Debates- Tuesday, 20th December, 2011

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Tuesday, 20th December, 2011 

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






58. Mr D. Mumba (Chama North) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications:

(a)    when funds for the tarring of the following roads would be released:

(i)    Isoka/Chama; and 
(ii)    Chama/Lundazi;

(b)    when the works on the roads above would start;

(c)    what the estimated time for the completion of the project was; and 

(d)    when funds for the construction of the Matumbo Bridge on the Chama/Chinsali Road would be released.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, with a bit of hindsight in relation to questions (a) to (c), we can also look in the Yellow Book, on page 387 , Programme 3101, Activity 073 – Isoka to Muyombe Lot 1 (T2/D790 Junction) to km 90+000 – K47,000,000,000. 

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), is currently executing the contract for upgrading of the Isoka/Muyombe/Chama/Lundazi Road Project to ensure connectivity between Muchinga and the Eastern Province. For ease of contract administration, works on this entire stretch have been split into four lots namely:

Lot 1          –        Isoka (T2/D790 Junction) to km 90+000 (D790), 90 km;
Lot 2          –     D790 (km 90+000) to M14 (Chire River), 93 km;
Lot 3          –     M14 (Chire River) to Chama (D103 Junction), (90 km); and 
Lot 4       –     Chama (D103 Junction) to Lundazi (D103/D104/M12 Junction), 120 km.

Mr Speaker, three of the four lots were awarded to Messrs China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Corporation on 6th September, 2010 by Zambia Public Procurement Authority as shown below:

Item No.     Project Name                Recommended Contract Sum (ZMK)

       1.        Lot 1 – Isoka (T2/D790 Junction)           213,805,420,485.60
        to km 90+000 (D790), (90 km)
      2.        Lot 2 – D790 (km 90+000) to M14          203,107,604,677.48
        (Chire River), (93 km) 
      3.        Lot 3 – M14 (Chire River) to Chama      206,578,681,588.60
        (D103 junction), (90km)

Mr Speaker, lot 4 which is the stretch from Chama to Lundazi is yet to be awarded. We must hasten to say that only funds for lot 1 have so far been released. An amount of K44 billion has been spent on lot 1 to-date. It was released in 2011. The Budget we are debating provides for K47 billion for lot 1. Money for lots 2 and 3 will only be released when funds are available.

Mr Speaker, the implementation of the works was phased due to the limitation of funds in the 2011 Annual Work Plan (AWP). Works commenced on lot 1 of the Isoka T2/D790 Junction to km 90+000 D 790, 90km on 11th February 2011. The duration of the contract is twenty-four months and so far only 12 per cent of the works have been completed. The delay in the progress of the project is due to the fact that we had incomplete design data. That problem has since been rectified and works are now progressing.

Mr Speaker, the lots 2 and 3 as mentioned earlier will commence as more resources are freed from the current commitments in the 2013/2014 AWP. 

Mr Speaker, a provision of K47 billion has been allocated for lot 1 – Isoka (Ts/D790 Junction) to km 90+000 (D790), (90 km) in the 2012 Budget. 

Mr Speaker, considerations are being made to secure extra funding for lot 4 so that the entire road corridor can be completed and the objectives of such an intervention are fully realised.

Mr Speaker, each of the four lots was planned to be completed in twenty-four months. If they were to be undertaken simultaneously, they would all be completed in twenty-four months. However, it is now estimated that works will be completed by 2015.

Mr Speaker, considering the establishment of the Muchinga Province, we are committed to connecting Chama and Chinsali as part of the on-going projects for bridges, especially the bridge at Matumbo across the Luangwa River.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, the construction of the road which connects Chama to Chinsali was started in 1968. This was before I was born. I am now an hon. Member of Parliament. It is quite sad that as an Member of Parliament for Chama North, I am now part of the Muchinga Province, which is a new province without the construction of the road having been completed. If worked on, the road would provide a direct route to Chinsali. This means that the cost of doing business for my people would be reduced. Although the construction of the road has taken forty-three years, I am still proud that my constituency is part of Muchinga Province. Now we have a new province, new Government and a new hon. Member of Parliament …

Mr Speaker: Order! What is your question, Hon. Member?

Mr D. Mumba: What specific measures is the Government going to take with regard to the road in question which links Chama to Chinsali which is the provincial headquarters?

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, the Government is looking for resources to effect its plan as stipulated by the hon. Deputy Minister.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister the criteria used to decide to work on roads in Isoka, Chama and Lundazi when we have roads in Mkushi and Mazabuka which need to be worked on because they greatly contribute to this nation by being food baskets?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, firstly we are not talking about Mkushi. We are talking about Isoka, Chama and Lundazi. It is the engineers in a particular locality who prioritise the roads to be worked on and then we source for funding. For now, we are not dealing with roads in Mkushi, but in Isoka, Chama and Lundazi. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, the question is: When will funds for Matumbo Bridge be released? Plans to work on the bridge have been on the drawing board for five years. These plans should not be taken to the new province. When are the funds going to be released?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, we are already working on an annual plan for 2013. We are going to follow the plan which we shall implement to the letter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muteteka (Chisamba): Mr Speaker, before the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) lost power, it engaged a number of contractors to work on the roads countrywide. Would the hon. Minister give us the picture in terms of progress, performance and quality of the works countrywide?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, although the main question at hand is about Isoka, Chama and Lundazi, I am still willing to provide a bonus answer. The performance and quality of road contractors who Hon. Muteteka is talking about is very poor. I have gone round the country explaining the fact that we need to have value for money unlike what is currently obtaining on the ground. At times I wonder how the contractors who are currently working on our roads were awarded their contracts.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, works on the road which we are talking about were started by the MMD Government. I would like the hon. Minister to inform us, the people of Muchinga Province, that this project will not be abandoned and that the funding for lot 1, which is for works on the stretch from Isoka to Itontela will be released.

Mr M. H. Malama: Nge fyo mwachitile elyo mwali mu power.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government is committed to delivering quality services to the people. It came up with the Muchinga Province so that it could provide services to the people of the area as close to them as possible. We are very much committed to continuing with works under lot 1. We cannot abandon a project like that because it affects the lives of people.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the presidential appointments of Mr Mutembo Nchito and Mr Musa Mwenye to serve as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Solicitor-General of the Republic of Zambia respectively to the First Session of the 11th National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 14th December, 2011.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

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

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, allow me to start with the appointment of Mr Musa Mwenye as Solicitor-General of the Republic of Zambia, which is being made pursuant to the provisions of Article 55(1) of the Constitution of Zambia, Cap 1 of the Laws of Zambia, which states that:

   “There shall be a Solicitor-General of the Republic whose office shall be a public office and who shall, subject, to ratification by the National Assembly, be appointed by the President.”

Mr Speaker, your Committee when scruitinising the nominee took into account the importance of the office in the provision of legal advice to the Government. In this regard, your Committee held the view that a candidate for this office should, in addition to being qualified and competent, be a person of sound character integrity and diligence. Guided by this conviction, your Committee summoned representatives of the State security agencies for the purpose of obtaining information on whether or not the nominee had any adverse report with them.

Mr Speaker, I wish to report to you and the House that all the State security agencies, namely the Zambia Police Service, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) informed your Committee that a search of their records had reviewed that there were no adverse reports against the nominee in relation to criminal activities, drug trafficking, money laundering, drug abuse and corrupt practices. The State security agencies also confirmed to your Committee that the nominee is a Zambian citizen and would not pose a security risk to the nation if appointed to serve in the sensitive position of Solicitor-General. 

    Sir, your Committee also interacted with relevant professional bodies and stakeholder institutions and these included the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), Transparency International Zambia and the Non-Governmental Organisation Co-ordinating Council (NGOCC). 

   Mr Speaker, your Committee wishes to report that all these witnesses raised no objections on Mr Musa Mwenye’s proposed appointment. Your Committee, thus, unanimously supports this ratification of Mr Musa Mwenye as Solicitor-General of the Republic of Zambia as he possesses the requisite qualifications and experience for the position. 

Mr Speaker, let me now turn to the proposed appointment of Mr Mutembo Nchito to serve as the DPP. This appointment is being made pursuant to the provisions of Article 56(1) of the Constitution of Zambia Cap. 1 of the Laws of Zambia, which states that there shall be a Director of Public Prosecution  and who shall, subject to ratification by the National Assembly, be appointed by the President. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that, from the onset, your Committee was mindful and alive to the fact that the DPP occupies a formidable position in the administration of criminal justice in the country. Further, your Committee is aware that decisions taken by this office may profoundly affect the lives of others, hence its position that the person to hold this office should possess the ability to exercise his or her prosecutorial duties in a manner that is consistent with the rule of law regardless of who is involved in a matter. He or she should also be fearless to be able to confront difficult decisions so as to ensure that justice prevails in all cases.

Mr Speaker, to satisfy itself on the suitability of the nominee, your Committee summoned representatives from security agencies and relevant professional bodies to provide information that would assist your Committee in its deliberations on the suitability of Mr Mutembo Nchito to hold the office of the DPP. 

Sir, I wish to state that although all the witnesses that appeared before your Committee talked warmly about the nominee’s professional qualifications and experience in prosecutions, there were disconcerting views raised against the nominee in respect of allegations of impropriety while he served as Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Zambian Airways. All the witnesses that supported the nominee’s proposed appointment on condition that the criminal allegations levelled against him had been cleared.

Sir, your Committee did not want to brush these concerns aside in the apparent rush to arrive at a decision. It, therefore, was of the view that approving this nomination without a thorough inquiry risks subjecting the nominee to unrelenting contestation and opposition which can cripple him as the DPP. Your Committee resolved, therefore, that the key institution to clear the matter was the Zambia Police Force, which had led the investigations on the said allegations. In this regard, the Zambia Police Force categorically stated that there were no investigations on-going against the nominee and that the allegations which were submitted were found to be of a civil and not criminal nature. The appointing authorities’ submission also reaffirmed the point that there were no current investigations against the nominee. Your Committee also notes that the criminal investigations against him that were initiated in 2008 and lasted three years revealed that there was no criminal liability on the nominee despite the amount of time spent on the investigations.

Sir, your Committee observes that the Zambian Airways issue is purely an ordinary business transaction which has no criminal element. Further, none of the witnesses that appeared before your Committee were able to adduce facts to support the allegations of criminality against the nominee and, therefore, your Committee finds it hard to hold this against the nominee.

Based on the foregoing, therefore, and taking into account the need for your Committee to make its decision on the basis of facts and not perceptions, it supports the ratification of the nominee as DPP as it finds no legal basis upon which to disqualify him. Sir, it is in view of this fact that your Committee recommends that the House ratifies the presidential appointment of Mr Mutembo Nchito to serve the nation as the DPP.

Sir, your Committee is of the view that, if ratified, the nominee will add value to the Office of the DPP as he will bring valuable experience to it having handled a wide range of criminal law matters. His appearances have included lengthy and complex trials involving cases of white collar crime, which were corruption related. In all these cases, he demonstrated fearlessness and focus which is what this country needs at the moment. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the services and advice rendered to your Committee during its deliberations. Your Committee also wishes to place on record its gratitude to you, Mr Speaker, for appointing it to undertake the honourable task of scrutinising the suitability of the nominees to serve as proposed for appointment. Your Committee further wishes to thank the State security and investigative agencies, professional bodies and other stakeholder institutions as well as the nominees for the oral and written submissions which assisted your Committee in making an informed recommendation to the House.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Walya iwe.

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

     Mr Kampyongo: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to second the Motion on the ratification of Mr Mutembo Nchito and Mr Musa Mwenye to serve as the DPP and Solicitor-General of the Republic of Zambia, respectively. 

Mr Speaker, the mover of this Motion has already indicated the position of your Committee on the appointments before the House. He has also highlighted the reasons that made your Committee arrive at a decision to support the ratification of both nominees. The reasons are well explained in your Committee’s report. I will, therefore, not say much.

At this point, let me remind both Mr Mutembo Nchito and Mr Musa Mwenye that the offices that they are taking up play a crucial role in affording and enhancing good governance in the country. Therefore, I urge them to strictly abide by the rule of law in the discharge of their functions in order to maintain the dignity and integrity attached to the offices and secure the confidence of the public. 

Sir, before I end my speech, let me comment on an observation made by your Committee during its deliberations. Your Committee is concerned about the growing trend of making unsubstantiated public allegations against persons under investigations or undergoing court proceedings or any other circumstance. This practice should be discouraged at all costs. Even if a person is believed to have committed an offence, the rule of law demands that the public should wait until the due process of the law has run its full course. 

The public should also be reminded that it is against human rights to condemn any person without facts. Further, it is even worse to convict a person on the basis of public perception in a country which is governed on the basis of the rule of law. I, therefore, urge this House to uphold the tenets of good governance. 

Sir, let me end by thanking your Committee for conducting its deliberations and subsequently coming up with the decision to recommend the ratification of the two nominees in an objective manner.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Hon. Government Members: George!

Mr Kunda, SC. (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, … 

Hon. Government Member: Ulande ifyamano.

Mr Kunda, SC.: … I have perused through the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the two nominees who are up for the two appointments. I wish to put it on record …

Hon. Government Member: What?

Mr Speaker: Order! Let us have order. If you want to debate, you will be given an opportunity to do so. You will not debate from your seat. 

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, I am speaking on behalf of some who cannot oppose this report because of party discipline. I want to speak for them.


Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, I want to put it on record that we would have preferred that the two appointments were separated because we have no problem with the appointment of the Solicitor-General, Mr Musa Mwenye, on this side of the House.


Mr Kunda, SC.: However, we have great difficulty in supporting the appointment of Mr Mutembo Nchito …


Mr Kunda, SC.: … and, therefore, we are going to oppose this particular appointment. We will vote against the report because of that reason.

Hon. Government Member: You will be alone.

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, the Committee rightly pointed out the important role that the office of the DPP plays in enhancing good governance, observance of the rule of law and enjoyment of human rights. Apart from qualifications and requisite competence, which are required in a candidate, your Committee was right to look for persons with the quality of character, integrity, diligence and total commitment to the people of Zambia. We acknowledge this.

Mr Speaker, looking at this report, the picture presented is that, for the first time, at least on this occasion, we are ratifying of the appointment of a businessman for the position of the DPP.


Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, it is in the report. The borrowing of US$3 million is in your report. It is businessmen who do things like that. Then, there is the US$350,000. These figures are in the report and they are facts.


Mr Speaker: Order! May the Hon. Kunda, SC. pause for a moment. 

Hon. Members, as you may note from the Order Paper, we have a lot of business ahead of us and would like to complete business before or by the end of the week. We will not make progress if the debates will ensue whilst hon. Members are seated. We will delay the proceedings. You all have an opportunity to debate this particular Motion. So, it will not do to debate from your seat. I hope I will not have to constantly interject for the rest of the debate on the Motion because it will be very unproductive.

Hon. Kunda, SC. may proceed.

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, it is clear from the report that there is an irresistible negative public perception or a dark cloud hanging over the character and integrity of the candidate for the position of the DPP, Mr Mutembo Nchito.

Mr Kalaba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is Hon. George Kunda, SC. in order to insinuate that the person whose appointment is about to be ratified in this House was a businessman and, therefore, does not qualify for such a position when it was his Government that had given him the task to head the Task Force on Corruption as a lawyer? Is he honestly in order to come and reject the appointment of the person that his Government had given a responsibility to? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Although this is not a purely procedural point of order, the point made by the hon. Member, who has raised it, should be seriously taken into account as you debate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, the character and integrity of the candidate for the position of the DPP has been discussed throughout the report and almost all the witnesses alluded to such negative public perception regarding the person being appointed to the office. The report is clear on the nature of the allegations. Some are said to be the subject of criminal investigations such as those touching on the operations of the Zambian Airways and the Development Bank of Zambia. These were the allegations that where being pursued by the Zambia Police Force. 

