu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that there is only one senior chief in Shang’ombo District with no junior chiefs under him?

The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mrs Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, we have enough chiefs at the moment and would like it to remain that way.

I thank you, Sir.



559. Dr Kazonga asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when construction of the two 1x3 classroom blocks and staff houses at Umi Basic School in Lundazi Parliamentary Constituency would be completed.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, this issue has been discussed before on the Floor of this House. I want to reaffirm what we have said before and that is that Umi and Kapekese School had some contractual issues. However, the completion of the construction of the 1x3 classroom and a house at Umi Basic School has been included in the 2012 Budget, including schools which were not completed in Senga, which were built by Gabmans Construction Limited.

Having said that, let me also correct the political misrepresentation which was made by my colleague, Hon. Howard Kunda, yesterday, when he was making his maiden speech about what …


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, you may restrict yourself to the response. Besides that was a maiden speech.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, having said that, Umi has been provided for in the 2012 Budget.

I thank you, Sir.


560. Mrs Mazoka asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when the Government would deploy a clinical officer at Muzoka Rural Health Centre;

(b)    whether the Government had plans to build additional wards at the health centre and, if so, when the construction would begin; and

(c)    whether the Government was aware that the health centre did not have a maternity ward.

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, currently, there is only one institution training clinical officers in Zambia. As a result, the demand for clinical officers is far from being met. The Government has plans to open and construct new training institutions to increase the output of not only clinical officers, but also nurses and medical doctors. However, a clinical officer will be deployed as soon as the ministry is able to. 

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to note that Muzoka Rural Health Centre has other qualified staff, namely, one enrolled nurse, one enrolled midwife and one environmental health technologist.

Mr Speaker, the Government has plans, in future, to build additional wards at all eligible health facilities countrywide so that they meet the standard requirements at respective levels of health service delivery. Muzoka Rural Health Centre is one of the health facilities identified for this expansion. However, the House may wish to note that the current priority for the Government is to construct first-level hospitals in districts that have none and also construct health posts in order to improve access to health services to all Zambians as close to the family as possible.

Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that Muzoka Rural Health Centre does not have a standard maternity ward as it has not been expanded to a prototype health centre. As indicated earlier, the Government has plans, in future, to construct additional wards at Muzoka Rural Health Centre. The House may wish to note that Muzoka Rural Health Centre has a delivery room where deliveries are conducted and the facility also provides maternal and child health services using available rooms at the centre.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Mazoka: Mr Speaker, I would like to be given a straightforward answer on this issue. When, exactly, is the ministry going to do this because my people are suffering?

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, clinical officers are on high demand, but there is only one institution for training them. There are other qualified staff at the health centre. When we produce more, we shall send one clinical officer to that centre.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I need a categorical answer from the hon. Minister on whether Monze District, which does not have a Government district hospital, will be accorded the opportunity to have one constructed under their plan.

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, Monze will have a hospital constructed there, according to the infrastructure plan.

I thank you, Sir.


561. Mr Njeulu asked the Minister of Gender and Child Development how many hammer mills the Government would procure for women and youth clubs in each constituency in 2012.

The Deputy Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Banda): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Gender and Child Development does not intend to procure hammer mills for women and youth clubs in each constituency in 2012. Instead, it will support women and youth clubs across the country based on identified needs in their respective locations. In this regard, the ministry will undertake a countrywide needs assessment exercise in order to determine the type of support required by the various women and youth clubs.

I thank you, Sir.

                                                        MEDICAL LEVY

562. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Health what benefits accrued to the health sector from the introduction of the Medical Levy in 2003.

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the Medical Levy was introduced through the Medical Levy Act, No 6, of 2003 in order to raise additional funds to support health service delivery in the country. The levy is charged at the rate of 1 per cent on interest payable by a commercial bank or financial institution to any person or partnership on any savings account, deposit account, bonds, investment, treasury bills, or any other financial instrument before making any other deductions. Interest on investment is only paid periodically by financial institutions. Therefore, the Medical Levy is only collected after commercial banks have paid interest which, in most case, is paid once or twice a year. The amount collected depends on factors like:

(a)interest rates offered by the financial institutions;

(b)size of the investment; and

(c)number of investments.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health started accessing the Medical Levy in 2007 and, so far, K19 billion has been disbursed. The benefits to the health sector are that the Government has had, at its disposal additional finances, over and above the regular budget, to support health service delivery. The levy has assisted the Ministry of Health to procure more essential medicines.

I thank you, Sir.    

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, our health institutions became dilapidated during the period that this Medical Levy was introduced. Why did the hon. Minister not use this money for the maintenance of the health infrastructure?

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, there were many competing needs. We thought that essential medicine was more urgent to save the people’s lives safe.

I thank you, Sir.




The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that Standing Orders 20 and 21(1), if necessary, and Standing Order 101 be suspended to enable the House to complete all the business on the Order Paper and all matters arising therefrom and that, on such completion, the House do adjourn sine die.

Mr Speaker, the current meeting of the House, which commenced on Tuesday, 19th June, 2012, has been sitting for a total of nineteen days, as of today. This also marks the end of the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. During this nineteen-day period, 297 questions for both Oral and Written replies have been considered. The House also debated two Private Members’ Motions and eighteen Motions to adopt annual parliamentary committee reports. In addition, seven ministerial statements were presented to the House while seven annual reports from Government and quasi-Government institutions were submitted and laid on the Table of the House. The House also considered and passed two Government Bills, and welcomed three new hon. Members of Parliament following by-elections in Chama-North, Muchinga and Livingstone Central parliamentary constituencies.

Mr Speaker, in light of the business transacted by the House, allow me to thank all hon. Members for their dedication to duty and constructive and invaluable contributions during the meeting of the House. Having worked so hard, it is important that the House, now, takes a break to enable hon. Members to attend to other important duties in their respective constituencies. We must take back with us the message that we have got from the House.

Mr Speaker, I am aware that the 2012/2013 planting season will begin when the House will be in session. Therefore, it is important that hon. Members use the recess to prepare adequately for the planting season by ensuring that farming inputs are available and distributed to the intended beneficiaries, and I emphasise, to the intended beneficiaries, not to people in neighbouring countries, traders, commercial farmers and non-farmers, in their various constituencies.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members should also use the recess to supplement and compliment the Government’s efforts in the supervision of various development projects going on in many parts of the country. On-the-spot checks by hon. Members and subsequent feedback to concerned ministries are important as we endeavour to develop our nation. 

Sir, I would urge, in light, especially, of our experience with the cotton crop this year, that farmers in our constituencies should be encouraged to emulate the small farmers, particularly in the Eastern Province where, typically, three or four crops are grown in a balance and that is cotton, perhaps, maize, certainly, groundnuts, tobacco and others, so that the crop mix is diversified and self-ensuring. The price of one commodity can compensate for the poor market in another. Last year, for example, the price of barley tobacco collapsed while that of cotton shot up to the world record all time high. So, the farmers who were doing both are not the ones who are bitterly weeping this year or the previous one. This year, the price of tobacco has recovered, but the price of cotton, in reaction to last year’s boom, has collapsed. The farmers who have got both will be better off or fairly well-off, although they will not be as well-off as they would if all their crops had boomed.

Mr Speaker, regarding the obsession with maize, you have heard our intentions to stop it and let it take its space in the balance of commodities that are produced in this country, which will provide food and income security as well as a sustainable future for the industry.

Sir, the country is in the process of making a new Constitution. In this regard, there is a need for leaders, including, hon. Members, to sensitise communities on the on-going process and the need for the public to make submissions on the first draft Constitution to the Technical Committee Drafting the Constitution.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members have a pivotal role to play in ensuring that appropriate copies of the Draft Constitution are available in their constituencies for this purpose. It is better than having little stories in the newspapers saying that, “Kalomo Cries for Copies of the Constitution” and then there is another district, the next day, and another, the next week. Hon. Members of Parliament, I think, have a cardinal role to play here.

Sir, as I conclude, let me commend you, Mr Speaker, the Hon. Mr Deputy Speaker and the Hon. Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House most sincerely for the efficient and impartial manner in which you guided our business.

Mr Speaker, let me also thank the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the excellent services they continue to render to this House. Let me, again, take this opportunity to express my gratitude to hon. Ministers, hon. Deputy Ministers and staff from the offices of the Vice-President and other Government ministries for the support and assistance they provided throughout the meeting.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for according me the opportunity to support the Motion moved by His Honour the Vice-President on the suspension of Standing Orders 20 and 21 (1) and Standing Order 101.

Sir, earlier this morning, I raised an issue pertaining to the quantities of maize that have been allowed by the Government of the Republic of Zambia, through the FRA for farmers to sell to the agency.

Mr Speaker, yesterday, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, made an announcement to the nation that farmers will only be allowed to sell 150 bags of maize to the FRA.

Sir, this pronouncement by the Government will make the work of parliamentarians, as we go to our constituencies, very difficult. We are all aware of this, especially the majority of the hon. Members in this House who hail from the rural areas, which are predominantly, farming areas.

Mr Speaker, the 150 bags of maize that the FRA has been allowed to buy by the Government will increase incidences of fraud, corruption and other vices that we are trying to discourage. All of us from the rural areas know that a number of our constituents produce more than 150 bags of maize. The question that begs an answer, and I thought that His Honour the Vice-President would address this particular issue as he was moving the motion, is: What will happen to the bulk of the crop in rural areas that will not be bought by the FRA? We are all aware that there is no responsible private sector to purchase the crop from our small-scale farmers.

