Debates - Wednesday, 20th June, 2012

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 Wednesday, 20th June, 2012

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





315. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when the Government would construct high schools in the following areas in Mwinilunga Parliamentary Constituency:

(i)    Lumwana West; and 

(ii)    Chief Chibwika;

(b)    when Kanyama High School , currently under construction  in Mwinilunga, would be completed; and 

(c)    what had caused the delay in completing the construction of the school.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the Government will consider the construction of schools in Lumwana West and Chief Chibwika’s area when the schools that are currently being constructed are completed. The construction of these schools will end in 2013.  The hon. Member of Parliament must be aware that Kanyama High School, which is being constructed in Mwinilunga, will also cater for Chief Chibwika’s area.

Mr Speaker, Kanyama High School is expected to be completed in 2013, which is consistent with what I said yesterday about Magoye Secondary School. Forty-five high schools are expected to be completed next year throughout the country.

Sir, the delay in the completion of Kanyama and other high schools in Zambia has been due to budgetary constraints in 2010 and 2011.

I thank you, Sir.    

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, will the 100 high schools that were earmarked for construction by the previous Government be constructed by this Government? If they will not do so, what is their plan for construction of schools?

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, the Government has continuity. There is no time that the Government ceases to do its work. However, if you need reassurance, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has decided to complete all outstanding projects next year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I am very happy to hear the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education talk about continuity. That being the case, why has the ministry stopped producing infrastructure development plans that we, hon. Members of the House, used to receive? At one time, the hon. Minister promised that we were going to receive this plan.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the difficulty that we have is that people take advantage when someone is liberal and moderate, as if all of us should be in the same line. I said that, when the Infrastructure Development Plan was ready, we would make it available to hon. Members of Parliament. That is very important for us; so that you and we work together. That position has not changed. Today, we are looking at the final copy and making final alterations. This is because we are coming from a past where things were not done correctly.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Phiri: Hon. Mbewe, I think you wanted me to say this, and I say it reluctantly. You should know that you left us with a large area where we had to sniff around and find out why certain schools were in one place, rather than another. We do not want to return to that. That is why it has taken us a bit longer to bring the plan; so that we learn from the past mistakes and move on, as a nation. 

Hon. Members: hear, hear!

Dr Phiri: That document will be on your table as soon as we have cleaned it.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!        


316. Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    what the teacher-pupil ratio was in Milenge District as of February, 2012;

(b)    how many teachers were posted to Milenge District in 2010 and 2011;

(c)    whether the number at (b) fulfilled the requirements for the district; and 

(d)    if not, when additional teachers would be sent to the district to improve the teacher-pupil ratio, and subsequently, the teaching standards.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the teacher-pupil ratio in Milenge District, as of February, 2012, was as follows:

Grades        Teacher-Pupil Ratio

1-4               1:64

5-7               1:32

8-9               1:36

10-12           1:19

Sir, the teachers who were posted to Milenge District in 2010 were nine, while those posted in 2011 were forty-two. The total number for 2010 and 2011 was fifty-one. 

Sir, the number of teachers posted to Milenge District did not meet the requirements of the district. However, additional teachers will be sent to Milenge District in order to improve the teacher-pupil ratio and teaching standards. The Government will recruit teachers, particularly those for the lower grades.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I saw the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education laughing earlier. He sometimes tries to speak very well. However, when is he going to walk his talk by visiting Milenge so that he can see what is happening in the district?


Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for the open invitation to visit Milenge. As soon as I am fortified, I will get enough courage to come along.


Dr Phiri: Sir, this country is vast. All the districts need to be visited. As soon as I find the time, I will visit. In the meantime, what we have done is have Education Indabas in all the provinces just to gain a little glimpse into the challenges and successes in the various provinces. However, as was discussed yesterday, the solution to these visits – it is not possible for the hon. Minister to visit all the districts in the eight months that have passed, but we will keep that in mind – lies in the decentralisation and devolution of power. I am glad that, yesterday, Parliament was told that mechanisms to bring this about were almost coming to fruition. This is because, with that, I will be everywhere through appointed people who can deliver at the district level.

I thank you, Sir.


317. Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa) asked the hon. Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    when new police post would be constructed at Chinyunyu, Rufunsa and Luangwa Bridge in Rufunsa Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)    what the timeframe for constructing the above projects was; and

(a)    when transport and more police officers would be provided to the localities at (a) above in order to combat the rising crime.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Simbyakula):  Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Ministry of Home Affairs, indeed, intends to construct police posts at Chinyunyu, Rufunsa and Luangwa Bridge in Rufunsa Parliamentary Constituency once the funds that we are negotiating for are available. Construction projects will only commence when these funds are available to us.

Sir, the provision of transport to service Chinyunyu, Rufunsa and Luangwa Bridge police posts will only be possible once funds are available to procure operational vehicles.

Mr Speaker, as I speak, the recruitment of police officers is on-going. More police officers will be made available to Chinyunyu, Rufunsa and Luangwa Bridge once police officers pass out at the Police Training colleges.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister’s answer confirmation or gospel truth that, as soon as a pass-out parade is held, the named places will receive police officers?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, yes, that is correct.

I thank you, Sir.



318. Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi) asked the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    when the tarring of the Kasama/Luwingu Road would be completed;

(b)    what had caused the delay in completing the project; and

(c)    how much money had been spent on the projects as of 31st March, 2012.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Dr Mwali):  Mr Speaker, all the works on the Kasama/Luwingu Road will be completed by the end of next Month, July, 2012. Currently, the contractor is undertaking shoulder-widening works. This is being undertaken with the view to conforming to the Southern Africa Transport and Communications Commission (SATCC) specifications.

Sir, you may wish to note that the main contract was completed in June, 2011. What is being undertaken are mere variation works to the contract. There were about five variations. These included the Luwingu Township Roads, Lunte Bridge Construction and widening of shoulders. These variations contributed to the delay in the completion of works of this project.

Mr Speaker, the amount spent on the works by 31st March, 2012, was K204.9 billion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, what steps is the Government taking to blacklist contractors who unnecessarily delay road construction, given that this is a road that has taken over twelve years to construct? I know that the cost has increased compared to what was initially signed for. Can the Government assure this House …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Could the hon. Member ask one question only.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, may I get an answer from the hon. Minister regarding the steps being taken to blacklist contractors who take long to complete these road-works unnecessarily.

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mukanga):  Mr Speaker, for all contractors who do not meet contractual obligations, steps are being taken to ensure that we check how often they have been abrogating contractual obligations. If we find them wanting, definitely, they will be blacklisted and will not do business with us.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, time is of essence and the delivery of a quality road is, in fact, paramount. Could the delay be attributed to the fact that this particular contractor has too much on his hands?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I think that what is important is not the amount of work a contractor has; it is the capacity to execute the works that is. When a contractor is quoting for a job, he bears in mind that he is able to execute a particular contract within a specific period. Yes, this contractor started road works some time in 2001 and various variations have taken place until the first was closed and another one opened. Until today, he has been working, and with various variations in Kasama and, now, finally, in Luwingu. So, the various variations that have taken place and the funding process have contributed to the delays.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, what were the reasons given for the five variations?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, although that should be a new question, I would like to state that the five variations were done during the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government. When they were in power, they decided to make variations beyond the acceptable contract values. A variation is supposed to be below 25 per cent. If you look at the contract in question, however, you will notice that they were doing variations to a value almost twice the contract value. That is why I said that I do not want to say more about this issue. I just want to state that, from now onwards, no one is going to be given variations beyond what is acceptable in as far as contract terms are concerned.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, was the tarring of Luwingu township roads part of the initial contract signed between the Government of the Republic of Zambia and Sable Transport, which was the main contractor?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the tarring of Luwingu township roads was a variation. It was initially not part of the contract. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, sanctions are there for any erring contractor and one of them is through the payment of liquidated damages. Why was that sanction not applied to the contractor in question?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, yes, sanctions are there. However, liquidated damages are supposed to be applied if a contractor does not meet contractual obligations. What transpired in this case was that, when they were doing variations, they were also extending the completion period. Thus, a stage was never reached at which the sanction of liquidated damages would have been applied. This contract started around 2001 and went up to 2008. Another contract was entered into for the period 2008 to date. Therefore, right now, they are working in what we call the defects liability period. If they extend their working period, we will institute the liquidated damages sanction so that we can get our money back. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalaba (Bahati): Mr Speaker, the issue of delayed road works is now becoming the order of the day. What plans has the ministry got to ensure that road projects are no longer delayed?  Has this Government departed from the old methods of the MMD Government, which used to delay road projects?


Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I really appreciate that question from the hon. Member of Parliament. I know that the Patriotic Front (PF) is a Government for the people, including the poor. I will try by all means to ensure that the money allocated to my ministry goes where it is needed most. What we have done to ensure that most of the contracts are finished in good time is engage the contractors and explain to them that we are not going to divert from the contractual terms that were put on the table when the contract was being signed. What we do now is have the design done and, then, the contractor comes in and quotes for that project. In the past, we have had a problem in that we would sign the same contract for both the design work and the actual works. Maybe, that is what caused the delays.  I will try to correct that situation so that we do not have delays in the future.

I thank you, Sir.


