Debates- Tuesday, 22nd November, 2011

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Tuesday, 22nd November, 2011

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






25. Mr Kaingu (Mwandi) asked the Minister of Mines and Natural Resources whether the Government had any plans to address the extreme poverty levels affecting the people who live in game management areas (GMAs).

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Natural Resources (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to address the extreme poverty levels affecting our people living in GMAs. The Government, through the Zambia wildlife Authority (ZAWA), has implemented and will continue to implement the following measures in order to reduce poverty levels among people living in GMAs:

(i)community-based natural resources management programmes in which communities in the GMAs are involved in the management of wildlife resources and share the benefits accruing from the sustainable use of wildlife. The programme provides for the sharing of revenue from wildlife utilisation between ZAWA and local communities on a fifty-fifty basis. The funds accruing to the community are used for projects such as the construction of clinics, schools and other facilities that benefit the community;

(ii)enhancement of employment creation by tourism operators, such as safari hunting companies operating in game management. These are mandated to employ only people from local communities;

(iii)supporting communities in GMAs and ensuring their food security through programmes aimed at reducing destruction of crops by animals. The measures include ZAWA officers’ killing of problem animals, promotion of the use of deterrent fences, such as solar and chilli fences, and sensitising people to avoid growing crops in wildlife habitants and corridors; and

(iv)promotion of tourism in the GMAs in order to create more jobs for the local communities.

Mr Speaker, I repeat that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is determined to alleviate poverty in GMAs. As you are aware, Sir, we are not only allergic to corruption but, also, to poverty.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, according to the report by the World Bank/Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources Management Committee, people living in GMAs are the poorest in the country.  The money that is given to the community resource boards (CRBs), as you have heard from the answer, is not for livelihood or sustainable development, but goes to clinics. What plans does the hon. Minister of Mines and Natural Resources have for alleviating this severe poverty?

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, as the questioner knows, there was a serious backlog of payments to the CRBs of their share of hunting and other revenues from GMAs, which necessitated an emergency payment, if I recall correctly, during the last election campaign to bring payments up to date. One reason for poverty in this country is the failure of the authorities at the centre to give the people at the periphery their due share of public resources. Another problem is that the ADMADE concept operating in these GMAs  requires that the local communities supply village scouts in very considerable numbers and, of course, the employment of these people is the first thing to be scaled down whenever ZAWA or the Government purse comes under pressure. So, I think that, with good management alone, we should be able to achieve a good measure of improvement in the livelihoods of people in these areas, including the new Kahari Game Management Area

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, could His Honour, the Vice-President, enlighten this House and the nation on the extremity of poverty levels in the GMAs, because the answer was an admission of the degree of poverty, and the extreme end?

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I think it is not surprising that poverty and living in a GMA go hand in hand. It is possible for an area to be a GMA precisely because it is poor because the extent of agricultural activities is limited for some reasons, such as tsetse fly prevalence. So, it is, indeed, true that poverty and living in a GMA go hand in hand, but we are determined to see an end to that persistent situation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, among the many things that are in abundance in this country is customary land. Is the Government failing to encourage some of those people living in GMAs to be part of those in the villages so that they are established in the chiefdoms?

Dr Scott: Sir, I am not sure I understood that question, but if I did, let it be very clear that the GMA concept is that people may continue, if they wish, to live cheek by jaw with wildlife and should not be subjected to being evacuated as they are, for example, in the case of game parks, which are a very different construct.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, the community based-natural resource management concept has worked very well in countries where chiefs do not have excessive power in the management of land. I would like to find out from His Honour, the Vice-President, whether this Government is going to make chiefs relinquish some of the land that they are holding on to so that the people in the GMAs can benefit more from this mechanism.

Dr Scott: Sir, I think the situations vary very much from one GMA to the next. I may have GMAs, for example, in the Luangwa Valley where the chiefs’ powers are strong, where areas have been very carefully delineated between those that are farmed by people and those that are inhabited by animals. In other areas, where the traditional powers of the chiefs are minimal, such as those in the Kafue National Park, the mixing of agriculture and wildlife activities has, indeed, become a problem.

I thank you, Sir.


26. Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe) asked the Vice-President:

 (a) how many District Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries had their    contracts terminated in between September and October, 2011;

 (b) what the cost of terminating the contracts was, in respect of
(i)District Commissioners; and

(ii) Permanent Secretaries;

(c) what the total cost of settling the officers who replaced the officers at (a) above was; and

 (d) whether the funds at (c) above were provided for in the 2011 National   Budget.  

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, fifty-nine District Commissioners and twenty Permanent Secretaries had their contracts terminated between September and October 2011.

The cost of terminating the contracts of District Commissioners was K11, 385, 491, 213.55 while that of Permanent Secretaries was K13,619,027, 448.75 while that of settling the officers who replaced those whose contracts were terminated was K2, 196, 126, 831.00

The funds for the exercise above were not provided for in the 2011 National Budget. They will be paid from a supplementary budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, does it mean that the severance packages for the former Permanent Secretaries and District Commissioners will have to wait until the supplementary estimates are approved by this House?

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, the funds referred to appear in the settling-in allowances, not the termination cost. The answer to that question is that, yes, they will wait for the supplementary budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the maternal mortality rate for Zambia is way higher than the target under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Bearing in mind that the cost of constructing a maternity ward is less than K500 million and many of our rural areas need maternity wards, can His Honour the Vice-President, justify the expenditure of K25 billion to get rid of political cadres from the  Civil Service just to replace them with other cadres?

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, if the hon. lady had as many complaints as I have had from members of my own party to the effect that we are professionalising the Civil Service rather than re-cadreising it, she would understand our position.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: We are not appointing our cadres, but putting back professional civil servants where they are supposed to be, which is in the positions of DC and PS. The cost is very limited, especially, if you express it in terms of the number of bicycles that can be bought by our political opponents.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: We are looking at a cost of about US$5 million, which, for the higher echelons at the district and provincial level in a country of our size, is not that much.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, when the former DCs and PSs were dismissed, they were told to vacate their residences immediately. Can His Honour the Vice-President, therefore, specify when they will be paid?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, as soon as the money is available.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Government Members: The owners of bicycles.

Mr Musokotwane: … and the owners of helicopters.

Hon. MMD Member: Yes, and the owners of helicopters.


Mr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, in the last few weeks, we have seen the appointment of very senior personnel being made in the morning only to be reversed in the afternoon or the following day.

Mr Namulambe: Including DCs on the Copperbelt.

Hon. Government Members: Sensitivity!

Mr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, would His Honour the Vice-President, admit that the wholesale sacking of so many senior people in the Government at one goal has caused confusion in the nation, such as we are seeing in the appointments?

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I am not sure how much confusion prevails in Liuwa at the moment. I do not think that a great degree of confusion prevails in the areas that I know. In any case, the question concerned the cost of getting rid of politicised civil servants. The question just asked is, in fact, a new question.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya (Petauke): Mr Speaker, may His Honour the Vice-President, admit that there is a need to treat this matter with urgency and have a humane attitude towards it considering that the affected people are Zambians who have children that have to go to school and need food? May he admit that it is important for leaders to show a humane attitude towards these families?

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, we shall be as humane as is consistent with the law.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, were the DCs and PSs fired due to politics or for the lack of performance of their duties?

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, it is because they were, quite plainly, political appointees. One or two may have slipped through the net in one way or the other in being allowed to remain. One or two may have been caught in the net the other way. However, the vast majority that consists of eight provincial PSs, twelve ministerial PSs and sixty-eight Dcs were political appointees. They were removed because we felt that under our manifesto and policies, we have no room for political appointees from our party or any other.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, is the His Honour the Vice-President, aware that, upon the termination of their contracts, the former DCs are entitled to their terminal benefits without having to wait for the approval of a supplementary budget by Parliament?


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, the question I answered in part (d) sought to establish whether the funds that were being talked about in part (c) were provided for in the 2011 National Budget. Part (c) of the question relates to the settling in allowances, not the terminal benefits.

The hon. Member has enlarged the scope of the original question. This is a little unfair because I should not be expected to dream up answers.

I thank you, Sir.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, I would like the His Honour, the Vice-President, to inform this House and the nation at large, the difference between the political appointees like the PF cadre, Mr George Mpombo, who has been appointed into the Foreign Service, and the ones who are being fired today.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I must insist that the question relates to PSs and DCs, not generally to the 13 million people who inhabit Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Sayifwanda (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, I would like His Honour, the Vice-President, to clarify to this House and the nation, at large, what it means to be a political appointee. I ask this question bearing in mind the fact that the former PSs and DCs who have been relieved of their duties by the new Government were appointed by the former President while those who replaced them have been appointed by the current President. I would like to know the difference.


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, there is a difference between a proper civil servant and somebody who is being paid by the Government, but is, at the same time, distributing T-shirts and bicycles for the Ruling Party and campaigning for it, as well as using five or six vehicles on party matters. For example, in Mpongwe, where one of the victims came from, this was the blatant case.

So, I think that only a person with very jaundiced eyes could not see the difference between what was happening during the reign of the party that we defeated, which used to run a highly politicised Civil Service and the situation as it is now.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, the Employment Act states that employees who have not been paid their terminal benefits must remain on the payroll of the employer. I would like to find out whether the retired or fired DCs and PSs have remained on the payroll of the Civil Service.


