Debates- Friday, 16th December, 2011

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Friday, 16th December, 2011

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The Minister of Justice and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr S. S. Zulu): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the Business it will consider next week.

Sir, on Tuesday, 20th December, 2011, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2012 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, and will consider Heads 90 to 98 – Office of the President – Provinces – Lusaka, Copperbelt, Central, Northern, Western, Eastern, Luapula, North-Western and Southern.

On Wednesday, 21st December, 2011, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. After that, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2012 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, and will continue considering Heads 90 to 98 – Office of the President – Provinces.
On Thursday, 22nd December, 2011, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2012 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure to consider Head 99 – Constitutional and Statutory Expenditure. Then the House will deal with any other Business that might be outstanding.

Sir, all things being equal, it is my intention, on this day, to suspend relevant Standing Orders to enable the House complete all Business on the Order Paper and, thereafter, adjourn sine die.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




56. Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa) asked His Honour the Vice-President whether the Government had any plans of relocating the Lusaka Provincial Headquarters from Lusaka District to Chongwe District in order to decongest Lusaka as well as enhance development in Lusaka rural.

The Minister of Justice and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr S. S. Zulu): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Government does not have immediate plans to relocate the Lusaka Provincial Headquarters from Lusaka District to Chongwe District as a means of decongesting Lusaka City. Instead, in order to decongest Lusaka, the Government has approved the Master Plan of the Greater City of Lusaka as the guiding document for the development of the city and, as such, all development activities have to be in line with the city’s comprehensive plan. The Government is, currently, also reviewing the Town and Country Planning Act in order to bring it in line with the dictates of urban and regional development.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, this, indeed, is a very important question. I am disappointed that some hon. Members, like Hon. Lubinda, are shaking their heads. This is not supposed to be the case.

Mr Speaker: Direct yourself to the Speaker.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, due to the location of the provincial capital in the congested city of Lusaka, is the Government aware that this has hindered development in the rural parts of the province, such as Luangwa, Chongwe and Kafue, to an extent that the villagers …

Mr Speaker: Please, restrict yourself to the question.

Mr Chipungu: … do not even know the location of their provincial headquarters?

Mr S. S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, I am not aware that there any villagers who still do not know that Lusaka is the Capital City of this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: It is only Kenneth who does not know.

Mr Speaker: Order, order!

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, since the land in Lusaka is almost finished, is the Government considering negotiating with councils, like Chibombo, for them to develop their parts near Lusaka other than making these part of Lusaka?
Mr S. S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, the Government is making consultations on that very issue.

I thank you.


57. Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) when the following health posts in Liuwa Parliamentary Constituency would be provided with equipment and personnel:

(i) Siluwe;
(ii) Luola;
(iii) Salunda; and 
(iv) Sishekanu; and

(b) when the health posts would be opened to the public.

The Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, the following health posts will be provided with equipment in following order:

(a) Siluwe, Salunda, and Sishekanu will benefit from the procured medical equipment that has already arrived; and

(b) Luola has already received the equipment.

Mr Speaker, the filling of positions to reduce the variance between the approved establishment and staff in post at Siluwe, Luola, Salunda and Sishekanu will be done next year once the recruitment of health workers, for which K77.8 billion has been set side, is done. The filling of staff vacancies will be done for health posts countrywide.

The four health posts mentioned above are expected to be opened by June 2012, after the Treasury authority for the net recruitment of health workers for 2012 has been granted.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, instead of waiting for June 2012, is it not possible to accelerate this process since the infrastructure for these health posts and, indeed, many other health facilities have been long completed and the people are complaining bitterly that the lack of personnel is the only thing holding back the opening of these facilities?

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, it is possible and it is constantly under review. I cannot go beyond that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, it was Government policy that there should be a health post every 5 km. Later, the policy was changed so that every school was to have a health post. So, other than the four that have been mentioned in Liuwa, is the Government considering putting up new health posts at every school in the constituency?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member refers to ‘Government policy’, but I am not sure which Government he is referring to.


Dr Kasonde: That was Government policy he said, but our policy is, indeed, to ensure the wide distribution of health posts. That we intend to do, regardless of what any other previous Government’s policy was.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. H. Malama (Mfuwe): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister tell us when these health posts were constructed for them not to have equipment.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I have reported that we have taken over what we found and we intend to supply the equipment using the format that the hon. Deputy Minister has mentioned. The history of these health posts does not appear to me to be an essential element in our policy.

I thank you, Sir.


Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer of the hon. Minister, I would like to find out from him whether the Government can consider re-engaging retired health workers so that we can beef up the numbers and, perhaps, even accelerate the recruitment.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Mumbwa raises a very familiar question. I have previously discussed the subject with him. However, I am a little bit unclear as to whether this is what I told him or what he is telling me.


Dr Kasonde: However, I agree with the suggestion.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kasempa.

Hon. Government Members: President, president!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister says he has discussed with his colleague the re-engagement of retired personnel. How soon will this programme start?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, it has started.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given by the hon. Minister for Health, and considering that the history of health posts is not important to the Government’s handling of them, I would like to find out what the purpose of our enhancing development is if history is.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I recognise the contribution of the hon. Member for Kalabo. He has shown, time and again, his concern for health care and, in particular, for the human resource aspect. However, it is a bit new for him to refer to history as the element that drives our development. I am sure it contributes, but I am a little concerned that we do not divert our attention from the proposals that we have made about development and begin to discuss the significance of history to development in general. I think that that would be an interesting academic exercise.

I thank you, Sir.





(Debate resumed)

VOTE 85 – (Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development – K631,349,500,075).

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for allowing me to continue my debate on this very important ministry.

Sir, I want to go straight away into the operations and the service delivery mechanism of the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development, which are a major source of concern for me, the people of Choma Central and, indeed, all the people of Zambia.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Firstly, it is the view of the people of Choma Central, and the UPND, that the ministry needs to decentralise its operations. Currently, all the activities relating to acquisition of title deeds countrywide are done in one place. If somebody from Kazungula, Livingstone or Lundazi wants to acquire a piece of land, they have to travel to the ministry headquarters in Lusaka for that purpose. Similarly, if a person in Kitwe wants to sell a property to another, their transaction will have to be concluded here in Lusaka for the title deeds to be exchanged at the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development. This is not economically favourable. Land is an instrument of economic activity and such delays put a strain on business transactions.

Therefore, the people of Choma and indeed, the UPND, would like to see the ministry decentralise its functions. It is pointless for somebody from Livingstone, where there is a department of the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development, to travel to Lusaka to acquire a title deed. The department in Livingstone seems to exist only in name. It has no operational capacity to provide the services for which it was established.

Sir, it is important for us to decentralise the operations of the ministry the same way we have done with the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA). Today, you can go to the RTSA headquarters, give the people there your details and collect your driving licence in Choma the following week. I think that the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development needs to quickly look into that issue.

Mr Chairperson, the time it takes the ministry to process title deeds is also too long. In many instances, conveyancing, which is supposed to take, at the most two weeks, takes two months or two years. Surrendering title deeds, when one wishes to renew them, also takes too much time. For example, if your fourteen-year lease expires and you desire to renew it and change it to ninety-nine years, you will spend a lot of time getting that done.  I, personally, have two such cases that have been pending for two years now. This is a very serious concern that the hon. Minister has to address.

Sir, it is also interesting to note that the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development, which is one of the revenue collection points for the Government, is one place where people who go to pay rates and other fees have to queue for hours. These inefficiencies should be addressed because they delay business transactions. Most people who go to the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development end up getting very frustrated by this inefficiency.

Sir, I had taken a keen interest in finding out the reasons for the inefficiency in the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development and I have discovered that they are lack of decentralisation and an acute shortage of manpower. It is unacceptable to have only one legal counsel for the whole ministry, countrywide, as the situation is currently; only one lawyer to serve a ministry with a large backlog of cases stretching over many years. There are also only four registrars to certify title deeds for the whole country. I think, hon. Minister, that the issue of inadequate staff should be addressed urgently because, when there is a clogging of the workload, the result is that the officers appear to be inefficient and an incentive for corruption sets in because some people would be willing to pay their way to avoid the trouble of going through the whole frustrating process. They would opt to bribe some people at the ministry to accelerate the processing of their cases. That is why corruption has always been associated with the operations of the ministry. That issue needs to be looked into with the seriousness it deserves.

The Chairman: Order!

We do not seem to be listening. There are too many loud consultations on the Floor. Let us, please, consult quietly.

May the hon. Member, please continue.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Chairperson, the low staffing levels have created room for fraud in land transactions. Many unsuspecting buyers are being defrauded of money by people who sell land to them using papers that are authenticated by officers at the ministry who do not thoroughly go through the documents to determine their validity. The reason we have all these problems is that the staffing levels at the ministry are too low for the officers to dedicate themselves to a thorough scrutiny of the documents so that only people who genuinely own land are allowed to transact on it.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to touch on another issue that is of great concern to Zambians. Although chiefs have the right to administer customary land, constitutionally, under the Lands Act, all the land in the country is vested in the President. Sadly, we are seeing the growing incidence of chiefs parcelling away huge tracts of land, especially, to foreigners who have the money to purchase it.

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: In the long run, we are going to have a situation in which the local people will be displaced. Sooner or later, we will find that local people will lose their natural endowment which is supposed to belong to them by virtue of being Zambians. Therefore, the issue of chiefs giving away huge tracts of land under the guise of development needs to be checked because the most important resource and heritage to be passed on from one generation to another is land.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Chairperson, I also want to briefly talk about the issue of land acquisition. Time and again, we see advertisements by the ministry asking people to apply for land through a certain process. More often than not, however, you find that, at the time such advertisements are running, all the available land has already been given to those people who have connections in the ministry. If you do not have any connections in the ministry, nobody will tell you that there is land available for purchase. The only way you will know about land being sold is through an advertisement after the land has already been given out. I think the hon. Minister needs to come out very strongly against such practices because everyone should have equal access to land. Ideally, your uncle does not need to be an hon. Minister for you to acquire land in this country.

Sir, I also want to underscore the point that, for a very long time now, as a result of our tradition, women have been disadvantaged in the ownership of land. This problem is still prevalent, especially under customary law in which women are not allowed to inherit land. I think that the ministry needs to come up with a deliberate affirmative action plan so that women can have access to this primary instrument of empowerment  land.

Finally, Mr Chairperson, let me talk about squatter settlements. I know that this issue also concerns the Ministry of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection. So, I would like to urge the two hon. Ministers for the ministries mentioned above to look into this matter because it has taken too long for squatters to be issued with title deeds. If there are no title deeds for the land, it cannot be used in business transactions, for example, as collateral to a loan. Secondly, it becomes difficult for people to develop the land because they do not know whether or not they will get title deeds to the land, later on get connected to social services, such as electricity and water supply, when they develop the land. This makes their lives extremely difficult. Thus, I would like to urge the hon. Minister to quickly look into these issues so that we can better the lives of our people.

I thank you, Sir.

The Chairperson: Before I call upon the next debater, I want to guide the House. The Order Paper has a lot of business and I do not think it is good for us to conduct business until after midnight next week on the day for adjourning sine die. Thus, I appeal to hon. Members to avoid being repetitive so that as many hon. Members as possible are allowed to participate in our deliberations. Otherwise, we will end up only having four or five hon. Members contributing to the debate on the Floor on a particular item before we move on to another. So, please, be brief. This is not a directive, but guidance.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the budget for the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development. I will take cognisance of your guidance to stick to the points and be brief.

Sir, the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development is very big and the debater before me has touched on a number of issues regarding land. Thus, I will not belabour the issues to do with land. In the interest of time and guidance, I will stick to issues primarily concerning energy.

Mr Chairperson, energy is a very critical component of our social and economic development in the country. We need the right quantity and quality of energy for us to develop our economy. In fact, the development of agriculture, mining, industries and everything else hinges on this condition.

