Debates- Friday, 24th February, 2012

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 Friday, 24th February, 2012

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have an announcement to make. I have received communication to the effect that in the absence of His Honour the Vice-President, who is attending to other national duties, Hon. Alexander B. Chikwanda, MP, Minister of Finance and National Planning, will act as Leader of Government Business in the House until His Honour the Vice-President comes back to the House in the course of today, Friday, 24th February, 2012.

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!



The Minister of Finance and National Planning and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, firstly, I wish to inform the House that His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), will be arriving at 1600 hours today to address this House.

Sir, I rise to acquaint the House with some idea of the Business it will consider next week. 

On Tuesday, 28th February, 2012, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.

On Wednesday, 29th February, 2012, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Member’s Motions, if there will be any.

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 1st March, 2012, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any and this will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.

On Friday, 2nd March, 2012, the Business of the House will commence with His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions, if there will be any. The House will then deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider any outstanding Business that may have been presented earlier in the week.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




105. Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when a police post at Mutanda in Solwezi West Parliamentary Constituency would be constructed.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwaliteta): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that Mutanda Police Station in Solwezi Parliamentary Constituency will be constructed by 2015 once funds are made available.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, at a place called Mutanda, there is a permanent roadblock that has been mounted by the police for decades. May I find out where the police officers who man this roadblock reside and where they operate from?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Sakeni): Mr Speaker, the question of a roadblock is a totally new one, but we believe they live in the Mutanda area.

I thank you, Sir.


106. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training:

(a)    when Kaputa High School, which had been under construction for ten years, would be completed and opened to the public;

(b)    how much money was spent on the project from inception to December, 2011; and

(c)    how much money would be spent on the project on completion.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training engaged Hua Jiang Investments to start the construction of Kaputa Boarding Secondary School on 21st January, 2009. The project was to be constructed in phases. Phase I, which consists of all the buildings, will be completed in June, 2012.

K16,136,611,009.67 has been spent on the project from inception to December, 2011.

Sir, I wish to inform the House that …

Mrs Masebo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I apologise to the hon. Deputy Minister for interrupting his debate. However, I rise on a constitutional point of order. Is the Government in order to continue paying the former Head of State, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, his retirement dues when he has not retired from active politics?

I have a copy of yesterday’s Zambia Daily Mail, and I will read the first sentence of the article that reads:

“Resign, Muteteka Dares Rupiah Banda

“Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) National Youth Chairman, Moses Muteteka, has challenged party president, Rupiah Banda, to resign from his position to pave way for fresh leadership.”

This means that he is still holding a position in the party. So, why is the Government, which the people of Zambia gave such a huge mandate on the principle of the rule of law, not implementing the law by ensuring that it stops paying the former Head of State his retirement dues because he has not retired from active politics? 

I need your serious ruling, Sir. I will lay the paper on the Table.

Mrs Masebo laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: For me to give a measured response to that point of order, I will reserve my ruling.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, before the hon. Member for Chongwe raised a point of order, I was answering part 3 of the question asked by Hon. Ng’onga of Kaputa.

 K29,345,314,000 will be spent on the project upon completion.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


107. Mr Mufalali (Senanga Central) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    whether there was an outbreak of Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia (CBPP) and black leg disease in Senanga District between October and December, 2011;

(b)    if so, whether the diseases had spread to other districts and provinces;

(c)    what measures had been taken to contain the diseases; and

(d)    whether any stock movement ban had been effected and, if so, how long the ban had remained in force.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Brigadier-General Kapaya): Mr Speaker, there was no outbreak of either CBPP or black leg disease in Senanga District between October and December, 2011. However, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, through the Department of Veterinary Services, advised farmers to have their animals vaccinated against black leg.

The only stock movement ban that was effected between October and December, 2011 was that of anthrax, as there was an outbreak of the disease during that period. The ban was in force for the month of December, 2011 only.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


108. Mr Njeulu (Sinjembela) asked the Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism when the Government would extend the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation radio and television signals to Shang’ombo District.

The Deputy Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism (Mr Tembo): Mr Speaker, in the Rural Television Plan Phase VI, which is yet to be embarked on, thirteen sites have been earmarked for the installation of television services. However, Shang’ombo is not included because, at the time the feasibility studies were conducted in 2001, there was no electricity needed to provide power to the transmitters in the area. However, the corporation intends to carry out a fresh study of the area when the rains subside so that Phase VI of the rural television installation incorporates Shang’ombo.

Mr Speaker, for the benefit of the hon. Member and the House, the areas targeted under Phase VI are:

(i)    Lumwana Mine;
(ii)    Matumbo-Shiwang’andu;
(iii)    Chitambo Mission;
(iv)    Choma;
(v)    Munyumbwe;
(vi)    Sinazeze;
(vii)    Zimba;
(viii)    Kawambwa Tea Estate;
(ix)    Musonda Falls;
(x)    Luamfumu;
(xi)    Malole; and
(xii)    Musangu.

As for radio transmission, Shang’ombo will be included after the installation of Radio 1 and 2 at 20 FM sites. This will be under the Rural FM Project which is to be embarked on after the transmitters arrive from Italy in April, 2012 as advised by the suppliers of the equipment. The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) has a diesel-powered generator set in Shang’ombo. However, a feasibility study will need to be conducted to assess the full requirements to provide the services in Shang’ombo.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the purported measures the Government is trying to put in place in order to have radio and television coverage in those areas. However, is the hon. Minister aware that just 45 km away from Lusaka, in Kafue, there is no television signal? If he is aware, what is he doing about it? I am speaking on behalf of Hon. Mwaliteta.


The Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Labour (Mr Shamenda): Mr Speaker, I am aware that the reception is not very good and we are working very hard to improve it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister spell out to this august House what the determining factors in arriving at the sites that were covered in Phase I were.

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, I think that is a different question because I was not privy to the survey which was conducted.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, I believe feasibility studies have been conducted. Is the hon. Minister aware that none of those sites is in the Western Province. What is the reason for that?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, I am just trying to settle down. Shortly, I will be visiting the Western Province to find out whether the areas that have been mentioned are either outside or inside the province. I will see if I can consult the former hon. Minister in charge of information who might be able to give some information on this so that we can use it as a starting point.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Moonde (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, I have noticed that Phase VI of rural television installation has no timeframe. I do not know when Itezhi-tezhi and many other places that have not been mentioned will be part of that list. Could we be given the timeframe.

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, as you can see from the list, this is a very ambitious programme that requires a lot of resources. Immediately the resources are made available, we shall implement the project.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, why can the Government not come up with a deliberate policy to consider all the outlying areas so that they can also enjoy what those in town are enjoying?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, I think that from the list that has just been given, all the projects are in the rural areas. I have not seen any that is in town.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, in their ninety-days promise, the Patriotic Front (PF) had a plan to extend television coverage to all the areas that do not have reception such as Gwembe. I would like to know what achievements have been made during that period. 


Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Member will realise that that is a new question and that I am not a magician. 


Mr Shamenda: We have to do things systematically. Therefore, we are not going to say, “Let there be light” and the whole world gets light. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that he does not know the criterion that was used to choose the sites. How are we going to know that Phase VI will be embarked on if he has no idea of the sites?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, I think that the sites are indicated. Before we gave the report to this august House, the sites were tabulated. For one to put them on a piece of paper, it means that somebody went there and sited them. Whoever sited them will show the hon. Minister where they are.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, there is a very positive correlation between access to information and the level of poverty in a particular area. Clearly, areas such as Shang’ombo, which have no access to radio and television reception, are deprived in terms of access to information. Is the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Labour planning to make an assessment of such a correlation so that we understand better how such deprived areas are affected by the continuous levels of poverty in such areas?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, when business is suspended, I will make a copy of the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto available to the hon. Member of Parliament so that he sees how committed the PF Government is committed to doing what the hon. Member’s Government did not do when it was in power.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, in appreciating the sites listed in the hon. Minister’s response, I would like to find out whether the identification of these sites was done by the previous Government or the current one. If it was done by the current Government, is the hon. Minister able to give us the projection when the sites will be made active?

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, it was done by the previous Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that most of the youths in the rural areas, especially Sinjembela in the Western Province and Dundumwezi, have lost out on job opportunities because of a lack of information.

Mr Shamenda: Mr Speaker, I do not understand the relationship between …


Mr Shamenda: … the question and the lack of jobs in Shang’ombo and Dundumwezi. 