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, even though I am not a lawyer, I still know that the application of the law that the hon. Member has referred to depends on the nature of the contract.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr M. B. Mwale (Malambo): Mr Speaker, is the His Honour the Vice-President aware that the new DC for Mambwe is, currently, the one actively distributing party materials for the PF?


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I am not aware of that. I thank the hon. Member for that information. I will check it out. If the DC for Mambwe is doing what the hon. Member has said, then he is doing the wrong thing.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out the difference between the PSs who were dismissed and the current PS for Northern Province, Mr Emmanuel Mwamba, who is busy distributing PF T-shirts in the province.


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, we should add that complaint to the list of the issues that need to be looked into. However, to the best of my knowledge, Mr Mwamba has never been a member of the PF. Maybe he is, now, but he has never been.

I thank you, Sir.


27. Mr Chisanga asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when a bridge would be constructed on the Lunsemfwa River for Mboshya and surrounding communities.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mwenya): Mr Speaker, in 2005, the Government of Zambia received funding, in form of a loan, from the World Bank, under the Emergency Drought Recovery Project for various activities that included the construction of bridges at various crossing points. One of the crossings that was to be constructed was at Shikabeta, across the Lunsemfwa River. However, due to the lengthy World Bank procurement procedures, the contracts were only signed six months before the expiry of the credit period. As such, bridge works were not completed at the close of the credit. Further, due to the limitations of the local resource envelope, works on the bridge could not be included in the 2011 Annual Work Plan as the Government was still funding other on-going projects.

Mr Speaker, the ministry, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), has made provisions in the 2012 Budget and 2012 Annual Work Plan to undertake a study and complete the works. In the meantime, the RDA will send a team of engineers to carry out an assessment of the size of bridge required at Mboshya. The engineers will also be asked to establish the distance between the yet-to-be-completed bridge on the Lunsemfwa River at Shikabeta to Luano Valley so as to establish whether there will be a need to construct another bridge. In case the cost for the proposed crossing is not too high, the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) might be requested to construct it using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). However, should it be found that the span between the two locations the bridge is meant to connect is long, the RDA will make provisions in subsequent annual work plans to undertake a detailed bridge engineering study.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, how possible is it that the bridge can be constructed using the meagre CDF?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication and Chief Whip (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, if the span between the two areas the bridge is meant to connect is short, a small bridge can be constructed. However, if a river is very big, a lot of investigation and assessment should be carried out before a bridge is constructed on it. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that this particular project was actually allocated to Agro-Fuel Investments Ltd who have partly done the job and that some materials are still at the site?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, we are not aware of this. That is why we want to send engineers to investigate what exactly happened.

I thank you, Sir.


28. Mr Kaingu asked the Minister of Home Affairs when a police post would be built in Mwandi Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwaliteta): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the construction of the Mwandi Police Post is in the Zambia Police Force Construction Plan. It will be constructed once funds are available during the Sixth National Development Plan’s implementation period.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, what immediate plans does the Government have for the police officers operating in Mwandi?

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, at the moment, we are negotiating with the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST) to see if we can use its offices temporarily.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, the answer given by the hon. Deputy Minister that the construction of the Mwandi Police Post has been included in the Zambia Police Force Construction Plan has made me interested in knowing whether my constituency is also being considered for a similar project. When will the Government bring that plan to the House so that we can look at it?

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member should know that the Government is very committed to ensuring that police posts are built all over the country when funds are available.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




(Debate resumed)

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala ): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this important Motion of Supply on the Floor of this House, which was ably moved and well presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Sir, first and foremost, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those who supported my candidature and subsequent election to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Zambia Branch Board as Committee Member, especially the proposer and my seconder, Hon. Forrie Tembo and Hon. Kalima respectively. I would also like to thank my campaign committee, which was managed very well by a well-networked, resourceful and seasoned campaigner, Hon. Mwila.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, I thank my party, the United Party for National Development (UPND), for endorsing my candidature. I equally thank my election agent, Hon. Lufuma, for his support and tender care.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, let me now talk about the Motion on the Floor of the House. The 2012 Budget was received with mixed emotions. Zambians were very expectant. I feel that the 2012 Budget has failed them in some areas.


Sir, I feel that the allocation of about K2 trillion, which translates into 9.3 per cent of the Budget, is not sufficient because it will not provide cost-effective, quality and gender-responsive primary health care for all. The allocation is also not in line with the Abuja Declaration benchmark of 15 per cent, which Zambia is signatory to. I do not think the Budget for health will increase access to quality and specialist referral medical care for all Zambians, who cannot go to Morningside Clinic. I also do not think that the allocation will avail essential drugs and medical supplies to the people of Zambia. Much as I appreciate the fact that user fees have been done away with, I hope that we are not going to silently pass costs to the patients through things like laboratory and x-ray fees.

Mr Speaker, I also do not think that the allocation to the health sector will be enough to provide the infrastructure that will support the delivery of quality health services. This is why I said earlier that the Budget has failed us in some areas.

Sir, I am meant to believe that the Government reduced the number of ministries as a cost-saving measure. However, to my surprise, in the 2012 Budget, the general administration costs have increased by 1.3 per cent despite the reduction in the number of ministries. I think that, in this case, the Government can as well give us back the hon. Minister who was responsible for gender issues.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the fact that the corporate tax has been reduced from 40 per cent to 35 per cent. One thing that the Government did not consider is the depositor, who is the purchaser of Government securities. When the base rate falls, the interest rates fall as well. We appreciate that the borrowing customer will benefit from this new development since the interest rates have, for a long time, been around 19 per cent to 20 per cent. However, we must bear in mind that, even if the commercial banks are going to drop the interest rates, they will not go below 13 per cent. Maybe, Citibank is the only bank that is going achieve that because it is the only corporate bank in the country at the moment. The rest are retail corporate banks. In this regard, when you take the lowest interest rate, if it was at 13 per cent, and add it to 5 per cent which is the liable rate, it would take the lending interest rate to 18 per cent, which I feel would still be high. The cost of doing business in Zambia would still be high.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Ms Lubezhi: For the depositor, who is a very important client of the bank because he/she contributes to its deposit base, I expected the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to have reduced the withholding tax on Government securities as the current 16 per cent is very high.

Mr Speaker, our colleagues on your right campaigned on the premise of lowering taxes. Therefore, they should have slashed the 1 per cent medical levy on fixed deposits and Government securities. Then, we would have applauded it for lowering taxes.

Mr Speaker, in 1997/98, we had a situation in which some commercial banks in Zambia, because the interest rates were very low, faced liquidity problems. As a result, the Central Bank put in an incentive to increase the interest rates for the depositor and the buyer of Government securities. I see that this Government is headed in the same direction.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, I am glad that agriculture is one of the key sectors that the Government has prioritised. However, I would like to point out that the 7 per cent allocation to the sector falls short of the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security target of 10 per cent. I wonder why we even send Government officials to attend these conferences when we do not domesticate the signed instruments.

Mr Speaker, for some of us who understand what agriculture is all about, a K1.698 billion allocation is not enough.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, there is a need to understand that agriculture is more than maize production and marketing. There are many structural problems in the sector, such as lack of feeder roads, storage facilities and proper extension services to farmers, especially in rural areas, particularly, Chief Muchila’s area in Namwala Constituency.

Mr Speaker, this Government talks of diversification out of the balance of 800 million. I would have been more pleased if there was an allocation towards the cotton industry in the Budget. Cotton can turn around the economy of this country because it is a viable crop. Last week, I saw three hon. Deputy Ministers, in Kafue, in an empty textile warehouse. I was shocked by their shock at finding the warehouse empty because, being in the Government, they are supposed to understand what is happening.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, even Mulungushi Textiles in Kabwe has been turned into a piggery, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: … and, last week, the hon. Minister of Defence gave a very unfortunate statement that there is very little that the Government could do about that situation. The Government has a lot to do because it is in control.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, the Budget talked about agricultural programmes, such as livestock development, irrigation infrastructure, fisheries and aquaculture. As I said earlier, for some of us who understand what goes on in the agricultural sector, this figure is a mockery.

Mr Speaker, if we do not put the agricultural house in order, we should forget about Zambia having a proper agricultural sector. Small-scale farmers do not even benefit much even from the zero-rating of some inputs because this Budget has left them out. 

Mr Speaker, I urge the Government not to export all the maize because it does not seem that we will have proper rainfall this year.

Hon. Government Member: Are you a meteorologist?

Ms Lubezhi: The one thing the people in the Government have to understand is that hunger is a gross injustice that should not be inflicted on our Zambian citizenry.

Mr Speaker, I liked the way my colleague from Mwansabombwe defined windfall tax. Indeed, windfall tax is when the unexpected happens. We are not saying that this economy should be run on windfall tax as the hon. Member insinuated. All we are saying is that we should share the extra icing on the cake.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Anyway, we will forgive the hon. Member for Mwansabombwe. He is a greenhorn.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mwewa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwewa: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member debating in order to insult me by calling me a greenhorn and, actually, allude to the fact that my debate was shallow, yet hers is shallower? She is literally reading what somebody wrote on her behalf.


Mr Mwewa: Anyway, when I get upset, I always lose my line of thought.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwewa: Mr Speaker is the …

Mr Speaker: Order!