Mr Speaker, according to the testimony by the Inspector-General of Police, the DPP had ordered further investigations to be carried out on Mr Mutembo Nchito. This is on page four of the report. Now, the police have decided to discontinue the investigations saying they are civil in nature. The Inspector-General of Police submitted that the police had power to discontinue an investigation. We have a situation were the DPP says look for further evidence and the police decide to discontinue the investigations in the report.

Mr Speaker, it is public knowledge that the former Inspector-General of Police, Mr Kabonde, …

Ms Kapata: Ali ni cadre uyo. 

Mr Kunda, SC.: … was updating the nation from time to time on progress made regarding the investigation made both in Zambia and outside. Investigations were conducted in Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa by the DEC and other security agencies as directed by the DPP. The DEC stated the fact that a warn and caution statement was even taken from Mr Mutembo Nchito for the offence of Theft by Agent, contrary to Section 272 and 280 of the Penal Code, Cap. 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: The DEC was also investigating money laundering allegations while the Zambia Police Force was investigating the charge of Theft by Agent. This charge related to the non-remittance of Airport Tax by the Zambian Airways Management to the National Airports Corporation (NAC). After the DEC found no evidence of money laundering, the docket was returned to the Zambia Police Force, being the lead institution.

Mr Speaker, the next point is important. The ACC, on the other hand, was investigating an allegation that the former hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mr P. N. Magande, had influenced Zambian Airways to postpone payment of a debt of about US$2 million owed by the Zambian Airways to the NAC. There was also another allegation of leakage of information by Mr Mutembo Nchito to The Post.

Sir, the Director-General of the ACC, in her testimony, is reported to have told your Committee that she did not know whether the investigations on these allegations had been concluded. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government has clearly stated that it is allergic to corruption. The investigations into these allegations have not yet been concluded and the report, on Page 5, is explicit on this. How can we then ratify the appointment of Mr Mutembo Nchito?

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order!{mospagebreak}

Mr Kunda, SC.: We all know that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, what we are talking about here are matters of character and integrity. Matters of character and integrity are matters of public perception. If the members of the public perceive certain public offices negatively, they will lose confidence in them. Those who are innocent must also be of good character and integrity for appointment to public office.

Mr Speaker, in this country, our President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, has reversed appointments such as that of the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Miti, because of negative public perceptions. Why then are we proceeding with the appointment of Mr Mutembo Nchito who is perceived negatively by the public?

Sir, LAZ has given conditional approval or support to the appointment of Mr Mutembo Nchito. The support is conditional upon the nominee being cleared of the allegations against him, whether civil or criminal. LAZ was aware of the civil cases against the nominee. Civil cases can lead to bankruptcy. We do not want to have a debt-ridden DPP in this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Kunda, SC.: That is a sign of bad character.

Mr Speaker, the NGOCC is also of the same view that these allegations should be cleared. Otherwise, the law should take its course.

Sir, these cases were closed by investigating agencies and not by the DPP. The candidate has not been cleared by the courts of law. Now, I want to clarify this point by saying that the danger with this kind of scenario is that the PF Government may, in future, re-open these inconclusive cases to blackmail the DPP after his appointment ratified. 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Unless and until such criminal allegations are cleared by the courts of law, they can be re-started at any time. Cases can be re-started even after ten years. In Bemba we say umulandu taubola. This means that there is no limitation in a criminal case. These cases can be reopened by the DEC, ACC or the police. This means that the independence of the DPP will be compromised. He can be held at ransom by this same Government.

Hon. Government Members: Aah! Question!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, what we are saying is that the DPP will be monitoring you, the hon. Ministers, there.

Mr Speaker: Order! 

May you address the Chair, please.

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, we are saying these things for those who are in Government, who are handling imprest and are making very important decisions …

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Listen carefully, Mr Speaker.

Sir, the Committee was aware …

Mr Sichinga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, this House works on the basis of facts. Is the hon. Member who is on the Floor now in order to allege that in this House, there are questionable hon. Members. Can he name them? We are debating the issue that is on the Floor.


Mr Speaker: Order! 

May Hon. Kunda, SC. try to be as factual as possible. Let everyone in the House avoid speculative arguments.

May the hon. Member, please continue.

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, I am speaking for everybody, including hon. Ministers.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Sir, the Committee was aware of the negative public perception and the state of investigations and a number of civil cases which are pending. This is found on page 24 of your report. It refers to this negative public perception which cannot be ignored.

Of course, you can say the investigations have taken three years, but I remember that, for example, the the Task Force on Corruption took ten years to investigate alleged corruption by the late President Dr Chiluba. So, that issue of three years is neither here nor there. Therefore, we, the Opposition, are of the view …


Mr Kunda: … that Mr Mutembo Nchito is not suitable for appointment as DPP and we shall vote ‘no’. We must caution the Executive on some of these appointments. You may be shooting yourselves in the foot with some of these appointments. There is a need to scruitinise candidates very closely. 

Mr Speaker, we are speaking for the people of Zambia and are alerting our President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata ... 

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kunda, SC.: … and hon. Members of the Executive. If you are not careful, some of these institutions and newspapers can run your Government. 


Mr Kunda, SC.: This is a serious matter. So, please, in future, do not say that you were not told or forewarned because we have dealt with some of these people.


Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I have been reading your Committee’s report. The previous debater said that he was speaking for this side (MMD) and, perhaps, I should say that I am speaking for this side (UPND).

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we are being confronted to make a decision when even the witnesses failed to be categorical in supporting the nominee. They placed the problem of approval on Parliament. I have noticed that there is no problem with the other nominee for the position of Solicitor-General. I, therefore, want to restrict myself to the problems indicated by the witnesses regarding the appointment of the DPP. 

Mr Speaker, in your report, I take note that the nominee would have been made a good DPP by the previous Government. He was a very good private practitioner, but he was brought in to be a prosecutor. I believe that the Government then was satisfied with whatever this person was doing. He was able to prosecute high profile cases. I remember that at that time the PF was against Mr Mutembo Nchito. They used to go to the airport to welcome the late Dr Chiluba and they would say that Mr Mutembo was persecuting the late Dr Chiluba. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, the PF did not want this man. To the then Government …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Unfortunately, I have to intervene, again. Everybody will have an opportunity to debate. Please, I would counsel that you just make notes. You do not have to vocalise your thoughts. You will have an opportunity to vocalise your thoughts.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the man was a darling to the MMD Government. I remember he travelled with the then Vice-President to London to prosecute and register what was believed to have been stolen in Zambia. At the moment, he is liked by the people who did not like him and, today, he is brought to this House for his appointment as DPP to be ratified. My problem is that the two Governments are confusing us on this side (UPND).


Mr Hamududu: They must both leave this House.


Mr Muntanga: Sir, we are in between these two groups. On one hand, he was your darling whom you now do not want while on the other, he was your enemy and now you want to work with him.  What is the problem? This position …

Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member debating in order to refer to two Governments when he knows very well that there is only one Government which is legitimate and that is the PF Government? I need your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: Order! 

I understood the hon. Member was referring to the past and the present Governments.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I thank you for clarifying the matter which I was actually about to talk about further. This is the problem that we find in as far as this nominee is concerned. Are we being made to understand that the nominee was being used by the former Government to prosecute people in the Task Force when he was prosecutor then? If this Government, which was against him, now likes him, does it want him to prosecute others? Is that the position? What is so special about this nominee? If you read through this report, you will find that even the police could not conclude what they were doing. When you ask the Director of Investigations at the ACC, she says they could not do certain things because they did not have enough authority. Did someone stop the police from proceeding? These are the questions that make us here (UPND) have a problem with the appointment of this person.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, is this person a special prosecutor or he is going to be a mere prosecutor? The hon. Member who spoke before me has already mentioned how our President withdrew an appointment because of public outcry. With the position of the DPP, the bar of integrity is so high that there should be no doubt about his appointment. What is special about this one? The other DPP who was refusing to appeal regarding a certain case has already had his appointment as Judge ratified. Now, we are hesitating to ratify the appointment of the one who was insisting that we appeal against the ruling in the case as prosecutor. There is a problem somewhere and we want to know.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I can see, hon. Government Members have come in numbers and if we vote, they will win. 


Mr Muntanga: I, therefore, want to state that this nominee has a very serious problem. He will have to make the Zambian people believe that he means well and that he will not persecute people. We know that perception and persecution are similar and they work together. 

Sir, my party President is being persecuted because of perception. They are saying that the young man is too rich. It is said that he stole a house even when he bought it. We want to appeal to the new DPP not to persecute anybody. He must show that Zambians need to be treated the same. Unfortunately, the end of your report has not said much, but many more stories about the nominee came up in the newspapers. I wonder how we can bring up the matters now since they are not in your report. I think it is important that the public knows. You should not ignore some of these small newspapers. You should read them. You will find that they will say that this DPP misinformed or misdirected a Judge. These are things that are created out of perception. This is a fact. There is a very big problem between the previous Government and the new Government. Mr Mutembo Nchito who was a darling of the former Government for being a prosecutor now wants to be used by the present Government as a prosecutor. 


Mr Muntanga: Is he an experienced prosecutor? If we ask the MMD, they will say drop him. 


Mr Muntanga: This is our problem. Therefore, I am asking the PF Government why it wants him.  

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: This side of the House does not want him. 


Mr Muntanga: On the other hand, I would like to state that if, among our friends, (pointing at the MMD Members), someone is guilty of something, he or she must not use this opportunity to block the nominee.  

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: What we want is for Mr Mutembo Nchito not to remember those who hurt him. He must be straight. 

Mr Chairperson, the PF must also ensure that Mr Mutembo Nchito behaves like Mwanawasa, SC., the late President, may his soul rest in peace, who was picked from bed to be President only to arrest the one who picked him. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member is still debating. 

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, knowing that there are certain things we are not really privy to in our corner, we would like to appeal that this nominee performs, if need be, even better than the late Dr Mwanawasa, SC. He must arrest the people who are asking him to be the DPP, if they will be found wanting. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Nchito must not hesitate to go into their closets and look for skeletons when it becomes necessary. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: If it becomes necessary, he should check up on everyone. 

Hon. Government Member: Even you!

Mr Muntanga: I have no fear. If you mean us, on this side of the House, we will even be the first to endorse him because we are all clean. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: We will endorse the appointment. It is rare, Sir, for us to have difficulties ... 

Hon. Opposition Member interjected.


Mr Muntanga: … in adopting a report of a Parliamentary Select Committee. In the case of the report which we are looking at, we are having difficulties to adopt it because the witnesses, including the police, were not specific regarding their concerns. We want them to conclude matters when they advise Parliament. In future, they must conclude matters. If someone in Government is being investigated, the investigations must be concluded properly. There should not be any interference. We should not appoint someone who is being investigated simply because he or she is a party member. Such appointments will give us problems. 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Muntanga: It is only when the investigation is concluded properly that we can appoint the person without reservations. There should be genuine prosecutions without persecution. 

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

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazabu (Nkana): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Floor of this House. 

Sir, I wish to inform this House, upfront, that I am a member of the Select Committee which produced this report. 

Sir, in supporting the Motion on the Floor of the House, I wish to bring to the attention of the hon. Members of Parliament three issues which they should consider as they debate, namely the conduct and proceedings of the Select Committee; the rule of law; and the dictum of Parliament. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee held a total of five meetings and interviewed eight witnesses. During its deliberations, the Committee conducted its proceedings in a serious, but friendly manner. Members asked searching questions in order to get the necessary and relevant information …

Mr Lufuma: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Kazabu: … required …

Mr Speaker: Order! A point of order is raised.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, this is my first point of order and I would like a serious ruling. 

Is the speaker …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

Mr Lufuma: I am sorry.  

Is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to come to this House and give another report when, in fact, he was a member of the Select Committee? 

Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling. 


Mr Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member is in order. What he should not do is to disagree with the report. 

The hon. Member may continue. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Speaker, I was informing this august House that members of your Committee asked searching questions in order to get the necessary and relevant information required to make an objective and fair decision. 

Sir, the friendly atmosphere enabled the witnesses to give their evidence freely. As a matter of fact, no member was allowed to influence the proceedings with his or her prejudices, and where signs of such dispositions were noticed on the part of any member, the Committee quickly and boldly dealt with such situations during the post-interview reflections and observations. 

Mr Speaker, our country is governed on the basis of the rule of law, which demands that an accused person stands innocent until proven guilty. From both their written and oral submissions, none of the witnesses gave adverse evidence either regarding criminal or civil investigations carried out and concluded or still before the courts of law against Mr Mutembo Nchito. In other words, there are no investigations being carried out or pending cases before the courts of law against the nominee. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, in arriving at the decision to recommend the ratification of the appointment of Mr Mutembo Nchito as the DPP, your Committee was guided by the principle of the rule of law and heavily relied on the evidence gathered from the witnesses and not public perception and propaganda. This is how it should be in any civilised society. 

Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazabu: I hope hon. Members of the House are following what I am saying because I want to remind the ten hon. Members of Parliament who sat on the Select Committee, that as a matter of parliamentary dictum, they are required to support the report of your Committee and, as such, they cannot decide otherwise.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazabu: Further, members of your Committee are reminded that they cannot afford to be make history for all the wrong reasons by departing from the parliamentary tradition and fail to support their own recommendations.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazabu: Any Member who takes such a direction risks being disciplined by the Privileges, Absences and Support Services Committee of the House.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, I have the greatest respect and confidence in all the hon. Members of this House and, as such, it would be unfortunate if we clouded and stained our judgement on Mr Mutembo Nchito with personal vendetta and perception. This august House is not the appropriate platform for anyone of us to settle scores.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazabu: Therefore, Sir, I earnestly appeal to all of us to speak to our conscience and ratify Mr Nchito’s nomination because that is the right thing for us to do.

Mr Speaker, at this time of our development, it is important that we celebrate our citizens who are courageous and hardworking instead of criminals. 

Sir, with these few words, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Question!

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, thank you very much. As I debate, I am cognisant of the importance of this office and I would like to say that I have searched my soul and conscience, summoned the best of myself and arrived at the following position.


Mr Belemu: That the proposed appointment of Mr Mutembo Nchito as DPP, should not be ratified by this House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: As has already been mentioned, the Office of the DPP is a very important constitutional office. Those who are sent to this office must be above reproach and minimally acceptable in terms of integrity and rectitude. 

Sir, after perusing through the report, I think even the Committee acknowledges that there are so many issues that surround this nominee. In my opinion, he lacks the most important virtues to hold this office.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Perhaps, what is worrying, as Hon. Muntanga has said, is what this report and your Committee is not telling us. I would like to highlight the following. We are being asked to ignore one very important qualification criterion, as provided for in the Constitution.

On Page 1 of the report, it quotes Sub-clause (2) Article 56 of the Constitution which reads as follows:

“(2)    A person shall not be qualified to be appointed to the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions unless he is qualified for appointment as a Judge of the High Court with experience biased towards criminal law.”

Sir, I underline “with experience biased towards criminal law”. I am sure the framers of this Constitution were fully aware that we would find ourselves in this situation today. Where we have a man who may, probably, have served in some office and who probably, by his own admission on Page 29 of the report, in his Curriculum Vitae says:

“Professional Experience and Exposure

Mr Mutembo Nchito is a multi-skilled lawyer whose area of specialisation is commercial and corporate law.”