Sir, in the recent past, the nation has faced big challenges in the provision of the right quality and quantity of energy.  I am, therefore, pleased to note that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has increased the allocation to the energy sector in the 2012 Budget. I, truly, believe that this move will address the challenges we are faced in this sector. The energy challenges are not only national, but regional.  Hence we were unable to import energy.

Sir, as I have already indicated, energy is critical to industrial development. Sadly, recently, demand for energy has outstripped supply recently and this is not good for number of businesses because they cannot grow without energy. Therefore, the increment in the allocation to new power generation and transmission projects of close to K2.3 billion is a very welcome development. I believe that this move will increase the amount of energy available in this country.

Mr Chairperson, beyond just increasing our generation capacity, we also need to improve our transmission ability so that energy can be transported from the areas where it is produced to the areas where it is needed. I wish to commend the hon. Minister for increasing the allocation for the development of transmission infrastructure.

Mr Chairperson, both the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and the hon. Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development have spoken about the provision of more than K800 billion for investment into the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station on the Floor of this House. This is long overdue the project will produce the energy that this country needs. Granted, we have different programmes running in the country, but I think this investment will go a very long way in addressing the challenges we have been facing.

Sir, beyond the management of the supply of power, I have observed that the hon. Minister has put in a lot of effort to ensure that there is energy efficiency, which will entail our migration towards solar street lighting to conserve energy. It also entails our using solar geyser to heat water as well as moving towards other cooking systems, such as the utilisation of liquid petroleum. The energies that will be released will go towards driving our industrial activities.

Sir, of late, we have been hearing radio advertisements by the Zambia Electricity Supply Company (ZESCO) encouraging its customers to go and swap their standard fluorescent bulbs with energy-saving ones. This, again, is a very welcome move. Although the country, initially, was seen to be spending too much money, the amount of energy that will subsequently be saved will be such that the country, as a whole, will benefit more from the initiative. I am aware that, to this effect, the previous Government passed the relevant legislation to provide for the migration to energy-efficient equipment.

Mr Chairperson, moving away from electricity, I will talk about the petroleum sector. As you are aware, Zambia is wholly dependant on imported fossil fuels. Some effort has made towards the development of the bio-fuel sector. Therefore, I commend the hon. Minister for the increased allocation towards the development of bio-fuels to about K6.6 billion.

Mr Chairperson, as we have just heard from the last debater, Zambia is endowed with abundant land resources. We have very good water resources and many unemployed people. So, the combination of these factors would go a long way in helping to facilitate the production of bio-energy crops from which we can derive bio-fuels. This will definitely save the country the much-needed foreign exchange outlays, create jobs and can benefit the current Government as there would be more money in the people’s pockets then.

Mr Chairperson, I have also seen an allocation for the construction of rural filling stations. This is the way it is supposed to be because, you will recall, last year, the last administration embarked on the uniform petroleum price mechanism. Regrettably, most of the filling stations that benefit from this mechanism are stationed in the urban areas. Therefore, the allocation for the construction of rural filling stations will enable our citizens in the rural areas also benefit from the uniform petroleum pricing and, in the process, accelerate development in the rural areas.

Mr Chairperson, one thing that is very critical to both the electricity and the petroleum sectors is the tariff rate. This has been debated at different fora and I would like to urge the hon. Minister to ensure that there is due diligence in ensuring that the country migrates to cost-reflective tariffs to encourage more direct foreign investment, especially in the electricity sub-sector.

Mr Chairperson, another aspect of critical importance in the energy sector is the Rural Electrification Authority (REA). We are aware that, currently, the national electricity access rate is at only 23 per cent. In the rural areas, it is as low as 3 per cent. Therefore, the REA is a very important vehicle which can be used to eradicate poverty and stimulate rural economic development by improving access to electricity.

Mr Chairperson the allocation of K437 billion to the REA is very good. Of course, we need to see more because our country is predominantly rural. I must mention to hon. Members who represent rural constituencies, as we get closer to elections, REA is the most critical institution you need to talk to. So, we should support its allocation.

Mr Chairperson, in winding up, I would like to indicate that we wholeheartedly welcome the hon. Ministers’ Budget submissions for 2011 and urge the House to support them.

Thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Chairperson, in supporting the Vote, I would like, straight away, to talk about the water sector.

Mr Chairperson, the saying goes that ‘water is life’, but we also know that if not properly managed, water can be a death-trap. I think we all recall, in biblical times, how water became a source of death during Noah’s flood in which the whole world perished except Noah’s family members, and some animals. We also recall that, when the children of Israel were crossing over to Canaan, Pharaoh’s troops perished in the red sea. Even in present times, we have seen how water has caused death. We have heard and seen Tsunamis and floods on radio and television. About a decade ago, we saw what happened in Mozambique. However, we thank God that, in Zambia, especially in Western Province or Barotseland, we celebrate the floods. It is very important that water is managed properly. So, we need to harness this abundant resource Zambia has been blessed with to sustain life through the creation of dams, canals and other infrastructure.

Mr Chairperson, I have a message from the people of Luena. They say that they have been neglected for too long because they still drink very unsafe water and, therefore, outbreaks of diseases like dysentery are not uncommon. Lately, we have heard that there is an outbreak of typhoid fever, in Kalabo, there is an outbreak of typhoid fever. So, water can be a double-edged sword.

Sir, the message of the people of Luena to the hon. Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development is that they also want to be considered in the provision of safe drinking water. They feel that, this time around, if it was possible, the whole allocation to dam construction should go to them because many other places have already benefited, yet they keep getting more benefits. It is like getting water from a well and throwing it into the Zambezi. This time around, can we draw water from the Zambezi and throw it in a well in order to fill it. As far as safe drinking water is concerned, the people of Luena are very instructive.

Mr Chairperson, still on the issue of water, it is very surprising that even here in Lusaka, with all the utility companies, there are still areas where we cannot get water, yet we have the Kafue River very nearby. I fail to understand. For example, in my home, in Rhodes Park, we always laugh about the fact that, from about May to the commencement of the rain season, we get water once in two days or go a whole week without it. We laugh with my family at the fact that when the rains start falling, suddenly, water runs from the tap and we say the Kafue River is already flooded. Immediately the rain stops, there is no water and we joke about the river drying up as quickly as two days after the rains stop. So, we should do something about the utility companies because water is life and, therefore, important.

Mr Chairperson, Zambia is endowed with abundant water, but we just allow it to flow away. I remember, the first President of this Republic, one day, said that “When it rains and the waters go to the Indian Ocean, they are laughing at me saying, ‘Kaunda, you are a ****’ …” Unfortunately, the word is unparliamentary.


Ms Imenda: I am just quoting.

 Sir, on water and climate change, there is a need to stop the wanton destruction of forests in our country. Scientists tell us or, maybe, it is common knowledge that there is a relationship between the water table and the existence of trees. So, this wanton destruction of trees in the name of development, which I do not see, should come to an end. In Luena, people come to ferry our trees in trucks, and I will keep repeating this issue to encourage the hon. Minister to look at this issue. It is very important that we conserve our trees.

Sir, there is, also, a relationship between the existence of forests and the amount of rain that falls in a given area. That is why we have tropical rain forests. So, where there are no trees, there will be no rain. That is why there is no rain in the desert, yet we are trying to desertify this country. We should be careful or else posterity will judge us harshly.

Sir, let me talk about the issue of energy even at the expense of echoing what the others have already said. As regards the Rural Electrification Programme, the people of Luena have, again, given me a message to bring to the authorities. They say that they have not benefitted from it. Without electricity, nothing can be done. We are talking about investment and developing rural areas, but which investor will set up a factory where there is no electricity? Let us be serious. We know that such a thing cannot happen.

Mr Chairperson, the Rural Electrification Programme has a fund to which all of us contribute, but the people of Luena are not benefitting. I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister to look into this area. I am happy that he mentioned something about this and it is there in the Yellow Book. Can we benefit from it as the people of Luena and other rural constituencies. Luena hosts a major part of the Zambezi River from which we draw our electricity but, surprisingly, its people do not get anything out of that where access to electricity is concerned. Can we reverse this trend so that the people there also benefit.

Mr Chairperson, there are also other options besides hydro-electricity, like solar energy. Recently, people in urban areas, who are already close to the hydro-electricity schemes, were given solar panels. Can we take this solar technology to rural areas, at least, for the time being while we plan for the long-term provision of hydro-electricity. The people of Luena are very instructive on this issue too. Of course, there are alternative sources of energy like Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). I note that there is an amount of K2.7 billion that is allocated to the promotion of this programme. I think this is important, although I think that even this money might not be enough because people need to be sensitised on the use of alternative energy sources like LPG.

Mr Chairperson, on the exploration of oil and gas, there is an allocation of K800 million. I do not know whether that is enough. As regards bio-gas, I know that the National Council for Scientific Research has been researching on this issue, but I do not know whether we are utilising that. Can we use it. I thank God that, in Western Province, we have been using a kind of bio-gas technology for a very long time. At one time, people were laughing at us for using cow-dung.

Sir, the issue of filling stations in the rural areas has already been mentioned. I note that, in Lusaka, there is a filling station every two kilometres and I do not even know how safe that is. However, that is not the issue at the moment. All I am saying is that we need these things in rural areas as well. When your vehicle runs out of fuel in the middle of the constituency, you have to look for cattle to ferry you to a filling station to buy fuel in a kagumbuli and take you back to your vehicle.

The Chairperson: Order!

May the hon. Member explain what ‘kagumbuli’ is.

Ms Imenda: A kagumbuli is a five litre plastic container.

Mr Chairperson, regarding land, it will not do for me not to mention anything about it. It is very crucial to human existence. It is our inheritance and wars have been fought over it. Our independence would be meaningless without land.

Sir, I note that Zambia is the only place where we give land away carelessly. We are not serious about it. Foreigners are given big tracts of land while some of us, citizens, have never got any. We have gone to the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development to acquire land, but as you know, historically, what was happening there. Unless you do something for somebody, you could not get land. So, some of us who are principled and do not go about things that way, have never been given land. Can we look at this issue very seriously. It is very important that we do that.

Mr Chairperson, I note, also on the issue of land, that there were some foreigners who were given land on a ninety-nine year lease. At the end of the lease, I expected that the ministry or the Government would repossess the land and see whether there was a need to change its allocation or use. However, what I have seen these people do somewhere, in Lusaka, is that, when the lease is coming to an end, the same person who has the lease demarcates it and sells it to Zambians at exorbitant prices. What is wrong with our land policy? Can we not re-examine it? Is it how it is supposed to be that when the lease expires, then, the person who has owned it for ninety-nine years is supposed to demarcate and sell it exorbitantly to Zambians who will equally need to ask for another ninety-nine year lease? I need to be guided on that matter. May the hon. Mnister re-examine that issue?

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Ngonga (Kaputa): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add the voice of the people of Kaputa to the debate on this important Vote.

Sir, as I stand to support the budget presented by the hon. Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development, I acknowledge the presentations given by other hon. Members.

Sir, allow me to make a few comments on these issues that do not only affect the urban communities but, also, the rural communities.

Mr Chairperson, I will start by looking at the issue of land. The hon. Minister pronounced that access to land is a right, not a privilege. Therefore, we who represent rural communities also wish to take this as one of our rights that we need to enjoy because it is not a privilege for the urban dwellers only.

Sir, I acknowledge the fact that the hon. Minister is in a ministry that is very important, probably is next to the Ministry of Local Government Housing Early Education and Environmental Protection because all the issues that it handles are those that affect the rural communities and the people throughout this country.

Mr Chairperson, even in urban centres, such as Lusaka, accessing land is a nightmare. In the past, I have been privileged to sit for interviews that were called for land allocation. What happens is that, if there are 1,000 pieces of land on offer, more than 5,000 to 6,000 people will have to compete for it. This, definitely, is a precursor to corruption because there is no way all the applicants can get a piece of the land. So, hon. Minister, this is a big issue. I know that the previous debaters talked about it but, probably, very lightly. The biggest problem that we have with the people entrusted with the responsibility of managing and allocating land in Zambia is corruption. However, I am very mindful that, with the pronouncement by our President that he is allergic to corruption and the assistance of hon. Ministers and all members of the Patriotic Front, these officers will not be allowed to abuse the privilege that they have to serve the people. We will definitely not allow those who are involved in corrupt activities to alienate the people from getting land. All of us will be not only whistle blowers but will, also, work towards enabling as many people as possible to access land.