Sir, what will obtain on the ground is that briefcase individuals and companies will flood the agricultural areas and buy this crop from our farmers at a                                                          ridiculously low price. The farmers will oblige out of desperation. Selling out of desperation will kill the initiative of our local farmers. We will be killing the motivation that we have been trying to enhance on the part of our farmers. To make matters worse, these small-scale farmers, whom we will be denying the right to sell maize to the FRA at a reasonable price, have been inflicted with another burden by the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security.

Mr Speaker, these farmers are employers who employ workers whom they have been told that they will now pay a minimum wage that is outside their reach. If they fail, according to the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security, the consequences will follow. 

Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, this is an Adjournment Motion. Is the hon. Member on the Floor of this House in order to continue with cross country debate instead of confining himself to the Adjournment Motion? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Order! 

His Honour the Vice-President in moving the Motion, did address a number of issues including what hon. Members are expected to do during the recess. One of the issues of concern, obviously, in our economy, relates to maize marketing and this is a point which the hon. Member for Monze Central is at liberty to address. It may be a cross-cutting debate but, certainly, not a cross-country debate. 


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the guidance and the protection. I was saying that to add salt to injury, the small-scale farmers have also been given the burden to meet the huge wage bill which they never budgeted for. If they do not sell to the FRA, at a reasonable price, our farmers will be bankrupt. They are not only going to be bankrupt, but if they fail to pay the wages, they will also be penalised under the existing law that has been passed. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to appeal to His Honour the Vice-President to ensure that the position of Government is revisited so as to ensure that the product from the small-scale farmer is bought. I am making this appeal on behalf of the small-scale farmers because I believe that commercial farmers have the capacity to make their own marketing arrangements. Our small-scale farmers in Dundumwezi, Chongwe and Kaputa have no such capacity to make their own marketing arrangements. I earnestly appeal to the Government to revisit the decision which it has made. If it fails to revisit its decision, the Government should allow the small-scale farmers, through their own associations, to export the maize if it cannot be bought locally. Currently, there is a ban on the exporting of maize. On the other hand, you have banned the export of maize and, on the other hand, you are not creating an enabling environment in which the farmers can sell their maize. That is not fair. 

Sir, the second issue, which I would like to address is the one which was raised earlier arising from the answer which has been given by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, that the Government has decided to reduce the marketing points. I would like, once again, to appeal to His Honour the Vice-President to prevail on his Government and ensure that our farmers have access to proper marketing initiatives. 

The Vice-President talking to Mr Sichinga.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, through you,…

Mr Speaker: Yes, you are still speaking.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I am saying so because the Vice-President was trying to interrupt me. I am making my earnest appeal on behalf of the poor farmers who cannot afford the high transport costs for them to transport their produce to the marketing points. I am appealing to the Government to open more depots. If the decision to reduce the number of depots was made because the Government thought that many depots were opened by the previous administration because it wanted to manipulate the system so as to gain votes, can you also manipulate it for the benefit of our farmers. If you find it prudent to open different depots and not those that were opened earlier, please, do so, so that the inconvenience that is being, suffered by the farmers is reduced. I hope that a pronouncement will be made on the Floor of this House before the House adjourns which will help us, as we go back to our constituencies to explain to our people what the Government’s position is regarding the marketing of produce. 

Mr Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President made a very important pronouncement regarding the Constitution. I agree with him that all of us have a duty and responsibility to go and sensitise our electorate regarding the Draft Constitution. I am also earnestly appealing to His Honour the Vice-President to appeal to his party not to make premature pronouncements regarding its position on various contentious issues in the Draft Constitution. If the President of the Republic or the Vice-President makes a pronouncement on a particular clause, whether that is an opinion or not, it gives direction to all the members of their political party. We have an opportunity to come up with a Constitution that will stand a test of time. If we start making pronouncements that are divisive, once again, the constitution making process will fail. If the process fails, this time, all of us, collectively, will be held accountable. The United Party for National Development (UPND) and the PF shot down the last Constitution making process. 

Mr Speaker, this time around, I am appealing to all of you to search your souls and conscience honestly as you participate in coming up with a Constitution which will be supported by everyone. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: It is an earnest appeal. We have an opportunity we have never had before. I am fortunate to be one of those who have been selected to serve on a Select Committee of Parliament to look at the Draft Constitution.

   Mr Speaker, it will be sad, once again, to see the constitution-making process failing in the country. For a long time, we have endeavored to come up with a good Constitution. We need to use our collective wisdom to come up with a constitution and we can also take into account the interest of all the Zambians. We need a Constitution which will ensure that we drive this country forward. 

Mr Speaker, the last point that I would like to make is related to the minimum wage Statutory SI. I am, once again, appealing to His Honour the Vice-President to analyse this issue without biasn and any other motive on behalf of the Zambian people. There is a need to come up with a law that is acceptable to all parties concerned.

Mr Speaker, this morning, we were told that those who are poor should not employ anyone. That was the statement that was issued by the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security. Civil servants in this country fall under the category of poor workers because they are not rich. However, they have no option, but to employ maids and other domestic workers. For example, a nurse who works in the night and gets around K2 million will have no option, but to employ a maid to take care of the small child at home. 


Mr Speaker: Order, order! {mospagebreak}

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I know that a nurse who gets about K2 million has to employ a maid. That maid according to the SI has to be paid K520,000 per month. Furthermore, the nurse apart from paying the maid will still have to pay rentals, which may be K1 million in a shanty compound in Lusaka. What will happen is that the nurse will have an option of either stopping work or laying off the maid. On the other hand, a maid is also an employer because she, in turn, will need to employ someone else to also take care of her children. So, the maid who has been given a statutory salary wage of K520,000 will also need to employ another maid and pay her the same amount.

Mr Speaker, I can only end at this stage of appealing because decision-making powers regarding this issue are in the hands of the Government. It is up to it to decide to ignore these genuine concerns or consider them. The consequences will be ghastly to contemplate. We are trying to create employment, but by virtue of what we have done, we will be rendering some people jobless. This is an issue which we will be dealing with as we go back to our constituencies. I know that my brother, Hon. Mwaliteta of Kafue Parliamentary Constituency, will have to deal with this particular issue. With these remarks I support the Motion.

I thank you, Sir. 

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, I also stand to support the Motion which is currently on the Floor of the House. If you will allow me, I will quote a saying in Namwanga that says, “umwana kumufunda pakupita,” which means that you should teach a child, before he or she leaves your house. As I support this Motion, I hope that our colleagues in the Government will take our counsel. 

Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to urge them to realise that this Motion is timely. We need to go back to our people to explain the many issues that affect our various constituencies. We would like our colleagues in the Government to realise that there is a need for mutual respect as we serve our people through this House. There is a need for good governance on their part. They cannot wash away the Opposition because, in fact, under the current composition, we are more than those in the Government. 

Mr Speaker, the total disregard that has been exhibited, especially, during the last one month by this Government, particularly, for the constitutional provisions regarding the creation and dissolution of Government ministries is worrying. This House has been used as a rubber stamp to …

Mr Speaker: Order! Order! 

There are two issues I want to talk about. Firstly, I think, I made a ruling regarding the use of the word ‘rubberstamp’ and, secondly, this issue was extensively dealt with yesterday. I do not think that in the context of this Motion, we should reopen consideration or the debate surrounding that issue. We dealt with that issue and there was a final outcome to it. I know that the Motion under discussion does permit the latitude which was indicated when the hon. Member for Monze Central was debating. I think we should also be cognisant of the need of not opening up issues that were conclusively dealt with yesterday. I allowed a lot of debate around it and I am sure it was very taxing for everybody last night.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, as we debate this Adjournment Motion, I also want to talk about an issue concerning the Office of the Leader of Government Business in the House. I have been in this House for more than ten years and, for the first time, I am seeing a tendency for His Honour the Vice-President to be in this House even when the Head of State is out of the country. This is unprecedented and is causing confusion.

Mr Speaker, if the confusion is being caused by the person holding the Office of the Vice-President, then I urge the Government to deal with this issue by, maybe replacing that person so that the Office of the Vice-President …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: … can have the dignity which it deserves. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, we have noticed that there is a tendency of His Honour the Vice-President to report to a Cabinet Minister.

Mr Kalaba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kalaba: I am seated here trying to make head and tail of the debate by the hon. Member currently on the Floor.  Is the hon. Member for Mafinga in order to insinuate that the Office of the Vice-President, as it stands now, does not have the constitutional mandate to perform its functions and that it has lost value simply because of the persona holding the office? Is she in order to insinuate in that manner and mislead the public out there that the Vice-Presidency is only academic now? 

Sir, I need your very serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Really, I am not sure whether that is what the hon. Member for Mafinga is saying. What I also know is that the Leader of Government Business in the House is the Vice-President for all intents and purposes. The issue relating to who acts in the absence of the President, again, falls within the domain of the President himself and as a prerogative. 

My anxiety with this Motion, now, is that it may be seen as omnibus to discuss every kind of issue we think needs to be brought to the attention of the House. I think let us look at the spirit in which this Motion is normally dealt with and a cue can be taken from the manner in which the hon. Member for Monze Central has debated. I think that is a customary way of endorsing or contributing to the debate in question. You are returning to the constituencies, as part of your parliamentary duties, to continue discharging your duties, but if we are going to use this as a platform now to address and redress all manner of issues, then, we may miss the spirit and intent of this Motion.

