Debates- Tuesday, 20th March, 2012

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Tuesday, 20th March, 2012

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members will recall that on Wednesday, 15th March, 2012, when the House was considering a ministerial statement given by His Honour the Vice-President and the hon. Member of Parliament for Siavonga Constituency, Mr K. Hamudulu, MP, was asking a question of clarification on the ministerial statement, two points of order were raised. The first one was raised by Mr Mwimba H. Malama, Member of Parliament for Mfuwe Constituency and the other by Mr J. J. Mwiimbu, Member of Parliament for Monze Central Constituency as follows:  


“Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. This House ought to know what is going on. During the 1315 hours news, today, we were told that the MMD had been deregistered.  Now, are the hon. Members of Parliament, who belong to the MMD, in order to come in this House and sit without even the leader when their political party, a club; is no longer a registered political party in Zambia?  Are they in order to occupy those seats? I need your serious ruling, Sir.” 

2.    MR J. J. MWIIMBU, MP

 “Mr Speaker, following the point of order that was raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mfuwe, I would like to raise a serious point of order of my own. Is the Government in order to allow MMD hon. Members in their Government to continue being Ministers when they have deregistered the political party they belong to?” 

In his immediate remarks, the Hon Deputy Speaker stated that he was reserving his rulings on both points of order to a later date.  

Hon. Members, I have since studied the points of order and wish to make my ruling as follows:

The two points of order raise the question of whether the hon. Members who belong to the MMD are in order to continue occupying their seats in the House, following the announcement by the Chief Registrar of Societies that the registration of the MMD, under the Societies Act, Cap. 119 of the Laws of Zambia, had been cancelled and that, consequently, the fifty-three MMD-held seats in the House had since been nullified.

I wish to inform the House that the questions or issues of deregistration of the MMD, as a party, and the consequential action by the Chief Registrar of Societies to nullify the fifty-three seats of the hon. MMD Members of Parliament are now before the courts of law.  

As hon. Members are fully aware, the principle of sub judice that exists under Parliamentary Practice and Procedure proscribes the National Assembly from commenting or acting on any matter that is before the courts of law.  Therefore, until such a time that the matter under even reference is brought to its final conclusion by the courts of law, the hon. Members of Parliament belonging to the MMD, including those serving as Ministers or Deputy Ministers in the PF Government, are in order to be in the House. 

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




225.    Mr Chisala (Chilubi) to ask the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    How much money was raised from the following activities in 2010:

(i)    licensing of fishing boats; and

(ii)    issuance of certificates of fish origin; and

(b)    how many certificates of fish origin were issued from 2007 to 2010, year by year.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Brigadier-General Kapaya): Mr Speaker, in 2010, a total of K207,463,400 was raised from the licensing of fishing boats. In 2010, K235,536,239 was raised from the issuance of certificates of fish origin.

Mr Speaker, the following number of certificates of fish origin were issued from 2007 to 2010, year by year:

    Year        Number of Certificates 
    2007          647

    2008          900

    2009        2,667

    2010        7,756

    Total        11,970

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, the PF Government aims at cushioning the Zambian people economically. In this respect, does this ministry have any plans of doing away with the licensing of fishing boats?

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Chenda): Mr Speaker, the Government has no intentions whatsoever of doing away with fees for fishing boats. These fishing boats are owned by commercial businessmen engaged in fishing. The fees that are charged are actually modest and affordable. 

I thank you, Sir.


226. Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi) asked the Minister of Home Affairs how many types of uniforms there were for police officers in Zambia.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Zambia Police has the following uniforms according to the categories and units of the Zambia Police Service. 