Sir, I would also like to caution hon. Members of Parliament, especially those from the rural areas, who tend to monopolise the allocation of land, that, when are given this privilege, we should not get too much land. I have examples from the previous Government that I can refer to. A number of hon. Members had access to land and got very large pieces of land that they have on title or over which they entered into agreements with chiefs. When you go to these areas, you can actually see this. How can one get more tracts of land than one needs when he or she knows that his or her people will be fighting over it in the years to come? Some of them own 3,000 to 4,000 hectares individually or, maybe, with their children. I think this must be discouraged because we are not the only people who are supposed to have access to land. We are here to serve the people. Therefore, we must ensure that land is protected so that the people we serve are able to access it.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about the Land Development Fund. It is true that, in the previous Government, some councils had access to this fund.  However, in Kaputa, we probably did not have enough information about it. We would also like the people there to access it so that they can use it to further develop the area. 

Sir, there is a relationship that has existed, over the years, between the Ministries of Lands, Energy and Water Development, and Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection. We know that, in the previous Government, because of malpractices or corrupt activities, the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development suspended the agreement between the two ministries. Again, I urge the hon. Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development to review this relationship because the Local Government is where the people are. Therefore, it understands, exactly, what should happen in these areas. It must be given an upper hand so that it can give this resource to the people in the different localities. You can put measures in place as you legislate because you have the mandate to do this, but the Local Government must manage this resource.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to briefly touch on the issue of energy, which other debaters have already talked about. Energy is the engine of development in any sector. For us in the rural areas, such as Kaputa, if you have no access to energy, your level of development will lag behind. We cannot even have small factories or industries. For the information of hon. Members in the House, Kaputa, has, for many years, been one of the districts that rely on thermal electricity which, as you know, can be very costly. As a result, only a limited area of the district has access to electricity. However, very shortly, we are going to benefit from the Rural Electrification Fund. We only hope that the project will soon be implemented. In spite of this, I still am disappointed to see power lines pass over settlements on their way to the Boma. One wonders whether that power is only for the people at the Boma or for everyone in the district. If I had a way, I would make sure that all the communities through which these power lines pass are electrified because the people there also want to engage in small businesses and would benefit from the electricity.

Mr Chairperson, as the hon. Member for Luena said, water is a very important resource to everybody. Kaputa is surrounded by three lakes, namely Lake Mweru to the left, Lake Tanganyika to the right and Lake Mweru-wa-Ntipa in the middle. Unfortunately, we have no access to clean drinking water despite these massive water bodies. At some times of the year, most people do not have access to water. The previous Governments sunk some boreholes in the area, but we need to see more sunk. We also have old boreholes that are now non-functional and need to be repaired. In my constituency, 75 per cent of the boreholes are non-functional due to a water pump, a rubber or a small piece that has is damaged. We need to bring these boreholes back to life so that the people can have access to clean water. Probably, this will cost the country far less than sinking new boreholes.

Sir, previously, the Department of Water Affairs used to be very active. If you go to the lakes and rivers in the area, you will find some stations that recorded water levels on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I do not know how that is done now. This is another important department that must be supported so that they can assess not only the quantities, but also the quality of the water that is available to the people of Kaputa.

Sir, we have a big project that, I know, may not come through in this Sitting. Lake Mweru has been drying up slowly over the years due to climate change. However, there are two tributaries that lead into this lake, namely, the Kalungwishi and Mofo swamps. We are, therefore, asking to be assisted to open the swamps so that water can flow from the river into the swamps and, then, into the lake. This might not be considered in this Budget, but I hope it will in future budgets. If this is done, 75 per cent of the community on both sides of Kaputa will have access to sufficient water. It is, therefore, a very important project as far as water quality and quantity is concerned.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order! 

Any further debate?

Mr Mutati indicated.

The Chairperson: I will give the Floor to Hon. Mutati but, before he speaks, let me just say that I would like hon. Members to appreciate one thing: that all of us want to speak on behalf of our constituencies. I have received five or six notes from hon. Members suggesting that I request that we debate for ten minutes. However, it is difficult for me to do that because the Standing Orders stipulate that hon. Members speak for fifteen minutes. This is why I appeal to each one of you to exercise consideration for others. We cannot dictate because we have to follow the Standing Orders. We, however, appeal to your conscience so that others can also debate.

Secondly, a number of you indicate the desire to debate even though you have had the chance to speak on other items. Therefore, if I get a person who has not had the opportunity to debate wanting to speak, preference will go to him or her. Therefore, those of you who have already debated, please, take into consideration the fact that others also have the opportunity to debate. Of course, sometimes, as Presiding Officers, we have no alternative when the people we have designated to be our leaders indicate.

Hon. Mutati, you may proceed.

Mr Mutati (Lunte): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me the opportunity to debate. With the guidance that you have provided, I will be very brief so that, at least, one or two more hon. Members can debate.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister has articulated a sound policy direction, particularly in the area of energy. I just want him to add to that policy direction the possibility of unbundling the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO). In particular, consideration should be made of the possibility of distribution network’s standing alone so that Zambians participate in the distribution of electricity. Consideration should also be made of small hydro-power plants’ standing as independent power producers. This way, the Zambian people will be able to own something. This model is already working with the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) Limited as well as Lumwana.

Mr Chairperson, ZESCO has already implemented its commercialisation processes and created strategic business units. I think that, now, it is at the level at which serious consideration of its unbundling should be made. Hon. Minister, you can pick up a pilot, perhaps, for 2012, to start with, and see how it goes.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

The Chairperson: I am grateful.


Mr Monde (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me an opportunity. I will endeavour to speak within five minutes and will speak on energy.

Sir, we cannot grow our economy with such exorbitant fuel prices. We have noted that all our neighbouring countries sell their fuel slightly under US$1, which is under K4,000 per litre.

Mr Chairperson, we have heard, in the recent past, of explorations for oil in the Western and North-Western provinces of Zambia. These, however, have only been stories. I think that, if we emphasise on these explorations, there is a possibility of finding oil in the country. I do not think that God put oil in Angola, which is very near to Zambia, and let it end on the borders, leaving out Zambia.
Sir, the price of oil affects the economy in that we cannot do profitable business if oil prices are high. I, therefore, want to commend the hon. Minister for wanting to reduce the price of oil. I have noticed that there are too many taxes in the pump price and that this causes the price of fuel to be higher than in the rest of the region. This must be checked. There are too many things to pay for in the pump price. If we want to boost our economy, it is important that this matter is addressed urgently. The new Government must look at this issue so that we can increase the chances of our economy growing. 

Mr Chairperson, it is said that water is as expensive as oil. If we can convert our water into hydro-electricity, we can export power to other countries and bring a lot of income into the country. I am told that Zambia has about 40 per cent of the water bodies in the region. This means that she has more potential leading in this sector than any other country in the region. We must not waste this resource. Let us convert it into energy so that we earn a lot of money which, I think, would enable us provide social security to the elderly. We could actually rely on hydropower to earn us a lot of money if we fully exploited this resource.

Mr Chairperson, I welcome the intention of the Government to increase the generation capacity to 1080 megawatts in the coming year because I think that we need to direct our energies towards building the energy sector so that we bridge the supply-demand gap in the country. There is a lot of load-shedding going on. If we go this direction, we should be able to address some of these issues. In trying to achieve this, the Government must take this issue seriously. I am aware that there are places that have been earmarked for the development of hydropower stations. If we can invite credible companies that have the expertise in this sector to build these small hydropower plants, we would be heading in the right direction. 

Mr Chairperson, irrigation is very important. We can do a lot of farming that will not be restricted to the rain season, which has been the case for many years. If we can develop our irrigation systems, we would be able to diversify from growing only maize to growing other crops and fruits so that we stop the importation of fruits like apples from South Africa.  

Mr Chairperson, as I conclude, I welcome the renewable energies that the hon. Minister is promoting. Through these solar fields, we can produce a lot of energy. However, to do this, we need to invite countries and companies that have succeeded in this area.

Mr Chairperson, with these very few remarks, I wish to support the budget.

The Chairperson: Any further debate?

Mrs Masebo indicated.

The Chairperson: I will let Hon. Masebo take the Floor.


Hon. Members: She is your friend.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me the opportunity to debate. I will be very brief to allow more hon. Members to speak. Hopefully, I will be through within three to five minutes.

Mr Chairperson, land is a very important asset. The problem that we have in this country is greed. What is happening, currently, is that some individuals have several pieces of land, yet the ordinary citizens, who really need land, cannot find a quarter of an acre on which to put up a hut. That is why we have too many unplanned settlements in Zambia. Cadres are demarcating land for themselves because they see us, leaders, giving land to ourselves. This makes the shortage of land in Zambia artificial  and I have always said this on the Floor of this House  because there are some people who have benefited from this shortage.

Mr Chairperson, when the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central was speaking about the administrators in the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development, I noticed that he was very apologetic in the way he spoke to the hon. Minister. However, I wish to state, emphatically, that the problem in that ministry is corruption. It is as simple as that.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: That is what the problem is.

Mr Chairperson, if you recall, five to ten years ago, under the Mwanawasa Administration, there was a time when this ministry was closed down because of corruption. This was to facilitate the cleaning up of its systems. I recall that the American Government came in to support the Government to help the ministry to administer land in a more transparent manner. Of course, there was some change after that, but it has not been enough. I hope that the new Government will clean the ministry up again.

Mr M. H. Malama: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Sir, the other problem that I have found in the administration of land is that the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development has not appointed councils as agents like it should have done because it cannot know which poor people, for example, in Chongwe Constituency need land. It is the councillors, the hon. Members of Parliament and the local people in that council who can give this information, not the ministry. That is why the law is such that the ministry appointed councils its agents.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Even though the councils were appointed as agents of land administration and alienation, they did not have the final say. The ministry still had leeway to overturn any allocation made by the councils because the latter were mere agents. However, what we have seen, especially in the last three years, is a total deviation from good governance practice. We have had a situation in which the hon. Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development became the council and everything.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Like the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central said, …

Mr Mweetwa: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … this is why we have a big problem in this country concerning land alienation. We have double allocations in which a piece of land might be allocated to four people. My advice is that, if there is any land allocation in an area, let it benefit the local people. For example, the Government has been giving away the land initially owned by the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) as plots to non-residents of Chongwe. As the hon. Member of Parliament, I had no information about what was happening in the area. The hon. Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development and the Commissioner of Lands were allocating the land from Lusaka without consulting the council in Chongwe, yet we are the people who should have known which poor people needed the land most in that locality. Consequently, most of the local people have been left out. Even the local churches in Chongwe that have been squatting at Silver Rest for worshiping for fifteen years have not been given land, yet some Nigerian churches were allocated.

Hon. Government Member: Shame!

Mrs Masebo: It is because they do not know the issues on the ground. That is why they must use the council so that, if the councils make a mistake, people will go to them, as the owners of land alienation, to inform them of the corruption in the allocation of land. As a ministry, it can cancel the allocation because it has the final say. However, if the people at the ministry are the ones allocating plots, where am I supposed to go? I will go to the President and that is what I did in the past. We have the Mwanawasa Resettlement Scheme, today, because the Ministry of Lands then had issued 2,000 hectares to a man who had several other pieces of land. The people who did this were leaders and are still leaders here today, but I do not want to mention their names.

Mr Kalaba: Mention them. We want to know them.


Mr M. H. Malama: Balumbuleni!

Mrs Masebo: I went to the President and complained on behalf of the people of Chongwe who were being called squatters.

Mr M. H. Malama: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to raise this point of order, which is very serious. Sir, this is very serious business that is going on …

The Chairperson: Please, raise your point of order.

