Debates- Wednesday, 16th November, 2011

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Wednesday, 16th November, 2011

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Zambia Branch, will hold its annual general meeting (AGM) for the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly on Thursday, 17th November, 2011, at 1000 hours in the auditorium at Parliament Buildings. This being the first meeting, the main business will be to elect members of the executive committee who, according to the rules of the CPA, Zambia branch, shall be vested with the management of the branch. Therefore, hon. Members are encouraged to attend this important AGM.

I thank you all.




The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the Floor and opportunity to make a ministerial statement on the marketing of breast milk substitutes and to clarify the Government’s position on the reported seizure of such products in Mansa Shoprite retail outlet last weekend. May I prefix my remarks by saying that, in our multi-sectoral approach to health, my colleague, the hon. Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, would normally have been presenting this statement but, on this occasion, my staff was involved directly and, therefore, I feel obliged to be the person to do it.

Mr Speaker, the Government, through my ministry, has regulations to monitor the negative practices in marketing, sale and distribution of breast milk substitutes. These regulations aim to educate, promote and protect breastfeeding by regulating the practices in the marketing of infant and young child feeding products. The regulations are also an important intervention tool in child survival programmes. These regulations were issued as a statutory instrument (SI) under the Food and Drug Act Cap. 303 of the Laws of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, breast milk, which must exclusively be given in the first six months of an infant’s life, fulfills all babies’ nutritional requirements. It is safe, clean, always at the right temperature, inexpensive and nearly every mother has enough for her baby. It also contains substances that help protect the baby against many common childhood illnesses. Further, it is scientifically acknowledged that breast milk is superior to substitutes such as formular or animal milk. Those children who are exclusively breastfed grow up into normal and healthy human beings.

Mr Speaker, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding 2003 recommends, as a global public health recommendation, that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. In line with the global strategy, my ministry has, therefore, developed a national strategy that aims at increasing the exclusive breastfeeding rate and continued breastfeeding.

Mr Speaker, therefore, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants and young children should be receiving nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Despite this available information supporting breastfeeding, it is sad to note that some companies continue to disregard the appropriate marketing and distribution procedures of breast milk substitutes.

Mr Speaker, the Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 48 of 2006 was developed with the intent to facilitate the effective monitoring, compliance and enforcement of the regulations that prescribe the procedures for marketing of these products and, in the process, support exclusive breastfeeding. In addition to this SI, my ministry has also developed a manual for environmental health officers which prescribes, in detail, the procedure for inspection, investigation, inquiry, collection of samples, seizure, destruction of substances and prosecution where a contravention occurs.

Mr Speaker, you may wish to note that throughout the process of developing the SI and manual by my ministry, all the relevant stakeholders, including retailers and manufacturers of infant foods, were involved. In addition, sensitisation meetings had been held to inform the affected parties on the implications of this SI. The House may wish to note that although this particular SI was issued five years ago, full enforcement has just commenced in 2011. It is understood that there were difficulties in training inspectors and sensitising other stakeholders. However, it is now effective and my ministry intends to enforce it.

Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that in spite of all the efforts by the ministry and its co-operating partners to sensitise the manufacturers and retailers of these products, there has been very little co-operation. Aggressive marketing techniques and often deceptive information is provided thereby misleading the public into believing that breast milk substitutes are better or superior to breastfeeding. This is wrong, against the law and must come to an end.

Mr Speaker, it is not in the interest of the public or the Government to inconvenience or punish the children and general public who depend on these products, but all we are doing is to ensure that the law is followed and the marketing of these products is in compliance with the laid down procedures.

Mr Speaker, all the products that were seized in Mansa had violated the provision of the law, in particular; regulation No. 11 (a) which, among other requirements, states that no manufacturer or distributor shall offer for sale a designated product if the container or label affixed to it includes a photograph, drawing or other graphic representation other than for illustrating the method of preparation; and regulation No. 12 which provides, among others, that the label on a container of infant formula and other breast milk substitutes are to bear the following information, ‘Breast milk is the best food for your baby’. The products seized in Mansa had violated these provisions.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, the Government has considered the complaints raised by the people in the Luapula Province regarding the seizure of the breast milk substitutes which were being sold in violation of the law. The Government has also taken into consideration that there is only one outlet for these products, which is Shoprite in Mansa. The ministry has, therefore, decided to suspend the exercise for now and call all the stakeholders to meet, this week, and discuss the issue to chart the way forward.

Mr Speaker, with your permission, I now wish to lay on the Table the said SI and its accompanying manual.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now at liberty to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement that has just been given by the hon. Minister of Health.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, there are women who are living positively with the human immuno-deficiency virus/ acquired immuno-deficiency virus (HIV/AIDS). Therefore, when they give birth, they have been advised by the hospitals or clinics on the need not to breastfeed their children. Now, with your statement, I want clarification on that position.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, there was a time when the risk to a baby of dying from diarrhoeal diseases due to infected substitutes was higher than the risk of taking breast milk in spite of the possibility of the virus. Our present situation is that that still applies in many situations and, therefore, the primary rule is to support breastfeeding. However, there will be circumstances in which it is considered that the opposite is the case and those in which it arises will be advised on what to do

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, following the statement by the hon. Minister of Health on the seizure of milk, in Mansa, and considering that there are many Shoprite outlets throughout the country, has the Government taken measures to inspect the other outlets to confirm the presence of milk formulae in these shops?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the case of Mansa is an example of what is going on around the country. We have environmental health officers who have been given responsibility to ensure that the products being sold in any shop, Shoprite or otherwise, conform to requirements of safety for those who are going to consume it. It so happens that this case happened in Mansa, but it is universal.

I thank you, Sir.
Mr I. Banda (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, apart from forfeiture of this product, what other legal action is the ministry going to take against this business entity?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I am pleased to say that there has, to-date, not been a necessity to take punitive action of a legal nature on cases like this one. It has been followed and where those people have been identified, they have succumbed to the advice which is contained in the SI. However, this is not to exclude the possibility that, under the law, there is the possibility of prosecution and I am hoping that the hon. Member does not have in mind, at anytime, to break this law because the provision for prosecution is there.

I thank you, Sir.


Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, may I know from the hon. Minister the capacity building programme or measures that have been put in place by the Government in addition to training of inspectors in the implementation of the SI.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the most important thing that has been done and that, in fact, delayed the implementation of the SI was the training of the environmental officers on its implications. So, first and foremost, it was important to have a cadre of professionals who understand the basis and the procedures to follow which are now contained in the manual which I have laid on the Table.

Mr Speaker, now that we have these trained people, there may be further need to strengthen their own capacity to get around. This has often been a problem that access to those who sale these products is not always easy. That I think is the next area that we must concentrate on so that we ensure that no manufacturer or seller finds  himself/herself isolated to the extent of doing what should not been done. I think that is the next step in our strengthening of capacity to control.

I thank you, Sir.




9. Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when Old Mkushi Police Station in Mkushi South Parliamentary Constituency would be provided with a motor vehicle for operations in order to contain the increased crime rate in the area.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwaliteta): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the ministry is fully aware of the shortage of transport in most police stations in the country. Once the next fleet of motor vehicles is procured for the Zambia Police Force operations, Old Mkushi Police Station, in Mkushi South, will be provided with a motor vehicle for operations designed to contain the increased crime rate in the area.

Mr Speaker, to expand on this, a total number of 271 vehicles was procured and eighty-three were distributed, eighty-eight are yet to be received from Toyota Zambia and will be distributed as proposed. Under Central Division, Old Mkushi Police Station will receive one.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisanga: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to give a timeframe within which the vehicle will be sent to Old Mkushi Police Station.

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, the vehicle will be delivered to Mkushi District when funds are made available.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that the Government is aware that there is a shortage of transport throughout the country. Could he explain why the Government does not consider giving big district police stations new vehicles to cover long distances? Only provincial headquarters get vehicles that they use for short distances within town. Why is that so?

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, according to our operations, all the districts in Zambia are equal. We will ensure that when we have these vehicles, we give all the districts and divisions. We are committed to ensuring that you have these vehicles to combat crime in your areas. Kalomo, which is in the Southern Division, is fourth on our list for the provision of vehicles.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, the question is very clear. When will Old Mkushi Police Station receive a vehicle? Do not start telling us a story. When are you giving them a vehicle?

Mr Speaker: That question has already been answered.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, he indicated that Kalomo District was fourth on the list on vehicle provision. I would like to find out the ranking for Monze District. Is it the first district to be given a police vehicle?


Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, if that is the case, may I also request the hon. Member to put a new question so that I can come and answer it.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, if I understood clearly, the hon. Minister indicated that an order had been placed with Toyota Zambia and that part delivery had been made. I also heard that when the next delivery is made, Old Mkushi is assured of getting one vehicle. In his answer, the hon. Minister also referred to a vehicle being delivered on the availability of funds. What has that got to do with the delivery of vehicles from Toyota? What we need to hear is when Toyota is going to deliver the vehicles.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member got my answer correctly because that is what I said.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.