You can only take the Floor if you are given the Floor.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Unfortunately, the hon. Member has just debated his own point of order.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Namwala may continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, I also expected the National Budget to be gender-sensitive and gender-responsive because gender mainstreaming is a good strategy in ensuring that development interventions are gender responsive and that both men and women from all sectors benefit equally.

Mr Speaker, the world is committed to the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 1995, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development and ensuring that a gender perspective is reflected in all national policies and programmes. This is not the case in Zambia. As a result of such omissions, Zambia was ranked 106 out of 134 countries in the 2010 Global Gender Gap Report. This means that 68 per cent of the population of Zambia lives below the poverty line, out of which 53 per cent live in extreme poverty. It is sad to note that Zambia, today, lags behind despite being a pioneer in the region. Regionally and internationally, gender is treated as a key factor in national development.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, one of the sad and worrying factors is that gender is not institutionalised in the Public Service. Therefore, we will continue facing these gender disparities at the expense of improving service delivery.

Mr Speaker, the question is: Has the Budget met people’s expectations with regard to development? The answer is ‘no’.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: This is because it is not inclusive of all stakeholders in economic growth.

In conclusion, I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to consider rephrasing the theme for gender development to “Zambia, a better place for all, but not all of them” because the Budget is selective.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: What kind of theme is that? Chilingalinga?


Mr M. B. Mwale (Malambo): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me the opportunity to contribute to the debate of the Motion of Supply, which is on the Floor of this House. I intend to be brief.

Sir, firstly, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for successfully delivering the maiden PF Budget Address to this House. I am mindful that, at least on two occasions, in 1974 and 1975, he did deliver budget addresses in the UNIP Government.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Ooh!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I also applaud the hon. Minister for his boldness in acknowledging the successes scored in the area of macro-economics when Hon. Dr Musokotwane was at the helm of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: That is how it is supposed to be. That is, indeed, mature leadership.

Sir, I find the Budget Address to be interesting because it gives hope to the consumer, but, at the same time, a broad sweeping statement full of innuendos with negative perceptions of the producer. The speech is punctuated by the typical political populism flavoured by the “Don’t Kubeba” PF bus trails.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, may I now set out my debate. An excerpt of paragraph 5 on Page 1 of the Budget reads:

“As we embark on the path to transform our nation, hard work is required and difficult choices will have to be made. But, as a nation, we have collectively chosen this path. …”

Sir, what difficult choices have we made, if I may ask? We have not made choices regarding economic difficulties, but we have collectively chosen an unconstitutional path.

Hon. MMD Member: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: We have collectively chosen the path of Zambia gravitating into a police State.

Hon. Government Members: Aah! Awe!

Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr M. B. Mwale: Homes of political opponents are being searched without search warrants in the absence of the owners of the property.


Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order. Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Malambo in order to, first of all, mislead this House and the nation at large that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning’s speech is punctuated by the “Don’t Kubeba” slogan without even quoting and naming the page on which it is written and, secondly, for him to gravitate away from the Budget to start lamenting his arrest and declaring this country a police State? Is he in order to bring matters that are before the courts into this debate? I need your ruling.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Firstly, I would like to urge hon. Members to avoid employing language that touches on slogans or sloganeering. Secondly, the hon. Member of Parliament is certainly out of order in introducing a subject that is not related to the Budget. As regards the quotation about difficult choices, the context relates, obviously, to economic choices. I think it is inappropriate to interpolate this Budget with a subject that is totally unrelated to it. To that extent, the hon. Member is, obviously, out of order.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I would like to stress the point that we have a specific Motion, which is about the Budget Address presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. I know it is very tempting to bring in unrelated issues, but that we will not do. Let us focus on the Budget Address. That is the subject of debate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, Zambians have made a difficult choice to tread a path that is not constitutional.

Sir, on page 2 of the Budget Speech, there is an innuendo that reads:

“ … I am concerned that the mining sector data do not fully reflect actual production.”

This is a broad and sweeping statement devoid of facts …

Mr Mukanga: Aah! Manganese.

Mr M. B. Mwale: … and damaging and injurious to our nation’s economic driver, the mining industry. The statement is only based on perceptions of the industry.

Sir, it is pleasing to note …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Take your seat hon. Member.

Hon. Members, can we give the hon. Member an opportunity to debate without interference. It takes away the dignity of the House to prevent an hon. Member from debating. If you have any response, you will have an opportunity to respond. It should be a battle of ideas. Let the best ideas prevail.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Long live the Chair!

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

Mr M. B. Mwale: Baku marabo!

Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Mr M. B. Mwale: Sir, it is pleasing to note the PF Government’s confession …

Mr Mukanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Malambo debating in a manner he is in order to insult the House without even declaring interest on the issues he is bringing before the House? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: The Chair is placed in a very difficult situation because he is not conversant in all languages. So, I was not able to comprehend what was said.


Mr Speaker: Perhaps, to give the benefit of doubt to the hon. Member, may he, please, translate before I make an appropriate ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I basically said I come from Malambo Constituency.


Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I really hate to do this, but for the sake of maintaining the dignity and decorum of this House, I am obliged to raise this point of order. Is that hon. Member of Parliament in order to tell an open lie in this House that he said “Malambo”, yet the word he used is “marabo” referring to us as scavengers? Is he in order to do that?


Mr Speaker: We seem to be getting meshed and unprocedural difficulties with points of order. First of all, I would like to state that the hon. Member for Kabwata, unfortunately, is not in order to raise two points of order on the same hon. Member.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: That aside, I would like to urge hon. Members, generally, to avoid use of languages that will make debate obscure and run us into difficulties of seeking interpretations. I know this business has been recorded and if we play it back, we will truly get to what was said and get an appropriate translation. Whatever was said, I would like to stress that we need to maintain the dignity of the House by avoiding uttering unnecessary aspersions either against a particular hon. Member or hon. Members of the House in general.

However, I will certainly take note of this issue and, at an appropriate time, will be able to determine what was truly said by the hon. Member and see whether, in any event, any offense has been committed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: For the time being, we will proceed with our debate with the caveat that every hon. Member should be given an opportunity to speak. Regardless of the view you have on what is being said, you will have an opportunity to respond. If we continue interfering, heckling and interjecting unnecessarily, I think we will take away efficiency of the debate. I would like to reiterate that we are transacting very serious business on behalf of the nation and I do not think we should be ridiculed by degenerating the debate.

May the hon. Member continue?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Sir, it is pleasing to note the PF’s confession that the Movement for MMD Government did well in the area of trade. Gross international reserves rose to US$2.6 billion as at the end of September, 2011. Indeed, we should move away from the politics of demonising immediate past governments and build on their successes. It is a relay race and the baton of development is only passed on to successive governments. In that regard, I applaud the hon. Minister for asserting that the PF Government will continue with the development of multi-facility economic zones (MFEZs).

Sir, I agree with the hon. Minister that unemployment levels have remained unacceptably high, especially among our youths. However, this statement on page 5 of his speech is shallow as it does not make an assessment from the bigger picture. The unemployment equation has a number of factors at play, such as population boom and adoption of technology.

Mr Speaker, in the agricultural sector, the hon. Minister would like to see a capital-intensive farmer return to the initial technology of the hoe. He does not want a highly productive farmer to move along with the global trends by adopting technologies, such as the use of tractors, combine harvesters and herbicides. As a result of increased technology adoption, some manual chores have been taken over by machines.

Sir, in the mining industry, the hon. Minister would like to see the miner return to the days of the shovel and wheelbarrow or the use of the jackhammer for primary development. In today’s mining industry, one load haul dump (LHD) has replaced 100 men and one jumbo drilling machine has replaced over sixty men. In today’s downside metallurgical processes, hundreds of men have been displaced by automation. The bottom line is that, in today’s global village, innovative technologies have taken over jobs that were normally done manually.

The Vice-President interjected.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Iyi ni technology, imwe. You were born before the computer age, imwe.


Mr M. B. Mwale: Sir, I agree with the hon. Minister’s assertion on page 5 which says, …

Hon. MMD Members: Hammer, hammer!

Mr M. B. Mwale: … in part:

“Our hard working farmers across the country have no interest in real GDP growth if their farm produce lies uncollected, they are not paid on time and they do not receive a reasonable and fair recompense for their labour.”

Sir, I find implicit inconsistencies in the PF’s fashion of governance in relation to the President’s Speech, in which he asserted that the Government will be a buyer of last resort. We all know what happens when we leave the marketing of farmers’ produce to the private sector. Farmers, particularly in rural areas, are robbed by vultures who find an opportunity for a high return. Briefcase buyers invade rural areas, thereby buying the produce for a song.

Mr Speaker, I applaud the hon. Minister’s pronouncements on the tourism sector on page 6. He says:

“Sir, in the tourism sector, we will promote and expand tourism products and develop key infrastructure.”

This is a true convergence of political rhetoric and the realism of governance. When former President, Rupiah Banda, was commissioning the Chipata/Mfuwe Road, one leader of a political party stated that the road was being tarred for animals and this cost the PF votes in Malambo.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: I know that when His Honour, the Vice-President, visited my constituency and wanted to pay a courtesy call on one chief who was attending a funeral, he was welcomed and told, “thank you for coming so that you could mourn with us an elephant that has died.”


Mr M. B. Mwale: On agriculture, the hon. Minister states that previous governments encouraged maize growing. I agree with him if he wants Zambians to be growing flowers, such as roses, as opposed to their staple food, which is maize.

