Debates- Tuesday, 10th July, 2012

Printer Friendly and PDF


Friday, 6th July, 2012

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]



The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I rise to brief the House on the business it will consider next week. 

Sir, on Tuesday, 10th July, 2012, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will debate the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs.

On Wednesday, 11th July, 2012, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider a Private Member’s Motion entitled “Mainstreaming Culture in National Development” to be moved by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwandi Parliamentary Constituency. Then the House will debate the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Welfare.

Sir, on Thursday, 12th July, 2012, the Business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then the House will consider the Second Reading Stage of the Civil Aviation Authority Bill, 2012.

Mr Speaker, on Friday, 13th July, 2012, the Business of the House will begin with the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will debate the Motion to adopt the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor General on the Accounts for the year ended 31st December, 2010. Then the House will deal with any business that may be outstanding.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, may his Honour the Vice-President indicate as to when the Government will start buying maize from farmers in the country seeing that it is past 1st July.

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, the Government is ready to buy the maize, but is waiting for the average moisture level to drop to the statutory 12.5 per cent. There are areas in which it has been higher than that and I am sure the hon. Member knows very well that if there has been late rain and the moisture is high in the grain, the grain has the propensity to rot. It is neither a trick nor a way of getting out of the obligation. It is just a technical issue. I would expect the maize to be bought this month.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr speaker, can I find out from His Honour the Vice-President what specific and practical steps the Government is taking to ensure that the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) in the provinces, whose equipment is often in a state of disrepair, is capacitated to respond to the needs of repairing rural roads in view of the imminent marketing and rainy seasons. 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the ministry responsible has already entered into an agreement with a company to maintain and repair the equipment. The mistake originally was that the equipment was procured without any provision for continuous and on-going maintenance.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, may I know from His Honour the Vice-President what conditions were given to the people who were forcibly removed from Sichifulo to go back and settle there again. If there were no conditions attached, who is the author of the cards which are being given to farmers upon production of K500,000 resulting into the failure by many farmers to go back to Sichifulo?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the conditions that were placed on the resettlement of the farmers did not include paying for any card. I hope that the hon. Member of Parliament brings me the information regarding the cards in question because there is nothing official about them. Somebody or some local authority may have come up with this system. However, the only conditions were that the returning settlers were to settle on farms properly surveyed, delineated and soil tasted leaving the game management area (GMA) largely alone. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I would like to remind hon. Members to pause one question at a time otherwise His Honour the Vice-President will be at liberty to ignore subsequent questions.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, may I know why the Patriotic Front (PF) Government failed to evacuate Hon. George Kunda, SC. for special treatment abroad.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, professional medical opinion at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in the Government service and the private service was that he would be better and more likely to recover if treated for a considerable period of time at the UTH or in Zambia before being evacuated for any operations such as an organ transplant which, I understand, was one of the options.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, it is well known that civil servants are not allowed to participate in active politics. What is the Government going to do to teachers who participated in local government elections from various political parties?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for that question and the local government seat that he has lost to the Patriotic Front (PF). I assure him that the Government is waiting for that information. When the information comes, appropriate action will be taken.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I am usually accused by my colleagues on your right of not appreciating the Government’s efforts of taking development to the people. I would like to pay glowing tribute to His Honour the Vice-President for grading roads and drilling boreholes in Livingstone …

Mr Speaker: Order!

What is your question hon. Member?

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the question is: Will this very good gesture by the Government continue considering that they have just lost the election in Livingstone.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is difficult to avoid a sarcastic reply to such a question. However, I will try to do so.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it happened that as I drove to Parliament this morning, the District Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) phoned me to ask for authorisation to access some funds to continue with works on the ten promised boreholes in Livingstone rural and to continue with grading the roads. I said that I will do whatever is required because these interventions were provoked by my visit to the area. While I was there, I discovered dreadful shambles or scenes of neglect. Therefore, the answer to his question is yes, we will continue with the works in Livingstone.
I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, may His Honour the Vice-President advise the cotton farmers in Siavonga and elsewhere in the country what they should do to the cotton which they have since the farmers feel that it is not good for them to sell to the ginners at the price which the ginners are giving them, which is very exploitative and is half the price of the previous season.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there will be a meeting this afternoon for various players to try to come to a conclusion. The meeting will be attended by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock and the various players in the industry. I would like to advise the hon. Members not to use terms like exploitative unless they have evidence. What has happened is, that last year, the speculative accumulation of stocks of cotton by world players drove the cotton price to the highest level in history. That K3,200 or whatever the price was which was being paid by the ginners was predicated on a lint price of more than US$2 per pound of cotton. I think the price of cotton lint has never been higher than US$ 1.5 in history. This year, there has been a counter-cyclical effect. Sadly, this is the period when everybody thought they were going to make a fortune out of cotton. This has not just happened in Zambia, but in Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and many other countries. There is a problem in the market. The first indication of a low price or half the price of last year, is a message that says, we do not want your cotton this year. We have to find a way of cushioning things this year. The price is not that much below normal. However, it is below last year’s price by a considerable margin. Please bear with us. Do not make people burn their own property. That would be a ridiculous thing to do. This Government is concerned with the agricultural activities of the people in the rural areas. We want the people in rural areas to engage in agriculture diversification. We are even more concerned about the plight of the farmers in rural areas than the hon. Member who asked the question. Please, be patient with us and watch this space.

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lunwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, it has been reported in today’s paper that a Zambian driver was burnt to death at Kasumbalesa Border Post. The truck he had been driving was also burnt. Over the past few weeks, we have read reports of Zambians being abducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Could His Honour the Vice-President inform the nation on the long-term measure that the Government will take to address this very serious situation.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, yesterday, Government officials from the Copperbelt communicated with the Congolese officials on the other side of the border regarding the issue in question. I am still waiting for further reports. The initial report I have is that the situation has returned to normal. We intend to engage with the Katanga Governor and his administration at a high level so that the situation can become more stable than it is. I think there is an element of anarchy creeping in at the other side of the border. We want to quench that flame as soon as possible.

I thank you Sir.

Mr M.B Mwale (Malambo): Mr Speaker, when the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) was in Government, it welcomed the investment of Varun Beverages Limited in Zambia. This led to the MMD being criticised by our colleagues who are now on your right, including some people who were in the labour movement and are now part of the Government. I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President whether the open invitation given to Varun Beverages Limited to invest in Zambia is confirmation that the MMD Government was right about it being a good company, just as it was right on windfall tax.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, we are promoting investment in the country from wherever it  comes from …

Hon Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: … so long as labour and tax compliance standards are adhered to. I have failed to see the mystery in the way we are doing things.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President justified the idea of Mr Elias Chipimo and Ms Edith Nawakwi accompanying the President to Brazil. He regarded it as part of national development. When the PF was in the Opposition, it disgracefully embarrassed and dismissed the then Mayor for Lusaka City Coucil (LCC), Mrs Susan Nakazwe, who was its member, for going to the airport to receive the President from China Hu Jintao. How does His Honour the Vice-President reconcile the two situations of hypocrisy and inconsistency by his party?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is always nice to be reminded of history.


The Vice-President: It is nice to know that our politics go way back to more than six months ago. The case of the then Mayor of Lusaka is totally different from the case of the Opposition leaders who accompanied the President to Brazil. Some hon. Members may recollect that the PF was told in no uncertain terms that it was not welcome at the airport to meet the Chinese President. That was how that whole issue started. That was the start of it. I do not want to mention names, but a certain well-known and long-serving political figure under many governments initiated that humiliation or attempted humiliation of the PF Opposition. The picture painted was that the Chinese did not want to see the PF or the then Government did not want the PF to be seen by the Chinese.

Mr Speaker, there was, then, a concerted campaign to get the councillors of the LCC who, of course, were overwhelmingly PF, including the mayor, to go to the airport to further humiliate the leadership of the PF. So, we told them, in no uncertain terms, that the PF was not going to be part of the welcoming party because we were told that we could not go to the airport. So, we told the councillors not to go. However, some of the councillors, including the mayor, were persuaded to go to the airport on the pretext of civic responsibility or something like that. They were accordingly disciplined and expelled from the party.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, allow me to commiserate with the PF for losing the Muchinga By-election.



Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, a number of farmers who delivered maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in the last farming season have not been paid, and yet the new marketing season has started. Can His Honour the Vice-President assure this House and, through this House, the nation that enough money will be mobilised to ensure that farmers are paid and that they do not wait for one year to get their money. This is especially that, in this year’s Budget, there is only K300 billion allocated to this exercise.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, let me reciprocally sympathise with the hon. Questioner for being surrounded, now, in her constituency by PF constituents, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: … and for having to tolerate a PF Member of Parliament when travelling from the centre of Chama to the north of Chama when coming through her constituency. I am so sorry.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Now, the hon. Member knows that the amount of money set aside for the purchase of maize, through the FRA, this year, is twice the amount that was set aside by the MMD Government in the 2011 Budget. So, that shows that, actually, we are attempting, at least, to be honest in the sense that we want what is in the Budget to reflect our intentions and not simply to be book entry that is ignored completely when it comes to the actual purchases.

Mr Speaker, I can happily assure the hon. Member that, yes, we have set aside sufficient funds to round up last year’s crop from an inherited system in which every type of criminal, smuggler, forger and so on and so forth was busy helping themselves to Government money. We apologise to bonafide small-scale farmers who have not been paid, as we putting in place initiatives to identify them. However, the money is there. It has been set aside and the sum is known.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, there is a very sad trend that is going on in our country, today, that has got investors dismissing and firing employees in an arbitrary fashion. One could argue that it is as a result of the PF’s slogan of “More money in the pocket and equal work for equal pay.” I would like to find out whether the Government is going to intervene in the arbitrary dismissal of 125 workers, including a whole union, from Zambia Sugar Company yesterday.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am pleased to acknowledge that question, especially since the hon. Member is collaborating with the hon. Minister responsible for Information, Broadcasting and Labour to try and sort this very issue out. I look forward to him answering his own question either in writing, by telephone or on the Floor of this House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, the training of teachers in this country is a continuous process. I would like to find out if the Government is considering making the training of police officers equally a continuous process so that these police officers are readily available when wanted.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is already an intermittently continuous process. In-service training is common place and universal in the police force and service industries.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, Omar Al-Bashir, the President of Sudan, is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity. On the other hand, the PF Government signed an agreement with President Omar Al-Bashir’s party for some exchange programme between PF youths and their youths.

