Debates- Tuesday, 15th November, 2011

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Tuesday, 15th November, 2011

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have an announcement to make. I wish to inform the House that on Friday 4th November, 2011, I received a letter of complaint from the Zambia Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers (ZUFIAW) and the letter read as follows:


“Reference is made to the Times of Zambia Edition No. 15, 208 dated Friday, November 4th 2011, front page story headlined ‘Government Should Probe Missing K20 billion, says PF MP’ which was carried on page 2.

“In the article, it is reported that Kanyama Member of Parliament Hon. Gerry Chanda (PF) is alleged to have told the House that from the K20 billion which went missing meant for the upgrading of the drainage in Kanyama constituency, K81 million went to ZUFIAW.

“We categorically deny ever receiving such funds and, therefore, demand an apology and retraction of the allegation and the story because our records do not show that we received the funds mentioned above. In view of the damage this story has caused to our members and the general public, we demand that the apology should be published in the media and particularly the Times of Zambia and other media where this story was carried and that Hon. Gerry Chanda should retract the allegation on the Floor of the House because our union was not in a good working relationship with the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Government as confirmed by a number of litigations against each other during their office tenure.

Yours Faithfully,
Joyce C Nonde Simukoko ACIArb
General Secretary”

Hon. Members, this letter was written in response to the Hon. Member for Kanyama, Colonel Chanda, MP’s debate of Thursday, 3rd November, 2011 in which he said, among other things, the following:

“…I have in my possession the Auditor General’s Report for 2009 which highlights some irregularities. K20 billion was misappropriated by the MMD Party when it was in Government, but no action has been taken by the Director of Public Prosecutions. Why is it that the people of Kanyama must be taken for a ride? People sleep in unsanitary conditions, and yet money was appropriated by this House for that purpose, but somebody from this side (left) of the House chose to pocket it and we all kept quiet.

“Mr Speaker, K1 billion was paid to the ZCTU as fees from the same fund. What has the ZCTU got to do with the Kanyama drainage system?

“Mr Speaker, K81 million was again paid to ZUFIAW.”

In his debate, the hon. Member for Kanyama made reference to the Auditor-General’s report on the accounts for the financial year which ended on 31st December, 2009. The report, on page 105, reads in part as follows:

“Misapplication of Funds

“Out of the total amount of K10,138,574,360 retained at the ministry, a total of K1,081,788,477 was applied on the payment of union subscription fees to the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (K1,000,000,000) and Zambia United Local Authorities Workers Union (K81,788,477) which was not related to the purpose for which the funds were appropriated.”

Hon. Members, ZUFIAW’s letter of complaint raises the question of freedom of debate in the House and the extent to which members of the public, who are injured by a Member’s debate can seek redress. In this regard, I wish to guide the House and members of the public on the extent of the freedom of speech enjoyed by hon. Members when debating matters in this House.

The freedom of speech that hon. Members enjoy in the House is provided for under sections 3 and 4 of the National assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Cap. 12 of the laws of Zambia, which state:

“3. There shall be freedom of speech and debate in the Assembly. Such freedom of speech and debate shall not be liable to be questioned in any court or place outside the Assembly.

“4. No civil or criminal proceedings may be instituted against any member for words spoken before, or written in a report to the Assembly or to a committee thereof or by reason of any matter or thing brought by him therein by petition, Bill, resolution, motion or otherwise.”

Further, Erskine May, in his book entitled Parliamentary Practice and Procedure, Twenty-Third Edition, on page 96 states:

“Subject to the rules of order in debate, a member may state whatever he thinks fit in debate, however offensive it may be to the feelings, or injurious to the character, of individuals; and he is protected by his privilege from any action for libel, as well as from any other question or molestation.”

Furthermore, M. N. Kaul and S. L. Shakdher, in their book entitled Practice and Procedure of Parliament, sixth edition, at page 235, and also A. O’Brien and M. Bosc, in their book entitled House of Commons Procedure and Practice, second edition, at page 96, also attest to the principle that the freedom of speech of hon. Members as they debate on the Floor of the House is absolute, however injurious to outsiders and cannot be questioned or challenged by any authority outside the House.

Hon. Members, the essence of this privilege is to ensure that hon. Members debate freely in the House or Committees without fear of any reprisals from any person or authority and without having to account to anyone outside the Assembly. It goes without saying, therefore, that this privilege is essential if hon. Members are to perform their functions effectively.

However, may I hasten to add that this privilege, while far-reaching, is not limitless. In this regard, statements made by hon. Members outside the House and its Committees are not protected by this privilege and hon. Members may make such statements at their own peril. Further, hon. Members’ freedom of debate is subject to the rules of procedure of the House as provided in the National Assembly Standing Orders and National Assembly hon. Members’ Handbook. One such rule, which my predecessors had constantly reminded hon. Members about, is that hon. Members should debate factually. The National Assembly hon. Member’s Handbook at page 13, states:

“Members must not allege specific matters of fact as being true unless they are able to substantiate them.”

Hon. Members, these rules are intended to ensure that hon. Members debate factually and a strict adherence to them can help avoid causing undue injury to innocent persons especially outsiders as these do not have any avenue to defend themselves in the House. You may wish to note that the failure by a hon. Member to observe these rules is a breach of parliamentary privileges and procedures which is punishable, in any event, by the House.

With regard to the debate that is the subject of the ZUFIAW’s complaint, hon. Members will note that the hon. Member for Kanyama, Colonel Chanda, MP, was quoting from the Auditor-General’s report on the accounts for the financial year ended 31st December, 2009, which is a public document. However, the Auditor-General’s report states that K1 billion was given to the ZCTU and K81 million to ZULAWU, whereas the hon. Member for Kanyama in his debate stated that K1 billion had been given to the ZCTU and K81 million to ZUFIAW. It may be noted that while the hon. Member correctly cited the ZCTU as one of the unions that had benefited from the funds, he cited ZUFIAW, instead of ZULAWU, as the other recipient.  The House may observe that the acronyms ‘ZULAWU’ and ‘ZUFIAW’ are similar. I have, therefore, found that Hon. Chanda, MP, made an honest mistake.

Hon. Members, clearly this honest mistake has resulted in immense embarrassment for the affected union, ZUFIAW, which led it to seeking an apology from the National Assembly in the media and also a retraction of the statement in issue on the Floor of the House by Hon. Chanda, MP.

I wish to inform the House and the public that while it is unfortunate and most regrettable that the debate of the hon. Member has caused serious embarrassment and damage to ZUFIAW, it was said on the Floor of the House and, therefore, privileged. In this regard, the relief sought by ZUFIAW is not tenable under parliamentary practice and procedure.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Nevertheless, in accordance with our rules of procedure, it is imperative that hon. Members exercise this privilege with utmost care in debates in order to avoid making statements that have the potential to damage the reputation of innocent persons and entities.