319. Mr Njeulu (Sinjembela) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the Government would construct staff houses for police officers at Nangweshi Police Station in Shang’ombo District.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the construction of staff houses for police officers at Nangweshi Police Station in Shang’ombo District has been considered in the Zambia Police Force Infrastructure Development Plan. As I indicated, yesterday, when I was responding to the questions raised by the hon. Members for Namwala and Sinazongwe, negotiations for the monies to fund this infrastructure development plan have reached an advanced stage. The construction works will commence once the funds are available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Njeulu: Mr Speaker, when, exactly, will this money will be sourced?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Sakeni): Mr Speaker, we have answered that question many times. Yesterday, we emphasised the fact that we cannot give you a definite date at the moment. When you are sourcing money, you must make sure that you have concluded negotiations before making any announcements of definite dates. We have said that when funds are available then we will let you know.

I thank you, Sir.


320. Mr Njeulu asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    how many boreholes the Government planned to sink in Shang’ombo District in 2012; and

(b)    when Shang’ombo District would be connected to the national electricity grid.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr C. Zulu): Mr Speaker, the Government, under the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, plans to sink fifteen boreholes in Shang’ombo District in 2012. 

Mr Speaker, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) Limited has plans to connect Shang’ombo District to the national grid during the 2016/2017 Financial Year. The planned connection of the district will be achieved by establishing a 66/33kv substation under the Katima Mulilo/Senanga 66kv line at Sitoti, and the construction of a 140 km 33kv line to Shang’ombo. The estimated cost of the project is US$5.2 million.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Njeulu: Mr Speaker, why has the PF Government decided to delay this project to 2016? Further, is the hon. Minister aware that the ZESCO power lines that pass through Shang’ombo do not benefit the people in the area in any way? 

Mr C. Zulu: Mr Speaker, I do not think that the PF Government is delaying in connecting Shang’ombo District to the national grid. There was a party that ruled this country for twenty-seven years. Another was in power for twenty years. The PF Government is talking of connecting Shang’ombo to the national grid ‘forty-four’ years from now. 


Mr C. Zulu: Mr Speaker, four years should not be considered a delay.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, following the response to the first part of the question, is there any condition attached to the sinking of the boreholes in Shang’ombo?

Mr C. Zulu: Mr Speaker, there are no conditions attached to the sinking of boreholes in Shang’ombo. In the sinking of boreholes, we prioritise areas where the need is greatest. I believe that hon. Members of Parliament should work with the Government departments in our districts to identify areas where these boreholes should be sunk.

I thank you, Mr Speaker

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister …


Mr Speaker: Order, order!

Mr Namulambe: … said that they are going to connect Shang’ombo to the national grid forty-four years from now. Is he going to be still in the Government then?

Mr C. Zulu: Mr Speaker, yes, four years from now, we will, most likely, still be in the Government. However, even if there will be a different Government, there should still be continuity in Government programmes. In fact, I said four years, not forty-four years. In the spirit of continuity, the PF Government has carried on with some of the projects that were started by the MMD Government. Yes, four years from now, we expect Shang’ombo to be connected to the national grid.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Sir, hearing from the response from the Minister …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Ntundu: Yes Sir, the hon. Deputy Minister (pointing at the hon. Deputy Minister) …

Mr Speaker: You have to restrain yourself from pointing a finger at your colleague.

Mr Ntundu: Sir, the hon. Deputy Minister said that other Governments did not like to continue projects that were left behind by their predecessors. I am aware that the previous Government left a programme in place ...

Mr Speaker: Put a question.

Mr Ntundu: … for the connection of Shang’ombo to the national grid. Is the Government ready to continue with the programme? 

Mr C. Zulu: Mr Speaker, the programme that the hon. Member is referring to is the same one that I was talking about. It will start, I think, in 2014. As far as we are concerned, between 2016 and 2017, Shang’ombo will be connected to the national grid. As for now, the people of Shang’ombo use electricity produced by generators. They are not in the dark, and that shows that the Government still cares for the people in the area. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Deputy Minister correctly, he indicated to this House and the nation that there are no conditionalities attached to the sinking of boreholes by the Government of the Republic of Zambia. Can he confirm that the communities in areas where boreholes are being sunk are not supposed to be paying the K1, 500,000, which is being demanded for the job to be done.

Mr C. Zulu: Mr Speaker, I am sure that all the hon. Members know that there are conditions attached to all donor-funded projects. In fact, that K1, 500,000 contribution by the community for the sinking of a borehole in their area is a condition that was there even under the previous regime. We cannot go against the conditions that go with all donor-funded projects.  

Sir, hon. Members must ensure that our communities participate in developing their areas. We must help the members of the community to develop a sense of ownership for the boreholes that are being sunk in their areas. If we do not involve the members of the community in such projects, some people will start throwing rubbish in boreholes after some time. People even break things like bridges if they do not feel a sense of ownership over them. 

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, listening to the hon. Deputy Minister respond to this very important question, one gets the impression that he does not understand the policy context within which the ministry that he is superintending over works. Can he categorically inform the nation whether the conditions that have been in place as a matter of policy are still in effect?

Mr C. Zulu: Mr Speaker, yes, the conditions are still in place.

I thank you, Sir.



321. Mr Njeulu asked the Minister of Home Affairs whether the Government had any plans to construct a prison and staff houses in Shang’ombo District following the completion of the construction of a magistrates court building.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I wish to say that the Government, indeed, plans to construct a prison and staff houses in Shang’ombo once funds are available. This is in line with our ministry’s infrastructure development plan.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


322. Mr Kapyanga (Kabwe Central) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to construct a new National Fire Service Training School in Kabwe;

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

(c)    when new fire tenders for all local authorities would be procured to replace the current ones which have become obsolete.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Masumba): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing had to liaise with the Kabwe Municipal Council to secure some land for the construction of the new school. I wish to state to the House that the land has already been secured. For now, the ministry is not in a position to ascertain when, exactly, the construction will begin because it is yet to secure funds for the project, which is quite huge. As such, when funds are available, then, reliable information will be given to the public.

Mr Speaker, a programme has been put in place to acquire fire-fighting equipment so as to adequately equip the fire brigades in the country. The Government is giving serious attention to the problems facing the fire services and trying to ensure that the fire and rescue industry in the country is improved. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, since there has been a series of fire outbreaks in markets, what remedial measures are being put in place?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Professor Luo): Mr Speaker, let me paraphrase the fact that our predecessors in the Government did not pay attention to …

Hon. MMD Members: Question!  

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: … the area of fire-fighting services. 

Mr Speaker, despite the many reports that were there, of various markets and institutions, such as the Zambia National Building Society and Chisokone Market, burning several times, there was no adequate focus on fire-fighting services in the country. As such, we have inherited a service that did not enjoy any budget line, has no equipment and is inadequately staffed by inadequately trained manpower.  

Sir, the President of the Republic of Zambia, in showing our commitment, as a Government, to fire services, declared 4th May as a National Day for Fire Services so that we can promote awareness in the people of Zambia on the importance of fire services. 

Mr Speaker, we have since procured some equipment through our co-operating partner, the Japanese Government, which will soon be arriving in the country so that we start equipping our various institutions. We are also paying attention to putting in place a training school that will not only adequately train manpower, but also increase the human capital to this service. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


323. Mr Chungu (Luanshya) asked the Minister of Home Affairs how many people lost their lives as a result of head-on collisions of motor vehicles on the following roads from 2007 to 2011, year by year:

(a)    Lusaka/Ndola; and

(b)    Kitwe/Chililabombwe

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House and the nation that 179 people lost their lives as a result of head-on collisions of motor vehicles along the Lusaka/Ndola Road from 2007 to 2011 as follows:

Year    Lives Lost

2007    45
2008    33
2009    42
2010    21
2011    38

Mr Speaker, 104 people lost their lives as a result of head-on collisions of motor vehicles along the Kitwe/Chililabombwe Road from 2007 to 2011 as follows:

Year    Lives Lost
2007    32
2008    19
2009    20
2010    15
2011    18

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Chungu: Mr Speaker, are these deaths as a result of careless driving or the fact that the roads are not dual-carriage ways?

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, most of these deaths are attributed to careless driving. A number of people want to overtake even at bends. Over-speeding and non-roadworthiness of vehicles have also led to such fatalities. Basically, these are the main causes of road traffic accidents.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker gave the Floor to the Hon. Kalila. 

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events. 

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, the lack of a dual-carriage way on the Lusaka/Ndola and the Kitwe/Chililabombwe roads is a contributing factor to the number of deaths that the hon. Deputy Minister mentioned. What steps does the Government intend to take to reduce the number of deaths occurring on these roads? 

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, on our part, as the Ministry of Home Affairs, we conduct highway patrols. The area concerning the construction of roads, in this case the dual-carriage way, is under the auspices of my counterpart in the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication. 

Further, Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we also put up roadblocks at various points. We have identified the major blind spots, such as Wusakile, Sabina, Maposa, Musikili, Landless Corner, Katuba and Kabangwe. That is where most of these roadblocks are set up from time to time in order to, at least, help in  ensuring that those who over-speed, once aware that there is a roadblock ahead, limit their speed and, in  the process, reduce road carnage. 