10.Mr Kaingu (Mwandi) asked the Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training when a skills training centre would be constructed in Mwandi Parliamentary Constituency.

The Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training is mandated with, among other tasks, the provision of technical education, vocational and entrepreneurship training. However, the ministry does not provide training at the skills training centre level but, rather, provides skills training at a higher level through district trades training institutes.

Further, the ministry does not go beyond the district level to provide or construct the institutes at the constituency level.

Mr Speaker, for clarity’s sake, I will provide additional information. Mwandi Constituency is in Sesheke District which is one of the districts that has been earmarked for the construction of a trades training institute in 2012. To this effect, funds have been set aside in the 2012 Budget for preliminary works such as acquisition of land, preparation of bills of quantities and tendering procedures with the actual works starting soon after this has been completed.

Currently, the ministry has three trades training institutes in the Western Province, with two of the three fully operational. These are in Mongu and Kaoma districts. The third one commenced, in 2010, in Kalabo. All preliminary works have already been completed. The contractor is expected to move on site and commence construction works before the end of the year.

Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, through the Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training, is committed to developing, at least, one trades training institute in each of the seventy-three districts of the country by 2030.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, where are you going to build the college, in Sesheke District, in 2012, that you have mentioned?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, no mention of a college has been made in this statement. What I said in response to your question, hon. Member, is that we do not build skills training centres. Our foundational training centre is that of an institute.

I thank you, Sir.


11.Mr Muntanga asked the Minister of Health:

(a)when staff would be provided to the following health centres in Kalomo District:


(ii) Masempela;

(iii) Nantale;

(iv) Munkolo; and

(v) Mayoba; and

(b)when rehabilitation of Nazilongo Clinic, which was donated by the Sodala Family, would be completed and opened to the public.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, at Dimbwe Rural Health Centre, there is one environmental health technologist and a Zambia enrolled nurse. The staff establishment is seven, leaving a variance of five. However, the other personnel are medical records clerk, a watchman and a cleaner. In terms of core staff for medical services, this is sufficient.

At Masempela Health Post there is an environmental health technologist and an enrolled midwife. The establishment is seven and the variance is five. There is no medical clerk, watchman and cleaner yet.

On the other hand, Nantale Rural Health Post is not yet operational because it is under construction and the staff house is yet to be constructed. Therefore, at this point, we do not have to have staff there until the health post is completed.

At Munkolo Rural Health Centre, there is an environmental health technologist and enrolled midwife. This forms an establishment of seven and the core staff is sufficient.

At Mayoba Rural Health Centre, there is an environmental technologist and an enrolled midwife. These are sufficient for the core business.

Mr Speaker, filling of positions to reduce the variance between the approved establishment and staff at Dimbwe, Masempela, Nantale, Munkolo and Mayoba and all health facilities countrywide is done in phases. The Government sets aside funds in the National Budget for recruitment of health workers each year. This year, the Government has set aside K52.6 billion for recruitment of health workers and this is an on-going process. It is expected that the said health facilities will benefit from this Government initiative. This is what this Government stands for and it is determined to address the issue. The ministry has developed a master plan for human resources development in general.

As regards Nazilongo Clinic, Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of this clinic, which was donated by the Sodala family, is expected to be completed next year. The House may wish to note that the Government has made it a priority to rehabilitate the Nazilongo Clinic, under the 2012 Ministry of Health Infrastructure Plan. To this effect, the Government has allocated K200 million to the completion of one staff house and rehabilitation of both the clinic and the existing situation. The clinic will be opened to the public as soon as it is completed. The implication of these challenges on the Budget is a request for an increase in the budgetary allocations. Therefore, I request the House to support the budget for the Ministry of Health when it is presented for approval.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the staff house at Nantale Rural Health Centre was completed early this year by the use of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and that all that remains is the staffing of the clinic. If he is aware, why is the ministry not sending personnel to man the clinic? If he is not, could he do it now that I have informed him?

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, the message that my colleague, the hon. Deputy Minister of Health, conveyed was that we recognised that there were financial difficulties in filling some positions. Those finances have now been obtained and it now becomes possible to fill several of those positions which were not filled. This is going to be the case if I may assure the hon. Member for Kalomo Central.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether an environmental health technician, enrolled nurse and cleaner working at these clinics are authorised to prescribe medicines to sick members of the public.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, no they are not authorised to do that.

Thank you, Sir.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, in his answer, the hon. Minister mentioned the fact that the shortage of medical staff is a countrywide problem and that it is not only confined to Kalomo. Is it possible for the hon. Minister to reconsider recalling some of the retired medical staff on contract to alleviate this problem?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, yes, it has been agreed that in view of the shortage of medical staff, we bring back those who have been retired or who are retired and are still not tired to serve the ministry on contract. There are a number of them and, if needed, I could supply them to the hon. Member. Indeed, if the hon. Member has such a background, I would wish to consider him right away.

Thank you, Sir.


Brigadier-General Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister, in his answer, rightly indicated the universal shortage of qualified staff. The shortage of qualified staff is skewed more to the rural than urban areas. If this is the case, has he any plans to even out the distribution of this shortage of qualified staff between urban and rural settings?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Mumbwa is, of course, very knowledgeable in this area and I would not wish to convey to him anything that he might regard as below what we regard him as knowing.

However, I would confirm that part of the problem in the country is due to the distribution of professional staff. In our examination of the problem, we, in fact, find that of the three areas of production, retention and incentives, it is the issue of retention that is the problem. For this reason, we do have in our master plan, which at some point I am sure we shall be discussing, a provision for further production based more in the rural areas. The reason that those who are trained in the Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces do not want to go to the rural areas is that they have entered into various commitments, social or otherwise. The more we can produce in the provinces, especially in the nursing category, the more we shall have those people staying in those areas.

Secondly, it is true that we do need incentives to maintain and persuade people who work in the rural areas to stay there.

I think that using these tools and avoiding unnecessary coercion, but understanding the reasons which have been fully studied in the recent document produced by the Dean of the School of Nursing at Ridgeway Campus in Lusaka, we shall be able to answer this question. I, therefore, endorse the observations of the hon. Member for Mumbwa and we will work with him to carry out what, in fact, he should have carried out much earlier.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, at the risk of not having heard correctly, the hon. Deputy Minister of Health indicated that he was satisfied with the placement of staff at Dimbwe, Masempela, Nantale, Munkolo and Mayoba health centres. The hon. Minister, on the other hand, indicated that there are no qualified personnel to administer prescriptions or provide diagnoses. With this contradiction, I would like to know who dispenses medicine to the sick in those health centres.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I recognise that the problem of unqualified medical personnel at health centres still exists. During my recent visit to a particular province, I made it clear that it is our policy to regard the people working at district level as constituting a district technical health team and not as belonging to a particular health centre.

In other words, it is important that, during a critical situation, there are people who are able to travel from one centre to the other. Using this team concept, we can assure our population that there is this provision, in the interim period, while we are looking for permanent staff. This is how we are approaching it and I think it is working.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, how possible will the arrangement that the hon. Minister has stated be? Will transport be provided for staff to move from one district to the other?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member can be assured that a time will come when we will discuss the whole concept of mobility in health care. The House is aware that this is a term that has been used, misused and applied to individual aspects of mobility. It is my view that, first and foremost, mobility between institutions of health is the most important component of mobile health. When we come to discuss individual components of what constitutes a mobile health service, the first thing will be the provision of adequate transport to those institutions. This has been lacking and I cannot allow that situation to continue.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, what has the PF Government done with the mobile clinics left by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government?

Mr Speaker: I am afraid the hon. Minister is not obliged to answer that question, now, for obvious reasons.


12. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication why the following airports were not rehabilitated between 2009 and 2011 despite parliamentary approval of funds:

 (i) Kasama;

 (ii) Mansa; and

 (iii) Solwezi.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mwenya): Mr Speaker, in 2009, the Kasama Aerodrome was funded with K1,126,833.333, which was expended on the final payment of the completed Kasama Terminal Building. The aerodrome has not been funded since then although budgetary provisions were made for 2010 and 2011.

Mr Speaker, during the years ended 2009 to 2011, the Mansa Aerodrome was funded with K1 billion. These funds were transferred to Mansa for the continuation of works on the Mansa Terminal Building Project. The project had stalled due to variation of works which were beyond the provincial threshold, hence the project had to go for fresh tender.

Mr Speaker, Solwezi was last funded the sum of K7, 175,375,000 in 2009. This was meant for the runway project. However, the funds were not enough for the construction of the runway. When First Quantum Minerals (FQM) showed interest in upgrading the airport as a corporate social responsibility, the Government took advantage and offered it to them. The FQM is currently constructing the 3.3 km runway to asphalt level and the construction is currently at 70 per cent completion.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, I would like to know when next the Government will allocate funds to the complete rehabilitation of the three airports.