I agree with the hon. Minister, if we would like to see more Dollars come into the country at the expense of food security. There is a saying that I would like to share with him: “A hungry nation is truly an angry nation”. You can ignore that saying at your own peril.

Mr Speaker, on road development measures, I would like to give a historical perspective. During the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) days, the mineral royalty had reached 10 per cent and what was seen was that the mining industry started deteriorating because the cow was being over-milked and we were not giving it enough fodder. As a consequence, it suffered from lack of recapitalisation. Under the leadership of the MMD Government, …

Hon. Government Member: Aah! Which Government? That is a past Government!

Mr M. B. Mwale: … when we embarked on the path of privatisation, we reduced the mineral royalty to 0.6 per cent and corporate tax to 25 per cent. In 2007, the MMD Government adjusted mineral royalty from 0.6 per cent to 3 per cent …

MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: … and corporate tax from 25 per cent to 30 per cent. The mineral royalty tax was adjusted five times and corporate tax was upped by 5 per cent.

Mr Speaker, the manner of realism in governance is in the upping of mineral royalty from 3 per cent to 6 per cent because the one who had the duty of reading this Budget Speech opposed the upping of the mineral royalty from 0.6 per to 3 per cent when he was the Chairperson of Teal Mining Company.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: Twalaita ba prison warder.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Nalakweba ubwelele ku marabo futi.


Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, allow me to give an indication of mineral royalties rates obtaining in the region. In the DRC, base metals are at 2 per cent while precious metals are at 2.5 per cent. In Botswana, base metals are at 3 per cent, gold is at 5 per cent while the radio-active diamonds are at 10 per cent. In Namibia, mineral royalty is at 3 per cent, precious metals are at 3 per cent, nickel is at 2 per cent and diamonds are at 10 per cent.

Mr Speaker, in Zambia, we settled for 3 per cent as a regional average for base metals. For our mining industry to be sustained, we need stability in the fiscal regime. I would like to quote the World Bank Country Director in The Post of Friday, 18th November, 2011, for the benefit of the hon. Minister. “A warning was issued that frequent adjustments of royalty rates could send negative signals of an unstable fiscal regime, which could subsequently negatively impact Zambia’s attractiveness as a mining investment destination.”

Hon. Government Member: Aah!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, whether you like it or not, the mining sector is driven by private capital foreign direct investment (FDI) as the country does not have enough capital of its own.

Mr Speaker, as regards the re-introduction of the windfall tax, it was political rhetoric meant to steer the PF into power.

Hon. MMD Member: It is true. It was a lie.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, not re-introducing the windfall tax is an admission that the PF ascended to power through deceit ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: … and the people Zambia are aware of that.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor. In 2001, when the people of Lupososhi saw the need for change, they spoke very mildly at the time. In 2001, they said that we needed to liberate this country and sent the only PF hon. Member to this House. The vision of Lupososhi was that the PF Government would present its first Budget to this Parliament one day.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, that vision came to pass on 11th November, 2011 and, today, we are debating the first PF Budget.

Mr Ngonga: Hear, hear! Muli baume.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, just looking at the beautiful pictures on the cover of the Budget booklet tells you that this Government is, indeed, headed for improving the welfare of the people of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, in future, I want to see similar pictures of desks on the cover taken in Lupososhi Constituency. This is because, since 2001, Lupososhi Constituency has had no development. When Mr Andrew Mulenga was Minister of Education, each time Hon. Emmanuel Musonda went to his office to ask for desks or teachers to be sent to Lupososhi, he was told to cross the Floor if he needed development in his area.

Mr Lubinda: Shame!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, that was not only bad but, also, amputated the spirit of the people of Lupososhi Constituency.

Mr Lubinda: Ni bamalukula!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, today, we are analysing the 2012 Budget and this Government has done what it could. When business leaders, political leaders or budget analysts review this Budget, they need to take into account certain things. Firstly, the PF Government only ascended to power on 20th September, 2011. Between that date and the date of presentation of the Budget, they have only had about one and half months in office. Indeed, the time has been very little.

Mr Speaker, secondly, we need to take into account the fact that the MMD Government left some commitments that need to be met.

Mr Ngonga: Quality!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, that being the case, the 2012 Budget will definitely be impacted by the commitments that were left by the previous regime. It is also true that the 2013 Budget will still be impacted in the same manner. So, we need to take all these factors into account. A long journey starts with the first step and we have taken the first step, the presentation of a Budget that has addressed many issues.

Mr H. Malama: Bebe. Uli wamano, iwe.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, we have a manifesto to implement in five years. We did not say that we will definitely fulfil all the promises in one year.

Hon. Opposition Members: You said ninety days

Mr Bwalya: We did not state that the Budget for 2012 would be the one that would address all the poverty issues in this country.


Mr Bwalya: That is unfair. It took the UNIP and MMD governments forty-seven years …

Hon. Government Members: To destroy the country.

Mr Bwalya: … to do the things that they have left behind. We have said that we will pick them up from there, move on and ensure that we build on them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, it is always good to have a long-term view of things. In this regard, there is a need to review the current national objectives contained in the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) and align them with the PF Manifesto. This work will have to be done within 2012 and it is this re-alignment and review that will now set the pace for future budgets. The 2013 and 2014 budgets will be based on this analysis and review.

Mr Speaker, the purpose of a national budget is to facilitate the efforts of the Government to develop the country. In doing so, we, as a nation, have to adopt objective performance measurements in areas that matter and benchmark our performance …

Mr Mulusa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, the issue of the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) has not been put to rest by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. He has not recognised it and some of us have asked that it be recognised since the PF Government does not have its own development plan. Is the hon. Member debating in order to bring in the SNDP when it should be a policy statement by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning?


Mr Speaker: Order!

I think this subject was dealt with at length and repeatedly earlier. It appears it is still haunting us, unfortunately. That is not the purpose of a point of order, hon. Member. The point of order, if I may reiterate, is meant to bring to the attention a violation of a rule of debate. That is a very trite procedural requirement. However, the issue you are raising is a substantive one and, therefore, irrespective of whether you agree with that view or not, the hon. Member is still free to postulate on it. He is not out of order.

The debate, as I stated earlier, is not about who has the correct view. The hon. Member has a point to espouse, whatever his view is. If you think you have a competing and better view, you ask for permission to air it and you will be heard.

The hon. Member may continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, it is important that we realise that we are not an island. Therefore, we need to compare whatever we do with other countries. As hon. Members of this House are aware, annually, the Global Economic Forum produces a report called the Global Competitive Report. Two of the countries ranked in this report are Zambia and Singapore. I picked the two for comparison because they attained their independence at the same time. Therefore, we have to compare our economy with theirs. The rankings are out of the 142 countries.

Mr Speaker, in terms of the pillars of economies, the institutions of governance or any other that you may think about, Zambia is ranked number sixty-four while Singapore is number one. In terms of micro-economic environment, we are at ninety-nine while Singapore is at number nine. In terms of infrastructure, we are ranked 112th  while Singapore is third. The list goes on. It must be appreciated that these rankings reflect the levels of development that each country is at. For us, as Zambia, these rankings indicate how much work we have to do to develop.

Mr Speaker, this Budget has clearly indicated and allocated resources to areas that matter. In the area of health, there is 9.3 per cent and about 17.5 per cent for education. Surely, these are some of the areas that this Budget addresses commendably.

Mr Speaker, as we talk about the Budget, it is critical to look at the size of our economy so that we do not just talk about abstracts and without knowing exactly what there is for us to talk about. The total resources of the SNDP, which one of the hon. Members wants to discredit, are expected to average K26.4 trillion, equivalent to about US$5.3 billion. The Budget presented to this House is K27.7 trillion, which is about US$5.54 billion. In comparison, the net profit of Apple Inc., which was about US$25.92 billion during the 2011 financial year, is about five times more. That should tell a story. Even if we dedicated the entire K27.7 trillion to the creation of jobs, it would take us about fifty years to create the 3 million jobs that we need in this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: That is something previous governments, UNIP and the MMD, did not address adequately. Even if we had to maintain the same population and everything remained constant, the fifty years would still not be enough to address this problem.

Mr Speaker, this Budget has tried, as much as possible, to ensure that we attend to the poverty levels in this country. Sir, I can assure you that, in the past twenty years of the MMD’s rule, Konkola Copper Mines spent about US$2 billion to create and support 20,000 jobs, Mopani Copper Mines spent about US$2 billion to create and support 16,000 jobs and Zambia Sugar plc spent about US$300 million, which is about K1.5 trillion to create 4,000 additional jobs. Surely, you do not expect the PF Government to create all those jobs within one and half months. We have taken a step in the right direction.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Generally, this Budget has met most of the expectations and aspirations of the people of Zambia. It is true that we, as a country, have a lot of work to do. The biggest challenge that we have is job creation, especially for the youths of this country.

Mr Speaker, let me turn to the issue of what this Budget means for Lupososhi Constituency. The people of Lupososhi are expectant and want to get the benefits that they deserve. As we execute this Budget, hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, kindly ensure that the crossings that need to be bridged in Lupososhi Constituency are worked on. I have a message from the people there for the Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training, which is that the schools in Lupososhi need to be furnished with desks and provided with teachers.