Mr Speaker, superior officers from Inspector-General of Police to Assistant Superintendent have a morning dress, blue serge, khaki tunic and mess kit uniforms. General duties officers have a khaki full dress with long sleeved jackets, khaki shirts and trousers/skirts and light blue shirts and light blue skirts/trousers. Paramilitary, Protective, Tanzania-Zambia Railways (TAZARA) and Airport units have green stripped combat drill, green plain working dress and a green full dress. Mobile Unit officers have a blue task force combat, green stripped combat drill and a green plain uniform. Officers under the Mounted Section have legens trousers (briches), riding boots, gatters, bush hat, tunic khaki, police helmets and riding caps. The police band have blue serge uniform with embroidery and a morning dress.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, does the Zambia Police have any intention of having a uniform colour of vehicles, considering that they have a variety of colours of motor vehicles and other forms of transport?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Sakeni): Mr Speaker, police vehicle are normally deep blue which is close to black. Various units such as the paramilitary are supposed to use greenish vehicles and the normal police are supposed to use deep blue which looks like black. It is important that we stick to operational colours but, for other units such as detectives, they use vehicles of any colour that are numbered.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, how many pairs of each type of uniform is each officer entitled to?

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, an officer is supposed to get, at least, three pairs of uniforms per year, but due to budgetary constraints, many a time, an officer is only given a pair in three years. This is quite a big challenge for our ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, the variety of uniforms for the police bring some confusion amongst the people, especially those in Lupososhi. Are there any plans to try and limit the number of uniforms and concentrate on ranks so that the Zambian people, and indeed, those in Lupososhi, can identify them properly?

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, we cannot do that. The paramilitary have different duties to the officers who perform routine duties at police stations. The role of the Protective Unit is also to protect property. As a result of the different duties officers perform, we give them uniforms of different colours for easy identification. That way, we can identify who is a paramilitary, mobile officer or day-to-day police officer.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalaba (Bahati): Mr Speaker, in view of the diverse uniforms, is the Ministry of Home Affairs thinking of phasing out the khaki uniform for police officers which is similar to that for security guards?

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, we are not thinking of phasing out the khaki uniform for the general duty police officer. We think that it is a unique colour and we will stick to it. We will also stick to the colours for Paramilitary and Protective units.  

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether, when officers in the Police Force or those in the paramilitary wing retire, die or resign, uniforms are taken back to the Government. 

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, at times, a uniform is a good souvenir for the surviving spouse. I think there is no general rule on getting the uniforms back. If there is, I am not aware of it. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Mr Speaker, most police officers are improperly dressed most of the time. For instance, they may be in police uniform, but wearing personal shoes, which do not correspond to the uniform. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when this will be stopped. 

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, it is quite unfortunate that officers dress in that manner. Like I said earlier, this is because the Government, at times, fails to procure uniforms in time or because they have not been given adequate uniforms. They are entitled to three pairs of uniforms per year but, many times, are only given a pair to use for three years. 

Mr Speaker, in this year’s Budget, there is about K3 billion for the purchase of uniforms for police officers. We are trying to improve their lot. 

I thank you, Sir.  

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I would like to know what the ministry is doing to ensure that there is a thick line between security guards and police officers in terms of uniform, especially those without a rank.
Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, for police officers, we are trying to embroider their names and numbers on the uniforms. Their ranks will also be visible on the shoulders so that they are distinguished from security guards. 

I thank you, Sir. 

 Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that uniforms are not withdrawn when officers die, retire or resign. Is this not an anomaly? Does it not pose a security risk to the nation? What is the situation on the ground? 

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, I said that I had no idea concerning what happens. I also said that it may be a good souvenir to the surviving spouse. I did not say that the uniforms are not withdrawn. I am not able to give you a precise answer on that. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister’s response that uniforms are left with the surviving spouses as souvenirs be the reason armed robbers are sometimes caught wearing police officers’ uniforms?

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, it may be one of the reasons. The key point, however, is that robbers have various ways of acquiring uniforms. They can purchase the same colour of material and take it to a tailor to have a uniform that resembles a police officer’s uniform. This is not the reason there are many robberies. We also have reserve officers who wear the same uniform as police officers. All we need to do is ensure that uniforms, as hon. Members have expressed, are withdrawn from the families of officers who have died. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Zimba (Kapiri Mposhi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if he has advised police officers who wear very tight uniforms not to do so. Some of the uniforms look so tight on the officers, especially women, that they attract a certain attention.


Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, I do not know how I can answer that question. The uniforms are not tailored to measure. They are just distributed to officers. If an officer orders a particular size, he/she may not get it because they may be stout and most of the uniforms may be a medium size. Therefore, officers may find themselves wearing tight uniforms. 

I thank you, Sir. 


227. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism:

(a)    what the purpose of the Special Use Zone covering 39.5 per cent of the Bangweulu Game Management Area (GMA) was, as reported in the Bangweulu Game Management Area Planning Report for 2012-2020;
(b)    what the immediate benefits to the communities around the Zone at (a) were;
(c)    which districts benefited from the GMA at (a) above; and 

(d)    how much revenue was collected from the GMA from 2009 to 2011, year by year. 

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism (Dr E. Lungu): Mr Speaker, the purpose of the Special Use Zone, which covers 39.5 per cent of the Bangweulu GMA, is to provide for the effective conservation of bio-diversity, including the wetland ecosystem while still allowing for visitor or tourist use and experience. 

The House may wish to know that the zone contains the highest density of black lechwe, tsessebe and water birds. The proposed permissible activities will be: 
(i)    management operations such  as law enforcement and research;

(ii)    eco-tourism activities;

(iii)    regulated fishing and harvesting of flood plain non-game resources such as grass, papyrus and reeds; and

(iv)    serve as passage to other areas. 

Mr Speaker, the immediate benefits to the communities around the Special Use Zone in the Bangweulu GMA are as follows: 

(i)    employment opportunities that will be created as a result of tourism activities in the area;

(ii)    business opportunities for the communities. Due to tourism activities in the area, surrounding communities will be able to establish businesses such as selling of  curios, fish and farm products to tourist operators;

(iii)    access to road infrastructure. The development of the zone will involve development of infrastructure such as  roads which the communities will also be able to use;
(iv)    revenue from the sustainable use of the resources in the zone; and

(v)    the efficient management of the zone will help sustain fishing activities for communities. 

The districts that will benefit from the GMA are Mpika, Samfya, Serenje and Luwingu, in which the GMA is located.

Revenue totalling K140,248,350 and US$302,930 was collected from the Bangweulu GMA from 2009 to 2011 as follows:

Year    Revenue Collected
    US$    ZMK

2009    109,670.00    63,903,780.00
2010      67,370.00    34,518,780.00
2011    125,890.00    41,825,790.00

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, Chilubi is part of …

Mr Hamudulu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, I sincerely apologise to the hon. Member on the Floor for the interruption. Sir, I rarely rise on points of order, but I now rise on a very serious one.

Sir, a few weeks ago, a point of order, which sought to find out whether the Government was in order to remain silent on the renovations, contractor and tender procedures at State House, was raised on the Floor of this House. Your ruling was loud and clear. You ruled to the effect that His Honour the Vice-President was to come and make a statement on this matter. As if that was not enough, the Government has remained silent. Yet again, a point of order was raised last week which sought to find out if the Government was in order to remain silent on this matter. To date, there is no indication that His Honour the Vice-President will come to the House to inform this House and the nation at large on this issue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: My point of order, Sir, is: Is the PF Government in order to pretend not to have heard your ruling when it was very loud and clear?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, I seek your serious ruling again.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: My ruling on the matter is that ever since the point of order was raised, this matter has been very high on the Speaker’s agenda on matters to follow up. The secretariat has been actively in contact with the Office of the Vice-President regarding this matter. This is a matter that will be cleared by His Honour the Vice-President sooner than later.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: May the hon. Member of Parliament for Chilubi continue, please.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted by the point of order, I was saying that Chilubi, which is part of the Bangweulu GMA, has not been benefiting from the revenue collected. May I know when Chilubi will benefit from the revenue raised in the GMA just as the other districts.

Dr E. Lungu: Mr Speaker, very soon funds will be made available. The hon. Member of Parliament should be informed that a percentage of the revenue to be ploughed back into the community is always worked out by the community resource board. Therefore, very soon, that will be done.

I thank you, Sir.