I thank you, Sir. 
Mr Monde (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, despite the measures indicated by the hon. Minister to prevent deaths on these roads, the numbers still remain in the thirties and forties, with no improvement whatsoever. Does the Government have a plan to reduce these numbers?

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, there is a drastic reduction of accidents on the Kitwe/Chililabombwe Road from an average of thirty-two, in 2007, we have come to eighteen in 2011. Since there are now more vehicles on the roads, you would expect more accidents. In that respect, we have done quite well considering the number of vehicles on the roads, especially the major ones mentioned. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, does the PF Government have any plans to resuscitate the programme of policing which did not only rely on arresting and charging motorists for traffic offences, but also had officers going round to prompt drivers to take driving refresher courses? Is the PF Government intending to resuscitate that programme so that we reduce the numbers of accidents? 

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, this question would be suitably answered by the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, whose ministry runs the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA). Our mandate is merely to help control traffic on the roads. 

I thank you, Sir. 

324. Mr Chungu asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication whether the ministry had any plans to replace the railway track between Ndola and Luanshya and, if so, when the railway track would be replaced.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, yes, we have plans to replace the railway track between Ndola and Luanshya. The obstacle, to date, has been the lack of interest by the current operator due to the fact that the line there is a short haul. However, being the Government and knowing that the line links the mining towns, we are approaching major stakeholders, particularly the mining companies, to consider partnering with us, through the public private partnership (PPP) mode in order to have the line worked on. Discussions are under way on this matter.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that individuals, who are known, were responsible for vandalising that line?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Therefore, if you rehabilitate it, will those known individuals not vandalise it again?


Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, we do not know the individuals behind the vandalism that took place.


Mr Mukanga: However, the inter-mine link on the Copperbelt needs to be revived. What we intend to do is ensure that most of the heavy goods come by rail so that we remove the burden off the roads. That is the reason we are engaging the mining houses to help us provide security wherever the rail is. This way, I believe the railway will be safeguarded.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, one of the reasons cited by the hon. Deputy Minister about the current state of affairs, if I heard him correctly, is that there was a lack of interest by the current operator. Who is the operator and why is he being let off the hook?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, with regard to operators, they can only operate on a rail that will give them revenue. There are many railway links on the Copperbelt. For example, there is a link between Mufulira and Kitwe, Mufulira and Chambishi and Chingola and Kitwe. However, mining houses like Konkola and Mopani have not been using those railway lines. So, what type of operator can be interested in taking a locomotive there when it will not be utilised? Therefore, we are trying to engage the mining companies to ensure that they utilise the railways in order for the operator to be interested in operating. The operator is the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ), which has been operating in that locality.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister not consider, as one way of encouraging the use of rail, rather than road, which costs the Zambian Government a lot of money, perhaps the increment of road tariffs, as a deterrent of the usage of the road in preference for rail?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, we are looking at many options and that is one of them.

I thank you, Sir.


325. Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    why entry requirements at Grades 8 and 10 levels into Kasenengwa High School were always very high;

(b)    when the second phase of constructing the Kasenengwa High School would commence; and

(c)    when the ministry would gazette the school.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, although the question says that the entry requirements at Grades 8 and 10 levels are high, the hon. Member of Parliament knows, and if she does not, that this school only opened in February, 2012. Therefore, it is not correct to say that the entry requirements have always been high.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: However, if they have been high, the reason would be that, since this school just opened this year, obviously, the spaces are limited because it enrolled Grades 8s and 10s when, under normal circumstances, it should have started at Grade 10.

Sir, the contract for the construction of the second phase of Kasenengwa High School was signed on 25th April, 2012. So, although it will depend on how fast the contractor will be, Phase II of the school is supposed to be completed soon.

Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, this school, although opened, is not fully operational because the second phase of the construction has not been completed. Therefore, the ministry will only do the gazetting formalities once the school has been completed and the educational board is appointed by the hon. Minister.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to correct the impression created that I do not know that Kasenengwa High School was opened this year. I visited this school two weeks ago and I am aware. This school is new and the entry points were very high …

Mr Speaker: What is your question, hon. Member?

Ms Kalima: Yes.


Ms Kalima: Is the hon. Minister aware that the entry points for this school, although very new, were the highest in the Eastern Province? I am sure that the hon. Minister is aware …

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Ms Kalima: I am coming to the question.

… that children in Kasenegwa learn under very difficult conditions and walk long distances, hence, it is very difficult to attain high marks. What is the hon. Minister doing to ensure that this school is specifically for the local children? This is because, out of 300 pupils, only ten are from the surrounding community. I believe this school is for the locals. What are you going to do, hon. Minister, to ensure that this school benefits the locals in the community because it was built for the people in Kasenengwa? I have the data and I am very aware.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

This is just a reminder to hon. Members. Let us put questions to the hon. Ministers and, as far as possible, try and discharge emotions from them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, we thank the hon. Member of Parliament’s passion for Kasenengwa, but let us now celebrate that the first phase in the construction of Kasenengwa High School is over. Let us look forward to the second phase, whose signing was done on 25th April, 2012. When the school is fully completed, it will follow the normal enrolment regulations that are followed by all schools in Zambia. At that stage, I will need your hand in determining the best way forward for this school. For now, I thank you for your passion for the poor and hope that it will translate into your working with us when we finally complete the project and enrol students in all streams.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


326. Ms Kalima asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when the construction of Chiparamba High School would commence.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the construction of Chiparamba High School started in May, 2011, and is expected to be completed in 2013.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, I can see that the hon. Minister does not seem to know anything. There is no construction that has started ...

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, if you may take your seat, please.

 Ask questions. Do not enter into argument with those on the right. If you want to demonstrate that the right may not be in the know, please, do so through a question and in a manner that befits the decorum of the House. 

You may proceed.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that Chiparamba High School is not being constructed? Which Chiparamba High School is he talking about?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, our records clearly indicate that the construction of Chiparamba High School began in May, 2011.

Sir, if this is not the situation on the ground, I thank you for the information. I will follow it up and bring an appropriate response.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister enlighten the House on who the contractor is for Chiparamba High School?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that question.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Member: Former Minister


Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, did I refer to him as Minister? I beg your pardon. That is a false prophecy. I hope it will not happen again.


Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, further to the clarification I gave the hon. Member of Parliament for Kasenengwa, we will now look at all these projects that the hon. Member for Nalikwanda left with us and determine which ones are pending.

Sir, I said, earlier, that I did not want to discuss issues concerning the pending construction of schools because I have respect for those who have passed through this office. So, we will comb through the document to see which contractors have not performed accordingly and chart the way forward.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, since the hon. Minister has confirmed that the project started in May, 2011, how much has so far been spent on it?


Mr Speaker: I will exercise my discretion. I think the hon. Minister has made his position very clear. For the sake of dispatch of business, I will move to the next question.


327. Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central) asked the Minister of Defence when the Government would construct new housing units and rehabilitate the existing ones at Luena Barracks in Kaoma.

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Mr Mwenya): Mr Speaker, the Government is currently implementing a project to construct housing units for Defence personnel in military cantonments. This project has been broken down into two phases. The first phase is scheduled to be completed by August, 2013.

Sir, Luena Barracks is likely to be considered in the second phase, which is expected to commence after the first phase has been completed.

Mr Speaker, the ministry will soon be undertaking a complete assessment of the state of the existing housing units in Luena Barracks to ascertain the extent of the rehabilitation works. Should the assessment be completed in time, the programme will be included in next year’s Budget.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Antonio: Mr Speaker, I have received information on the first phase, which will start in August, 2013. It has been mentioned that the barracks in question will be put in the second phase. May I know the timeframe of the second phase.

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mwamba): Mr Speaker, the second phase will commence in 2013.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, which cantonments will be included in the first phase?

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, maybe, I did not hear the hon. Member of Parliament correctly. Is it the first or second phase he is referring to? The cantonments which are in the first phase are L85, which is in Lusaka and has 2, 830 units. There is Twin Palm, which has 1,100 units and Makeni Zambia National Service (ZNS) Garrison, which has 105 units. Chindwin Barracks has 275 units, Tug Argan has 125 units and Special Division, Office of the President, has 191 units.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the various infrastructure development programmes going on in the various cantonments are of interest to the nation. Could the hon. Minister enlighten the nation, through this House, how much the various construction works will cost.

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, I think the hon. Minister ... hon. Member of Parliament, I am sorry, once again, I wanted to address him as hon. Minister, yet he is a former Minister. The hon. Member of Parliament should realise that my ministry is a very sensitive one. Unfortunately, I am not able to reveal how much the project will cost.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Taundi (Mangango): Mr Speaker, considering that the Government is constructing housing units in some military cantonments, is there any plan to construct housing units at Mangango ZNS camp? This camp has been there for some time, but people still live in grass, pole and mud houses.

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, that is in our plan for the second phase.

Thank you, Sir.


328. Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    whether the ministry was aware that the weir on Muyembe River in Kawambwa District had been washed away for the second time in less than two years of its construction;

(b)    what the reasons for the constant washing away of the weir were;

(c)    how much money the Government spent on the project when it was first constructed; and

(d)    who the contractor of the project was.

Mr C. Zulu: Mr Speaker, my ministry is aware that the weir in question was washed away in the last rainy season. There are plans to rehabilitate the washed-away embankment this year, around August/September, when the water level is at its lowest. I also wish to make the following correction. The said weir was constructed on Kanwabateni River, not Muyembe River. It was first constructed in 2004.