Hon. Opposition Member: Sure!

Mr V. Mwale: Now, would the Government hand over President Omar Al-Bashir to the ICC if he visited Zambia? What is the Government’s position on that?

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

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, we will comply with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) requirements. It is impossible to do business between heads of state if it is expected that small countries like Zambia can enforce international law when bigger countries are not doing so. I mean, the same situation applies to George W. Bush. There are non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which want him arrested and handed over to the ICC. We cannot do that. If the United States of America, international big players and big hitters are not prepared to enforce international law, it is very unreasonable to expect us to act as a kind of Butch Cassidy or cowboy on the international scene.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishiba (Kafulafuta): Mr Speaker, I want to find out the logic, rationale or salient reasons behind the Government’s determination to construct six new universities in the country in the face of the serious challenges obtaining in the already-existing three public universities in the country.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the pressure on three existing institutions is nationwide. In a sense, by decentralising the university system of the tertiary education system, we are taking some of the pressure off or, certainly, we are taking pressure off any individual institution. Although, of course, the mismatch in the sheer numbers of people wanting further education and the supply of it, obviously continues. However, it is not, in itself, the fact that decentralisation is making the problem worse, especially when you have universities like University of Zambian (UNZA) where the accommodation problem is serious. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Zimba (Kapiri-Mposhi):  Mr Speaker, following serious allegations of corruption, nepotism and tribalism in the recruitment conducted by the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Zambia Army and Zambia National Service, will the Government publish the names of those recruited, district by district, so that these institutions clear themselves of these disturbing allegations?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I will take the suggestion up with the appropriate authorities. However, it must be appreciated that even though it is a thought in the interest of transparency, it can cost money. So, it is somebody else’s decision whether it gets down like that or not.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, it is always encouraging to see a new way of doing things which is better. I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President the reason behind the Zambia International Trade Fair (ZITF) not being well organised, this year, for the first time.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, we are not the organisers of the ZITF and I do not believe the organisation was exceptionally poor this year. I think it was, probably, routinely a bit poor only, that this year, you had a President who was prepared to speak his mind and say we need a higher standard. Nonetheless, why the organisation is as poor as it is or as good as it is, is not for me to answer. I am the spokesperson for the Zambian Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President was in Livingstone, last week, and I am sure he saw the damage already caused on a portion of the Great North Road in Livingstone. Next year, we are hosting some conference. What action will the Government take against the consultant and the contractor because that is still within the defects liability period?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that is a routine matter. There are laws and procedures that govern contractors that fail to perform up to standard the work they are contracted. I can assure the hon. Member that legal recourse will be followed.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, since the drilling of boreholes and the grading of roads in a constituency starts with His Honour the Vice-President’s visit, when is he visiting Mwandi Constituency?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I will do that when my functional illiteracy is overcome and I can find Mwandi on the map of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir. 


Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, what is the Government’s position regarding the call-boys who verbally and physically abuse our women and policemen at bus stations?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government’s position is that it is intolerable and should be controlled.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, on 2nd July, 2012, The Post newspaper quoted our President as follows:

“Maybe, my colleagues, the hon. Ministers, you are not as proud as I am proud of Zambia. South Africa and Zimbabwe, they send us refined products, coca cola, sprite and other drinks. But we send raw materials and we are jumping like grasshoppers that we produce copper. You are digging emeralds from poor Lamba land when the chief, the owner of the land, has no water in the house and the minerals are sold in India. These things must be worked on.”

Mr Speaker, in that vein, what policy initiatives and actions thereof, is the PF Government instituting to change this raw material export state of affairs by our nation?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I will draw the hon. Member’s attention to the meetings between the Chamber of Mines and the Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) with the aim of trying to greatly increase the local content of the operations on the Copperbelt, for example. I have no time to go into any more detail, but, to basically state that, we are importing all the bits and pieces that we need to produce copper when we should not. Things are in the process of being changed. The President’s description of the situation is perfect.

I thank you, Sir.




426. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning whether the Government had any plans to suspend import duty on computers and mobile phones as a way of enabling citizens to have easy access to modern information communication technology (ICT) facilities in Zambia. 

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, it is not in the interest of the Government, let alone the country, to suspend import duty on computers and mobile phones because customs duties that are applicable on goods imported into Zambia are at the rates of 0 per cent, 5 per cent, 15 per cent and 25 per cent.

Mr Speaker, the Government, therefore, will continue to ensure that customs duty applicable on goods, including that on mobile phones and computers, is applied in a manner that balances the need to mobilise resources through taxes while, at the same time, facilitating national development. To this end, the focus of the Government is to provide an enabling environment that will enable the local manufacturing of mobile phones and computers to thrive and remain competitive. Therefore, manufacturers of mobile phones and computers can access a number of fiscal incentives available under the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA).

Mr Speaker, furthermore, the House may wish to note that the customs duty rate applicable on mobile phones, currently, stands at 15 per cent while the customs duty on computers remains at the lowest import duty of 5 per cent. In addition, computer parts that are purchased to ensure sustained use of the computers are imported duty free.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, are there any measures that will be put in place to enable the public universities and colleges acquire computers?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, gladly, the very capable hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is fully in charge of these matters and he is ensuring that tertiary institutions are well-equipped with all the modern tools that they need in order to sustain suitable levels of development.

I thank you, Sir.


427. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication whether the Government was considering connecting all public universities, colleges and secondary schools to the optic fibre for purposes of enhancing the development of ICTs among the learners in Zambia. 

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Dr Mwali): Sir, the Government intends to connect all public universities, colleges and secondary schools through appropriate cost-effective technologies. The Government, through the Zambia Information and Communication Authority (ZICTA), working with the Zambia Research and Education Network (ZAMREN), facilitated the interconnection of the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU) through an optic network fibre. The fibre connectivity is currently being extended to Mulungushi University.

Mr Speaker, in addition, the Government, through ZICTA, is implementing a “Connect Learning Institutions Project” through which tertiary institutions and secondary schools will be connected and equipped with computers. In the first phase of this project, which is expected to be completed this year, one hundred and forty-eight schools and forty-seven colleges are to be covered across all the provinces.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, may I know whether the hon. Minister in the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication has had any meeting with his counterpart in the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education to facilitate the project.

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, yesterday, when the hon. Minister was responding to the Report on the Committee on Education, Science and Technology, stated that there are always discussions and collaborations between the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education and our ministry when it comes to information technology projects.

I thank you, Sir.


428. Mr Singombe (Dundumwezi) asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism:

(a)    how much revenue the Government collected in the form of entry fees into Kafue National Park using the Dundumwezi Gate from 2006 to February, 2012; and

(b)    whether the Government was considering procuring a helicopter for the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) to assist the authority in curbing poaching.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism (Dr Lungu): Mr Speaker, K104, 904, 600 and US$46,268 was the total revenue that was collected by ZAWA in the form of entry fees through the Dundumwezi Gate from 2006 to February 2012. The House should note that the fees were both in kwacha and in dollars. The breakdown of revenue for each year is as follows:

Year                       US$                   ZMK
2006                      3,168                  3,132,280
2007                      4,463                  3,972,640
2008                      4,971                 16,058,210
2009                      9,171                 23,306,200
2010                    13,322                 35,304,700
2011                    10,663                 20,758,540 
2012(Jan & Feb)                                             510                             2,372,030
Total                                                          46,268                                   104,904,600

Mr Speaker, the Government, through ZAWA, is considering procuring a high winged four-seater aircraft specially for use in aerial surveys and monitoring of animal populations and distribution and a twelve-seater twin engine aircraft for use in quick surveillance of poaching situations, deployment of law enforcement officers and supervisory official visits to areas not easily accessed by motor vehicles.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government is considering opening a route from the Kalomo/Dundumwezi Road to the Bilili Hot Spring to increase revenue collection.

Dr Lungu: Mr Speaker, yes, we are considering doing that.

I thank you, Sir.


429. Mr P. Ngoma (Feira) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    when the Great East Road/Luangwa Boma Road (D145) covering a distance of 90 km would be tarred; and 

(b)    what had caused the delay in tarring the road.

Dr Mwali: Sir, the Government, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), has set aside K2.5 billion in this year’s annual work plan for feasibility studies, detailed designs and tender documents for the same road. The procurement process is in progress and a consultant is expected to be engaged by September this year. The study will run for six months. The Government is committed to ensuring that the road is upgraded to bituminous standard and will exhaust all efforts to secure funds for the works.

Mr Speaker, the delay has been largely due to lack of resources to carry out the works. The Government is now more committed to securing funds for the upgrading works.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr P. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that (D145) Luangwa Road is not just a district road, but an international road which connects Mozambique through Zumbo and Zimbabwe through Kanyemba? Is he also aware that district and international roads are supposed to be tarmacked?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I am not aware about what the hon. Member is talking about. However, I would like to tell the hon. Member that we are doing everything possible to ensure that he gets the desired results. His party was in power for a long time, but did nothing about the poor state poor of the road because maybe they were not aware of what he has said. However, we are going to do everything as the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to ensure that works on the road are done.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, how does the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication reconcile his answer to the question from the hon. Member for Feira and the statement from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, yesterday, as reported in today’s media, that the Government has signed a contract of K1.57 trillion to tar the Great East Road. 

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the loan agreement that was signed yesterday is for the Great East Road up to Chipata and the border while the other road is off the Great East Road.  However, both roads will be worked on. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, a few years ago, there was a proposal that a bridge to link Zambia and Mozambique, through Feira, should be constructed. May I know whether the construction of this bridge will be taken up by the PF Government because it is important that we have a bridge linking Zambia to Mozambique.  

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, as stated earlier, a feasibility study will be carried out on this road to check exactly what should be done. After the feasibility study, we will be able to advise which direction to take. We will take into consideration the question by the hon. Member. 