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


109. Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the ministry would provide the following facilities to the police post constructed using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in Senior Chief Milambo’s area:

(a)    communication equipment;

(b)    solar power to the office block and the three staff houses; and

(c)    transport to enhance security operation.

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that Milambo Police Post in Senior Chief Milambo’s area will be provided with the communication equipment this year, once the equipment is procured.

Sir, the ministry will provide solar power to the office block and three staff houses at Milambo Police Post in Senior Chief Milambo’s area during 2012. 

Mr Speaker, the ministry will procure motor vehicles in 2012 for distribution to various police posts that do not have any transport once funds are made available. Milambo Police Post in Senior Chief Milambo’s area is among the police stations that need to be considered for allocation of a motor vehicle this year. Therefore, the hon. Member should not worry, as we are very committed.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, it has been mentioned that the communication equipment will be provided to the police post in question. As a matter of interest, as an hon. Member of Parliament who has a similar problem, I would like to know what this communication equipment is.

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, police officers use radio communication. If the hon. Member recalls, in this year’s Budget, we provided K2.3 billion for communication facilities for the police. We are just going to apply those funds and, I am sure, most of the stations will benefit.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalaba (Bahati): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister of Home Affairs be specific. He said that if funds will be made available, a vehicle will be procured. Milambo is about 68 -70 km from Mansa Boma, meaning that the area is heavily deprived. Will a vehicle be procured or not, hon. Minister?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, we are saying that once vehicles are made available, we will provide transport for Milambo Police Post. The hon. Member should trust the hon. Minister, who is standing here, that he knows where Milambo’s terrain and where it is. I think that I have been there more times than the hon. Member of Parliament.


Mr Sakeni: I live in Mansa and can assure you that we will do something about transport for most of the stations. It is not only Milambo that is affected, but also other areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matafwali (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out when the satellite police stations such as the ones in Chembe Constituency and Mwewa in Chifunabuli Constituency will be delinked from Samfya Police Station because their continued dependence on Samfya exerts a lot of operational pressure on Samfya.

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, although this is a new question, I will give the hon. Member a bonus answer. Samfya is a district headquarters and has a police station. The areas he is talking about have police posts. There is no way we can delink the operations of Mwewa from the main centre which is Samfya.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to congratulate the hon. Member of Parliament on using the CDF to assist the Government build a police facility. I would like to know whether or not Milambo is regarded by the Government as one of the areas that critically requires the police service or not. If it is, is the Government not able to find a fast-track means of providing the equipment, seeing that half the work has already been done by the hon. Member of Parliament for the area?

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament is aware that the Government is facing many problems in terms of police infrastructure and equipment. It is not just Milambo which is in a critical condition, but also other areas. Yesterday, we talked about Lukulu and Zambezi. In other words, nearly all parts of the country are faced with these problems. Therefore, we cannot consider Milambo alone. In fact, the security situation there is better than it is in the other areas that I have talked about. I think that we are on course and, as soon as funds are made available, we will attend to areas that are faced with critical security situations first. We will provide each station the facilities whenever funds are made available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether the communication facilities stated have been budgeted for in the 2012 National Budget.

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, I think that my colleague should be paying attention. I said that, in this year’s Budget, we have K2.3 billion. Let us listen when others are asking questions.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


110. Mr Mwanza asked the Minister of Home Affairs whether the Government buried deceased prisoners without informing their relatives. If so, how many prisoners were buried in that manner as of 30th November, 2011.

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that whenever a prisoner dies, the prisoner’s relatives are informed so that they either collect the body or bury it with the assistance of the prisons authority.

As of 30th November, 2011, only forty of the 174 deceased prisoners were buried without informing their relatives due to wrong contact information submitted to the prisons authority by the deceased prisoners at the time of admission.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, at the time of arrest of an individual, information is taken by the police and, upon conviction, that information stands. I would like to hear from the hon. Minister whether …


Mr Ntundu: Am I protected, Sir?

Mr Speaker: To the extent that you make the address through the Chair.


Mr Ntundu: … it is deliberate that when a person dies in prison, due to laxity amongst the prisons authorities, the relatives are not informed and that dead person is buried. 

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, some inmates give wrong addresses, especially habitual criminals. We do not fail to locate their relatives or next of kin by design.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, is there a stipulated timeframe after which a deceased inmate is buried if no relatives come forth to claim the body? Like in the case of the forty, how long were their bodies kept before they were buried?

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member knows that, in some areas, there are no proper hospitals with good refrigeration facilities. The action taken depends on the area in which the prisoner dies. Suppose the prisoner dies in Nchelenge where there is a mortuary which can only hold three or four bodies, definitely, it will not take long for the authorities to be forced to bury the dead inmate after actually informing the relatives. In certain areas, it can take longer. It all depends on the circumstances.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, does the Government publicise the names of the inmates who have been buried without their relatives being informed?

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, the truth is that we do not publicise the names of deceased inmates in the national press. The prisons authorities try to trace the dead inmate’s relatives through the given addresses. That is how far we go to publicise the death of an inmate. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, may I know how much money the Government spent on burying the bodies of the forty prisoners that were not claimed by their relatives?

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, I cannot give you the cost off-the-cuff. All I can say is that the burying of dead inmates has cost implications. Coffins have to be bought and the bodies have to be transported to the grave yard.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, since the country has been independent for forty-eight years and has a number of educated people occupying Government offices, why can the Government, which is so powerful, not come up with a deliberate policy to establish and let us know exactly how many days it should take before a corpse is buried if relatives do not claim it? The nation needs to be given specific details.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sakeni: Sir, I wish to thank the hon. Member for his question. Depending on where we have such a death, it takes one to six months. You cannot keep a body for more than six months. For what purpose would you do that?

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out why the Government does not publicise the names of the prisoners who are buried without informing their relatives. 

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, according to the Act, under which we operate, we are not compelled to publicise the names of the prisoners who are buried without informing their relatives.

I thank you, Sir.


111. Mr Ng’onga asked the Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    when the connection of Kaputa District to the national electricity grid would be completed; and

(b)    whether the project would be extended to Nsumbu. 

The Deputy Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development (Mr C. Zulu): Mr Speaker, the connection of Kaputa District to the national electricity grid is scheduled to be completed by the end of March, 2012. Phase I of the Kaputa Project involves the construction of a 65 km of a 33 kv line from Mununga to Kasongole which has been completed with the installation of a transformer at Kasongole. Phase II involves the construction of a 50 km of a 33 kv line between Kasongole and Kaputa Boma. It is already underway with 27 km of bush having been cleared, poles having been erected and the stringing of conductors completed.

As regards Nsumbu, it is already connected to the national electricity grid. This was done via the Kasaba Bay Electrification Project.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, when is Chipepo Harbour in Gwembe going to be provided with electricity?

Mr C. Zulu: Mr Speaker, that is a new question which we can be ready for next week. I would like to share with the hon. Members that I was in the gym this morning when Hon. Hamududu asked me, ...


 Mr C. Zulu: … oh , sorry for that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for realising that he was misguiding himself by telling us about what took place in the gym. I would like to know whether the Government has plans to develop the potential which exists at the Kapisha Geo-thermo Project to churn out power and include it on the national grid to circumvent the very expensive exercise of running 50 km of a 33 kv power line from Nsumbu to Kaputa.

The Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, serious research is being conducted regarding geo-thermo energy. If you listened to my policy speech, you will recall that I spoke about it. We are seriously looking into the development of geo-thermo energy. However, as it is at the moment, the fastest way of connecting the area in question is through the 33 kv line. This will enable the people in the area to be provided with the electricity they need.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I would like clarification from the hon. Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development regarding the status of the area between Kaputa and Nsumbu. The area between Nsumbu and Mpulungu has been provided with electricity while Kaputa is getting connected to the grid in Mununga. I would like know whether this area between Nsumbu and Kaputa will be included in the project.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, Hon. Ng’onga is right. There is a gap between Kaputa and Nsumbu. Nsumbu is connected through a 132 kv line which is about 147 km. Currently, the line only goes up to Nsumbu. The new link from Nsumbu will connect Kaputa to the national grid. However, it should be noted that the planned for 33 kv line is a temporary measure to avail electricity supply to Kaputa.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development mentioned that Nsumbu is already connected to the national grid. However, this is a grid that is already overloaded. It has frequent shutdowns in the process of supplying electricity to Kasama, Mbala and Mpulungu. The long-term plan by the ministry was to construct a new power station at Lunzuwa. I would like to know when the construction of the new Lunzuwa Power Station will be completed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, we all appreciate that the electricity network countrywide is overloaded, hence the interruption of supply. It is overloaded because there is more demand than supply. We are constructing power stations to alleviate these problems. The Lunzuwa Power Project is on and a contractor has been selected. The designs have been completed. What is remaining is the commencement of the construction works. Any time from now, the works will start at Lunzuwa.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1525 hours until1540 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Speaker: May the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House indicate when His Excellency, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), will arrive to address the House today.