With regard to the correction of the record of the proceedings of the House, I wish to inform hon. Members and the public at large that the House has a mechanism through which hon. Members are required daily to verify and correct their debates before they are published in the parliamentary debates as a true record of the proceedings of the House. During this verification process, Hon. Chanda identified the mistake he made on the Floor of the House when he inadvertently referred to ZUFIAW when he actually meant ZULAWU.  In this regard, I wish to assure the House and the nation at large that the records of the House for the 3rd November, 2011, on this matter have since been corrected to reflect the correct position.

I thank you all.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




4. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa) asked the Minister of Mines and Natural Resources what measures the Government had taken to minimise the persistent human-animal conflicts in the Game Management Area No. 14 in the Mumbwa Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Natural Resources (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that human-animal conflicts have persisted in the Mumbwa Game Management Area (GMA) No. 14 because human settlements have increasingly encroached into wildlife habitats. The Government has taken the following measures to ensure we minimise the conflicts in the GMA in Mumbwa.

The general management plan for the Mumbwa game reserve has been formulated through a stakeholders’ participatory approach to guide economic, settlement and conservation activities in the area. It is expected that when stakeholders abide by the guidelines and zoning schemes in the general management plan, human-wildlife conflicts will be minimised because encroachment into wildlife habitats will be avoided.

Mr Speaker, a rapid response team which is made up of wildlife police officers has been constituted to respond to the reports of problem animals that threaten human lives and property. Whenever there are problem animals, the team either scares them away by shooting in the air or by killing them if they persist in threatening human life.

Mr Speaker, the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) management, through its extension services in the game reserve, conducts sensitisation programmes through which villagers are advised to avoid confrontations with wildlife by desisting from settling in wildlife corridors and habitants. The villagers have also been taught methods of scaring away animals, especially elephants. The methods of scaring animals include, among many others, the use of chilli plants as fences and burning of chilli mixed with elephants dung around property or fields.

Mr Speaker, these measures and many others, which we have been put in place, have been used in several other countries, especially in Southern Africa, with considerable success. We hope that the measures are suitable enough to handle the situation in Mumbwa Constituency.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Deputy Minister, please, inform this House what immediate plans there are for the provision of health services since there are over 5,000 households in the GMA No. 14, in Mumbwa, because when an epidemic breaks out, there will be a disaster.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, my Government is determined to ensure that the issue of human-animal conflicts is resolved. The issue of health is also being addressed adequately.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, one of the reasons given for human-animal conflicts by the hon. Deputy Minister is that of encroachment. What is his Government doing about this and is it legal?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the question of encroachment is illegal and my Government has put in place a mechanism to ensure that human-animal conflicts are resolved by engaging stakeholders. We have engaged our villagers to ensure that they do not get into the corridors of this wildlife.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, taking into account the ministerial statement that was made on the Floor of this House and the Government assurance by the hon. Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism pertaining to the people of one particular GMA in the Southern Province called Sichifulo, I would like to take this opportunity to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister of Mines and Natural Resources what measures this Government is going to take considering that a number of people, I am made to understand more than 100, were maimed and tortured by the wildlife officers in that particular area. Is the Government considering compensating those people who were maliciously injured and displaced based on directives from our colleagues in the former Government?

The Minister of Mines and Natural Resources (Mr Simuusa): Mr Speaker, I am sure the issue of Sichifulo is a well-documented and well-researched subject which has been well-responded to on several occasions. If the hon. Member is really interested in knowing exactly what the present Government’s position is on Sichifulo, let him first raise a fresh question and we shall answer it adequately.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, arising from the response by the hon. Minister is the fact that there are stakeholders who have to be sensitised. Animals are also part of the stakeholders in the environment.


Professor Lungwangwa: Therefore, I would like to find out what strategic sensitisation measures have been put in place which are targeted at animals …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: … which are also part of the stakeholders in that environment.


Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, as we have already stated, chilli fences and other tactics are being used to sensitise the animals.


Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, obviously, it is easy to sensitise human beings. As for animals, we just have to manage them so that the conflicts are minimised.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr M. B. Mwale (Malambo): Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s response, particularly with reference to the point that he raised about human-animal conflicts being due to the encroachment by humans into the animal corridor areas, is it a confirmation that the Government would rather see animals multiply than human beings?


Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, that question is unclear and I wish the hon. Minster, …


Mr Simuusa: … not hon. Minister, but hon. Member, can rephrase the question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, according to the hon. Minister, one of the solutions to the human-animal conflicts is to kill the animals. Is the Government considering other advanced methods such as repatriation?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, like I mentioned earlier on that, when dealing with stakeholders like animals, the issue of logic or control is a challenge. There are some animals which cannot be controlled which are a danger to human life. Animals such as lions or wounded buffaloes are very difficult to control. Sometimes, the only option is to kill them. Now, I am aware of some advanced techniques, but I think we have to look at them in line with our capacity as a country to implement them. We will look at some of the advanced techniques very critically and see whether, as a country, our capacity and technology can support them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I just want to find out if the hon. Minister is aware that this problem is also prevalent in areas where there is no encroachment.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, by referring to areas where there is no encroachment, I would like to think the hon. Member is referring to areas where damages, injuries and deaths are caused by some stray animals. Such incidences are very hard to predict. In that case, we just continue sensitising the public, especially those that walk past or drive through those areas where such incidences are possible, to take extreme care and caution. However, in areas where there is encroachment, which we are aware of, as a Government, we shall implement the measures which we have already outlined.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, by design, the GMAs are such that both animals and humans can cohabit. Therefore, what does the hon. Minister mean by saying that there is encroachment in this particular GMA when that is the design?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, we are talking about an area in the wild where animals and human beings interact. A GMA is an area with a boundary, but that does not mean that because of that, our life styles …


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister is on the Floor.

Mr Simuusa: … and the way of life of the animals changes. That is why I said that the interaction between human beings and animals is common in our country and even in villages, in particular. Therefore, this problem will continue to occur and we have to manage and address it as a Government and people of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


5. Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) when the construction works at Kalomo District Hospital would be completed; and

(b) when Namwianga Hospital, in Kalomo District, would be upgraded to a first referral hospital following the upgrading of the hospital’s infrastructure.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, the facility referred to as Kalomo District Hospital is, in fact, an urban health centre. The Ministry of Health carried out an assessment of the facility, early this year, and found that the design of the structure does not meet the required standard of a modern hospital. As a result, the Government, through the Ministry of Health, has decided to construct an ultra modern first level hospital, in Kalomo, commencing next year, 2012.

The construction works at the existing urban health centre are expected to be completed in three to four months from now. This has been a labour supported project. The project houses two theatres and several wards, including a maternity wing. Most of the works have been done and the remaining works include plumbing, ventilation, electrical works, glazing as well as the painting and flooring of the theatre.