228. Mr Chisala asked the Vice-President:

(a)    how much money had been spent by the Provincial Administration, Northern Province, in 2010 on the procurement of iron sheets and cement for distribution to constituencies in the province; and

(b)    how much constituencies benefited from the same in 2010 and 2011.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-president’s Office (Mr E. C. Lungu): Mr Speaker, K819,800,00.00 was spent by the Northern Province Administration in 2010 on the procurement of iron sheets and cement for distribution to constituencies in the province.

Twenty constituencies benefited from this exercise in 2010 and 2011.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, may I find out whether the distribution was on an equal basis.

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, we looked at a detailed list of constituencies such as Chimbamilonga, Senga Hill, Lunte, Mfuwe, Kanchibiya, Shiwang’andu and presumably Chilubi itself, which were not beneficiaries of this handout. About half of them seemed to be represented by MMD Members of Parliament and other half by Members of Parliament from the PF in the last two years. Therefore, I can say to the hon. Member that it just seems to be a matter of chance. If it was an attempt to buy votes, it did not succeed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I am happy that, at least, His Honour the Vice-President has mentioned my constituency as one of those that did not benefit. May I know whether my constituency and others could be considered for the materials they were denied at that time.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this is a really small amount of beer, a few malatas and bags of cement for each constituency. We hope that considerably more will be distributed in the next five years.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, may I find out from His Honour the Vice-President what the basis of these procurements was. What was this particular project?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I do not have the name or number of the project, but the hon. Member can establish that from me in the morning.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I want to find out from His Honour the Vice-President whether this particularly good project that benefited constituencies in the Northern Province will be extended to other constituencies in the country.

The Vice-President: Sir, I will take up the matter and I thank the hon. Member for that advice.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


229. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication how many contracts were signed by the Northern Province Administration in 2011 in relation to the following projects in the listed districts: 

(a)    Chilubi – construction of the Kamusenga Embankment and Chaba Bus Station; 

(b)    Kasama – routine paved off clay, routine unpaved off and bridge construction; 

(c)    Mpika – bridge construction and routine paved off clay; and 

(d)    Luwingu – bridge construction.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, no contract was signed for the construction of Kamusenga Embankment because the project did not appear in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Yellow Books, hence no procurement was initiated. The Northern Province Provincial Administration will have to prioritise this activity for 2013 for the works to commence.

Mr Speaker, the Northern Province Administration, just like any other provincial administration, does not handle any routine maintenance contracts on the trunk, main and district roads. The contracts are handled by the Road Development Agency (RDA). To this effect, in 2011, eleven contracts were renewed for routine maintenance in the Northern Province. Out of those, only five were signed. The remaining six did not resume because periodic maintenance works had commenced on those lots. For Kasama, three lots had been re-advertised on the Kasama/Mpika Road in 2011 due to failed bids. On the other hand, three lots were ready on the Kasama/Mbala Road, but could not commence due to pending litigation cases involving the RDA.

Mr Speaker, routine maintenance works were suspended on the roads in Mpika District due to periodic maintenance works, including works on the Lukulu River to Chinsali Road which is on-going. There were no bridge contracts in Mpika District in 2010.

Mr Speaker, only one bridge contract was completed in 2011 in Luwingu. This was the Luena Bailey Bridge which was worked on by the RDA. The Northern Province Administration did not undertake any bridge contracts in Luwingu District. Luena Bridge was completed in December, 2011 as stated in this House last Tuesday in response to Question 188 by Hon. Chisala.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, at a meeting held with the Permanent Secretary for Northern Province in December, he indicated that many of the contracts such as Mufubushi Bridge and Kamusenga Embankment were signed with Chikas Contractors. May I know whether the Government did not make any advance payment for the contracts.

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, although that question is new because the hon. Member is looking for values, I will give the values of the contracts that were worked on with regard to part (b) of the main question as follows: 

Contractor             Amount Paid

CBR Business Limited         180 
Akabesa General Dealers        171 
Nsumbu Shal-Net Contractors    386 
Choz Chabris Freight Line        212 

These payments were, however, made under the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.


230. Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when the newly-constructed terminal buildings at the Chipata Airport would be commissioned.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the commissioning of the newly-constructed terminal buildings at the Chipata Airport will take place when the provincial administration in the Eastern Province provides furniture for the buildings.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister guide on who, exactly, is supposed to provide the furniture because he speaking on behalf of the Government.

Mr Mukanga: Sir, the furniture for such a facility is supposed to be procured by the provincial administration.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, is there any time frame for the procurement of this furniture because we are anxiously waiting for the opening of the facility?

Mr Mukanga: Sir, our plan is to have the facility commissioned this year. In view of this, the procurement of furniture has to be done this year.

Thank you, Sir.


231. Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication: 

(a)    why the Chembe Border Post closed at 1600 hours for big buses and 1630 hours for small vehicles travelling from Mansa yet, prior to the construction of the bridge, the border used to close at 1800 hours; and 

(b)    whether the closing time would be revised so that traffic is allowed to cross beyond 1800 hours and, if so, when the revision will be done.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication is responsible for the road and bridge. Chembe, as a gazetted border post, is supposed to operate from 0600 hours to 1800 hours. However, it must be noted that, in order to connect to the Mokambo Border Post on the Copperbelt, there is a stretch of about 75 km passing through the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This stretch is from Mwenda Border Post on the DRC side to Mokambo Border Post on the Zambian side. Further, travellers on this route are required to undergo immigration procedures on entry and exit on both respective borders. 

Mr Speaker, the situation on the ground is that the state of the Pedicle Road has been deteriorating over the years. As a result of the current state of the road, it now takes an average of two to three hours to travel on the Pedicle Road from one border to another between the two countries. This has, therefore, posed great challenges on the operations of Chembe and Mokambo Border posts in Zambia and Mwenda and Mokambo Border posts in the DRC owing to the fact that the two borders on both sides are supposed to operate up to 1800 hours. The implication is that traffic on either side must be cleared leaving reasonable time to reach the other side before the border officially closes at 1800 hours. To this effect, officers have always reasoned with the travellers to ensure that they pass through the border in reasonably good time to allow for passage on the Pedicle Road so that they find the other side of the border, in this case, Chembe and Mokambo Border Post in Zambia and Mwenda and Mokambo Border Post in the DRC still open. So, from the ministry’s point of view, it is the poor state of the road that is causing the problem.

Sir, since the major obstacle is the poor state of the Pedicle Road, and considering the fact that the Pedicle Road is in the DRC, the matter can only be resolved through consultations between the two countries. Allowing people to access the border into the DRC side and vice versa without considering the allowance of time to be spent on the Pedicle Road before travellers can reach the other end poses a security risk and subjects travellers to harassment. In this light, the matter should be discussed with the DRC at a Joint Permanent Commission.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister state to this House whether, prior to the construction of the bridge, the border formalities did not exist because, as far as we are concerned, we have been travelling on that road from time immemorial. Before the pontoon was decommissioned, we used to cross at 1800 hours and we still went through all the formalities. So, what has changed? Does it mean that we are being disadvantaged because there is a bridge?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, as the hon. Member has rightly put it, I have also been travelling on that road from time immemorial. Looking at the poor state of the road, it is very difficult for us to ensure that we cross it within the shortest possible time. However, the Government is aware that there is a need to extend the working hours and there have been on-going discussions to extend the closing time of borders to 2000 hours. The problem is that the state of the road has deteriorated and there is a lack of manpower on both sides of the border. However, all these issues are being addressed and the situation will be corrected.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, when the Mwanawasa Bridge was commissioned three years ago, we were informed that the bridge would remain open for 24 hours. Why did the Government not inform road users about the change in the closing time?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I do not remember anybody saying that the bridge would remain open 24 hours. My constituency borders the DRC and the bridge connects the two countries. I am surprised to hear that somebody had made that statement because I am not privy to it.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed the House that the major obstacle is the poor state of the road. What progress has been made regarding its tarring?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, there is a contractor who is currently working on the Pedicle Road. However, he has been progressing at a very slow pace because he has also been working on the urban roads in Ndola and Mufulira. However, everything is being done to help him accelerate the project and meet the twenty-four months completion period.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication said that one of the major obstacles is the poor state of the road and harassment. Surely, how can people in the DRC be harassing us when we want to visit the DRC? This scenario is worrying. Can the hon. Minister clearly state the position.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, for now, we have good rapport with the DRC and all those issues of harassment will be things of the past.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, it is not my intention to dispute the answer which was probably not well researched. The state of the Pedicle Road has been the same, except that it deteriorates every year in February and January. Secondly, the border formalities are very informal on the DRC side. The border literally does not close ...