That is, by his own admission.


Mr Belemu: His specialisation and life interest is commercial and corporate law. What the report is not telling us is why we must depart from what the provision of the Constitution provides for us.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: As for me, I have refused to make the Constitution negotiable at this hour …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: … because there is somebody who is being considered and favoured for whatever reason.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: The report is not telling us why this is so, but is asking us to ignore this important fact. 

Sir, the ambit of this office is criminal law. Why would somebody who calls himself a specialist in commercial and corporate law want to be in that office? That is my question. We are not being told by this Committee and the report.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Kwamba, boyi!

Mr Muntanga: Bambile, bambile!

Mr Belemu: It is a matter of public knowledge that those who have held these positions in the past have had impeccable records in criminal law.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Why are we discussing the name of a person who even himself doubts his capacity in criminal law?


Mr Belemu: If previous administrations used him for that purpose, I refuse to accept it now. We must not perpetuate a wrong.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: The second thing we …


Mr Lubinda: Iwe, musankwa!

Mr Speaker: Order!

All those who would like to disagree with the hon. Member who is on the Floor are at liberty to do so, but not in the fashion that they are doing it. They have to ask for permission to disagree and I will readily give it.

The hon. Member may continue with the debate.

Mr Belemu: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

The second thing we are being asked to do is ignore an entrenched tradition in this office. One witness from the NGOCC, as indicated on page 12 of the report, said that there is a tradition that people who occupy this position always come from the Office of the DPP. Unfortunately, we are being told that we must depart from that practice now. It is no coincidence that they have been coming from this office because there are certain qualities, virtues and qualifications which are being sought.

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: In the current scenario, we are being told that we must ignore this, but we have not been told the reason why we must do so. Why are we ignoring it now? Have we run out of good men and women to occupy this office?

Mr Speaker, the third thing we are not being told is why we are ignoring the submissions that have been made by LAZ and others. On page 10 of the report, we are told that:

“The Association’s support for the nominee was, therefore, subject to all the allegations being cleared by the State security agencies and other relevant bodies.”

I would like to underline the word “all”. Are we satisfied with the presentation and the report that all the allegations have been cleared?

Mr Muntanga: No!

Mr Belemu: LAZ has advised that it has no problems with the appointment, subject to all allegations being cleared. We are not being told whether they have been cleared or not. Instead, we are being asked to ratify his nomination when even the institution that oversees the legal fraternity has indicated otherwise.

Mr Speaker, the report itself has so many issues that surround this particular nominee. Again, your Committee is asking us to ignore the various networks and business conduct of the nominee. The report was full of milliards of networks which, unfortunately for this nominee, have always landed him in difficulties. Why are we ignoring these networks which have landed this man in difficulties? How sure are we that when he is the DPP, he will not enter into another milliard of networks that are going to land him into problems?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Is this not a lack of good judgement? Does that not speak for his character? We are being told to ignore this by the Committee without being told why we should do so.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Why should one person always be landing in difficulties with his friends, whether they are business, social or otherwise? We are not being told why.

Hon. UPND Members: Why?

Mr Belemu: Again, we are being told to ignore the various perceptions of the public regarding this gentleman. That is why the Committee, in considering this nominee, laboured to try and explain the issues of corruption. If he was a straightforward nominee, there would have been no need for those on your right to try and justify certain things by telling us to ignore this and that, and that somebody is innocent until proven guilty. If that is the case, they must go and collect one of my relatives who is awaiting trial in the remand prison and make him the DPP because he is innocent until proven guilty.


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

Mr Belemu: The office of the DPP is a public office and those that must ascend to it must go with clean hands. We cannot have a person who is contaminated and has had so many issues or baggage being ratified for this position. I want to underline the fact that the way the public perceives the person in this office is important because this is a public office. Moreover, may we desist from this thing of saying somebody is innocent until proven guilty. If we continue saying so, let us, then, go and bundle all those people who are in remand prisons and give them positions in the Public Service.


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, again, we are being asked to ignore the fact that this commercial and corporate specialist is consistently in problems with issues that are in the commercial and corporate sector. He prides himself in being multi-skilled, going by his own admission but, at the same time, at every turn, in his commercial life, he has had difficulties. Are these difficulties deliberate? If they are not deliberate, why is a specialist in this area always in problems?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: What more in an area where he is not a specialist, like in criminal law? Can we imagine what will happen when he goes into criminal law, which is not his specialty, if he always has problems in his own field.

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Speaker: I am afraid, hon. Member, you have raised a point of order already.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker …

Mr Speaker: I am saying that I am afraid you raised a point of order earlier. May the hon. Member on the Floor, please, continue.

Mr Belemu: Sir, I was underlining the point that this person has more problems in his own specialisation. What more an area where he is not a specialist? What is going to happen there?

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: We are, again, being asked to ignore what has been in the public domain: the 2005 report of the Auditor-General, which indicates that as a prosecutor, he was paid by the Task Force on Corruption without appropriate approval. His contract was not sanctioned.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: This is a man who is specialised in commercial and corporate law, yet we are saying that he must be ratified as the DPP. He failed to see that he had a contract that was not properly given to him.

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: I heard people saying on the Floor of this House that all those who are cited in the Auditor-General’s report must be taken to court. There is a report here and we do not know how this matter will be concluded.


Mr Belemu: Mr Chairperson, I agree that our journey in search of a DPP was never about finding somebody as innocent as the Virgin Mary, but it is also not about finding an Esau who, for a small amount of porridge, can sell his birthrights. It is also not a journey in search of a Judas Iscariot who, for thirty pieces of silver, can sell his God.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: At every turn, this nominee has always betrayed somebody. He has betrayed employees at Zambian Airways, friends, public trust and so on and so forth. How sure are we that he will not betray us in the office of the DPP?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: I want to appeal to my colleagues that …


Mr Belemu: The devil in this matter is in what we are not being told in the report. I want to conclude by saying that, at every turn, there is glaring misconduct associated with this nominee that had a negative impact on society and does not live up to the expected standard. Therefore, I want to encourage hon. Members to rise to the occasion and do what is right for this country. The people that elected us and by whose mandate we are assembled here are listening. Let us not betray their trust. Paraphrasing the words of General Douglas McArthur, let me say that I have said what I have said with neither bitterness nor rancour, but with the sole purpose of performing my duty to my country …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: …. as God has given me the grace and light to see that duty. At this moment, I see my duty as that of refusing the ratification of a person whose life and conduct are full of grey areas.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, before I sit, I want to adopt this quotation: “He who the gods are about to destroy, they make him insane first.” We are putting this saying to the test this afternoon if we go ahead and ratify the appointment of Mr Mutembo Nchito.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this very important opportunity. I take it that we are making history …


Mr Speaker: Order, order! 

You may continue. I was only trying to secure some silence for you.


Mrs Masebo: I rise to support the report of your Parliamentary Select Committee that was appointed to scrutinise the presidential appointments of Mr Mutembo Nchito and Mr Musa Mwenye to serve as DPP and Solicitor-General of the Republic of Zambia, respectively.

Mr Speaker, I have listened to some of the colleagues on your left who have spoken and I get the feeling that some people have not read the report correctly or are trying to deliberately misinform the public because, maybe, the public does not have access to the report. I think it is very clear that all the witnesses who appeared before your Committee supported the ratification of the two nominees.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: It is also true to say that some of the witnesses, in particular those from the NGOCC and LAZ, said that as far as they knew these two gentlemen, their conduct was above aboard and they supported their ratification. However, they gave a condition, particularly, for Mutembo Nchito, that they had been told of allegations and investigations regarding this nominee, but they were not the investigative wings of the Government to clear people. Therefore, they asked the Committee to clear its mind with regard to those allegations by getting the relevant witnesses. That is what they said. 

Mr Speaker, this is an honourable House. We must be factual as we debate matters. We must not be twisting facts to suit a preferred position because, then, we will not be doing ourselves a favour. The witnesses said that they had no problems with these people, in particular Mutembo Nchito. However, they said that they had heard about the allegations, but they were not the police, DEC or ACC. So they told your Committee to ask the law enforcement agencies to clear these nominees. If these nominees were not cleared by law enforcement agencies, then, they would withdraw their support. That is what they said and your Committee called the Zambia Police Force, ACC and DEC. 

Mr Speaker, I thought we are a country of laws. Those are the institutions that are supposed to tell us whether somebody has a case, is guilty or there are just investigations going on. The police were called and, I think, the Inspector-General (IG) was very specific in explaining what happened in 2008, soon after President Mwanawasa died and there was a new President, Mr Rupiah Banda. You will recall that the new President held a public meeting at which he said that Mutembo Nchito and Fred M’membe of The Post newspaper had stolen money and even indicated the amount. The IG was specific in stating that the President had directed the various investigative organs of the Government to investigate the matters which were at hand. A team was put together consisting of the DEC, ACC and the police.

Sir, the IG told your Committee that, as far as he was concerned, there was nothing criminal regarding the conduct of one of the nominees. So, when your Committee finally made a decision, they knew what they were doing. They were satisfied that the allegations of criminality were not there. Furthermore, your Committee went further to call the nominee and ask him questions. He made it very clear that he was not under any criminal investigations or otherwise. Some people are saying that it is suspicious that the cases were discontinued. Of course, you discontinue cases if you see that they are a result of a political directive to fix somebody.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, tell me, here is a Head of State, who even had figures: can he take three years? Look.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, maybe, I am one of the longest-serving politicians in this House, except for my uncle, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, and the hon. Minister of Justice, who are real politicians from the days when Zambia was still Zambia.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I can tell you that some of us have been here long enough to know and appreciate some of these things. That is why I said …

Mr Miyutu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I have just been shaken by one word that the hon. Member  who is debating has used, ‘real’. Is she in order to say that only hon. Members of Parliament from the old school are real politicians while the rest are not? Is she in order to say that?


Mr Speaker: My short ruling is that the hon. Member used a figure of speech. If we take it literally, we will have trouble with the queen’s language.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: We are all real.


Mr Speaker: May the hon. Member continue.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, thank you for that protection. 

Mr Speaker, I have said, on the Floor of this House, that it is only in Zambia where plunderers are being celebrated and good men and women persecuted and questioned. I am surprised that, today, we can debate this young man in the fashion some of my colleagues on your left have done, in some cases, without facts.  This young man risked his life for mother Zambia at a time when some people could not even open their mouths. He stood and fought for the good of his country.

Mr Speaker, like I have said, some of us have been here long. Therefore, we know what has been going on and it is sad that those who would come and stand on the Floor of this House to say that this man is a hard worker who has prosecuted cases can be the ones to come here and, without shame, say bad things about him. I feel sad.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, all of us have only one country, Zambia and, if I work for my country, sacrificing myself in the manner Mutembo Nchito has done by prosecuting high profile cases, thereby putting his life in danger so that he had to be protected by State Security, it is a shame that, today, because some people are worried about the little things they may have done, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … they can come and speak in the manner they have spoken about him. As a mother, I really feel sad. I can say many things, but I will not in order to protect some of my colleagues in this House. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, when you hear them talking in the manner they talk, then you start thinking: Does it help the country for me to keep quiet when I know so much? I think it does not. 

Mr Hamududu: Just tell us.

Hon. Government Members: Ulula!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

She will select what to speak.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the issue of Zambian Airways is public knowledge. If you look at the history of airlines in this country you will know why it closed down. We have had five airlines namely, Zambia Airways, which was a national airline, Aero Zambia, Eastern Airways, Zambian Airways and the defunct airline, the last one, Zambezi Airlines, which was supported by my colleagues in the MMD Government. It has also collapsed. The problems of Zambian Airways are the same ones that these people have had. The Zambezi Airlines even owes more money than what Zambian Airways owed. 

Mr Speaker, it is sad that we can be quoting our colleague, the former Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mr Ng’andu Magande. I want to say that Mr Magande was a very honourable Minister, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … one of the few that this country has ever produced. 

Hon. Government Member: Bwekeshapo! Double salary.

Mrs Masebo: To try and bring his name to ridicule and imply that he was corrupt, or that he was trying to save Zambian Airways because there was a deal in which they would support him, is not good. Sometimes, I run out of vocabulary and I end up wanting to use unparliamentary words. Some of these words we avoid using would, actually, befit some of the leaders we have in this country today. How can somebody talk about Mr Magande trying to defer Zambian Airways’ payments? That was a business transaction. They are even talking about somebody having a case because he went to get a loan from a bank. Why should he not be DPP just because he got a loan from a bank? How many of us have got loans from banks in this House?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! We are many.

Mrs Masebo: Are we saying that we are not supposed to be hon. Members of Parliament because we have loans? Surely.

Hon. Government Members: Double salary.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, some of them do not even get their loans honestly.

Hon. Government Members: Double salary.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I know that some of the new hon. Members have been told to speak here on things they do not even understand, but some of us know more than they think we know …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … and, even when they speak, we can tell who is speaking behind them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! HH!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the point I want to make is simply that this young man called Mutembo Nchito has worked for this country.
Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mrs Masebo sat down.

Mr Speaker: Are you through with your debate?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, no. I thought he is going to raise a point of order. 

Mr Speaker, this young man is experienced and has integrity. In the past, he has worked for the ACC without being paid. How, in one vein, can you say that this person is involved in money laundering and that he is going to be bankrupt? 

Sir, somebody was saying that these people should be investigated for racketeering. I heard some words for the first time, which are not in our Constitution. We used to hear those things on the Floor of this House. The same people would stand and call others homosexuals, but the same people have turned round, today, to support the people they used to demonise. The other day, I was wondering whether someone has become homosexual for him to support those he used to accuse of being homosexual.

Mr Speaker, these are very important issues. For some us who have worked with Mutembo Nchito and know him even from the civil society world, we know that he is a disciplined and very principled young man; the kind of person who, even if you are his friend, if you are wrong, he will not support you. So, even in this position, when some of those people there get in trouble, it is this same man who will stand by them for as long as he believes they are right. He will not prosecute you just because the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry is his friend and he is on the other side. If the hon. Minister is wrong, this man will say so. This country needs young men and women with integrity; …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … men and women who are fearless and will stand only on the side of the truth, even if it makes them become unpopular. The country does not need people who will protect wrong people just because they want to save their jobs like we saw some of these leaders somersaulting after President Mwanawasa died.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Ba George!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, if President Mwanawasa had to rise today he would die of shock to see how some key hon. Ministers in his administration had back-tracked on the fight against corruption. We want men and women of integrity, who will stand, today, and say something and maintain the same stand even tomorrow. For example, because Hon. Masebo, who was with the MMD, is now with PF, she starts saying that everything is rosy. I will not do that. I have been consistent.


Mrs Mesobo: Sir, those who know me well know that I have been consistent. 


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I cannot be compared with half the group of people on your left.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, as I have said, this man whose ratification we are debating can make money even without being a DPP. Even in the past he showed us that he could make more money doing other things than through the job which he was given. However, because he wanted to serve his nation, he just went on and on doing the work which he was given, even during the time when things were bad. Even when people kept changing goal posts, he still stood firm and stuck to what he believed in. Those are the people we want in certain positions. You are not supposed to change your stance regarding certain issues just because your pay master has changed. We need men and women that do not change goal posts depending on who is the president of a political party. 

Look at what has happened to the former President. Those who were eating with him are the ones who are now insulting him and not us who were not eating with him.