Mr M. H. Malama: Is the hon. Member who is debating in order not to mention the names of the leaders who were allocated the land? We need to know them so that, next time, in case they contest elections, we will know who to elect.

The Chairperson: She is not expected to mention names. So, she is in order.

You may continue.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, people say that, sometimes, I become emotional. Yes, I do because, as leaders, we are here to serve the people. It hurts me very much. At the moment, I have several problems in Chongwe. People have been displaced because of the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development and greedy leaders.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mrs Masebo: Sir, I would like to appeal to the Ministers of Lands, Energy and Water Development, and Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection to sit together and, please, look at this issue. Last time, the then hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, Dr Chituwo, dissolved the Lusaka City Council (LCC) for allegedly allocating Baobab land to its members. What happened after that? What is the story of Baobab, today?

Hon. Government Members: No report!

Mrs Masebo: We also hear that the new hon. Minister has stopped the progress on that land because, again, something has gone wrong. Therefore, let us use our positions properly as leaders.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: We are not here to enrich ourselves.

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mrs Masebo: We are here to serve people. We have seen leaders coming in with nothing and getting out with too much.

The Chairperson: You said that you would take three minutes.

Mr Kalaba: Tupeniko chance!


Mr Mushanga: Hammer!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, I am trying very hard to stick to time, but this has to be said. As I talk now, I have many people who have no homes in Chongwe and the rains have set. It hurts me, you know. I go out of my way to work for the good of my people, but the same people tried to decampaign me in the last elections, yet I was working for them. I will not stop speaking because I think it is necessary for me to continue speaking. Father Gabby told me that the people of Chongwe were sending me here to talk and that they did not want to hear that I am drinking free coffee without talking on their behalf. So, let me wind up on this point.

Hon. Minister, the laws are very clear: let the councils do land alienation and administration on your behalf. At the end of the day, you have all the powers. If the council allocates land to somebody wrongly, it is your duty to cancel it. Anybody can come to you to complain about wrong allocation of land because you cannot give land from Lusaka. It is not done in that way.

Secondly, I would also like to remind the hon. Minister that the problem starts with his ministry. Others are just followers. If the ministry was clean of corruption, it would be difficult, for example, if I, as a corrupt person, tried to corrupt your officers. They would not agree with me. They would just say, “Sorry, madam, we cannot do anything about this.” The hon. Member for Choma Central talked about advertisements and you heard what he said. We have gone through these issues. We are not children. We know that you advertise land that you have already given out. For example, the whole NISIR land has been shared amongst big leaders and the people of Chongwe are crying to me. They are saying I am an ineffective hon. Member of Parliament. They even did not want to vote for me because they thought that I have not done anything about this issue, yet I tried, several times, to speak to … Anyway …


Mrs Masebo: Hon. Minister, there is an issue in Lusaka West that you must look into. The villagers living on that piece of land claim it belongs to them. That is their land because they have nowhere else to go. It is not right for the ministry to demarcate and give it to people who have money.

The Chairperson: Please, address him through the Chair.

Mrs Masebo: Through you, Sir.

It is not right for the ministry to demarcate the land in Lusaka West, displace the villagers it found there and call them squatters. What do you mean by squatters? Who is a squatter? Somebody can only be a squatter if, for example, you have allocated land to me, and I have a title deed, but somebody comes to squat there. However, if you found me on that piece of land, which is State or traditional land, why not give me the title deed of that piece of land since you found me instead of giving some rich businessman?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: What kind of leadership or governance is this? The Patriotic PF Government is pro-poor. We were not voted into power by corrupt people, but by the poor.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I am sure we are aware that, during the last general elections, most business people in this country supported another party because they wanted to continue making money. They were scared of us because they thought that if we came into power, we were going to increase salaries and side with the poor. Therefore, please, can we have a Government that is for the poor for a change? Let this be a Government for the poor for, at least, the next five years so that the poor can rise from the ashes to a certain level.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: On the other hand, those who are very rich should not be greedy. There is too much greed in this country. Some people have as much as 2,000 hectares of land alone. I, therefore, wonder why such people want to come to Chongwe to get more land. Do they think I am a fool as an hon. Member of Parliament, mwinechishi, me?


Hon. PF Members: Tell them!

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I am the owner of that land because I belong to the Royal Establishment, but I cannot get it. However, some people come from wherever and want to get 1,000 to 5,000 hectares. I do not think it is fair. I do not get that land because I do not want it …

Mr Namulambe: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Chairperson, I did not want to disturb my sister who is debating. However, is she in order to suggest that people from elsewhere should not go to Chongwe to look for land when we have people from Chongwe who own pieces of land in our areas? Should we chase those people from our areas?

The Chairperson: She will take into account that point of order as she debates.

The hon. Member may continue.


Mrs Masebo: I am a leader who knows that it is important for all Zambians to have land. Therefore, even if you are from Lambaland and you want land in Chongwe, we will give you. Many hon. Members here have applied for land in Chongwe and we have given them. However, what I am saying, and let us not confuse facts here, is that we should not be greedy. Why should one person own 1,000 hectares in Lufwanyama, 1,000 hectares in Livingstone and then they come to Chongwe to grab a 1,000 hectares and displace the people they find there?

Mr Kalaba interjected.

Mrs Masebo: That is what I am refusing. All I am saying is that the due process of the law, as was designed, should be allowed to take its course. Let us not subvert the law using ministerial or other powers. For example, the hon. Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development should not take advantage of being in charge of lands to acquire land. We all know very well that good governance demands that there are processes to be followed so that we can check on each other.

Sir, finally, allow me to talk about the three resettlements that are in Chongwe. In the airport area, there was land that the former hon. Minister of Defence gave to squatters on the Zambia National Service (ZNS) land. He was very generous and I will mention him: Dr Mwansa. He was a very decent hon. Minister. That land has now been demarcated but, all of a sudden, instead of concentrating on the local people, there are all sorts of people around that area who have come. Hon. Minister, I will be coming to your office to discuss this matter. I am very happy because, yesterday, I heard somebody say that you are a very sober and good hon. Minister.

The Chairperson: Please, address him through the Chair.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: I keep quiet mostly, but when you say, “Through you” and then you address that person directly, that is not right. I heard you earlier refer to him in the third person and that is the right way of doing it.

Mrs Masebo: Sir, thank you for the guidance. The last point that I wanted to make still has to do with land, but on title deeds. I heard somebody talking about title deeds earlier. I think that we should use the laws that are there in acquiring land. You know that, under the Local Government Act or whatever the Act is, since it is a long time since I was an hon. Minister in that ministry, I cannot remember, the councils can demarcate an area and give title as local authorities. However, over the years, I think we do not seem to want to use it. Everybody wants everything to be done in Lusaka and that is why many people have property without title. The councils are also losing money because, without a title, somebody can escape paying rates. Therefore, let us find a way of sorting this matter out because we have been discussing the issue of land titles for too many years. I think that, for the last fifteen years, we have been talking about the problem of title deeds. We were told that, in the past, the department that is supposed to issue titles did not have the machines to process things quickly. The machines were bought but, to date, titles are not being issued quickly enough.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Chairperson, it has been a mouthful from all the hon. Members who have contributed to this debate. I have a lot of material to go through and I think I am just overwhelmed with too much data here. I have so many papers with me, but I will try to rush through them so that hon. Members of this august House can go and have tea.

Hon. Mweetwa tackled …

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: No, I will not allow a point of order until the hon. Minister finishes winding up.

Mr Yaluma: I concur with the sentiments expressed by Hon. Mweetwa. It is, indeed, frustrating to see people travelling long distances just to come and secure a title deed or file in an application for land. I seriously consider decentralising the processes so that such services could be availed at the provincial and district levels. Therefore, I take note of the hon. Member’s input on that and will look into that matter very seriously.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Yaluma: I would also like to comment on the lengthy period of time it takes to issue titles. The hon. Member was right. It takes as long as three years to process titles. On why this has been the case, your guess is as good as mine. Yes, there is the perceived high level of corruption in the department and we cannot run away from it. However, we have to get rid of it. We have to eliminate corruption in the department and I am going to do just that. There are no two ways about it.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Yaluma: I tried, just to prove a point, when somebody brought in an application, to process a title deed within the two weeks mentioned by the hon. Member and it was done. Why, then, have we been failing to do this? That is our challenge and we are almost overcoming it. I think that we have to automate the land acquisition process. We need to have a value chain process that will be tracked from the time the application is made. People should be able to track the application on their computers, know who is handling it or who is delaying the process. If there is a hold up, the manager can be notified that this is the person who is delaying the process. We are going to do that. That will also curb any chances of fraud in trying to secure a title deed or land.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Yaluma: I seriously think that we can do away with all the problems of land administration. I was equally a frustrated applicant to the Ministry of Lands before I came into this position. I have not even mentioned to my colleagues in the ministry that I have got applications pending since 2001. However, I do not want special treatment by being issued a title deed just because I am now the hon. Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development.

Mr Chairperson, I am saying that we should work as a team. Hon. Members of this House and the people should expose whatever corrupt activities transpire in the acquisition of land title. We should not allow the soliciting of bribes from anyone of the people of the Republic of Zambia or us here. Please, if this happens, bring forward the information and I will not hesitate to deal with such a person.

Sir, Mr Konga is a seasoned energy specialist who has a very high reputation in the industry, locally and abroad and I concur with his observations. I always give credit where it is due, and would like to thank him for his elaborate account of the status of the industry in Zambia. We, as the PF Government, have just taken over the energy sector from where the previous administration left it and we assure the nation that we will accelerate the projects that will give life to the energy industry in Zambia. We are load-shedding even as I speak and we will load-shed whenever demand overrides supply. Last week and part of this week, we have been load-shedding because of low intake of water into the Kafue Gorge Power Station. That we cannot avoid. We only pray hard that we get some rainfall here and there so that the water levels rise and increase the intake of water into the turbines at Kafue Gorge.

Mr Chairperson, on rural electrification, I think Hon. Mutati and Hon. Konga have done very good work. There is, currently, a master plan that runs up to 2030 and we are religiously following it in ensuring that every rural area highlighted in the plan is covered. There could be situations in which we overlook some place. In that case, Hon. Imenda, we will be at your door to see how we can accommodate you in the plan …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Yaluma: … so that the people of Luena enjoy access to electricity.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Yaluma: Mr Chairperson, on fuel, again, Hon. Imenda, solar technology has been accepted in the Zambian energy industry and rural electrification programmes are already utilising it in remote areas where the hydro-electricity grid cannot reach. So to speak, if we cannot get the people of Luena onto the grid, we will avail them solar technology so that they have electricity.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Yaluma: Mr Chairperson, yes, fuel prices are very high and we are working restlessly to reduce the pump price. However, we can only do this if we work collectively in ensuring that we get fuel from the right sources where it is cheaper. However, if we get our fuel and allow too many people to participate in the supply chain, that will still hike the price. So, we are taking every opportunity to seriously negotiate for a reduction in the fuel price. We have decided to go into consultation with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to see what taxes we can look at and also see if we can look at absolute figures instead of percentages. We will negotiate for some allowance from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning so that we can reduce the price of fuel.

The major part of the problem is purely the high cost of processing the co-mingled fuel at Indeni Refinery. So, we will never get away with from high fuel prices as long as we do not start delivering pure finished products into the country. We will not have the edge.  However, we are looking at those alternatives and you will see what we are going to come up with.

Hon. Ngonga, there is a project coming to Kaputa to supply electricity from the grid. We will give you the details of the project.

Mr Chairperson, now my biggest: through you, I appreciate the way Hon. Masebo debates and what she puts into the debate. Hon. Masebo could have been a very good hon. Deputy Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development.


Mr Yaluma: Mr Chairperson, I would seriously love, through you, a person so knowledgeable about …

The Chairperson: Order!