The hon. Member for Mafinga, may continue.

Ms Namugala: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for your usual guidance.

 Mr Speaker, as the House adjourns sine die, I do hope that the hon. Government Ministers, through His Honour the Vice-President, are going to review the many SIs that have been passed, especially the one on the minimum wage. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Monze Central has done a very good job of bringing this issue home where he has talked about the poor employing the poor. It is true that, in the quest of our people trying to reduce poverty …

Mr Mwila: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order.  Is the hon. Member on the Floor in order not to declare interest in that she is an employer who has an eating place in town and her employees have been complaining? I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Even if we were to stretch the notion of declaration of interest, I do not think we would go that far. I think, there are certain matters, because of their commonality, that affect all of us or many of the citizens. If we use that yardstick or benchmark, I think, a lot of debate would be stifled here on the basis that we all have an interest in one way or the other and I do not want to engage in a census on who is an employer, here, and who is not. I think this is a matter of public interest and the hon. Member, as a representative of the people of Mafinga, should be permitted to debate.

The hon. Member for Mafinga, continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, in the quest of our people trying to reduce poverty, they employ fellow poor people and share the little that they earn. An example was given of a maid employing a maid to look after her baby while she is looking after another person’s baby. How does she share her minimum wage with the maid that she has left behind?

Mr Speaker, in reviewing …

Mrs Masebo:  On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker:  A point of order is raised.

Mrs Masebo:  Mr Speaker, I think you have guided that we should not be discussing issues that we have already discussed and decided upon. Is the hon. Member in order to be repeating the same discussion that we had in the morning? I seek your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member for Mafinga should, please, take that into account as she progresses with your contribution to the Motion.

The hon. Member continue.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security, this morning, made a show of how the PF Government is trying to serve the poor. What we are trying to show is that, in trying to serve the poor, the PF Government is creating more poverty.  

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: That is the point. The poor people that they are claiming to be serving are, in fact, going to be impoverished more because they will find themselves on the streets as a result of this irresponsible SI. 

Further, Mr Speaker, those who are going to be impacted more negatively are the micro, small and medium enterprises that are run by indigenous Zambians who are trying to employ each other to reduce poverty. We know, for instance, that this SI was passed without consultations and that had we been consulted, we would have presented to the hon. Minister issues that are realistic and on the ground.  This SI is irresponsible and must be reviewed by this Government.

A poor woman at Soweto Market selling salaula has employed another woman to help her sell it and you say that she has to pay this person K1 million when, maybe, this K1 million is the capital that she has put into her business. What are you saying as the so-called responsible Government? Are you telling her to close the shop, go home and wallow in poverty?

Mr Speaker, we are representatives of the people and this PF Government must listen to us. We have noted a tendency by some hon. Ministers to appear as though what they are doing is the right thing and what the people want. Some of us have been hon. Ministers. The mistakes are known. We failed to advise properly and the results are there for us to see, but the country, in the process, suffers when those who are supposed to advise the Head of State, for instance, fail to do so because they want to appease him by telling him what they think he wants to hear. This SI is wrong and must be reviewed. In fact, it should be withdrawn by the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security.

Mr Speaker, earlier, the hon. Minister spoke about the issue of buying points for maize and I remember that, yesterday, there was a response to a question that fertiliser cannot be given to farmers now. It is surprising to hear that because His Honour the Vice-President knows that, in the past, fertiliser would be taken to the people as maize was being collected. The MMD Government did that in the last season.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Ms Namugala: We took fertiliser to the people early enough.


Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I would like to urge this Government to take a cue from that and ensure that fertiliser is with our people so that, as they sell their maize, they can buy the fertiliser that they need.

Sir, the issue of reducing satellite depots in outlying areas like Mafinga is irresponsible. If you give them three or four satellite depots, where will they sell their maize? How are they going to move, for instance, from Wiya to Muyombo or from Mwenewisi to Mulekatembo?


Ms Namugala: It is impossible. Therefore, it is irresponsible for the Government to want to reduce satellite depots. Mr Speaker, this Government must ensure that, instead of reducing the number of satellite depots, it increases them. 

Mr Speaker, in moving this Motion, His Honour the Vice-President talked about ensuring that there are more crops that are grown and that we need to diversify. We agree that the dependence on maize is not good and sustainable. However, this is a process and it requires that our people are given time to diversify. You cannot decide, in 2012, that this year, we are not going to support the growing of maize as much as has been the case in the past. What will happen is that you will reduce the capacity of the people to provide for themselves. Due to the existence the FISP, the poverty levels in rural areas have gone down. People have been able to send their children to school and ensure that children even attain higher levels of education.

Mr Speaker, I, therefore, urge this Government not to reduce the number of farmers who are benefiting from the FISP and to ensure that those who are growing maize are supported to do so. Also, the issue of diversifying must be done progressively so that we do not become food-insecure, as a nation.

Mr Speaker, as we go on recess, I would like the Government to ensure that those road projects in the outlying areas, for instance, the Isoka/Muyombe Road, the bridge on the Chama/Matumbo Road and the Mbala/Nakonde Road completed. These are, in fact, projects which were started by the MMD Government. After thorough consultations, we are urging you to finish them.


Ms Namugala: We are urging you to finish the works on those roads because doing so will be good for our people.

Mr Mbewe: Yes!

Ms Namugala: Finishing what we started is not bad for you because you have no plans of your own in moving forward.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Question!

Ms Namugala: So, at least, finish what we started.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, in order for us to enhance economic development, there is a need for the road infrastructure to be in place. The outlying areas, where our people are most impoverished need these roads. I would like to urge this Government to do more than just talk and ensure that those roads are completed.

With these few words, Mr Speaker, I wish to support the Motion.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Brigadier-General Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to catch your eye and I would like to contribute to this Adjournment Motion moved by His Honour the Vice-President, who has rightly requested us that, as we go to our constituencies, we help in the inspection of the developmental projects.

Sir, during this sitting, I noticed that there were quite a number of Government assurances and we were able to decipher, although this required a lot of analysis, the emphasis of economic development. I would like to believe that, with the placing of the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, now, where it is supposed to be, …

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Brigadier-General Dr Chituwo: … we can see some continuity in the development of tourism projects. As we all agree, tourism is an economic area for sustainable development.

Mr Speaker, in this regard, I notice, however that, although His Honour the Vice-President assured me, on behalf of the people of Mumbwa, that he was going to look at the issue of the game management areas (GMAs) and forestry areas where these …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, I am afraid you may sit down.

I think earlier on I indicated that we should try and link our debate to the Motion on the Floor and the issues which have been addressed by His Honour the Vice-President in that particular Motion. I did also state, earlier, that, unless we broche this Motion in that fashion or manner, there is a risk that we will be addressing sundry issues in the process. I do not think that is the spirit in which this Motion is meant to be debated.

I know, there are several outstanding, perhaps, even burning issues, that need to be addressed but, I am afraid, this may not be the appropriate occasion and platform to address those issues. I do not want to muzzle or restrict debate, but, please, bear in mind that there is a specific Motion and after all is said and done, let us be brief, to enable us proceed with the balance of our business.

You may proceed, hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa.

Brig-General Dr Chituwo: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Sir, when moving the Adjournment Motion, His Honour the Vice-President requested us to follow up on developmental projects and I was trying to build on the issue of tourism and mining as pertaining to my constituency. Where should the emphasis be placed? Should it be on mining in the GMAs or tourism? When this is made clear, I will carry a message of the entire Government, not my own. It is in this direction that I was introducing my debate in supporting this Adjournment Motion.

In the same vein, His Honour the Vice-President requested us to explain decisions that were made in this House. It is in this regard that, perhaps, as he winds up debate, he should clarify the issues regarding job creation. It is important because this is a follow-up to the many promises that were made by the PF Government with regard to job creation. How are we going to work together so that we see the creation of quality jobs? In order to do that, certainly, we must look at productivity. How do we increase on productivity in order to keep our people in employment?

Sir, in my constituency, there is a Zambia National Service (ZNS) camp and the people will be asking what the direction, with regard to the utilisation of our ZNS camp, is. These are questions that I will have to address. Clearly, there is more work to be done.

Mr Speaker, as has been stated by my colleagues, we have a number of issues that need to be resolved and, perhaps, focused on. These are issues like livestock diseases. I will be engaging the local heads of department with regard to that.

Sir, I hope, when the House is on recess, we shall continue to interact with the officers from the various ministries so that we give them timely feedback on the situation on the ground.

Mr Speaker, since you have guided that there are many more people who need to the debate, I can only say I support this Motion and promise that we shall engage His Honour the Vice-President on the promises he made on on-going projects so that we can see a difference in the lives of the people in those areas.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, in contributing to debate on the Motion on the Floor of the House, I would like to be as precise as possible so that we do not continue with repetitions.

Sir, I wish to remind the hon. Members in this House that, as we go back to our constituencies, we should bear in mind that the majority of the hon. Members of Parliament, here, were able to come to Parliament through the votes of women. As we are eagerly awaiting our CDF, I would like to urge every hon. Member of Parliament to apportion some of it to women’s economic empowerment activities.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Wina: Sir, it is very important that the women of this country benefit from the resources that the Government allocates to various constituencies. Secondly, as the hon. Members of Parliament sensitise their constituencies on the Constitution, I would like to urge them to also sensitise the voters on the Anti-Gender Based Violence Bill because it was passed in this House and the Act specifies many components that need to be implemented by the Government as well as the community. We would like the hon. Members of Parliament to educate their people on this Bill and how it protects the victims of gender-based violence.