Mrs Masebo: That should be a lesson to all of us here including our leaders. Not all those who seem close to us when we occupy certain positions are the ones that are going to stand by us all the time.

Mr Speaker, I am contributing to the debate because I know that the position of the DPP is a very serious position, which requires a man or woman of high integrity. There can be no better person than Mutembo  Nchito for the job.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: President Sata’s appointment of Mutembo Nchito as the DPP shows how serious he is with the fight against corruption. I want thank him for that. There are many leaders who would like to appoint weak people whom they can control.

However, Mr Sata is not scared of anybody because he knows his position regarding certain issues. Therefore, those who are against Mutembo Nchito’s appointment are just worried about what might happen to them soon because of what they have been doing.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Lastly …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

No cross-country debates.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I am surprised with the way somebody was quoting from the report. 

Mr Speaker, when I am called Hon. Masebo, Member of Parliament for Chongwe, should I be debating in a dubious manner? Why can I not just be factual in what I say? Some today on the Floor of the House said that what we say always reflects how we perceive things. However, I would like to state that it is important to state the truth at all times. I brought a newspaper to this House today which I shall lay on the Table of this House. 

Mr Speaker, the newspaper which I am referring to is called Daily Nation. In the edition which I have, it talked about serious issues. It has a headline which reads:

“Mutembo Nchito in Trouble: Will Speaker Patrick Matibini Save Nchito?”

This newspaper has been running stories about Mutembo Nchito for the last one or two weeks since his appointment to try and create a certain perception. 

Mr Speaker, I want to tell you that one of the people behind the newspaper was convicted in a case which was handled by Mr Mutembo Nchito and even served a three-year jail term. 

Hon. PF Member: Sakala, we know him.

Mrs Masebo: How can you give credence to a story told by a person who was successfully prosecuted and jailed for three years for abuse of office? Was the perception which was being referred to in an earlier debate the one which this newspaper has been trying to create?  Who is behind the creation of the same perception?

Hon. PF Members: Criminals!

Mrs Masebo: You want us to be swayed by such people. Is that fair, Sir? Is that fair, Hon. George Kunda, SC.?


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, this country belongs to all of us. None of us either on your right or left side have more rights to belong to this country. It is not fair to try and destroy the reputation of an innocent person just because you have a personal agenda. We all know a lot about each other here.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours

[MR SPEAKER, in the Chair]

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, before we broke off for tea, I was concluding my debate. Let me appeal to all hon. Members both on your right and left to ratify these two appointments because they are right and just. Both men are experienced. That talk of saying this one is a corporate lawyer is neither here nor there because he has practised and prosecuted many complicated cases and won them. Therefore, there is no need even to call for a division. In any case, we are still going to win.  

Mr Speaker, someone talked about conscience, let us vote using our conscience and not because someone has told us to protect their personal interests. These two officers are going to serve all of us here one day. 

Mr Speaker, one day, if God gives me that opportunity, I will rise in this country and say that you remember what I said that these were the right appointments. 

Mr Speaker, I want to thank President Sata for being magnanimous in choosing people that he knows will stand up for everybody, both on your right and left including all the people of Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, before I conclude, I will lay this paper on the Table of the House. We should not be influenced by people that have been prosecuted through our own courts of law.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, being mindful of the time constraint, I briefly wish to thank all hon. Members of Parliament who have contributed to this Motion through their debate. I hope that the rest of the hon. Members of Parliament will apply their minds and make the choices that they wish to make.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members called for a division.

Question that this House do adopt the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to Scrunitise the Presidential Appointments of Mr Mutembo Nchito and Mr Musa Mwenye to serve as the DPP and Solicitor-General of the Republic of Zambia, respectively, put and the House voted.

Ayes – (86)

Mr I. Banda
Mr N. Banda
Mr Bwalya
Mr Chabala
Mr Chanda
Mr Chansa
Mr Chenda
Dr Chikusu
Mr Chikwanda
Mr Chilangwa
Mr Chingimbu
Mr Chisala
Mr Chishiba
Mr Chishimba
Mr Chitotela
Mrs A. M. Chungu
Mr S. Chungu
Ms Imenda
Ms Kabanshi
Mr Kalaba
Mr Kambwili
Mr Kampyongo
Ms Kapata
Brigadier-General Kapaya
Mr Kapeya
Mr Kapyanga
Mr Kasonde
Mr Katambo
Dr Katema
Colonel Kaunda
Mrs Kawandami
Mr Kazabu
Ms Kazunga
Mr Kosamu
Mr Kufuna
Ms Limata
Mr Lubinda
Professor Luo
Mr Mabumba
Mr Mushili Malama
Mr Mwimba H. Malama
Mrs Masebo
Mr Masumba
Mr Matafwali
Mr Mbulu
Mr Mbuzi
Mr Mpundu
Mr Mubukwanu
Mr Mucheleka
Mr Muchima
Mr Mukanga
Mr Mukata
Mr Mulenga
Mr Mulusa
Mr D. Mumba
Mr M. Mumba
Mr Mushanga
Mr Musukwa
Mr B. Mutale
Mr M. Mutale
Mr Mwali
Mrs Mwamba
Mr Mwamba
Mr Mwango
Mr Mwanza
Mr Mwenya
Mr Mwewa
Mr Mwila
Mr Ngonga
Dr J. T. N. Phiri
Mr Sakeni
Mr Sampa
Dr Scott
Mr Shamenda
Mr Sichinga
Mr Sichone
Mr Sichula
Mr Sikazwe
Dr Simbyakula
Mr Simuusa
Mr Taima
Mr Tembo
Proffessor  Willombe
Mr Yaluma
Mr C. Zulu
Mr S. S. Zulu

Noes – (50)

Mr Antonio
Mr W. Banda
Mr Belemu
Mr Chipungu
Mr Chisanga
Dr Chituwo
Mr Habeenzu
Mr Hamududu
Mr Hamudulu
Mr Hamusonde
Mr Kaingu
Dr Kalila
Ms Kalima
Dr Kazonga
Mr Konga
Mr Kunda, SC.
Mr Livune
Ms Lubezhi
Mr Lufuma
Professor Lungwangwa
Mrs Mazoka
Mr Mbewe
Mr Mbulakulima
Mr Milambo
Mr Miyanda
Mr Miyutu
Mr Monde
Mr Mooya
Mr Mufalali
Mr Mulomba
Mr Muntanga
Dr Musokotwane
Mr Mutati
Mr Muteteka
Mr Mutelo
Mr P. R. Mtolo
Mr M. B. Mwale
Mr V. Mwale
Ms Namugala
Mr Ndalamei
Mr Njeulu
Mr Nkombo
Mr Pande
Mr D. Phiri 
Ms Sayifwanda
Mr Sianga
Mr Sililo
Ms Siliya
Mr Simbao
Mr Zimba

Abstentions – (5)

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.
Mr Lungu
Mr Mweetwa
Mr P. Ngoma
Mr Siamunene

Question accordingly agreed to, and the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to Scrunitise the Presidential Appointments of Mr Mutembo Nchito and Mr Musa Mwenye to serve as DPP and Solicitor-General of the Republic of Zambia, respectively, passed.




THE INCOME TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2011

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, the Bill before this House is principally seeking to increase the threshold of exempt income tax from K1 million to K2 million per month and adjust the income bands so as to give more tax relief to workers, particularly those in the lower income brackets. The Bill also proposes to reduce the Company Income Tax rate applicable to the agricultural sector from 15 per cent to 10 per cent to encourage more investments in the sector and, thereby, enhance productivity.

Mr Speaker, in order to improve the liquidity in the banking sector so as to create a scope for banks to lend at lower interest rates, I have proposed to …


Mr Speaker: Order, order!

Mr Chikwanda: … remove the 40 per cent corporate rate for banks so that banking income is only taxed at 35 per cent. 

Sir, the Bill proposes to introduce provisions to deem commissions paid to non-resident persons to have a source within Zambia and thereby taxable at the withholding tax rate of 15 per cent.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, your Committee considered the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2011 whose objects are as stated.

Sir, your Committee appreciates the proposal to increase the threshold for exempt incomes for individuals from K12 million to K24 million per annum. However, some witnesses were of the view that the exempt income should be matched with the cost of the basic needs basket. Others argued that this proposal does not address the critical problem of the high tax burden on the few people in the formal sector. In this regard, they urged the Government to broaden the tax bands and reduce the applicable rates.

Sir, the revision of the corporate tax rates for commercial banks from 40 per cent to 35 per cent is welcome. However, your Committee urges the Government to ensure that the proposed measures result in a corresponding reduction in the lending rates. The Government should engage commercial banks so that they can streamline their cost structures and ensure that they pass on the benefits of the proposed measures to the general public in form of reduced lending rates.

Mr Speaker, there is general consensus that the proposal to reduce corporate tax on farming inputs from 15 per cent to 10 per cent is progressive. However, your Committee appeals to the Government to take a holistic approach in addressing the problems affecting this sector.

 Sir, your Committee is alive to the fact that the agricultural sector employs the majority of our people, mainly small-scale farmers. Your Committee further urges the Government to formulate carefully designed and targeted policies that will lead to increased production by the masses and not just mass production by a few commercial farmers. This can result in economic growth, employment creation and contribution to the attainment of the millennium development goal (MDG) No. 1 of eradicating poverty and extreme hunger. 

Mr Speaker, the poor performance by small-scale farmers in this sector features prominently in the 2011 Millennium Development Goals Report for Zambia as one of the reasons which are likely to contribute to the failure by Zambia to attain the MDG No. 1 by 2015.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is concerned at the lack of a clear policy to promote the manufacturing sector. There is a need for the Government to come up with measures that will promote the manufacturing sector so that it can effectively provide backward and forward linkages to both the agricultural and mining sectors. This will promote value addition and, thereby, increase the value of Zambia’s exports and, indeed, create the much needed employment.

Sir, the objects of the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill are generally welcome.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I wish to tender my very profuse thanks to the Committee on Estimates for supporting this Bill. I also wish to take note of the concerns raised in the report of your Committee. Let me take this opportunity to respond to some of them.

I have taken note of your Committee’s recommendations that we engage the banking sector in order to ensure that it reciprocates the good gesture and passes on the benefits of the reduced corporate tax rate to businesses in form of reduced lending rates.

Sir, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is committed to ensuring that lending rates are slashed to affordable levels. The Government has already started to demonstrate this commitment having reduced the reserve ratios for both local and foreign currency deposits from 8 per cent to 5 per cent and co-liquid assets from 9 per cent to 6 per cent. We have noted with interest banks responding to the Government’s goodwill by reducing lending base rates.

Sir, I wish to take this opportunity to reiterate our commendation to the banking sector for the various banks’ positive responses. However, we expect lending rates to further fall so that the majority of our productive entrepreneurs can borrow. We, therefore, do not expect banks to back peddle on their commitment. Otherwise, this will call for a policy review by the Government in this regard. It is my hope and desire that the banks will not lead us into temptation.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time. 

Committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 21st December, 2011.


Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, this Bill before this House is principally seeking to revise the rate of mineral royalty payable on base metals, industrial minerals, energy minerals, precious metals and gemstones from the current rate of 3 and 5 per cent to 6 per cent.

Sir, Zambia is endowed with a lot of mineral resources that are exhaustive and depletable. These resources form part of the common heritage of the Republic of Zambia and its citizens, which entitles the nation to benefit from the same. 

Therefore, the proposed amendment is intended to increase the Government revenue from the mining sector in order to channel these funds to the ambitious social and economic development programmes that the Government has embarked on.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the Mines and Minerals Development (Amendment) Bill that is before this House.

Sir, we had the privilege, as your Committee on Economic Affairs, to scruitnise the Bill in detail.

Mr Speaker, I wish to commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for taking a bold decision to increase the rate at which mineral royalty is paid on base metals and gemstones. The increase from 3 per cent, for base metals, and 5 per cent, for gemstones, to 6 per cent is a step in the right direction. The country needs to benefit from its mineral endowment.

Sir, all the stakeholders that your Committee interacted with did not oppose the increment although they had some reservations as hon. Members may have noticed in the report.

Mr Speaker, one of the stakeholders submitted that Zambia needs to capitalise on mineral royalty tax. It is the simplest form of tax to administer and has the potential to provide the maximum benefits with respect to taxation. Your Committee is, therefore, happy that the Government is pursuing this line of thought.

Sir, your Committee learnt that most mining companies were compliant and up to date in the payment of Mineral Royalties. However, the question that still begs an answer is whether or not mining companies are paying the right amounts. This is because tax authorities depend on the figures as declared by the mines. What this means is that the country is not collecting mineral royalties at the optimum level. 

With this kind of situation, when the rate for mineral royalty is increased, as is the case now, what will be collected at 6 per cent may just be what could have been collected at 3 or 5 per cent levels. If we had an efficient and effective system in place, the mineral royalty collection could be higher. The Government should, therefore, ensure that it puts in place a mineral royalty collecting system that will enable the country realise close to what is optimal. This should include having monitoring systems at points of production and exports.

Mr Speaker, the other issue that needs attention is the over-concentration on copper for revenue. Even as we debate this issue, our minds are inclined towards collecting more royalties from copper mines. This is causing the nation to lose revenue because we turn a blind eye to the other sub-sectors such as gemstones and precious metals which have made other countries much richer than ours.

Sir, the Government should, therefore, ensure that our approach is broader and encompassing so that the nation also benefits from the gemstone sub-sector. We are looking forward to seeing how the new Government will make the gemstone sub-sector contribute more revenue to the Treasury.

Mr Speaker, since we are likely to witness an increase in revenue from mineral royalties, stakeholders are calling for the operationalisation of Section 136 of the Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2008, dealing with the mineral royalty sharing mechanism. Although this provision is not very clear on the beneficiaries of mineral royalty tax at community level, a starting point could be the local councils and the traditional royal establishments. 

Sir, my other point is on value addition. While mineral royalty can contribute significantly to the Treasury, maximum benefits can only be realised through value addition. Your Committee was informed that Zambia practices what is referred to as a primitive form of mining in that it mines and exports raw materials, concentrates and cathodes. This, your Committee was told only enables Zambia to realise about 2 per cent of the potential value which would be different if the minerals were transformed into finished products.

   Mr Speaker, the ultimate aim of the nation should, therefore, be to invest heavily in industries that can utilise minerals such as copper.

   Mr Speaker, although the increase in mineral royalty will increase the mining sector’s contribution to the Treasury, the amount is insufficient to meet the many development challenges facing the nation. Your Committee would like to appeal to the Government to explore other means of taxing the mining sector such as windfall tax. Your Committee is convinced that more money can be collected through windfall tax than through mineral royalty. 
Mr Speaker, I wish to end by thanking you for the guidance you gave your Committee and the Clerk of the National Assembly for the services provided to your Committee when considering the Mines and Minerals (Amendment) Bill. I further wish to thank all stakeholders, including the legal advisors from the Ministry of Justice for the valuable input to your Committee scrutinising the Bill. 

   Mr Speaker, I thank you.

   Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the debate. I also want to thank the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for bringing the amendment to the House. I further want to thank the Chairperson of your Committee for his comments. I wish to begin by congratulating the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on going this far. In a minute or two, we shall actually be casting the law that will change the collection percentage of revenues from 3 per cent to 6 per cent for the mineral royalty tax.

   Sir, I just want to restate the position of the United Party for National Development (UPND) regarding windfall tax. I am so thankful that your Committee has brought out in its report that the windfall tax remains one of the most sure and definite means of ensuring that Zambians benefit from the mineral resources that God gave us. 