The Acting Leader of Government Business and Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that His Excellency, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the UN, will arrive at 1600 hours today to address this House.

I thank you, Sir.

Business was suspended until the arrival of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.


The Secretary-General of the United Nations (Mr Ban Ki-Moon): The Hon. Justice, Dr. Patrick Matibini, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, hon. Members of the National Assembly of Zambia, His Honour the Vice-President, Dr Guy Scott, and hon. Members of Cabinet, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen and  due citizens of Zambia. Thank you for your warm welcome. I am proud to be your guest in your beautiful country. I am profoundly honoured to be the first UN Secretary-General to address this august Parliament.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: I am deeply grateful for this Special Session. 

I have come bearing a two-word message – congratulations and Chipolopolo.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: What a victory it was! Africa and the world saw more than the success of a football team. We saw the spirit of Zambia.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: All who believe in miracles; all who root for unsung heroes and all who honour those who came before, know that Zambia’s victory was, indeed, written in the sky.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: I believe the partnership between the UN and Zambia is made of the same great spirit. It started from day one. The UN and Zambia share the same founding day of 24th October.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: This is not a coincidence. Your founders, led by Dr Kenneth Kaunda, made a deliberate choice. That choice involved far more than aligning dates on a calendar. It was about connecting the goals and ideals of the UN Charter. Of course, we were bonded in grief when the final mission of my esteemed predecessor, Mr Dag Hammarskjöld, ended tragically in Ndola. 

Through the years, we have strengthened our partnership, advanced our common values, worked together for a better future for the people of Zambia and the world. You, as Parliamentarians, are a pillar of that partnership and I am very grateful for that. You debate the legislation, approve the budgets and ask the hard questions. You translate international agreements into domestic law. You give practical meaning to larger freedoms and people’s dreams.

Now, we meet at the time of global transition in the world, on the continent and in all nations. From afar, we have watched the great transformation. The Arab Spring, the rise of democracy sweeping the continent, the new economic dynamism of Africa and the sun shines on Africa. Africa is rising. Ultimately, this is a testament to the power of people and to the empowerment of people. You, the people of Zambia, know this well. This too, is your history. You have deepened democracy and set a high bar for the continent and, indeed, the world.

Last September, once again, you conducted free and fair elections. Once again, you managed a smooth and dignified transition of power.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: Once again, you showed courage and leadership across the political spectrum and across communities. I commend President Michael Sata for his dedication to democracy and I praise the Zambian political leadership and all citizens for your example.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: I know Zambia’s commitment to freedom runs deep. Zambia was home to Southern Africa’s liberation movements. When it comes to the legacy of democracy and freedom in the region, the road leads back to Zambia.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: You paid a high price in lost lives, infrastructure and trade. As a result, you understand more than most how important it is to stand up for human rights and protect human liberty.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: Now, you have embarked on a transformation agenda, a process for a new people-driven Constitution that will be the foundation for Zambia’s progress; a Constitution that will stand the test of time.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!   

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: This offers Zambia an opportunity to lead, once more, by enshrining the highest standards of human rights and protection for all people regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. The beautiful words of your own National Anthem put it best:

 “… All One, Strong and Free …”

 We will also stand with you as you strengthen accountability and institutions. 

Corruption is a cancer. Unchecked, it strikes at the heart of democracy …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: … and the ability to deliver to those in need. In this fight, there can be no sacred cows.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Mwakakwa!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: In this fight, there can be no parallel systems of justice; one for the poor and weak and …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: … another for the powerful and protected.

The UN and the international community will continue to support you as you renew your efforts to end corruption by strengthening legislation and empowering people and their institutions.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: Hon. Members, ladies and gentlemen, as such a distinguished member of the international community, we also need you to help us tackle the global challenges of today. I would like to address the three main challenges this afternoon. These are sustainable development, empowerment of women …

Hon. Women Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: … and young people and working for peace. 

The first and overarching challenge is sustainable development. We know that building a more prosperous economy, expanding opportunities and fighting climate change are all closely linked. We cannot make progress in one without making progress in the other areas. That is why the UN is making sustainable development its top priority for the coming years. 

Zambia has been blessed with abundant forests, mineral and water resources. I am greatly looking forward to seeing Zambia’s natural beauty for myself, in Livingstone, on Sunday.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: However, deforestation is happening at an alarming pace and access to safe drinking water remains a challenge. The economy is growing steadily. Poverty is slowly declining. There has been progress in achieving some pillars of the millennium development goals (MDG), and yet the benefits of development are not reaching all the women, men and children of Zambia and the MDG deadline of 2015 is fast approaching. 

We must use this time to make a big push on reducing maternal, Under-Five and infant mortality. We must also not relent in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Every Zambian family knows the reality of this terrible disease. By taking the threat seriously, you have made tremendous progress in HIV prevention. Let us build upon these gains and go further by realising our vision to end all new HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths and discrimination. Let us work to invest more in quality secondary education and environmental sustainability. I ask each one of you to be active leaders in achieving the 2015 goals, especially by advancing this agenda in communities. I also invite the Government and people of Zambia to participate actively in the RIO+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. By safeguarding and carefully managing Zambia’s vast environmental resources, you can ensure gains for today and tomorrow. You hold the power to make those responsible choices. The UN will stand with you in your efforts to diversify the economy and generate inclusive growth that creates jobs, reduces poverty and increases human dignity. 

Hon. Members of the National Assembly, distinguished Cabinet Members, ladies and gentlemen, Zambia’s greatest resources are the people and people’s voice and their full engagement in political and social development is key.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: This leads me to the second challenge of empowering women and young people. Zambia will realise its full potential when its women and youth realise theirs. You have heard the voice of young people in your communities and in the voting booth. I know you are working hard to integrate young women and men in national development. They need to feel the benefits of economic growth in their own lives and futures. They need quality education and the training skills to find and create decent jobs. 

I look forward to meeting some of Zambia’s young people, tomorrow, as I visit the Olympic Youth Development Centre. I will be joined by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dr Jacques Rogge. This is a major and unique visit because it is the first time a UN Secretary-General and an IOC President have travelled together to push for progress in reaching our collective development goals. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: The UN is also working hard around the world to promote economic and political empowerment for women. Here in Zambia, there is progress on many fronts. I congratulate this Parliament on its far-sighted Gender Based Violence Act and I salute President Sata for his commitment. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: Mr Speaker, I am encouraged to learn that for the first time, the Zambian Police Service will be led by a woman ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: … and, just this month, I was proud to receive the credentials of your new female ambassador to the UN, Dr Kasese-Bota.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: Yet, all of us recognise that there is much more work ahead. In Zambia, women represent 51 per cent of the total population, and yet that potential, the strong voice and the driving force is not yet reflected in this, the people’s House. Today, in Zambia, women’s representation in Parliament stands at 11 per cent which is an all time low. Many of your neighbours are setting the trend not only for the continent, but the world. I know that Zambia can join them. The African Union and your region have set achievable goals. Many countries have proven the effectiveness of initiatives such as quotas. These temporary special measures have made a permanent difference. They can do the same for Zambia. Ensuring that the Zambian Constitution guarantees a minimum threshold for female representation and providing equal access to decent work and fair pay will help Zambia make the most of the enormous potential that you hold. I urge you to make change happen. 

Hon. Members, ladies and gentlemen, thirdly and finally, I would like to recognise Zambia’s leadership for peace, here, and far from home. Today, more than 300 Zambians serve under the blue flag of the UN.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: Mr Speaker, they are working for security and a better life from Darfur to the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan to Liberia and as far as Timor-Leste. Zambians have made great sacrifices in the name of global peace. Seventy-three brave Zambians have paid the highest price. 

I would like you to know how proud the UN is of them. I would like you to know how grateful I am to all of you personally, and how much we value your extraordinary contribution. You also have a proud history of welcoming people fleeing conflicts. For forty years, you have given shelter and peace to hundreds of thousands of refugees. Many have gone back home when peace was restored, taking with them great memories gratefulness for the sanctuary you provided. 