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, there is a provision in this year’s Budget and with the approval of the House, we can carry out some remedial works at the three airports.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, is it normal …


Mr Mooya: … to have variations that are more than the contract works or it is supposed to be the other way round? May I know whether that is normal.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is my fellow engineer and he knows that the variation is supposed to be less than the sum of the actual contract. These are some of the issues that we are trying to follow up so that we correct them.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


13. Mr Chishimba (Kamfisna) asked the Minister of Justice:

 (a) what the roadmap for making the Constitution was; and

 (b) how much money would be spent on the Constitution making process.

The Minister of Justice (Mr S. Zulu):  Mr Speaker, the Government is in the process of constituting a committee of experts that will draft the Constitution. The roadmap for making the Constitution will be determined by this committee of experts which will draft it.

Mr Speaker, how much money will be spent on the constitution-making process can only be determined after the committee of experts is constituted. However, it will definitely not be anything like what the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) spent on this process.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, I am not satisfied with the response by the hon. Minister.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chishimba: However, I would like him to inform the House and the nation what the composition of the experts who will constitute the constitution-making Committee, will be.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, that is a new question. However, I said that we will only know the composition after the Government constitutes the committee of experts. It will be premature for me to indicate who the committee will be comprised of.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, may the hon. Minister categorically state and inform the nation whether the pronouncement that was made by the President that we shall have a new Constitution, within ninety days, is still valid or it will not be possible to within the said time.

Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, the process of Constitution-making will, definitely, be commenced within ninety days.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC. (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that in this process, when we hold a referendum, it will be under the Referendum Act? Can he also confirm that the process of holding a referendum will be as costly as holding a general election and that, in this regard, it will cost about K300 billion.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, it is clear that the referendum can only be conducted under the Referendum Act. The hon. Member knows the answer. With regard to the cost, it is still premature to determine.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, now that the composition of the team of experts has been announced, as presented in the Lusaka Times, may I know why the other religious denominations have been sidelined and instead, there are only three Catholic Bishops on the committee.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, as far as I am aware, the composition has not yet been announced and the team will consist of more than two people.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, in answering one of the questions, the hon. Minister stated that it was premature for him to state the cost of the Constitution-making process. However, in answer to another question, he stated that he knew that the cost it would not go beyond that of the NCC. May he be clearer so that we know how he has already drawn the conclusion that the cost will not be above that of the NCC.


Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, I know that the cost will be less than that of the NCC because the latter took two or more years. However, this one is expected to take, at least, one year and not two or three.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kazabu (Nkana): Mr Speaker, I would like to know what will be done to our colleagues who spent a colossal sum of money at the NCC, but delivered nothing to the people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, the MMD has already been voted out of power as a result of that failure.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapyongo (Shiwang’andu): Mr Speaker, as a follow-up to the question raised by the hon. Member for Nkana, indeed, a lot of money was spent on the NCC ─  more than K200 billion …

Hon. Government Members: K300 billion!


Mr Kapyongo: That is not a joke. Do not ask me because you also know that this was a lot of money.

Sir, there is a report which came out of the NCC. Could the hon. Minister of Justice inform this House what he will do with it because it cannot just be put aside.

Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, we shall study the report and decide on the way forward.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the cost of having a new Constitution is not yet known, according to the hon. Minister, and yet, we will be discussing the Budget for 2012. May he confirm to this House that as long as the committee of experts is not in place, the cost will not be known and that this issue of the Constitution will not be dealt with this year.

Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, the issue of the Constitution will be dealt with this year and next year. The reason it is not in the Budget is that after the draft constitution was rejected in this House, it was not put in the Budget. However, there are other means of finding money from my learned friend here.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Namwala.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how broad the composition of the experts will be. Will it be like that of the NCC, which included a broad spectrum of society?


Hon. Government Member: Walilya kale impiya!

Mr Ntundu: This is a question that you must answer. I am asking the hon. Minister. Will the composition include chiefs, hon. Members of Parliament and lawyers, among others?


Mr Ntundu: You shut up!


Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Order! Can the hon. Member for Gwembe withdraw that statement.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the statement ‘You shut up.’

Mr S. Zulu: Sir, I thought he said he withdrew the question.


Mr Speaker: Order! He withdrew the assumption of this Chair.

Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, in the appointment of experts, stakeholders are consulted and that is why it is taking time. I am sure you know who the stakeholders are in this process.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, arising from the response given by the hon. Minister in which he expressed not being sure of the Estimates of Expenditure for the Constitution-making process, but was quick to mention that the money for this undertaking will be sourced from his neighbour, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, is he implying that money for this exercise will be drawn without passing it through Parliament and not having made any estimates at all?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, I am sure the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning knows how to source such funds even from within the present Budget.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, I am sorry. My question has been overtaken by events.

Mr Chisanga: Mr Speaker, the PF Government promised the people of Zambia that the Constitution would be ready within ninety days and we are now forty days down the line. Could the hon. Minister, please, shed more light on which magic he is going to use to have the Constitution ready within that stipulated time frame.


Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, I indicated that the process is underway. As soon as the committee of experts is appointed, it will then work out its agenda. Therefore, it will mean that we shall have that process commenced within the stipulated ninety days.

I thank you, Sir.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, this is a national Constitution-making process. Can the hon. Minister tell us what criteria they are using to choose members who will represent various interests in the committee.


Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, the duty of the experts will be to draft the Constitution. The people of Zambia already gave their views to various constitutional review commissions, such as the Mung’omba, the Mvunga and the Mwanakatwe commissions. The duty of this team is to draft the Constitution from all those various submissions. Therefore, …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Let the hon. Minister respond.

Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, this is why we are saying it will be a committee of experts. They will draft the Constitution and refer it to the people and to the referendum.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, will the hon. Minister, through you, apologise to the people of Zambia for misleading them by pretending that his Government could come up with a Constitution within ninety days.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

That is not a question.


Mr Mutati (Lunte): Mr Speaker, now that the activity for the Constitution-making process is known, would it not be prudent for the hon. Minister to make a provision as we debate the Budget so that we can understand the cost.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, we have taken note of that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, the Presidential directive was that the Constitution should be delivered within ninety days. Can the hon. Minister inform and confirm, on the Floor of this House, to the nation that he is actually abrogating the Presidential directive?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, I am not aware that the President instructed the hon. Minister of Justice to deliver the Constitution within ninety days.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




(Debate resumed)

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor of the House. Allow me to begin from the premise of reminding myself the essence of a budget and budgeting thereof. It is to collect and generate revenue and direct its expenditure to deal with challenges of our people and meet their aspirations.

Mr Speaker, the number one challenge in this country is poverty, especially rural poverty. Rural poverty is so severe that it continues to drive our people from the rural areas into the urban areas thereby crowding the urban areas, creating land pressures and, also, leading to a high cost of living because of competition for, for example, food. It also leads to deforestation because many of these people who come live in shanty compounds that have no access to electricity and, therefore, have to rely on charcoal. Any progressive budget, therefore, should show deliberate measures targeting the stimulation of economic growth and development for the rural population.

Mr Speaker, coming to the Budget that was presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, last week, I want to begin with its theme, “Making Zambia a Better Place for All.” I want to say that this is a good theme and it marries well with the many reasons the people of Zambia voted for change. As to its reality, I shall respond hereunder.

Sir, I also want to recognise and, indeed, give special accolades to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for accepting that the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) Government left a very strong and solid macro-economic foundation upon which this Government begins its work in earnest. In that regard, I will encourage this Government to, therefore, popularise these positive aspects of the MMD administration the same way it is popularising its corruption so that, in that vein, people should understand that when the United Party for National Development (UPND) agrees to work with the MMD in this House, we have many areas of agreement, especially on policy issues.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I now want to delve into the core developmental areas outlined by the hon. Minister, which are agriculture, education and skills development, health services and local governance.

Mr Speaker, after the somersault by the Government on windfall tax and looking at this year’s Budget, in general, agriculture is the only economic sector that the PF has attempted to pay particular attention to. However, it has lamentably failed to direct the expenditure to its needy and priority areas.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has amply identified the problems besetting the agricultural sector as set out on pages 7 and 8, paragraph 55, of the Budget Speech. He says:

“… However, the sector continues to face constraints such as low productivity, dependence on rain-fed agriculture, lack of appropriate and affordable breeding stock, low value addition, poor marketing and low investment. In addition, the competitiveness of the sector has been adversely affected by poor transport infrastructure, inadequate storage facilities and limited access to electricity. …”

Mr Speaker, this is the end of the part of the speech by the hon. Minister relevant to my present debate.

Mr Speaker, looking at the problems highlighted by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, and the remedies proposed in the Budget, we will have to conclude that the agricultural sector, under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is in deep trouble. Perhaps, this is now giving credit to the reality of the assertion I brought to this House in my maiden speech that people out there think that, under the PF, there will be ‘poor farming’ as the acronym stands.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, the allocation of K1.698 billion represents a decline of the Budget in actual terms while reflecting a nominal increase as stated. The Budget for last year stood at 6.2 per cent, while this year’s is at 5.9 per cent. This represents an actual decline in the allocation to agriculture as opposed to the statement made by the hon. Minister Finance and National Planning that this allocation has actually increased by 37 per cent. The increase he talked about was the proportional and nominal increase in the overall Budget for the country and not for agriculture.