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


Mr Yaluma: Mr Chairperson, I would like to put my statement more appropriately; I am not withdrawing it. I was saying that Hon. Masebo is a very good debater who has insight on the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development and I find her debate highly informative. We can pick up something from what she has said. Hence, I went on to say that, through you, I would have loved to have two Deputies, one specifically for energy and Hon. Masebo for Lands.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Yaluma: Mr Chairperson, I concur with what Hon. Masebo was saying. I have been tackling some of the issues she has highlighted. She just does not know that people have brought such issues to my attention. One thing I would like to concur with is that people who are in privileged positions are a little greedy. We need to let go of some land and let others, especially the less privileged, also have access to land. That is why I am saying that, if we, either my colleagues in the Executive or hon. Members, generally,  have land that we are not utilising, let go of it so that it is given to those who need it. 

Mr Chairperson, many people talked about water, but I did not give it some thought. They have highlighted the fact that water is a very useful element in our daily lives; that we daily depend on it and that we cannot do without it. I concur with a good number of speakers when they say that water should be available to every Zambian for both domestic and industrial use, such as irrigation and in engineering. Water plays an important role in all sectors of the economy and it is critical to agriculture, energy, health, industry, transport and tourism development, and other uses. The role of water in the development of these sectors makes it an important factor in formal and informal employment creation.

However, Mr Chairperson, the provision of water continues to be a challenge for our department. In spite of that, there are amendments that we are currently preparing in order to make water more manageable and more available to most of our people.

Finally, Mr Chairperson, my ministry is very important to the Zambian economy, just like blood is to human life. The challenges faced by the ministry are, indeed, enormous and, as such, I will deeply appreciate the support of all the people seated here as well as the rest of Zambians. I do realise that land, energy and water cut across all sectors of the economy. Therefore, I would like to appreciate the initiatives started by my colleagues on the left in land, energy and water development. I will continue to seek such kind of inputs from everybody so that we can realise our intentions.

I thank you, Very much.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 85/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 85/02 – (Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water – Lands and Deeds Department – K2,240,238,311).

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Chenda) (on behalf of the Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Chairman, I beg to move the following amendment:

Under 01 – General Administration, Programme 1182 – Transport Management

(i) Activity 002 – Maintenance of Motor Vehicles, by the deletion of “K23,500,000” and the substitution thereof of “K33,500,000”; and

(ii) Activity 004 – Procurement of Motor Vehicles, by the deletion of “K10,000,000”.

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Chairperson, I am still on Programme 1000 – Personal Emoluments, and I realise that there is no provision for all categories of employees in that department.

The Chairperson: No. We are talking about the amendment, first. The question is on the amendment.

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Chairperson, on page 1093, Programme 1000 – Personal Emoluments, Activities 001 – Salaries Division I –K, 002 – Salaries Division II - K and, 005 – Other Emoluments, all the categories of employees have not been provided for in next year’s Budget. What is the reason?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Chairperson, …

The Chairperson: If there are any people who can advise the hon. Minister on something, please do.

Mr Yaluma: … the activities have been moved to Human Resource Department, Programme 1000 on Page 1083 of the Yellow Book.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 85/02, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 85/03 – (Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water – Lands Department – K3,899,848,692).

Mr Chenda: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment:

Under 01 – Human Resource and Administration Unit, Programme 1182 – Transport Management

(i) Activity 002 – Maintenance of Motor Vehicles, by the deletion of “K54,000,000”, and the substitution thereof of “K84,000,000”, and

(ii) Activity 004 – Procurement of Motor Vehicles, by the deletion of “K30,000,000”.

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

Vote 85/03, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 87/01 – (Anti-Corruption Commission – Headquarters – K60,162,453,812).

The Minister of Justice and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr S. S. Zulu): Mr Chairperson, I rise to present the estimates of expenditure for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for the year, 2012.

Sir, the PF Government recognises the detrimental effects allied with corruption, and dedicates its political will and commitment to curbing the vice through collective effort by engaging all institutions, key stakeholders and the Zambian society at large.

Sir, Zambia has, for a long time, suffered from the damaging effects of corruption. Therefore, the need for demonstrable political will to make a turn-around cannot be over-emphasised. The PF Government is committed to the fight against corruption and impropriety as elaborated in our party manifesto, speeches and demonstrated through our actions. We are determined to promote good governance in the public sector by strengthening ethical conduct, administrative rules, procedures and systems that govern the activities of public bodies.

Mr Chairperson, to show our commitment to dealing with the vice, we have, from the onset sent a very strong message to all perpetrators of corruption that the time to act has come and that time is now. The PF Government will in this instance not have any sacrificial lambs nor will it deliberately target anyone because of their social political affiliation, but will work in accordance with the laws of the land and will treat each case, whether petty or grand accordingly.

Prior to the enactment of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 38 of 2010, there was heated debate from members of the public, the church and civil society organisations (CSOs) over the removal of Section 37 of the repealed Anti-Corruption Commission Act No. 42 of 1996, which proscribed the abuse of authority of office. Nevertheless, the Government then decided to remove this section. The PF Government, under the leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, had campaigned on the platform of fighting corruption in whatever form without fear or favour. In view of this and in order to strength the fight against corruption, this Government will reinstate Section 37 of the repealed Anti-Corruption Commission Act No. 42 of 1996 in its totality. We shall further look at the current Anti-Corruption Act No. 38 of 2010 to see how best the fight against corruption can be strengthened. Mechanisms to detect and prevent the vice will be put in place. The operations of all oversight institutions will be strengthened so as to enable them perform checks and balances on the administration and utilisation of public resources.

Mr Chairperson, the insidious nature and damaging effects that corruption has on the welfare of our nation and our people demands an all-embracing strategy to effectively deal with it. It requires not only a strong and vibrant leadership but, also, concerted efforts from all institutions ...

The Chairperson: Order!

May the hon. Members consult quietly.

The hon. Minister may continue.

Mr S. S. Zulu: ... and the Zambian citizenry at large. Together, we must build ethical value and put in place systems and procedures of accountability and transparency to ensure that the resources needed for the development of our country are put to good use. This will help us avoid our people wallowing in poverty at the expense of greedy and selfish individuals.

Mr Chairperson, the PF Government is determined to support the work of the ACC through the National Anti-Corruption Commission Policy and its implementation plan. As hon. Members of this House maybe aware, the ACC is an institution mandated by the law to lead the fight against corruption in our country. Under the National Anti-Corruption Policy, the commission has devised various programmes under its Enforcement, Prevention and Education Strategy.

Mr Chairperson, in 2011, the commission undertook a number of high profile investigations and prosecutions. It also continued to undertake the mainstreaming of corruption prevention through the establishment of integrity committees in many institutions as mandated by the Anti-Corruption Commission Act No. 38 of 2010. As such, from the initial six in 2006, the number of institutions with integrity committees has risen to twenty. These committees have put in place anti-corruption measures that have resulted in the improvement of public service delivery.

Sir, the commission also put up specific anti-corruption interventions in a number of public institutions, such as the Road Development Agency (RDA) and the Ministry of Health. These interventions have resulted in the development of a corruption prevention tool kit that will assist in curtailing and preventing corruption in other institutions. It also conducted several community corruption sensitisation programmes in conjunction with some CSOs in a bid to raise awareness on the evils of corruption in our society and garner public support in the fight against the vice.

Sir, as a result of the activities mentioned above that the commission and other stakeholders undertook in 2011, there has been a notable improvement in the perception of the levels of corruption in Zambia as indicated by the Transparency International Corruption Perception Survey. It is envisaged that, under the PF Government leadership, the achievements will be much higher.

Mr Chairperson, the operations of the ACC for which these estimates are presented are in line with its three statutory functions, namely, investigations and prosecutions, corruption prevention and community education. The allocation for the commission for 2012 is K60,162,453,812, compared with K55,825,561,822 allocated for 2011. I wish to note that the allocation of funds to the commission has continued to be insufficient for it to perform its functions more effectively and efficiently. My Government is determined to ensure that the allocation is increased in order to enhance the fight against corruption.

Mr Chairperson, I am thankful to the hon. Members of this House who have continued to give support to the crusade against corruption. I also wish to acknowledge the invaluable material, technical and financial contribution of our co-operating partners towards this noble cause. I am also thankful to the whistle blowers.

Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Sichula (Nakonde): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this chance to present my maiden speech.

Sir, it is my singular honour and privilege to present my maiden speech to this House. First and foremost, I wish to thank the people of Nakonde District for the confidence and trust they have shown in me by making me their representative in this House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: I would like also to thank His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, His Honour the Vice-President, the hon. Minister of Defence, the hon. Deputy Minister of Muchinga Province, the hon. Deputy Minister of Northern Province, the hon. Member for Kabwe Central, the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu, Mr Sichizya and all party officials from sections to the provincial level for their support during the campaigns. I should also not forget the entire family, especially my wife, for the moral and material support.

Mr Chairperson, Nakonde is a fast-growing district in terms of population and economic activities. However, it lacks various key amenities that are needed to service a fast-growing district.

Hon. Member: Indeed!

Mr Sichula: The township and feeder roads, with the exception of the Great North Road, are in a dilapidated state.

Mr Chairperson, the district has no fully-fledged secondary school apart from Mwenzo Mission School for girls, which has limited space as it also enrolls pupils from across the whole nation. The effort by the previous Government to build a secondary school did not materialize, hence the cry that the new Government assists the people of this area in this regard.

Sir, the people of Nakonde have welcomed the proposed scrapping off of the current basic education system as the new system of primary and secondary education might provide quality education.

Mr Chairperson, there is a need to speed up the construction of the district hospital. The first phase has been done while the other phases are yet to be done. In order to meet the demand for health services, the people require a hospital as a matter of urgency.

Mr Chairperson, Nakonde Border Post is one of the top three entry points that collect significant sums of revenue for the country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: Therefore, the people of that area need part of this revenue to trickle down to them.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: Mr Chairperson, agriculture is the main employer in Nakonde and the people in that area are hard working. However, the poor state of feeder roads has increased the cost of farming in the area.

Sir, cattle rearing is also a common economic activity in Nakonde. However, the challenge is that of cattle diseases that have killed most of our animals. There are no dip tanks to assist in the control of diseases.

Mr Chairperson, we have heard of cattle restocking in other districts. We would like the same to be extended to Nakonde.

Hon. Member: Yes, not Vubwi.

Mr Sichula: Mr Chairperson, the porousness of our border is an issue of concern to the community of Nakonde as well as the security officers. I, therefore, propose that security personnel be increased and transport be provided as opposed to the current situation where each security department has only one vehicle. For example, TAZARA Police Station has no transport at all.

Mr Chairperson, with all these challenges in the district, we are very happy to be associated with the creation of Muchinga Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: This is because we will surely benefit from the infrastructural and technological development that will come with the status of being a new province. The people will definitely benefit from the new ventures that will take off in the province.

Mr Chairperson, let me now congratulate Mr Oliver Mulomba, the new hon. Member of Parliament for Magoye Constituency, and Hon. Masebo, who did not know that the fever she created in Chongwe somehow reached us and assisted us in our campaigns.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: Hon. Masebo does not know that she was the one who has helped me to be here …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: … because, when I was a councillor in the MMD, I did very well with her guidance. It was due to that work that the people in Nakonde recognised that I could deliver development to the district.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: Mr Chairperson, the people of Nakonde do not only need better life; they deserve it. As a district neighbouring Tunduma in the Republic of Tanzania, it gives the first impression to people visiting our great nation from the east and beyond. Therefore, it requires a major infrastructural facelift for effective economic development.

Mr Chairperson, as the hon. Member of Parliament, I commit myself to improving the lives of the great people of Nakonde. 

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the chance to add my voice to the debate on the Floor of the House. I have to speak on behalf of the people of Siavonga who made me come here.

Mr Chairperson, corruption is a cancer that must be healed. We can do all the good things, make all the plans and allocate all the money where it is supposed to be allocated, but we will not achieve our goals if we do not do away with corruption.

Mr Chairperson, we have everything that we need to develop this country: resources, plans and brains. However, somewhere, somehow, we miss the point. In the UPND Manifesto, we believe that, for us to achieve our goals, we have to manage our public resources prudently.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: If we do not do that, we will miss the point.