Mr Speaker, the weir under discussion has been washed away twice since it was constructed. It was first washed away in 2009 due to the weathering of rocks under the foundation. This phenomenon occurs naturally in some rock formations even after the weaker top rocks were dug out down to what would be firm formation after the construction of the foundation base. The repairs on the weir were thus confined to the failed part of the foundation of the main concrete structure and the apron, which have since been completed. This involved digging out below the foundation to remove all the weathered material down to the firm formation. The second wash-away was on the right side, when the observer is looking upstream – for Hon. Chilangwa’s information – of the dam embankment that was not worked on as it was not expected to be washed away since it was intact at the time of executing the works. When the weir was first washed away, this segment was examined and found to be in a firm and stable state. 

Sir, to ensure stability of the weir, the rehabilitation will, therefore, include underpinning and reconstructing the failed wing as well as providing auxiliary spillways, in the event that there is above normal runoff. This is intended to release pressure off the structure. There is K270 million for this project, of which K170 million has already been sent to the area.

Sir, the Government spent K700 million on the construction of the weir. The works were undertaken by the Department of Water Affairs through labour-intensive jobs that utilised the skills of the local community.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister confirming that the embankment was washed away due to poor workmanship?

Mr C. Zulu: Mr Speaker, I feel this happened, firstly, because of the rock formation and, secondly, the engineers did a bad job.

Thank you, Sir.


329. Mr Chilangwa asked the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs:

(a)    when an access facility at the Lumangwe Waterfalls from the Kawambwa side would be built;

(b)    whether the Government had any plans to allow the private sector to develop the area surrounding the waterfalls; and

(c)    if so, when the Government would invite the private sector to invest in the area.

The Deputy Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mrs Kawandami): Mr Speaker, in an effort to promote tourism investment and visits to other parts of Zambia besides the Victoria Falls, the Government of the Republic of Zambia came up with a tourism development programme dubbed ‘The Northern Circuit’ in 2007. This programme was aimed at promoting tourism development in the Northern and Luapula provinces. The tourism promotion called ‘Destination Luapula’ was, therefore, initiated by the Luapula Provincial administration as response to the call by the Government to promote tourism in the area in 2008. The access facility was then developed in September, 2008.

Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs’ National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC), has plans to allow the private sector to develop the area surrounding the waterfalls. The sites that are ready for concession, tourism investment that is, include the Lumangwe and Kabwelume falls in Kawambwa, where basic tourism infrastructure has already been constructed by the NHCC from Government funds. Ntumbachushi Falls in Kawambwa is a site that will have basic tourism infrastructure put up this year. Mumbuluma Falls in Mansa is a site at which the Luapula provincial administration and NHCC intends to put basic tourism infrastructure. 

Sir, the private sector is at liberty to invest in the mentioned sites and the NHCC will be advertising the sites for investment before the end of 2012.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.





The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Civil Aviation Authority Bill, 2012, whose objectives are to:

(a)    establish the Civil Aviation Authority and provide for its powers and functions;

(b)    provide for the regulation and promotion of civil aviation;

(c)    ensure civil aviation safety and security; and

(d)    provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Tuesday, 10th July, 2012. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions or amendments are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.

Thank you.




Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply for the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 12th June, 2012.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the motion.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, your Committee considered as its topical issue, “The Management and Utilisation of Government Vehicles in Zambia”. The background to this inquiry is that, for a long time now, there has been a public outcry on the management and utilisation of Government vehicles. Concern has also been raised on the servicing of Government vehicles, considering that the Engineering Services Corporation (ESCO) Limited, the institution that was responsible for repairing and servicing Government vehicles, is no longer doing that since it has been privatised. Concern had further been raised on the insurance for Government vehicles.

Further, Mr Speaker, previous Committees on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply have, since 2006, been raising concern over the weak penalties meted out for the misuse of Government vehicles and the lack of capacity of the Government Transport Control Unit or Controller of Government Transport.

The objectives of this study were, therefore, to:

(i)    find out the number and condition of Government vehicles in all ministries and departments;

(ii)    determine how and where Government vehicles are serviced;

(iii)    find out the state and role of Engineering Services Corporation (ESCO) Limited;

(iv)    find out how many and with which insurance institutions Government vehicles are insured;

(v)    find out the efficacy of the Controller of Government Transport in enforcing general orders regarding Government vehicles;

(vi)    find out the efficacy of the legal framework with regard to enforcing penalties for misuse of Government vehicles;

(vii)    find out how far the Integrated Financial Management and Information System (IFMIS) monitoring of Government vehicles has gone; and

(viii)    recommend the way forward to the Government.

Mr Speaker, in order to get full insight into this matter, your Committee requested written as well as oral submissions from all the ministries and ESCO Limited. Your Committee was also privileged to undertake a tour to Malawi to do a comparative study on how the Malawian Government manages and utilises its vehicles.

Mr Speaker, since hon. Members have read your Committee’s report and have it before them, I will just highlight a few issues that came out of the interaction with stakeholders and the visit to Malawi.

Sir, your Committee was informed that the Government of the Republic of Zambia had a fleet of over 6,000 vehicles spread across the country in different departments and agencies, and well over thirty-five models. Further, your Committee learnt that there was no central organisation for the procurement of Government transport. Whereas the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication was the procurer of Government vehicles, individual ministries, now, buy their own brands and only go to register them with the Controller of Government Transport at the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication.

Sir, your Committee was informed that this had led to the Government not having control over the type and number of vehicles on its fleet. This is quite different from the Malawian case, where the Vehicle and Plant Hire Organisation (VPHO), which is responsible for Government vehicles, has a recommended list from which it guides the Government on the type of vehicles it should buy. Your Committee, in this regard, recommends that a limit be set on the number of models Government ministries and departments should procure and use, and that these must be subjected to scrutiny by a specialised body of technocrats at the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication. The current Vehicle and Plant Hire Committee comprises Permanent Secretaries, who may not have any technical know-how on vehicles and only concern themselves with whether the request being made by a particular ministry falls within the budget.

Sir, your Committee learnt that most Government vehicles are serviced and maintained by franchise holders, such as Southern Cross Motors Limited, Toyota Zambia Limited, CFAO Limited, Action Auto Limited, Guardian Motors Limited, Pilatus Engineering Limited and Yeti Motors Limited, and that, in areas where these were not available, Government vehicles were serviced by selected registered private local garages. This has resulted in the Government’s spending huge sums of money because franchise dealer garages factored in their costing the fact that the Government was sometimes unable to pay promptly. They also take advantage of the limited options the Government has in this matter. Many stakeholders were of the view that the Government would save a lot of resources if it had its own workshops, provided they were better managed, as was the case previously. This is what is obtaining in Malawi, where all Government vehicles are serviced centrally by the VPHO.

Sir, your Committee, therefore, recommends that, in order to reduce costs, the Government considers re-establishing Government workshops and garages under an umbrella body similar to the former Mechanical Services Department (MSD) or ESCO Limited in districts and provincial centres. If this is too big an undertaking, for now, the Government should consider allowing each ministry to have its own workshop, as do the ministries of Health and Defence. For a start, it might appear like an expensive undertaking but, in the long term, it will save the Government a lot of resources currently being lost in exorbitant charges from franchise dealers and other garages servicing Government vehicles.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also learnt that most Government vehicles were insured with the Zambia State Insurance Corporation and Professional Insurance Corporation under Comprehensive or Third-Party, depending on the age and condition of the vehicle. Your Committee was, however, shocked to learn that some departments, particularly in rural areas, did not insure their vehicles at all, citing inadequate funding. Your Committee also learnt that each ministry decided which insurance company to insure its vehicles with. This is quite different from Malawi, where the insurance of Government vehicles is subjected to a tender process and the successful insurance companies are given to insure vehicles for one or more ministries. This promotes transparency and removes corruption or collusion. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the insurance of Government vehicles be subjected to a tender process by the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) and that funding to ministries and Government departments be improved to enable them insure all their vehicles and carry out their functions.

 Mr Speaker, pertaining to the efficacy of the Controller of Government Transport in enforcing General Orders regarding Government vehicles, your Committee was informed that, whereas the provisions may have been adequate, enforcement was a challenge because the entire Government Transport Control Unit only had fifteen members of staff, out of the thirty prescribed in the establishment, to police the whole country. Even if there was a full staff complement of thirty, it still would not suffice to monitor the use of Government vehicles in the whole country, especially that the unit is only present at the provincial level. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government Transport Control Unit be elevated to department status and its establishment expanded by recruiting more staff so that it can have its presence in all provinces and districts in order to effectively monitors the use of Government transport.

Mr Speaker, the other thorny issue with regard to the management and utilisation of Government vehicles was that of personal-to-holder vehicles. Your Committee was informed that due to the freeze by the Treasury on the employment of Classified Daily Employees (CDEs), ministries could not employ enough drivers. This had resulted in officers, such as directors, assistant directors and, in some cases, heads of departments, to use pool vehicles as personal-to-holder. The result has been rampant abuse. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the ban on the employment of drivers be lifted so that more drivers can be engaged and pool vehicles used as such.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to thank you for the guidance and support you rendered to your Committee during its deliberations. I also wish to thank the members of your Committee for their co-operation and dedication to duty without which nothing much would have been achieved. Lastly, but not the least, I would like to extend my thanks to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to your Committee during its business in this session. 