In the next two years, the refugee status will cease for several other populations, including Angolans and Rwandans. I am encouraged that your Government is considering local integration in addition to voluntary repatriation. This is a way of normalising the lives of those who came here decades ago and who want to remain and show strong and binding ties. 

Hon. Members, ladies and gentlemen, the resilience of the people of Zambia is well-known. In his first United Nations’ Address as President in 1964, Dr Kaunda said:

 “Compare our African spirit to the rushing waters of the mighty Zambezi River … that spirit, harnessed to … purpose(s), and produces tremendous power.”

With more than seventy tribes, you have forged “One Zambia, One Nation.” In a region that has suffered far too many deadly conflicts, you have stood tall as a landlocked island of peace; a refuge for those fleeing conflict; a sanctuary for those building freedom and a global example of finding unity in diversity. I take deep inspiration from all that you represent and all that you stand for. That is why I have the brightest hopes for the people of Zambia. That is why the world cheers you as you build a stronger Zambia just as we cheered you on as you won the Africa Cup of Nations. With hard work, energy, perseverance and faith, Zambia has proven anything is possible.  

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Secretary-General of the United Nations: As it is on the football field, let it also be on the playing field of life.

I am honoured to be here to reach out to the people of Zambia, through you, their elected leaders. Let us continue the journey. Let us walk together with one heart.
 Tiyende pamodzi. Dzikomo kwambiri.
Hon. Members: Hear, hear!    


(House resumed)

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]


The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House places on record its thanks to His Excellency, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the UN, on the occasion of his Special Address to this Assembly. 

Mr Speaker, allow me to state that today, 24th February, 2012, the National Assembly of Zambia has been honoured to host the head of a multifaceted global organisation that provides a pillar and comfort in the world in times of complex crises such as climate change, natural disasters, poverty, widespread hunger, financial turmoil and, of course, civil unrest. 

We have been privileged to hear his well-articulated address which, in my view, has touched many hearts. We are very grateful to him for sparing time from his busy schedule to come and consult and share time with us. 

Mr Speaker, allow me to make a few observations, not only from the Secretary-General’s Address, but also on what we know about the UN which is no stranger to us, in this country, as we are no stranger to it. 

Although times and institutions change, certain things stand or remain unchanged. It is in the interest of every member State to see to it that the UN succeeds and continues to prosper and grow in its influence. This is because much of what the UN stands for is of vital importance to all member States. I have in mind here the call for responsible utilisation of resources in pursuit of each country’s economic development at various UN fora or what the UN calls sustainable development. 

It is always emphasised that countries should take into account the impact of their own economic activities on climate change and the ecological framework. The future benefits of looking after our environment are not only in the interest of the UN, as an organisation, but it is also vital for sustenance of the people in various countries of the world. Therefore, we all have a special interest in ensuring that the UN succeeds in this regard. 

Mr Speaker, another factor that remains unchanged through time is the interest of all member States in ensuring that it is not the power and the right of the strongest nations or classes of society that should prevail.  This is why in Zambia, as is the case in other countries, parliaments and civil society organisations use the UN Conventions and the Human Rights Charter as some of the avenues to push for legislation against human rights violations and other forms of injustice. The UN Conventions and Treaties provide us with a strong case to push for and justify the need for our legislation to protect the weak and the underprivileged. 

A further notable and long-standing issue on the UN agenda is its support for democracy and peace building. It can never be denied that the UN is the only organisation that has the international mandate, experience and legitimacy to provide support for democracy and peace building in societies experiencing conflicts or those in post-war transitions.  This is why military organisations, no matter how strong they may be, always have to seek the UN’s mandate before intervening in any sovereign conflict. 

Mr Speaker, in Zambia, UN support comes through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for instance and, I believe, almost thirty other organisations that are also UN affiliated. For example, prior to the recently-held Tripartite Elections of 20th September, 2011, the UNDP gave the Electoral Commission of Zambia about US$21 million in support. 

Sir, in line with the UN expectations, Zambia demonstrated high standards in ensuring that the country held peaceful, free and credible elections while, on its part, the UNDP demonstrated high levels of commitment in freely interacting with community leaders represented as the Human Rights Commission and radio stations which were disseminating information on the right to vote and civil engagement in the democratic process.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to note that the UN Chief could not have spared a better time than now to have a decision with hon. Members of Parliament. I have said this because our country is preparing to co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWT) General Assembly with Zimbabwe in 2013. The need for Parliamentarians to get involved from the outset cannot be over emphasised.

We are, therefore, very grateful to have him here with us and to share our diverse views with him not only about tourism, but also other national issues of international importance.

Sir, I wish to assure the Secretary-General of the UN that the Zambian Government is anxiously looking forward to co-hosting this tourism event. In this regard, we have embarked on infrastructure upgrading to ensure that we are fully ready for the event.

Finally, I wish to thank the Secretary-General of the UN for addressing the House today. I also wish to assure him of our continued commitment to the UN on all fronts, including the provisions of military personnel for peace-keeping purposes.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to debate the Motion on the Floor which has just been moved by His Honour the Vice-President. 

Sir, from the outset, let me state that Zambia has benefited immensely from the UN for a long time now. This close relationship has allowed for development of co-operation in various areas, including humanitarian, economic and technical fields such as agriculture, education, health, culture, environment and sanitation.

Mr Speaker, in terms of humanitarian welfare, it is worth noting that with a stable political environment in Zambia since independence, in 1964, the country has provided an enabling environment which has been receptive and generous towards refugees.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Can you consult quietly, please, so that the hon. Member can be heard?

Mr Mwanza: The country has hosted several refugees from a number of countries. At the end of June, 2010, Zambia was host to 55,800 refugees and 115 asylum-seekers, mainly from Angola, the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.

Sir, Zambia is a party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol, as well as the 1969 Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Convention governing the specific aspects of refugees’ problems in Africa. The vast majority of refugees in Zambia have been granted refugee status on a prima facie case basis; while some have been recognised after individual refugee status determination (RSD) conducted by the National Eligibility Committee (NEC).

Mr Speaker, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has been supporting the Government in providing support to refugees through the provision of the following services in refugee camps:

(i)    fair protection;

(ii)    security from violence and exploitation;

(iii)    basic needs services;

(iv)    community participation and self-management; and

(v)    duration solutions.

Further, Sir, I am happy to note that the UNDP has provided significant support to the National Assembly of Zambia in the implementation of the Parliamentary Reforms over the past decade. This support has taken the form of provision of equipment as part of the Parliamentary Reform Programme (PRP) for the institution and capacity building of both hon. Members of Parliament and staff.

Mr Speaker, the UNDP has also provided funds that have enabled the National Assembly of Zambia to set up a local area network (LAN) at the Parliament Buildings. The LAN has greatly eased the operations of the institution and has significantly improved internal and external communication.

The UNDP has, furthermore, supported the acquisition of state-of-the-art printing equipment for the Parliamentary Printing Press. This equipment has significantly contributed to the efficient execution of the Business of the House in that the House is able to print all the required documents such as the Hansard.

In addition, Sir, the UNDP in conjunction with other co-operating partners, has supported the operations of constituency offices by providing funds to procure furniture and computer equipment. Funds were also provided to procure motorcycles to increase the mobility and, consequently, the effectiveness of officers in the constituency offices in the facilitation of the work of hon. Members of Parliament in their constituencies. Further, the UNDP is also supporting the roll-out of internet connectivity to constituency offices.

Mr Speaker, it is also gratifying to note that the support provided by the UNDP has greatly improved member/constituency relations. In addition, the assistance to Committees has contributed to improving the Committees’ capacity to execute their oversight role more effectively.

In the same vein, the UN, through the UNDP, has also supported the capacity building activities under the Parliamentary Reforms Programme (PRP) III by funding several workshops such as the capacity building training programme for staff in the Committee and Research departments. This is aimed at enhancing their support role to hon. Members of Parliament in their oversight functions. In this regard, the UPND’s facilitation of workshops, attachment of hon. Members …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, order!


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, order! 

That was a slip of the tongue.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: You may continue, please.

Mr Mwanza: Sorry, Mr Speaker. In this regard, the UNDP’s facilitation of workshops, attachment of hon. Members and staff to other parliaments and publication of materials, has been helpful to the Zambian Parliament.

Sir, at national level, the UNDP has been very instrumental in supporting the country’s democratic process through financial support to the Constitutional Review Process and in holding elections, as mentioned earlier by His Honour the Vice-President.

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

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba (Bahati): Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to today’s discussion on the speech to the House by His Excellency, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General. My speech centres on two issues: human rights and the UN system.