Sir, thirdly, I would like the hon. Members to know that there are some economic empowerment funds in my ministry and in the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health that can be accessed by women’s clubs. So, the duty of the hon. Members of Parliament should be to encourage women to form clubs so that they are assisted by the Government through those clubs.

Mr Speaker, in the past, these economic empowerment funds tended to be misused and abused. Just this morning, we were talking about the hammer mills. In the past, the hammer mills became bait for vote-buying and we do not want to repeat that. What we want is for the communities to decide on some viable economic activities that they would like to engage in so that whatever is given by the Government can make a difference in their lives.

Sir, with those few words, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the debate on this Motion, including those who left the House before this debate is concluded. I just want to point out something on the subject of maize quantities that the FRA will be buying, which seemed to cause people concern.

Sir, 150 bags of maize weighing 7.5 tonnes, at the highly-inflated price that the FRA pays, is worth K10 million. This is a very good annual income for a poor person, genuine small farmer or villager. If what the MMD always used to claim that they were targeting one million small-scale farmers as true, that would mean that 7.5 million tonnes of maize was being bought at the floor price. That is three times even what the MMD claimed was the bumper harvest.

Mr Speaker, looking at the figures, it is very clear that, actually, if you are genuinely targeting small-scale farmers, 150 bags is actually on the high side. If, of course, you are really targeting middle-range or emerging farmers who are sucking from this subsidy system in agriculture, then that is another matter, but if you are really targeting the poor, the hon. Minister should actually be very pleased if you can manage to control deliveries within 150 bags, which is also the limit which was imposed under the MMD, only it was not observed. There were too many exemptions given and too many people saying, “tell your wife to bring the other 150 bags of maize.” So, if we can control access to this subsidy, which is bigger than the entire cost of the health service, and if we can restrict this access to the subsidy to the genuinely poor and hardworking people, we will effectively have empowered and created jobs for a million people, jobs which are not currently in existence.

Sir, we will take all the other points into consideration and, when we come back, try and do an even better job next session.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Question put and agreed to.


The V. Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor-General for 2010 on the Accounts of Parastatal Bodies for the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 19th July, 2012.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mulenga (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr V. Mwale: Mr Speaker, your Committee, in line with its terms of reference, as specified in the Standing Orders, considered the Report of the Auditor-General for 2010 on the Accounts of Parastatal Bodies. I am humbled to be presenting your Committee’s third report in this sitting which, in essence, means that your Committee has done a lot of hard work to have your Committee’s reports ready for this House. On this score, let me sincerely thank my colleagues for the hard work and the focused manner in which they deliberated on the matters that came before them.

Mr Speaker, let me state that twenty-one institutions were captured in the audit report. Your Committee was, however, unable to consider the matters raised under the Zambia Telecommunications Limited (ZAMTEL), as most of them are in court and doing so would have been subjudice. Your Committee has, therefore, requested the Auditor-General to keep the matters in view in future audits. As hon. Members may have noticed, your Committee’s report also contains matters on Head 80 – Ministry of Education. This arises from the addendum by the Auditor-General to her report.

Mr Speaker, I will now touch on a few issues that are highlighted in your Committee’s report. I will start with the usual story of parastatal bodies failing to produce financial and annual reports as required by their own articles of association. In a democracy like ours, accountability is one of the cornerstones of good democratic governance. It is important, therefore, that officials who are given the authority and responsibility to run public entities and enterprises clearly convey actions taken and whether these fall within the prescriptions of the law and community wishes. The only way to achieve this is through the timely production of financial and annual reports. 

Your Committee is, therefore, saddened to learn of the continued failure by most parastatal bodies to produce annual reports as provided for in their companies’ articles of association. Main culprits in this regard include the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), Tobacco Board of Zambia (TBZ) and Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST). This is unacceptable and should not be allowed to continue.

Your Committee is aware of the Government’s efforts to come up with stringent policy guidelines for State-owned enterprises and strongly urges that this process should expedited in order to enhance the supervisory role of the Government on these enterprises. Your Committee is of the view that the policy should give the Government more leverage to take action when the company has failed to meet its reporting obligations.

Sir, good corporate governance entails that major decisions that affect an organisation’s current operations and future are made with a view to ensuring efficient utilisation of funds for the benefit of the organisation and its stakeholders. Your Committee, however, observes, with concern, the general poor corporate governance exhibited in most parastatal bodies during the period under review. In most cases, decisions were made by management without the approval of the board while, in some cases, there was poor composition of the board, which was at variance with the various Acts governing their mandate. These organisations include ZAMPOST, TBZ, National Housing Authority (NHA), Mulungushi International Conference Centre (MICC) and National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA). This resulted in decisions being made that were not in the best interest of the organisations.

The worst-case scenario, in this regard, is at ZAMPOST where, during the period April, 2006, to January, 2011, there were only three members on the board who continued to hold meetings and making decisions on behalf of the organisation. This was contrary to the Postal Services Act, which stipulates that five members of the board shall form a quorum. Your Committee is concerned that during this time, a lot of decisions were made by this board that were not in the best interest of the organization, as can be seen in your Committee’s report under ZAMPOST. 

Your Committee, therefore, lays the blame for this state of affairs on the parent ministry, which failed in its duties to ensure that an effective board was in place as stipulated by the Act. In view of the above, your Committee urges the Government to ensure that effective boards are always in place in all parastatal bodies in order to ensure that the principles of good corporate governance are upheld. No organisation should be allowed to operate without an effective board.

Sir, another issue your Committee dealt with is the failure by these public entities to follow tender procedures. The risk of not following procurement procedures are well-known to all of us. A company that fails to follow procurement procedures often experiences over-spending and is unlikely to achieve good value for money. Further, under such circumstances, there is a high likelihood of purchasing fraud taking place, leading to loss of public funds. One example is at the MICC where a tender for the installation of air conditioning units was awarded to one company at a contract price of K210 million. The tender was split into four for purposes of circumventing tender procedures. In this regard, four payments were made to one company on the same day. Your Committee notes that this is great dishonesty and it should not be tolerated. Your Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Secretary to the Treasury to impress upon the management and boards in these parastatal bodies to strictly observe procurement procedures. Further, any organisations that are guilty of this practice should be reported to the relevant investigative wings for further investigations. 

Mr Speaker, let me now comment on another worrying trend exposed by the Auditor-General. This is the increasing number of institutions experiencing computer system failures. When it comes to procurement of any technical services, all managements in the public entities are duty-bound to exercise care in such transactions. Efforts should be made to investigate all the track records of the suppliers and the performance of the product with other previous users. 

Your Committee observes, with concern, the rising number of organisations that are being cited in the Auditor-General’s report for procuring defective software packages that end up being a security risk or becoming completely redundant. The main victims of this include institutions such as the University of Zambia (UNZA), Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), National Savings Credit Bank (NATSAVE) and TAZARA. All these institutions procured computer packages which, unfortunately, have to be replaced at great cost due to failures that surfaced after procurement. 

In the view of your Committee, this is attributable to failure by management in these institutions to carry out due diligence studies in order to minimise the risk of failure and avert loss of public funds. This is unacceptable and should be brought to a halt. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to come up with measures that will assist in arresting this trend. The procurement of software should be subjected to rigorous studies in order to reduce on the failure rate.

Sir, finally, let me comment on the failure by some public entities to follow Government circulars. Government circulars are issued to ensure that there is equity and sanity in public institutions. Your Committee notes, however, that some Government agencies are ignoring Government guidelines and circulars on the basis of the independence and autonomy granted to them by the law. For example, despite the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) Circular No. B.2 of 2007, which stipulates that non-private practice allowance shall be paid to legal practitioners in Government service and that officers in receipt of such an allowance shall not be eligible for payment of …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1255 hours until 1430 hours.{mospagebreak}

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr V. Mwale: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was giving my final remarks and Commenting on the failure by some public entities to follow Government Circulars.  

Mr Speaker, Government circulars are issued to ensure that there is equity and sanity in public institutions. Your Committee notes, however, that some Government agencies are ignoring Government guidelines and circulars on the basis of the independence and autonomy granted to them by the law. For example, despite the Public Service Management Division Circular No.B.2 of 2007, which stipulates that non-private practice allowance shall be paid to legal practitioners in Government service and that officers in receipt of such an allowance shall not be eligible for payment of recruitment and retention allowances, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) was paying both retention and non-practice allowances at the rate of 20 per cent of their monthly basic salary. The management stated that the payment of retention and non-private practice allowances was determined by the commission in accordance with the Electoral Commission Act No. 24 of 1996, which supersedes Government circulars. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee is of the view that, in order to ensure sanity and equity in public institutions, all Government agencies should, despite the independence granted them by the enabling Acts, endeavour to ensure that their decisions are in line with Government guidelines. The Secretary to the Cabinet is, therefore, strongly urged to constantly engage all Government agencies to ensure that the Government’s intentions in the circulars are appreciated and complied with.  

Mr Speaker, I wish to conclude by thanking you and the Office of the Clerk for the guidance and support rendered to your Committee during its deliberations. I further wish to thank all controlling officers and chief executive officers of the institutions that were audited for their co-operation. 