   Mr Speaker, as hon. UPND Members, we still insist that while this may be a step in the right direction to try and increase the mineral royalty tax, we can do better by considering re-migrating our tax regime to accommodate windfall tax. I want to indicate that while the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was acting President last week, the hon. Acting Minister of Finance and National Planning, then, made an indication that the PF Government may wish to increase the requirement of the Euro Bond from US$500 million to US$700 million. The Euro Bond comes to each and every Zambian in the form of a loan facility. It has to be paid back over a given period. I want to put it to you that if the windfall tax were to be put in our statutes, there would be absolutely no need to engage in external borrowing to this effect. 

   Sir, I also want to put it to you that the issue of compliance, which the Chairperson of your Committee mentioned, is of great concern to the UPND. I want to bring this House back to just a year-and-half ago when some of us were privileged to read an audit report that was produced by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in conjunction with another company on an audit on Mopani Copper Mines. I am sure that the hon. Minister understands that there were glaring anomalies regarding the declarations of tax. At that time, we were sitting together with the colleagues on your right hand side advocating that this forensic audit be extended to all other mining corporations because, as the situation stands now, we depend solely on their declarations. The case study of Mopani Copper Mines revealed that there were a lot of glaring anomalies which only amount to the country losing revenue.

   Mr Speaker, I want to put it to the House that, maybe, if we devised a mechanism that will allow for compliance and true and correct declarations by the mining conglomerates that are digging out the minerals that the Chairperson spoke about, we would probably be getting money to the tune of the US$500 million Euro Bond. We are worried because we are now in the 47th year of our independence and are cognisant of the fact that the infrastructure in London, United Kingdom (UK) or Harare, if we are to come close to home, most of it, during the federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, was built from the mineral reserves that Zambia had. In my view, it is, therefore, incumbent upon the Government of the day to re-engage the mining companies seriously once they are settled. Yes, they have put the windfall tax regime on the shelf. Hon. Sichinga, an economist who I admire, has always propounded the fact that windfall tax is one of the fastest pothole-free avenues that we can use to develop our country and our economy which would, in turn, lead to development.

   Mr Speaker, I thank you.
   Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, again, let me thank your Committee on Economic Affairs for supporting the Bill. I also wish to take note of all the concerns raised by hon. Members who have debated particularly, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central who is as elusive as he is well well-informed.
   Sir, let me take this opportunity to respond to some of the concerns that have been raised. I have taken note of your Committee’s recommendations to ensure that the Government benefits more from the mining sector. 
   My colleague, the hon. Minister of Mines and Natural Resources and I are taking every considerable measure to ensure that we improve on the monitoring which will entail strengthening the Ministry of Mines and Natural Resources as well as the auxiliary wings such as the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH). 

   Mr Speaker, the PF Government has already started to put in place measures aimed at addressing the challenges in the current tax system as a whole, including the taxation and regulation of the mining sector, so that there is enhanced revenue collection from the sector while, at the same time, sustaining the viability of the mining companies.

   These interventions are underpinned by the revision of mining regulations which include creating a robust system to ensure accurate information relating to mineral production and exports, enhancing human resource capacities in the Ministry of Mines and Natural Resources and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in order to ensure that the technical and financial mine audits are conducted regularly and effectively and, last but not the least, strengthening the procedure for issuance of mining permits and licences, including the promotion of  transparency in the approval process. 

   Mr Speaker, the Government will seek to ensure that not only copper, but also all mineral production is thoroughly assessed so that the right taxes are collected for every registered production. 

   Mr Speaker, we firmly believe that the proposed adjustment to the mineral royalty regime is within the confines of reason and will, therefore, not occasion any harm to investment in the mining sector. As such, we do not expect any scaling down or, indeed, abandonment of the already on-going projects in the sector as a result of the proposed measures. 

   Mr Speaker, I now would like to address some of the issues that have been raised. The term windfall tax sounds very romantic ... 


   Mr Chikwanda: … but, as the word ‘wind’ presupposes, it has to go with the wind and not against it. 

   Mr Speaker, windfall tax, therefore, is purely a function of the level of prices of what one wants to tax. At the moment, copper prices are trending downwards. The average copper price at the London Metal Exchange (LME) for the last three months indicates US$7,300 per tonne. If the trend continues downwards, it might entail reduced revenues than we budgeted for and expected to raise from the mining sector. 
   On the other hand, should there be a fall in the world economy or in the economies of countries such as China or India that are vast users of this mineral, and the price trends up by, maybe, 6 per cent, this will entail a windfall tax. Windfall tax is a reality which can be a pipe dream if done at the wrong time such as now. Now is a wrong time to impose windfall tax. Therefore, I would like to appeal to hon. Members to discard the misperceptions and misconceptions about this windfall, never mind the original authors of the concept. 

   Mr Speaker, Hon. Nkombo is quite right. Sovereign Bonds do raise our indebtedness and impinge on our capacity, as a nation, to service the future debt commitments. Therefore, in the very likely event that we raise the windfall tax even beyond what was originally anticipated, the most important thing is for Parliament, as a watchdog, to ensure that this money is not used on consumption, but used on growth promoting projects, especially agriculture where our greatest potential lies. 

   Mr Speaker, yes tax declarations should be enforced. However, the Government is also refining its ability and prowess to make sure that the mining companies declare income for tax purposes which is not falsified. We cannot, however, for now, say that we have perfected the monitoring aspect because this also impinges on our capacity and ability. However, we are working towards this direction and, if there are any hon. Members with ideas on how we could improve on the monitoring process so that we can optimise revenue intake from the mining sector, they are welcome to discuss these ideas with us. 

Mr Speaker, I commend this Bill to the House. 

Question put and agreed to and Bill read a second time. 

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 21st December, 2011. 


Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, the Bill before this House is seeking to remove the discretional powers for the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to grant additional incentives because the process of how this is done lacks transparency and creates opportunities for corruption or irregularity. There are no clear rules for granting of additional incentives; a situation that complicates tax administration and is also a recipe for revenue leakages. 

Mr Speaker, the Bill before this House will contribute to re-enhancing the capacity of the Government to maximise domestic revenue. This Bill is straightforward and I commend it to the House. 

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.  

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I thank you, once again, for the opportunity to comment on the Zambia Development Agency Bill.

Your Committee on Economic Affairs had the privilege of scrutinising the Bill in detail. During the process, your Committee interacted with a number of stakeholders who provided it with valuable information. 

Mr Speaker, the new Government, going by various pronouncements, is determined to fight corruption and, therefore, deserves to be supported.  

The Bill before the House is principally meant to remove the discretionary power of the hon. Minister responsible for finance to grant additional incentives under Section 58 of the Zambia Development Agency Act of 2008. This particular provision is considered to have the potential to create opportunities for corruption. There is also an added aim which is to prevent leakages in the tax system and strengthen the quest for enhanced revenue mobilisation.

Mr Speaker, there is a wise saying that:

    “Do not take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.”

Reading the provisions of Section 58, one gets the impression that they were meant to empower the hon. Minister to have additional bargaining powers to attract major investments into the country.

Sir, we cannot deny the fact that, globally, the investment environment is very competitive. Landlocked countries such as Zambia have inherent disadvantages which make them less attractive to investors and, therefore, have to go a mile further to persuade investors to come and invest in them.

Your Committee acknowledges the pitfalls of Section 58 in its current form. However, there are other means of remedying the situation than repealing Section 58 such as, introducing an objective and transparent way of granting additional incentives complemented by the issuance of clear guidelines.

The submission by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry that there is no company currently enjoying such additional incentives suggests that the repeal of Section 58 is really not an urgent matter.

Mr Speaker, your Committee, however, is comforted by the submission that the entire Zambia Development Agency Act is undergoing review.

The above notwithstanding, your Committee, for purposes of national image building with respect to the commitment to fighting corruption, supports the amendment. Your Committee, however, strongly urges the Government to ensure that the revision of the principle Act is concluded within 2012 to fill the void that the repeal will create. Otherwise, the repeal of Section 58 may result in there being no major investments to create jobs and no money in people’s pockets.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for the guidance you gave to the Committee. I also wish to thank the Clerk of the National Assembly for the services rendered to your Committee when considering the Zambia Development Agency (Amendment) Bill.

I further wish to thank all the stakeholders, including the officers from the Ministry of Justice, for their valuable input when the Committee was scrutinising the Bill.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mutati (Lunte): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the Chairperson of the Committee for a well-presented report. I would also like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for the submission that he has made.

Sir, the Chairperson of the Committee has indicated, quite clearly, in his report that Section 58 had a purpose. Perhaps, the injury that it may have had of lack of objectivity, transparency and permitting discretion could be better cured not by cutting the limb off, but by curing the wounds. 

Mr Speaker, the report of your Committee indicates clearly on page 3, that the Government admitted that the repeal, despite the intended positive results, will pose some challenges. There may be challenges in attracting major investments with transformational effects. 

Sir, what may have been preferred was, perhaps, as indicated by the Committee, a construction of guidelines which are objective and transparent. Within Section 58, there is an indication that there can be a schedule that can outline the criteria. The criteria could be driven by the priority sectors which we already have such as tourism, manufacturing and energy. The criteria could also include the participation of Zambians in those investments. It could also include the level of investment that is being contemplated. It could further include the potential for business linkages.

Mr Speaker, I would like to request that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning considers that Section 58 be amended instead of being repealed. As stated by the Chairperson of the Committee, there is, appended to Section 58, guidelines that are going to drive the additional incentives. The additional incentives could be by way of extended corporate tax duties and whatever the Government may choose to do. 

Sir, I think this will be a much more motivating solution to the current challenges that we have under Section 58. This is a matter in which I think the hon. Minister will see reason. This is a matter which has touched base with the hon. Minister that the current construction was very limited, but that we should amend instead of repealing the section. 

Therefore, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, as articulated by the Committee, to consider amendments, through the provision of objective and transparent guidelines that will drive investment in Zambia, particularly in the priority sectors.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, once again, I wish to render my very sincere thanks to the Committee on Estimates and the hon. Members for its views.

Mr Speaker, allow me to respond to just a few concerns. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is increasingly being recognised as an important factor in the economic development of many developing and emerging countries. Besides bringing capital, it facilitates the transfer of technology, organisational and managerial practices and skills as well as access to markets. More and more countries are striving to create a favourable and enabling climate to attract the FDI.

However, Section 58 of the Bill provides for preferential tax treatment which is actually negotiated between companies and the hon. Minister. This process is based on a case-by-case basis and is not of a general application, thereby creating inequities between investors. This undermines general tax compliance and also impacts on the cost of tax administration by diverting scarce resources from revenue collection to enforcement directed at investors subject to a non-preferential tax regime.

Sir, the amendment is intended to minimise the excesses in granting tax incentives. I wish to assure the House that the repeal of Section 58 merely removes the discretionary powers to grant tax incentives from the hon. Minister. The Zambia Development Agency Act will still contain very generous incentives and flexibility for the hon. Minister responsible for commerce to declare a product or sector a priority which then benefits from the incentives.

Sir, my ministry is in discussions with the relevant stakeholders so as to shed light on issues related to tax incentives such as design and administrative considerations. A comprehensive review of the fiscal incentives granted to holders of licences granted under the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) shall be concluded by the end of 2012. It is our desire to address the concerns that were raised by stakeholders, through the report of the Committee and by hon. Members of the House.

Mr Speaker, the amendment of Section 58 does not incapacitate the issue of incentives under the Zambia Development Agency Act. There will still be a wide scope. All we are removing is just too much unfettered and discretionary power on the hon. Minister to negotiate with the companies. We are subject to humanly frailties and the best laws are those which safeguard and insulate holders of offices from unnecessary temptation.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 21st December, 2011.

THE VALUE ADDED TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2011

Mr Chikwanda: Sir, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time. 
The Bill before this House is principally seeking to revise the definition of ‘accounting year’. Currently, the accounting year for Value Added Tax (VAT) runs from 1st July to June. The measure seeks to align the accounting year for VAT to the new fiscal year, which is 1st January to 31st December. The Bill is straightforward and I recommend it to the House.

Sir, I thank you.  

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, your Committee considered the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2011, whose objective is to amend the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, so as to revise the definition of accounting year. Your Committee supports the Bill as it merely seeks to amend Section 2 of the principal Act, in order to bring the accounting year in line with the fiscal year. This follows the amendment of Article 117 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia in 2009 to change the Budget Cycle. Your Committee, therefore, urges the House to pass the Bill because it is only a consequential amendment.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, once again, I wish to render my very sincere thanks to the Committee on Estimates and the hon. Members for their overwhelming support.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 21st December, 2011.


Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, the Bill is also intended to lower excise duty rates on wines and spirits from 145 per cent to 60 per cent. The cost of imported spirits and wines is one of the highest in the region, whose average is 60 per cent, partly because of the high excise duty. This has affected compliance as most traders find it beneficial to smuggle these products. The revision is meant to encourage general compliance by reducing the cost of importation and to bring about fairness in the entertainment industry by ensuring that all importers of wines and spirits pay their fair share of the tax. It is also intended to change the valuation method for locally-produced spirits so that the excise duty is based on the sales value as opposed to the cost of the inputs, as is the case currently.

Mr Speaker, the amendment will ensure that the Government starts to collect the right level of excise duty on alcohol produced from under-natured ethyl alcohol. At the moment, there is no excise duty on this product because the policy is that the excise is supposed to be collected on the spirits that are produced from this raw material. This has created compliance problems because the local producers of spirit alcohol who import this raw material do not voluntarily account for the excise.

Mr Speaker, I further propose to reduce the export duty on copper ores and concentrates and extend it to all unprocessed and semi-processed minerals. As I mentioned in my Budget Address to this House, this amendment will encourage value-addition as well as allow the capturing of the values of by-products of the minerals and metals, such as gold and diamonds.

Mr Speaker, the proposed changes to the Customs and Excise Act are also meant to align the duty rates applicable to some items where rates were suspended, about a decade ago, and to update the harmonised system of coding used for international trade with the current World Customs Organisation standards. The amendments being proposed are fairly straightforward.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, your Committee considered the Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill of 2011. Allow me to highlight key points in its report. 

Mr Speaker, you Committee observes that the Government proposes to reduce export duty on copper and cobalt concentrates. Your Committee is aware that the Government introduced a 15 per cent export duty on copper and cobalt concentrates, mainly, to promote value-addition and create employment. Regrettably, in the 2012 Budget, the Government is proposing a reduction. This decision will discourage value-addition and encourage the exportation of raw materials which, effectively, amounts to export of labour to other countries. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to revisit this decision and retain the current applicable rate.

Sir, your Committee notes that the proposed export duty of 10 per cent on cobalt and copper concentrates has been extended to other unprocessed and semi-processed minerals. However, it is of the view that 10 per cent is rather low. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government should adjust the proposed export duty to 15 per cent in order to bring it in line with the current export duty on copper and cobalt concentrates. This measure will encourage further value-addition and promote employment creation.

Mr Speaker, your Committee welcomes the proposal to revise the excise duty rates for wines and spirits to align them with the prevailing rates in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). It is of the view that the current disparity in the rate structure should be corrected in order to minimise revenue leakages through smuggling. While your Committee notes this revision, it is of the view that stringent measures should be put in place to control the abuse of alcohol, especially the under-age drinking that is rampant in our country. Generally, the objects of the Bill are non-controversial and welcome.