Mr Speaker: Order! 

What is the question?

Mr Mbulakulima: ... and there is no harassment. Why is the staff on the Zambian side so rigid compared to their Congolese counterparts who can open the route even at midnight?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, it is very difficult to answer a question from a person who was in power for a long time and had the opportunity to change the things which he is talking about. The said issues have been there for a long time, but we have been in power for only a few months and are trying to correct them.


Mr Mukanga: These things have been there from time immemorial. However, we are …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Let the hon. Minister complete his response.

Mr Mukanga: … ensuring that there is a smooth movement from one point to another. I am not privy to what happens in the DRC. All I can say is that we are doing everything possible to ensure that our people have a safe passage on the route in question. 

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Siliya: What are you doing?


234. Mr Chabala (Kankoyo) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    why health centres in Kankoyo Parliamentary Constituency stopped operating for 24 hours a day since 2008; and

(b)    when the health centres would resume operating 24 hours a day.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, Kankoyo Parliamentary Constituency has a total of seven health centres and two health posts. Four of these health centres and the two health posts are run by the Government through the Ministry of Health while three health centres are run by Mopani Copper Mines (MCM). The four health centres run by the Government are Chibolya Clinic, Clinic 3 and 5 and Butondo Clinic. The two health posts are Mufulira Teachers’ Training College and Luansobe. The MCM controls clinic 2, 6 and 7. Clinic 3, 5 and Butondo Clinic were acquired by the Government when the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Limited (ZCCM) was privatised and were handed over to the Ministry of Health in May, 2000. The MCM has continued to operate clinics 2 and 6 on a 24-hour basis. 

Mr Speaker, the main challenge that has made the Ministry of Health stop operating the four health centres on a 24-hour basis since 2008 has been the critical shortage of health workers. The House may wish to note that, generally, the country continues to face a critical shortage of professional health workers and health facilities. The challenges for Kankoyo Parliamentary Constituency with regard to the health sector are not exclusive to the area. 

The Government, through the Ministry of Health, will be recruiting health workers some time in April/May 2012, based on the K77.8 billion allocated for net recruitment of health workers in the 2012 National Budget. Health workers will be deployed to both existing and new health facilities throughout the country. Mufulira District is expected to be catered for in that exercise.

Mr Speaker, the health centres in Kankoyo Parliamentary Constituency, under the Ministry of Health, will resume operating for 24 hours when more health workers are recruited.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, we have been reliably informed that the Government clinics in Kankoyo Parliamentary Constituency do not operate on Sunday. To my knowledge, a Government worker is on duty 24 hours everyday. May I know why the Government has failed to check this kind of unbecoming behaviour in Kankoyo Parliamentary Constituency.

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister emphasised that the reason for not maintaining a 24-hour service was that there are not enough health personnel required to offer that service and this dates back to 2008. It would appear to me that many things stopped working in 2008 and that our challenge is to get them working again. That is why I have given the assurance that the staff to be recruited in April/May will be a contribution to that process. Whether it is a Sunday or Monday, health institutions are supposed to continue operating, but that is subject to the availability of appropriate staff.

I thank you, Sir.