Finally, I wish to acknowledge and show appreciation for the advice that was rendered to your Committee by the officers from the offices of the Auditor-General, the Accountant-General and the Controller for Internal Audits.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr C. Mulenga: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion, let me thank the mover for the able manner in which he has highlighted the issues that were deliberated upon by your Committee. The mover of this Motion has ably articulated the views of your Committee on this Motion and I shall, therefore, only make a few comments on other issues that caught my attention. 

Mr Speaker, let me start by stating that parastatal bodies are creations of the Government. This means that they come into being to serve a particular purpose and the responsibility of ensuring that this is done lies squarely on the Government of the day. Whether these bodies perform or not depends mostly on the quality of decisions made by the Government when appointing the boards. For example, you will know whether the Government means well by looking at the quality of the boards they put in place and the swiftness with which decisions are made to ensure that the boards are appointed and have full membership. Where this is not the case, we see the manifestation of poor corporate governance. This is when organisations stop contributing anything towards the attainment of their respective mandate and become preoccupied with making decisions that are at variance with their mandate and the interests of the stakeholders. As a result of this, they become what I can call monsters that gobble public funds while the Government remains helpless on how to deal with them.

Mr Hamusonde: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, I will need a serious ruling. 

Hon. Government Member: On what?


Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, some days ago, the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development said that there was enough fuel in this country. What is obtaining on the ground, however, is that there is no fuel. In Mumbwa Town, those trucks that ferry cotton and maize, including one of my own, are stranded. My driver is asking me to send him some fuel in drums. Is the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development in order to tell the nation something that is not true?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. UPND Member interjected.

Mr Speaker: Yes, indeed, and the timing is also very unusual. 


Mr Speaker: As you, probably, know, the House is just on the verge of rising and, as you would have expected, I would have invited you to file in an urgent question. However, if I did that, it would be engaging in a futile exercise. As much as your concern is legitimate, all I can say is that the hon. Members of the Executive are present, in particular his Honour the Vice-President, and I think we should give him the freedom to respond to this in due course. I am sure that he will determine the best means to put this matter to rest as speedily as possible. In the meantime, I am afraid, we have to allow this particular Motion to progress.

The hon. Member for Chinsali may proceed.

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I was saying that, when organisations stop contributing towards the attainment of their mandate and become preoccupied with making decisions that are at variance with their mandate and the interests of the stakeholders, they become monsters that gobble public funds, leaving the Government helpless on how to deal with them.

Mr Speaker, my appeal to the Government, in this regard, is that the time to make things right is now. Let us take this opportunity to carry out a comprehensive study on all parastatal bodies to establish whether they are still relevant. Once this is done, we should ensure that we have the right people in place to run them. Furthermore, hon. Ministers should take keen interest in the performances of the parastatal bodies under their ministries and those who fail to do so must be held accountable.

Mr Speaker, allow me to comment on the failure by the Government to conclude the payment of benefits to former Lint Company of Zambia (LINTCO) workers. Your Committee expresses concern that, despite the office of the Administrator-General and Official Receiver paying out K38.5 billion, as of December, 2011, to former LINTCO employees, there are still counter-claims and the matter seems far from being resolved. Your committee is concerned that, due to the unavailability of a master list of all the former LINTCO workers, this matter might not be completed soon as claimants will continue coming forward. Your Committee urges the Government to devise ways of ensuring that this matter is brought to its conclusive end without further delay. Further, the Administrator-General and Official Receiver is urged to improve record-keeping by having readily available details of all the employees who have been paid to date.

Mr Speaker, allow me to bring out issues related to the CEEC. Your Committee observes that, although the Government had good intention, when it established this commission, the commission has failed to execute its mandate due to gross mismanagement. It has become a regular feature in the report of the Auditor-General and your Committee for all sorts of accounting irregularities. Your Committee is also disappointed that the Commission has performed dismally in loan recovery, to the extent that billions of kwacha have remained unrecovered, thereby, denying other needy Zambians, the opportunity to benefit from the fund. Your Committee was informed that, as a result of this state of affairs, funding to the commission has since been suspended pending further audits.

Mr Speaker, there are two things that need urgent attention, here. Firstly, the Government should expeditiously undertake and conclude audits at the commission and make a decision on the way forward. This Commission should not be kept in limbo for a long time as this can lead to the situation degenerating further. Secondly, the Government should impress upon the management of the commission the need to enhance efforts to recover the loans that are still outstanding. Too much money remains unrecovered.

Mr Speaker, as you are aware, the ECZ uses the local authorities across the country to administer elections mainly because it has not been decentralised to the district level. However, your Committee express concern at the failure by the local authorities to account for the large sums of money availed to them for purposes of undertaking election-related activities. Your Commission notes that this arrangement has proved costly to the nation due to massive abuse of funds by local authorities. Training activities for accounting staff in local authorities undertaken by the commission appear not be paying any dividends as the irregularities have continued. It is for this reason that your Committee urges the Government to consider granting Treasury authority to the ECZ to decentralise its operations to the district level.

Mr Speaker, in the meantime, the controlling officer for the ECZ should engage the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to devise ways of enhancing the accountability of those tasked with the responsibility of managing funds. Mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that officers who fail to account for funds face disciplinary action, unlike the present situation in which nothing seems to be done, despite the rampant irregularities.   

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, let me, on behalf of your Committee, register my disappointment at the failure by some controlling officers to respond in time to matters raised by your Committee in its reports. This has resulted in many matters remaining outstanding for many years and rendering the recommendations of your Committee meaningless with the passage of time. For example, the current appendix to your Committee’s report shows that, out of 315 outstanding issues, only 111, representing 35 per cent, have been satisfactorily attended to and recommended for closure by your Committee, while 204, representing 65 per cent, have remained outstanding. The main reason for this state of affairs is the failure of the controlling officers to provide responses to the issues. This situation should not be allowed to continue as it undermines the oversight role of your Committee and, indeed, the House.

Your Committee is consoled, however, by the assurances by the Secretary to the Treasury when he appeared before it that he would monitor the matter closely and report to the appointing authority any controlling officer who would be found wanting in this regard. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Secretary to the Treasury to keep his word to enhance the monitoring of the performance of controlling officers in order to prevent laxity in their work. 

Sir, in conclusion, allow me to thank the mover of this Motion for the able manner in which he chaired the meeting of your Committee. Further, I thank your office and that of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the support rendered to your Committee.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, in supporting this Motion, I would like to congratulate the mover and the seconder on their ability to present your report.

Mr Speaker, what has been seen as being common among parastatals is the misuse of funds. I think that we should go further than just reading these reports. We should begin to identify some of the problems.

Mr Speaker, we are currently reviewing the audits for 2010 and most of these things were happening when our friends in the MMD were in charge. Normally, a new Government would tend to deny responsibility. However, I would like to ask the Government to find the root causes to the problems which we are looking at. 

Mr Speaker, one of the biggest problems is that most of the people who are appointed to run parastatals get their positions on the basis of patronage and friendship with the appointing authority. Those who are your friends are made to run organisations and believe that they must do things in your favour. In the process, they start to misuse public funds. It is common to state that you cannot appoint the person you do not know. Obviously, it is not even a question of not knowing someone. The issue is the appointment of close friends. 

Mr Speaker, there has been, in your report, a situation that seems to have been created which seems to suggest that the Government is not involved in the running of the parastatals. However, one wonders because there are Permanent Secretaries and directors sitting on those boards, yet you read that the Government’s side is not protected. What are these people going into these boards for if they do not ensure that Government policy is not followed by these boards? That is the problem. They are going there strictly to serve their pockets. It is time that certain problems were dealt with.

Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the Auditor-General to not only audit funds, but also go further to audit performance. For example, what is it that a particular organisation was set up to do? Is it actually doing those things? If funds are released, are they used for the intended purpose? Performance audits are required to serve these organisations.

Mr Speaker, there has been a mention of the TBZ. It seems that some of the people selected to serve on some boards are not the best. They only go there to serve their interests. The TBZ was set up so that any money that is raised would be ploughed back into the farming community to support the growing of the crop. However, all the money raised is used for different purposes such as new vehicles, salaries and sitting allowances, yet there is a director or a Permanent Secretary sitting on that board.

Why are we allowing this? That is why I stand here to say that we should have performance audits. We should have a different way of looking at these issues. Certain people do not even want to be questioned the way they do certain things because they are close to some people. When such people do wrong things, you are unable to question or caution them. You are also unable to say: “Can you not do this?” We should do away with such things.

Mr Speaker, it is a fact that the person who will tell you the truth is your enemy. For me, in the Opposition, I will tell you exactly what is wrong.

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mr Muntanga: Well, I want to replace you, obviously …

Mr Speaker: Order! Address the Speaker.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, through you, they should understand I am here to replace them.


Mr Muntanga: When I look at them, through you, I want them to understand that I mean business. I am telling them the truth. Please, change the way things are done. Do not employ your relatives. You see, with this idea of employing relatives, if you are flying in a plane and suffer a misfortune, the whole family will perish …


Mr Muntanga: … because you have all decided to fly on the plane. Maybe you decided to bring in  people from other parties in order to have a mixture because, maybe, you lack certain qualities. Maybe that is what you also need to do in the parastatals bodies.

Mr Speaker, at the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), people report for work at 1100 hours in the morning. Before then, people who need to transact there just sit and wait. I want a performance audit to be conducted at that institution. 

Hon. Government Member: Since when?

Mr Muntanga: I know that they want me to tell them the time when such things started happening, even though it is not my responsibility to do so. It shows they are not doing their job. They should have known earlier that in actual fact, things like that happen.