Mr Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to upgrade Namwianga Mission Hospital to a first level referral hospital. The policy of the Government is to have one first level referral hospital per district as it is not cost effective to have more than one facility offering similar services located close to one another. However, with the construction of a new district hospital in Kalomo, commencing next year, Namwianga Mission Hospital will be right sized to offer those services that the institution has the capacity to provide.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, with the policy of each district having only one first level referral hospital, I would like the hon. Minister to state clearly if Lusaka District, which has several first level referral hospitals within the same district, has special consideration as opposed to other districts in the country.

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I very much appreciate the contribution of the hon. Member and the evidence he has shown of having great interest in the health sector. I hope he will continue behaving in the same manner.

Mr Speaker, in terms of priority, it is the Government’s intention to ensure that each district has, at least, one hospital. There are cases, however, like the example the hon. Member has cited of Lusaka, in which the nature of the population dictates that more than one institution is put up. These instances will always be explained and the policy is, therefore, not altered.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Deputy Minister of Health correctly, he did indicate to this House that the Government is building an ultra modern hospital in Kalomo. In the eyes of the hon. Deputy Minister of Health, is he telling the nation that the so-called ultra modern building that has been put up in Kalomo can be compared to other hospitals in the world when it is sub-standard?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I am not sure if the hon. Member appreciated the answer which was that it is the intention of the Government to establish this ultra modern hospital next year. The part of the response which said this did not refer to the completion of the works on the current health centre.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwenzi): Mr Speaker, may I know how much money has been allocated towards this construction which is commencing, next year, under this year’s Budget?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I very much appreciate the interest in detail of the hon. Member. I am glad that we have with us a nice yellow volume which the hon. Member will, no doubt, enjoy reading at bed time so that he can appreciate the amount of funds that have been allocated towards this purpose.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Health stated that there is more than one referral hospital in Lusaka District because of the nature of population. I would like to seek clarification from the hon. Minister on what he meant by ‘the nature of population’. Furthermore, I would like to know more about the nature of population that does not require a first level referral hospital and that which does.


Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, it is good to see that the hon. Member for Kalabo Central is interested in the nature of the population which I am talking about. In terms of health facilities, when we talk of the nature of the population, we talk of, at least, two factors. The first is the density of the population which might mean that the area has more people per square kilometre than the other areas. The second aspect is the nature of the functions of institutions located in a particular area. For example, when we talk of the University Teaching Hospital, we are referring to an institution located in one district, but with  facilities which are accessed by people from  the entire country.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed the House that the construction of the building in Kalomo, which is of a sub-standard nature, will be completed in two or three month’s time. How much money will be pumped in to complete the project? Secondly ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I did indicate to the House that those who are arithmetically oriented may wish to peruse the appropriate pages of the Budget in order to find out the total cost for the project in question. I think that what is important here is that the time which was requested by which this work should be complete has been given. It follows that in the assessment of the ministry, there are adequate funds to complete the works in three to four months time. I do not think that it is necessary to mention the cost of electricity, water and so on and so forth. However, if the hon. Member is that keen to find out more about such issues, I have suggested literature which might be useful.

Thank you, Sir.


6. Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) how much money was held in foreign reserves as at 30th September, 2011; and

(b) how the Government intended to utilise the funds above.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mrs Mwamba): Mr Speaker, the money held in the Gross International Foreign Reserves as of 30th September, 2011 stood at US$2,558.7 million.

The reserves are a store of wealth and thus are needed as national insurance against natural disasters, political events and so on and so forth. Reserves are needed to instill confidence in the economy and may be used to mitigate the impact of external shocks. Reserves are also a necessity to ensure that in the likely event that there is a decline in foreign exchange earnings, the country can sustain reasonable levels of requisite imports while enhanced capacity for more earnings is being developed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister state whether the Government has any further plans to increase the foreign reserves?

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, the increase in foreign reserves is essentially a function of growth in the economy. As our economy grows so will our capacity to earn foreign exchange be enhanced. As long as the economy grows and we diversify our exports, we shall have more and more foreign exchange earnings.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, just to avoid doubt and for clarity, who is the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning?

Mr Speaker: I am afraid that question cannot be allowed.


7. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) how much money was disbursed to the National Roads Fund Agency (NRFA) from January, 2010 to July, 2011;

(b) how many roads were worked on during the period at (a); and

(c) how many members constituted the NRFA Board and what their terms of reference were, in the same period.

Mrs Mwamba: Mr Speaker, during the period January, 2010 to July, 2011, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning released K2,245,702,300,276.00 to the NRFA for road infrastructure.

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that there were 205 road projects managed by the Road Development Agency (RDA) during the period in question broken down in the following categories:

(i) bridge construction;

(ii) emergencies;

(iii) periodic maintenance;

(iv) rehabilitation works on urban roads;

(v) routine maintenance; and

(vi) upgrading to bituminous standard.

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the NRFA Board constituted on 2nd September, 2010 comprised fourteen members whose terms of reference were as follows:

(i) develop the agency’s vision, mission statement, goals and values;

(ii) approve the agency’s strategic and business plans, risk policy, annual budget and guide management in strategic decision making;

(iii) oversee management;

(iv) monitor the agency’s governance;

(v) identify key risk areas and key performance indicators which should be monitored;

(vi) ensure appropriate controls and systems that work effectively. These include accounting and financial reporting systems; independent audits; systems for risk management, financial and operational controls and compliance with the law and relevant standards;

(vii) oversee disclosure and other communications. The board also ensures that stakeholders and the public receive appropriate information about the agency regularly; and

(viii) ensure that the agency complies with all the relevant laws, regulations and codes of business practice and communicates regularly with its stakeholders.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Deputy Minister for that explicit answer. The procedure is that all works worth more than K0.5 billion have to be subjected for competitive tendering but, to my dismay, it was observed that before and during the campaigns, the MMD Government, through the RDA, did resort to selective and single sourcing. The two methods are products of corruption. Now, the fact that the PF Government aims at zero tolerance to corruption ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member is reminded to pose a question.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, what is the Government doing about the erring officers who where directly involved in corrupt practices?

Mrs Mwamba: Mr Speaker, all the contracts that are suspicious or have had allegations of corruption leveled against them are being investigated. If any impropriety or corruption is established, the law will be applied accordingly.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what has led to the stoppage of the construction works on many roads despite the fact that the former Government disbursed the amount of money that has been stated.

Mrs Mwamba: Mr Speaker, part of the answer to the question has already been given. The contracts for the roads on which construction works have stopped have had allegations of impropriety and corruption leveled against them. They are, therefore, under investigation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kaingu (Mwandi): Hon. Minister, I would like to know who the controlling officer at your ministry is.

Mr Speaker: That supplementary question cannot be answered as it has nothing to do with the main question. It is a procedural error.



8. Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa) asked the Minister of Labour, Youth and Sport how many employees had been dismissed for illegal work stoppages as of 31st October, 2011.

The Deputy Minister of Labour, Youth and Sport (Mr Mbulu): Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we had a problem with the question because it did not have an effective date. Therefore, to avoid being bureaucratic and after consultations with the Clerk’s Office, we assumed that the period under consideration was from 20th September, 2011 to 31st October, 2011.

Mr Speaker, between 20th September, 2011 and 31st October, 2011, a total of thirty-seven employees were dismissed as a result of illegal work stoppages. The numbers from the different towns are as follows:

Town Number of Dismissed Company Total

Kitwe       4 Sakiza Spinning Mills
     10 National Breweries  14

Lusaka       5 Collum Coal Mining    5

Kabwe     13 Zalco Limited 13

Livingstone       2 China-Geo Company  

       3 Kuyube Estate     5

I thank you, Sir.   

Mr Chishimba: I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what measures the Government has put in place to avoid the recurrence of such work stoppages.

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, our conviction is that we should encourage the process of social dialogue in every company. Thus, we have taken pragmatic steps in consultation with the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE), the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the Federation of Free Trade Unions (FFTUZ). We have had very serious dialogue in which we have advised the stakeholders to ensure that workers in all places of work are allowed the right to form and belong to trade unions. We have also advised the employers to form strong federations for their employees so that the two dialogue and, through dialogue, reach amicable settlements.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister able to indicate to the House how much money has been lost as a result of the illegal work stoppages.

Mr Speaker: That is a totally new question which cannot be permitted to be answered.

Mr Kazabu (Nkana): Mr Speaker, I would like to know how many of these illegal work stoppages occurred during the period under discussion.

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that the hon. Member was not paying attention because that question had already been adequately answered.

I thank you, Sir.




(Debate resumed)

Mr Mulenga (Chinsali Central): Mr Speaker, I wish to express my gratitude to you for affording me the opportunity to support the Motion on the Budget Speech which was delivered last week on Friday, 11th November, 2011 by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Sir, I feel greatly honoured to perform this role of delivering a speech in support of the first Budget of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. Indeed, this is a historical moment not only for me, but also for many Zambians out there who are anticipating greater and better times ahead.

Mr Speaker, as stated by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, this year’s Budget is rightly themed “Making Zambia a Better Place for All.”

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulenga: It is appropriately themed because it indicates that the people of Zambia are at the centre of the policies, revenues and expenditures espoused in this Budget. This is fitting because it is the people of Zambia who put our party in power. As such, the 2012 Budget is a tribute to our people and a way of living up to our campaign promises which are premised on our party manifesto.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, before I venture into debating the 2012 Budget, allow me to, first of all, recognise the achievements of 2011 under the previous administration.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulenga: The previous administration scored some successes although there still remains a lot to be done in order to bring our people out of the quagmire of the worrying poverty levels, especially in the rural areas.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, the people did not benefit from the much-talked about economic growth under the previous administration. Many of them are perplexed as to who benefits from this growth, especially when they hear the beautifully enumerated statistics of low inflation rates, high percentage economic growth and the now famous declaration of Zambia as a lower middle-income country.

Sir, the PF-led Government intends to be different on this score. It wants the people of Zambia to not only see the statistics concerning economic growth at national level, but to also experience this growth at micro level, both at community and household level.

Mr Speaker, this is possible. Allow me to point out selected areas from the Budget Speech that indicate that prosperity for all Zambians will no longer remain a mere dream, but will eventually become a reality.

Mr Speaker, agriculture has long been held as one of the key sectors which can contribute to the diversification of our economy. The PF Government aims to address the constraints which inhibit the realisation of this sector as not only a major contributor to the country’s economy in general, but also as one which will especially benefit the rural poor.

Sir, often times, our poor brothers and sisters in the rural areas have the challenge of bringing their produce to markets due to bad road infrastructure and an inefficient transport system.

Mr Speaker, it is, therefore, gratifying to note that in next year’s Budget, these issues, among others, will be addressed. Noteworthy also is the Government’s plan to redesign the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). This is to ensure that only those who are deserving benefit from this programme.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulenga: Sir, diversification within the agricultural sector, particularly, in crop production is also of paramount importance if real food security is to be attained.

 I, therefore, support the Government’s plan to ensure the production of crops that are appropriate to each agro-ecological zone as opposed to focusing on growing maize in all parts of the country even in areas where this crop is not inclined to grow well.

Mr Speaker, under the education sector, the hon. Minister stated that in 2012, the Government will increase its allocation by 26.7 per cent that translates into K4,850.5 billion. I applaud the fact that from this amount, K796.4 billion will be used for various infrastructure projects which will include the construction of more than 2,000 additional classroom blocks.

Sir, it is my sincere hope that the majority of these classrooms will be built in rural areas as this is where a lot of children face the challenge of accessing education.

Mr Speaker, I am also greatly pleased to note that there will be another university built at Lubwa Mission in my constituency.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulenga: I think that building infrastructure such as universities in rural areas will make this rural constituency realise the importance of higher education and that such education is attainable to them as opposed to them hearing of higher institutions of learning being in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt.

Mr Speaker, on youth skills development, there has been much talk about creating employment for the youth. However, for this initiative to be sustainable, the youths have to, first of all, be assisted with development skills.

Sir, as indicated by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, in the 2012 Budget, the Government will scale-up youth skills development programmes through the construction of nine, and rehabilitation of twelve technical training institutes. Equipping youths with the relevant skills that match the job market will assist them to not only be employable but also, in certain cases, be self-employed instead of them waiting to be employed by someone.

Mr Speaker, it is my sincere hope that this will motivate most of our young people to enroll in these institutions and become entrepreneurs.

Mr Speaker, as for the health sector, the initiative to increase access to health services is welcome. Allow me to deliberate on why it will be most appreciated by the majority of the people.

Sir, imagine a person in a rural area, who lives far from a rural health centre, walking for miles to get to the health centre. That person also has to queue up in order to be attended to. After standing in a queue for a long time, the patient is told to pay a certain amount to access the health service which he or she desperately needs. In most cases, some people are unable to access medical services because they do not have money.

Mr Speaker, this is not a hypothetical situation. It has been the experience of most poor Zambians not only in rural areas, but also in urban areas. Many poor people have failed to access health care due to user fees.

Sir, the scrapping off of these financial barriers to accessing health care is, therefore, something that should be welcomed by all Zambians, including those on your left.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, as regards public order service, I would like to point out that the security of a country is extremely important and that the needs and welfare of those providing security must not be undermined.

Sir, the PF Government is committed to improving the livelihood of the men and women in uniform who are involved in policing this country.

In this case, I make reference to our brothers and sisters working in the Zambia Police Force. For a long time, the police officers have lacked decent accommodation.