Hon. UPND Member: Shame!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, out of the K1.698 billion that has been allocated to the agricultural sector, K500 billion is going to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). I wish to quickly state that a World Bank study has actually shown that 30 per cent of the money that goes to this programme ends up trapped in operational costs. This, therefore is not sustainable in terms of going forward.
Mr Speaker, I would have loved to see measures put in the Budget which are meant to turn the FISP into a smart subsidy and not a continuous expenditure or consumption programme. This is because, as it stands, farmers continue to receive fertiliser without paying back to the Government. This is why I say that we would have loved to see this programme turned into a revolving fund which would continuously benefit small-scale and upcoming farmers.

Mr Speaker, I further note that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has indicated that his Government intends to undertake a structural adjustment in respect of the FISP. I hope, however, that it will not be structural per se, but an extensive transformation of this programme into an economically viable venture that will enable farmers translate themselves into entrepreneurs, not mere recipients of Government handouts because they have the capacity to develop themselves.

Mr Speaker, the FISP has also shown that the Government continues to spend money on subsidies and, at the end of the day, bumper harvests are recorded, and yet what this Government, then, does is to subsidise the export of that maize when we have no use for it locally. I would have loved to see measures in the Budget that will begin to translate bumper harvests into local use as I shall show hereunder.

Furthermore, K300 billion will go to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) for purchase of maize. This is against a background in which the FRA had a K1.3 trillion supplementary expenditure last year. From this, it is safe to say that this budgetary allocation to agriculture is off tangent.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, the question, therefore, is: Where will the FRA get the extra money to meet the expected big budget for operational costs and buying maize because the reason there was a supplementary budget, last year, is that the sector needed more money?

Mr Speaker, the remaining 50 per cent of the agricultural budget is too little to meaningfully attend to the various needs in the sector. For instance, almost half of the K800 billion, which is 50 per cent of the remaining budget, will go towards emoluments for the two ministries that have been merged, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development.

Mr Speaker, with such a scenario, where do we get funds for developing agricultural infrastructure, which is key to the overall development of this sector? It is not the buying of maize that will improve the agricultural sector, but the putting of money where farmers will be enabled to grow the maize themselves. For instance, we have seen that the 50 per cent that will be consumed, by and large, by emoluments to the ministries, should be directed towards roads that are economically viable. In the Budget, however, we are not even told the economic value of the roads that were mentioned. As a matter of priority, I would have loved to see that road construction is targeted at roads that have economic relevance so that, from the benefits of economic development and growth, we begin to target consumption-based roads.

Mr Speaker, the infrastructure to support livestock disease control, such as deep tanks and farmer training centres, remain something that we think is not catered for in this Budget. Where do we get the money for agro-research to match our natural resource endowment with appropriate technologies such as irrigation and water lifting machinery and the much-needed mechanisation of this particular sector?

Mr Speaker, we need money to build storage infrastructure, such as sheds and silos. If you went to the countryside, at the moment, you would find that maize is rotting. As a result of its geo-positioning, Zambia is a high cost country in terms of access to certain agro-inputs and implements. Therefore, we would have loved to see, in the Budget, a zero-rating of certain agro inputs and implements …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: …to ensure that these are made cheaper to the farmers.

Mr Speaker, small-scale farmers keep on paying Value Added Tax (VAT) when they are actually not registered for it. If you had to zero-rate the VAT on some inputs and implements, which they need, you will be reducing their prices by 16 per cent and, therefore, encouraging the growth of agriculture.

Sir, we expected to see measures dealing with the wastage of maize. Every year, we boast of having had a bumper harvest, and yet the maize gets wasted because we have not put in place corresponding mechanisms to ensure that we can utilise it properly.

Mr Speaker, I am aware that, at the moment, there is a shortage of maize bran in the country despite the bumper harvests which we have recorded over the last three years under the MMD Government …

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 order. Is it procedural for the hon. Member of Parliament to be reading a speech at this juncture?

Mr Speaker: I have been observing Hon. Mweetwa since I am quite close to him. What I seem to perceive is that he is using an aid memoir.

So, he may continue.

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

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for your protection. I know that my colleague cannot doubt my competences to debate very well. I am trained to do that.

Sir, we expected to see money in this Budget directed towards the rehabilitation of agriculture training centres such as the Mpika College of Agriculture and Zambia College of Agriculture, in Monze, where, at the moment, students are protesting because of the deplorable conditions under which they learn.

Mr Speaker, we also would have loved to see measures being proposed aimed at developing a marketing system which will lead to us producing cash crops for the international market. The development of such measures would be in line with the aspirations of the PF Government to turn the agricultural sector from a maize-driven one into one which caters for a wide range of crops. In order to bring about agricultural diversification, you would require a ready market for your produce. We have not seen any allocation in the Budget meant for the development of such a market. The lack of a viable market to stimulate cash crop growing will continue to hinder any diversification efforts.

Sir, we also expected measures that would ensure the development of agro processing industries for value addition purposes to be put in place. I think this is something which most hon. Members of Parliament called for in their earlier debates.

Mr Speaker, allow me, also, to quickly appreciate the Government’s intervention in the lowering of interest rates by the banks. This is commendable. However, I equally want to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to consider intervening in the sorting out of issues to do with savings rates. The savings rates are so low, and yet the interest rates are so high.

Mr Ntundu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Banks can pay you as low as 3 per cent interest for keeping your money, but charge you an interest of as high as 23 per cent when you borrow their money. I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to look into this matter.

Sir, allow me to briefly talk about Choma. The people of Choma and I have welcomed the plan by the Government to transfer the provincial headquarters of the Southern Province from Livingstone to Choma. I am sure that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is aware of the challenges which Choma is facing. Topping the list is the lack of infrastructure and industries which can provide jobs to the people in the area. I expected that Choma would be declared a tax free zone in order to stimulate growth of the economy in the area which is supported not only by the Government, but the private sector as well.

Mr Speaker, allow me, also, to state that I expected this Budget to have looked at issues to do with youth and women empowerment. The Government’s empowerment efforts cannot only be channelled through the Zambia National Service (ZNS) camps, but also through the creation of an affirmative fund tasked with the mandate to carter for the needs of the young people and women. Bearing in mind that the PF received a lot of support from the young people and women, it is shocking that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was conspicuously silent over matters relating to their empowerment when delivering the Budget Speech. So, we can already begin to see that instead of more money in their pockets, there will be no money because nothing tangible has been allocated towards their empowerment in the Budget.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, allow me now to describe this Budget as being speculative and a lost economic opportunity for this country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity you have given me to contribute to the debate currently on the Floor of this House.

Sir, to start with, let me just recap what other hon. Members have already said on the Floor of this House. I think we all understand, by now, that the PF Government was elected on the basis of, among other things, the change which it promised to deliver to the people. When the PF won the elections, we all waited to see in which form the change would come. When the President came to address us, in this House, we were advised not to be too judgemental, but to instead wait for the Budget presentation in order to see the signs of the promised change. We commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for presenting the 2012 Budget to this House. However, let me be quick to state that it appears as if the change which was promised to the people of Zambia will not happen.

Mr Mwila: Nga Bottom Road?

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, it is not difficult for all of us to recognise the main contributions which the MMD Government made towards the development of this country. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was at pains to minimise as much as possible, in his speech, the contributions of the MMD to the development of this country. Probably, it would have been well for the PF to have accepted that it was actually just continuing from where the MMD had left things.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: It is important to accept that. It is important for our colleagues to stop dancing to the gallery at this juncture because they are now in the Government. So far, my general remarks would be that there is no clear evidence of the promised change. Things are as they were under the MMD Government.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, this Budget does not trace the phases we have passed through, as a country, in the past forty-seven years. The proposals contained in the Budget appear in an abstract manner. Instruments such as the Budget should tell us, clearly, the direction in which the PF Government is taking this country. The Budget and the recent Presidential appointments have failed to clearly show the direction in which this country is going. I would have loved to see the Budget clearly interpreting key policy matters as well as allocating sufficient resources to all the key developmental areas.

Mr Speaker, may I now talk about the specifics that are contained in the Budget. I will firstly talk about the new tax regime.

    Mr Speaker, I have heard many remarks from both this House and members of the public regarding mineral royalty tax. This is the change in the mineral royalty tax from the current rate of 3 per cent to 5 per cent and 6 per cent for base and precious metals, respectively. There is very little to write home about regarding this move because as far as this House is aware, mineral royalty tax is supposed to be collected by the local authorities. It is a local authority tax.