Mr Speaker, we will reduce what is written in this Auditor-General’s report. When the PF Government came into power, I was happy for a minute or two because when the President threatened to act, there was efficiency in the Government and people were reporting very early. They were scared of being dismissed, but now, I have seen that we are going back to the same old ways because we have removed the ones we thought were enemies and brought in our friends. It is such things that will not help our country at all.

Mr Speaker, it may not be mentioned, but we know that the CDF is handled by councils. We know that the CDF now has regulations. We also know that you cannot spend money without following laid-down systems. No hon. Member of Parliament can sign on any a cheque for the CDF. 

Mr Speaker, as it is said, familiarity breeds contempt. When you become too familiar with those who are in the system, you start to access what you are not supposed to. Now, I hear that we are even changing the regulations. The new ones will empower the hon. Minister to be able to approve projects as he or she sits in Lusaka for the CDF in the country.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Muntanga: How will we operate? What, really, are you trying to do? Some of the problems we have in rural areas are that you may approve a road to be done in one section and then some person sitting somewhere outside Kalomo – because the Vice-President likes to talk about Kalomo – has a house in Nakonde, Kitwe or Lusaka Central and running a small Kantemba gets a contract to come a do a road in Kalomo.

Mr Speaker, he cuts grass in the few days after he has been given the money and runs away. Who has caused this? It is the people running the Government. Such a way of doing things must be checked. We cause the problems by doing the wrong things. Each one of you should be scared of holding that office because it is a public office. When we start respecting our offices, we will serve the people better. We have complained about the operations of quasi-government institutions such as the FRA without acknowledging that we caused the problems which such institutions are in. You decide, for example, because you have the power, to chose to have forty-two depots purchasing maize with no control. We put systems in place which are prone to corruption. How can you tell people that you are going to buy only 150 bags of maize when a farmer has grown far more bags than that? What option does that leave them with? The poor farmer ends up selling the maize using other people’s names. What will happen when the workers at the FRA find out about this? It will point them to the other weaknesses in the system. They will even start to dubiously pay for bags of maize which have not been delivered. The State loses money in such a situation.

  Mr Speaker, your Committee on Agriculture and Lands toured the whole country. What we found in certain areas was really sad. We recommended to your Committee that a proper Agriculture Marketing Act be put in place. Although His Honour the Vice-President said that we should go and do other work when we go on recess, I urge him to come up with the Agriculture Marketing Act while we are on recess so that things can be done properly when we come back to the House. If we are going to be making hasty decisions all the time, we shall land ourselves into bigger problems. I can see that this will be a big issue when people start writing about the wrong things in the FRA at a time we had people in power who were allergic to corruption. At that time, because the system will be full of corrupt tendencies, we will ask you the question: Where did your allergy go?

Mr Speaker, we have talked about a number of issues. We know that some people enjoy being in charge of big ministries in order to sound big. You will find problems when you go there. Who will control these parastatals? They look up to you. There is a saying that goes “The fly that sits on you is the one which loves you.” However, a fly also follows you when you are about to die. Therefore, you must be careful. 


 Mr Speaker, we need to put an end to the familiarity and contempt between those who are in the Executive and those who are running the parastatals. The familiarity creates problems in the system. We seriously want to see a change in the way things are done. The PF Government must know that we mean well when we tell them to be careful. They should not bring too many relatives close to them because they will destroy them. They should understand that we mean well when we say this. If they become so allergic to being advised, they will fall in the same boots which their predecessors fell in. The best advisors are the ones who are here. They know how power slipped out of their hands. We used to tell them. The people are now beginning to know that the only party which is consistent in the way it does things is the UPND.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Therefore, we want you to follow a particular book of history which has been written. At one time, one party had only one hon. Member of Parliament.  Then they became two. With the consistent mention of its messages, the party won the elections. Whether they were lying continuously or not is not the issue here.


Mr Muntanga: However, we in the UPND, believe in consistency because it is a good thing. They should know that we are just reaching that desired level of consistency, and, now they are joining the group of people who did wrong things in the previous administration.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, right now, it seems the PF does not want to follow the right way of doing things. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, do not be distracted. You started very well. You are almost veering off your original course.

 Please, continue hon. Member. 

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the course that I am on is that our rules, regulations and performance should be to the benefit of our organisations. Even food becomes a political tool, when a Permanent Secretary is caught with maize in his house. When other people follow up the issue, you should know that something is wrong. It is a warning.

Mr Speaker, let me now focus on unretired imprest. I know that even hon. Ministers involve themselves in such issues. At one time, one or two hon. Ministers were arrested. One hon. Minister from the North- Western Province served a sentence for the misuse of the CDF. We hope others will also serve their sentences. My job is to tell you this through the Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

I think the message is going through the microphones.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I want to state another fact. I agree with His Honour the Vice-President’s appeal to me to work during the recess. The hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security declared that poor people should not employ others. I will have to try and explain this confusing statement to whoever is poor in my constituency. I appeal to His Honour the Vice-President and the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security, if he is around, to send a labour officer to Kalomo because we do not have one. I appeal to this Government to …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Please, continue, hon. Member.

Mr Muntaga: Mr Speaker, those who are making running commentaries are impolite. I appeal to His Honour the Vice-President to send a labour officer to Kalomo. It is your responsibility to take a labour officer there no matter how impolite what I tell you might sound.

Mr Speaker, the people governing us have a lot of responsibilities. In order for them to govern us properly, they should follow the laid-down procedures when doing things.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to make a few comments regarding the report of your Commitee. This report is very important and highlights what we may call the ‘Controlling Officer Syndrome’ in our society.

Mr Speaker, the findings in this report are similar to those in the other reports from the past, going all the way down to when hon. Members of Parliament were from political parties such as the United National Independence Party (UNIP), if one is to go in the annals of history in order to see the problems in our society.

Mr Speaker, your report clearly indicates what one might define as lamentations of the controlling officer syndrome in our country in the way that parastatal institutions are managed. Your report is clear advice to our colleagues who are in the Executive on the need to be cautious of the controlling officer syndrome in Zambia.

Sir, the key question is: What exactly is entailed in control? Control in management has various dimensions and these touch on effective supervision on the part of that individual charged with a responsibility of controlling. The question is, then: Do we have effective supervision in our institutions that we have set up as a nation? That is a very important dimension which has been highlighted in your report.

Mr Speaker, another aspect in the whole challenge of control is accountability. To what extent are those controlling officers mandated with the responsibility of being accountable? To what extent are they accountable not only on the part of respective managers, but also on the part of those who are appointed to the various boards that ought to oversee the operations of these institutions? That is a challenge.

Sir, another aspect in the whole control problem is that of monitoring to see how things are being done and monitoring the operations of the institutions at different levels. To what extent are those charged with the responsibility of controlling and monitoring the operations of the institutions?

Mr Speaker, another aspect has to do with transparency. To what extent are the controlling officers ensuring that there is transparency in the way that things are being done at all levels of the institution? That is another challenge.

Sir, another aspect has to do with evaluation of results. Do those charged with the responsibility of controlling our institutions pay close attention to evaluation of how things are done in their respective institutions?

Mr Speaker, what this report is telling all of us is that things are not all that well in our institutions. This responsibility, which we call control, that has been given to our officers, must be examined very closely so that controlling officers truly execute their responsibilities as controlling officers. This is extremely important on the part of our colleagues in the Executive who are charged with the responsibility of appointing these controlling officers who are overseen by various boards. Attention must be given to that.

Sir, your report is 131 pages long. Almost on every page of that report, the term or phrase ‘controlling officer’ is repeated three times. If we multiply 131 pages times three, it will give us almost 400. The problem of controlling officers has been mentioned almost 400 times. This is an indication that this is a problem of significant magnitude. It must be looked at with extreme care, cautiousness, and seriousness. Controlling officers, to a large extent, are not friends of policy makers, although the problems which they cause eventually border on the policy makers, as they become accountable for the problems that are created by controlling officers.

Mr Speaker, as my colleague, Hon. Muntanga, has advised, those who are in the Executive and are charged with the responsibility of overseeing the role of controlling officers through the various boards they appoint must seriously pay attention to what the controlling officers are doing because this has been a perennial problem in our nation.

Sir, I thought I should make those few comments as advice to the Executive on the basis of what your report has enlightened all of us on.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

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

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to support your report on the Floor of the House and to add a few words for and on behalf of the people of Lupososhi Constituency. 

Sir, the report brings out the reasons poverty levels in Lupososhi Constituency are high. It tells us where the money has been going in the past ten years that Lupososhi Constituency has been a PF stronghold.

Mr Speaker, indeed, most of these issues that have been raised are recurring. These are non-remittance of statutory deductions, delayed bankings and non-preparations of bank reconciliation statements and the list goes on. The question, perhaps, that we need to ask ourselves is whether there has been any review or analysis of why these issues have been coming up year in and year out.

Sir, this could be a reflection of inadequate accounting and financial management skills in the people that are charged with the responsibility of handling such huge sums of money. It is true that we do not expect every controlling officer to be a specialist in accounting or financial matters, but, perhaps, basic knowledge will do to enable them understand what it means.

Mr Speaker, the issue of controlling officers seems to be big. It is also true that these controlling officers, sometimes, ignore the hon. Ministers’ directives. They do not even want to listen to them. They have become politicians in their own right. That has actually caused a lot of problems. The Permanent Secretaries want to do what they think is right and when the hon. Minister issues an instruction, they do not listen. The question is: Who should take the responsibility and who should deal with these controlling officers? 