Mr Speaker, allow me to conclude by thanking all the witnesses who appeared before your Committee for their valuable input. I also thank you for affording your Committee an opportunity to consider the Bill. Lastly, I thank the Office of the Clerk for the services rendered to your Committee as it deliberated on the Bill.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I have listened very keenly to the concerns of the hon. Members of the House. I wish to thank them for their support of the measures in the proposed amendment. 

Sir, let me now comment on some of the observations made. The Committee observed that reducing the excise duty on spirits and wines might go against efforts to curb alcohol abuse, especially under-age drinking. I wish to inform the House that alcohol abuse is driven by a series of factors. Most of the alcohol is being consumed in unregistered and unregulated areas. The PF Government will explore measures, such as the licensing and controlling the operations of the bars and taverns in order to curb the scourge. The reduction in excise duty is intended to ensure that the Government collects revenues from the alcohol being imported into the country.

Mr Speaker, allow me to address the concerns on the reduction of the export duty on copper and cobalt concentrates. The rationale for the reduction of the export duty from 15 per cent to 10 per cent is to ensure that, while we encourage local value-addition through smelting, we do not create an environment in which smelting companies start to exploit mining companies by imposing high tolling and processing fees. The Government’s intention is to promote local value-addition without giving excessive advantage to the owners of smelters to exploit local producers, hence the need to reduce the export duty to reasonable rates of proportion.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 21st December, 2011. 




VOTE 89 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock – K 1,635, 337, 685, 317).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Chairperson, when the House adjourned, I was looking at agriculture with regard to the slow pace at which farmers are being paid.

Sir, currently, most of our farmers have not yet been paid yet, two or so weeks ago, we were assured by the hon. Minister that, by the end of the first two weeks of December, all farmers would have been paid. Unfortunately, farmers in Kalomo and, maybe, elsewhere in the country, have not yet been paid. This means that farmers who will be paid after the first two weeks of December will not have the true value of their money that they would have got had they been paid in September or October. With the fluctuation of our kwacha to the dollar, which is now at K5,120 per dollar, compared with the rate of K3,000 per dollar around August, it means that a farmer who was paid in August would have bought more things from the same amount than a farmer who will be paid in the next two weeks.

Sir, secondly, there is a slow cash flow, especially when the hon. Minister has deposited the money in the banks. The unfortunate part is that there are some people in the banks who get the money and start their own business, thus making farmers suffer. As mentioned last week by the hon. Member of Parliament for Dundumwezi, depot clerks have, probably, four trucks, two cars and, maybe, one tractor, yet they have no fields. This means that these people are now making the Government pay for what does not exist. If a physical count was done on our maize, you would find that most of the maize the Government bought is no longer at the depot. From the K1.4 trillion that the Government has spent on maize, probably, a trillion kwacha worth of maize would be available. For the other amount, the maize would not be there. This is how crafty our people have become, especially, the depot clerks.

Mr Sing’ombe: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sing’ombe: Sir, I am sorry to interrupt my brother who is debating very well. However, is he in order not to mention that all the maize at Sikaanga Depot in Dundumwezi was destroyed by fire last week?

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling from the Chair is that the hon. Member is in order because he might touch that aspect later.

The hon. Member may proceed.


Mr Miyanda: Sir, I was talking about ghost receipts and the process in which people are running around with this money to empower themselves at the expense of the farmers. Even if we are talking of a third bumper harvest in place, there is no fairness in this country. While we are exporting maize at K35,000 per 50 kilogram, what I see, as I drive in from Livingstone, as I approach the Kafue Round About, is something not to boast about. I have in mind the blind people we see around that place. These people are always moving with either a girl or boy child who is supposed to be in school. My thinking is that, out of what we are calling three bumper harvests, why do we not get some maize and feed these people, who are already organised under the association for the blind. This would enable that girl or boy to get back into school.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyanda: Ten years from now, young boys and girls will be used to begging. The fact that they will not go back to school will create a problem in this country for they will continue begging. With the mushrooming of modern cars that people have, these young people are on the streets begging. As a result, motorists do not open their windows as a way of avoiding these street kids. However, the street kids realise that they are not welcome and move on. I think that should be stopped.

Sir, at the same time, I wonder if these people, in a country of plenty, manage to take three meals per day because, starting from 1000 hours to lunch hour, they are on the roads. Even at this very time, if you drive there, you will find them; and they will probably be eating after 1900 hours. Why do we boast about three consecutive bumper harvests when some of our people are starving?

Mr Chairperson, regarding the marketing system, I noticed that there is no fairness in it. This relates to the Food Reserve Agency’s (FRA) conduct regarding empty grain bags. Each time we start the season, farmers are advised to deliver maize in their own empty grain bags with the promise that they will be refunded. Unfortunately, year in, year out, the FRA does not reimburse these farmers. Therefore, I would propose that, since the floor price in the last season was K65,000 for a 50 kilogram bag, the Government should refund these farmers by adding the K2,500 which they spent on each empty grain bag and pay them K67,500 per bag. These are the poor farmers we all talk about, who make up the 77.9 per cent of our population.

Mr Sing’ombe: Tell them!

Mr Miyanda: Sir, why can the Government not come up with a mechanism of reimbursing farmers by adding the two pin five to the flow price?

The Deputy Chairperson: What is two pin five?

Mr Miyanda: K2,500 for their empty grain bags.


Mr Miyanda: Sir, I equally believe that the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) is good. If properly monitored, it will get most of our people out of their poverty. However, there is no fairness in the sense that there are farmers, whom we call the lucky ones, who make up 15 per cent. These pay K50,000 for a pocket of fertiliser which other farmers who are not supposed to be considered under this programme, if they stay in Lusaka, will buy at K197,000 per pocket if bought from other sources. A farmer in a rural constituency like Kalomo will pay about K230,000 per pocket yet, at the end of the day, the FRA will come up with a uniform price for all the maize. The only good thing, maybe, about we farmers is that we rarely take our time to calculate how much we have spent and how much we have realised, at the end of the day. If we were to do mathematics, chances are that we would realise that we could be making losses, except for the lucky ones who would have paid only K50,000 for a 50 kilogram bag of fertiliser.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear

Mr Miyanda: Mr Chairperson, the last point is about restocking. With the booming mining activities in the North-Western Province, it means more people have more money in their pockets to buy more beef.  However, according to the Census of 2010 Annual Report under livestock, the total population of cattle by 2010 was slightly above 3 million. The Zambian population is 13 million. Literally, what that means is that four Zambians own one cattle.

Hon. Members: One cow.

Mr Miyanda: One cow.  

Hon. Opposition Member: Shame.

Mr Miyanda: This means that in the next ten years, with the increase of the population, there will be less beef for this country. Therefore, it is important to improve the cattle restocking exercise. I urge the Government to first build dip tanks before dealing with the issue of cattle restocking. Otherwise, the Government will have a loss because at the moment when animals are bought from commercial farmers and taken to rural areas, they will certainly not survive. Once dip tanks are put in place, we will manage to score.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear! Baambile.

Mr Miyanda: Mr Chairperson, I also appeal to the Government to increase the 2013 budgetary allocation to K300 billion for the restocking exercise. This will mean that 300 heards of cattle will be bought at one time and, in turn, more people would be dropped from the list of those who live below the poverty datum line.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Chenda): Thank you, Mr Chairperson. 

Let me start, first of all, by thanking my colleagues who have contributed in support of the budget which is currently being looked at on the Floor of the House. I have taken note of the concerns which have been raised by the Hon. Members. They shall be addressed. Let me now respond to some of the issues raised.

Let me firstly respond to the issues which were raised regarding the FISP. The concerns about the FISP are valid and genuine. I have received numerous complaints countrywide on the ill administration of this programme. There are serious allegations of malpractices. A number of allegations have been levelled against my own chief executive officers at the various levels of administration. The programme which is aimed at improving access by the small-scale farmers to agricultural inputs in timely and with adequate amounts has been hijacked by the greed in man. The intended beneficiary, who is a small-scale farmer, has now been displaced by some Government official, politician or an already well to do farmer who has conveniently formed a co-operative with ghost farmers to access fertiliser. It is sad to say that the officers in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, who have been strategically placed at all levels of the administration of this programme to ensure accountability, have not been spared from the allegations of malpractices. In order to address the problems which have arisen, the ministry shall completely overhaul the system to get rid of corruption, politics and malpractices. The Government demands for total transparency and accountability.

Hon. Government members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: The involvement of traditional leaders or chiefs in the distribution of inputs under the FISP is in accordance with the Patriotic Front (PF) manifesto as it is believed that traditional leaders are well placed to identify those who are supposed to be genuine beneficiaries of agricultural inputs in their areas.

Let me also comment on the delayed payments to farmers. I am aware that some farmers have not been paid their dues. This is indeed most regrettable. Hon. Members may wish to note that the Government has so far paid a total sum of K2.1 trillion to farmers countrywide during this year’s marketing season leaving a balance of only K187 billion in outstanding payments. The Government is doing everything possible to mobilise resources so that it can pay the farmers in the soonest possible time. Hon. Members may also wish to take note that the 20th September, 2011 General Elections coincided with a huge demand for the payment of farmers for their produce. This, coupled with the accumulated debt to fertiliser suppliers in excess of US$140 million, caused a huge strain on the Treasury and thus the delay to complete the paying of the farmers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Chenda: The ministry, through the Department of Livestock Development, has an input in the establishment of livestock breeding centres. Some of these centres, such as Mukayikwa in Mumbwa District, have since been stocked with improved breeds such as the doba sheep and the boar goats from Namibia and South Africa. The reason for establishing these centres is to avail bigger and more productive breeds of sheep and goats at reasonable prices to small-scale farmers. Once these imported goats and sheep are crossed with our local breeds, better breeds are expected in the livestock farming communities. Even in terms of cattle, the centres such as Mbesuma have been stocked with exotic breeds such as boar cattle. These when crossed with the local breed will also improve the productivity of our indigenous breeds. However, the crossing will be carefully monitored in order to avoid a complete loss of the adopted breeds.

In conclusion, Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank all the hon. Members who contributed on how best to improve agriculture in this country. I want to assure them that I and my colleagues in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock are working extremely hard to ensure that agriculture remains the key for economic growth and poverty reduction in our country.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

in the Chair]

Vote 89/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/14 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/15 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/16 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/17 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/19 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/20 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/21 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Regrettably, there is too much loud consultation on my right. I would appreciate it if you consulted less     

Vote 89/22 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/23 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/27 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/28 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/29 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/30 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/32 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/33 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/34 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 90 – 98 (Office of the President – Provinces: Lusaka – K41,245,806,143, Copperbelt – K51,661,948,103, Central – K43,247,063,113, Northern – K54,264,850,234, Western – K43,571,638,829, Eastern – K48,136,212,317, Luapula – K42,730,233,176, North-Western – K44,694,899,913 and Southern – K65,924,586,365).

The Vice-President (Dr Guy Scott): Mr Speaker, certainly, from the documentation that I have, my understanding is that I am presenting the policy statement for the provinces at one time, which is all the nine of those already existing, and also the tenth one, which is half existing.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

May His Honour the Vice-President, please, proceed.

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I just wanted to be clear.

   Mr Speaker, this policy statement can be taken as applying, really, to all the provinces, except, if I can pick out one or two. Perhaps, I should simply mention to my own hon. Deputy Ministers some of whom are new and have been sworn in today that there is no need to come back with further mission statements for each province. Salient points that are unique for the provinces, I think will be of much interest to the House rather than repetition.

   Mr Chairperson, it is my honour and privilege to stand before this august House to present the policy statement on the estimates of revenue and expenditure for the Office of the President, Provincial Administration for the Period 1st January to 31st December, 2012 for the ten provinces. 

   Mr Chairperson, the mission statement of the provincial administration is to effectively co-ordinate, plan, monitor, implement and evaluate developmental programmes in order to ensure the equitable distribution of development in the country. 

   Mr Chairperson, through this mission, the provincial administration has been providing the forum for effective co-ordination, implementation and monitoring of various sector policies and strategies on behalf of line ministries and the Central Government as a whole, in order to ensure the provision of quality services to the local communities. 

   Sir, we would expect this document to look very different in a year’s time because the decentralisation policies will have started to make their impact. At the moment, what we are doing is something driven very much by momentum. 

   The Deputy Chairperson: If you raise your voice, the other side will appreciate.

   The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, the provinces play an essential role in facilitating the promotion of investments for the optimal utilisation of available and potential resources by co-ordinating and monitoring development programmes and projects through the institutional framework that was put in place in 1995. I think it is worth mentioning here that Zambia is three times the size of the United Kingdom (UK), Northern Ireland included, and that certain districts such as Mpika are larger than certain Northern European countries such as Holland. Therefore, the need for some decentralised administration is self-evident.

   Mr Chairperson, the institutional framework facilitated the setting up of provincial and district development co-ordinating committees that comprise members of all Government departments and council offices in the provinces, representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and co-operating partners in the districts and provinces.

   Mr Chairperson, the programmes and projects that I am referring to are those that are critical to the survival of our people in provinces and districts. These programmes and projects which are aimed at tackling development in rural areas include, but are not limited to: 

(i)    improvement of transport and communication networks;
(ii)    reduction of incidences of livestock diseases;

(iii)    improvement of animal productivity;

(iv)    increase of agricultural production;

(v)    employment creation;

(vi)    environmental protection;

(vii)    improvement of health and education facilities;

(viii)    increasing the proportion of people with access to clean and safe drinking water;

(ix)    improvement on security and tourism infrastructure, and

(x)    infrastructure development in land resettlement schemes in order to promote developmental schemes and to assist vulnerable groups in society.

Mr Speaker, what proportion of this has been done and what proportion of this remains to be done is, of course, is open to debate. I am sure we have not closed the book yet.

Sir, in the year ending 31st December, 2011, in line with our mandate, I wish to report to this august House that under the 2011 Budget, the following were among the achievements made: 

(i)    continuation of poverty reduction programmes (PRPs);

(ii)    continuation of improvements in water and sanitation, arts and cultural development, youth and sport development, education and social protection and community development;

(iii)    continuation of the maintenance and upgrading of township and feeder roads;

(iv)    the country recorded some successes in major infrastructure development;

(v)    on the spot check inspections on the contracted projects in the provinces;

(vi)    enhancement of HIV/AIDS programmes were undertaken in the provinces;

(vii)    participation and support of cultural and traditional ceremonies; and

(viii)    enhancement of the Integrated Financial Management and Information System (IFMIS) in the provinces which was decentralised with some success.

Mr Chairperson, the provincial administration has continued facing a number of constraints in its operations. These constraints include the following:

(i)    inadequate capacity regarding information management by departments in the districts and provinces; and

(ii)    unreliable and inadequate transport and equipment for smooth and effective co-ordination, implementation and monitoring of programmes and projects.
2012 Budget Highlights

Mr Chairperson, allow me to give this following overview. The combined total for the provincial administration budget estimates for the year 2012 is K435,477,238,193. This represents a 24.6 per cent increment from the 2011 Annual Budget. Of the increment, 35 per cent will go towards personal emoluments while 65 per cent will go towards programmes and projects to be undertaken in 2012.

Mr Chairperson, my office has a huge mandate in 2012. Apart from developing policies and structures of decentralisation, we have the task of establishing the tenth province of Muchinga and shifting the provincial capital for the Southern Province. This means that more funds are needed for infrastructure development in Muchinga Province and also for the shifting of the Southern Province Headquarters to Choma from Livingstone.