I thank you, Sir. {mospagebreak}


430. Dr Kazonga (Vubwi) asked the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection:

(a)how many survey documents were lodged by the following councils and approved by the Surveyor-General in 2011:

(i)Ndola City;
(ii)Kitwe City; 
(iii)Chipata Municipal; and 
(iv)Chadiza District;

(b)what caused delays in approving survey documents; and

(c)what measures had been taken to speed up the process of approving the said documents 

The Deputy Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Muchima): Mr Speaker, there are no records of survey documents lodged by Ndola, Kitwe, Chipata and Chadiza councils in 2011. Councils do not lodge survey documents to the Surveyor-General. This is because councils do not carry out cadastral or property surveys. Therefore, they cannot, by law, lodge survey documents for approval by the Surveyor-General’s Office. The councils, however, can engage registered private land surveyors of their choice or the regional survey office of the Survey Department to conduct cadastral surveys. 

Mr Speaker, our land records, however, reflect numbered and surveyed properties for 2011 for the four districts as follows:

District                Number of Properties in 2011

Ndola                         2,917
Kitwe     469
Chipata         621
Chadiza                                                                                5

District                 Surveyed Properties in 2011

Ndola     545
Kitwe                         4,720
Chipata     56
Chadiza                                                                                0

Mr Speaker, the main causes of delays in the examination and approval of survey documents are:

(i)deficiency in human resources caused by very low recruitment and retention levels of land surveyors at graduate and technical scales, resulting in a backlog of cadastral surveys;

(ii)limitation in institutional capacity due to an organisational structure that is not responsive to public demand for services such as the delivery of survey diagrams and plans; and

(iii)old and outdated equipment.

Mr Speaker, the measures that my ministry has taken to speed up the process of approving documents are:

(i)continuing submissions of requests by the ministry to the Public Service Management Division at Cabinet Office, to recruit land surveyors and cartographers, as per approved and funded establishment register in order to realise sufficient capacity at the headquarters and regional survey offices in all provinces for cadastral survey operations, especially for survey examinations and approval of survey documents;

(ii)the ministry has proposed and submitted a new organisation structure to the Management Development Division at Cabinet Office that is able to create sufficient institutional capacity to deliver services to the public; and

(iii)efforts are being made to acquire new survey and mapping technologies to speed up computational and draughting routines and, consequently, survey examinations and the approval of records. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 
Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, one of the reasons given for the causes in delays is that of deficiency in human resources. I am particularly interested in what the Government is doing to improve the human resource problem, especially with regard to the training of specialists in this field. 

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the problem faced by the ministry is shortage of manpower and not lack of training. Instead of ninety officers, we have twenty. This is due to resignations. Those who are there, however, are already trained. 

Mr Speaker, the ministry does not have enough equipment. Most of it is obsolete, and it breaks down from time to time. I can confirm that we have trained manpower, which is not sufficient. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, when will the Government decide to buy new equipment?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, everything depends on the budget. At the moment, we are putting in place measures to computerise the records at the ministry. Thereafter, we will look at whatever should come next. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister enlighten the House on what cartographers are.  


 The Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Simuusa): Mr Speaker, cartographers are people who prepare maps and all the diagrams to do with mapping. They prepare all the maps and other relevant documents. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that he is causing the councils’ failure to prepare balance sheets by delaying the approval of survey documents?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I think that it was clearly stated, in the answer, that, by law, councils are not supposed to do the surveying and submission of surveyed diagrams. They have to engage qualified or registered surveyors and this is what results into the process being unnecessarily delayed. The submission of the diagrams to the ministry is done in a roundabout way. Sometimes, this is attributed to the lack of understanding of the process of how land acquisition is done at the ministry. So, in short, I would like to assure the House that we are working very hard to ensure that these delays are minimised. Once the survey diagrams are submitted to us, we want to make sure that, as per our charter, within fourteen days, everything is processed and all the results are ready. That is what we are working at. In fact, fourteen days is the minimum and seventeen days the maximum. If there are any delays on the other side, as a ministry, we will start educating the councils before moving on to all the residents, so that they understand the process of land acquisition and the processing of documents.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


431. Dr Kazonga asked the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection:

(a)how many properties had been numbered in 2011 in the following categories, countrywide:


(ii)sub-division of stands;


(iv)sub-division of farms;


(vi)sub-division of lots; and

(vii)resettlement schemes;

(b)how much revenue had been raised from the activity at (a) above; and

(c)what measures the Government had taken to improve efficiency in the numbering of properties.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the following properties were numbered in 2011 in the following categories countrywide:

    Property Category    Number of Properties

    Stands        4,102

    Sub-division of stands        43

    Farms                     135

    Sub-division of farms        2,674

    Lots (peri-urban smallholdings)        1,836

    Sub-division of lots        146

    Lots under resettlements                         7
                       Total                  8,943
Sir, K536,580,000 was raised from the above activity.

Mr Speaker, the measures my ministry has taken to improve efficiency in the numbering of properties are:

(i)improved and more efficient property numbering procedure aided by computerisation; and

(ii)decentralised survey services to all provinces.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, taking into account the amount of K536 million raised from that activity, is the ministry considering making it a priority, since it is directly linked to acquisition of title deeds?

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the answer would be yes. However, we do not use the money immediately we receive it from members of the public. The money goes into the Government coffers and, then, what is budgeted for is what goes to the institution. Nevertheless, what is critical is how we mobilise or organise ourselves. At the moment, the ministry is undergoing structural re-organisation so that we can promote efficiency. 

I thank you, Sir.


432. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Health when the Government would provide the following facilities to all hospitals and health centres in the country, in general, and the Nalubanda Rural Health Centre in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency, in particular:

(a)ambulances; and

(b)medical equipment, such as high blood pressure and diabetes detection machines.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu) Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Health, is procuring more than eighty ambulances meant for all health facilities. The Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) has already granted the ministry authority and advertisements have been placed in the print media for the supply and delivery of ambulances. It should, however, be noted that the cost related to the procurement and operation of ambulance services is substantial. For this reason, the Government policy is that ambulance services are attached to district hospitals which, in turn, service the catchment areas. Therefore, it is not possible for the Government to provide ambulances to rural health centres countrywide.

Sir, the procurement of different pieces of medical equipment, including those for high blood pressure, normally known as sphygmomanometers, and diabetes, normally known as glucometers is proposed in the 2012 Ministry of Health Medical Equipment Procurement Plan. The ZPPA has already granted the ministry authority and advertisements have been placed in the print media for the supply and delivery of various types of equipment. This equipment will be distributed to all the eligible facilities, including Nalubanda Rural Health Centre in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, in his answer, the hon. Minister has said that they have procured about eighty ambulances. Are these enough for all the constituencies?

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, the purchase of these ambulances was based on criteria other than the number of constituencies. In this case, it was the need to supply, at least, one ambulance to each district hospital. I would like to look forward to a time when the number of constituencies will become the denominator.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, Lukulu West Constituency gets cut off for six months during the flood season. Is this Government thinking of introducing airborne ambulance services to the area during this time?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the Zambia Flying Doctor Service was established exactly for the purpose of ensuring access to those who need medical services regardless of situations like the one mentioned by the hon. Member. In this case, the Zambia Flying Doctor Service is available, but needs further development. Whether this particular case of Lukulu will be addressed will depend on the extent to which the developed flying doctor services will have that kind of capacity.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


433. Mr Hamusonde asked the Minister of Justice whether the Government had any plans to enact a law that would compel employers to release their employees, who are required to work on Saturdays and Sundays, to attend church services.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mrs Mwamba): Mr Speaker, under the Employment Act, Chapter. 268, of the Laws of Zambia, it is mandatory for all written contracts of employment to specify the working hours for an employee. This provision is meant to ensure that parties to the employment contract agree on working hours. In addition, the Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act and its subsidiary legislation provide that working hours should not exceed forty-eight hours in a week. It further stipulates that Sundays or public holidays are not to be included as normal working hours. Given the above, the Government has no intention of enacting a law to compel employers to release their employees to attend church services on Saturdays and Sundays because the current laws referred to allow the parties to the employment contract to agree on how to spread the forty-eight working hours in a calendar week.

Sir, increased sensitisation of employees on the provisions of the law will be undertaken to enable them negotiate contracts that will accord them free time on the days that they are supposed to attend church services.

I thank you, Sir.


434. Mr Sichula (Nakonde) asked the Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Labour:

(a)    whether the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) had any plans to increase airtime on its television channel for local language programmes; and

(b)    when programmes in Namwanga and Nyika languages would be introduced and aired on ZNBC television.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Kapeya): Mr Speaker, the ZNBC has no plans to increase airtime for local languages television programmes. The one hour slot currently allocated to the local languages on television will be maintained and eventually phased out once regional broadcasting stations are opened.

Sir, the PF Government, being visionary, through the ZNBC, is in the process of establishing radio and television stations in all provincial centres, which will be broadcasting in the local languages of each province. In the case of Muchinga Province, where Namwanga and Nyika are spoken, the station will be based in Chinsali and the two may be among other languages found in that province in which programmes will be broadcast. However, the ZNBC, in collaboration with the provincial administration, will have to decide on this matter.

Sir, currently, the Chintobentobe television programme broadcasts material collected in the three provinces, namely, the Northern, Luapula and Muchinga provinces. In all these provinces, the most common language spoken is Bemba. Some of the events covered in these programmes are traditional ceremonies, which are conducted in local languages and covered by ZNBC Radio 1 Section staff and later packaged in their original form according to those languages and traditions.

Sir, there are also times when the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) covers these ceremonies and sends packaged materials to the ZNBC local languages for broadcast. This is the current situation.

I thank you, Mr Speaker

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, the setting up of regional stations is welcome and I would like to commend the Government for that initiative. When can the gallant Namwanga and Nyika men and women speak on radio and TV?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, as we are all aware, there are seventy-three languages spoken in Zambia. It would be very difficult to accommodate all of them on radio and television on one channel, which is ZNBC. For the information of the hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga, the issue of language representation on ZNBC radio and television dates back to 1941, when radio broadcasting was introduced in this country.