Mr Speaker, as we implement this beautiful Budget that was presented to this House, we need to ensure that the people in rural areas get what they deserve. I am glad that quite substantial amounts of money have been allocated to the opening up of rural areas in terms of road infrastructure. That is as it should be. This has taken long as it was waiting for the PF Government to liberate the people in rural areas.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I have, again, a message from the people of Lupososhi for the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. They want the chiefs’ palaces to be rehabilitated. Since chiefs are part of the governance system, they need decent accommodation.

Mr Speaker, while the MMD Government failed to ensure that the people in urban areas get the best they can, in terms of quality education and access to clean and safe water, the PF Government is expected to do that within five years.

It is also important to realise that our manifesto will only be revised in 2016. We will also address the poverty levels in the five years. We made campaign promises to be fulfilled within ninety days, which has been done.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, we have done a good job and it can be seen. It is just like the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) slogan, “When you pay, it will show.” When you vote wisely, it shows. We have done our part. The banks have reduced the lending rates from 15 per cent to 13 per cent. Reduction of interest rates is stipulated in this Budget and the PF Manifesto. Is that not wonderful?

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

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chishiba (Kafulafuta): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor of the House.

Mr Speaker, from the outset, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mr Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda, abbreviated, ABC, on the manner he presented the 2012 National Budget on the Floor of this House. The way he articulated the Government policies and programmes was excellent. He appreciated fully the strong economic foundation left behind by the MMD.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chishiba: I know very well that the hon. Minister had a mammoth task to come up with a balanced Budget, especially at a time the Zambian people expect a lot from his Government. Of course, this arose from the populist campaign promises made by the PF. The hon. Minister had a hard time reconciling good governance with populist campaign promises as can be deduced from the contents of the Budget.

Mr Speaker, all of us in the House know that that the National Budget is very important because that is where we base the medium term and, ultimately, long-term national plans and aspirations for the actualisation of the national economy. I would like to urge this House that, with the importance attached to the National Budget, it will be prudent for every hon. Member not to take the stance of politicking or partisan position in the midst of the high poverty levels that are in the country.

Hon. MMD Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chishiba: Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the Executive to start listening carefully because I have heard on the Floor of this House or in the print media that the MMD was voted out of power because it was not listening. If it was not listening, it must have started from this House. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the PF Government to start listening carefully. Its hon. Members should be punctual in the House because the National Budget, which is important, is being discussed now.

Mr Speaker, I delivered my maiden speech three weeks ago on the Floor of this House and extolled highly the PF leadership for having taken into Government a rich wealth of experience of being in Parliament for ten years. Therefore, I do not expect them to make the mistakes that they saw others making. I will not take it kindly if it does so. One of the ways of gaining that experience is listening.

Let me now dwell briefly on scrutinising the Budget. I am not an economist, but I understand it because of the expectations that people have regarding whether this Budget has included any guarantees. I will start by asking whether this Budget will promote the growth of the economy, if completely analysed. My answer, as Member of Parliament for Kafulafuta, is ‘yes’ because the MMD left a strong foundation. Therefore, it will be easy to apply. Should the going get tough, let them leave the statistics the way the found them. When the MMD came into Government, it inherited a socialist economy and it took time to get used to it. Hon. Members should understand that any government that will come into office, without growing the economy, will have all its campaign efforts go to waste. Benefits filter down to the masses when an economy is grown at a high rate. I am pretty sure the economy will not be derailed, but upheld. If anything, we expect it to grow.

Secondly, I wish to comment on the issue of inflation. The statistics on the rate of inflation are very important. One can earn a lot of money, but, if the value added tax (VAT) has not been reduced and the same percentage is maintained, it will not avail much. For example, K2 million is nothing if one wants to go shopping because of the inflation rate and the VAT. Therefore, it is important that we check the depreciation rate. Another example is fuel, which has been reduced by K400.00. This has not impacted on the commuters because they are still paying the same bus fares. Bus owners have refused to reduce the fares because the rate of inflation has not been dealt with. It should be reduced as the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning promised. If guarantees, to all intents and purposes, are upheld, the inflation rate will be reduced.

The third issue is that of fiscal discipline. In my understanding, fiscal discipline is between revenue and expenditure. Again, we can win the battle against poverty by maintaining fiscal discipline, but the worry is about firing of the technocrats who implement the Budget and their being replaced by inexperienced people.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Chishiba: Mr Speaker, as I continue my debate from where I ended, I now want to consider point seven of my scrutiny of the Budget, which is whether it will promote the business climate in our country.

Mr Speaker, this question is very important. For me, the answer is a big ‘no’. I say so because, of late, the Executive has demonstrated a serious lack of willingness to consult and weaknesses in decision-making. The country has witnessed the making and reversal of decisions and this has impacted negatively on the business climate in the country.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chishiba: It is time the Executive started making forthright decisions. That will signal and promote a good business climate in the country.

Mr Speaker, my eighth point of scrutiny is whether the Budget will promote Zambia as an investment destination.  The issues raised in the previous point are congruently and concurrently the same. Should we fail, it will mean the same.

Hon. Government Members: Mpombo School!

Mr Chishiba: Mr Speaker, my scrutiny question number nine is whether the Budget will foster equitable development, and I say it will not because the nomenclature of the Cabinet …


Hon. Government Members: Mpombo School!

Mr Chishiba: Mr Speaker, I am using a chemistry word, not one from Mpombo School as I am hearing from the hecklers.


Hon. Member: You are an engineer.

Mr Chishiba: That is a chemistry expression. I am a chemist by profession.

Hon. Member: You are chemistry by profession?

Mr Chishiba: I am a chemist by profession. Ok?

Hon. Government Member: He is an engineer. Ema engineer aya.

Hon. Government Member: I thought you were a biology.


Mr Chishiba: Mr Speaker, please protect me from the hecklers. I have said so because the structure of the Cabinet will compromise the equitable distribution of the national cake. This is why there is a need for hon. Members of Parliament to act as special agents of development. That is why 119 constituencies are yearning for a reasonable increment on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chishiba: His Excellency, the President, said that we have to make Zambia a better place. With the paltry K800 million that has been given, how are we going to make this country better in the midst of high poverty levels? It is high time we sped up the reduction of poverty through the Members of Parliament using the CDF.

Sir, all hon. Members of Parliament are known to be the ones who deliver development in Zambia. Should we fail and allow the money to be given to the local authorities, for example, in the case of Masaiti, where there are two constituencies and a small local authority, the money given there, even if it is multiplied by 100 per cent, would still remain one grant. The figure will still be that stipulated in the Budget.

Mr Speaker, we urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to save us by looking at the CDF figure again. I know that the hon. Minister will definitely come clean, again, on the Floor of this House to engage us on a reasonable figure. That is the expectation.

Sir, any development in rural constituencies comes through the CDF. If the money goes through the local authorities, with the massive bureaucratic tendencies or channels involved, it might get lost or be misappropriated. In the end, it will be the poor Zambians who will face the anguish.

Mr Speaker, I would like to, once more, urge the hon. Minister, Mr A B Chikwanda, to come clean one of these fine days and make the increment.

We are not asking him to increase the Budget, but to look at all the votes for the roads. Are all of the roads of economic value? Are they going to add value to the lives of Zambians? If some are not, transfer part of the votes to the CDF.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Mr Kalaba (Bahati): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor of the House.

Sir, may I begin by congratulating the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for a well thought out Budget, which has demonstrated the PF Government’s commitment to putting more money in poor people’s pockets.

Mr Speaker, my task, this afternoon, is very simple: to analyse the Budget and make our colleagues, especially those on the Opposition side, understand that the first PF Budget has tried to put more money in the poor people’s pockets. In so doing, we are ending an era in which the poor were consistently mocked by the euphoria of impressive, but meaningless macro-economic statistics.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kalaba: Sir, before I proceed with my debate, I would like to thank all hon. Members in this House who voted wisely and made me Vice-President for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). To all of you, I am very grateful for your having been very honourable.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, during his 2009 Budget Address on the Floor of this House, then hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, on Page 1, said and I quote:

“Mr Speaker, as I begin this Budget Speech, I wish to acknowledge the micro-economic achievements that Zambia attained when the economy was in the stewardship of my predecessor, Hon. Ng’andu Magande, MP. I would also like to pay tribute to the late Hon. Emmanuel Kasonde, who twice served as hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and laid the foundation for the liberalisation of the Zambian economy.”

Mr Speaker, in 2011, presenting his 2012 Budget to this august House, the very able hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Chikwanda, said the same things as were said by his predecessor. Unfortunately, he has been quoted out of context.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah! Waonaula!

Mr Kalaba: Sir, hon. Members have argued that the MMD Government laid a very strong economic foundation and, therefore, the PF are just doing what they did. However, the truth of the matter is that this House has a way in which it proceeds. From my analysis, hon. Ministers of Finance and National Planning will always want to respect their predecessors. Obviously, we did not expect the hon. Minister to come to this House and say something disrespectful about his predecessor. Therefore, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to suggest that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was merely parroting what he said to this House without believing in it?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

I have not understood the hon. Member to mean that. As I follow, he is simply saying that it is a tradition of hon. Ministers of Finance of Finance and National Planning to acknowledge each other’s work as they assume the mantle of presenting the next Budget, irrespective of their political affiliation. That is the context I understood him to mean.

May the hon. Member, continue, Please.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I will not belabour that point because you have expressed very well and what I meant.