Mr Speaker, those of us gathered here must get concerned when the Central Government begins to be more dependent on the taxes that are supposed to be collected by local authorities, and yet in the same breath it is saying that it wants to implement the Decentralisation Plan. Would it not be strange for a parent to become more dependent on baby milk and diapers than the baby? Two things are likely to happen in such a situation. The first is that, in the short-term, the baby will starve. In the long-run, the parent will also not manage to sustain a healthy lifestyle. It is important for the Government to realise that mineral royalty tax must be collected by the local authorities. This is common sense and the Local Government Act is very clear on this issue.

Mr Speaker, we have also been told that the allocation to the Ministry of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection for the purpose of funding local authorities has been increased by 100 per cent. We must note that 100 per cent of nothing is nothing. A 100 per cent of a teaspoon can never fill up a cup. We expected the Government to allocate more resources to the local authorities as a way of showing its commitment to the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, some of these taxes which the Central Government wants to continue clinging on to should be moved to local authorities so that they can have more resources.

Mr Speaker, we do not seem to have seen the change that the Zambians were yearning for in terms of governance, economic development and the way we conduct our business in as far as taxation is concerned. I am not an economist, but simply a person who is saying what the people I represent have been talking about. It is important for us, as a country, to begin asking ourselves certain important questions. Probably, this is the correct time. Why is it that most of our taxation is more focused on capital as opposed to what is produced? We should understand the background to this state of affairs. I suppose that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is familiar with such issues because they came on the scene at the same time that he was in charge of that portfolio in the early 1970’s.

Mr Speaker, there was a time when, as a country, we thought that when we allocated resources to the development of factories, we would quickly grow the economy. Instinctively, we began to move towards a more industrial led growth as opposed to the one focused on demand. Since at that time there was less demand, our focus regarding taxation was more on the capital aspect as opposed to it being charged on what was being produced. It seems this trend has continued right up to this day. The PF was voted for based on the change it promised the Zambian people. The Zambians thought that it was time they began to ask themselves why the taxes were not focusing on what was being produced.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has acknowledged that we have difficulties in establishing our exact production levels using our current systems. We are not sure of who produces what and to what extent because our tax system is focussed on the capital aspect. I can even give examples. For example, like I indicated earlier, we do not have a formula in place to determine the exact contribution of tourism to the growth of the economy, as indicated by the hon. Minister in his speech. Consequently, we end up taxing people on helicopter services and micro property rights when we should be talking about taxing the production that is coming out of the tourism sector.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Belemu: It is important that we begin to sort out these simple, but logical and common sense issues. I have also encountered interesting discussions surrounding PAYE. Two questions arise from the pronouncement that our citizens will enjoy tax relief once the new PAYE system is put in place. Are the people who are not in formal employment …

Mr Mulenga: Banshi abo ulelandapo iwe?

Mr Belemu: … going to get any benefits from the new PAYE system once it is introduced? What tax relief are the people of Mbabala constituency, who are not in formal employment, going to enjoy?


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, another question which arises is a moral one. Would it not be more just for us to pay the people well so that they can contribute to the growth of the economy through taxes? If we can forgo taxes, it means that we have the ability to increase the people’s salaries. Those are issues that we need to begin to ask questions about when talking about the change which the PF Government promised the people.

Mr Speaker, would it not have been more logical for us to cater for a wider section of our society by adjusting VAT as opposed to the PAYE only. Such a move would benefit more people because everyone pays VAT.

Mr Speaker, as regards decentralisation, we have sufficient guidelines in place on how to proceed with it. The willingness by the Government to support the decentralisation process should be demonstrated by the amounts of resources it allocates to rural areas. As my colleagues indicated earlier, this Budget when you go through it, appears to favour the urban areas and those who are in formal employment. It is such favouritism which has caused the problems which this country is in today. We need to begin to move resources to rural areas where the majority of the Zambians are.

Mr Speaker, let me now talk about what my friend talked about earlier, which is the transferring of the provincial headquarters of the Southern Province from Livingstone to Choma. Only K130 billion has been allocated for the purposes of creating Muchinga Province and the relocation of the headquarters of the Southern Province from Livingstone to Choma. We need to ensure that sufficient resources are put in place for the relocation exercise. There is a need for us to develop a well-thought-out plan aimed at developing Choma. The plan can only be successfully implemented when the required resources are made available. If we are not careful, it will just be a transfer in name and, probably, people, while Choma will remain the same. If we are to move the provincial headquarters from Livingstone for the purposes of developing tourism, we need to ensure that there is sufficient allocation, in the Budget, to further develop Livingstone into an ideal tourist destination.

Sir, the PF Government should be commended for continuing to invest in the Northern Circuit. However, we should not forget that there is also a need for us to continue to invest in the development of the greater Livingstone area which is a major tourist attraction as at now. It is important for us to look after what we have, today, even as we seek to invest in our future. The greater Livingstone extends all the way to the Kafue National Park. I would have loved to see the hon. Minister’s statement include an investment meant for that area because, in the short run, that is where we hope to get our returns from.

Mr Speaker, you may wish to know or, probably, already know that investment in the tourism sector takes a bit of time to show results. Therefore, we must not forget the investments that have already been made in the Livingstone area. We need to build and expand on these investments.

Mr Speaker, I, probably, must go into the issue raised by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, on page 15 of his address, where he talks about accountability and management of public funds, especially with regard to corruption. We cannot agree more with the hon. Minister that there is a need for us to fight corruption as a country. However, we also need to begin to be wary of our pronouncements to make sure that they are matched with the actions that we take in the running of this country. Of late, I have begun to ask myself, more often, why people who say that they are allergic to corruption would be employing chefs who are specialised in cooking corruption menus.


Mr Belemu: Like I said, I think we must go beyond merely making pronouncements and match that with our actions.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: I want to urge those in the Executive to go beyond saying that they are allergic to corruption and actually start taking steps that demonstrate, to this House and the Zambian people, that they are, indeed, fighting corruption instead of producing recipes that are attractive to corruption.

Mr Speaker, for example, is it not a recipe for corruption when commissions of inquiry are formed and headed by known political cadres and, consequently, members of these commissions are related to each other through marriage? Is it not a recipe for corruption when …


Mr Speaker: Can you let the hon. Member debate and you will respond later.

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, it is important that we match what we are saying with concrete actions in as far as the fight against corruption is concerned if we are to realise the benefits that are outlined in this Budget. Is it not a recipe for corruption when people that are known to have committed transgressions of the law, in the recent past, are being appointed to positions of authority as controlling officers in the provinces? Is it not a recipe for corruption when positions are abolished in the morning, but are filled by somebody in the night? When this comes to light in the morning, instead of doing what any decent person would do by being apologetic, we are being threatened with dissolution.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: I think we need to be a bit more serious in the way we are demonstrating our fight against corruption.

Mr Speaker, agriculture is the mainstay of our economy in as far as the rural population is concerned and, therefore, I cannot emphasise more on what my colleagues have said on the need to invest in the agricultural sector.

Mr Speaker, as I said, we need to make corrections with regard to the fundamentals in the tourism sector. What I see in the Budget is more of what has already been done in the past and that is allocating money to tourism for marketing purposes without getting the right formula. There are a number of fundamentals that have to be corrected and among them are, for example, as I said, what is the contribution of tourism to our economy before we can even talk about its allocation? What are the tourism products that we intend to develop and …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, as I wind up my debate, I just want to emphasise that the core areas that have been identified, particularly, for economic development namely agriculture, tourism and manufacturing should have received serious attention in the Budget. As at now, as my colleagues have already emphasised in their statements, agriculture lags far behind.

Similarly, as regards tourism, we have been told that K21.1 billion has been provided for tourism marketing in the Budget. However, when we look at the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP), I think, this is the figure that was proposed for the second year of this plan. So, we need to put everything in context and show serious commitment by necessary resource allocation to these sectors.

Mr Speaker, I thank you once more for the opportunity to debate this Motion. When we now look back, I think the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should, probably, have hired the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) to prepare this Budget. It would have flowed a bit better because everything in this Budget was literary compiled by the previous Government except that there was cut and paste here and there.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone (Isoka West): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this privilege to debate the Motion on the Floor. When I was going through the 2012 Budget Address, I came across several statements which, to a great extent, are meant to bring change for the betterment of this country. I will begin by pointing out the theme which is “Making Zambia a better place for all.” All hon. Members in here would agree with me that, actually, the change that Zambians were crying for is that which, in the end, makes Zambia a better place for all.

Mr Speaker, I want to urge all hon. Members that would want to debate this Motion, at some point, that in as much as we want to criticise the Budget for 2012, we should realise that we have a big challenge in the collection of public revenue in this country. This country has been losing a lot of money as a result of the loopholes in the tax collection system, which is meant to raise monies to finance a budget like this one.