Mr Chairperson, let me give a few indicators or causes of corruption. First on the list, especially in Government institutions, is red tape. I acknowledge that we need bureaucracy some areas in order to curb corruption. However, the bureaucratic nature of our Government systems, sometimes, makes us be prone to corruption. After red tape, the biggest cause of corruption is the poor remuneration of our officers. The officers whom we expect to deliver service to the public are highly de-motivated, thereby opening them up to the vice of corruption. Corruption is also caused by high taxes. People may be wiling to pay taxes, but end up engaging in corruption to avoid paying them because they are too exorbitant.

Mr Chairperson, as a systems engineer, I want to tell you that most of our service delivery systems leave a lot to be desired. Some have since become obsolete. They were designed at a time when we had a small population and were lagging behind in terms of technological advancement. However, we are still using the systems that Hon. Mbuzi and his friends left and have come back to find once again.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: What we need to do is revise these service delivery systems from time to time to match them with our growing population and to be in line with the rest of the world. In the same environment in our country, the private sector has advanced in terms of service delivery, but the Government, with massive resources, is still lugging behind.

Sir, although the anti-corruption officers may not be well-funded, in most cases, they are reactive rather than proactive. I know that we have undercover officers but, by the time the officers get onto cases, they would already be common knowledge. Everybody would have known about it. There are very few times when we have heard of corruption cases that have caught us unaware. This means that there is something wrong with the commission. Why does it only investigate cases that everybody else already knows about? What about those that we do not know of.

Mr Chairperson, you remember that, in the past, we used to have the kamuchekas, or undercover officers. You were not sure of even your neighbour in those days because these people were all over. Where are they, now?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: Sir, there are some areas where we do not even need to ask if there is corruption because we know that it exists. I will cite a few here. In such places, we should even have permanent presence of the Anti-Corruption Commission. These are places like the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) border posts. We know that there is corruption there. Two people can import vehicles of the same value, but pay duty at different rates. Why should that be the case if we are all using the same system? Equally, it takes some people only a day to obtain a National Registration Card (NRC) while others will be trekking to that office for days before they get one. As regards the issuance of drivers’ licences, it is no wonder that we have many road accidents. If we were to seriously investigate how each of the drivers on our roads obtained their licences, you would be surprised. Very few were actually tested, but they are on our roads. How did they get those licences? These are Government documents that should be obtained legitimately, yet unqualified people get them somehow.

Mr Chairperson, I am glad that even the hon. Minister has acknowledged that, indeed, there is corruption in his ministry. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) does not need to wait until somebody reports a case. It must have a permanent presence there because we know that corruption exists in this ministry.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear! Especially under the current Government!

Mr Hamudulu: Sir, as regards the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), which is meant for the rural poor, the input ends up in big people’s hands. That, too, is corruption. Where are the officers who are supposed to look into these cases?

Mr Chairperson, the list goes on. We can talk about acquisition of loans by Public Service workers. When some workers apply for a loan, it takes years before they can be given. However, for others, it only takes one week. Why this inconsistency? It is corruption. We should not even beat about the bush. It is corruption.

Sir, I have a few suggestions to make to the commission. Let us advocate for a review of our Government’s service delivery systems. They have many loopholes and some of them are very cumbersome. For example, when I am getting a passport, I fill in a long form. When I want to renew it, I go through the same process. Why should that be the case when the Passport Office already has my details? If there are details that may have changed, it is, probably, just my residential address. However, they still want to ask me my age, which they can calculate.


Mr Hamudulu: They still want to ask me about the name of my chief and village. This is static information. It should be kept in the Government database and be linked to the NRC offices. We even have foreigners getting passports because we do not have these proper linkages. The system should be self-reliant. When I give the officers at the Passport Office my NRC number, the system should check if I have possessed a passport before. In that way, we will curb corruption. Our systems should minimise personal contacts between the people who are delivering services and those at the receiving end. That is where corruption takes place. In this era of digitisation and globalisation, the private sector has moved miles ahead of us. You do not go to the bank everyday. Once they give you an automated teller machine (ATM) card, that is it. Governments can also work like that.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: If I have an NRC, the Government should be able to fish all the other details out. The problem is that we rely on politicians like ourselves, who take years to learn systems engineering, to develop these systems. We must outsource and engage consultants from the private sector to design systems for us that will deliver efficiently.

Sir, in the UPND, we believe that, if systems are properly designed, corruption will be minimised. Systems work like laws. You may have good people, but they still need laws to control their operations. For example, we may have a very good accountant or revenue collector but, if the system is so wide open that he can do what he feels like doing, he might be tempted to engage in corrupt acts.

Mr Chairperson, in supporting the Motion on the Floor, I would like to urge the Government to relook at our public service delivery systems. I believe that is where corruption starts.

Sir, I think I have belaboured my points.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Chairperson, I thank you, wholeheartedly, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Vote on the Floor of the House.

Sir, first and foremost, I am pleased because there is an increment in the allocation to the institution under debate. We all know that the ACC, as an institution, plays a cardinal role in the stamping out of corruption in this country. Unfortunately, despite that knowledge, this institution faces a number of challenges, including inadequate funding, lack of transport and an inadequate human resource.

Mr Chairperson, I want to stress the point that an inadequate human resource at this institution has greatly contributed to the rampant corruption that is being faced in the country. In this vein, my suggestion is that, in order for corruption to be stamped out from the grassroots, particularly in the villages in my constituency, it is prudent that the Government trains as many people as possible to serve in the institution under debate. 

Mr Chairperson, of late, a number of corruption cases in the country are not being investigated. Some are not pursued by the ACC, but delegated to the Zambia Police Force, which, sometimes, does not investigate these issues conclusively and often fail to secure convictions. In this regard, I would like to stress that providing as many trained officers as possible to the ACC will greatly help us stamp out corruption.

Mr Chairperson, after the just-ended elections, it was discovered that a number of bicycles and motor vehicles were bought through dubious means. The officers in the Police Force, who were tasked to investigate, have lamentably failed because they do not have the capacity to do so. In this vein, I want to state that it will be of great importance to have more officers. In fact, it would be prudent for the ACC to decentralise to the district level. Currently, this office is only in existence at provincial level, which is not enough.

In conclusion, Sir, I want to talk about transport. Lack of transport is one of the factors hindering the operations of the ACC. Allow me to cite one example of my experience in Mansa. When I went to the ACC, I was told that there was no transport, making it extremely difficult for the officers to travel to Chilubi to carry out some investigations. We have to equip the ACC with transport, which can only be availed to the officers when we adequately fund the institution.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr S. S. Zulu: Mr Chairperson, I have listened very carefully to all the hon. Members who have contributed to the debate on the Floor. They have made very useful contributions.

Sir, the ACC has conducted seminars or held interviews at important institutions, such as the border posts, the ZRA, the ZDA and other institutions where corruption is likely or is more prevalent. The institution has also had interactions with ordinary people. I agree that the delivery system is important. The introduction of a new and up-to-date system is important. In this regard, the Government is introducing what it calls the electronic governance (E-Governance). This is an electronic governance system that will capture all the data relating to an individual. Once you have such data, it will be used when obtaining, for example, NRCs, licences, passports and other documents. So, it is very important to have this system in place.

Mr Chairperson, corruption is a very sophisticated sort of crime to investigate because people act in the dark. They burry their footprints and, therefore, we can only depend on whistle-blowers, including hon. Members of Parliament. All the people should report the incidents of corruption they come across. it is not possible for officers in the ACC to detect such cases of corruption without our support. The people who indulge in corruption live within the society. Therefore, it is the neighbours who, in the first place, would be aware of these corrupt practices, and who should, then, report to us. With respect to the numbers, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has allowed the ACC to recruit up to 100 officers.

Sir, I think that the ACC is doing a commendable job and disagree with the assertion that the cases it has investigated were always those that were publicly known. It is the other way round. It is the ACC, with the assistance of the whistle-blowers, that has actually arrested or apprehended people. That is why we know about the money that was buried in the ground, for instance. I do not think that that was public knowledge.

Sir, once again, I am very grateful to hon. Members for supporting this Vote.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Vote 87/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock – K1,635,337,685,317).

Mr Chenda: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to deliver a policy statement and to address the House on the 2012 estimates of expenditure for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to begin by thanking all my predecessors, four of whom are hon. Members of this House, Hon. A. B. Chikwanda, Hon. Dr Brian Chituwo, Hon. Sara Sayifwanda and Hon. Dr. Eustarckio Kazonga, for laying a solid foundation on which we shall continue to build.

Mr Chairperson, the mission statement of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is, “To promote the development of an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector, which assures food security and increased incomes”. This is in line with the objectives of the National Agriculture Policy, the Sixth National Development Plan and Vision 2030. As this august House is aware, the Government has combined the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development into the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

Mr Chairperson, hon. Members may wish to know that some programmes in my ministry’s 2012 budget have been duplicated as a result of the merging of the two ministries. The streamlining of the institutional structures in the ministry is still being undertaken and this anomaly will be rectified in the 2013 Budget.

Mr Chairperson, the agricultural sector is very important in the economic development of our country as most Zambians depend on it for their livelihood. In 2010, the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) was 20.1 per cent. It is thus a sector worth investing in.

Mr Chairperson, let me briefly highlight some programmes that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock was able to undertake this year.

Mr Chairperson, during the 2010/2011 agricultural season, the country recorded a food surplus of 2.2 million metric tonnes compared with the 1.4 million metric tonnes of the 2009/2010 season. Zambia also recorded a 3 million metric tonne crop of maize from the 2.8 million metric tonnes the previous year, giving a surplus of 1.6 million metric tonnes. The country also recorded increased production of other crops, including cotton, tobacco and soya beans compared with harvests in the 2009/2010.

Sir, the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) was improved by involving the community in the selection of beneficiaries while the number of beneficiary farmers increased from 500,000 in the 2009/2010 season to 890,000 in the 2010/2011 season and fertiliser distribution for both basal and top dressing increased by 60 per cent to 178,000 metric tonnes. Further, maize seed distribution also increased by 61 per cent during the same season.

Sir, the ministry was also able to strengthen extension and advisory services to farmers through the provision of transport to frontline staff. The net effect of the above interventions contributed to the increased maize production that was recorded in the 2010/2011 season. 

Mr Chairperson, the ministry was also active in the irrigation sub-sector and completed the rehabilitation of the Chipapa and Katombola irrigation schemes and Kanyimba and Wutinti dams. Progress was also recorded in the development of farm blocks. At Nansanga, in Serenje, 168 km of access roads were upgraded to gravel while three bridges were constructed. Two dams with the capacity of 8 million cubic litres of water were constructed and twenty-three boreholes sunk. The farm block was advertised to the general public and potential investors.

Mr Chairperson, during the 2011 Budget period, the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) took leadership in research for the sector.  The institute continued to collaborate with the Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust, the University of Zambia and other research institutions in the region to introduce appropriate technologies. The Seed Control and Certification Board also continued to ensure that only quality seed was released on the market.

Mr Chairperson, the main focus of the livestock and fisheries sub-sector, in 2011, was on the control of diseases, increasing the availability of affordable quality breeding stock in the country, improving livestock and fisheries production infrastructure, promoting community-based management in capture fisheries and supporting the development of aquaculture.

Sir, progress was made in combating livestock diseases and the trend for Foot and Mouth Disease and Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia (CBPP) showed a reduction in a number of cases in provinces prone to these diseases. This is attributed to the animal vaccination programme put in place by the Government. In the case of East Coast Fever, the results were mixed with both upward and downward trends being recorded in various parts of the country. The disease control programme has continued, with 33,000 cows in Southern Province and 10,000 in Eastern Province being immunised against East Coast Fever. A total of 28, 919 cattle in North-Western Province and 366,218 in Western Province are being vaccinated against CBPP this year, while a total of 487,043 cattle are being vaccinated against Foot and Mouth disease as follows:

Province     Number of cattle

Central 64,505
Southern 325,921
Western 83,632
Northern 22,985

Mr Chairperson, with regard to the tsetse fly eradication exercise, in 2011, the aerial spraying of an area of between 5,000 to 10,000 km² is going on in the Kwando/Zambezi region.