Sir, this year’s Budget has increased the tax-free band for Pay As You Earn to K2 million. This, for anybody who has done a course in elementary economics, means that the projected benefits accruing to the 80,000 people who will be captured in this year’s Budget, will have a multiplier effect. You may look at the 80,000 people as being the only ones who will benefit. However, these people will go to Soweto Market and buy beans, cabbage and other things because they will now have spending power. They will have more money. In that instance, what will be happening is that money will be reaching people’s pockets. So, the K2 million has a multiplier effect. We should take note of that. The 80,000 people will not keep the K2 million to themselves. This simply means that the school teacher in Mutwewankonko village in Bahati Constituency will now afford to buy an extra kilo of meat. It also means that a person selling a goat will also have access to money. Therefore, money will go into many people’s pockets. The 80,000 will not even pay tax. Therefore, the arguments raised by some of our colleagues do not stand.

Mr Speaker, I am also noted that the aggregate measures on Pay As You Earn are expected to yield a cumulative extra disposable income amounting to about K1 trillion. This, by any standard, is a figure big enough to stimulate economic activities in our compounds. Now, money will flow in Kalingalinga and, especially, in Bahati Constituency.

Sir, the Budget presented by Hon. Chikwanda to this House also talked about the reduction of the corporate tax rate for farmers by 5 per cent. This simply means that farmers will enjoy a tax reduction on their corporate profits from the current 15 per cent to 10 per cent. This, inevitably, will put more money in the pockets of our farmers. This is a fact you cannot ignore.

Mr Speaker, the 2012 Budget has shown very serious effort aimed at employment creation. The institutions that will be turned into universities, for instance, the National In-service Teacher Training College (NISTCOL/Chalimbana) and the Palabana Dairy Training Institute will create employment for many people. We are told, in the Budget, that the creation of the new university at Lubwa, where our first President comes from, will employ about 5,000 lecturers. This, again, means that more money will go into people’s pockets. 


Mr Kalaba: Sir, can people, surely, challenge that? You might not clearly see the fruits of our development efforts, currently, but when the works at Lubwa commence, you will see, clearly, that the ordinary person in Chinsali will have an opportunity to work at the university. They will have a little more money going into their pockets.

Mr Speaker, the farmers will agree with me that they have been complaining about their agricultural activities being heavily dependent on rain for many years. The 2012 Budget has come out very strongly on that point and a substantial amount of money has been allocated to the development of the county’s irrigation system. This means that we are putting making serious efforts to develop and expand the agricultural sector.  Some hon. Members of Parliament have argued that the 6.1 per cent allocated to this sector in the 2012 Budget is very minimal and that it is not in keeping with the Maputo Declaration of 2003, yet somebody from within here commended us for allocating 6.1 per cent of the total 2012 Budget to the agricultural sector despite being a new Government. We cannot end there. We are just getting started. Next year, you will see what will happen because this is a working Government. We are not just talking the talk, but walking it as well. Therefore, we can only say watch the space. This Government is very committed to making it possible for the people to meet their aspirations. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the reduction of the corporate tax rate for banks by 5 per cent is a very important and welcome measure. The interpretation of this from a layman’s point of view is that banks will now be charged like other companies if they make profits of over K100 million. What has been happening is that banks have been charged a corporate tax of 40 per cent on any profit that they made above K100 million. This Government has decided to reduce this tax by 5 per cent. This, inevitably, will lead to banks doing business in a very conducive environment. The reduction of lending interest rates will definitely follow because the banks, now, are no longer under pressure to meet high operational costs. So, somehow, the banks will pass that advantage on to the consumer.

Mr Muntanga: Bonus!

Mr Kalaba: Hon. Muntanga, they will pass it on to the consumer. What is your problem?


Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, there is a good number of Zambians whose business is the selling of apparel from outside Zambia. I have noted, in the Budget, that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has increased the value of such goods, which will be tax free. For instance, people can, now, bring in goods worth U$1,000 without paying any tax. He has increased it from US$500. This means that our small-scale traders, especially those from at COMESA Market, who sell clothes will have an opportunity to go into Zimbabwe with K3 million to buy clothes for resell and will come back into the country without paying any tax. This means that there will be more money in the poor people’s pockets. These are very simple and straight forward issues.

Mr Speaker, on the policy front, the hon. Minister’s attempt to involve Parliament in Zambia’s debt-contraction process is long overdue. For a long time now, we have been hearing that the Government has contracted this and that debt without Parliament being aware of it. The hon. Minister, in his Budget Address, said that Parliament should somehow oversee the contraction of debts by the Government. The Government should proceed cautiously when contracting some of these debts, especially those that are attached to the newly-proposed 10 year sovereign bonds. It is important that we do not allow liabilities, especially from the West, to come into our economy. Countries like France, Italy and Greece have got challenges in terms of finances because they had got sovereign bonds that date as far back as fifteen to twenty years ago. These countries are now being asked to pay back this money at very high interest rates. The situation these countries are in is very difficult to sort out. I am positive that the US$500 million worth 10 year sovereign bond that Zambia is getting in 2012 will accelerate the country’s development in the agricultural and energy sectors. This will put more money in people’s pockets. Have you seen how people will have money?


Mr Kalaba: There is money all over for poor people.

Mr Speaker, allow me to talk a little about the road sector. I have noted that, of the K4.3 trillion that will be spent on the road sector in next year’s Budget, only K354 billion has been allocated to Luapula Province. I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to find a way of being a little more generous to Luapula next year …

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: … so that, at least, it gets more money than it has been allocated because its inter-district roads are very dilapidated. I also looked critically at the money which ahs been allocated to road works and most of it is going towards feasibility studies. Therefore, there is very little that will go towards the maintenance and repair of our roads. I am hoping that the hon. Minister will do some adjustments along the way so that Luapula Province can be given more money for road works.

Mr Speaker, I was also taken aback a bit when I saw that Mansa Batteries does not appear in the 2012 Budget. As you know, Mansa Batteries is very important to the people of Luapula Province. I think that money can be found to resuscitate the operations of Mansa Batteries. If it is not viable for us to resuscitate its operations, then, maybe, we can turn it into a thermal power plant so that we can create jobs for our people? The resuscitation of Mansa Batteries is also, somehow, tied to the energy sector. The electricity supplied to Luapula Province is inadequate. There is almost no power in that province. We also ask the hon. Minister to visit Luapula Province, one of these days, and spend a night or two in one of the lodges so that he experiences the persistence of the power outages in that province.

Sir, as people from Luapula Province, we pray that the issues of the supply of power to our province will be graciously attended to because we have stayed without this essential commodity for far too long. In today’s world, without power, there is very little that you can do. It will help for us to have a thermal power plant. To add value to our manganese, we shall need a lot of energy.

We, therefore, appeal to this listening Government to sort out our electricity problem. You can see that, while I am talking, Hon. Chikwanda is taking notes. This is how an hon. Minister should work. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: In the past, an hon. Member could talk about the same issue continuously without being listened to. I used to sit up in the gallery and observe that most of the hon. Ministers in the previous Government would be dozing when an hon. Member would be talking.  Because of that, they have found themselves on the other side.


Mr Kalaba:  This is a working Government.

Hon. Government Member: Tell them!

Mr Kalaba: I am very positive that what I am saying on the Floor of this House, today, is being taken seriously. It is very important to note that whatever we are saying here is on behalf of the people. When we tell you to listen, you must listen.

Mr Speaker, I am positive that our hon. Ministers have listened to my debate and have taken note of what I have said. I hope that everything I have said will be considered in the 2013 Budget so that our people can have a fair deal. 

Mr Speaker, I am grateful that this Budget is a representation of the views and aspirations of almost every Zambian regardless of their location. It has embraced both the rich and the poor.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the poor have a very fair deal.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, in every civilised economy, when a Budget is being drawn, sectors to be taxed are looked at and Hon. Chikwanda has done this very well because he has taxed the bourgeoisie more in order to cover the poor.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: This is in line with our manifesto. We will side with the poor, not with you, who buy chicken and chips at Manda Hill.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity you have given me to debate the Motion of Supply on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2012, moved by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Speaker, from the outset, I want to state that we have an hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning whom I have known since the 1970s, when I was a medical student. He has stuck to his vision of supporting the youth because he believes that the future of our country depends on them.

Mr Speaker, I wish to add mine to many voices in this House that have applauded the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for acknowledging, being the statesman that he is, that, indeed, his Budget is anchored on what his predecessor did.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: This is very clear.

Mr Speaker, if I may add, it is only wise men and wise leaders who have the humility to acknowledge a good thing when they see it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: I wish to implore my younger fellow parliamentarians who still think that this House is a battleground on which contests should be fought along political lines, to change their mindset. I think that they have got it wrong. There are no major dividing ideological lines between the PF and the MMD as far as development is concerned. We must, therefore, in our debates, challenge those areas that do not add to the socio-economic development of our country.
Mr Speaker, it is clear that we left a single-digit inflation rate, a four-month import cover, a gross domestic product (GDP) of 6.9 per cent and a stable exchange rate.  There is, therefore, no excuse, whatsoever, for the 2012 Budget not to deliver.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, let me talk about a few of my concerns. This Budget is well-articulated, but there is a need to monitor what has been suggested even as we implement it. If we do not, it will be the usual Budget implementation exercise we have been used to year in year out.

Mr Kalaba: Like yours!


Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I said, a short while ago, that young people like Hon. Kalaba must learn to listen to what others are saying.


Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the 2012 Budget themed, “Making Zambia a better place for all”, is built on the pro-poor Budget of 2011. As articulately stated by the former hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, there is no finishing line in the socio-economic development process. We would like to see the PF Government build on what we left. I, sometimes, hear statements like, “but you were there and you left this or that undone”. Can one imagine what would have happened if we finished everything? What would this Government be doing?

Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, to illustrate my point further, I will give an example concerning the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, which came into being in 1947. This institution is still undergoing reforms to this date. It is, therefore, a fallacy to say that we did nothing during the twenty years in which we were in power. We did not fail. Clearly, there many things that we left undone because of the limitations such as time and money.

Mr Speaker, I am happy to note that there is continuity in our plans for infrastructure development. This can only be good for Zambia. No one on your left or right is solely endowed with wisdom. That is the law of nature. Therefore that which is good as I have stated must be improved upon.

Mr Speaker, infrastructure development such as the building of new schools, colleges, health centres, roads and bridges must continue. However, they should continue with certain provisos in place. Have we truly analysed the economic aspect when prioritising?

I note that there is mention of the Lusaka/Chiawa/Lower Zambezi Road. There is a ready market in the Kafue National Park. It is there for the picking. Why do we not develop the Kalomo/Dundumwezi/Kafue National Park Road? Kafue National Park is ready for us to benefit from it as a tourist attraction. These are the things that we see from the other end.

Mr Speaker, infrastructure development creates employment. This is what used to happen even under previous Government. In our time, there was hardly any district that did not have a school, health centre or hospital being built. The people that we engaged in the construction were local people. This improved their livelihood. I am appealing to the hon. Minister to continue along this line. The concern might only be that of equity of distribution of this development.

Mr Speaker let me touch on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). This is a very good programme. I would like to implore the PF Government to rethink its strategy around the weaning concept. Who are we weaning?

Mr Speaker, in Europe, farmers have continued to receive subsidies and yet their GDP is much higher than ours. We must ask ourselves why they have continued subsidising their farmers. It would really be premature to think that we can wean off the farmers after three years. In my view, there must be a commitment to improve and strengthen the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) by diversifying from concentrating on maize solely. We, as the MMD Government, started this process by introducing 30 metric tonnes of rice seed in addition to maize in the areas we had identified as good for growing rice. For this reason, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, as well as His Honour, the Vice-President, that the statement on diversification should be accompanied by evidence.

Mr Speaker, I have noted that, in this country, we import tonnes of cooking oil. I would like to offer a suggestion that, in next year’s Budget, in our diversification process, we must revamp the cultivation of sunflower so that we can add value to it. This way, we can produce our own cooking oil and reduce on its importation.

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: This can be good for our citizens.

Sir, one other area that needs consideration is the high cost of petroleum products. As the MMD, we are happy that we agreed with many traditional leaders who gave us large tracts of land to get the farming blocks going. For example, in Luena, there should be no question of land or energy resources competing with food production. This is because we have enough land in our country, as farming blocks, which can be set aside for sugarcane production to produce ethanol and reduce the wage bill on petroleum products. Please, take that into consideration. It is something that can be done in no time.

Mr Speaker, this House passed the Agriculture Credit Bill. So, I implore the Government to get the private sector to participate in the construction of the warehouse storage system. As a Government, you need not carry the whole burden of building slabs, among other things. Just get hold of the law that was passed by this House and the private sector will relieve us of this heavy burden of wanting only ourselves, as a Government, to build storage facilities.

Sir, may I also comment on His Excellency, the President’s Speech with regard to his directive on wanting to see accelerated socio-economic development. If we are to realise this objective, it cannot be done through a business-as-usual approach. We must get moving. Let us stop this blame game and get on with business.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I note that there has been an increment in health investment. However, as earlier stated, let the aspect of prevention be added to the areas already looked at. If we spend money on health education, nutrition and water, we shall see the bill on curative services invariably reduce.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Quality, quality!

Dr Chituwo: We have seen an increase in non-communicable diseases, such as cardiac diseases, hypertension and diabetes. To a large extent, these can be prevented. So, hon. Minister, plausible as it is that you would like to see a clean, caring and competent health facility, and while it may be good, it is only part of the story.

Sir, I would like to briefly touch on the issue of local government and housing, early education and environment. I am happy to see that, in the Budget Speech, there is focus on decentralisation. Let us not procrastinate any longer. The Decentralisation Policy of 2004 and the Decentralisation Implementation Plan of 2009 are already in place, but, now, we hear from the hon. Minister’s statement that capacity building will be done in 2012 and we will start in 2013.

Mr Speaker, I wish to remind the hon. Minister that there are seven municipal and city councils that we had started as pilot projects of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). Please, just get hold of these councils and see to it that the suggested devolved powers and money go to them. I am sure you will see that they will produce wonders in terms of service delivery. Let us not procrastinate any longer.

Sir, we left behind suggestions and plans for area development committees. We are, therefore, happy to see the ward councils and district chiefs’ councils. Although there has been a change of names, the functions are basically the same. Let us get moving and see to it that our people benefit from these concepts and plans.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister, on page 9, paragraph 71, stated that he had increased grants to councils by 100 per cent from K146.2 billion to K257.1 billion. I would like to believe that was just a mistake because simple arithmetic does not give us a 100 per cent increment. It is only 76 per cent. It is important to take note of that. Perhaps, had it been a 100 per cent increment, which translates to K294.4 billion to councils, I would have been fairly happier. However, I think that the information given in that area was just some mathematical error by the hon. Minister.

Sir, although the increment might seem laudable, when you consider it as a percentage of the Budget, it is only 0.9 per cent. That is less than 1 per cent.

Mr Chikwanda: It is 1 per cent.

Dr Chituwo: Yes, I agree that it is a 0.2 percentage increase from this year’s allocation. Nevertheless, it is less than 1 per cent.

Mr Speaker, from my experience, I know that the councils are in so much debt. I would have thought …

Mr Lubinda: And you left them!

Dr Chituwo: There we go again, Sir, with the issue of our having left things that way. So what?


Dr Chituwo: You are there to take control over them now. Do not start moaning about how we left things.


Dr Chituwo: I am giving you ideas now.


Mr Speaker: Order, order!

Hon. MMD Member: Za yellow!

Dr Chituwo: My son za yellow is becoming a problem.


Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, all I am saying is that we must recognise that local government is truly a part of the Government. In fact, when you look at the sixty-three functions of local government, this ministry is, de facto, the Vice-President’s Office. It is a part of the Government. Therefore, it must have the resources it needs. We all know very well that, for any institution or ministry to function, it needs the materials that it requires to work with; it needs the methods to be refined as we did with the systems; it needs personnel; and it needs machines. These things cannot be realised if we only give them this amount of money.

Sir, allow me to comment on the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), which is a very good thing. This House amended the Local Government Act Cap. 281 to bring in a professional body, which is the LGSC, to assist the councils identify appropriate qualified personnel. There were councils where, perhaps, only one person was qualified. How do you expect them to deliver? Therefore, the LGSC is a very good thing because it can transfer one senior official or one experienced person from one council to the other so that development can be equitably realised in our country. It is, therefore, not an organ that fosters centralisation, but decentralisation. It assists decentralisation to be more effective as regards the importance of human resource.

Mr Speaker, I would like to end by stating that the suggested sinking of 3,000 boreholes translates into twenty boreholes per constituency and that falls short of the needs out there. Therefore, in our quest to reduce the health bill, there is a need to also emphasise on sanitation because clean and safe water, on its own, might not really reduce the diarrhoeal diseases that we see, particularly amongst children who are under five years of age. This is another area where I am pleading with the hon. Minister to look because the funding to local government and housing is actually not adequate.

Mr Speaker, let me conclude by stating that we are all in this House to represent the people of Zambia and no one has the monopoly of wisdom. If we listened carefully to even those that might not be articulate, and may have stammered, we would find that there is a lot of wisdom in what they say. So, we are one and we have one focus, which is that of taking development to our people. 

Mr Speaker, one important means of ensuring this development is through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The President has said that there is a need for accelerated socio-economic development. There were whispers here and there of the CDF to be increased to K5 billion for each constituency and this brought about happiness. Since this has not been the case, perhaps, we can compromise on increasing the allocation to K2 billion per constituency. I think that even the President will be very happy with this because it will enable the PF Government deliver on its campaign promises.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Dr Chituwo: Our people expect hon. Members of Parliament to deliver and the CDF is one way through which we can do so. Those hon. Members who have come here for the first time should realise that they will only be one-term hon. Members of Parliament if they desist from supporting the increase in the CDF. Some of us have been here long enough to know what it takes to retain a seat.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the Motion on the Budget Address. I also thank the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for this well-crafted Budget.

Sir, first of all, let me comment on the state of the economy left behind by the MMD Government. Like the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has said, the previous Government left behind a scenario of favourable economic performance. This is the MMD’s legacy at the point of losing power and we are thankful for that. It is a foundation on which we, as the PF Government, shall build a very strong economy.

Mr Speaker, let me, now, come to the targets and objectives contained in the Budget Address. I personally believe that they are achievable as they are very realistic. Let me look at just a few. The first one is the objective to have gross domestic product (GDP) growth of above 7 per cent. I believe very strongly that this is achievable on account of the following. First of all, there is the anticipated large investment in infrastructure development. Secondly, there is continued investor confidence in our economy. As you may have noticed, the MMD Government left a strong macro-economic performance and we are continuing on this path.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Mr Mabumba: Mwilabatasha na mwebo.