235. Mr Chilangwa asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    when the Lilayi Road in Lusaka was last rehabilitated;

(b)    how much money was spent on the rehabilitation works;

(c)    which contractor was awarded the contract for the works on the road; and 

(d)    whether there were any plans to rehabilitate the road again.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the contract for the Lilayi Road, which is about 4.8 km, was part of the 25 km of the selected Lusaka City roads contract that were worked on between 2008 and 2011. A total of K12,378,368,977.71 was disbursed to the contractor for all the works which were done on the contract for the selected 25 km of Lusaka City roads. The contractor was Messrs Raven Worx Construction Limited. The Government has plans to complete the remaining works on the terminated contract.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to know when the works will be done on the Lilayi Road bearing in mind that it is a death trap in its current form despite having been worked on only last year. We have left the road in a deplorable state despite it coming from the Lilayi Police Training Academy which plays a very important role, especially in times of riots when students are called upon to quench the unrest in town.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the road is not included in the 2012 Annual Work Plan but, because there was a contract for works on it in the past, there are plans to include this road in the 2013 Annual Work Plan.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister is aware that works on this road were not completed, and that only a lot of stones were put all over it. How can the Government say that they will only work on it in 2013, when that road is a danger to the public?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, with reference to the sort of menace the hon. Member of Parliament has referred to, I wish to state that the road will definitely be worked on under emergency works this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Deputy Minister has revised his position.



236. Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West) asked the hon. Minister of Home Affairs when police posts would be opened at the following places in Solwezi West Parliamentary Constituency:

(a)    Kisasa;

(b)    Kankonzhi;

(c)    Chovwe/Wamafwa Area; and

(d)    Kambishi.

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, the ministry will open police stations at Kisasa, Kankonzhi, Chovwe/Wamafwa and Kambishi in Solwezi West Parliamentary Constituency once police posts are constructed by 2015.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, the area under discussion is what is now called the new Copperbelt. I can confirm that there is lawlessness there. I would like to find out whether the date can be brought forward because 2015 is too far. Reducing the period involved would be consistent with the PF Government’s ideals.

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, as I have been saying when responding to previous questions, the PF Government is trying to source for funding outside the Budget for such projects. This answer is based on the annual work plan that we found. As the PF, we are sourcing funds to actually construct new police posts and police stations throughout the country, including housing infrastructure for the police.

Sir, as you are aware, we only approved a sum of about K84.8 billion in this House for the entire Zambia Police Force. If we manage to source funds outside the Budget, definitely, we will do that job before 2015, and many more jobs for the country in relation to police stations and police housing infrastructure.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I would like to know what criteria is used to pick the locations for police stations, especially in the rural areas. The people of Nalikwanda would also like to benefit from the countrywide placement of police posts.

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, the most important aspect is the analysis of the security concerns in a given area and its population. Regarding Nalikwanda, I am cognisant of the fact that it also requires a police station. Basically, nearly most of our rural settings where crime is rife and have high populations are in need of police stations. I would like to assure the hon. former Minister that the PF Government will do something about the current situation. Before his term ends in the next five years, he will have something to smile about.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I would like to know if the Government has an infrastructure development plan in which police posts and stations are included so that I can check how many police posts are earmarked for construction in Vubwi.

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, the infrastructure development plan that we found in place is not exhaustive. We need to do something about it because it gives us an impression that we have to work or construct merely an average of five police stations in a year, and that is not good enough. We will have to review this. However, as I said earlier, we are trying to source funds so that we can face the problem of infrastructure development head-on, together with all the hon. Members of Parliament who know these areas and requirements better.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that one of the criteria used to set up a police post is the security and population …

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, it is not really my culture to be cutting short hon. Members of Parliament’s debate …

Hon. Government Members: Hmm! Landenifye, nemwe!


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Nobody has ever admitted that it is their culture.


Mr Speaker: May the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, Kuomboka is one of the major ceremonies in Zambia and a tourist attraction. Is the Government in order not to even just patch up the bad sections of the road leading to the area where this ceremony is held, from Tateyoyo to Kaoma? The status of that section of the road is very bad despite the Kuomboka ‘Solomoni’ being around the corner.

Hon. Members: Solomoni!


Mr Mutelo: Is the PF Government in order not to patch up the road?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! 