Sir, by definition, human rights are universal legal guarantees protecting individuals and groups against actions that interfere with fundamental freedoms and human dignity. Human rights law obliges governments to do some things and prevents them from doing others. Some of the most important characteristics of human rights are that they are:

(i)    indivisible and cannot be waived or taken away;

(ii)    interdependent and interrelated;

(iii)    universal;

(iv)    guaranteed by international standards;

(v)    legally protected;

(vi)    focus on the dignity of the human being;

(vii)    protect individuals and groups; and

(viii)    oblige states and state actors.

Mr Speaker, due to the importance and universal acceptance of human rights, the Charter establishing the UN, in its preamble, begins by stating the determination of all member States to protect the rights of all human beings and those of nations, both large and small. Through this Charter, and having regard for the untold sorrows brought on mankind by the two World Wars, the UN member States re-affirmed their faith in fundamental human rights and the dignity and worth of the human person. The issue of human rights, therefore, is at the very core of the foundation of the UN and at the centre of its purpose, principles and values.

The issue of human rights is key to the development of mankind. For the UN, sustainable human development means looking at development in an integrated, multi-disciplinary way. Human rights are central to this concept of development. Sustainable human development is people-centred, participatory and environment friendly. It stresses not only economic growth, but also equitable distribution, enhancement of people’s capabilities and enlargement of their choices. It gives the highest priority to poverty elimination, integration of women in the development process and self-reliance and self-determination of peoples and governments, including the rights of indigenous peoples.

Sir, allow me to also state that merely establishing a set of rules is not enough to ensure their application. That is why the upholding of human rights requires domestication in national constitutions, a point that national institutions and organisations monitoring human rights often stress.

Mr Speaker, in this regard, Zambia’s Constitution, as the fundamental law of the land, contains the Bill of Rights, which makes provisions for respecting fundamental human rights and freedoms in the country, regardless of one’s origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex. Thus, Zambia’s Constitution emphasises democracy and respect for human rights.

Sir, as regards the UN system, it is based on the facilitation of co-operation, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights and achievement of world peace. From its offices around the world, the UN and its specialised agencies decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout the year. The organisation has six principal organs, namely the General Assembly, which is the main deliberative assembly; the Security Council, which decides certain resolutions for world peace and security; the Economic and Social Council, for assisting in promoting international economic and social co-operation and development; the Secretariat, for providing studies, information and facilities needed by the UN; the International Court of Justice, which is the primary judicial organ; and the UN Trusteeship Council, which is currently inactive. Other important agencies within the UN system include the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the UNHCR.

Mr Speaker, allow me to remind this august House that the Security Council is the most powerful body of the UN. It can authorise the deployment of troops from UN member countries, mandate ceasefires during conflict and impose economic penalties on countries. The Security Council is composed of representatives from fifteen countries, five of which are permanent members. The original five permanent members were the United States of America, United Kingdom, the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and France. These five countries were the primary victorious countries of World War II. In 1973, Taiwan was replaced by the People’s Republic of China on the Security Council and, after the fall of the USSR in 1991, its spot was occupied by Russia. Thus, the current five permanent members of the Security Council are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States of America. Each of the permanent members has powers to veto over any matter voted upon by the Security Council. This means that all the five permanent members of the Security Council must agree to endorse any measure for it to pass. Nonetheless, the Security Council has passed more than 1,700 resolutions since its founding in 1946.

Mr Speaker, it is important to note that the remaining ten non-permanent members are chosen based on various regions of the world. Almost every UN member country is a member of a regional grouping. The regional groupings include:

(i)    the Western Europe and other groups;

(ii)    the Eastern European Group;

(iii)    the Latin American and Caribbean Group;

(iv)    the Asian Group; and

(v)    the African Group.

Sir, it is interesting that the United States of America and Kiribati are the two countries that are not members of any group. Australia, Canada, Israel and New Zealand are all part of the Western European group of countries. The ten non-permanent members of the Security Council serve two-year terms and half are replaced each year in annual elections. Each region votes for its own representatives and the General Assembly approves the selections.

Mr Speaker, in view of the aforementioned system of the Security Council, there has been controversy over the composition of the permanent members and the power to veto for decades. Countries such as Brazil, Germany, Japan and India all seek inclusion as permanent members of the Security Council and recommend enlargement of the Security Council to twenty-five members. Any proposal to modify the organisation of the Security Council would require the approval of two-thirds of the UN General Assembly. Further, there has also been criticism that the five permanent members of the Security Council, who are all nuclear powers, have created an exclusive nuclear club whose powers are unchecked. It is also argued that, unlike the General Assembly, the Security Council does not have true international representation. This has led to accusations that the Security Council only addresses the strategic interests and political motives of the permanent members, especially in humanitarian interventions. For example, protecting the oil-rich Kuwaitis in 1991, but poorly protecting resource-poor Rwandans in 1994. The world, indeed, experienced the most horrifying genocide that had never been witnessed in the history of the human race in 1994. Similarly, the UN was quick to take military action through the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) against Libya in 2011, which saw the death of Muammar Gaddafi, but it has not done so in some countries with similar undemocratic regimes.

Mr Speaker, any non-permanent member of the UN Security Council may be elected to serve on a temporary term, but critics have suggested that this is inadequate. Rather, they argue that the number of permanent members should be expanded to include non-nuclear powers which would democratise the organisation. Still, other nations have advocated the abolition of the concept of permanency altogether, as was argued by the Government of Prime Minister Paul Martin of Canada. 

Mr Speaker, in view of the foregoing, it is our sincere hope that being a very important body, the UN should reform its composition and decision-making structures so that non-nuclear power states are brought on board. This will make the organisation more democratic and inclusive.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, it is my great honour and privilege to be accorded this opportunity to contribute to this important discussion on the speech by the UN Secretary-General. My presentation will centre on Zambia’s poverty in relation to the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP).

Mr Speaker, from the outset, let me mention that Zambia, as a member of the UN, participates in meetings of the General Assembly and other UN agencies. The country benefits significantly from the UN through its agencies such as the United Nations Agency for HIV/AIDS, the UNHCR, the WHO, UNICEF, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the WFP, the UNDP and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

Mr Speaker, the UN and its agencies have continued to assist the Zambian Government in striving to achieve the millennium development goals (MDGs) through the support on such programmes as poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS, environment and natural resources, gender equality and the formulation of short and medium-term national development plans. 

Mr Speaker, the UN defines poverty as the total absence of opportunities accompanied by high levels of undernourishment, hunger, illiteracy, a lack of education, physical and mental ailments, emotional and social instability, unhappiness, sorrow and hopelessness for the future. Poverty is also characterised by a chronic shortage of economic, social and political participation, relegating individuals to exclusion as social beings, and preventing access to the benefits of economic and social development, thereby limiting their cultural development. 

Sir, in Zambia, the issue of poverty is real as shown by a series of national surveys conducted by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) which indicate, in general, that the poverty levels in Zambia are still very high. In this regard, there is a greater concentration of poverty in rural areas than in the urban areas. The distribution of Zambia’s poverty levels, by province, shows that the poorest provinces are Western, Luapula, Northern, Eastern and North-Western, in that order. 

Mr Speaker, what is being done by the Government to alleviate poverty among Zambians is the question we should be asking. Let me state that the Government of the Republic of Zambia has been implementing various short, medium and long-term development plans from both the colonial and post-Independence eras. Zambia has implemented six national development plans. The current one, the SNDP, is being implemented under the theme: ‘Sustained Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction’. 

Mr Speaker, in view of the foregoing, …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Hon. Members, if we have to consult, let us do so quietly so that the person speaking can be heard.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Mucheleka: … allow me to highlight a few salient issues of the SNDP as they relate to Zambia’s strategy in tackling poverty. The SNDP charts an ambitious path to transform the lives of Zambians for the better. The plan is a successor to the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) which was implemented from 2006 to 2010. The SNDP provides a comprehensive medium-term strategy for an inclusive development agenda and builds on the achievements and lessons learnt during the implementation of the FNDP.  It is envisaged that, through the SNDP, Zambia will achieve accelerated infrastructure and human development, enhanced economic growth and diversification and promotion of rural development. Further, the plan focuses on the policies, strategies and programmes that will contribute significantly to addressing the challenges of realising broad pro-poor growth, employment creation and human development as envisaged in the Vision 2030, which is Zambia’s vision to attain a prosperous middle-income status by 2030. For this to happen, the economy needs to grow at an annual average rate of about 6 to 7 per cent, slightly higher than the 5 per cent plus rate attained during the past five years. 