Mr Chairperson, in livestock production, the Government embarked on establishing livestock breeding centres in all the provinces, except Lusaka. Breeding stocks have been purchased for Mbesuma, Mwinilunga, Palabana and Mkaika ranches in 2011, while the construction of extension services centres in ten districts of Southern Province, seven districts of Northern Province, seven districts of Western Province, six district of Eastern Province and four districts of North-Western Province is on-going. Progress towards the creation of a livestock disease-free zone is also being made.

Mr Chairperson, progress has also been made towards the establishment of a national artificial insemination centre at Mazabuka and a satellite centre at Ngonga in Mongu. The rehabilitation of Katete Artificial Insemination Centre in Eastern Province has also progressed.

Mr Chairperson, measures put in place by the Government during the recent past in promoting fisheries include rehabilitation of Government fish farms to supply quality fingerlings to fish farmers, rehabilitation of laboratories at fisheries and aquaculture research stations as well as the construction of office blocks in various parts of the country. All these helped in improving service delivery. In addition, two big vessels for lakes Kariba and Bangweulu have been purchased for research purposes. As a result, aquacultural production increased to 10,291 metric tonnes in 2010 from 8,505 metric tonnes in 2009. In capture fisheries, the establishment of fisheries co-management structures led to increased compliance with fisheries regulations, resulting in sustainable management of fisheries resources.

The fisheries and livestock sub sectors experienced a number of constraints during the period under review. These include, low investment, and low production and productivity, especially among small-holder farmers. This is attributed to inadequate extension services, the high cost of financing, inadequate infrastructure, outbreaks of livestock and fish diseases, inadequate provision of fingerlings and poorly-functioning markets.

Mr Chairperson, I, now, wish to highlight what my ministry’s intentions are for 2012. The Government has recognised agriculture as one of the key strategic sectors for 2012. To this effect, it is actively promoting increased investment in agriculture with emphasis on irrigation, agricultural infrastructure, livestock development, fisheries and aquaculture development, farm mechanisation, and research and extension services among others. Furthermore, the Government is committed to agricultural diversification. This is to be achieved by the production, value-addition to, and marketing of other agricultural commodities, including rice, cassava, soya beans, groundnuts and vegetables as well as livestock and aquaculture products.

Sir, in this regard, the Government has allocated K1.6 trillion to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in next year’s Budget compared with K1.2 trillion in 2011. This increase in allocation is a testimony to the Government’s commitment to the development of the agricultural sector.

Mr Chairperson, in the 2012 Budget, K326.7 billion has been allocated for programmes and projects financed by our co-operating partners while the Government has provided K25.4 billion counterpart funding for the same programmes. I, therefore, sincerely want to thank our co-operating partners for their support to my ministry.

Sir, the Government has allocated K30.7 billion to the agriculture training institutions. Though not adequate, this allocation will enable the agriculture colleges and training institutions to continue providing trained manpower to the agricultural sector.

Mr Chairperson, to support the Government’s objective for next year’s Budget, the ministry has allocated various amounts to key programmes in the crop sub sector as follows:

Programme Amount (K’ billion)

Irrigation development 11.78

Conservation agriculture 1

Agriculture land information system 2

Construction and rehabilitation of camp and block Houses 2.7

Rehabilitation of farmer training centres countrywide 1.6

Purchase of maize and other crops as strategic reserves by
the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) 300

Mr Chairperson, my ministry, in 2012, will work on setting up a private-public partnership (PPP) institution to be involved in the marketing of agricultural commodities. This will, in future, ease the pressure on the Government resulting from undertaking this expensive exercise alone.

Sir, the Government has allocated K500 billion to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). The programme will, for the 2011/2012 farming season, be implemented using the same terms and conditions as those used in the 2010/2011 season. Meanwhile, the Government will work towards improving the programme for the 2012/2013 season. The ministry will also focus on the promotion of co-operative development. Seven billion six hundred million Kwacha has been allocated for this in the 2012 Budget.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry will, through the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI), continue to generate and provide demand-driven research technologies. This will contribute towards increased crop productivity and diversification. The availability of quality seed to the farming community is critical and K6.7 billion has been allocated to the Seed Control and Certification Board.

Mr Chairperson, the Government recognises the importance of the livestock sub-sector in the development of agriculture. However, the sector has been constrained by, among other issues, animal diseases, inadequate breeding stocks and low livestock productivity. It is, therefore, clear that a comprehensive approach is required to address these challenges.

Sir, to control livestock diseases, the Government intends to intensify and increase vaccination and immunisation campaigns for diseases of national economic significance. It also plans to reclassify East Coast Fever, anthrax and rabies as diseases of national economic significance so that these diseases become the responsibility of both the farmers and the Government. Therefore, K23.5 billion to livestock disease control activities. In addition, K502.8 million has been allocated to the production of some vaccines at the Balmore Central Veterinary Research Institute. The Government has also allocated K1.2 billion for the construction of a national convector control centre in Lusaka. Further, the ministry has earmarked K3.2 billion for the construction of a vaccine development centre in Lusaka. This is aimed at increasing the national capacity in vaccine production.

Sir, the Government will also continue with the establishment of disease-free zones in Lusaka, Central and Copperbelt provinces. Six billion eight hundred million has been allocated for this purpose.

Mr Chairperson, the Government will also focus on livestock extension service delivery to increase livestock production and productivity. To this effect, my ministry has allocated K1.2 billion for the purchase of motorbikes to enable livestock extension workers reach as many farmers as possible. The ministry will continue with the construction of livestock extension service centres. A livestock extension centre is a one-stop shop where all livestock extension services will be delivered. Such services include, dipping, spraying, vaccinations, artificial insemination and other critical services. At these centres, livestock farmers will also be registered and offered training through demonstrations on feed formulation, and pasture and range management.

Sir, the Government plans to stock and restock livestock by establishing livestock breeding centres in some parts of the country to provide quality stock. Therefore, my ministry intends to purchase more breeding stock for the centres. Three billion five hundred million kwacha has been allocated for this purpose at Mbesuma in Chinsali while K3.2 billion has been allocated to Kachindu Breeding Centre in Sinazongwe. Furthermore, K268 million has been allocated to Chishinga Breeding Centre in Luapula Province for the purchase of breeding stock and the sinking of boreholes. The Lundazi Breeding Centre in the Eastern Province …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: … has been allocated K2.1 billion for the purchase of breeding stock …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: … while K4.1 billion has been allocated for the Ukulaikwa Livestock Breeding Centre in Mumbwa District.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: Mr Chairperson, another strategy to increase livestock production is the establishment of a national artificial insemination centre in Lusaka, to which my ministry has allocated K3.2 billion. This is aimed at providing affordable high quality semen and technical assistance to livestock farmers. To preserve indigenous livestock genetic materials, a gene bank is being established at the National Artificial Insemination Service Centre in Mazabuka with the co-operation of the Czech Republic and a total of K1.2 billion has been allocated for this purposes.

Sir, the Government has allocated K27 billion for fisheries development. Of this amount, K6.9 billion is for fisheries research, out of which K2.7 billion will go towards infrastructure development and the remainder capital expenditure. The Fisheries Headquarters have been allocated K6.8 billion while K13.3 billion has been allocated to the provinces and districts to support capture and aquaculture programmes. Aquaculture programmes include support to fingerling production centres.

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, the Government will emphasise the rapid development of the agricultural sector as a tool for economic growth and poverty reduction. I, therefore, wish to humbly appeal to all hon. Members of this august House to support the budget estimates for my ministry in order for us to make progress in the work that our Government is undertaking.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Chairperson, agriculture is a key sector in the economic growth of the country. I am glad, therefore, that the Government has prioritised it. In supporting the Vote, allow me to comment on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

Sir, FISP is one of the key contributors to the growth of the agricultural sector. Through it, we have seen three bumper harvests in this country, the classification of Zambia as a middle-income country and the reduction of poverty at the village level, where we now have people in the villages having three meals a day.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Chairperson, FISP should be handled with care. It calls for serious planning on the implementation part for it to succeed. Allow me to just comment on the distribution of inputs. In the past, farming inputs under this programme have been distributed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. Though the programme was a success, it could have done better, but failed to fully meet its objectives because we saw some fertiliser coming through commercial agricultural outlets instead of going directly to the targeted farmers.

Mr Chairperson, however, the Government, through the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, and, I think, through the statement of the hon. Minister, says that it intends to use the voucher system to distribute farming inputs under FISP. We have heard that plans to use the voucher system started in the past and I just want to say that this system has been used by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and civil society organisations (CSOs) and has, so far, worked in the other agro-input distribution. I hope the Government can study it in depth and use it. On the other hand, we have heard of the intention to use traditional leaders in the distribution of fertiliser to farmers. This is what I want to comment on because it is where my interest is. This plan might not be the best way of distributing fertiliser. Like I said, initially, the implementation mode of FISP …

Ms Kalima stood upright.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: … is key to the success of the programme. The intention to use traditional leaders might not be the best because we have seen some of chiefs being politically biase in the way that they have handled the distribution of inputs in the past. For example, everybody is aware that when you leave campaign materials with the chiefs because while busy with campaigns …


Ms Kalima: … you find that it will be difficult for these things to reach the targeted people. Therefore, the use of chiefs in the distribution of fertiliser might not be a good idea.


Ms Kalima: I would urge the PF Government, through the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Hon. Chenda, who is a very able man, to reconsider the use of traditional leaders. This is a programme that we really need to study because it can make and break the agricultural sector. I think you need to study the FISP more because it has to do with food. It has built this country.

Sir, you can walk without clothes …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!


The Chairperson: Order!


Ms Kalima: For example, you can walk with one outfit …


The Chairperson: Order!

Please, give her opportunity to debate. By saying you can walk without clothes, she does not mean really going naked.


Ms Kalima: Mr Chairperson, sorry. I meant to say that you may have only one outfit that you wash and hang in the night. You can sleep without clothes and wear them in the morning. However, you cannot live without food.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Chairperson, the point I am trying to emphasise is that the FISP is a programme that has benefited the least economically empowered farmer and really needs to be understood. You can break it in the implementation. Therefore, before the Government implements it, I feel that I should add my voice on behalf of the people of Kasenengwa and other poor people who have only this programme to benefit from.

Mr Chairperson, I would like you to note that, in Kasenengwa, we only have one health post and the only benefit that these farmers have is the fertiliser support, which has now been reduced.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes, my sister.

Ms Kalima: Mr Chairperson, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock to carefully think about this programme, which has worked very well and has put Zambia on the world map.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Kazunga (Kabushi): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to support the Vote on the Floor. Before I do that, …


The Chairperson: Order!

Mrs Kazunga: I am also concerned about FISP.

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

Mrs Kazunga: Mr Chairperson, I am concerned that the hon. Minister says that he will carry on giving farmer inputs as was previously done. I think this should not be so. The programme is not working as it appears to be. To my knowledge, many farmers are denied access to the farming inputs by the chairpersons of the committees. A group calling itself Khaki allocates itself many packs, using the details of poor farmers, who have small pieces of land and are the targeted beneficiaries of the programme.

Mr Chairperson, could the hon. Minister come up with a better way of electing members of these committees so that nobody is seen to hold office for more than one year in order to deter corrupt practices. I also heard the hon. Minister saying that the distribution of inputs in 2010 was not fairly done because even if the MMD Government had come up with four packs of fertiliser to give the farmers, this fertiliser was acquired by a few people and that those were the people who had the bumper harvest that you hear about. The poor farmer was left with nothing. Perhaps, the best way is to have a one-to-one programme in which the farmers collect the fertiliser from the extension offices. Each farmer can go there with his/her NRC and a reference letter and collect his fertiliser, instead of giving the fertiliser to those chairpersons and committees that monopolise all the fertiliser and leave the people without anything. I think this is my concern.