Mr Speaker, I am, therefore, glad to note that in the 2012 Budget, the hon. Minister announced that part of the K55.8 billion allocated to infrastructure development projects in the Zambia Police Force will be spent on the construction of police housing units so that the police officers can be comfortably accommodated.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, on the tourism sector, let me mention that Zambia’s tourism is synonymous with Livingstone. I will not begrudge our tourist capital of this privilege. However, most of us are aware that many parts of Zambia boast of beautiful and diverse tourist attractions which, if fully developed, can go a long way in marketing the whole county as a tourist destination and not just part of it.

Sir, it is, therefore, gratifying to note that in the 2012 Budget, focus on developing our county’s tourism will be extended to the Northern Circuit. I look forward to seeing my constituency benefit from this undertaking.

Mr Speaker, the Lenshina issue is also a tourist attraction in my constituency.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, on direct taxes, in his speech, the hon. Minister proposed to increase the mineral royalty tax from 3 per cent to 5 and 6 per cent for base and precious metals, respectively. This will result in a revenue gain which will propel the development of this country.

Sir, this is one of the initiatives which will put to rest the concerns from certain quarters of our society on how the Government will raise revenue to sustain the many development projects it will embark on.

Mr Speaker, it also helps us to appreciate the hon. Minister’s statement that the 2012 Budget will focus on promoting economic and social development through an appropriate balance between Government expenditure, taxation and borrowing.

Mr Speaker, my task would be incomplete if I did not mention one direct and immediate benefit of the 2012 Budget to the hardworking citizens of this beautiful land, who are in formal employment and who, for a long time, have worked hard only to have a large part of their meagre salaries taken away from them in the form of Pay-as-You-Earn (PAYE). As stated by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, a Zambian worker in formal employment will take home a tax-free income of K2 million per month next year.

Mr M. H. Malama: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulenga: This is a huge relief for most people. The PF Government has, indeed, lived up to its campaign promise of putting more money in the pockets of the Zambian people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulenga: Sir, this is a statement which has been echoed by the media and ordinary Zambians alike, as most of the hon. Members of this august House are already aware.

Mr Speaker, the Government, which is a PF Government, is one that can be truly referred to as a listening Government. It has listened to the people and gone beyond that by putting into practice the people’s wishes. I can assure all hardworking Zambians that the PF Government will continue to listen to their plight and to act on their wishes so that they do not regret putting the PF Government into power.

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, allow me to start by congratulating the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for successfully tabling the 2012 Budget. Being a maiden Budget for the new Government, it is, indeed, a key milestone. In the same vein, allow me to recognise the efforts of the civil servants who are doing most of the work behind the scenes.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, with regard to the Budget Speech read by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, I would like to begin from where he started. Firstly, I would like to take note of the acknowledgement of the strong macro-economic foundation left by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Sir, he mentioned a growth of 6.5 per cent which is above the global and sub-Saharan Africa average. Secondly, he mentioned the almost three-year single digit inflation rate, gross international reserves which rose to US$ 2.6 billion, representing 4.3 months of import cover and an external debt of US$1.6 billion which is within sustainable levels. This is a fairly stable exchange rate.

Mr Speaker, I would like to quote page 1 of the 2012 Budget Speech which reads:

“Mr Speaker, as I begin this Budget Address, I wish to acknowledge the macro-economic achievements that the country has attained when the economy was under the stewardship of my predecessor, Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane. I would like to pay tribute to him and the previous administration for laying a strong foundation upon which this Government will build.”

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, this is a sign of true leadership. The hon. Minister is a true leader and I admire his experience. I think leaders must be calm and collected because we are building the same nation. There is no Government in this country that has not done something positive. The United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government left a foundation, the MMD Government left a foundation and we need to build on that foundation. We cannot pretend to start building from square one. All we need is to add onto the achievements of the previous regime.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, despite this strong foundation, there are a few areas at macro-economic level that need serious attention. The first one is the issue of interest rates. I think with the strong macro-economic foundation left, it is easier for this Government to deal with the issue of interest rates. You cannot deal with the issue of interest rates if you do not have a strong macro-economic foundation. A strong macro-economic foundation is a precursor to addressing the issue of interest rates. I hope this Government will make strong moves in order to deal with the issue of interest rates because it is now a little easier because the foundation is firm.

Mr Speaker, the other issue that needs to be addressed at macro-economic level is the unemployment problem. With a strong macro-economic foundation and strong economy, it should be easier for this Government to begin to create jobs.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, the other issue at macro-economic level is that of income distribution. This issue was raised in earlier debates by His Honour the Vice-President. He mentioned the gini coefficient which measures income inequality in a country. From 1991, Zambia has been having a skewed income distribution. We have a few very rich people, but the majority are poor. That situation must be addressed through the budgetary process. This can be done by giving more money to the poor so that we reduce the poverty gaps between the haves and have nots. This Government has a very big responsibility on the three macro-economic fronts which includes the interest rates, employment rates and income distribution. If we do not address these income skewed inequalities, we are going to create a very unsafe society. I hope this Budget will begin to address the income inequalities that are becoming big in this country.

Mr Speaker, I also would like to say that I appreciate what the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning said about the transition because in economic management, it is always very important to be sequential and systematic. Abrupt changes can cause serious and, sometimes, negative repercussions. I think when the MMD Government came into power in 1991, it made a mistake by making drastic changes. I am happy that later on, it learnt the ropes and left a strong foundation for this Goverment to continue from. Sometimes, I get worried when I see people pointing too many fingers at the former regime. We must make progress, build on the foundation that was laid and appreciate the achievements. That is how a country is built. We are building the same country. The next Government after the PF must also continue to build on the strong foundation, if at all, it will leave any.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I thank the people of Bweengwa who have kept me in this House for the sixth year now. There are many budgets that have come in this House. We have listened to fairly good budgets and this is not the only one, but the biggest challenge is the making of choices, the prioritisation and implementation capacity. It is very easy to make themes. The theme for the 2012 Budget Address says, “Making Zambia a Better Place For All”. It is a good theme, but what is important is to translate it into practice. That has always been the challenge and, very soon, you will meet it. I think you have already met it in your ministries where you find that the conveyer belt is broken. Monies are appropriated in this House, but there is little effect on the ground.

Mr Speaker, the majority of our people are suffering, and yet we have a Budget. I have always asked whether it is because of the lack of money or the poor implementation capacity that is the cause of budget ineffectiveness, but I think it is not necessarily the lack of one of the two issues, but both. We have a serious implementation capacity in this country. Money is appropriated, but there is no effect on the ground in our constituencies. Some of the constituencies look as if there was a war. Hon. Members, you know very well that in some of these constituencies, there is little evidence …


Mr Hamududu: Yes, my constituency is richer than yours.

Mr Speaker: Order! Address the Chair!