Mr Mpundu: This trajectory will not be violated. There is also an anticipated increased liquidity …

Mr M. Mumba: Kwaliba aba mano kuno.

Mr Mpundu: … in the economy owing to the reduction in the minimum reserve ratio from 8 to 5 per cent. There is also the avoidance of crowding out the private sector by limiting borrowing from it to about 1.3 per cent of the GDP. This is below the optimum level of about 3 per cent. We also anticipate the GDP growth of 7 per cent to be achieved on the basis of a continued single-digit inflation rate as well as the maintenance of a stable exchange rate.

Mr Speaker, another factor, which is a target as well as a measure, is the increase of domestic revenue to about 19 per cent of the GDP. Like I have mentioned, these drivers are the ones that will be responsible for the attainment of growth in GDP as well as the anticipated growth in formal employment. There is also the target of attaining year-end inflation of no more than 7 per cent. This is equally achievable by limiting money supply. The tight monetary policy will be pursued by the Central Bank and this is something that will be encouraged. We will equally encourage the Central Bank to continue with prudence with respect to the management of the exchange rate as well as what we have seen; the Government’s investment in productive other than consumption assets.

Sir, another target is the limiting of domestic borrowing to 1.3 per cent of the GDP. This is equally achievable on account of domestic revenue, which is anticipated to grow to about 19 per cent. There is also the maintenance of international reserves of about US$2.6 billion or above so that an import cover of about four months is maintained. This is, equally, likely to be maintained on account of anticipated growth in the external sector. Copper production is anticipated to grow and so are the earnings. So, these targets are expected to be achieved.

Mr Speaker, let me, now, make mention of something that is quite important, which is the debate on the Budget. There is an attempt by some hon. Members, perhaps, to try to make comparison of the allocation quantum between the PF Government’s 2012 Budget and the MMD Government’s 2011 Budget. I believe that this may be a little irrelevant and, perhaps, misleading because, as we all know that power has shifted and so have the priorities. We are a new Government and, therefore, cannot be compared to the MMD in terms of priorities.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpundu: So, a comparison would only make sense if we are talking about the same Government. People should, please, wait for the 2013 Budget to make a comparison of our priorities.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the speech that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning delivered to the House. As my colleagues have already said, the hon. Minister delivered his speech with a lot of humility and was magnanimous enough to recognise the legacy that the MMD has left. I have a few comments to make on this Budget. My main concern is on the banking sector. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, on page 2, paragraph 14, said:

“Sir, the Government’s legitimate expectation is that interest rates will continue with the downward trend that started within the first thirty days of the PF’s assuming of the Government. The Bank of Zambia has taken steps to enhance the liquidity of the banks by lowering the reserve ratios. This can only be justified with a lower interest rate regime.”

Mr Speaker, first of all, I want the hon. Minister, who is my bapongoshi, to realise that …


Mr Kaingu: It is not my fault that your wife has no parents.


Mr Kaingu: … the reduction in interest rates did not start in the thirty days of this Government. It started a long time ago. In fact, there was one time when the interest rates in this country were at 180 per cent and 150 per cent. The MMD Government worked very hard to bring them to below 30 per cent.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kaingu: Go and check.


Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, my main concern is the reduction in the reserve ratio. The reason the reserve ratio was raised is that, when it was low, there were many participants in the banking sector and some of the people who came into the sector were not genuine. Between 1995 and 2006, about ten banks closed. So, for the Bank of Zambia to try and protect the depositors, it raised the reserve ratio.

Mr Speaker, my question is: Do we have the modality or mechanism for protecting the depositors as we reduce the reserve ratio? When the Bank of Zambia reduces the reserve ratio or locks up the resources, it does not mean that the banks will be willing to lend. Willingness to lend and willingness to lower interest rates are two different scenarios. It is important for us to encourage the hon. Minister to lower interest rates. In fact, any means that can help us reduce the interest rates in this country are welcome. However, I want him to know that our banks are not willing to lend because of several factors. One of them is that they are willing to participate in the treasury bills because it is cheaper and safer.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Kaingu: Let me use Finance Bank, whose interest rate is now at 15.5 per cent, as an example. The treasury bills’ interest is 14.2 per cent according to the hon. Minister. Now, the bank would rather participate in the treasury bills than lend the money to an investor. So, that is one of the reasons. The other reason is that the banks in this country make a lot of money from the difference between the buying rate and the spending rate. You will, sometimes, find a difference of K200.

Mr Speaker, a long time ago, when some of us we were very active in business, the mark up on foreign exchange was about K20 and K50. Now, there is this ridiculous amount of K200, when we know very well that banks, especially foreign ones, handle a lot foreign exchange through the mines and international co-operating partners. So, that is another area that, I think, he must check, so that the banks can be willing to lend.

Mr Speaker, the other factor relates to charges. There are many charges that, sometimes, cannot be explained. When you go to your bank, you check your statement and ask your teller to explain, but they cannot explain why you have these charges. So, these are the areas that we must look at.

Mr Speaker, the other area we should look at is security management. If you are lucky, as an investor and you want to borrow money, the percentage that you will be given on your collateral security is so low that you have to take a very expensive property for a little sum of money. My argument is that, if you have a property that is worth K100 million, the bank will lend you, maybe, 30 per cent, which is K30 million or K40 million.

Mr Speaker, the other area which we have to look at is the difference between the savings interest rates and the lending rates. The lending interest rates are very high compared to the savings interest rates. For example, if a depositor wants to put money in a fixed deposit account, let us say K100 million, if he is lucky enough to borrow that K100 million, he will borrow it at 15.5 per cent, yet the bank is, actually, paying him 3 per cent on that money. That that the hon. Minister must check this area and see that the banks are willing to lend as we discuss the Budget.

Mr Speaker, in fact, there is something here to support my argument. The Zambia Daily Mail of today, Tuesday, 22nd November, 2011, asks: “Does it mean most of the banks have the same cost structures?” Meaning all the banks are bringing their interest rates to the same level of 15 per cent and 16 per cent. “What do these commercial banks in Zambia do, anyway? We do not see them lending out money. So, what do they, really, do? The hon. Minister must ask this because we thought the prime role of a bank in the economy is to lend out money, something our banks, clearly, do not do.”

Mr Muntanga: End of quote.

Mr Kaingu: End of quote. Thank you.


Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the other area of interest, to me, is tourism. Tourism, in this country, as I said in the question that I asked the hon. Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism, has been dismembered as can be seen from the institutional framework. We see that there is a bit of tourism in the Ministry of Mines and Natural Resources, whose core business is to mining. That is why the hon. Minister of Mines and Natural Resources, when answering a question here, said that he did not want people to encroach in the game management area (GMA). So, you can see how much tourism is going to suffer in this country because it has been disbanded. Part of the tourism has gone to the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, through the National Heritage and Conservation Commission through the museums and the arts and culture. So, I will wait to see what the hon. Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism is going to present.


Mr Kaingu: Of course, I understand the hon. Minister is the best tourist attraction in Zambia.


Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we tried to develop tourism in Zambia through the legal framework and policies. We had a policy, but I do not want to discuss much about that because I know the hon. Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism will give a policy statement. I want to say that, to develop tourism, we had the 1999, 2001 and 2003 policies. These helped focus and get tourism to be the number two sector in our economy. However, when you read the speech of the hon. Minister, you can see that, actually, although he mentions the development of tourism in Zambia, he does not indicate how. Other than the legal and institutional framework that we designed, we also identified land units, which we were going to develop, but I have seen that they were not mentioned. The six land units that were earmarked for tourism were the Victoria Falls, Great Livingstone, Lusaka as a hub, Kafue National Park and the surrounding areas of the Lower Zambezi, South and North Luangwa National Park, and the Northern Circuit through Kasaba Bay.

However, we identified other potential areas in some provinces, such as the Samfya Beaches. In 2008, when I was still at the ministry, to recognise the importance of the the Samfya Beaches, I sent my hon. Deputy Minister to go and celebrate the World Tourism Day there. I also picked then Permanent Secretary for Luapula and went with him to the Indaba for him to go and market the Samfya Beaches and we were doing very well.

Mr Speaker, we also constituted a very good team headed by Mr Errol Hickey and, of course, today, it is headed by Hon. Belemu. This was the team that really marketed tourism in Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: I will not talk a lot on this issue, except, of course, to say that we won a trophy as a best marketing team at that time.

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mr Kaingu: Yes, the Zambia Tourism Board.

Sir, I will spare the hon. Minister the nitty-gritty of tourism. I would like to hear what he is going to deliver to this House, what he still calls tourism and what he is going to market alongside Zimbabwe. He talked about not having competition with Zimbabwe because we are going to share and promote tourism as we co-host the World Tourism Conference. However, hon. Minister, you must remember that, in 2010, during the World Cup, Zimbabwe had more tourists than Zambia.


Mr Kaingu: Well, there was no competition at all. Therefore, it is most likely that, with the facilities that Zimbabwe has, most of the tourists will go there. It is against this background that I want you to check that. Again, I do not want to debate this issue because I want to hear what you are going to present, hon. Minister.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1738 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 23rd November, 2011.