Mr Speaker, as I speak, there are many shops out there that are not paying tax. Allow me to cite businesses in Isoka where I am come from because I do not want to cite those in Lusaka. In Isoka, it is rare to get a tax invoice or receipt at the end of a transaction when you buy certain goods. Consequently, so much money that should have been collected through VAT is lost when people tend to buy goods without getting tax receipts. This money is never receipted as Government revenue.

Mr Speaker, having said that, again, I get worried when we are debating and almost misleading the public. I want to cite one example in the agricultural sector. It is true that the percentage allocation to agriculture, in relation to the whole Budget, is slightly less than the 6.4 per cent of the previous Budget which some hon. Members have referred to. However, when we look at the incremental difference for agriculture, you realise that there is K466.4 billion compared to the previous budget. This increment will definitely bring a lot of change to this sector. Areas that lagged behind such as training, research and extension services will definitely benefit a lot from the K466.4 billion increment in this year’s Budget. Apart from this, for the first time, even people in Isoka have gained some hope to hear that disease control will be prioritised. The hon. Minister emphasised, in his speech, that disease free corridors would be established in this country. With time, as we all know change comes with time, this country can even start exporting meat products to other countries.

Mr Speaker, both the Budget and President’s speeches referred to the construction of dip tanks in all the constituencies where there is livestock. I have already seen, in the Budget, that we are likely to have the construction of dip tanks starting in 2012. At the moment, Isoka has literally no dip tank.


Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, Isoka used to have a lot of dip tanks way back in the late 1970’s and 1980’s.


Mr Sichone: Unfortunately, for the past twenty years of the MMD rule …

Hon. Government Member: Misrule.

Mr Sichone: … or misrule, as my colleagues would want me to put it, all the dip tanks cannot be traced.


Mr Sichone: Isoka used to have a lot of animals.

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, thank you for your protection. The cattle population, in Isoka, was quite high and almost every household had an animal or more. At the moment, you need to travel long distances to just find one cow.

Mr Speaker, when I look at the Budget, with the planned construction of dip tanks, I think we are going to have diseases controlled because our animals will be dipped every now and then and, obviously, jobs will be created.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: There will be a lot of people working at these dip tanks who will not be working for free. So, in one way or another, our people will benefit and will have more money in their pockets.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, it is quite clear, in the 2012 Budget Address, that the FISP will have to be reviewed. There is a chunk of K500 billion allocated for the same purpose.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, for the past few years, last year or this year in particular, a lot of fertiliser and inputs were budgeted for and procured. What we have seen is that a lot of farmers, despite trying to give them an opportunity to get, at least, a pack, have not been catered for. They cannot access the commodity because the quantities were inadequate. This plan was put in place by the MMD Government. With this review, it is very clear that, in our Government, people in villages will be catered for in one way or another.

Mr Speaker, under the local government, there has been an increment of more than 100 per cent to local councils, but to my surprise this is heavily politicised. The message I would like to put across is that with the 100 per cent or more increment to local government, we are likely to see part of the salary arrears for local government workers cleared and this will put a lot of money in the workers’ pockets.

Mr Mulenga: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, every hon. Member, including people out there, would agree with me that, in two to three years with the current Budget, we are likely to have development coming to our areas.

Mr Speaker, we have been crying for primary health care in this country for many years. Actually, primary health care in this country is decayed, for lack of a better term. We have seen patients lining up in long queues at different health facilities for a long time only to get a prescription. K301.7 billion in this Budget has been allocated to the Ministry of Health for the purpose of drug procurement.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: I think this is a plus.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, a lot of people will have access to drugs and not just prescriptions as the case has been for the past twenty years of our colleagues’ misrule.

Mr Speaker, we have also heard of people trying to politicise the K30 billion allocated towards the establishment of Muchinga Province and the shifting of the provincial capital from Livingstone to Choma in the Southern Province. I would say K30 billion is quite enough for this purpose. Choma already has a lot of infrastructure …

Hon. Opposition Members: Where!

Hon. Government Member: Kozo Lodge.

Mr Sichone: … and shifting the provincial capital from Livingstone to Choma is not going to be a one-year programme. You will agree with me that this will require more than one year. For a start, Choma will benefit heavily.

Mr Speaker, even if K2 billion or K10 billion was spent on Choma, the difference from its previous state would be seen. There will be a big difference.

Mr Speaker, the UPND, in its campaign manifesto, clearly …


Mr Speaker: Can we allow the hon. Member to debate freely. If you want to respond, you will do so at an appropriate time.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: … stated that it would be giving inputs to farmers for free. I wonder when I see my colleagues in this party rising and questioning the viability of the FISP and its sustainability with regard to farmers being compelled to pay a small amount of money as the case has been. In short, they are saying that if we are going to make …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I wish to apologise for disrupting the proceedings. It is not in my culture to rise on a point of order unless somebody is misguiding the House and the nation. Is the hon. Member debating in order to state that the UPND has despised the allocation of money to the FISP when we know that we have lamented the PF’s failure to reach the Maputo Declaration of 2003 which, if reached, would have meant an increase in the allocation therein? I seek your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: That is not a procedural issue, however, palatable. The submission or argument may be that we have to allow the hon. Member on the Floor to speak. At an appropriate juncture, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central will be at liberty to respond to the substantive issue.

May the hon. Member, continue.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, our colleagues were basing their campaigns on the fact that they told the public that the inputs would be given freely to the electorates in trying to solicit for votes.

However, I would also like to bring to your attention that, in the 2012 Budget Address, 5,000 teachers have been projected to be recruited. Is this not going to create jobs and not only that, there is a plan to employ 2,500 frontline medical staff in 2012? Is that not creation of employment?

Hon. Government Members: It is.

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, there have been questions from our colleagues on how well the Zambian youths are catered for in this Budget. I would like to quote from the Budget Speech where the hon. Minister said:

“Sir, in the area of skills development, the Government will scale up youth skills development programmes through the construction of nine and rehabilitation of twelve technical training institutes.”

Mr Speaker, when the youths acquire these skills, are they not going to utilise them to create jobs? What our colleagues should admit is that, in the past, we focused skills training on training people to become employees and not employers. It is in the interest of our Government that most of these youths that we are talking about in this address are not only employees, but also potential employers. You can also find this in our governance strategy, the PF Manifesto.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to draw the attention of the House to the levels of inefficiency noted in the Public Service for a long time. This country has been losing resources as a result of inefficiency not by all, but most Public Service staff. Many of the staff do not observe time and they usually report for work late. I would not want to mention whatever happens. However, the bad working culture, which developed in this country, was mentioned.

Mr Speaker, for argument’s sake, we can calculate, with the coming of cellular phones, the time that most of these staff spend on cellular phones doing their own businesses. How much time do we lose as a result of inefficiency? I would like to urge this House that, together, we think how best we can change the culture of poor workmanship that has been in this country for a long time.

Mr Speaker, I am very grateful for the time that you gave me to debate and I thank you .

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I will begin by thanking you more sincerely for allowing me to debate.

Mr Speaker, I was reserving my debate for tomorrow because my voice is not fine, but I have been prompted, however, to say one or two things arising from the misconceptions that have come out on the Floor of this House.

I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, to begin with, on a speech well-delivered, on 11th November, 2011.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: I would also like to congratulate him on his magnanimity of purpose for recognising the efforts of the former Government, the MMD, as quoted in paragraph 3 of page 1. I think this is as it ought to be.

The hon. Minister’s speech had a preamble of a few excerpts from His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia’s Speech in which he outlined a very ambitious plan of action on how he thought he could commence a vigorous and unrelenting fight against poverty. Indeed, poverty causes havoc in our society.

He also emphasised how he wanted to see the benefits of the solid economic foundation left by our colleagues, the MMD, would tailor the theme of “Making Zambia a Better Place for Everyone.” In short, we do agree that there is a need to urgently diminish the gap between the very rich, the few rich and the majority poor of our country.

His Budget Speech was in three parts. I will call Part 1 the confluence of populism and realism. We know that the PF’s campaign was based on extreme populist slogans such as “more money in the people’s pockets.” It did not quantify how many people would benefit from this more money. It also indicated how the windfall tax was an essential ingredient in diminishing the gap between the rich and the poor in combating poverty.

Mr Speaker, at point 8, the hon. Minister indicated, in no uncertain terms, the correlation between the unrest in the North African Region and Middle East of this world with the heightened prices of international commodities. Among these commodities, I pick out copper. He said:

“In 2011, the copper reached an unprecedented high, fetching US$ 8,704 per metric tonne against the US$ 7,538 in 2010.”

I also slotted in my own figure there that as at 2002/2003, when our mines were coming back to life, the price of copper on the London Metal Exchange was in the range of US$3,000 per metric tonne.

This was why it would have made so much sense for the PF Government to have stuck to the campaign promises of keeping the windfall tax in sight at every stage of the way. This would have served to achieve high revenue for the country that would have helped to deal with some economic indicators such as a stable exchange rate, maintenance of a single digit inflation rate and everything that goes with it.