Mr Hamududu: At least, for us, we can dig our own private dip tanks and we have a lot of cattle.  However, I am speaking on behalf of the rest of the country.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, allow me to now focus on a few specifics in the 2012 Budget.

Sir, I note that there has been a 100 per cent increment in grants to councils.  I further note that K257 billion has been provided for grants to local authorities and K120 billion to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). I want you to know that, in relation to the total Budget, this is 1 per cent. All these grants, including the CDF, are a dismal 1 per cent of the total Budget. I do not see any serious improvements in 2012 for local authorities, whose capacity has been undermined over the years.

Mr Speaker, if the journey is long, one runs a little. If one walks throughout, he or she may not reach in time.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, it is very surprising that many councils- and I want you to be real to the problems on the ground - have no graders. They are failing to do feeder roads. A feeder road is such a simple issue. How can we say our people are poor? People are poor because of lack of such simple facilities. To make a feeder road is the easiest thing to do. All that is needed is a grader that puts mud together and compacts it. If these roads are worked on, transport costs would drop.  A feeder road is not necessarily a gravel road. I have worked on feeder roads before.

Mr Speaker, it is not right that, in this age, councils have no graders. This is why our feeder roads are in such a state of disrepair. The cost of doing business in rural areas is very high because of this factor. I was shocked when, after doing one feeder road, people started paying K7,000 as bus fare to town instead of K15,000. How can you say our people are poor? These are some of the simple solutions that we are talking about. Do not start prophesying certain things here in Lusaka because what you might be saying may not be relevant to everyone. Let us go to the problems on the ground, which require basic solutions.

Mr Speaker, a 5 per cent allocation of the total Budget to the local authorities would have made a big difference. I want to tell you that the majority of our people live in the countryside.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: The Government must be committed to the plight of the people in the countryside. I think that we need to speak the same language with those of you who were on this side of the House not long ago. Hon. Kambwili, you are too quiet.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I only have three areas to talk about and, now, I want to touch on education. K796 billion has been set aside for infrastructure development. I take note of this. Further, K126 billion has been provided for new universities, which I welcome. However, I think that a clear road map must be set out. We need a roll-out plan for universities in all the provinces. We must know which universities will be constructed in 2013, 2014, 2015 and so on and so forth. We need to know when a university will be established in Mongu, Solwezi or Choma and other provincial centres so that all the people around the country can know when the universities will be constructed in their area, and we need to be committed to this road map. I think that we have been very late in this regard. By this time, Zambia should have had a university in each province.

Mr, Speaker, I want to, however, state that as you establish new universities, do not neglect the existing ones. I offer the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and the Hon. Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training to tour with me the University of Zambia (UNZA). Eight students are sharing a room there. There are four students on the beds and four on the floor. One cannot even enter these rooms. 

Hon. Government Members: Do you go there?

Mr Hamududu: Yes, I go there. I have a niece who is studying there. 
Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Mr Hamududu:  Mr Speaker, …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, the capacity of hostels at the UNZA and the Copperbelt University (CBU) is really low. We need to do something to expand the hostels, lecture rooms and other facilities in these two universities. If we roll-out new universities without improving the capacity of the two existing universities, the standards will be lowered and this will spread to the new ones. I am disappointed that there is no allocation towards increasing the capacities of the existing universities so that standards are raised. What is happening at UNZA and the CBU is not what one should expect from a university.

Mr Speaker, still on education, free education is not negotiable. If you want to put money in peoples’ pockets and keep it there, provide free education. The little earnings that most of our parents get from farming and selling in markets are being squeezed to pay user fees. The only way to fight household poverty is, firstly, to provide free education. Secondly, we need to empower the population to fight poverty in the long term. The issue of free education should not be debated here. Free education, like the UNIP Government gave it to us, up to university level, is what we need to give our people. I am one of the beneficiaries. The capacity to give free education then was less than it is today. We have more capacity today, when an hon. Minister drives a Land Cruiser. Then, an hon. Minister drove a Toyota Crown, an hon. Deputy Minister drove a Toyota Cressida and a Permanent Secretary drove a Toyota Corona.


Mr Hamududu: If it is possible for us to provide an hon. Minister with a Land Cruiser GX, then we can give free education as well. The money is there. You only need to prioritise and rationalise. The Zambian children need free education. Households need to save their money because they cannot afford to pay for the education of their children.

Mr Speaker, if we continue with user fees and boarding fees in schools, most of these households will be trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty and, very soon, some of us who are privileged to have some income will be visited by these people in our homes. People can rise up if squeezed in a corner. If you want to play around with the issue of free education, do it, but bear in mind that we will tour the whole country and tell people what you have done against them and they will easily vote us into power.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I would now   like to talk about revenue and, specifically, the windfall tax. The debate on mining taxation has gone on for too long. I note the increase in mineral royalty tax from 3 per cent to 6 per cent. The likely envisioned income on this item is K1.8 trillion which, when you compare with the total revenue of K27 trillion, is only 7 per cent. Next year, when you re-implement the 6 per cent mineral royalty, it will only bring a dismal 7 per cent to the total revenue of the Budget. Therefore, those who argue that this is a de facto windfall tax are mistaken. The windfall tax in this calculation would have brought much more money than this.

Mr Speaker, I do not want to be one-track minded. The argument of the Zambian people is that the revenue that is coming from the mines, in form of tax, is comparatively little. I am not calling for any particular tax. The argument is that the money coming in is not enough. We are being robbed. The mineral wealth that God gave us is a wasting asset. We cannot diversify before we get money from our copper. This is why there is a copper plate on top of this building.

Mr Hamududu: It symbolises that we are sitting on copper.

The people of Zambia need to be covered by the copper while it is still there. The money we get from mining activities in this country is dismal.

Ms Kapata: Tell those people there!

Mr Hamududu: No, these people are resting. It is now your turn, Hon. Kapata. They did a good job, now they are resting. Congratulations.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, as I wind up my debate, I note the increase in the income threshold for PAYE. I only hope that this is a precursor for a better pay for our civil servants. The measure has benefited about 80,000 workers, but the majority of the people are above this and we hope that the basic pay structure will go up. 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: We hope so because our civil servants get low salaries even though, generally, the economy is performing well. 
      As I end my debate, I wish to suggest that, as you consider personal emoluments for the civil servants, look at the basic pay. Leave allowances alone and deal with the basic pay structure, which needs to be raised. Most of the money is trapped in allowances for a few top-level civil servants while the rest do not enjoy that kind of income. The money allocated to emoluments is enough, but the problem is its matrix and how it is divided. So, we need to raise the basic salary structure first and freeze allowances. Otherwise, only a few top civil servants are happy with this. I want to tell you that, comparatively, our top civil servants are more comfortable than those in South Africa and Namibia because of allowances and trappings that are there. However, we want to freeze that and increase the basic pay enjoyed by everybody.