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Kampyongo: Now, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion so eloquently moved by the Chairperson of your Committee, I wish to make some additions and amplify some of them.

Mr Speaker, one of the challenges that the Government faces in the management and utilisation of its vehicles is the monitoring of the procurement and use of fuels and lubricants. This is where, through collusion between drivers, administrative and executive officers, transport officers and filling station attendants, the Government loses colossal amounts of money. Even with the use of the famous ‘Tom Card’, drivers and officers in charge of transport still draw fuel which does not go into Government vehicles. Further, the Government, which happens to be the biggest consumer of fuels and lubricants, buys them on retail price like any other consumer, thereby, pushing the cost up. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that in order to curb theft, and abuse and to use the advantage of bulk buying, the Government considers reverting to the old system where it had its own filling stations in provinces and districts. This will enable it to buy fuels and lubricants directly from the marketing companies at wholesale price through an open tender process and save resources, as well as saving the new models of vehicles from being damaged as a result of using adulterated fuel in areas where there are no commercial filling stations. 

Mr Speaker, as a matter of fact, Indeni is a State enterprise and can be recommended for a source of fuel. This could also help the Government to avoid grinding to a halt in the event of a fuel crisis. Consideration should, however, be given to why this arrangement was discontinued so that the weaknesses of the old system are improved upon.

Mr Speaker, the other weakness in the management of fuels and lubricants is the fact that transport officers, most of whom have no technical training in the mechanical operation of vehicles, do not critically examine the log book in order to reconcile the fuel used and the distance covered on a daily basis. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that only officers who have some mechanical knowledge of vehicles be appointed as transport officers as opposed to the current situation where they are merely seconded from among the general staff at the ministries. For instance, it is not uncommon to find administrative or executive officers being appointed as transport officers. 

Mr Speaker, the other issue is the implementation of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) in the monitoring of Government vehicles. Your Committee learnt that the IFMIS was a tool that the Government could use as it focused on the harmonisation of Government processes. In fleet management, it involves the management of the procurement process and assets, which could enable the Government to effectively allocate and conserve resources, as it showed the frequency of breakdown of a vehicle and the expenditure associated with it. Unfortunately, this very important facility has, so far, been rolled out to only twenty-eight institutions out of the fifty that were originally earmarked. Even in the ministries where it had been installed, it had met a lot of resistance from users in the initial stages, but has eventually become a loop-hole for dubious transactions. It is for this reason that your Committee recommends that the Government moves quickly to either improve the implementation of this very useful tool in all ministries or completely abandon it for other workable options despite the huge cost associated with its introduction.

Mr Speaker, your Committee further learnt that the Controller of Government Transport lacks the capacity to control and manage Government transport. Equally, the inadequacy of the penalties meted out on offenders has led to wilful flouting of provisions regarding public transport and, sometimes, with ghastly consequences.

Mr Speaker, some examples of these instances are at the then Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development, where a vehicle Registration No. GRZ 439 BX, under the Department of Water Affairs in Solwezi was stolen on 5th July, 2011. This vehicle, according to the police report, was parked at the officer’s residence, contrary to regulations. Unfortunately, no recovery of this vehicle has been made.

Mr Speaker, another case occurred at the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, where a vehicle, Registration No. GRZ 248BX, under the Department of Water Affairs, Lusaka Province, got involved in a fatal accident. The driver was using it without permission from the controlling officer after having worked for many hours.

Sir, your Committee, therefore, recommends that, apart from stiffening the penalties for flouting regulations, the Controller of Government Transport should be expanded and given both financial and human capacity to monitor the use of Government vehicles throughout the country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the recommendations in the report. I want to believe that a journey of 1,000 miles starts with one step and I think this is just the first step.

Sir, I would have loved to see the Committee making more recommendations than the one that they have made, that we reduce the variety of vehicles that the Government owns.

Mr Speaker, it is a known fact that the Government is not a good manager of costs and risks. The amount of money that we spend on maintaining 6,000 vehicles is huge and affects the services that we deliver to our people. I suggest that we look for a better fleet management solution, such as transferring the ownership of these vehicles to the private sector.

Sir, the cost of one vehicle added to those involved in running them is about K500 million. If you multiply K500 million by 6,000 vehicles, it will give you about K3 trillion, which is a very famous figure in this House.


Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, K3 trillion is money that can be given to our banks so that workers in the Government, from Permanent Secretary downwards, can access loans to buy these vehicles and use them during work. We can just have the hon. Ministers, their deputies and those above them using Government vehicles. Thus, we will only need a small fleet of vehicles to run our ministries. This is working in other countries. 

Sir, let me give an example. The Ministry of Finance in South Africa has only about fifteen small cars.

Mr Mukanga: Aah!

Mr Mulusa: They do not have the type of vehicles that we have here, which are costly to maintain. 

Mr Speaker, someone once told me that he buys vehicles that are similar to the ones owned by the Government. He further told me that, each time his vehicle breaks down, he simply takes it to the garage where Government vehicles are taken for repairs so that spare parts are swapped.


Mr Mulusa: Sir, this is very costly and we cannot manage it. It is difficult to do anything to stop such situations from happening under the current way of doing things. I think that the best thing for us to do is …


Mr Speaker: Order, order!

Mr Mulusa: Hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, I am trying to be helpful here.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Could the hon. Member speak through the Chair.

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, I am trying to make suggestions that can help the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication to contribute to the efficient running of the Government so that a lot of money can be spent on service delivery, instead of maintaining Government vehicles. At the moment, the costs and risks that are involved in managing the kind of fleet that the Government has is just too huge.

Sir, when you look at the thirty-five brands of vehicles that constitute the 6,000 …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, before we broke off for lunch, I was identifying …

Hon. Members: Break!


Mr Mulusa: For me, that was my lunch because I work very hard.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, before we broke off for lunch, tea and siestas, I was identifying …


Mr Mulusa: … opportunities that are in the scenario that was highlighted in the report.

Sir, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry can actually take advantage of the scenario talked about in the study. The 6,000 vehicles that the Government owns added to the vehicles owned by the private sector, and if you look at the number of vehicles that break down or get written off as a result of accidents, on the Government side, you will be talking about, probably, 9,000 over five years, which is the lifespan of a vehicle in Zambia, there are opportunities for the motor vehicle industry in the country to develop. We can actually create viable motor assembly plants that can be producing the vehicles. That way, we would score on three fronts. The banks would, at least, grow their asset base; the individuals from whom these vehicles would be withdrawn would, again, have the ability to access loans to buy vehicles of their choice. This would be one way of realising the plan by the PF Government to put more money in people’s pockets. Through my suggestion, the Government will also save a lot of money. 

Sir, I would like to urge the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to study this report and see what else it can do beyond the recommendations made by the Committee.

Sir, with these few remarks, I support the report.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I will not take long because I am a member of this Committee. I just want to make a few additions to what was talked about in the report. 

Sir, as the mover of this Motion pointed out, though not very sure, the Government has more than thirty-five models of vehicles on its fleet. I am sure that the Government has more than thirty-five models of vehicles.

Mr Speaker, according to a research report published in the Times of Zambia of April 18, 2012, there were at least eighty-two vehicle models on the Government’s fleet. I think a study needs to be commissioned so that we can establish the exact number. 

Sir, I know that there is a circular recently released by Cabinet Office regarding Government vehicles. The answer to the problem of having too many models could lie in that circular. According to the Sunday Times of Zambia of June 17, 2012, it was suggested in the circular that some of these vehicles should be sold to the directors and assistant directors. As the mover pointed out, the abuse is at that level. I think that, with that idea, we could reduce the number of models.  Probably, we could bring it to seven like it used to be until the 1970s. 

Mr Speaker, on the Lusaka/Chirundu Road, with specific reference to the wash-away, I think that the previous Committee pushed for the contractor to be paid the remaining amount so that he could work on the washed-away parts. I think your Committee looked at this from a different angle because the wash-away happened during the defects liability period. This is the period during which a contractor, if there is any fault in the works, is supposed to rectify it at his or her own cost. China Hinan was in charge of that project, but we note that Messrs Sable Transport Limited ended up doing the repair work. What I am trying to say is that China Hinan should have gone back and repaired this road at its own cost. Your Committee wanted to know why the money to be paid to Messrs Sable Transport Limited, which is the second contractor, is supposed to come from the Government, not China Hinan. It is either the contractor or the designer who was at fault, not the client, which is the Government. This money should not come from the Government. I note that the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) is being requested to release the funds when it is the contractor or consultant who should. 

Sir, on page 29 of the report, your Committee talked about the faulty bearings on the New Chirundu Bridge. The Committee looked at this issue from a different angle in that it recommends that the Government raises this issue with the consultant, instead of the ZPPA. The works on the bridge were commissioned on 12th December, 2002. It is only ten years ago and these parts last twenty years or more. What the Committee is trying to say is that the ministry should write to the consultant who designed the faulty bearings. I am pretty sure that the consultant will be very happy to rectify this fault at his own cost because he has a reputation to protect. Good bearings are supposed to last fifty to seventy years. The old Chirundu Bridge was put up in 1939; about seventy-three years ago, yet I do not remember any bearing on it being replaced. The ministry should take this up with the consultant, not the Zambian and Zimbabwean Governments. The reputation of the consultant is at stake. 