The monetary and fiscal sector development of this country, by and large, will have to be dealt with by asking the Bank of Zambia to take action to make the cost affordable to business people because that can have a trickle-down effect on those who may be employed by those who will be in a position to borrow from these institutions. The legislators have what it takes to put laws in place that may reduce the gap between the interests on savings and those on borrowing, which the hon. Minister, in my view, did not adequately address. This is where the confluence of populism and realism actually resides.

Mr Speaker, the Budget Speech, obviously, is a wish list and it is meant to serve only one purpose, to make Zambia a better place for all inhabitants. However, the devil, really, lies in the details of the Yellow Book no matter how flamboyant this document might be. However, I will pick out the focal areas from the speech. The Government has allocated only 5 per cent of the National Budget to the agricultural sector and I think that this performance is below average. His Honour the Vice-President understands what I am talking about. We have the recommendations of the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security that sought to make sure that national budgets allocate, at least, 10 per cent to the agricultural sector. It would have been better if, at least, 10 per cent of the Budget had gone to agriculture. May I take this opportunity to correct what the hon. Member for Isoka West tried to put before this House that members of the UPND have been against allocation of money towards this vote. The truth is that he has missed the mark ...

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: … so much that, at this point of the debate, I want to draw from what Hon. Muntanga and Hon. Mucheleka said. That is where we are anchored. At one K1.6 trillion, with K500 billion going towards the FISP and K300 billion towards marketing, the balance of K800 billion which will need to deal with very essential aspects of the agricultural sector, such as dams, weirs, dip tanks, crush pens, research, irrigation and fisheries is not enough. I want to make it clear that we did not, at any given stage, cry that there was too much money that was put under this vote. It must be made very clear for the country to understand the fundamental fact that the PF has performed below par in terms of meeting the Maputo Declaration.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, these protocols, conventions and treaties that are signed by governments are meant to achieve many things, including the millennium development goals (MDGs). This is why we think that the PF might just have cut and pasted what the MMD did in dealing with the allocation to agriculture, except that the MMD was a little more expedient in actually dealing with issues of disbursement of fertiliser.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: I would like to talk about facts so that the hecklers can understand. Expediency has got no other definition. The MMD was expedient in the disbursement of inputs ...

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: ... which has not happened in this Government. Time is of the essence. No matter what, who says and when they say it, we are simply trying to provide advice to our colleagues to understand that putting something on paper is different from putting it into action. This is where the confluence of populism and realism actually meet.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, let me now talk about the issue of marketing crops for the 2011/2012 Season, which the PF Government will have to look at. It is true that we will depend on what the Meteorological Department will say. We may face a crisis in terms of shortage of rainfall. So, I would like to take this opportunity to ask our colleagues to be very careful as they disburse fertiliser. Late as it may be, the UPND has always lamented the cost of production, which has been much higher in this country than it has been in the region so much so that the bumper harvests, sometimes, become meaningless because the import-export parity price is not favourable. Maize cannot be sold unless at a loss. That is the stubborn fact. I want our colleagues to take heed of my advice.

On the issue of education, Mr Speaker, I welcome the amount that has been allocated. I do, however, have a few comments to make regarding the establishment or elevation or recreation or however you want to call it. When those hon. colleagues were this side, we were very quick to discourage the MMD from converting these institutions by merely elevating them to university status as the case was with Kwame Nkhrumah Teachers’ Training College in Kabwe and the Copperbelt Secondary Teachers’ College (COSETCO) on the Copperbelt. The Government, then, did not take into consideration the ingredients required to make institutions meet the requirements of being universities.

Sir, K796 billion has also been allocated for rebuilding and redeveloping the Chalimbana National In-Service Teacher Training College and the Palabana Dairy Training Institute, in Chongwe, which are in the same location, and Lubwa Mission, in Chinsali, Northern Province. I think the idea is good. However, I need the hon. Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training not to forsake what the previous regime did. When I looked at the Yellow Book, I was saddened to see how much money had been allocated to COSETCO and Kwame Nkrumah Teachers’ Training College. The PF should have done a thorough research on the establishment of staff at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU) because a quality lecturer is needed in order for a quality graduate to be produced. I am sure that His Honour the Vice-President understands that because he was once a lecturer. The Government cannot continue to merely school people. They have to be educated. Statistics indicate that, at UNZA, Great East Road Campus, the staffing establishment is as low as 50 per cent of the required levels. I am sure the hon. Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training knows this because he has worked there.


Mr Nkombo: However, I want to congratulate him most sincerely for ignoring the fact that he needed to capacitate UNZA by making sure that the establishment is up to a high level so that quality graduates can be produced. My young cousin here, the hon. Member for Bweengwa, indicated that when he went to see his niece at UNZA, he found eight students sharing a room for two.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, this can be easily done. We must move forward and not go backwards.

Sir, at this particular juncture, I have no reason to address my colleagues in the MMD unless I am out of my mind because the mantle is with my colleagues in the PF.

Mr Muntanga: Correct!

Mr Nkombo: It will be folly of me to do that in the same manner it was for the hon. Member for Isoka, who seemed to have wanted to provide an oversight on the Opposition in his debate. This is exactly the opposite of the way things are supposed to work.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo:  We are designated to provide an oversight role on Government operations because we are its partners. However, my fundamental statement was to say that I congratulate you for ignoring the fact that you needed to deal with infrastructure development at UNZA instead of rushing to put up buildings at Chalimbana. The MMD Government went through the same process of putting up too much infrastructure without personnel. Where will you find the lecturers? How will you do the accreditation?

Mr Muntanga: That is the question!

Hon. Government Member: We know.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I was fortunate enough to sit on the Committee on Education and visited COSETCO and Kwame Nkrumah. The state of the infrastructure and the human resource at the two institutions is below the levels of what is required at a university. I thought that the PF Government would start with first things first by making sure that there are teachers to teach the students who will go to Chalimbana because when the children go there, they will only find buildings and no one to teach them.

Mr Speaker, the end should never justify the means. You must go step by step. You must make sure that you correct the wrongs which are currently obtaining before jumping to convert Chalimbana and Lubwa into universities.

Mr Speaker, my colleagues who are now on the right have always supported me whenever I have said that even private universities such the Zambia Open University (ZAOU) require to be given Government grants. My argument is simply that the parents of those children who go to those institutions pay tax. The Government institutions cannot afford to absorb all the children who are in dire need of education. I am surprised not to see an allocation for private universities in the Budget, and yet we used to call for it with the hon. Members who are now on your right. That is why my mulamu, Hon. Kambwili, is now facing down.

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I rise on very serious point of order. Is my brother-in-law, Hon. Nkombo, in order to bring issues of marriage relationships in his debate when I am quietly listening to his debate and not heckling him because he is my brother-in-law? I need your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: My ruling is that filial relations should be kept out of the House.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, my point was that we have eminent Zambians who have gone out of their way to help the Government to educate the people. I am informed that Dr Phiri may have lectured at the Zambia Open University. My Church also runs the Zambia Adventist University and needs money from the Government. Therefore, I am pleading with my colleagues on your right hand side to consider giving small grants, in future, to private universities because the children who go there have the potential to become vice-presidents like His Honour the Vice-President, Hon. Dr Scott.

The bursaries should be extended to children who go to indigenous private universities. We must drift away from the tradition of only funding Government institutions. The Government has the duty to provide grants to private sector institutions which seek to assist it by providing social amenities. I know you will say that the resource envelope is small, but I still think that you could have done better in that regard.

Hon. Minister of Health, the 9 per cent allocation of the total Budget to the health sector is below par. I also wanted to hear the position of the PF Government on the mobile hospitals, but was told that this may not be the most appropriate time. I would have loved to hear words similar to the ones which were uttered by Hon. Sebastian Zulu with regard to our contributions to the National Constitutional Conference (NCC). He said that the Government would read the contributions so as to pick out what is useful. I was hoping that the hon. Minister of Health would have said that since the mobile hospitals have state of the art equipment, maybe, we can take it out of those trucks and take it to rural health centres other than just keeping quiet because the next thing we will hear is that the mobile hospitals have got cobwebs. I know that it may simply not be possible to take them back to where they came from and get a refund.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member from Isoka said that dip tanks had disappeared in his province.


Mr Nkombo: I want him to know that, in the Southern Province, the dip tanks that were created in the pre-colonial era are still visible. I wonder what it is that might have happened in the Northern Province. Maybe, it is a question of people having used them as burial grounds.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

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

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor. I will be as brief this time around as I was the last time.


Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I want to begin by paying special tribute to the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Chikwanda, for having crafted a reasonably fair Budget given the short time that was available. I also want to pay special tribute to him for acknowledging the strong economic foundation that the MMD Government left behind.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I noticed the attempts by some colleagues to be oblivious of the fact that foundations are very important. Whether they like it or not, it is on record that the MMD Government left a strong foundation on which the PF can build. This was acknowledged by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in his speech.