I think I have repeatedly addressed the subject regarding points of order. I think we should take time to consult the handbook, circular and confer with senior hon. Members of Parliament so that we are on course. Certainly, this is not a matter that qualifies as a point of order. There are many other avenues available under the rules of the House, including what we are doing this very afternoon, which is namely, attending to questions, which can help us to address such issues. I am sure if you consulted the hon. Member for Chilubi, Mr Chisala, he would provide very useful guidance.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: May the hon. Member for Dundumwezi continue, please.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that one of the factors considered for a police post to be constructed is the population in a particular area. May I know what the required population for a place to be considered for a police post is, bearing in mind what happened in Dundumwezi a few weeks ago.

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, my colleague is concerned about the crime rate in his area. I have assured him that we will continue exchanging notes so that we see what can be done about the situation in Dundumwezi.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s earlier response was that for as long as a police post is provided, it would be opened. He assured the hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda that he will be smiling within the next five years because everything will be done within that period. I am aware that we are short of over 15,000 police officers and there were promises to employ over 1,000 police officers every year. In Kalomo, we have two police stations which were built using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), but no police officers have been posted there because of lack of accommodation. Police officers demand for a minimum of four houses per police station. How can the hon. Minister now assure us that he can do it with all these demands, especially in police stations?

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, the National Budget cannot meet our target even half way. That is why I said that, as a Government, we are trying to borrow on your behalf so that we correct the situation. You are aware of the state in which the police operates. Their morale is low because of poor housing infrastructure and lack of proper uniforms. We cannot just leave the situation the way it is. We need to do something about it on behalf of this nation so that we improve the lot in the Police Force.

I thank you, Sir.

237. Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    when the pontoon, which used to be at Santa Maria in Lukulu West Parliamentary Constituency and was swept away by the strong water currents in the 2008/2009 rainy season, would be replaced; and

(b)    when new pontoons would be procured for:

(i)    Kakulunda Point on the Zambezi River; and

(ii)    Meso-Akawa on the Lungwevungu River.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, through the Engineering Services Corporation Limited (ESCO), is aware of the fact that the Santa Maria Pontoon was swept away in 2008/2009. Efforts to reinstate the crossing point began in 2011. This year, sufficient funds have been provided in the 2012 Annual Work Plan for maintenance of pontoons, part of which are being used to complete the fabrication and installation of Santa Maria Pontoon. The pontoon will be ready in four weeks time. Hon. Mutelo has been invited to go and see it at our workshop in Lusaka anytime tomorrow.

Mr Speaker, the ministry recognises the challenges our rural people have been facing in crossing Zambia’s major rivers such as the Zambezi and Lungwevungu rivers. ESCO has not planned for procurement of new pontoons on the two river crossings. The procurement process of the pontoons will only be considered in the 2013 Annual Work Plan if they are prioritised by the respective District Development Co-ordinating Committee (DDCC), as it is the wish of this ministry to alleviate poverty by providing uninterrupted access to social amenities such as health and education to people in rural areas.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the procurement of a pontoon at Kakulunda Point is an urgent matter because this would enable the nation and the Government to save a lot of money.

Hon. Government Members: Ask your question!

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister not considering doing it this year so that we save a lot of money, especially at Kakulunda Point?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, it would have been better for us to do that this year if we had enough resources. Since we do not have sufficient funds, we are planning to have it done next year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, every Government talks about continuity. The MMD Government had promised this House that most, if not all pontoons, would be removed and replaced with bridges. Would this Government not consider putting up bridges instead of continuously building new pontoons in these areas.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, our Government is carrying out feasibility studies on various river crossings to see how viable the projects would be. Studies on projects that will be viable will be implemented.

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, if I understood the hon. Minister’s response clearly, he said that a new pontoon is at the workshop and the hon. Member for Lukulu West can go and inspect it tomorrow. What happened to the pontoon that was swept away? Has it dissolved in water or what?


Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, if Hon. Lungwangwa listened carefully, I said that there was a pontoon, which was undergoing rehabilitation, in the workshop. The pontoon did not dissolve or disappear in water. It is the same pontoon which is undergoing rehabilitation.

I thank you, Sir.




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 1558 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 21st March, 2012.