In 2010, the country attained the growth rate of 7.6 per cent. If this growth rate is sustained or increased, then Zambia will achieve its goal. Thus, to realise the MDG of eradicating extreme poverty levels and rapidly increasing gainful and decent employment, the plan projects an economic growth rate of 6 to 7 per cent per annum that must be pro-poor in structure. To reach this level of economic growth, there is a need to review and further implement strong and workable fiscal policies that will ensure prudent management of funds in the National Budget. In this regard, it is worth noting that many private sector and CSOs such as the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR), have asked the Government to increase the expenditure on capital development to, at least, a third of every annual budget. They stress that massive capital expenditure will eventually lead to infrastructure development and an improvement in people’s lives which is a vital component of national development. 

Mr Speaker, let me conclude by stating that if Zambia has to continue on this development path of reducing poverty among citizens and achieve the objectives envisaged in the SNDP, the Government should draw lessons from the previous national development plans and embrace prudent fiscal policies. Among the lessons to be drawn from the FNDP is that the economic growth experienced during the last decade did not translate into significant reduction in poverty and improved livelihoods of the majority of Zambians. The other is that job creation was not commensurate with the gains recorded from the economic growth. This was because of low labour productivity, low absorption capacity of the labour market for new entrants, particularly the youth and the concentration of growth in highly capital-intensive and urban-based sectors such as mining, construction and other services. 

Sir, other factors that further constrained poverty reduction during the FNDP included poor infrastructure, low quality human capital, high cost of financial services and inefficiencies in public expenditure management. In light of the foregoing, the following can be considered as possible solutions to the challenges encountered during the implementation of the FNDP: 

(i)    prudent utilisation of financial services; 

(ii)    strengthening of monitoring and evaluation systems and institutions over the use of resources; 

(iii)    accelerated implementation of the decentralisation policies, that is the devolution of resources and functions to local authorities; and 

(iv)    ensuring transparency and accountability in the utilisation of resources.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate this rare Motion at such a momentous occasion that has been bestowed upon the Zambian people. On behalf of my party, the United Party for National Development, (UPND), …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: … the people of Mbabala, whom I represent, the people of Mapatizya, with whom we are neighbours, unless there have been changes in boundaries  of districts since lunch hour and, indeed, on my own behalf, allow me to extend my fraternal greetings to His Excellency, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, and the UN family, both locally and abroad.

Mr Speaker, we are cognisant of the numerous works and sacrifices that the UN family is making worldwide. Therefore, we want to assure the institution that we hold it in highest esteem. Secondly, allow me to thank His Excellency, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, for his address to this august House which, if all institutions of this country are to fail us, must remain our last hope and symbol of our desire for democracy and good governance. 

Mr Speaker, at about the middle of last century, our forefathers and mothers realised one invaluable truth that only the right to self-determination would guarantee an enduring society. At about the same time, coming from a situation of war and economic depression, the world came up with what is now known as the UN, not out of prestige, but for the purposes of peace and human development.

The world has turned over so many times since then and, in the course of time, we have also learnt that peace and development can only be guaranteed by an environment of democracy and good governance, whether people like it or not.

Mr Speaker, those who choose to ignore this simple yet enduring truth and opt to seek power by riding on the back of terror must learn from the lessons of history. Those who choose to do so hoping that people would continuously submit to their rule because of terror must learn that such regimes never lasted in the past because they were swallowed up by the tigers they were using to scare others.

Mr Speaker, recent history has also proven that only a nation conceived out of democracy and good governance will endure beyond a season. Therefore, the practicing of good governance and democracy is not negotiable at this hour.

Mr Speaker, observation of the values of democracy and good governance is at the core of the enjoyment of human rights and freedoms which is premised on the proposition that human beings are created and born equal and free regardless of their colour, race, creed and tribe. For purposes of emphasis, I repeat, human beings are equal regardless of even tribe.

Mr Speaker, at the pinnacle of democracy and good governance is a constitution that guarantees individual liberties, human rights and freedoms. The enjoyment of such rights must not be controlled by the government, but must be kept in the hands of the people. This is according to Mrs Roosevelt.

What we need to find out when it comes to the observation of human rights and freedoms, as provided for in the Constitution, is whether they are truly kept in the hands of people. The challenge is also to ensure that governments understand that these rights ought to be in the hands of people and not in the hands of governments. 

Considering that we are coming from an age of slavery, colonialism and one party regimes, we can say that, as a people, we have made some progress as regards democracy and governance. However, as His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-Moon said, we are still on a journey which we are willing to continue together with the UN. However, I must also say that, at times, this journey appears to be under threat. Otherwise, how do we explain the attitudes of governments in the region that threaten citizens for an offence, which is not supposed to be an offence, of just expressing their views on matters that concern them?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: How do we explain the unleashing of supporters of parties in power to harass individuals whose only offence is exercising their democratic right to aspire for public office or to debate issues of national interest?


Mr Belemu: How do we explain the unleashing of State machinery on perceived enemies under the guise of the law visiting them? How do we explain the express instruction to public prosecutors to target their efforts in having certain people arrested? How do we explain the excessive powers of the President and the continuous breach of the Constitution by those who are in power? How do we explain the continuous harassment and intimidation of the Judiciary?

Mr Speaker, these and many other examples clearly show that we are still on a long journey and we must gather our efforts.

Mr Chikwanda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, … 

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

The rule is that when you want to ask for a point of order, you stand so that I know that you have started speaking. You should not just start shouting. 

You have the Floor.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I am very reluctant to raise a point of order against a normally very sensible hon. Member. The Secretary-General paid tribute to us, Zambians, for the collective wisdom we use when doing things. The debater is now bringing in a lot of acrimony and …

Hon. PF Members interjected.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

This point of order is being made by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. Can the rest of us listen to his point of order.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is capable of taking a highly intellectually stimulating dimension in his debate. Is he in order to try and lower the moral dimension of the Secretary-General’s Address by bringing issues which are very personal or sectional into his debate?

Mr Deputy Speaker: I think that, on occasions such as this one, there is a need to be sober. I think that we should concentrate on the Secretary-General’s Address. However, that said, let me also advise that the fact that the presiding officers keep quiet when hon. Members say certain things does not mean that what they are saying is right.

I would like to seize this opportunity to guide all of you on something you have been repeatedly guided in the past by presiding officers.  These are rules which we have set for ourselves. We have said that the right way to address the Chair is ‘Mr Speaker’ or, if you want, ‘Sir’. Do not say ‘Mr Speaker, Sir’. That is the way of addressing the Chair that we agreed to.  Saying “Mr Speaker, Sir” may be right out there, but here, it is not correct. I am just seizing this opportunity to remind you to try to be as correct as you possibly can.

With that explanation, can the hon. Member continue with his debate while taking into account the point of order.

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, thank you for that guidance. As a sensible hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala Constituency, it is my conviction that good governance includes accountability and transparency in the management of national affairs.

As governments discharge their responsibility, they should be aware that citizens demand nothing less than adherence to the rule of law. Therefore, it goes without saying that those who are in public office must be prepared to face public scrutiny as part of accountability.

Democracy and good governance also entail holding free, fair and frequent elections. Zambia has made substantial progress in holding elections and peaceful handover of power. The challenge is for those who rule today to remember that they may not be in power tomorrow. However, this cycle of peaceful handover of power must continue because it has become a hallmark of Zambia’s elections.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, the other challenge is for us to ensure that we truly have an independent electoral commission in order to make our elections more credible. 

Democracy and good governance also entail that people have access to information. Therefore, the role of the media is essential, but this media must not be one which is muzzled by the Government. An equal coverage of political stakeholders remains a matter of concern. Therefore, it is important for us, as we make progress in our quest for good governance, to remain steadfast and to free the media, including the public institutions.

Mr Speaker, a strong legislature is also an essential requisite to democracy and good governance. We are all aware that the Zambian Parliament has made some tremendous progress in probing the Government. It has also embarked on reforms aimed at strengthening the Committee system. This process must be supported and accelerated. We also need a parliamentary service commission which would further guarantee the independence of the Legislature and strengthen the efforts of Parliament in fulfilling its role of continuously probing the Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, the next matter I will look at, which was also talked about by His Excellency, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, is a matter that is of equal concern to us both on the right and left of the House. I am referring to gender equality.