Mr Speaker, the fourth issue I want to talk about is the construction works on the Kafue/Mazabuka Road. I remember, last year, in March, the MMD Government told us, in this House, that the construction works would start in July. I am surprised that the new Government is talking about starting this project towards the end of this year. We are behind schedule by twelve months already. In the report, we have been told that there are still some studies to be carried out before the detailed design can be done. How come all these issues are coming up now yet, last year, we were told that construction would start in July?


Mr Mooya: Mr Speaker, finally, I would like to join the mover and the seconder of this Motion in commending the Malawian Parliament on how well they looked after us during our tour of that country. I think that they looked after us very well. That meeting we had there was supposed to be only for us and the technocrats, but an hon. Deputy Minister attended it for almost four hours. I would like to also commend him for that.

Mr Speaker, with these remarks, I thank you.

Mr Kalaba (Bahati): Mr Speaker, the report that has been presented to this House by your Committee is quite elaborate. I, however, have a few issues to raise on it. I notice that the report refers to the past as having been glorious. It also tends to point to ESCO as being a solution to some of the problems that were identified. In my view, the solution might lie in the successful implementation of IFMIS. I am saying so because I noticed that the officers seemed to be resistant to the successful implementation of IFMIS. The Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications should probably explore this possibility and see whether the issues highlighted in the report regarding IFMIS can answer the challenges surrounding the management of Government transport. 

Mr Speaker, having 6,000 vehicles of different makes is not easy. Sometimes, I even ask myself why we need so many different makes, yet we do not even take vehicles to franchise holders. They, sometimes, go to garages that some civil servant, somewhere, has identified and has, obviously, agreed on something with the owners of the garages. As a result, the costs of having a car worked on are always astronomically high. I have also asked myself why servicing a Government vehicle always costs more compared to a privately-owned one even when both have the same problem. 

Mr Speaker, these are issues that we must begin to look at seriously. They were never looked at by our colleagues seated on the left today. 


Mr Kalaba: For us, now, it becomes a challenge that we begin to look at some of these issues seriously. Otherwise, money will be going into what is called a ‘black hole’, which will not be very good for the taxpayer.   

Mr Speaker, I also know that garages take advantage of Government vehicles. There is the paradox of there being some areas where vehicles are taken to garages often and others where they are never serviced at all. I have read in the report that rural areas are the hardest hit. Why is that so? They, too, should find ways of taking the vehicles for servicing. It is just logical that, if a vehicle is not serviced at an appropriate time, it will break down and, once it does, it will go to a garage where, sometimes, it will eventually disappear. 

Mr Speaker, the Government is failing to manage 6,000 vehicles. This is because Directors and Permanent Secretaries are in a hurry going to Game at Manda Hill where they look at the latest models on the market so that they can abandon their vehicles and get the latest. I think that we should depart from this. It is time we learnt not only to buy, but also to keep and maintain what we already have. This is the spirit that has been lacking in this country. It is also what has brought most of the Government vehicles to where they are today. The new methodology that has been introduced in the Government is very proactive and positive. It will assist the Government to reduce costs on fuel.  

Mr Speaker, in the past, when some hon. Ministers in the MMD Government were given fuel, they still went back to the pool to collect some more to go for election campaigns and all kinds of other errands. This is detrimental to the nation as it does not help anybody. At the end of the day, it is the taxpayers we are putting a burden on. There is no need to go back to the pool after consuming your allocation of fuel claiming that you have an assignment that requires an additional allocation. This is close to theft. You are taking from where you are not supposed to. I think that these are areas where we should start reducing some of these expenses. 

Mr Speaker, having said that, it is important that stringent measures are adhered to in ensuring that fuel is used for what it is intended. Otherwise, we will continue spending money year in and year out, but nothing will change. 

Mr Speaker, another issue that is of paramount importance is that of the usage of Government vehicles. Sometimes, people who are supposed to protect these vehicles and ensure that they are used for the intended purpose are the very ones who are using them for wrong purposes. You may, for example, find a Government vehicle on a wedding line-up. 


Mr Kalaba: Then, where it is written GRZ, they put a banner reading “Just Married”…


Mr Kalaba: … so that people cannot see. This is not the way to use a Government vehicle.

Mr Speaker, we have instances where people have used Government vehicles, ama trucks, for kitchen parties. They ride in these vehicles and even drum in them. 


Mr Kalaba: During the MMD Government, these things were happening. 

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

Mr Kalaba: That is why they were removed from the Government. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: Especially Shikapwasha. 

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, these are issues that take away the confidence of our people. Our people turn away and are no longer interested in looking at what their leaders are doing. It takes away from the leaders. It is, therefore, important that those of us who are called to service lead by example so that you do not call others to adhere to values that you cannot adhere to. It is not right. 

Mr Speaker, some directors in these Government departments have filled those positions without knowing how to drive. When they go into these ministries, they begin using Government vehicles to learn how to drive. 


Mr Kalaba: Therefore, you know that they are putting the clutch plate under pressure. There are some people seated there whom I know to have learnt how to drive using Government vehicles. That is not right.  


Dr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to raise a point of order. 

Mr Speaker, I have a lot of respect for the young man who is debating. However, is he in order to make these serious accusations without substantiating what he is saying by bringing evidence to this House and laying it on the Table? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that the hon. Member for Bahati has not singled out any individual. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear. Hear!

Mr Speaker: He has made general observations based on his personal knowledge and experiences. To that extent, I would not rule him out of order. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear. Hear!

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

I have experience in the Civil Service, in which I worked for twelve years, and speak from very firm ground. I do not bluff. I know that vehicles, in the past, were being misused. Even today, there are some people who are misusing vehicles. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, this is Parliament. When pointing out certain issues, we say things that are very substantive. 

Mr Speaker, in my language they say “Imbila yamushi, tabayasukila” meaning that when an announcement, for example, about a wizard, is being made in the village, you cannot wake up the following morning and ask why they were talking about you.


Mr Kalaba: Then, they would say there is an issue.  

Mr Speaker, I was saying that it is important that those who are given the responsibility to manage and govern matters of public interest do so with the decorum that they should, instead of abusing them. When people stand on those queues to vote for us, at whatever level, and in whatever party, they are not voting for us to come here and become fatter or richer. They are voting because they believe that, maybe, if they bring in the Patriotic Front and remove the MMD, their child will go to secondary school, that an extra bag of fertiliser will come their way or that their road will be worked on. This is why they vote for us. 

Mr Speaker, it, therefore, becomes important that these vehicles …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kalaba: … that are given as personal-to-holder, pool or utility vehicles are used for their intended purposes. 

Sir, I would like to urge the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, Hon. Yamfwa Mukanga, a very capable man, to ensure that, even in places where there is no provision for controllers of government transport, like in the districts, he puts in control mechanisms because, if you rely on the District Commissioner’s office, which has only got one Land Rover, how will you manage other sectors, such as agriculture, health and others that have no vehicles? It will be a mere academic exercise. We need to strengthen that department and give it the teeth that it needs to operate. Without doing that, we will fail to sing from the same hymn book.

Sir, therefore, it becomes important that that office is enabled to properly operate. The failure to do this is the reason the Government is losing revenue. We cannot sit idly and watch only one area take so much revenue at the expense of another. We are looking at issues of budgetary constraints here. Therefore, it is important that we moderate ourselves in the way we use these things.

Sir, some of these issues I am talking about are what made our friends on your left to be where they are. When people were talking about their need to learn to use Government property properly, they were not listening. So, today, …


Mr Kalaba: … they are there.


Mr Kalaba: My advice is timely. The same drum that the people of Zambia played for the MMD, in 2011, can also be played for us, on this side, in 2016.

Hon. Members: Yes. Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: In my language, they say, “Uwamano asambilila pafyo icipuba bacicita.”

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, this means that he who is wise will learn from the way a fool has been treated.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Long live Bahati!

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this very important report. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to support the Committee’s work and quickly say that the topic at hand is not just important, but also timely, considering that we have a new Government in place. I hope that the new administration will take time to study what has come out of your report.

Sir, whilst I fully support the report, I wish to say that many issues identifying the problems have been brought out but, in terms of the solutions that are being proposed, we need to study the actual problems in detail and look at better solutions. This is because I have seen a forward and backward kind of solution. It is like we have now run out of ideas as what I have seen is that we want to continue going back to the past; to what used to happen under the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government. It may have been good, then, because of the structures, population and also times. However, we are in a new era now and some of the things that happened in the past cannot work now. For example, there was a suggestion on the re-establishment of ESCO.

Sir, only yesterday, we heard the hon. Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry articulating the PF Policy and stating that the party is there to create an enabling environment for the private sector to drive the economy and create the much talked about employment. I think that the PF Government is trying to get away from the Government running businesses. When you run businesses as a government, the ‘cha Boma’ syndrome of not caring comes in and it is normally difficult to sustain such businesses. Therefore, the same problems we are experiencing in the private garages can also come even in ESCO if it comes back again. People will begin to sell spare parts within that establishment and do insider-trading. So, I think that we need to really study the problems and, maybe, improve on the solutions. I thought that I should make that comment.