Sir, these two projects have been well received by the people of Muchinga and the Southern Province, respectively in terms of development. The PF Government is determined to ensure that developments are brought closer to the people. It is for this reason that the Government has allocated K15 billion for provincial infrastructure development for Muchinga Province. This is, of course, just for initial infrastructure development. These funds are not reflected in the budgetary allocation for the Northern Province, but are among several projects to be undertaken by the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication. These funds can easily be traced by curious hon. Members in the Yellow Book on page 703, Programme 1012, Activity 240 – Infrastructure for Muchinga Province – K15 billion. 

Mr Chairperson, it is worth mentioning here that it is intended for the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication to initiate, design, monitor and implement some state-of-the-art infrastructure to be built in Muchinga Province this coming year. 

Sir, as for the Choma Provincial Headquarters, the PF Government has allocated a similar amount of K15 billion for the creation of the Southern Province Headquarters. These funds can easily be traced in the Yellow Book on page 2007, Programme 6011, Activity 578 – Infrastructure for the Provincial Headquarters – K15 billion. This is why the budgetary allocation for the Southern Province has increased by 51 per cent from the 2011 Budget. I wish to advise the Southern Provincial Administration to work together with all stakeholders in ensuring that these funds are put to good use. 

Mr Chairperson, I also wish to mention that each province has a fair increase in the 2012 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure above inflation, according to varying provincial needs. The allocation to each province is indicated in a fairly detailed table which is, of course, accessible to hon. Members and which is computable from the Yellow Book. I will just say that each province has 20 per cent plus or minus 1 or 2 per cent increase in allocation with the exception of the North-Western Province which has 25 per cent and the Southern Province which has 51 per cent for the aforementioned reasons that are to do with the movement of the provincial capital to Choma. 

Mr Chairperson the PF Government is committed to remedying shortcomings that hamper accelerated development and effective service delivery for our people in 2012. With all these funds available in the 2012 Budget Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, we are committed to improving the livelihood of our citizens through increased investment in the development of infrastructure like roads, bridges, schools, agricultural facilities, health centres; fisheries; livestock; water and sanitation; spearheading the safeguard of children’s rights, education, health, education, gender equality, anti-violence; and women’s affairs, through raising awareness as we commemorate these international special days; enhancement of public order and safety through the construction and rehabilitation of police posts and prisons; support to the education sector in terms of infrastructure and bursary assistance; support the women’s groups, youths and children; protection and enhancement of forests; rehabilitation of rural and feeder roads; development of sports infrastructure that will accommodate persons with disabilities; continued enhancement of HIV/AIDS work; continued participation and supporting of cultural and traditional ceremonies; and the continued enhancement of the IFMIS.

Mr Chairperson, I urge this august House to support the Office of the President Provincial Administration Budget as it is presented. 

I thank you, Sir. 
The Deputy Chairperson: We will consider all the provinces together, meaning that, in receiving contributions from hon. Members, we will not move from one province to another. Hon. Members can contribute at any time, but we will restrict the number of contributors to three for each province. After all the twenty-seven hon. Members have made their contributions, we will allow the hon. Deputy Ministers to wind up debate before moving to individual heads. That is how we will proceed. 

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me the opportunity to debate the Vote for Southern Province, a province that, in my view, and that of my colleagues here, has been segregated against in terms of development from 1991 to date. 

Hon. Government Member: Question!    

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I stand without fear of any contradiction from anybody. From the time of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) to date, the Southern Province has not seen any new road development projects. 

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Mwiimbu: For those who are not aware, the road construction to ….


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Allow the hon. Member to debate. When your turn comes, you can counteract what he is saying.  
Hon. Mwiimbu, you may proceed. 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I want to advise those that are independent of wisdom that there has not been any road constructed in the Southern Province from the time of the MMD to date.

Hon. Government Members: The Namwala Road!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, the Namwala Road that they are talking about was started before 1968 and completed last year.

Mr M. H. Malama: So then?

Mr Mwiimbu: It was not a new construction prtoject, but one which was focussed on rehabilitation works. 
I challenge anyone of you to tell me of any new road that has been constructed in the Southern Province from 1991 to date.  

Hon. Government Member: Ask your partners (pointing at the MMD Members)!

Mr Mwiimbu: There is none. 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I am being told that our partners are the ones who let us down. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Mwiimbu: I am happy that we are being told that we have partners. Yes, we do, but you, the PF, are running a coalition Government with the MMD. There are eight hon. Deputy Ministers in your Government from the MMD and three more are to be appointed. 


Mr Mwiimbu: That is a coalition Government. 

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

We are pressed for time and I hope we will take cognisance of this. The idea of debating while seated is discouraged. I am sure we all know the rules of the game here. When somebody is on the Floor, allow him or her to contribute. This tendency of debating loudly while seated, but not so loudly when you are called upon to speak, must be discouraged. 

Hon. Mwiimbu, you may proceed.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, as a result of the comments, I would like to congratulate my colleagues on your right, the PF Government, for acknowledging that they cannot work without the MMD and for importing eight hon. Members into their Government. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: This is what we call a coalition Government.  The MMD is now ruling together with the PF. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, the Southern Province has been getting a raw deal year in year out. On the Floor of this House, we have lamented and pleaded with the previous and current Governments to ensure that some roads in the Southern Province are rehabilitated or constructed. 

Sir, I will start with the Bottom Road. I am aware that there is a provision of K60 billion in this year’s Budget for that road, but the current costing of tarring a road is K2 billion per kilometre. It, therefore, entails that, if anything at all will be done on the Bottom Road this year, it will be only 30 km, yet the road is more than 300 km. If you do a quick calculation, at this rate, it will take this Government more than fifty years to do the Bottom Road. In my view, this is a raw deal. We do not want to compare ourselves to other provinces. All we are asking for is equity. The Bottom Road is the only road we have been talking about since 1964. All of us must bear in mind that the people of the Gwembe Valley suffered more than any other people in this country during the liberation struggles, yet they have not seen any tangible development in their area. We have been asking the Government to discriminate positively in favour of the people of the Gwembe Valley. To add insult to injury, the people were the ones evicted to pave way for the construction of the Kariba Dam, but they are not seeing any of the benefits accruing to this country. What wrong have they done? 

Sir, we appeal to the Government of the day, the PF/MMD Government, …

Hon. Government Member: Aah!

Dr Kalila: It is true!

Mr Bwalya: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Mwiimbu: …to favour the people of that region by giving them developmental projects. 

Mrs Masebo: Ni jealousy chabe iyo!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, we have been pleading in this House that the Monze/Nico Road be tarred for the sake of the people of Bweengwa, so that they can also …

Mr Bwalya: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

A point of order is raised. 

Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order. 

Is the learned hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central in order to insinuate that this country has a coalition Government when the law does not allow for this? I need your serious ruling, Sir. 

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling from the Chair is that that was his opinion.

Hon. Mwiimbu, you may proceed.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for allowing me to express my opinion on the PF/MMD Coalition Government. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, the people of Monze have been lobbying the Government of the Republic of Zambia to tar the Monze/Nico Road, but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Others are saying that I am frustrated. Nobody in this country can frustrate me. I was offered the position of hon.  Deputy Minister for the Southern Province which I refused.


Mrs Masebo: So why are you complaining?


Mr Mwiimbu: Yes.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Mwiimbu: I have never been frustrated in my life because I speak as I please.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, there is carnage on the Lusaka/Mazabuka Road. Almost everyday people are dying on that road because of the failure of the Government to repair it. This year, we expected that in the Yellow Book, there would be money to rehabilitate the Lusaka/Mazabuka Road. Unfortunately, there is no Vote in the Yellow Book for that purpose. That is a very important road with a lot of economic benefits for this country.

Mrs Masebo: For you!

Mr Mwiimbu: All the imports and exports that go through the southern route pass through that road. I wish to tell those who are saying “for you”, that yes, for me and not for them because they do not benefit from that road. Those with warped thinking have the view that the road is not important.

Mrs Masebo: Just debate!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, we have also been asking the Government to consider tarring the Kafue/Mazabuka Road through Nega Nega. That is the shortest route to Mazabuka and it would decongest the main Livingstone route from Lusaka, if that is done. Also, we should realise that in the event of a calamity occurring at the Kafue Bridge, if there is no alternative route to the south, the whole southern place would be cut off. Hence, we are asking the Government to consider tarring that road.

Sir, we, the people of Southern Province have been appealing to the Government to ensure that livestock diseases are eradicated because our people thrive on ranching. We hope that, through the His Honour the Vice-President who is a farmer, and my brother Hon. Chenda, who is now the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, the Government will take positive steps to ensure the eradication of animal diseases in the Southern Province and other areas in Zambia. We do not want lip service over this issue. The issue of livestock restocking is very critical. A number of our people have lost their livestock and nothing much has been done to help them. The restocking exercise which I am talking about is not only for Southern Province, but all areas where people are keeping cattle or any other domestic animals.

Mr Chairperson, I have noted that the Southern Province has been given a token amount for road rehabilitation. Monze in particular, has been given K520,000,000 in this coming Budget Year. As I had indicated in an earlier debate, the money that has been allocated to Monze cannot even tar a quarter of a kilometre of a road. Surely, do we not deserve more than this? In our view, we need the Government to ensure that we are also provided with the requisite development projects in the Southern Province. It is not only Monze which has been given an insufficient allocation for the construction of roads in the province. I have noted that actually, the highest is about K1,600,000,000 for Namwala. Even that is not enough to tar a kilometre of a road. 

Therefore, we are appealing to the Government, Mr Chairperson, that as it comes up with a supplementary budget to cushion the deficits which it has created, it should look into such issues.

Mr Chairperson, we have also been telling the Government that the Southern Province is a well-known drought prone area. Thus, the communities in the province need dams and boreholes.

Mr Mweetwa: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: We have been looking through the budget lines, and found out that there is no adequate funding has been provided for those projects which we are requiring.

Sir, I know that the provincial capital for the Southern Province is actually being moved from Livingstone to Choma. As this is being done, the Government should bear in mind that in Choma, there is a serious water shortage. 

Mr Mweetwa: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Mwiimbu: Therefore, as you shift the capital from Livingstone to Choma, please, provide for adequate water to cater for the large population that will be moving from other towns to Choma. 

Finally, Mr Chairperson, we have noted as hon. Members of Parliament from the Southern Province that we have a new hon. Deputy Minister who is going to preside over government affairs in the Southern Province. We would like to appeal through you, to His Honour the Vice-President, to have a discussion with the incoming hon. Deputy Minister for the Southern Province because he is going to the province at the time when the emotions are very high pertaining to statements that have been made …


Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mwiimbu: Since you do not want to listen to advice, if it was not unparliamentary,  I would have told you to go to a place which is very hot somewhere, but I will not say that.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Government Member: We do not need your advice!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, since emotions are high regarding what he said, I would advise the hon. Deputy Minister to sober up as he goes to the province. Let him work with the people there diligently. The people of the Southern Province are very good people. They have always been accepting anyone who has been posted to work in that province without any problems. However, at the moment, the emotions are high and it is high time that some of these issues are settled for the sake of unity, which we have been enjoying, and development.

I have no doubt in my mind that His Honour the Vice-President is listening. I have no problem with the Government failing to heed to my advice. After all, I was born in the Opposition from 1964. To-date, nothing has changed. Every year I become happier with what I do. I will remain a happy person even if we are not in Government.

Mrs Masebo: And you will die in Opposition!

Mr Mwiimbu: I am just advising you free of charge. I will not even send a fee note to you after providing you with my advice. It is up to you to either take it or leave it. 

Hon. Government Members: Address the Chair!

Mr Mwiimbu: I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to make a few remarks regarding the allocation for the Luapula Province.

First and foremost, Sir, let me thank His Excellency the President, for having considered our plea. You may recall that earlier on, when I stood on the Floor of this House, I lamented on the few appointments coming through from Luapula. However, I am glad that in the recent past, we have observed that the number has been increasing. This is the way it is supposed to be. I believe that 98 per cent of people from the Luapula Province voted for the PF. Therefore, they deserve a better deal. I know that we have got a long way to go.

I would like to urge my fellow hon. Members from the province to ensure that they perform well. The President has set the tone. If you perform well, I have no doubt that some of you will be co-opted in the Cabinet. Why do I always talk about the need for hon. Members to strive to be part of Cabinet? This is because I believe that it is in the Cabinet where decisions are made. It is also in the Cabinet were resources are shared. So, I want to thank the President for incorporating people from the province in his Cabinet.

Mr Chairperson, secondly, allow me to thank the hon. Deputy Minister for the Luapula Province for his resilience and appointment. I know that most of the Back Benchers, when they stood up to give their maiden speeches, congratulated or mentioned his name. I also want to tell him that I think he is among the few unsung heroes. He is an original PF member, unlike some of these people …

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: … who are trespassers and are coming in at the last minute and want Cabinet positions immediately. I have confidence that the hon. Deputy Minister is better placed to perform. We believe that, with our support, he is going to succeed. Being an hon. Deputy Minister for a province is not a small position because the individual has a direct link to the President. So, I believe that with this direct link to the President, Luapula will benefit from having this hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to mention that, generally speaking, the allocation to the provinces is not adequate. If we have to accelerate development in the country, and we have argued and debated this before, I think a lot of emphasis should be put on the provincial allocations in the Budget. Sector ministries are, indeed, important, but the big jobs are in the provinces. Therefore, if we increase the allocations to provinces, I can assure you that even the poverty that we talk about will be fought effectively. However, year in and year out, the allocations to the provinces are quite inadequate. This poor funding has negatively affected the provinces.

Mr Chairperson, my comment on the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) is that it is supposed to form the backbone of development because where there is a good road, there is development. However, I have observed that the human resource in the RRU leaves much to be desired. So, the hon. Deputy Minister for the province needs to be on top of things as he takes up his position in Luapula, if he has to succeed. For the last few years, we have belaboured and argued about the need to adequately equip this unit. It should also be noted that the hon. Deputy Minister cannot drive a grader and, therefore, cannot do anything apart from prodding the employees in the RRU. The work attitude has been poor and as a result, Luapula Province has suffered greatly.

Mr Chairperson, I observe that, this year, there is, at least, K315 million that has been allocated just for monitoring and evaluation, under the RRU, in the Luapula Province. I believe that this money will help us go a long way in ensuring that the road network is developed in the province. The other thing that I have seen in the Yellow Book is that there is K3 billion allocated to this important unit for the procurement of equipment. Most of the time, the equipment breaks down, affecting the effective operation of the unit. There is a need for us to acquire more equipment. This allocation is definitely going to boost the road network development in our province.

Mr Chairperson, further, I have observed that tourism promotion in our province has been lacking. Looking at the figure for tourism infrastructure, we are now going down from K300 million to K150 million. This is a source of concern. You know, we do not have major industries in the province. Therefore, we thought that with the tourism promotion of the Northern Circuit, at one stage, Luapula would receive a boost. We have the best beaches around, but nothing is being done to take advantage of this. So, there is a need for the hon. Deputy Minister to fight for more resources for this sector. 

Sir, if we look at the Yellow Book, we also want to lament, and genuinely so, that the overall allocation to the Luapula Province, for this year, left much to be desired. Luapula is among the last four provinces, which include the North-Western, Western and Lusaka provinces, with the least allocations. There must be a deliberate way of enhancing development in the provinces which are the least developed. 

Mr Chairperson, if you look at heads 90 to 98 in the Yellow Book, today, the only province that is getting an allocation lower than that of Luapula is Lusaka, but we all know what it means to be in Lusaka. Even this allocation for Lusaka Province is just by the way because everything is done in the capital. Therefore, Lusaka might not even require this provincial allocation. However, for us to be the least funded, and yet be among the poorest provinces is very unfortunate. 