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate this important Vote.

Sir, I support the budget for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. However, I have concerns regarding this ministry’s failure to do enough to help solve the problems that farmers face, such as the distribution of inputs. I thought it was deliberate the previous Government used to distribute inputs starting with top dressing fertiliser followed by basal dressing fertiliser and, lastly, seed.  However, I am seeing this Government doing almost the same thing.

Mr Chairperson, how does it help a farmer who sells his maize around July to get his payment in December? As I stand here, the people of Dundumwezi have not yet been paid. If I may be allowed, I will cite Bbilili Satellite Depot, where there are more than 1,000 farmers who have not yet been paid. Meanwhile, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock has told us that all the monies were released to the district. The question to the hon. Minister is: Where is the money?

Hon. MMD Members: Where is the Money?

Mr Sing’ombe: We have been told that this country has been recording a bumper harvest but, when I relate the so-called bumper harvest to the people who grow these crops, I see them still wallowing in abject poverty. What does this bumper harvest translate into? If farmers are able to produce enough crops, they are supposed to be out of the shackles of poverty. However, we do not see any change. I have realised that it is because, even when they produce enough to better their lives, the Government does not pay them in time.

Mr Chairman, I sometimes ask myself why some departments in this ministry are not decentralised. Let us take, for instance, issues to do with brand marks. For a person to be given a brand mark, he is only requested to pay K2,000. Let us take, for instance, a person from Shang’ombo who has to travel all the way from there to Lusaka to pay K2,000 for the issuance of a brand mark. Why are you making the business of agriculture so expensive?

Mr Chairperson, if we can decentralise the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA), why can we not do the same with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock? If I buy a vehicle from Livingstone, I can simply register it there without necessarily coming to Lusaka. However, for an animal, for instance, a goat, if there are brand marks for goats at all, a man has to travel from Kasempa to come and pay K2,000 here. We have to find ways and means of helping farmers.

Mr Chairperson, this Government should realise that the people who keep goats are poor farmers. Let us improve the breed of goats in this country. If you go to Botswana, you will find that the breed that they have is very good and you can actually make money out of rearing them. However, in Zambia, we have had the so-called indigenous goats from creation to date. What is happening? We have veterinary doctors in this ministry. What are they doing? We have, somehow, tried to change the breed of our cattle, but it is shameful that we have failed with the goats. So, we need to change. We have also tried to change our chickens. However, when you look at mbuzi, they are still the same.


Mr Sing’ombe: I mean goats, Mr Chairperson. If we are to help our farmers, the breed of our goats must be improved.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue that I want to register is that both the previous Government and the current one have failed to supervise the depot clerks. These officers have become a problem in that they are not doing anything apart from amassing wealth.  Today, I can challenge the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock to visit my constituency and, if I am proved wrong, I am ready to resign from this position. Let the hon. Minister go to Dundumwezi and see how rich our depot clerks are. They are able to buy two trucks in a year, yet they do not have maize fields. How are they managing to buy these trucks? Meanwhile, we see uncollected maize rotting every year, and all we are told is that there is an insurance cover. This House allocates a lot of money to the Food Reserve Agency every year but, at the end of the day, we are told that they cannot do anything when there are no shortages or that the maize was wasted because of lack of transport and storage. We must move away from that kind of behaviour.

My last concern, Mr Chairperson, is the issue of agricultural certificates. I want to place it on record that the office where our farmers get certificates is doing very well. Mr Pumulo, Mrs Muyendi and the others are doing a commendable job. However, there is a problem when these certificates are taken to our constituencies. A certificate issued to a farming group today, 16th December, 2011, in Kalomo District, for example, will not qualify in the next season. We are always told that the certificates have not yet matured. So, a certificate that is issued today will only be allocated fertiliser after the 17th of December, next year. That is one year after the certificate was issued.

Mr Chairperson, I also want the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock to go down and ask why our farmers are troubled to this extent. Why should a document be given a maturity period? If it comes from a Government department, today, I must be able to access the inputs tomorrow because it is valid. Now, we are given a period of one year and this has continued from the previous Government. Please help our farmers.

Mr Chairperson, 1000 farmers at Bbilili are, currently, gathered at Finance Bank, Kalomo Branch, a place where the sanitary conditions are very bad and they are made to sleep in the cold. This is dehumanising. I therefore, want to ask that, if there is a way, we should not transport all the maize from our sheds because I see serious poverty hovering over Dundumwezi. This is poverty that has been deliberately created by this Government.


Mr Sing’ombe:  It is this Government because the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock told me that the money was sent to Kalomo, where is it? Who is supposed to push this bank in Kalomo to pay the farmers? The money is there, but someone is keeping it.

Mr Chairperson, with these few words, I thank you.

Mr Chishiba (Kafulafuta): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this important Vote. Due to limited time, I will try to be brief so that I can give chance to other debaters.

Sir, I will rest my debate on two issues. Firstly, I would like state that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is very strategic and the Zambian Government should promote it to take the number one slot in the Zambian economy so that we can earn enough foreign exchange from it and contribute more to the Budget of this country. Secondly, the ministry should turn Zambia into a food basket for the whole of Africa. Thus, in pursuit of these honourable intentions, there are many strategic measures that the Government needs to take.

Sir, the first serious issue that needs to be dealt with is that of inputs. Where are we getting the agricultural inputs from? It is a fact that they are mostly imported, with only 5 per cent coming from the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ). We should ask ourselves why the NCZ was set up by forefathers. We have not fully utilised it and, as long as it remains a sleeping giant, we are just fishing in the bush in our pursuit to attain the level of agricultural success that we desire.  We will remain underdeveloped.

Sir, I had the privilege of working at the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) for five years as Process Engineer. I superintended over the materials, restructuring, intermediate production and the final product. This is a company that had a ready market, both within Zambia and outside, and produced quality phosphorous fertiliser. This is the fertiliser that Kafironda used to manufacture TNT explosives.

Sir, as I speak, Kafironda is importing the phosphorus fertiliser from South Africa when, instead of getting it from the NCZ like it used to. The other type of fertiliser was Density, which was basically for agricultural purposes. Then, the solid processing of D-compound and all other compounds up to X were also produced for the betterment of the agricultural sector. However, this company has now been completely forgotten. I do not know if there is any allocation for its recapitalisation.

Sir, as soon as we address the issue of the NCZ, then, the issue of weaning-off farmers from FISP will succeed. By importing fertiliser, this and any successive Government will fail to wean-off the subsistence farmers because of the exorbitant costs involved.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to urge the hon. Minister and other line ministries to look at this issue of helping the NCZ seriously. If we fail, let us sell it. However, we should know that it is of economic importance if we have to substitute mining with agriculture.

Sir, the PF intentions, policies and programmes to diversify agriculture are a good idea, but I insist that those who are better at growing maize should continue with the crop so that they do not face any risks in the event that multi-cropping does not succeed. After all, maize is our staple food.

Hon. Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Chishiba: We do not need to go back to eating yellow maize.

Mr Chairperson, maize is also marketable. We can sell it to any country where it is not grown. We have fertile land and can do more without risking any losses. Let us encourage those who are experienced in cultivating maize to continue along that line for us to have more bumper harvests. We should just plan the storage aspect so that we enhance the food security of the country.

Sir, the multi-cropping that the PF Government is promoting is very good, but we should not just be making sweeping statements. It will not yield anything because, even in the next Budget, we will be talking about the same thing. If we do not take pragmatic steps by giving incentives, the President will come and address the House on the same thing.

Sir, those venturing into new fields should have security. Supposing things fail, our farmers will definitely be poorer than they are. However, if incentives are extended and the programme fails, the farmers will be remunerated and reimbursed in some way. That way, people will be encouraged. If we just keep telling people to diversify, it will not work. Therefore, the hon. Minister should look into the issue of diversification. The farmers will prefer to deal with the devil they are familiar with than the one they do not know.


Mr Chishiba: Mr Chaiperson, I would like to state that farmers in Kafulafuta are struggling. Even if we keep talking about bumper harvests, in places like Dundumwezi, people are still poor, partly, because the buyers are the ones determining the price. Farmers are always left alone when dealing with such issues.

Mr Speaker, we are busy buying imported tomato sauce in Spar and Shoprite while a lot of the tomato that our farmers produce is going to waste. What are we doing to sort out this issue? It is time the PF Government dealt with such issues for the farmers to have confidence in it. It should provide a market so that no produce goes to waste.

Sir, in the past, there was a company called Copper Harvest Food Ltd, which used to buy farmers’ produce in bulk. If we took that direction, we would support the farmers very well. Currently, farmers may try, but there is no ready market fro their produce. Even when we talk about maize, the allocation for the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), this year, is only K300 billion, yet they have just paid K1.3 trillion to farmers. The agency will be crippled again. I think that the ministry should pay more attention to the FRA and NCZ for it to perform.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.
Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa): Mr Chairperson, I just want to add the voice of the people of Kawambwa to this important debate. I will not dwell much on what other speakers have said.

Sir, we definitely need to streamline the fertiliser distribution and crop marketing systems. I tend to think that we start our crop marketing rather late. Just as Hon. Livune said, it is very unfair to hold on to the farmers’ money for one year. That issue must be looked at critically.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chilangwa: Sir, I would like to urge the hon. Minister to seriously consider using the headmen and chiefs in input distribution. I am saying so because our headmen and chiefs are the ones who know which people in their chiefdoms or villages are hard working and who are lazy. They are the ones who know where each one of those people lives. It is a very important concept that we must explore and, if possible, use during the next farming season.

Mr Chairperson, our lakes, especially in Luapula Province, need serious fish re-stocking. I have not seen any line budget for fish restocking and I would like to ask the hon. Minister to urgently revisit that important. Once our lakes and rivers are restocked, there will be no fighting between the Fisheries Department and fish farmers over the seasonal closures. The fish bans are not yielding any results. You can tell people not to fish for some months but, when you go back, after the ban, there is still no fish. I, therefore, hope that we will look at other ways and means of dealing with this issue.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank the PF Government for considering revamping Balmoral Central Veterinary Research Institute. To those of us who have had the opportunity to visit Balmoral Central Veterinary Research Institute over the years, it is not the same. It looks deserted because the previous Government did not put any money into it. Now that we have money coming through next year, the institute will go a long way in ensuring that we produce the vaccines and medicines needed to fight most of the diseases ravaging our livestock.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Chairperson, putting more money into research stations, including Mount Makulu and the Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI) in Chilanga is a welcome development. This is how it should be. The Government should put more money into research so that we move forward and achieve meaningful development. On the other hand, we heard that Chishinga Research Ranch in Kawambwa will receive K268 million for breeding stock whereas the other ranch will receive K2 billion. Through you, Sir, I would like to ask the hon. Minister to consider increasing K268 million in one way or the other. The discrepancy between K268 million and K2 billion is huge. We need to bring these two facilities to the same level.

Lastly but not the least, just like Hon. Chishiba said, we have a lot of fruits going to waste. I would like to request the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock to engage his colleague at the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and see how this country can come up with companies that will zero in on producing concentrates. Companies can collect all the fruits that are going to waste in all areas. It is not just tomatoes. There are mangoes, pineapples and masuku fruits. During this season, a lot of masuku are sold by the roadside but, at the end of the day, those people will go back to their villages with the masuku. What are they going to do with them?

When not all the tomatoes have been sold, people will go back home with them where they will become over ripe. What are they going to do with them? Our peoples’ effort is being wasted because we do not have any options. Companies that produce fruit juices will tell you that they do not buy fruits here in Zambia because they are not in that business. They buy concentrates. We, therefore, need to develop industries that can actually produce concentrates so that we can add value to all these fruits lying around in the country and improve the lives of our people.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Chairperson, I would like to dwell on the marketing system under the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). The marketing system, as it is now, leaves much to be desired. One problem we have noted, especially in Kalomo, where farmers are paid a lot of money, …

The Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1256 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 19th December, 2011.