Mr Speaker, successive Governments in this country have lost a lot of resources when it comes to issues of the usage and management of public vehicles. It is a problem that has been there for these Governments and, although they have tried to find solutions, unfortunately, they have gone from bad to worse. I know for a fact that this is especially true during the time we were in the MMD. 

Sir, sometimes, I laugh when I hear people complaining when somebody makes a statement, which is just factual, that there had been a massive abuse of public resources in the previous administration. I was part of that administration and know what the people were saying. For sure, that is why there was a change of Government.

Mr Ntundu interjected.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member of Parliament for Gwembe, I cautioned you yesterday. I will not keep cautioning you indefinitely.

You may, please, proceed, hon. Member for Chongwe.

Mrs Masebo: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Sir, this Motion is timely because we have a new Government in place. I am also aware that the current administration is trying to go back to implement the regulations and Acts that we, in the previous administration, had put in place, but thrown away. 

Mr Speaker, in this report, we have general orders on how personal-to-holder supposed to be utilised, who is entitled to them and other provisions. These rules have been there. For example, in 2002, there was a regulation that only hon. Ministers, hon. Deputy Ministers and Permanent Secretaries were entitled to personal-to-holder vehicles. The rest had to use utility vehicles. It is there in black and white. What happened to that? Over the years, everybody started having personal-to-holder vehicles.

Sir, the General Orders are very clear, for example, that, when you are an hon. Minister, you are not supposed to give your vehicle to your husband, wife, sister or relatives. However, what did we see? We had so many problems of children of hon. Ministers driving Government vehicles. These things were happening and the abuse was not only by hon. Ministers but ran through to Permanent Secretaries and directors to the extent that the Government, in the process, lost a lot of money.

Mr Speaker, I am aware that the current Government has issued a circular to begin to implement those old orders. This morning, we had a function with the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing. A Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) member of staff came almost two hours late for the function. I asked her how she could go two hours after the hon. Minister had arrived and the poor young lady said, “Sorry ba honourable, there is a new law now and we do not have transport. The new law is that we have to find our way to work in the morning. In the past, we had a ZANIS vehicle picking us up. Now, we do not have that kind of transport.” So, I told her that the law is not new because it had always been there. It is only being implemented.

Sir, the point I am raising now to the new Government is that, while implementing these standing orders, which have been there since time immemorial, but were never implemented, there is a need to review them. You might find that they will not give you the necessary output you are looking for. For instance, you will have people getting to the office late and the excuses will be that the vehicles have been withdrawn and have to be packed at 1700 hours, that the transport sector in Zambia is not that effective or that there is so much congestion in town that buses get to places late, yet one is an essential worker. So, I just thought that, maybe, I should raise this issue with the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication and the Leader of Government Business that we need to look at the actual General Orders and see whether those of 2002 can really help us, today, in this new environment.

Mr Speaker, the other point I wish to raise is that of fuel. We know for a fact that ministries had fuel points from which specific vehicles were to refuel, but we know what was happening. A lot of that fuel ended up in wrong vehicles or went into the right vehicles, but people overdrew what was allocated to them. All these are problems that, in the long run, made the Government lose a lot of money. For this reason, I would suggest that, whether you are on the right or the left side of Mr Speaker, it is necessary that the Government cuts its expenditure and stops the loss of colossal amounts of money.

Sir, the Member of Parliament for Solwezi Central, Hon. Mulusa, raised the issue of garages and some of my colleagues on this side were murmuring that it only happened during the time of the MMD Government. However, I want to tell you that it was not just during the MMD era that this used to happen. This has continued even now because we have the same people in place. What has changed? The fact that we have a new hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education does not mean things have changed. It is the same Zambians who still occupy positions in the different sectors.

Therefore, the hon. Minister needs to look into that issue because we are losing a lot of money through these private garages that we are using. There are many rackets in the maintenance of public vehicles. I am aware that new tyres can be removed and replaced with old ones without the Government official who uses the vehicle knowing. 

Mrs Banda: Even a battery.

Mrs Masebo: Indeed, you are right hon. Deputy Minister. Even a battery can secretly be replaced. I am sure she has already had that experience.

Mr Speaker, the solution to some of these problems is to put more women in the Government. We need to have a situation in which there is gender parity in all the sectors because …

Hon. Male Members interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member has a right to express her views and opinions freely and without interference.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, Zambia is a signatory to various international protocols on equal participation of both men and women in various sectors of political, economic and social life. If you look at other countries in the region with an almost equal number of men and women in governance and the private sector, you will find that those countries are doing very well. In this country, we have just too many men in decision-making positions, hence, the problems that we are facing. Therefore, I am glad that the current President has identified this. This is why we have seen that he is bringing in more women in almost all the sectors of society and we are going to see change.


Mrs Masebo: Women are more committed to work and less corrupt. Even when it comes to usage of Government vehicles, a woman director or Permanent Secretary will go straight home after knocking off from work. As for the male counterpart, after knocking off from work, he will first go to home number one, then number two and number three, all at Government cost.


Mrs Masebo stopped speaking.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, you still have the Floor.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, all I am saying to our men is that they should embrace the womenfolk in all sectors of society, whether it is in secondary schools, clinics, the Government or at church. Even when it comes to pastors or reverends, you find that the women reverends are more sincere than their male counterparts.


Hon. PF Members: Shikapwasha.

Mrs Masebo: No, my brother Reverend Shikapwasha is okay.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, all I am saying is that some of the recommendations we should be making as Committees should include having more women in most Government departments and other sectors. We need to have a 50/50 or, at least, 45/55 representation of both genders. If that happens, we are going to see change in this country, just like we shall now see change in the Judiciary in Zambia.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, lastly, I just want to comment on another issue highlighted in the report of your Committee. I noticed that your Committee went to Malawi and was able to have insight into that country’s policy with regard to the utilisation of Government vehicles. However, it would have been better if the Committee went to a country that has even more Government vehicles than Zambia. Maybe, we could have learnt new lessons because, when you look at the Malawian experience, you will find that there is nothing new, really. 

Sir, the situation in Malawi is actually the same as that in Zambia. Maybe, our neighbours have done better than us in terms of implementing their regulations. I think that one of our weak points, as Zambia, is that we do not implement our regulations. If we can just follow all the regulations that we have currently in terms of the usage of Government vehicles, we are going to see an improvement immediately. So, it is a matter of values, like my colleague who spoke earlier said. What kind of people are we or what kind of people do we want to be? When one is appointed hon. Minister or director, or elected hon. Member of Parliament, is that not an honour? We must, therefore, live by example and observe the rules that we have put in place. We need to be the ones to actually lead by example so that others can follow suit. 

Sir, when junior officers in ministries see their Permanent Secretaries and directors handling Government property in a certain way, they will emulate that behaviour. If it is the hon. Minister instructing the PS to carry his concubines after working hours in Government vehicles, then it becomes a problem. Similarly, if it is a director using a Make Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign vehicle to carry charcoal after working hours, what impression is given to junior officers in Government departments? They will actually do worse than their superiors in abusing Government resources. I, therefore, reiterate that, if we can lead by example as directors, hon. Ministers or hon. Members of Parliament in our own constituencies and councils by not abusing Government facilities, we will see that even the people behind us will follow suit. It is a question of the kind of work culture we want in our society. So far, I am personally happy with the PF because the lack of the desire to abuse Government facilities has started with the Head of State. We can all see that he does not want to get rich by using Government facilities.


Mrs Masebo: I think that is very important. 

Sir, if the President is leading by example, what about an hon. Minister, PS or director? It simply means that they will also follow suit. However, if leaders want to get rich by using Government facilities because they are in positions of authority, then we will continue having a problem. If we want to have parties every week at State House and invite our relatives to a braii at Government expense, then we have a problem. There is a lot of abuse of public facilities by many of …

Ms Kalima: There is a braii at State House every Sunday.

Mrs Masebo: There is a braii at State House every Sunday?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Let us have order!

Mrs Masebo: I want to say that, at the end of the day, what is important is for us, political leaders and others in various decision-making positions, to start obeying our rules and leading by example.

Mr Speaker, lastly, I notice that there is an issue on the RTSA concerning driving training schools. There was a recommendation by your previous Committee that driving school vehicles must have a fourth clutch. Most of the vehicles that are used by driving schools do not have the fourth clutch and that is dangerous for learners. I think a recommendation was made that there should be a Statutory Instrument (SI) concerning this matter or, alternatively, there is a need for the law to be amended to include that concern. 

Mr Speaker, I notice that this issue keeps coming up in different Committee reports and the response from the Government has been that the process has started. I was wondering whether such things really need a whole Act to be changed. These are small issues that can be dealt with even just through the issuance of an SI, if they are urgent, instead of waiting for an amendment to the whole Act. This is something that actually adds value to the Act. I thought the Government can consider issuing an SI or just regulations by the relevant hon. Minister, instead of waiting for the main Act to be brought before the House.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa): Mr Speaker, since my two colleagues have spoken, I think the message has been delivered.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, firstly, in supporting your Committee’s report, I want to concur with the statement that 6,000 vehicles and over thirty models are very uneconomical and difficult to manage. Further, I just want to comment on the control of the utilisation of Government vehicles. 