Mr Speaker, in the first stage, it was only meant to inform families of the soldiers who were sent to participate in the Second World War and the station was only based in Lusaka. In fact, during the period of the war, only four languages, Bemba, Nyanja, Tonga and Lozi, were accommodated on radio. At the end of the war, in 1945, the then Governor-General of Northern Rhodesia, Sir John Waddington, expanded the radio station after requesting the authorities in the United Kingdom (UK) to allow him to do so. In 1953, two more languages, Ndebele and Shona, were added and English was broadcast from Salisbury. In 1957, two languages…

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister … 


Mr Speaker: ... we appreciate the wealth of knowledge reposed in you. The question is: When will these provincial stations be established?


Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, I hope that the hon. Member for Mafinga has appreciated the history of languages on radio. The ministry is working hard to ensure that the provincial television and radio stations are ready within two to three years. At the moment, the hon. Minister and the entire ministry, together with the ZNBC, are laying the foundation for the same project.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that strong cultures like those of the Bemba will swallow weak cultures of like those of the Namwanga?


The Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Labour (Mr Shamenda): Mr Speaker, I do not know why we should try and incite one tribe against another. I think the issue of a superior and an inferior tribe should not arise in the course of what we are looking at. In this country and century, it is sad that such things can be mentioned in this august House. However, suffice to say that is why we have the principle of establishing provincial radio and television stations.

Dr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, this will provide an environment whereby the locals within the province will assess which languages are easily understood by the majority of the people in that province. The language to be used in broadcasting will not be determined by the politicians in Lusaka, but by the people themselves in the localities after making necessary consultations.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the ZNBC has no plans to increase airtime on its television channels for local languages. When asking his question, I would assume that the hon. Member for Nakonde was taking into account the television licences the citizens of this great nation pay. Besides, the ZNBC uses the slogan “When you pay, it will show”. Therefore, why should the Government not increase airtime for local language programmes?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, it is not the ministry that determines what airtime is allocated to a particular programme. I think there are professionals in place who assess the needs and programmes which the ZNBC has. It is those professionals who determine the time which is allotted to each programme, whether it is in a local language or English.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, poor reception on ZNBC’s Radio 1 and 2, most of the time, affects a number of people in the countryside, particularly those in Chilubi. What could be the contributing factor to this?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, well, the whole system was not taken care of in the past. If you went to undertake a tour at the ZNBC today, you may think you are in a technical museum somewhere. This is what has contributed to the poor reception. This Government is doing its level best to make sure that we improve it. It may take a bit of time, but it is going to be done.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister indicated that the languages spoken in a particular province will be broadcast on the regional stations. Since the Copperbelt already has a regional station, when is the ZNBC going to start broadcasting programmes in Lamba in the province?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, this project, so to say, has just been started by the new PF Government. We are carrying out feasibility studies and looking at the infrastructure that we have. We are going to assess those areas which particularly have very poor reception so that they can equally benefit from listening to the developments which are taking place.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, in his response, the hon. Deputy Minister, Hon. Kapeya, confirmed that the current set up of allocating certain limited airtime to certain languages in this country was left to us by colonial hegemony. Can the hon. Minister confirm now that the PF Government’s policy is to stick to that colonial hegemony and not go in a dynamic way which would see more tribes being given airtime. I do not regret having asked this question because a lot of tribes exist in Zambia.

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, we are not colonialists. Our approach, when implementing programmes, is that which will involve consultations. I agree with the hon. Member that society is dynamic. Therefore, we are not going to continue with the same kind of programmes just because they were established by the colonialists. We are reviewing our programmes and hon. Members of Parliament can play a very important role in this process. Their input can help us improve our programmes. 

The fact that a system is working today is not a guarantee that it is going to work the same way two years down the line. So, as we establish these regional television stations, I would appeal to all the hon. Members of Parliament to be giving us their input continuously. We would like to have as much input as we can have from the locals because it is them who are supposed to benefit from these programmes. We are, therefore, looking forward to the hon. Member of Parliament’s input.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


435. Mrs Mazoka (Pemba) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock when the following public servants would be deployed in Kauba Ward in Chief Moyo’s area:

(a)veterinary officers; and

(b)agriculture extension officers.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Kazabu): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock does not deploy veterinary officers or agriculture extension officers at the ward level. Veterinary officers are found at district level whilst agriculture extension officers are found at camp level. At camp level, there are veterinary assistants. Ndondi Camp which Kauba Ward in Chief Moyo’s area falls under is fully serviced by a veterinary assistant and an agriculture extension officer.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 




Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Lands, Energy and Water for the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly which was laid on the Table of the House on 25th June, 2012.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, your Committee undertook a study of the petroleum industry in Zambia. At this juncture, allow me to seek the attention of all hon. Members of Parliament as I embark on talking about this very important subject. 

Firstly, your Committee notes that the petroleum products in Zambia could and should be cheaper. In this instance, it is your Committee’s observation that petroleum products are being kept superficially high due to impediments in the petroleum sector which include issues of policy, planning, recapitalisation, feedstock configuration, procurement as well as taxation.

Further, the Committee notes that for Zambia, especially being a landlocked country, security of petroleum supply is of critical importance. Your Committee, in this regard, is disappointed to learn that currently, the country does not even have any strategic petroleum reserves at its disposal. This is all the more reason that it is disheartening as this issue has been highlighted by your Committee from as far back as the early 2000s with successive Governments and administrations having expressed their commitment to resolving this matter.

Mr Speaker, the fact that the key infrastructure in the petroleum supply chain, namely, the Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) Pipeline, Indeni Petroleum Refinery Company and Ndola Fuel Terminal are over thirty years old and have become less efficient and prone to breakdowns, should make the keeping of strategic reserves an urgent matter of great concern to all.

Sir, your Committee took into account all the submissions made to it regarding the way forward for the petroleum industry in our country. These included proposals ranging from the closure of the refinery to the bringing in of finished products via TAZAMA pipeline. This school of thought took the economic view that the refinery was old, unable to meet market demands and that it did not have the economies of scale to justify its own existence. Other proposals were for the recapitalisation of the refinery as well as the pipeline so as to make both facilities more efficient and better able to meet the market demands.

In arriving at its recommendations, your Committee’s primary considerations were that the Zambian public should be able to, in the short, medium and long term, pay less for their petroleum requirements and that the country should have an ascertainable and guaranteed security of supply managed by the Government. With prudent planning, such a state of affairs is not far-fetched. It can be achieved.

Your Committee observes that contrary to what many people of this nation think, Indeni is not configured to process pure crude oil. It is not a complex refinery meant to process pure crude oil as it cannot crack or break the heavier fuels such as heavy fuel oil into lighter petroleum products like petrol and diesel. Being a simple refinery, Indeni, therefore, processes spiked or commingled feedstock. Additionally, the refinery is unable to produce low sulphur diesel to meet modern engine specifications as well as environmental requirements in relation to pollution.

Consequently, the feedstock refined at Indeni refinery only comprises an average of about 32 per cent of pure crude oil with the other components being 50 per cent diesel and 18 per cent heavy fuel oil or naphtha. I want to draw the House to the following remark. Zambia, therefore, imports a lot of diesel at a high cost. It also mixes the already expensive diesel with crude oil and then re-processes the commingled feedstock into diesel and other products. It is for this very reason that Indeni is being referred to in some quarters as a separator rather than a refinery.

Mr Speaker, your Committee was perplexed and extremely dismayed at the absurdity of the situation. In normal circumstances, this fact alone would justify the closure of the Indeni Refinery. This absurd situation is compounded by the fact that since the liquidation of the Zambia National Oil Company (ZNOC), in 2002, there has been no dedicated entity charged with the responsibility of procuring feedstock. Presently, the Government procures the feedstock for the refinery, a situation that your Committee finds untenable and unacceptable. Another problem is that, there is presently no one that can be held directly accountable for the mismanagement of procurement of feedstock. We have seen, in the recent past, how the ministry responsible has been going back and forth on who would supply fuel to this country.

Sir, your Committee recommends that Indeni Petroleum Refinery should be recapitalised so that it can produce a mild hydro cracker which can help it to begin to process pure crude oil. This will correct the structural absurdity of mixing processed diesel with crude oil just to later separate them. This will result in more products coming out of the refinery. Additionally, the recapitalisation will enable Indeni to install a de-sulphurisation plant which will allow the refinery to produce low sulphur diesel which will make it meet the modern engine specifications and also to meet the environmental standard requirements.

Additionally, Sir, there is need for a transparent tendering system for the procurement of crude oil and finished products with preference being given to oil marketing companies (OMCs) which have already invested in Zambia. In this regard, your Committee recommends that an independent and professional statutory body be created in charge of procurement of petroleum products. This will enhance efficiency, transparency and accountability in the procurement of petroleum feedstock and products.

Sir, at this juncture, your Committee wants to applaud the immediate past Government of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) …

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: … for introducing the Uniform Pump Pricing Policy (UPPP) and also commends the Patriotic Front (PF) Government for upholding it. This is a step in the right direction which has generally been well received. However, your Committee observes that the lack of adequate service stations in rural areas means that this initiative will not produce the desired results. It further notes that there is an imbalance in the distribution of service stations with very few stations in rural areas and an ever increasing number of constructions of filling stations in urban areas, especially in Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces, within very narrow radiuses. 

Sir, the Government should expedite and scale up the building of service stations in rural areas so as to make the introduction of the UPPP meaningful. Your Committee strongly recommends that these service stations in rural areas be given to capable indigenous Zambians to run. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that OMCs are prepared to bring cheaper finished petroleum products, but are constrained by the 25 per cent import duty being imposed by the Government on these products. The rationale for the imposition of this 25 per cent import duty is figured out to be simply a protection of Indeni from ensuing competition with other players. Your Committee’s position is that it is unfair and unrealistic, in a liberalised economy, to impose a 25 per cent import duty on the importation of finished products in order to protect 300 jobs at Indeni at the expense of the interests of 12 to 13 million Zambian consumers.

Sir, there is a need to reduce the existing high levels of levies and taxes, including the 25 per cent import duty on finished products. The removal of the 25 per cent import duty would even out the playing field as well as immediately ensure cheaper fuel for the consumer. It is your Committee’s view that it does not make good business sense to allow outside OMCs, such as Gunva and Trafigura, to import finished products on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) on preferential terms while technically barring locally established companies doing business in this country.