Sir, I just want to take what Hon. Lungwangwa said as mine as regards controlling officers and why this syndrome seems to be persisting.

Mr Speaker, according to your report, the TAZARA seems to be in very serious problems. It owes about US$6.7 million and another US$445,000, these amounts are mentioned on page 86 of your report as being payable to various stakeholders. It appears to me that its going concern does not seem to apply because it is carrying a huge debt on its shoulders. Is there anything that can be done to resuscitate TAZARA? 

Mr Speaker, have we ever asked ourselves, as a country, why the local businessman cannot create jobs or expand his business?  This is because of certain issues that are raised in this report. We tend to pay external creditors and forget about our own and, therefore, incapacitate those who need to create the very jobs that we need in this country. 

Sir, failure to follow tender procedures could be explained in two lines of thought. Is it deliberate on the part of those who are charged with that responsibility or could it be that the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) Act stifles progress? Again, we need to look at it from both sides. If the law that governs the ZPPA is such that it stifles development and breeds a lot of unnecessary procedures, we can have a review so that those who are circumventing it could apply it properly. 

Mr Speaker, more often than not, we have heard that the tender procedures are long and tedious. You have to wait for eight months for the tender to be awarded. A year has only twelve months and by the time the tender is being awarded, the year would have ended. In the meantime, the funds would have not been applied and they would have been recalled by the Treasury. 

Mr Speaker, the boards of these parastatals are part and parcel of the governance system of these institutions. If the board fails to hold meetings or present annual reports, it simply means that the supervision and the leadership of that particular board must be questioned and it must be removed as quickly as possible by those who are charged with the responsibility of appointing the boards. 

Mr Speaker, much of the issues have been said, but there is a saying in my language, Bemba, that, “Amano ya lubuli, yesa elo bakuma nangu elo lubuli lwapwa.” This means that, good ideas of how to have gone about a fight only come when you have been beaten or when the fight has ended. That is when you realise that, actually, you should have used this tactic or that. The best we can do is to look at those good tactics that will cement our fight against corruption, cement our fight against mal-practices and, indeed, practice those efforts that are aimed at reducing poverty levels, especially, in Lupososhi Constituency. If these monies were collected and put to good use, I am very sure that I would be able to get some money and put up a bridge across Lufubu River, Kamfinsa River and Lupososhi River itself, because it has troubled the people of Lupososhi.

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I wish to thank you.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor of this House. Listening to the Chairperson of your Committee delivering this report, reading it and, indeed, referring to past reports, it would appear as though these reports were written mutatis mutandis. This is as though they were just replicated.

Mr Speaker, it is, indeed, worrying that the levels of abuse of Government resources, through Government institutions, appears to continue unabated. There are various issues that have led to many of which have already been debated. However, I just thought that I could add my voice and, through me, the voice of the people of Choma and through that, the voice of the UPND …

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Mweetwa: … on this debate. One of the issues that have contributed to these abuses and excesses is the lack of proper orientation of controlling officers, who my former lecturer has mentioned to have appeared on every page of this report. Controlling officers need adequate and relevant orientation before they take up those important portfolios. What we have seen is a situation in which a person from a cohort of cardres can get appointed as PS, without any relevant or professional knowledge to lead a particular ministry. 

Mr Speaker, when the PF Government came into office, we were told that a workshop had been arranged for controlling officers in Livingstone, which His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, on behalf of the people of this country, graciously cancelled on account of thinking that he was saving money. He claimed that it was expensive to run such workshops, though it would appear to me, later on that that was a contradiction because I think such an orientation …

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to mislead this House and, indeed, the nation that His Excellency the President cancelled a well-meant orientation seminar when, in fact, what the President did was to request those people not to be extravagant by urging them to hold the same seminar in Lusaka, where we have Government facilities at the new Government complex? Is he, therefore, in order to mislead the entire House and the nation? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Order! 

As the hon. Member for Choma Central proceeds with the debate, please, bear in mind that view point.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I was just about to raise a very important point that says that such an orientation workshop would be relevant to the extent that relevant bodies or institutions in this country would help controlling officers understand their role on especially how to curb abuse of public funds. Such an orientation would be very important. It would also be ideal to invite the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to share with the controlling officers, for instance, on what constitutes the abuse of authority of office.

Mr Speaker, the second issue that I wanted to point out is the issue of political appointments which I think, has already been adequately debated. However, I want to state that what we have seen in this country is worrying. We have seen the appointment of the Secretary-General of the PF to be board chairperson of a parastatal organisation. Through this appointment, he is expected to report to the Permanent Secretary and yet, on the other hand, we are told by the PF Government that the Secretary-General is actually number three in the Government. So, how does he report to a subordinate who is a controlling officer and how does the controlling officer supervise somebody who is senior to him in the Government? 

Mr Speaker, these are some of the things that the PF Government needs to seriously look at because they also border on the question of good governance. Where we have no good governance, it becomes myopic to allege that you are allergic to corruption. This should not be condoned. There is still room for the PF Government to withdraw their Secretary-General and deploy him to campaigns. 

Mr Speaker, the other issue that I want to talk about is on the question of nepotistic appointments in these parastatals. Ever since the PF Government took office, we have seen that a number of parastatal heads, from our perception, are appointed on nepotistic grounds. Most of the appointments in parastatal companies such as the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and the ZRA, among others, are done on the basis of nepotism. Therefore, how can the people who are appointed in these positions independently stand and supervise these institutions without taking into account the fact that they are actually one whole group of relatives. This should not be condoned because, in the past, we have seen that such networks are actually a conduit of pilferage of public resources. Some cases have already been disposed off in the courts of law and one such case relates to the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO).

Mr Speaker, I also want to talk about the issue relating to the abuse of parastatal resources, especially, during the by-elections. Over the years, we have seen that, when there are elections, especially by-elections, parastatal vehicles, particularly those that belong to ZESCO, are abused. These are deployed in areas where there are by-elections to be used by the ruling party. I also saw this in Livingstone during the recent campaign period. During these periods, we also see the removal of number plates from the cars that belong to the Government of the Republican of Zambia (GRZ). We hope that the PF Government will not continue with this trend. This negative interference by the Executive in parastatals actually leads to the shoddy performance of the parastatals.

Mr Speaker, let me also talk about one issue that I consider very critical to improving the administration of public resources in parastatals. This relates to the Freedom of Information Bill. Those of us who belong to the UPND and our colleagues in the PF who, at the time where in the Opposition, promised the people of Zambia that, once we were in power, we would, as a matter of urgency, bring the Freedom of Information Bill to the House. Further, our colleagues even promised to bring this Bill within ninety days. Even after the failure by the PF to bring the Bill within ninety days, the same way they failed to fulfil many other promises, they still have the audacity not to tell the truth to the nation about the Bill which they promised would be debated during this sitting of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, today, the House could adjourn.

Mr Kapeya: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament who is debating and whom I hold in very high esteem, indeed, in order to start condemning this Government when the Bill is being scrutinised before it is brought to the House? Is he in order to start talking about the Bill which is still being looked at? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: My concern, hon. Member for Choma Central, in as much as there might be a connection between the report and the Freedom of Information Bill legislation, and if you may have an intention to demonstrate its relevance, I would suggest that you do so with speed so that you can also give an opportunity to others to contribute to the debate. As far as the state of affairs of that Bill is concerned, I do not think that should be a point of debate and that we should exercise our minds on how soon or how not soon to have not brought it to the House because, as far as I am concerned, it is neither here nor there. I think what is of concern to me is relevance in the manner we debate. There are many other people who would like to debate as well. So, let us be fair to each other.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, the connection is simple. From a corruption point of view and from an African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC) point of view, if the Freedom of Information Bill was brought to the House and quickly enacted, it would allow those people working in the media, who might, sometimes, come across relevant information dealing with corruption or abuse of parastatal resources to disclose such information. Under the current circumstances, as a result of its absence and the delay and failure by the PF Government to bring it to the House as it promised, we lack such information. When those who are in Government tell the House or the nation that they intend to do something, I have the liberty to question them when they fail.

Mr Speaker, I also want to quickly talk about the levels of motivation in some of the quasi-Government organisations. There should be equity in the way the Government supervises parastatals. The Government should ensure that there is some level of equity, if not equality, in the levels of motivation of the workforce for it to discharge its functions diligently. I am aware that officers in ZAWA are complaining of the huge disparity between their remuneration and that for other similar organisations.

Mr Speaker, I also want to suggest that the non-retirement of imprest in accordance with the law should be criminalized, unlike what we have seen in the past where an hon. Minister is sent a bill to refund the money without interest when Parliament is dissolved. This House should look into this issue.

Finally, Mr Speaker, the Government also has a responsibility to deal with quasi-Government institutions when funds are allocated through the budget. Funds should be remitted because huge debts have continued to accrue in the past on parastatals bodies, such as the University of Zambia (UNZA). As a result, positive Government intervention in those institutions is limited for fear of being asked why they have not met their obligations and why the performance of these quasi-Government institutions is poor.

Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Finance (Mr Sampa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Report of the Public Accounts Committee. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to applaud the Chairperson of your Committee, Hon. V. Mwale and all other hon. Members of your Committee for a job well done. I note that their observations and, indeed, those of earlier debaters, are both timely and prudent. This Government will, as a matter of urgency, address all their observations and recommendations.