Sir, we have noticed that the number of vehicles owned by directors, PSs and hon. Ministers is quite big. Each of them has a personal-to-holder vehicle and a family vehicle. That is very extravagant. The Government should look into this. Mostly, these officers do not even use their personal-to-holder vehicles with the hope of purchasing them at the end of their tenure. In the process, they end up using pool vehicles and draw fuel for vehicles they do not use. 

I think that is why Hon. Kalaba ended his debate by saying that the PF is using personal- to-holder vehicles for weddings and kitchen parties. We would like to see consistency in the monitoring of these …
Mr Kalaba: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.       

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. This is Parliament and the Standing Orders of this House state that everything that is said should be factual. Is the hon. Member for Kasenengwa in order to insinuate that I have said that hon. Ministers in the PF are using Government vehicles for weddings, when what I said is that, in the past, we had seen the former MMD Government misusing vehicles for purposes of that nature? Is she in order to insinuate such a bluff?

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that this is not only an insinuation, but a misrepresentation. However, I must also hasten to add that many of these issues touch on our culture and way of life. We should also be cognisant of the fact that, as a House, we should restrain from debating ourselves in this manner. Let us try, as far as possible, to debate issues and, in the process, seek appropriate solutions. I do not think that it would be appropriate to allow this vital debate to degenerate into personalised debates. These are problems that are endemic. We have known them for, perhaps, as long as Zambia has been in existence. So, I do not think it would be in order to throw mud at each other. Let us seek solutions.

The hon. Member for Kasenengwa may proceed.

Ms Kalima: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your guidance. I hope we can change. 

Mr Speaker, there should be consistency in the way the Government is managing the fleet of vehicles. Circulars have been issued in relation to inspections and the time vehicles should be parked, yet this is only done for two weeks by inspectors. After that, the inspectors go back to sleep and supervisors do not follow up on these directives. I think there should be consistency in the way this is done in order to save funds.

Lastly, Sir, when the PF came into power, it emphasised the idea of saving but, of late, we have seen the President flying from State House to the airport in a chopper. I do not know what is more expensive between a chopper and vehicle. I also do not know whether it is because the President does not want to inconvenience the travelling public or wishes to avoid traffic. I would like to be guided because flying also consumes fuel. I do not know if the cost analysis has been done to find out whether it is more expensive to fly in a chopper from State House to the airport whenever the President is travelling out of the country. I think a cost analysis should be done so that we save money.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will be brief as has been my style for a very long time.

Mr Speaker, I stand to support your Committee’s report, which has brought out very important observations. 

Sir, it is time we remembered, if we have forgotten, that we have only one father and one mother. These jackets we wear are just for convenience. Basically, we are all Zambians who have the interest of the country at heart. Those we stand for, who are voiceless, should have their living standards improved. We waste resources on things that are unnecessary when what is important is to invest money directly or indirectly in the people so that it impacts on their lives. 

Mr Speaker, from experience, quite a number of the recommendations are good and workable. I am not sure how many in this House, although you have guided us not to debate ourselves, would choose to divorce their wives because we now have laptops and tables, and will, therefore, work better. I think, in many ways, it helps to review the old ways of doing things that served us well. Yes, the world is full of change, but that change has to be taken into context. Therefore, I agree that the issue of implementation that it should be take into account. For example, the proposal of bringing on board the Government Transport Unit is welcome because there will be control to ensure that there is proper use of Government vehicles. 

Mr Speaker, if IFMIS is put in place, there will be checks and balances. People will come and go, but the system will ensure sustainability and progress. This is one of the recommendations of your Committee. 

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, I would like to say that your Committee’s report is well balanced. It is now up to the Executive to take up those issues that can be implemented and look at those that, perhaps, may not be implemented at this stage. Otherwise, it was a job well done and I support it.

Thank you very much, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication and Chief Whip (Mr Mukanga): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to respond to some of the issues raised on this Motion by your Committee and a number of hon. Members who have debated

Firstly, I would like to state that a comprehensive response will be given through the action-taken report. However, the management of the Government fleet and, indeed, its utilisation, is a basic requirement in the adequate and effective delivery of services.


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Can we have order on the right? Your colleague is speaking.

You may continue.

Mr Mukanga: Let me address some of the issues that have been highlighted on the insurance of vehicles. 

Sir, although the insuring of vehicles, currently, is not being done centrally, all ministries that are insuring their vehicles have a tender committee and process to follow. It is prudent, if their operations have to improve, that the ZPPA has to be involved. This will be welcome.

On the issue of models and number of vehicles, Sir, it is important to note that the Government has already implemented a system to right-size. In doing this, we will down-size. Once we downsize the transport fleet, there will be huge monetary savings from maintenance and fuels. In the quest to downsize, the Government has decided to ensure that it comes up with models of vehicles. The Vice-President’s office and hon. Cabinet Ministers will use GX models, hon. Deputy Ministers will use Prados or Pajeros depending on the terrain in consideration while Permanent Secretaries will get Pajeros.

Mr Speaker, what we are saying is that, when we do this, we will reduce the cost of maintenance. We have already started implementing this programme. Further, what we will do in ministries, in trying to right-size the transport fleet, is sell the excess vehicles to the directors and assistant directors. So, we are already looking into this and, when Hon. Mulusa was talking about it, he was just trying to close the stable when the horse has already bolted. We know what we are trying to do.

Mr Speaker, we are also in the process of trying to review the punitive measures that meted out on erring drivers or workers who abuse Government vehicles. I agree that the abuse that has been there through the years has been great to the extent that the Government has lost a lot of money. This is a very serious issue. We have been seeing these things through the years and that is why the PF Government wants to put a stopper on the bath tab so that, at the end of the day, there will be no loss through the drain. We will do everything possible, with your cooperation, to ensure that this is done. 

Mr Speaker, we will also try to beef up the Government Transport Control Unit so that we have an increase in its presence in as far as policing of Government vehicles is concerned, especially after working hours. After 1900 hours, you might have noticed an increase in policing because the vehicles are now moving around. We will try to extend and roll this out to the rest of the country so that our people continue to be conscious that the Government is aware of the abuses. We will also ensure that we reduce the cost in that direction. We would not want to see a situation where the abuses continue.

Mr Speaker, I am not aware of any Government worker caught recently using a public vehicle for weddings. That is strange to me, but we will continue to follow up on everything that has been stated here.

Mr Speaker, the submission regarding the freezing of labour, where we said that we should not employ drivers, does not hold water because we will right-size and most of the vehicles will go because of the plans that we have on rightsizing. Therefore, we will not need an increase in labour in that aspect.

Sir, as regards the issue where China Hinan was supposed to do a rework, which was, instead, done by Sable, what the PF Government is doing is follow all our various contractual obligations. Those aspects that Hon. Mooya mentioned were as they are supposed to be every time and no one should bend the law. No contractor or consultant engineer is going to be sacred. We will follow the law and follow it to the later. 

Mr Speaker, when a contractor fails to implement some works, he has a liability period for him to go and do it at his cost. We will not transfer resources from the Government to cover up some contractors. We will ensure that every contractor gives us value for money and, if he has done a substandard job, he will have to redo it at his expense. These provisions are already in the law and we are going to effect them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, yes, there were studies done and statements made that the Kafue/Mazabuka Road would be finished by July, 2011. However, we were not there. You should also remember that all these pronouncements were made during an election campaign period. We are not campaigning because there is no election coming. We want to deliver services to the people without the motivation of elections. We just want to deliver the services. You will be able to check what we are doing and we will be above board and ensure that every part of Zambia receives some development. It is important that the people of Zambia realise that the PF Government has the mandate to deliver and needs support from every Zambian to deliver timely development.

Mr Speaker, as regards the IFMIS, the world has transformed. Manual operations will soon disappear. That is why we have been talking about e-governance, e-learning, e-parliament, e-health, e-commerce, e-buying and e-everything. Things are changing and we cannot remain the way we are. It is e-control of course. We will not do things the way they were done in the sixties. We are not going back to that. We are improving on what it was in the sixties. Even our wives have become more modern. The way they cook nshima is not how my grandmother cooked. Things have changed. 


Mr Mukanga: We want a transformation in every aspect. It is, therefore, important that we support the full implementation of the IFMIS because it will give us the desired results. We need a process where we will reduce the human element. If we do this, you will see that it will be almost corruption-free, functional and easy to monitor. 

Mr Speaker, most of the people who are resisting this change want to continue to do things the way they did them so that they can have fake money in the pockets – sorry Sir – so that they can have money in the pocket which was not meant for them. The PF Government wants more money in the pocket, which is earned. It is important that the IFMIS is implemented and we are going to do everything to ensure that there is proper and increased control as we execute the governance of this country.

Mr Speaker, I appreciate the report of your Committee and, with those few words, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank all those that have contributed to this debate. I am assured by what the hon. Minister has said that he will take most of the ideas that have been put on the Floor into account. I would like to say that it was a very good debate, except that some people spiced up a bit with politics a report that was very straightforward. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

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 1734 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 21st June, 2012.