Sir, your Committee is concerned that the continued absence of national strategic petroleum stocks poses a risk to the security of supply of the commodity in the country. Although efforts were made, in the past, to compel the OMCs to keep fifteen-day operating stock, this measure has been discontinued because the cost of keeping such stocks was removed from the fuel cost build-up by the PF Government in October, 2011. 

Mr Speaker, the duty of the Government is to protect and ensure that reserves are guaranteed. It is, however, with great dismay that your Committee notes that, at present, there are absolutely no reserves in this country. Your Committee wishes to reiterate its statement that the security of supply of petroleum products is vitally important. Consequently, it urges the Government to expedite the construction of bulk storage tanks or depots in all provincial centres.

 Mr Speaker, in this regard, the Government is urged to have a clear and defined plan with timelines in which these depots will become operational. In short, your Committee urges the Government to come up with a clear road map on the keeping of strategic fuel reserves. As regards the refurbishment of the TAZAMA pipeline, Indeni Refinery and Ndola Fuel Terminal, the Government is required to take a position. 

Mr Speaker, one issue that your Committee wishes to highlight from its tours is that Mwinilunga District, in the North-Western Province, is not serviced by any fuel service station and, as such, fuel is supplied by individuals in jerry cans. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.{mospagebreak}

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that one of the issues that your Committee wishes to highlight from its tours is that Mwinilunga District of the North-Western Province of Zambia is not serviced by any fuel station as the district is supplied by individuals who sell the commodity from jerry cans and drums.

Sir, in this modern age, it is unacceptable that the only way a district can obtain fuel is as shown in your Committee’s report at pages 16 to 18 where they have to decant fuel from jerry cans into motor tanks. It creates a huge risk, as you know that this product is highly flammable.

Sir, your Committee, in this regard, urges the Government, through the service station building programmes, to prioritise building these in those areas that do not have these facilities before it can move into other areas. This also includes Itezhi-tezhi.

Sir, the second issue that is of concern to your Committee is the rehabilitation of the Itezhi-tezhi Road from Nalusanga Gate D769 off Mongu Road. Your Committee urges the Government to expedite the rehabilitation of this road to ease the transportation of sensitive equipment to the construction site of the envisioned completion of the Itezhi-tezhi Power Project scheduled for May, 2015, that may churn out 120 MW into the national grid.

Sir, arising out of the outstanding issues, your Committee also wishes to report that, after interacting with the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, it observed that the issue of illegal squatters, currently, occupying Kasama Airport land, which is on Government reserve land, remains unresolved. This has to do with the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

Mr Speaker, although the Kasama Airport is not on title, like many other airports, save for the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, your Committee emphasises that this cannot be used as an excuse for illegal occupants to take possession of this land. It further emphasises the need to have these airports placed on title. Your Committee was further informed by the Executive that the squatters could not be removed without being compensated. Your Committee believes that since these people were on State land illegally, they have no claim for compensation. Consequently, they must be removed forthwith.

Mr Speaker, your Committee has requested the Government to give a comprehensive report on the list of squatters and the period which they have stayed on the Kasama Airport land, their rights and legal claims. It has also requested, if any, the list of those who have title to this land and how they obtained it. This is because the local authority indicated that there was some political interference involved in obtaining title for the Kasama Airport land.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also requested for a progress report from the Executive on the monitoring of uranium mining activities at Lumwana Mining Company. The response was that Lumwana Mining Company Limited had not been able to proceed with the uranium mining project because of the low metal prices of uranium on the world metal market. All uranium ore, which was being mined alongside copper ore, was being stock piled in accordance with the agreed terms and conditions with the Mine Safety Department and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA).

Mr Speaker, so far, a total of 94 million metric tonnes of uranium ore has been stocked piled so far. Your Committee was assured that the Mine Safety Department, in conjunction with ZEMA, conducts routine mine inspections to check on radiation levels in and around the mine area. So far, all the readings taken are within the maximum permitted radiation exposure of 2MS per year. In view of the highly dangerous nature of the materials in question, your Committee seeks a renewed assurance from the Government that these readings are safe and do not as a pose danger in the immediate future to the environment and the people.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to thank you, the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and my fellow Committee members for their support. I am also indebted to all the witnesses who appeared before your Committee for their co-operation in providing the necessary memoranda and briefs.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

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

   Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, I wish to speak now. 

Sir, in seconding the Motion on the Floor of the House, I would like to reiterate what the Chairperson of the Committee has just said. The issue of high fuel prices is partly attributed to the taxes and levies imposed on the product. Your Committee is of the view that there is a need for the Government to review the pumping and processing fees for TAZAMA and Indeni in order to reduce the build-up of costs associated with the Zambian petroleum products.

Mr Speaker, your Committee noted that the TAZAMA loading terminal was built a long time ago to cater for a small population. In this regard, it can no longer cope with the increased demand. This has resulted in long queues and delays in loading tankers and increased congestion, thus posing a serious safety hazard to everyone involved. In this regard, your Committee has urged the Government to extradite the expansion works at the Ndola Fuel Terminal so that the loading of fuel can be expedited at all times. The same applies to the TAZAMA Pipeline. This line is also over thirty years old and needs rehabilitation. We, as your Committe, urge this Government to urgently source funds to rehabilitate the TAZAMA Pipeline in order to eliminate the neglect witnessed in the past twenty years.

Mr Speaker, it is a well-known fact that transportation of fuel products by pipelines is the best way and makes the product cheaper. It is also safer for everybody unlike having hundreds and thousands of tankers on the roads. Your Committee was informed that the there are illegal settlers close to the Ndola Fuel Refinery at the old regiment. The occupants of this area have been breaking into the terminal to steal fuel from the road tankers and the tank farms. This has been a major security challenge and has led to one casualty in the recent past. Your Committee recommends that the Government should secure the area surrounding the plant in order to restrict it from illegal entry. In addition, the Government should seriously consider the possibility of relocating the settlers at the old regiment. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee observed that despite the indication that the petroleum market is growing, there has been an exit of big, reliable and established OMCs from the Zambian petroleum industry, especially over the last twenty years. In addition, it is clear that this growth is not benefiting the Zambian people as fuel prices have not reduced and the quality of services and products appears to be declining.

Mr Speaker, there also appears to be an increase in non-compliance to regulations, malpractices and, in some instances, illegal activities by some OMCs, such as adulterating fuel products. In this regard, your Committee observed that not enough work is being done by the regulator to ensure that the Zambia petroleum market meets international standards. Some of the best examples, you may wish to know, are that bathrooms at filling stations do not exist. In places where they do, they are kept poorly.     

Mr Speaker, another area of concern is the air pressures. Sometimes, air pressures at nearly all the filling stations are non-functional.

Sir, you may also wish to know that out of the filling stations visited in Solwezi during our tour, only one filling station had kerosene. This meant that people of North-Western Province were denied the provision of kerosene.

Therefore, Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), is urged to ensure that there is compliance by the various players in the petroleum industry and that internationally accepted standards are met such that the standards at a Total Service stations in South Africa or Europe, for instance, must apply to one here in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Monde (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the report of your committee. I want to speak on two issues. The first one is on the management of fuel and the prices, and then I will talk about the tour of your Committee to Itezhi-tezhi.

Sir, the price of fuel in Zambia is extremely high compared to those in other countries in the region. This is as a result of taxes that are put on the fuel. From the time fuel enters the country, as you have noted on Page 4 of the report, there is a build-up on the price of fuel. 

Mr Speaker, in my view, these taxes must be reduced in order to lower the prices of fuel. If the price of fuel is reduced, we know that the living standards of our people will improve.

Sir, the report states that storage facilities must be built in the country. Building storage facilities under the current system of fuel procurement and supplies may not happen as required because as long as the fuel management is still under Government control, it leaves the OMCs to make options on whether they will make a profit if they built these storage facilities or not. 

Mr Speaker, as long as this industry is not liberalised, the price of fuel will remain high in the country. We need to emulate other countries in the region where the sale of fuel has been liberalised so that there is competition unlike restricting it to Indeni and all the other statutory bodies.

Sir, let me quickly move on to the Itezhi-tezhi tour. I wish to commend the Government, first of all, for continuing from where the previous regime left. I think this is a good spirit. Like Hon. Dr Musokotwane said, there is no completion line for development in any country. 

Mr Speaker, at the moment, in Itezhi-tezhi, there is a lot of construction activity involving the works at the hydropower station. This is a good thing, and we are awaiting for the completion of this project on 15th May, 2015.

Sir, I was looking through the report to see if there is a line that is talking about the 5 per cent annual turnover that shall be ploughed back into the community of Itezhi-tezhi as per the agreements and the many meetings that we have attended, but I have not seen it. This should be enshrined in all these documents for us not to lose this important contribution which is going to benefit the people of Itezhi-tezhi.

Mr Speaker, as I stated earlier, Itezhi-tezhi has no filling station. It is …

Professor Lungwangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, my sincere apologies for disturbing the flow of thought of my colleague, the hon. Member for Itezhi-thezi.

Sir, I feel extremely disheartened, sitting here, listening to several colleagues, hon. Members in the House, using the term ‘regime’. It has been used several times in this House.

Mr Speaker, according to the Oxford Dictionary, the term ‘regime’ refers to authoritarian governments. For example, the regime of the Apartheid System in South Africa, the regime of Idi Amin, the regime of Ian Smith and so on and so forth.

Sir, is it in order for us leaders in this country, hon. Members of Parliament, to continue describing our Government, whether in the past or present, as regimes when, clearly, the dictionary refers to the term ‘regime’ as an authoritarian government? The hon. Member who was debating used the same term. Is it in order for us to describe ourselves in such a manner?

I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

The Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 2008 Edition, Page 1220 defines regime, amongst other meanings as:

“(1) A Government, especially an authoritarian one, to a systematic ordered way of doing something. (3) The conditions under which scientifical industrial process occurs.” 

 In light of these definitions, I certainly agree with the submission made by the hon. Member for Nalikwanda that it would be inappropriate and unfair to characterise the previous or, indeed, the current Government as regimes. There is no evidence to suggest …


Mr Speaker: … that either the previous or current governments have actually been authoritarian. To that extent, I rule the hon. Member who referred to that term as being out order.