   Mr Speaker, we cannot talk about good governance and democracy without taking into consideration issues to do with gender equality. As mentioned by Mr Ban Ki-Moon, we are still far below the Southern African Development Community (SADC) target of 30 per cent female representation in the House. We are at 11 per cent today. Therefore, it is time for us to move forward in terms of gender equality. We have used all sorts of excuses for being unable to meet the target. I am afraid that all of them have been tested and found to be false. Therefore, we need to move ahead. 

In conclusion, I would like to submit, Mr Speaker, that:

(i)    a genuine people-driven Constitution must not be delayed any longer; 

(ii)    if we are to enjoy what has been referred to by His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-Moon, insolent breaches of the Constitution must be rejected by all;

(iii)    the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill and the freeing of public media must not be delayed any longer;

(iv)    the selective application of the law must be detested; 

(v)    the rule of law must be respected and there should not be any demigods;

(vi)    expression of dissenting views must not be criminalised; 

(vii)    use of police and other State machinery to silence dissenting voices must never be entertained; 

(viii)    independence and autonomy of the Judiciary must be guaranteed; 

(ix)    parliamentary reforms must be supported and accelerated; 

(x)    politics and styles of cultism must never be entertained; 

(xi)    the rights of citizens must be guaranteed and not in the hands of the Government; 

(xii)    breach of the Constitution by those in power must never be entertained; and 

(xiii)    democracy and good governance must be the guarantor of our enjoyment of liberty and peace. Therefore, at this hour, it is my submission that they must not be negotiated.

Mr Speaker, on behalf of the people of Mbabala Constituency, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati (Lunte): Mr Speaker, may I begin by recognising this historic occasion which has seen this country visited by the Secretary-General of the UN for the first time. It is historic in the sense that he came with a well-packaged and deep message which must be reflected upon by this House. He said that the UN was founded on the same day as our independence and that we share the same ideals and values. He recognised that Zambia is on high, propelled by the recent win by the Chipolopolo and our triumph in boxing. The Secretary-General of the UN also gave Zambia some hope by stating that our ability to achieve the MDGs looks stronger because of the solid foundation and positive economic growth that was registered in the last five years.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: This was all because of good management. Zambia was rated as one of the top ten performers in 2010. Investments were brought into the country which created a lot of opportunities. It is such things which have made it possible for us to be on the path to meeting the MDGs. A key ingredient in going forward was the peaceful handover of power to our colleagues. It was important in the advancement of our quest to achieve the MDGs. 

Having handed over a solid platform of leadership to our colleagues, it is our expectation that they will ensure that economic growth is equitable and inclusive so that it can benefit all the people of Zambia. It is our expectation that the key ingredient will be justice which is not selective and that there will be no parallel systems of justice. It is also our expectation that human rights will be a key cornerstone for sustainable development. That was the key theme which was emphasised by the UN Secretary-General. Indeed, we have the basis to believe that Zambia can do it and Zambia can be able to achieve great things once it follows the path of sustainable development.

Mr Speaker, in advancing sustainable development, we are also mindful of the fact that there must be a critical balance between economic policy and social justice that generates and enables us to create the much-needed jobs and opportunities, particularly for our youths along the line of rail and also in the rural areas. We handed over a solid platform to the President on the 20th September, 2010. It should not be broken or weakened. The new Government must begin to build on it so that we achieve the MDGs in 2015.

The key message that we need to give the UN Secretary-General is about the issues surrounding the reforms taking place at the UN. Let me talk about the voice, particularly of Africa at the UN. Our participation has been relegated to the General Assembly were resolutions are made, but without much effect. It has been our desire, as Zambia and Africa, to have a seat on the Security Council of the UN so that we can ensure that the resolutions that we make in the General Assemby are translated into decisions that will affect not only humanity in Africa, but globally. Therefore, we urge the Secretary-General of the UN, at the end of his historic visit, to take with him the message that Africa and Zambia is fighting for that extra seat on the Security Council of the United Nationsas a matter of urgency. We trust that on the heels of this historic visit, he is also going to make history by being the first Secretary-General of the UN that will advance this opportunity for Africa to have one extra seat. 

Indeed, we are grateful for his visit and we believe that the walk that he is going to take in Zambia will give him an opportunity to understand the depth of our democracy and values which enable us to work together as Zambians. We, from the Opposition, will continue to provide the necessary checks and balances to our colleagues. We will continue to protect the Constitution ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: ... because that is the role which we have been given. We will be able to protect the Constitution using the various lawful options that are available. Having had to take the Oath of Allegiance when we entered this House as hon. Members of Parliament, we believe that we are expected to advance democracy and the rule of law. There can be no better place than this House for us to use in advancing such ideals.  

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

Mr Mutati:  I am sure, Mr Speaker, we will continue to play that positive role and our colleagues in Government must understand that we mean well. We want them to deliver. For the sake of bringing development to Zambia, we are on the same side of the table. For the betterment of Zambia, we are on the same side of the table. However, if the rights of the people are infringed upon, we will then be on the other side of the table.  

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I wish my colleagues in the Government all the best in their quest to achieve the MDGs by 2015. If they do not have the capability, let them hand back power to the original owners who know how to deliver the MDGs quicker.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the speech delivered to this House by His Excellency the UN Secretary-General. 

Mr Speaker, it is a very rare opportunity to host the UN Secretary-General. My prayer is that we, as elected hon. Members of this Honourable House, will exhibit a rare leadership so that we can deliver rare development. 

Mr Speaker, the speech by UN Secretary-General addressed a lot of issues, including sustainable development, gender equality, human rights, climate change and the need for us to achieve the MDGs. It is my prayer that the PF Government will use this rare opportunity to deliver the rare development that is needed in the rural areas.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr C. Bwalya: Mr Speaker, a great scholar and, indeed, an intellectual once said: “The true meaning of life is planting trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” Today, Mr Ban Ki-Moon was here, but he may not even live to see the benefits of his visit. It is, therefore, our responsibility to use this rare opportunity of being in this House to allocate resources to the people in the rural areas. 

Mr Speaker, we will not preserve our beautiful environment if we do not ensure that we protect our energy sources. The fight against deforestation that His Excellency, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, referred to will only be meaningful if we ensure that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning collects all the resources and revenue needed to put up good roads in the rural areas and improve the lives of the Zambian people in rural areas.

 It is, therefore, our responsibility, as hon. Members of Parliament, to ensure that we use this rare opportunity to deliver quality education. Quality education will not come if we pull each other down in this House instead of looking at which areas require urgent development. Mr Speaker, I am referring to the rural areas development. If we open up the rural areas, we will achieve the meaningful and sustainable development that was talked about.

Mr Speaker, I want to see a situation, in this country, where we move away from the business-as-usual way of doing things where we always talk of economic benefits. We should be able to look at the political and social benefits of the Zambian people in the outlying areas of this country. 

We talk of economic benefits when we want to construct a road, but when it comes to  elections, we all pack our vehicles and walk to areas where rural people reside because we want them to vote for us. When we allocate resources, we must look at which areas will give us greater economic benefits. The people of Zambia are saying that you should not go to ask for votes if these roads will not be worked on.

 We have a rare opportunity, as the PF Government, to deliver a very rare kind of development in rural areas so that the road infrastructure and health facilities can be improved. Those are the requirements of the MDGs that His Excellency, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, referred to. 

Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Opposition Members: I thank you.

Mr C. Bwalya: Mr Speaker, when the people of the Eastern Province have nothing to say, they say ‘I thank you’.


Mr C. Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I am still on the Floor.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Be careful. You are treading on soft ground.


Mr Deputy Speaker: You may continue, hon. Member.

Mr C. Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I thank you. It is, indeed, soft ground. 


Mr C. Bwalya: Mr Speaker, we have heard, on the Floor of this House, that the health, education and road infrastructure in this country is not good. The visit by Mr Ban Ki-Moon has raised the need for us to share the national cake effectively and equally.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, from the outset, I would like to state that it is a great honour for me to stand here to represent the people of Choma Central and give a vote of thanks on this historic visit by His Excellency the Secretary-General of the UN, Mr Ban Ki-Moon. 

Mr Speaker, this historic and important visit could not have come at a better time than this, when Zambians are still in a celebratory mood after winning the Africa Cup of Nations.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I believe that this timely visit by the UN Chief is giving the right recognition to Zambia and is an indication that Zambia is getting the right favour in the eyes of the international community. 