Sir, it will be naïve for us to even count the North-Western Province among the three least developed provinces because if you look at its set-up and the economic development taking place, you can safely say that it is on the move in terms of development. Five years from now, the North-Western Province will not be in the same position economically. However, where will Luapula be? The hon. Deputy Minister must realise that there is a need for us to start thinking seriously about fighting hard for a bigger allocation for our province.

I have also seen that, often times, the allocation for boreholes is quite poor. Even the emphasis on the focus for more boreholes in Luapula is not that much. Maybe, people believe that because it is a land surrounded by a lot of water bodies, we do not need tap water. The water from the lakes and rivers is different from safe and clean drinking water. There is a need for us to provide these facilities for the majority of our people.

Mr Chairperson, further, there is a need for us to look at our natural heritage, which is fishing. There is definitely a need for us to put our efforts together, next year, and ask for fish restocking. We cannot do without fishing in our province. It is an industry that can take us forward if we develop it well.

Mr Chairperson, finally, in terms of equitable distribution of resources, just like Luapula is less developed compared to other provinces, my district, Milenge, is also less developed compared to other districts in the province. I pray that the hon. Deputy Minister for Luapula will put a lot of effort in enhancing the economic opportunities for our people in Milenge. We tried to do this in the last few years. Some might argue that we have not achieved anything for a long time. However, I think we tried our best, as the MMD Government, to upgrade the living standards of the people in Milenge where we saw unprecedented levels of development in the last three or four years. 

It is my sincere hope that the coming into office of the hon. Deputy Minister, who is good hearted, will ensure that the current pace of development is maintained for the benefit of the people of the Luapula Province. We do not even have a house for the District Commissioner, in Milenge, and funds are controlled by the headquarters in Mansa. Despite the funding from Lusaka, a house has not been constructed. I want to repeat that it is my sincere hope that the new provincial hon. Deputy Minister is going to look into that.

Mr Chairperson, as we have said on several occasions, the lack of power in Milenge District has been a source of worry. Where there is no energy, definitely, there will not be much progress. I am aware that the whole country is facing a deficit in power generation, but the Mumbotuta Falls Mini-Hydro Project gives us hope. It is our hope that this project will quickly be developed so that we can exploit the potential that exists there. Can you imagine that in the second decade of the 21st century, a district like Milenge has got no power? This is definitely shameful. However, I believe that, with energy in Milenge, there will be a lot of progress that will be recorded.

It is also my sincere hope that we will look into constructing the district road from Mansa to Milenge because it leaves much to be desired. We worked on most of it some time back but, in the recent past, with a lot of rainfall in our province, the road has been washed away and this is a source of concern for the people of Milenge. I am hopeful that with the coming of that man as the provincial hon. Deputy Minister, things will change for the better for Luapula.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Members: hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo(Chongwe): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to debate the Vote for Lusaka Province. I want to start by repeating what His Honour the Vice-President said. He talked about the fact that a number of these functions can only be well co-ordinated once the Decentralisation Policy is fully implemented. I see that the resources that have been allocated to the provinces, as the hon. Member of Parliament who has just debated has stated, are not sufficient to discharge the functions that have been itemised in the Yellow Book. For example, there is an allocation of K8 million for Prevention of Child Labour. For Lusaka Province, K8 million will not be enough to prevent child labour. It will be enough to just to put fuel in a vehicle to go to Luangwa. That Decentralisation Policy will actually resolve some of these difficulties that the provincial administration is facing. Like one hon. Member said, year in and year out, we will continue debating the issue of resources not being enough at the provinces because even the functions are not well co-ordinated among the sector ministries, national, provinces and districts offices. 

Mr Chairperson, I think that it is good that the PF Government is serious about implementing decentralisation because we need to get to a situation where the money must go to where it is needed most in a much more efficient way. Currently, for a function such as drilling of boreholes, for example, you will find a sector ministry has allocated money, at the province, they have also allocated K50 million for drilling of boreholes and, when you go to the council, you might not even find anything to do with drilling of boreholes. 

Mr Chairperson, I see this same problem now arising in the area of road rehabilitation and grading. I see that under Lusaka Province, there is good money that has been allocated for acquisition of graders and all that equipment that is required for road works. The best thing to do is to get graders at the local level because, once we have graders and proper equipment in all the seventy-two district councils, …

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … there will be no problem.

Mr Hamududu: Yes, hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, I will give you a simple example. I live in Ibex Hill Extension and I will tell you that the road on which I live has not been graded in the last four or five years, and yet it is in Lusaka Central. It is so bad that you cannot believe that this is a road on which a former hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing lives. On that road, there are three schools, namely Ibex Hill Boarding School, Lusaka East School and Morningside School. Every morning, the poor parents have to drive through this bad road to take their children to school. 

Mr Chairperson, I can tell you that I cannot pick up the phone tomorrow and say, “Lusaka City Council, this road is bad, can you come and grade it?” It is just impossible because of the roles that are not properly co-ordinated. 

In the United National Independence Party (UNIP) days, you could even phone a councilor and tell him that our roads need to be graded and a week later, the council workers will come and grade the road. Nowadays, to grade any road is a big ceremony and all this is because of the problem in the structure of the Government which, in my view, can only be resolved through the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy.

Therefore, with regard to labour issues and child labour, we must ensure that there is enforcement of labour laws that can best be implemented at the district level. The province will best supervise and monitor functions preformed at the district level. Currently, we have a structure where at the centre, province, district and ward levels, schools are being built using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The money is just littered around and you do not get any value for it.

Therefore, I want to echo the sentiments of His Honour the Vice-President when he said that the earlier we decentralise and harmonise some of these functions, the better it will be for our country, Zambia.

The other point is that in the Lusaka Province, some of the roads have been listed, for example, the Kasisi/Kasenga Road, the Yellow Book shows that last year there was money allocated for it, but this year there is no allocation, the implication of such a system is that this coming year, because councils are not able to do routine works of grading roads, the road may never be graded because it is not in the budget. Furthermore, with the onset of the rains, the road is impassible because it has been damaged since last year, and yet the Yellow Book is telling me that Kasisi Road may not be graded because, according to the record, it shows that last year, there was K20 million allocated to it and this year there is no allocation for this road.

Therefore, at the end of the day, as leaders, we begin to look like we are inefficient because of our systems. There is a need, therefore, to quickly decentralise functions and the way resources are being littered around. 

 Sir, most of this money just ends up in sitting allowances for the people at the province who go to Chongwe, Luangwa and Kafue districts and, sometimes, before they even reach Kafue, the money is finished just on sitting allowances. As a result, you will find that the entire budget allocation for the province will just end up in allowances. Then, at the end of the year, you will see that very little has been done.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Just a minute, there are too many running commentaries there. I know the stadium has been opened in Ndola, but if you want to practice how to make running commentaries here, you can do it from the foyer.

May the hon. Member continue?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Let me use this opportunity to talk about an issue that I did not have an opportunity to discuss, but I can see it is appearing and it says, of course, enforcement of labour laws. 

I want to congratulate the hon. Deputy Minister for Lusaka regarding his appointment. I know that he has been in Lusaka for many years. Thus, I know that he understands Lusaka well. I am also happy that we have a female Permanent Secretary and, as you know, women work. They are not jokers like men.


Mrs Masebo: Like some of the men, and not all men. Therefore, I am very positive that we are going to see a lot of improvement in Lusaka Province.

Sir, again, on the issue of labour laws, there is a problem of farm workers in Lusaka Province, in particular, areas like Kafue, Chongwe and Luangwa where you will find many commercial farms. This is an issue that is never debated and many people do not really make reference to it. 

I want to begin by commending the hon. Minister of Labour, Youth and Sport because I know that he took time after His Honour the Vice-President had gone round to visit some of these farms. We have a huge problem in Lusaka, particularly Chongwe concerning farm workers working in most of these big commercial farms that are making good money. The conditions of service for most of these workers are very poor. They get very low salaries. When you see their lifestyle, you will not believe that these people are Zambians.

   The sad point is that most children of these farm workers have no access to education. Why is this so? This is because a number of these farms were planned in such a way that there is no school within the vicinity. As a result, most of the children of the farm workers do not go to school, have no access to clean water and have no access to sanitation. The majority of the people have been affected by this. Unfortunately, they are the ones who voted for PF. Therefore, the Government has an obligation to look at the plight of the farm workers not just in Chongwe, but in Zambia as a whole. I know, for example, that there has been so much advocacy in support of mine workers. At least, people talk about them, but for the farm workers, because most of them are not educated, no one speaks for them. Their grandparents, parents and their grandchildren are not educated. Can you imagine the kind of population we are bringing up? Sometimes we say access to education in this country is high, but I would like to inform this House that 15 km from where we are, there are many children who have no access to education.

Unfortunately, the problem of tujilijili  has hit most of the farm workers in the country because all they do is drink.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

May the hon. Member for Chongwe explain what tujilijili is?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, tujilijili is an intoxicating drink. It has killed most of our people.


Mrs Masebo: It is a bad drink. 

Hon. Member: How are they packed?

Mrs Masebo: They are in packed small sachets. People drink coke-cola mixed with tujilijili. When I raised this matter during the reign of the previous Government on the Floor of this House, it promised to do something about it. Unfortunately, it did not. I appeal to the PF Government to, please, ban tujilijili because it is bad for our people in this country.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: This is a matter which has led to deaths in the provinces. Children are losing their lives as result of tujilijili. People are drunk as early as 0600 hours in the morning because of frustrations and all the problems associated with low salaries. I know that this country has a liberalised economy, but a good government will assess the situation and make a decision by banning tujilijili in our country. If other countries can ban the way women dress by covering their faces, which is nothing, and I am not advocating for that, what about this beverage which is killing our children? Husbands are getting confused because of tujilijili. This is a very serious issue. Therefore, I appeal to this Government to do something pragmatic about tujilijili. They should not increase the packaging size from the small sachets to big volumes.  Let the Government ban the sale of tujilijili in Zambia because it is bad.

Lastly, I just would like to support the Vote and look forward to when the Decentralisation Policy will be fully implemented so that we do not litter resources all over and, at the end of the day, get no value for our money.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Thank you, Mr Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate regarding the allocation for the Central Province.

Mr Chairperson, in the first instance, one notes that we are not doing too badly in terms of a coalition Government. I think it is a practical move as can be seen. I will comment on just a few issues. The first is to do with road infrastructure. This province is central because it is situated in the middle of the country. An amount of K43,247,063,113 has been allocated to the Central Province.

Mr Chairperson, road infrastructure development is the right direction to go. I have in mind the Landless Corner/Mumbwa Road, half of which is tarred. Further, we can see that the North-Western Province, in many years to come, will be the engine of our economic development. Whether we like it or not, mining will still, for some time to come, be the source of revenue for our socio-economic development. Therefore, I would like to suggest that the Lusaka/Mumbwa Road is made perfect all the way to Mongu. However, to get to the North-Western Province, there is a short cut from the southern route which is the Lusaka/Mumbwa/Kasempa/Solwezi Road. 

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: We can cut out the congestion that one sees on the Great North Road with huge trucks going to Solwezi through Chingola. This is a worthwhile exercise that the PF Government has indicated it wants to work on because it is for the benefit of our country.

Mr Chairperson, the next one is the Mukobeko/Ngabwe/Kasempa Road. That, too, really is a short cut. However, I see that there is obviously an issue of resources, but the Government can bear the need to work on that road in mind. 

Further, the Central Province Triangle has a huge potential for economic development when one takes Namwala, Itezhi-tezhi and Mumbwa and looks at the natural resources in that area. However, to go to Namwala, one has to go all the way through Monze when the Mumbwa/Namwala and Mumbwa/Itezhi-tezhi roads are short cuts. After all, we are having a huge hydro power station in Itezhi-tezhi. We think that this will accelerate socio-economic development as was actually said by the President in his address to this House.

Mr Chairperson, I see some allocation of funds to feeder roads. This is a huge country and we can only hope for the best. One of the major roads is the Nampundwe Turn-off and the Blue Lagoon/Kezwa/Nalubanda/Naluvwi Road, joining on to the Nambala/Mumbwa/ Mongu Road. We have spoken about it. It connects provinces and not necessarily places within the district. 

Mr Chairperson, the next point is that of water resource management. Mumbwa is one of those areas endowed with natural resources and has cattle rearing people. As has been mentioned by my colleagues in the province, bulk water resources are a must if we have to improve our cattle stocks. It is important that we have enough water. I have in mind, for instance, two dams in my district, Butinti and Kabwanga, which burst their embankments. I hope that with the funds allocated, they will receive attention. We were not able to work on them because there were no funds.

Mr Chairperson, as regards the issue of forests, I can see that there is K150 million for the exercise of reforestation. I can only emphasise that we need the development of nurseries. I think it would be a good thing that as hon. Members of Parliament, we undertake this exercise quickly and efficiently. We need the development of nursery trees. Perhaps, the best place to start with is around schools so that we can inculcate in our school children the value of trees.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue that is of concern for the people of Central Province is that of land disputes. I hope, with the new Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs in place, the disputes will be sorted out. I can see a Budget line at the provincial level concerning this issue, which is causing unnecessary stress. Really, we need to have arbitration. It is unnecessary for people to be jumping from one area to another, claiming land which does not belong to them when there are elders who have been around and can attest to the ownership of pieces of land. We also have an agreed 1958 map that we can refer to. If necessary, we can even have a commission to look at these boundaries between chiefdoms and districts so that our people can live in peace.

Sir, indeed, with the fragmentation of these funds, decentralisation is the key. The movement by provincial officers all the way from Kabwe to Chibombo or Serenje to choose sites for sinking of boreholes can be cumbersome. Surely, it would make sense if this money was given directly to the various district councils. I am happy that this issue of decentralisation is being taken seriously. We had our roadmap. I am happy that the Government will continue to follow it. 

Mr Chairperson, lastly, reference was made to the alcoholic drink called tujilijili. I just want to inform the House that it was not just the question talking about it under the previous Government. There was, already, a draft Statutory Instrument to do with the banning of tujilijili that was to be signed. I think that all that my colleague, the hon. Minister of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection needs to do is look at the Statutory Instrument and append her signature. 

Sir, even as we consider the negative effects of tujilijili, one has to be cognisant of the fact that there is a provision for those who take hard liquor. There is no contradiction whatsoever. What has been killing or injuring our people, especially the youths, is the packaging in small concealable sachets of the highly concentrated alcoholic beverage. However, alcohol, as we know, has been with us almost as long as the human history itself. So, it is not that we did not do anything. We just have to accelerate the process. 

Mr Chairperson, sometimes we have a tendency to overlook the positive things that other people do. It is not everything others did that was bad. Honestly, how is that possible? We are from the same mothers and fathers; how come some are completely angels while others are total devils? That is not possible. So, I beg that we begin to look at issues objectively, and give praise where it is due. I have said before, in this House, that there are some hon. Ministers who really look at issues from a broader, national perspective, and I am not saying this in order to embarrass anyone. We cannot all be 100 per cent perfect. It is not possible.

Mr Chairperson, I support this Vote but, in doing so, I would like to say that, if my suggestions were taken into account, social economic development will get to our people. Let us decentralise and fund our districts through the councils.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo-Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to support the Vote on the Floor of the House and, in so doing, express the views of the people of Western Province.

Sir, the word “western”, to me, does not mean ‘bad’. 


Mr Miyutu: It is merely an English word that denotes a direction.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1956 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 21st December, 2011.