Could the hon. Member continue, please.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, I was winding up on a point where I was talking of the 0.5 per cent annual turnover that I was promised as the process of constructing the hydropower station in Itezhi-tezhi continues which, in my view, if not reflected in the report of your Committee and other documents to that effect, may be a forgotten issue like the Barotse Agreement.

Sir, I feel that the people of Itezhi-tezhi are going to contribute so much to the wealth of the nation through this hydropower station. As the saying goes, oil is as expensive as water because from water bodies, you produce energy which is as costly as oil. So, I would have been happy if that was mentioned in your Committee’s report.

Mr Speaker, I was saying that there is no filling station in Itezhi-tezhi. We only have the ZESCO Filling Station which is only open during working hours and election times. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to state that the D769 Road is in a deplorable state due to the high number of activities in Itezhi-tezhi. I think it is high time the Government, through the Ministries of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications and Mines, Energy and Water Development, took this as an urgent issue so that this road is worked on. This road is not only a hazard to the people of Itezhi-tezhi, but also people who go to work there. I am sure that the hon. Minister is aware that we lost some ZESCO employees who were trying to inspect some projects in that area. Therefore, asking the Government to work on this 110-km stretch is not too much to ask for. 

Sir, we are aware that in 2008 and 2009, Sable Transport Limited was contracted to work on this road, but there were no funds at that time. This means that feasibility studies were conducted at the expense of taxpayers, but nothing happened. In this year’s Budget, we have K3 billion allocated for feasibility studies, consultancy, designing and tendering. Now, we are in the seventh month of the year and we are only remaining with about four months before the rains start. This means that if the process is not expedited, there will be an extra charge on the feasibility study.  The hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication stated that if a feasibility study is carried out without the works being done, after two years, there will be need for another one. So, I implore the Government to ensure that this is done very quickly. I know that this Government can do that very quickly because our budget for the ministry this year is about K4 trillion compared to last year’s budget which was at K1.2 trillion. 

Mr Speaker, I think the challenge that the ministry will have is the long procurement process. If the consultancy works are going to be done now, you will have about ninety days or so to appoint a contractor and also do the tendering. The Ministries of Mines, Energy and Water Development, and Transport, Works, Supply and Communication should ensure that this road in Itezhi-tezhi is worked on in order to enable the trucks and equipment to be transported there. 

Mr Speaker, let me conclude by saying that I support this report.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to also contribute to debate on this Motion.

Mr Speaker, let me start by commending your Committee for this very well-researched report. I wish to support this report by contributing to the debate regarding the price structure of fuel in our country, the strategic reserves and lack of indigenous participation in the retailing of petroleum products. 

Sir, Zambia, being a land linked country, will inevitably have to be strategic and cost conscious in the sourcing and supplying of its fuel, which is a critical component in production. The cost of fuel at the pump in Zambia is one of the highest in the region. If you look at your Committee’s report on page 4, you will see that the pump price for unleaded petrol is K8,155 per litre and diesel is K7,566. When you look at the regional prices and compare that with a few countries that have been picked, Zambia is at 164.04 cents per litre. Fuel in Zambia is even more expensive than it is in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This is a source for worry because, as I have said, fuel is a critical component in production. This also does not support the vision of the PF Government and, of course, the vision of the MMD to ensure job creation through the development of the various sectors of our economy. 

Mr Speaker, one of the reasons for this high cost of fuel at the pump is the lack of transparency in the procurement process. Our friends, the PF, before they came to power, criticised the MMD and said that they would do things differently. We have noted that things have continued to be done the same way they were done before. Therefore, we ask the question: Are we going to do any better under the PF, in ensuring that the cost of fuel at the pump is reduced so as to ensure that our people benefit from the reduced prices?

Sir, the other problem is the lack of strategic reserves. Your Committee has ably reported that as of now, the country has no strategic reserves. This means that the country is not fuel secure. If our borders were to be closed today, in the next ten days, we would have no fuel at all. Our tanks would be empty and there would be no fuel for our people to run around and contribute to the economic development of our country. This is a very serious situation and I am happy that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is here. This requires his urgent attention. He must quickly embark on a programme to ensure that we introduce the strategic reserves that the country needs to ensure continuous economic development through the contribution of the many economic sectors. 

Sir, it is worth noting, on page 10 of the Committee’s report that the OMCs needed to have stocks to last them fifteen days. This continued until our friends took over power. In October, 2011, they removed the fuel cost build up which was K400 per litre and they went on the platform and preached about how well they were managing the economy to the extent that the price of fuel had reduced by K400. We heard many political pronouncements about the capacity of the PF to manage the economy of this country simply because they removed the cost build-up of K400. They were telling us that they were good masters because they had reduced the price of fuel. 

The effect of this populist decision was that the country became vulnerable. The OMCs were not able to have the fifteen-day operating stock to allow the country to, at least, make arrangements in the event that there was no fuel flowing from Indeni Petroleum Refinery to ensure that the economy did not ground to a halt.

Mr Speaker, I remember that while, the MMD was in power, His Excellency the President, Mr Micheal Sata, the leader of the PF used to go to petrol stations whenever there were shortages and actually queue up with jerry cans to show that, at that time, the economy was not being properly managed and the energy sector was inefficient. We saw that His Excellency was queuing up and actually holding rallies within those premises. Have the shortages stopped? No. We have witnessed so many shortages of fuel in this period that our colleagues have been at the helm of the management of State affairs. Why is it that, now that the PF has taken office, the shortages have continued, yet they were the champions then? 

Mr Speaker, in fact, the PF rose to power because of the pronouncements that they made. However, they have failed to do the things they said they would do. The PF Government has failed to ensure that this country has strategic fuel reserves and reduce the price of fuel beyond the K400 cost build-up that they did in October, 2011.

Mr Speaker, all we hear, now, are complaints about what the MMD did or did not do. As citizens of his country, we ask why the MMD did not do certain things in the right way. That is why the PF was elected; it should show the people of Zambia the change it was talking about.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Eight months down the road, the change is still not there. In fact, there has been a change for the worst.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, what was being preached is not being actualised. In short, the PF Government has not walked the talk. I, therefore, encourage the Government to consider putting a mechanism in place that will ensure that the country is, once again, fuel secure.

Mr Speaker, your report bemoans the lack of service stations in rural areas to allow the people there to benefit from the uniform pricing mechanism. While I agree that there is a need for fuel stations to be established in rural areas, I think that this should be the private sector’s function. I would like to encourage the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to put incentives in place for the private sector to be attracted to operate service stations in rural areas. The Government should have nothing to do with the running of service stations. Incentives are what are required in order for our people in the rural areas to run service stations.

Mr Speaker, when the PF were in the Opposition, they made several pronouncements – and I am happy that the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry has walked into the House – to the effect that certain sectors of our economy will be reserved for the indigenous people. These pronouncements have continued to be made. We hear these pronouncements and one of those sectors that must be reserved is fuel marketing.

Mr Kapeya: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, as you are aware, I do not normally rise on points of order, …


Mr Kapeya: … especially when the hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga is debating in line with the report on the Floor of the House. However, is she in order to start debating the promises that the PF made, instead of sticking to the topical issues of the report presented to this House? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member on the Floor is, by and large, debating on policy issues and, to that extent, she is at liberty to make cross references between the past, the present and where we should be going in the future. So, she is not out of order. 

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I was saying that, when our colleagues in the PF were in the Opposition, they made pronouncements to the effect that certain sectors of our economy were going to be reserved for indigenous Zambians. They have continued with these pronouncements, to date.

Mr Speaker, your report, on Page 6, bemoans the lack of participation of indigenous Zambians in the petroleum sector and raises the concern that, despite the Government spending approximately US$56 million, every month, or US $672 million, annually, out of the Zambian taxpayers’ money, the oil sector was dominated by foreign OMCs. I would like to move a little further and talk about the retailing of fuel.

Mr Speaker, our colleagues have told us that they want to create jobs. One of the ways in which they can do so is to allow these sectors to be run by indigenous Zambians so that they can employ themselves and others. This Government and we, as Zambians, should have no apology to make to anybody. Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, what I mean, by indigenous Zambians, is ourselves, the black Zambians. I am not talking about Zambians of a foreign origin, but ourselves, the blacks.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: We, who have been marginalised. We, Zambians who live in rural areas. We, Zambians, …

Mr S. S. Zulu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr S. S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, this is my very first point of order and it is a very serious one. Is the hon. Member for Mafinga in order to suggest that Zambian nationals, who are not black Zambians, should not receive the benefits all Zambians are entitled to under the Constitution? Is she really in order?

Mr Speaker: I think that the Constitution is very clear when talking about fundamental rights and freedoms in part III, specifically, Article 23. It abhors discrimination based on various grounds, including race. The point, however, is that, in the context of the proceedings before this House, the hon. Member is canvassing support for a particular view point, which might, of course, not be in conformity, in terms of policy direction, with the Constitution. That is, however, a view that she is expressing. It is not a measure that has been put in place by, say, the Government. Her viewpoint can openly be challenged. She is trying to persuade the House and the Government, in particular, to take certain measures. I am, however, alive to the fact that the hon. Member who has raised the point of order is charged with the portfolio that ensures that the Constitution is not, in any way, violated. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I am sure that, at an appropriate juncture and forum, the hon. Minister of Justice will render his advice …


Mr Speaker: … and ensure that such discriminatory practices are not, in fact, implemented, in violation of the Constitution. We are, however, debating measures, options and policies and, in that sense, I will be very slow to begin passing rulings whenever …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Speaker: … issues are deemed likely to violate the provisions of the law. Eventually, those on my right, as is the practice, will have the opportunity to respond to these issues, and I am sure that they will seize that opportunity to counsel our colleagues on my left and enlighten the House on what the position of the Government is on the matter. The position taken by the Speaker might appear to be very ambivalent, but it is fuelled by a desire to promote free speech. 