Mr Speaker, foundations, be it in the physical or spiritual realm, are very important for they determine the success of your future endeavours. Scripture goes further to say that if foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? In this regard, I want to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, in particular, for magnanimously acknowledging the contributions of Hon. Situmbeko Musokotwane who prudently managed the economy.

Sir, whether some people like his face or not, the fact remains that Hon. Musokotwane was voted the best Finance Minister, in 2011, by the African Business Magazine. This is a matter which was under appreciated by this country. I, therefore, pay special tribute to hon. Musokotwane.

Mr Speaker, I also want to congratulate the PF Government ...


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member is hardly audible because of the on-going conversations.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I want to congratulate the PF Government, through the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, for having realistically and pragmatically enough recognised the fact that the policies of the MMD delivered robust growth to this country over the past ten years. This fact was acknowledged in the Budget Speech.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila:  Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning exhibited rare and true leadership qualities. I was one of those who were heckling the phrase ‘long live Finance Minister’ when he was presenting the Budget.


Dr Kalila: Sir, indeed, his Budget Speech was driven by realism. He was honest and pragmatic as opposed to the unrealistic populism policies that were being propagated during the time of the campaign. I never heard any of such things from him. He came here having realised that there is a difference between governance and being in the Opposition.

Sir, I, therefore, congratulate and urge him to continue along this path of true leadership. Without this foundation, I doubt very much whether the micro-economic targets that the PF have set can be met.


Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, for how can I not praise a man who has chosen to continue with the MMD’s economic policies …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: … such as the FISP which my brother, Hon. Muntanga, was talking about. The allocation to the sum of K500 billion to this very good programme, which has produced bumper harvests consecutively, for the last three years, is there in the Budget.

Mr Speaker, how can I not praise a man who has taken on board almost all our infrastructure programmes? The roads which we started have been listed in the Budget.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: I am sure that when Hon. Namulambe, who is the immediate past Minister of Works and Supply, stands up to debate, he will ably outline these roads and show the Zambians that they were started by us. We are very happy that you have continued with these road infrastructure programmes.


Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, concerning the health sector, we embarked on a robust programme of improving access by constructing several health posts across the country, including hospitals, which the PF Government has told us that it will continue. We are very happy. How can we not praise such a man?

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Sir, in the education sector, 5,000 teachers will be recruited and we have been informed that the building of 2,000 classroom blocks will continue. This is building on the programme which we started. How can we not applaud such developments?

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, it has been applauded in the Budget Speech of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that the Government intends to continue with the private-public partnership (PPP) programme. We passed the Private-Public Partnership Act together in this House. Was that not our programme? Are you not continuing with it? How can we not say keep it up?

Sir, I have seen an allocation to the multi-facility economic zones. These are our flagship programmes which will bring investment and create jobs. These are good programmes which the PF Government has chosen to continue with. How can we not applaud this?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, even the so-called famous diversification from mono-crop agriculture was a programme which was started by the MMD. I am sure that when Hon. Kazonga stands up to debate, he will give figures of how we proceeded along these lines.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Sir, we thank the PF for building on the strong foundation of this prudent MMD Government.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, you have indicated that there is a US$500 million sovereign bond. This is a matter which Hon. Situmbeko Musokotwane worked so hard to achieve and it was born out of the rating of a B plus. It is now the intention of the Government to use it to raise funds to support this Budget. That is very good because you are building on the foundation which we left behind.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Sir, this is how all countries that have made tremendous progress in the world have been built.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chikwanda walked into the House.


Hon. Government Members: He has come.

Dr Kalila: I really commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and he is my man.


Dr Kalila: However, Mr Speaker, having looked at all these positives which have come about as a result of realism dawning upon our colleagues, I was greatly saddened when I read the Budget Speech on Page 5 and 6, Paragraph 37 and 38.

Sir, Paragraph 37 says:

“Mr Speaker, the PF Government recognises the efforts of previous administration in establishing strong growth. However, indicators of human development in Zambia are dismal, with poverty remaining consistently above 60 per cent. In rural areas, the situation is even worse at 77.9 per cent. Unemployment levels have remained unacceptably high, especially among our youths. According to the 2011 Human Development Report, Zambia is still ranked among the poorest at 164th  position out of 189 countries.”

Mr Speaker, in Paragraph 38, the hon. Minister watered down most of the good things that he said by stating that:

“Sir, this tells us that we must never focus exclusively on macroeconomic stability. A mother in Gwembe is not interested in lower inflation if she cannot take her child to school; an unemployed youth in Kaputa is not empowered by songs of praise about stability in exchange rate, but by being provided with skills and job opportunities; our hard-working farmers across the country have no interest in real GDP 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 was greatly saddened by this paragraph. Why do I say so? I am not an economist, but I know that you can never deliver development in a chaotic microeconomic environment.
Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, this paragraph was a minus because we all know how nations are built on economic growth which we measure by the GDP. The importance of statistics cannot be under-played. How can we buy the produce if we have no money to do it? When inflation is high, it reduces your purchasing power.

Sir, I thought this paragraph was misplaced and that it should not have been a part of this Budget Speech because …


Mr Speaker: Order! Hon. Members on the right, please, take note of these issues. You will have an opportunity to respond and, if need be, discredit but, please, take note and give the hon. Member an opportunity to debate.

May the hon. Member continue, please.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, even the positive development of reducing the interest rates was based on statistics that, at 30 per cent, our interest rates were high and the Government took a step. We commend that. We, therefore, can no longer under-play the importance of statistics.

Sir, I still insist that this paragraph was misplaced and it watered down the good intentions of the speech and continuation which the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, whom I admire so much and wish long live, embarked on.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, since I said that I would be very brief, I would like to turn to the issue of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Sir, many of our colleagues have bemoaned the fact that our development agenda is skewed towards the urban areas. It has been stated that the resource allocation continuously tends to favour the urban set up.

Mr Speaker, if hon. Members will recall, I think it was last year or the other year, that Hon. Amuusa Mwanamwambwa came to this House and gave us a short presentation. This presentation showed that, in this House, we have 150 constituencies out of which, 119 are classified as rural.

Sir, both on your left and right side of the House, 119 of our constituencies are classified as rural whereas only thirty-one are urban and this represents 21 per cent. Seventy-nine per cent of constituencies are rural, but you will find that most of the resources go to the 21 per cent urban constituencies like Hon. Kambwili’s Constituency, which is already well-developed, has electricity, …


Dr Kalila: … better roads and health facilities, and it has mines and the workers are getting relief because they are in employment. Therefore, the onus is on all of us hon. Members who constitute 79 per cent of the rural constituencies to fight for equitable distribution of the nation’s resources to ensure that this development reaches us. From what we have seen, the only tool we can use is the CDF).

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Sir, that is why I insist that this is non-partisan. The CDF provides three opportunities which can be used to bring development to our areas. That is why we, in the Opposition, would like to call upon our colleagues to support our intentions to make an appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to reconsider his decision of increasing the allocation to K120 billion from K108 billion. This is a paltry increase and will not do much in redistributing this wealth.

Mr Speaker, why do I say that the CDF is the only tool which can redistribute the wealth of this nation? There are three reasons. Firstly, we know that our Government is making a serious attempt and has an ambitious scheme to decentralise. In other words, the CDF takes development to the lower level and also pushes the resources there. It is merely complementing the efforts that this Government is trying to do. When we ask the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to consider increasing the CDF, we are merely complementing his efforts.

Sir, secondly, the CDF will also cure what most hon. Members have already referred to in this House. There has been an observation that there is mono-regionalism in representation in this Government.  When few people come from a particular region, they will tend to argue for development to go only to their particular areas.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Therefore, the CDF pushes development all across the country and the hon. Members of Parliament have a chance to get some of the chunk from the national cake and push it to their own areas. The other time, the hon. Member for Nkana said that we have other competing needs. That will not work at all. Maybe, it is because he comes from an urban constituency and so he is being selfish by only asking for himself. What about the 79 per cent who come from rural constituencies? The answer lies only in the CDF.

Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, I am a man of few words, …


Dr Kalila: … and I would like to conclude by calling on the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to consider doing two things. The first one is to revise the CDF upwards. This time, we are only asking for K2 billion given the fact that the Budget is out. Definitely, this K800 million is very little and will not do much for the needs of our rural folk. We badly need this development. 

Mr Speaker, secondly, I would like to urge all the hon. Members who constitute the 80 per cent rural constituencies to support this very noble request that we have made to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Thirdly, I am calling upon the hon. Members of Parliament that we consider enacting a Constituency Development Fund Act so that future administrations do not continue to deny our rural folk the development that they so much need.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, in ending my debate, the question is: “How do I describe this Budget?” Firstly, I would like to measure it against the development agenda of the MMD. On that score, I would rate it as fair because it continues to build on our strong foundation.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Secondly, I would like to measure it against the promises that were made by the PF Government which espoused the populist agenda around the people. On this basis, I would like to say that it has fallen short of the people’s expectations.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I thank you.


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 1731 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 17th November, 2011.