Mr Speaker, the Secretary-General of the UN has raised pertinent issues bordering on peace, democracy, preservation and defence of human rights, inter alia. In this regard, I wish to applaud the work that the UN does in the preservation of peace. As the Secretary of State for the United States of America has stated: 

“Peace is a struggle and we must consistently struggle to maintain peace.”

 Therefore, I applaud the work that the UN does in maintaining peace and stability and security on our planet.

Mr Speaker, I also would like to thank most sincerely the Secretary-General of the UN for having found it befitting to come and visit Zambia at a time there has just been a change of regime. I believe that his visit will serve as a reminder to the new regime of its responsibility to discharge its duty in a manner that promotes unity, peace and stability and to uphold and defend human rights and defend the Constitution.

Mr Speaker, allow me, at this particular time, on behalf of my colleagues in this House, once more, to say thank you to the Secretary-General of the UN for coming to address the people of Zambia through this august House. It is not only a historic moment but, as the saying goes in football, it could also be a once in a life time moment to be in this House and be addressed by the UN Chief. This is a momentous and auspicious occasion for the Parliamentarians gathered in this House.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I wish to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the Address by His Excellency the Secretary-General of the UN. As a representative of the gallant people of Mumbwa, I would like to state that it is a historic moment to host the UN Secretary-General.

Mr Speaker, I thank the Zambian people for making it possible for me to meet him in person. It is a pride that the UN Secretary-General has come to visit our country.

Sir, the message has been very clear. I will restrict myself to his statement that says:
“As a nation, please, build on what good has been already achieved. This is under the area of achieving the MDGs and HIV/AIDS.”

Mr Speaker, to take this further, I think, it is important to have this big push by, perhaps, providing the leadership of having the majority of us circumcised. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Malama!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, perhaps, I could be given the privilege to lead the campaign to ensure that inspections are carried out …


Dr Chituwo: … with a peer group so that we lead by example. This is very important.


Dr Chituwo: This is because we know the benefits of circumcision.

Hon. Members: We are ready!

Dr Chituwo: In fact, Sir, I could take time off to actually carry out the circumcisions on my colleagues so that they are assured that they will be as safe as the young people we have sensitised and have been circumcised.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the UN Secretary-General and His Excellency, Mr Kikwete, the President of Tanzania, have co-chaired the Commission on Information and Accountability. Within six months, they produced a report which was the subject of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Multi-Country Workshop on Development of Accountability Framework.

Sir, the focus, as the Secretary-General of the UN has said, is the issue of mother, neonatal and child health. Each country embarked on civil registration and vital statistics assessment. I think it is one of the key ingredients with regard to the parameters that have been developed. In order to have this big push, it is important for us, as a country, through the hon. Ministers of Health and Finance and National Planning, through the Central Statistical Office (CSO), to provide the leadership in this area so that we can develop a roadmap where, at every level, we shall be held accountable with regard to maternal and neonatal childhood. 

Mr Speaker, we cannot continue to have 519 women per 100,000 live births die in our country. It is unacceptable. Yes, we have made some progress, but this is the push that the UN Secretary-General is asking of us as a country. As such, I thought that his visit has been timely to give us a big push.

Sir, the second issue that I thought I should mention was that of the empowerment of women. I am not quite sure whether the conditions are the same with regard to, for instance, information requested for from a man or woman when opening a bank account, more so in the area of pensions. This concerns the empowerment of women and the gender issues that His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-Moon touched on. 

Mr Speaker, it is refreshing to note that, with this message, we will, as legislators, look at the other areas which, perhaps, we are not sure are discriminatory against our people on account of sex. 

Sir, I will end by simply stating that the building blocks of a house can only stand if they are placed in such a way that they interlock and make straight corners. We, as MMD, laid certain very good foundations. It is very important that we do not neglect them. After all, at the end of the day, we are all working for that voiceless mother or child in the rural areas. The language of development is the same. Irrespective of which party is in power, our mothers want clean water, good roads and good nutrition. This is a collective responsibility.

Mr Speaker, it is refreshing to see that the UN Secretary-General recognises the efforts we have made collectively as a nation. Obviously, these can only be achieved in the context of peace in our country and observance of the laws that we made.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for according me this opportunity to also contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks.

Sir, let me start by thanking His Excellency the Secretary-General of the UN, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, for coming to Zambia at this important time. I also thank him for acknowledging the efforts that the Zambian people have made, in the recent years, to ensure economic development.

Mr Speaker, I want to pay particular attention to the issue he raised of congratulating our boys whom he called the Chipolopolo Boys. He also congratulated Zambia for the peaceful transition of power from one political party, the MMD, to another, the PF.

Sir, indeed, it was the effort of every Zambian that ensured this smooth transition, although we noticed, in the early days, that our friends, after taking over power, were so excited that they wanted to disrupt the peace that our country has enjoyed over the years.

Mr Speaker, there is no way that a country such as Zambia could continue to enjoy peace without the contribution of the Opposition. In this case, I would like to commend the Opposition for contributing to the peace that Zambia has continued to enjoy.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Sir, His Excellency the Secretary-General of the UN talked about the need for sustainable development. I agree that there is a need for us to integrate the principles of sustainable development into our economic agenda to ensure that there are long-term benefits for the current and future generations.

Mr Speaker, I would like to talk about the specific issue of climate change. The UN has continued to host the conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change with minimal success. The reason is that all the countries, which are members of the UN and are responsible for the state of affairs in terms of climate change, have failed to take responsibility for the actions they have taken in the past, hence the failure to take the necessary action to ensure that the least developed countries such as Zambia do not continue to suffer the negative effects of climate change. In most cases, countries such as Zambia have had their economic gains reversed.

Mr Speaker, the Secretary-General of the UN also referred to the high deforestation rate in Zambia. I agree with him but, again, the countries that should do more are not doing so. We know that many of our people who survive on forests have no alternative means of earning a livelihood and the Government of the Republic of Zambia, even under the PF, has no capacity to ensure that it creates alternative means of earning a livelihood for them. Therefore, there is a need for a concerted global effort to ensure that communities that survive on forests are given alternative means of earning a livelihood. 

Mr Speaker, on the issue of women empowerment, I agree that there is a need for all of us to do more. I am sad to note that the international community has continued to pay lip service to the empowerment of women. Fifty-one percent of the Zambian population are women. The issue of women empowerment has been spoken about by successive governments, and yet very little action is taken to ensure that more women, for instance, come to this House.  At the moment, we are now at 11 per cent. Where are the women? Why are political parties not adopting more women? Even when they do, are all political parties investing in women so that more women come to Parliament? We all agree that women bring a sense of social justice to the table. We all agree that there is a need to do more to ensure that women come to this House and ascend to decision-making positions, but I would like to pose a challenge. How can women be empowered when they continue to suffer gender-based violence? How is it possible when men, including some in this House, continue to abuse their wives?


Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, how can we ensure that more women are empowered? How can we ensure women empowerment when small girls are defiled and killed? How can we ensure women empowerment when four-year old girls are defiled? How are we going to do that when we, the legislators in this House, do not frown at gender-based violence? Yes, the laws are there, but there is no parity between the laws and practice. I can see some of the hon. Members of Parliament looking at me and smiling because I am talking about how women are abused. They do not see it as an issue. 

Well, Mr Speaker, through you, I hope that the men who are seated here realise that the women and small girls who are abused are somebody’s daughter, mother or sister. If the men who are here do not want to see their daughters abused, then I challenge them to ensure that they do not allow this vice in their constituencies.  

Mr Speaker, many of the women who are languishing in poverty can be empowered economically if there is political will by the PF. There are many pronouncements. We have heard that so much will be done, but not much is being done to empower women. We need to do more to empower women. We need to see all the female PF Members as part of the Front Bench.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, we want to see more women come to this House for us to ensure that the laws that affect women and children are passed and also that they are not just passed, but adhered to. 

His Excellency, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, came here with a message of goodwill to all of us. It is my hope that we will forget our political divide and forge ahead to develop this country. It is my hope that we will make Zambia a better place for our children and grandchildren and that this Government of the PF is not going to undermine the successes that have been achieved, so far, by the able Government of the MMD.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this debate. I do not particularly want to lower the tone of this debate which, after all, should be a dignified event. I must just mention, in passing, that I noticed that the Front Bench of the Opposition is still having trouble understanding why they lost the election last year and why they thoroughly deserved to lose the election.


Hon. MMD Members: Boma!

The Vice-President: I can only express sympathy with them for failing to come to terms with reality.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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 agree to.


The House adjourned at 1753 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 28th February, 2012.