The hon. Member for Mafinga may proceed. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, when you go to Freedom Way or Chachacha Road, the people you will find selling on the streets are black. The people you will find pushing wheelbarrows are black. The babies you will find in orphanages are black. The women carrying groundnuts on their heads are black. My reference to blacks, therefore, is due to the fact that they are the marginalised. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: They are also the ones who elect us to come to this House. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Therefore, we owe it to them to indigenise some of these sectors. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: There is no reason filling stations must be run by non-indigenous Zambians. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: I want to stress the fact that there is no reason why filling stations must be run by non-indigenous Zambians. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: There is no reason for this because many of our people are capable of running filling stations. What is required is policy guidance and implementation by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry in-conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. Collectively, as a Government, the PF, which spoke so well when it campaigned, needs to ensure that our people mop up the resources that are there in the energy sector by selling fuel at filling stations. 

Mr Speaker, our people, in this sector, have been reduced to selling fuel in jerry cans. In areas where there are no filling stations, our people are the ones moving with this very dangerous product from one place to the other to earn a living. 

Mr Speaker, facilitating the participation of our people in the energy sector can be done. I started by saying that you have no apologies to make, as a Government that is dominated by black people. You must not want to look good to other races when your own people are impoverished. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, without being unconstitutional, I wish to state that our people want the jobs which they were promised by the PF. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Our people want more money, which was promised  to them by the PF, in their pockets. They want wealth. They want to be rich because they were promised by the PF. Our people are, now, experiencing the PF enjoying the trappings of leadership, without remembering how they were ushered into office. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, this Government has an opportunity, more than any other Government, in the past, to indigenise the economy of this country. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Let us create millionaires who are black. Let us ensure that our people are able to employ other races because they have created enough wealth through the empowerment programmes of the PF.

Mr Speaker, I know that our colleagues want to say that we had the time. Yes, we did, but that is why we are on this side, now, and they are there. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Therefore, because they are there, they should do what they promised us. We are waiting for more money in our pockets. 

Mr Speaker, with these words, I thank you. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate regarding the report by your Committee. 

From the outset, I must mention that I have analysed this report. I think that it has brought out a number of issues regarding the challenges in the petroleum sector. It has also made a number of recommendations, which are very important. It is my sincere hope that the Government will take time to look at the recommendations, particularly those on page 11, concerning issues on the status of the petroleum industry in Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, in agreeing with the Committee’s recommendations, and while appreciating the need to invest in the petroleum value chain, it is important, as other hon. Members of Parliament have said, to ensure that, as we move forward, we involve Zambians.  

Mr Speaker, as we go further, we also need to understand that as we talk about investing in the energy sector or the petroleum sub-sector, it is important to appreciate that this cannot be done in a vacuum. It has to be done by investing equally in important supportive infrastructure as well as other services.

The Committee’s report has particularly brought out the challenges in the pricing of fuel in rural areas. Even though the uniform pricing was done with good intentions, one will agree that it is only in the provincial centres where most of the service stations are operational. When you go beyond the provincial centres, as indicated in the report, for example, in Mwinilunga, the situation is not different from where I come from in Luwingu. I believe that is the case with other rural districts such as Chama, Shang’ombo, Chadiza and many other districts. This is where the challenge of supportive infrastructure comes in. Even with the good intention of uniform pricing, you find that the moment you leave the provincial centres, especially for those of us who spend a lot of our time in the rural areas, we always use jerry cans to carry fuel. This is very risky.

This also brings in the challenge of the cost of transport in the rural areas. Even when you have uniform pricing in the provincial centres, you find that the cost of doing business is still very high, particularly, because of the cost of the petroleum products. This is because a lot of motorists still shun rural areas because of roads being in a state of disrepair. This is why Zambians today are saying, they cannot wait any further because there was a change of Government and we now have a new Government that has to begin to deliver.

Sir, this morning, we asked the Vice-President to indicate what steps the Government is taking to sort out the challenges in the Rural Roads Unit (RRU), which makes the cost of doing business extremely high in the rural areas due to the roads being in a state of disrepair. We are now in the seventh month, are we able to take stock of how many roads we have done so far? The roads are still in a poor state. As we talk about investing in the energy sector, it is my considered view that we still have to look at supportive infrastructure. The issue of roads in the rural areas still comes in. Even when you have the uniform pricing of diesel in place, you find that the benefits that were meant to be given to our rural people are still taken away because of the state of roads in the rural areas.{mospagebreak}

Mr Speaker, it is true to say that our country Zambia is a high consumer of petroleum products. It is a high consuming country due to its economy which, to a large extent, is driven by the activities in the mining sector activities. Despite being a high consumer of petroleum products, we still have challenges at Indeni that have been brought out in the report. We are told that Indeni was configured in a way that it cannot be able to process certain products. It would have been much cheaper, if we were able to import our petroleum products from Angola. However, since Indeni cannot process petroleum products from Angola, we cannot, therefore, bring down the cost of petroleum products. This is why it is very important that we look at alternative sources of our petroleum products.

As we go forward, especially given the challenges of climate change, we must also start looking at investing seriously in renewable sources of energy in rural areas. We must also talk about formulating policies or strategies that will look at creating alternative cheaper sources of transport in the rural areas, as opposed to those that totally depend on petroleum products. We can even make life cheaper for our rural people by looking at how best we can invest in alternative sources of energy. As we do that, we should also bear in mind that there are other challenges that we face as country.

Mr Speaker, just yesterday, we had a report that was talking about the number of vehicles we import on daily basis. As we import more vehicles into Zambia, we are should also bear in mind the high consumption of fuel. The continued rise in the levels of fuel consumption should encourage us to re-invest in other sources of energy as well as other supportive infrastructure and services.

Sir, there are countries like India and some other countries in the Far East that are discouraging people from driving very big cars as a way of decongesting the roads and cities, as well as reducing the consumption of the petroleum products. This is why, in certain countries, I do not know what word I can substitute it with, they use what they call tukutukus or if you like, motorbikes because the policies …

Hon. Member: Bodaboda!

Mr Mucheleka: Yes, bodaboda. They give incentives to people who use such modes of transport so as to discourage the usage of high energy consumption vehicles.

Sir, it is high time we started thinking outside the box by looking at alternative sources of energy. This is very important if we are going to move forward, especially as we are faced with the challenges of congested cities in which traffic jams have become the order of the day.

Mr Speaker, as we move forward, we also need to start looking at the land energy and water nexus. When I was looking at the report by the Committee on Land, Energy and Water, it made me think that we should also commit ourselves to meeting the millennium development goals (MDGs), particularly the MDG No. 7, which talks about alternative …


Mr Mucheleka: Sorry?

Mr Speaker: Continue addressing the Speaker.

Mr Mucheleka: Yes, Mr Speaker, I am talking about … 


Mr Mucheleka: Sir, we must start looking at investing in the land, water and energy nexus as a response to the challenges that we are facing in the energy sector. This, eventually, might help us to increase our productivity and the sustainable use of our natural resources. Instead of entirely talking about imported petroleum products, it is high time we started formulating policies and strategies with key performance indicators. By the time the PF Government finishes its term of office, what alternative policies would it have put in place to respond to some of these challenges that your report has brought out in the energy sector?

Mr Speaker, the PF Government is eight months in office and still has four years to go. Therefore, it is very important that it takes time to look at its party manifesto and come up with policies that address these important issues of sustainable means of development as opposed to just thinking about investing heavily in the petroleum products or the energy sector.

Sir, much as I appreciate the need to invest in this particular sub-sector of petroleum products, I also believe that we must be looking at alternative means of moving forward.

Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I wish to support your Committee’s report that has been tabled before this House.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, as others have said before, fuel is very important as it is a driver of our economy and, as such, we all need to be concerned by the manner in which it is delivered to our country.

Sir, we have clearly heard that the price of fuel is much higher in Zambia compared to many other neighbouring countries. This has consequences to the economy. It means that as we trade within the country, the prices tend to be high. The cost of doing business also becomes high, but much more importantly, for the economy of this country to move forward, we need to be export-oriented.

Mr Speaker, if we cannot export, we cannot expect this economy to expand. There is only so much maize, wheat and tomato that we can consume in this country. So, to encourage our farmers or, indeed, any industry to expand, it can only happen on the basis of exports.

Sir, for exports, we need to ensure that the transportation costs are as low as possible. One example is that of our colleagues who import used cars from Japan. To move a used car from Japan and land it in Dar-es-salam covers about 8,000 km and this costs between US$1,000 and US$1,200.

Mr Speaker, to move the same car from Dar-es-salam to Lusaka, you will probably pay about US$2000 or even US$3,000. So, you can see that people are paying less for a longer distance while for a very short distance within Zambia, they pay a lot of money because we are using Zambian fuel.

Sir, this being the situation, how can we ever hope that we will be able to export pineapples from Mwinilunga? Under the current way of doing things, we cannot export our pineapples because by the time they reach Dar- es-salaam, the cost of their transportation will be very high. How can we ever expect to export maize or beef before we deal with this issue of reducing the price of petroleum? The promises, which our colleagues in the PF Government have made, of expanding the economy and putting money in our pockets, will not happen and will only be a fallacy if the price of petroleum is not reduced. 

Mr Speaker, we need to do the needful to get the prices of fuel down. Now, I want to propose some solutions.


Mr Speaker: Order!

 Let us listen to the hon. Member of Parliament. No running commentaries.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, just to clarify something, there is no fuel that is needed for bicycles, but it is needed in the helicopters which they are using. The helicopters are consuming a lot of fuel.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, how do we get the fuel prices down? I have heard a suggestion that taxes contribute a lot to the high prices of fuel. I beg to disagree because apart from one tax, which is, import duty on petroleum finished products, all the other taxes, I believe, actually tend to be lower than most of those in the region.

Sir, a good example of this is aviation fuel, which, of course, airplanes use. There is no tax on that, but aviation fuel in Zambia is much more expensive compared to the neighbouring countries. So, the problem lies in the fact that the structure of producing fuel in this country is not optimum and efficient.

Mr Speaker, we have been told in the report that part of the crude oil that we import in this country is actually finished diesel. It is already refined somewhere else, but you import it and, of course, add impurities or crude oil it. What this means is that by the time you are refining fuel in Zambia, you are actually refining it twice. Is it in any wonder that the price of fuel ends up being expensive?