The issue of retirement of imprest, Mr Speaker, should not still be appearing as an exception because it is a basic requirement of financial discipline and every officer should abide by this. Public funds in parastatals are for all the people of Zambia. Therefore, anyone found wanting will be brought to book by this Government. This Government will have zero-tolerance to the abuse of public resources in all state-owned enterprises and the Government in general. 

Finally, please, allow me to wish all hon. Members of the House God’s guidance and a safe trip back to their constituencies.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Sichinga): Mr Speaker, thank you very much.

Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to join my colleague, the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance, who has just spoken, in commending the work of the Public Accounts Committee. We really appreciate all the observations that have been made. Having served as Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee myself, from 1997 to 1998, I can well appreciate the various issues your Committee is concerned about. 

I am also delighted, Mr Speaker, that the tradition of hon. Members of Parliament recognising the outstanding issues has continued to be observed. I want to say that your Committee has informed this House that there are 717 items outstanding in the Report of the Public Accounts Committee. On parastatal companies, only 315 issues still remain outstanding. Of these, 111 have been recommended to be closed, but there are still 204 items. Clearly, this is not what any hon. Minister or government can be proud of. 

However, let me use this opportunity to also point out that the accounts being discussed, here, are for 2010. In fact, we will continue to see similar comments next year when we discuss the accounts for 2011. Part of the challenge is the structure, in fact, the provision in the Constitution requiring that the accounts be reported only by 30th September. Clearly, the Government is looking to ensure that we bring this up to date so that we start discussing more current matters. So, let us accept, at this stage, that this Government is simply accounting because it is the Government in place at the moment, but we had nothing to do with the issues that are here. I think, that the Government (pointing at the hon. MMD Members) needs to take full responsibility of what is contained in the report.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, let me also specifically refer to matters on pages 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the report on the Parastatal Bodies of 2010. They specifically relate to the CEEC. 

As a preamble, Mr Speaker, before the last session of Parliament was adjourned sine die, hon. Members of this House will recall that I made a ministerial statement discussing the challenges and problems in the CEEC as the PF Government found them. I also want to say to you that, as a consequence of what the PF Government found in the CEEC, it became necessary to suspend any further operations because the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee has truly described here what was going on. It was a mess.

Mr Speaker: Order! 

The word ‘mess’ is unparliamentary.

The hon. Minister can continue.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word. It was imprudent in the manner in which it was being managed. Therefore, it became necessary to clean up what was taking place. 

I also want to mention, Mr Speaker, that, although the law under which the CEEC was, was very clear in describing the potential beneficiaries of the empowerment fund and provisions of the CEEC, it was not clear about the targeted as well as marginalised citizens as described in the Act. In fact, there were huge amounts of loans given out as reflected on page 23 of the Report on Parastatal Bodies of 2010. One particular loan, which was the biggest, is K3,000,000,200. Surely, that cannot be said to be a marginalised group nor can it be said to be a small or medium-size enterprise. In fact, on the same page, we observed that there were loans given to Lukwinu Investments and Emmaloy Investments of K2 billion each.  The Mwame Coach Services was given a loan of K1.811 billion, Nellas Lodge was given K900 million and so on and so forth.

It also became clear, Mr Speaker, when we set out to investigate what was going on, that the controlling officers were compelled to give these loans. So, in as much as I accept the points that the hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda, Professor Lungwangwa, has made, such as the issue of there being a failure by controlling officers and the boards, I also wish to say that there is a failure by those supervising them in ensuring that only what is eligible and to allow the bosses to do their work, is not being done.

Mr Speaker, based on what I have already stated, we have instituted investigations into what took place. The Auditor-General has been invited to carry out a thorough examination and it has become necessary to suspend the giving out of any further loans. In fact, the institution, as a whole, is no longer being funded in order to ensure that the funds are not misused, except to keep it afloat. In addition to that, we have invited the police and the ACC to come in and investigate any criminal actions. This is because it was clear that even the officers in the CEEC were demanding to be paid before they could release cheques to beneficiaries. We want to get to the root cause of this.

Mr Speaker, let me use this opportunity to say to some of my colleagues who have come to approach me to facilitate their constituents’ access to these funds, that it will not be possible to do so until investigations have been concluded and our act has been cleaned. Also, it will be necessary that the manner in which the fund is used is changed because it is subject to abuse.

Sir, lastly, but not the least, in importance, only 42 percent of the loans that were given out are performing. So, what we have decided to do is ensure that any new money that becomes available as a result of repayments are disbursed to those projects that were already approved, but not fully-funded. So, no new applications are being entertained at the moment because we want to make sure that we clean up the act and start afresh.

Sir, lastly, on page 21, there is a K21 billion that was taken from the CEEF to be used in the commission. Now, for those hon. Members who may not be familiar with the CEEC, there is a separation between the operations of the CEEF. The fund is separate from the resources that are made available to run the institution. What happened in this case, is that the commission got money from the fund which was intended for loans, and used it as though it was for operations. The K21 billion on page 21 is reflective of that. Again, in the circumstances, it has become necessary for us to normalise that because there is not much you can do when money has been used and disbursed. However, it is necessary, also, to look at the entire governance structure of this particular institution.

Sir, in summary, every possible step has been taken by this Government to fulfil the commitment and promises that made to the people of Zambia. We will leave no stone unturned because we want to clean up the act. It is my sincere hope that when we come to look at the 2012 and 2013 accounts, we would have resolved any outstanding items in this document, which relates to the report of the Auditor-General for 2010 on accounts of parastatals, which are reflected as outstanding issues. I thought I should just clear that and remind ourselves of what we already indicated in the ministerial statement I made to this House at the conclusion of our last sitting; that we will not be resuming the funding until the process of investigation has been concluded. It is not the fault of this Government. The MMD Government must take full responsibility for what happened.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: His Honour the Vice-President may you wind up debate and, please, bear in mind the point of order from the hon. Member of Parliament for Nangoma on the fuel situation.

Mr Hamusonde: Answer!

The Vice-President: Certainly, Mr Speaker, I will bear that in mind.

Sir, over 100 years ago, one of the founders of the science of sociology, Max Weber, wrote a classic book titled Bureaucracy, and I think he invented the term. His basic thesis was that, whenever human beings establish an organisation to fulfil some function, it may start by fulfilling the function effectively, but soon requires a life of its own. It soon gets the idea that it is a ‘creature’, as somebody said earlier that these are our ‘creatures’ and that it needs to feed, reproduce and grow itself, and it gets out of control. As I was explaining to some donors, the other day, they do not seem to remember this part of Western intellectual history because they have been so prominent, so much in pressing for the establishment of agencies, regulators and other institutions in Zambia. 

In Zambia, of course, we have a much better metaphor, which is also much older than 100 years: the ilomba. You make an ilomba to fulfil a function.

Mr Speaker: You may have to translate that, your Honour the Vice-President.

The Vice-President: I am describing an ilomba, Mr Speaker. It is a big snake, which starts as a small snake, …


Mr Speaker: Very well.


The Vice-President: … which is originally created to fulfil a function. If you cannot afford the new wage for a maid, you create an ilomba to look after the children and clean the house ...


The Vice-President: You may wish to have one to weed your maize field, harvest the maize and take it down to the FRA, where it will bewitch the clerk to allow you to sell more than 150 bags. The ilomba grows and, as it grows, becomes hungrier and hungrier and, eventually, wants your own blood and you end up being eaten.


The Vice-President: What we have heard described most brilliantly in this report is the whole tribe of ilomba, which needs to be …

Mr Speaker: I hope you are not breaching the Witchcraft Act.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, if I may, just in passing, regret that the attempt to do away with the pre-Christian imagery and metaphor has impoverished this country. There are better ways of understanding people’s collective psychology than the modern scientific abstraction. I think that it is one of our great heritages and I am not mocking it, I can assure you, Sir.

Sir, the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), is an example of a creature that we have made to fulfil a function, but has given us numerous problems ever since. It is one of a 100, 200 or 500 such institutions. In this specific instance of the point of order concerning fuel supplies, intermittent shortages of fuel are always synonymous with Mumbwa, a place where I had even been passing through on parliamentary tours and found that the sole fuel station had mysteriously run out of fuel and was obliged to go down to the market and buy changanya for twice the price.


Mr Speaker: Another term you may have to explain, your Honour the Vice-President.


The Vice-President: It is a Bemba word that means the same thing as cimbicimbi, which means, put together or mixed anyhow; a bit of paraffin and a bit of fuel. I am assured by the people I have spoken to, since that point of order came up, that this is just Mumbwa being Mumbwa and that it is not a systemic fuel shortage.

Mr Musukwa: Mumbwa, Mumbwa!

The Vice-President: If I find that it is the tip of a much larger iceberg, the best I will be able to do is to request the hon. Minister to issue a press release next week. However, from what I know now it is not a big deal.

So, with those few words, Mr Speaker, I want to congratulate the Committee, again, and say that it will be a long battle to get the institutions of this country to serve this country, not to drink our blood.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr V. Mwale: Mr Speaker, the Committee is very grateful to the House for the support that the hon. Members have given to this report. One would have expected that, this being the third report that we presented to this House, hon. Members would be fatigued and run out of words to discuss this matter, but they have been debating our report with a lot of interest. So, we are very grateful to the Whole House for the support you have given us.

Sir, I beg to move.

Question put and agreed to.


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned sine die at 1601 hours on Friday, 20th July, 2012.