  Sir, secondly, most of the finished products in this world come from huge refineries such as Saudi Arabia and America. The economies of scale in these refineries are very large, which means that it will be very difficult for Indeni to be able to get the price of finished products as low as what we get in other refineries in countries. It does not matter what you do. Therefore, I do not believe that it is just an issue of taxes. I have just proved that it is an issue of Indeni being too small. It was like when our Fiat industry in Zambia was trying to manufacture cars. When you manufacture twenty-five cars in a year or even 100, there is no way that you can compete with other car manufactures in the world. It is just impossible.
Mr Speaker, the solution, therefore, is not to go with an empty can at the filling station and demonstrate that you, as a political leader, are also queuing for fuel. That is not a solution. The real solution is that we must adopt the same approach that we took when we were dealing with Zambia Telecommunication Company (ZAMTEL).

  Sir, the price of telephone calls at ZAMTEL, especially international calls, was exorbitant because we were trying to protect a monopoly position. The monopoly position was that of the international gateway where every call that was made in this country had to go through Mwembeshi Satellite Station.

  The Mwembeshi Satellite Station was the only route to make an international call, whatever network one was using. So, because ZAMTEL had no competition, it hiked the price of international calls. The moment we liberalised the airwaves and allowed telephone companies that could set up their own international gateway to do so, we saw the price of international calls tumbling down. Today, a call to any of the neighbouring countries is almost like a local call. This is because all the telephone companies are free to set up their own international gateways. Therefore, there is competition in the market.

Mr Speaker, similarly, the only way we are going to bring down the high prices of fuel is to open the markets. We should allow competition in the oil market. The moment we do that, we will see the price of fuel going down. Does it not surprise us that, for example, at the moment, the price of fuel in Kasama is higher than that in other places in the country in spite of Kasama being closer to Dar-es-Salaam where we get our fuel from? Fuel pumped through a pipeline passes through Kasama from Dar-es-Salaam to Ndola. After reaching Ndola, it is refined, which entails additional costs, and then transported back to Kasama for final consumption. Inevitably, this makes the price of this fuel high.

Therefore, if we liberalise the oil market, fuel will be transported from point A to B and not back and forth. For example, those in Livingstone, Sesheke, Kalomo and so on and so forth would be free to import their fuel through Southern African coastal countries because they are nearer. Presently, the moment finished petroleum products come in, a tax of 25 per cent is added. This makes the oil market uncompetitive. The 25 per cent duty on finished petroleum products must, therefore, be removed. If that happens, people in the southern part of Zambia will be able to get fuel cheaply from other Southern African countries. The people in the western part of the country will buy fuel from Angola. Those in the northern part of the country will no longer buy fuel that comes all the way to Ndola from Tanzania and then back to the Northern Province.

Mr Speaker, my proposal to the Government is to remove the 25 per cent duty on finished petroleum products and liberalise the market. The only job of the Government then is to ensure that those who get into the market adhere to set standards so that they do not bring contaminated fuel, but that which is genuine. I can guarantee that if that happens, the price of fuel is going to come down. This is why I was saying that the solution to reducing the price of fuel in Zambia is exactly the same with what we did with ZAMTEL. The PF was condemning our actions then out of lack of understanding.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, finally, let me just sound a reminder to all of us. Unless we deal with the issue of the cost of fuel, the expansion of our economy will remain a pipedream. Even if we produce pineapples, we will not be able to sell them anywhere on the international market because there are costal countries like Ivory Coast and Ghana that have a comparative advantage in pineapple production because of their location. In these two countries, pineapples are taken straight from the field onto the ship. We are at a disadvantage because the pineapples from Mwinilunga must travel, maybe, 2,000 km to get to the coast. So, we can only make the price of our products competitive on the international market by reducing the price of fuel as low as possible.

It is, indeed, a fact that we were in Government, but we did not finally come to that point, although we were working towards it.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: As we have said, there are many things that we advanced. If the PF is going to deliver the money and jobs it promised the Zambian people, it has to build on what we left. Our colleagues on your right must remember that they have been in office for 20 per cent of their mandate. In September, this year, one year of their mandate, which is 20 per cent of five years, would have elapsed. Therefore, they have to ask themselves that if 20 per cent is already gone and they have not achieved anything yet, but just boasting, do they have any chance with the remaining 80 per cent to deliver all the million promises they made.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, I think the report of your Committee is commendable and it can be a yardstick upon which my ministry could be evaluated. It has got factual points which were collected from the sites your Committee visited. Its contents are actually what is happening in my ministry. That is why I am saying that it will be a yardstick to measure the performance of the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development.

The initiative by the previous Government to set a uniform price for fuel across the country was good. Having a uniform price was a good intention and we will work on improving that.


Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, policies are there to ensure that the Government provides an enabling environment for business. If there are shortfalls, we can always revisit them and correct the situation and enable businesses to perform better in the country. There has been a lot of talk about the operations of Indeni Petroleum Refinery. As the report has stated, this refinery has old infrastructure. As such, its production levels have been limited. Presently, we are working on recapitalising Indeni. Feasibility studies have been carried out and very soon we will be inviting would-be investors to make bids so that the refinery can be recapitalised or upgraded. The procurement of a hydro cracker is on the cards. We know the cost and, therefore, it is just a matter of sourcing funds. 

Mr Hamududu interjected.

Mr Yaluma: Chibotu maningi, mulamu.


Mr Speaker: Please, let us communicate officially and limit those extra-parliamentary communications for the time when the House rises.


Mr Yaluma: Indeni Refinery has a capacity of 1.1 million metric tonnes, but only produces 500 metric tonnes of fuel at the moment. We need to recapitalise the refinery and ensure full production efficiency. There was also talk about the need for strategic fuel reserves, which Hon. Namugala was very passionate about. 

Sir, indeed, we need to ensure that we have strategic reserves. The Government moved away from what was being done under the MMD because it decided to build storage facilities in the rural areas and in Lusaka. Believe you me, once this is done, we will be in a position to ensure that what you are looking for will be put in place. The storage facilities in Lusaka will be completed by September, 2012, followed by those in Mpika. We are also trying to rehabilitate the old tanks, which were left by the British Petroleum (BP) Limited in those areas. So, we are moving in the right direction. You also requested for a plan. It is already there. We have laid down steps on how we are going to proceed. It had stalled for a while for some reason, but we will continue with it. Last week, we had a serious meeting on that issue. We are also looking at the fuel problems we have had in the past few weeks.

Sir, there was also concern that Mwinilunga does not have a filling station, but the same goes for Itezhi-tezhi, Mungwi, Mporokoso and Chama. This matter is being addressed. The Government has gone ahead to put money in the budget, based on its own ranking method, for the establishment of filling stations in the rural areas, which will be run by suitable individuals with the capacity, who will be allowed to own them after some years. So, we are, now, availing filling stations to those rural areas just to respond to the suffering of the people there. 

Mr Speaker, on the issue of the procurement of fuel, there should be transparency. When the PF came into power, the first issue it talked about was transparency in the way business would be conducted. This is a cardinal point. The Government will ensure that there is transparency in all we do. Of course, there could have been some shortcomings, but it is the intention of the ministry, now, to procure and give contracts to the new stakeholders who will be supplying fuel. We have not yet appointed anybody. So, I plead with hon. Members to give us a little more time and see, at the end, what the resolutions will be as regards to that issue. Technocrats are negotiating right now. Once the negotiations are completed, we will definitely come back to inform the House on the steps that will be taken. At the moment, we are trying to see, as much as possible, that everything is done properly.

Mr Speaker, it is the intention of the PF Government to ensure that Zambians participate fully or benefit from the proceeds of the supply of petroleum products.  How is it going to be done? It is priority number one of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. We will try to bring in the people so that they can as well participate. We will have to stretch a little further to ensure that more people manage the initial cost of setting up a business in that industry. So, we will look into that critically and, very soon, you will soon see what will come out of that exercise.

Sir, the issue of standards that are being offered by the people running filling stations was also talked about by, I think, the hon. Member for Kawambwa. He said that the standards are low. Yes, I do agree. The standards in the way the filling stations are being operated are very low. For example, I have observed that some filling stations have no air pressure and fire hydrants. How do you allow a filling station to run without a fire hydrant? Those are the things we are trying to correct so that whatever structures will be put in place will be of the same standard as those of Total Zambia, Puma Energy Zambia, Engen Petroleum Zambia, Petroda and Mount Meru Petroleum. As of now, each company has its own structural standards. 

Sir, we will ensure that issues highlighted in the report are addressed. Allow us, like I said, to endeavour to use your report as a yardstick. The PF has only been in power for seven months. To build supporting roads or other facilities takes a bit more time than that. Feasibility studies have to be undertaken and projects conceptualised. So, I can assure hon. Members that the ministry will seriously work towards addressing the challenges which have been identified in the report.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, allow me to express my deep appreciation to, first of all, the hon. Minister responsible for the sector that your Committee is overseeing, for the sobriety, maturity and, generally, good manner in which he has received the report.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: I must say that he has joined the two hon. Members in this House on your right, who include the hon. Minister of Health and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: … in the good manner in which they respond to issues that affect the interests and aspirations of our people.

Sir, let me, quickly, put to rest one or two issues that came to light from the debaters. Hon. Monde indicated the need for us to have included in the report the issue regarding the 5 per cent turnover that his council and the Itezhi-tezhi Power Project agreed on for corporate social responsibility. We regret that this was not put in the report because we thought that it was a domestic or local arrangement.

Mr Speaker, I wish to render my appreciation for Hon. Musokotwane’s debate, which made us alive to the fact that exports are where economic expansion and development should be anchored on. Hon. Mucheleka also mentioned the tukutukus as a way to try and optimise efficiency in doing business. I urge the Government to take a leaf from what he said, as opposed to importing GX and V8 motor vehicles for hon. Deputy Ministers and GX and B8 motor vehicles for hon. Ministers because they consume a lot of fuel. Let me, finally, thank Hon. Namugala for the benevolent manner in which she put her issues across and for the candid manner in which she expressed her feelings, which I share with her.

Mr Speaker, let me end by saying to the Executive that a stitch in time saves nine and all those comments that you got from hon. Members on the left were truly meant to get you to work.

With these few remarks, I beg to thank the House.

Thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1236 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 10th July, 2012.