Hon. Government Member: Freeze sitting allowance!

Mr Hamududu: That is bad. You cannot popularise sitting allowance when everyone is being encouraged to sit. A country cannot move forward if everyone is getting sitting allowance.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to caution hon. Ministers and those in office to be careful with political pronouncements, which should not be allowed to go straight into the Budget. For example, the issue of roads should have been taken to some experts before naming the roads.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Hamududu: We need to prioritise according to the economic viability of these roads. We do not want a situation in which a person just says ‘build this road’ and the hon. Minister immediately puts it in the Budget as a policy.


Hon. Government Members: Bottom Road!

Mr Hamududu: Political statements are not researched.

With these few words, Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: No Bottom Road!

The Deputy Minister of Luapula Province (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Budget Speech. Sir, my contribution will not be long. I just want to respond …

Mr Taima: To respond to what?

Mr Mwila: Yes, I want to respond to what the hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa, Hon. Hamududu, said. It is important to clarify and put records straight …

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: … because we do not want people to be misled.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order on procedure. We, on the left side of the House, have not debated. Even the hon. Members of Parliament …


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Please, could the hon. Members on the right be patient.

Sir, there are some hon. Members on the left who have got issues in Luapula Province. How can the hon. Deputy Minister respond before the general debate is completed?

Mr Lubinda: But you are not standing up!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Ordinarily, I should have expected more debate at this juncture from the left.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Speaker: However, when I indicated that the debate was open, there was nobody who indicated an immediate willingness to respond. So, to that extent, the hon. Deputy Minister was perfectly in order to volunteer to debate and also respond, as it were, to the issue that had been raised from the left.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: So, the hon. Deputy Minister is in order. May he continue, please.

Mr Mwila: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your protection.

Sir, I saw that no one on your left indicated …

Mr Lubinda: Yes!

Mr Mwila: Besides, we need to be productive. We cannot knock off at 1600 hours.


Mr Mwila: It is important that we respond and debate.

Mr Lubinda: Because of their laziness!

Mr Mwila: Yes!

Mr Speaker, I will, straight away, talk about the K2 million income tax threshold because Hon. Hamududu wanted to mislead Zambians regarding that issue. During the campaigns, the PF promised that it would raise the income tax threshold. So far, it has fulfilled its promises …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: … by raising the threshold from K1 million to K2 million.

Professor Lungwangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister for Luapula in order to say that the people on your left should have debated in any manner when, in fact, a national Budget is a very serious matter for this House. Some of the hon. Members on your left have not yet received the Yellow Book, …

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Professor Lungwangwa: … which requires them to study seriously what the Government has proposed. On the basis of that serious …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Let the hon. Member make his point.

Professor Lungwangwa: … in-depth study of the Yellow Book and the Budget Speech, the hon. Members on your left will be in a better position to debate the Budget. Is he in order to make such a statement? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: As far as the Chair is concerned and is aware, the Budget Speech was circulated on Friday. Between Friday and today, Tuesday, hon. Members would have read it. If you recall, there was even a Motion raised that we adjourn debate on the Budget Address to enable hon. Members study the speech for them to be ready to debate today, Tuesday.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: So, for all intents and purposes, every hon. Member should have been ready to commence the debate in earnest this afternoon.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Deputy Minister may continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, actually, we are not debating issues in the Yellow Book, but, rather, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning’s policy statement.

Mr Speaker: May the hon. Member just continue with his contribution.

Mr Chisala: Mwalaba bwangu sana ba malukula!

Mr Mwila: Sir, they have to accept the results. I believe they are still confused by the defeat.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: The K2 million income tax threshold automatically means that employees who get K2 million basic pay will have 10 to 15 per cent salary increase immediately the measure is implemented. Secondly, 80,000 workers will benefit from that.

Mr Hamududu: I said that!

Mr Mwila: That is an achievement. You should have said that too.

Mr Hamududu: I said it!

Mr Mwila: Thirdly, employees who get above K2 million salaries will benefit because K2 million will be tax free.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Even Hon. Hamududu will benefit from the new tax administration system. Thus, people should appreciate what we are doing instead of them just misleading the Zambian people. We have done a lot.


Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, if you calculate nicely, you will discover that those earning K1, 500 000 as their basic pay, for the next three to four years, will never pay tax. That is an achievement by this Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the people from Southern Province, whenever they stood to speak, always talked about the need for the Bottom Road to be worked on. This Government has included the works on the Bottom Road in its plans. Such hard work must be acknowledged.


Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the PF Government …

Mr Hamududu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a procedural point of order. Is the hon. Deputy Minister for Luapula Province in order to divert from his debate regarding the Budget Speech and to instead talk about trivialities and accuse me of having been promoting debates along provincial lines. My debate was national in nature. Is the hon. Member in order to restrict my contribution to a province when it was national in nature?


Mr Speaker: In my understanding of his debate, the hon. Member on the Floor indicated that you would benefit from the tax relief which has been offered by the 2012 Budget, although I must hasten to add that it was unnecessary for the hon. Member to refer to you in person. As for his debate regarding the Bottom Road, I do not think it was personalised. It was simply indicating that a number of concerns, especially those arising from the debate on the President’s Speech, had been taken into account by the Government as shown through the proposals that have been presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. To that extent, I do not think the hon. Member is out of order.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: He is simply placing it on record that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has been responsive to the concerns of the people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, as I indicated in my last debate, the people of Luapula Province will greatly benefit from the Government’s plans of working on the roads in the area. If you go through the Yellow Book, you will find that there are allocations by the Government led by His Excellency, President Michael Chilufya Sata in the Budget for works on the Mansa/Milenge, Mansa/Matanda, Nchelenge/Kashikishi, Chiengi/Kaputa, Kawambwa/Mporokoso and Samfya/Musaila roads. Money has been allocated in the Yellow Book for feasibility studies for works on the roads that I am talking about.


Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning also talked about farm blocks. You will recall that …

Mr Namulambe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Procedurally, we are supposed to debate the individual heads of ministries and provinces …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours. {mospagebreak}

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I had risen on a point of order. The Yellow Book and the policy statement issued by the hon. Minister in the House are inter-related because as we debate policy issues, we are supposed to link them to the figures in the Yellow Book which was only given to us today.

In addition the President had made a statement in the House which we also have to take into account as we debate the Budget. The Government is supposed to respond to our concerns after we have gone through all the documents which I have referred to in my point of order. Is, therefore, the hon. Deputy Minister in order to be debating in a cross country fashion, and yet hon. Ministers are supposed to debate on the Floor of this House using written speeches?


Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister in order to engage in a cross country debate instead  of waiting to respond to the concerns regarding the Budget that are going to be raised on the Floor of this House using a written speech? I need your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: Mr Speaker, I am informed that the Budget Speech, as I noted earlier, was circulated on Friday. The major reason we adjourned on Friday was to enable the hon. Members between the afternoon of that day and this afternoon to primarily study the Budget Speech. The Budget Speech should be the basis of our Business this afternoon. I am also informed that some hon. Members are yet to collect their Yellow Books. I am urging them to do so as soon as possible. The contents of the documents which I have referred to are what should be the basis of your debates.

It appears, clearly, that most hon. Members have not prepared for the task at hand. I would like to urge the hon. Members to acquaint themselves with the onerous responsibility which has been cast on their shoulders. I suppose that the lack of preparedness is the source of this flurry of points of order. I do trust that as we continue with our Business during this week, we will take time to study the Budget very closely. Where necessary, hon. Members are free to express their concurrence with the proposals contained in the Budget or to disagree with them as the case may be. Will the hon. Member continue, please?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, we, on your right, are ready to debate this Budget, but our colleagues on the other side are not. It will, therefore, be better for us to just go straight into individual heads, since our friends are not ready to debate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning’s  address. It seems they have not seen or detected anything wrong with the Budget Address. They agree with the proposed Budget and, therefore, we should just proceed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, finally, allow me to comment on the issue of corporate tax for banks. Banks in this country, through the Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ), have been crying for a reduction of this tax. The PF Government has listened to their cry has reduced corporate tax from 40 to 35 per cent. This means that lending rates will continue coming down. This is a great achievement.

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I wish to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for having presented the 2012 Budget. I am grateful that he was magnanimous enough to agree that the MMD Government had done something and that in fact, he was going to build from where the previous Government left. This was a very good and honest thing for the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to do.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muntanga: Those who disagree with my sentiments should read the Budget Speech. The hon. Minister, himself, clarified this particular point.

Mr Speaker, I read this speech and compared it with the Budget Speech for the previous year. I brought it to the hon. Minister’s attention that although he said that he has increased the budget for agriculture by 37 per cent, he did not also say that at the same time, he has actually increased the total Budget by 35 per cent. So, in fact, the actual budget for agriculture is only 5.9 per cent of the total Budget.

Hon. Government Members interjected.

Mr Muntanga: Do not just heckle, you should also make your own calculations.


Mr Speaker: Order! The Executive will have an opportunity to respond to comments raised by the Opposition.

Mr Muntanga: We, in the Opposition, have always stated that we should try as much as possible to reach the figure stated in the Maputo Declaration. This declaration states that agriculture shall be given 10 per cent of the national budget. The MMD Government’s last Budget allocated 6.9 per cent towards agriculture, whereas this Government’s Budget is now proposing 5.9 per cent, which is less.


Mr Muntanga: What I am saying is that while the amount allocated for agriculture has increased, the percentage allocated to this sector in the national Budget has actually decreased. It is important that this percentage is increased.

Mr Speaker, I have noted that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has increased the allocation for the FISP, which was K483 billion this year, to K500 billion.  Again when you work out the percentage increase in relation to the total Budget, in real terms, there is no increase at all. Since our national Budget has increased to K27.6 trillion, we would expect the allocations for individual departments to correspondingly increase. For us to put up very strong arguments, we wanted to go through the whole Budget before we go into individual heads so that we see what could be hidden somewhere in the figures proposed.

Mr Speaker, I am sure everyone in this House remembers the concerns which I raised when we merged the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development. I pointed out that the livestock and fisheries development department of the new ministry would not survive or would not benefit from this merger. I said this because I was worried that the pronouncements made about this sector might not be achieved.

Mr Speaker, out of the K1,698 billion allocated for agriculture, K800 billion is for farmer input support and crop marketing or, more specifically, K500 billion is for the FISP while K300 billion is for the purchase of maize. This leaves only K800 billion for other agricultural activities, including forestry. This is what is proposed in the Budget. Although the Vice-President assured me that the livestock sector will be adequately funded, I am not sure this amount will be enough. I wanted to know exactly how funds will be allocated under the livestock sector. If we want to achieve what we have been talking about, such as the control of diseases, and increasing our ability to compete with countries like Botswana which allocate above 20 per cent of their national budget to the agricultural sector, we need to increase the percentage in our national Budget allocated to this sector.

Mr Speaker, we are very good at talking, but fail to walk the talk. We campaigned hard and promised to put more money in our people’s pockets. Indeed, for someone who is working and getting paid K2 million, the Ruling Party has put more money in that person’s pockets. What about the person who is not working and is on the streets? What have we done for such people? How are we going to put more money in the pockets of people who are not employed?

Hon. UPND Members: Nothing has changed.

Mr Muntanga: Yes, nothing has changed for such people because they will continue selling vegetables like before. That is not something the Government can be proud of.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I want to state that the Ruling Party did very well in making promises during campaigns such as the lowering of taxes because what concerns the worker the most are the tax rates. I looked at that the MMD Government’s tax bands which ranged from 0, 25, 30 and 35 per cent. The new tax bands also range from 0, 25, 30 and 35 per cent. The tax bands are the same. The only difference is that those getting K2 million and below have been relieved …

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Muntanga: As you say, “Question”, read the figures. K2 million and below is not taxed, but immediately you get above K2 million, you are taxed 25 per cent. In my opinion, the introduction of this new system will encourage a lot of tax evasion. People will start claiming that they only get K2 million or less so as to avoid getting taxed. Anyone who gets above K5 million, including all those on your right, will get no tax relief. So, we are in the same boots as we were during the MMD regime.


Mr Muntanga: We will not have more money in our pockets and will continue paying the same 35 per cent.

Mr Kambwili: Jealous!

Mr Muntanga: There is no difference. We shall be paying the same high taxes that we have been paying before.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I was looking forward to see what change would be made as regards the Value Added Tax (VAT). I wanted to see if we were going to have any relief regarding VAT. Again nothing has changed in that area. The VAT is still the same.

Mr Kambwili: Wait for next year.

Mr Muntanga: This Budget which we are looking at applies for 2012, which is next year.


Mr Muntanga: Therefore, which next year are you talking about other than 2012?

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, you will have a chance to respond, please.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, do not worry about their responses, I am used to them. They were this side and are used to heckling, but they will not bother me. All I want them to understand is that they raised the expectations of people when they were campaigning. They made people to be very expectant. We have people on the streets thinking that this Government will put more money in their pockets. However, reality is starting to dawn on everybody. As long as a Zambian is not working, they will have no money in their pockets.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: As long as you were getting a K5 million salary, you are still taxed the same.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we have a group of people in this House who want to argue for nothing. If we compare tax bands proposed by the new Government with those of the previous regime, we will discover that they are the same. Therefore, it was cut and paste because the proposed tax bands are the same ones which existed under the MMD.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, when I asked one of the PF members about this, he said, “Do not blame us. This is an MMD Budget and we just had to refine it.”


Mr Muntanga: I agreed with this hon. Member. While someone was saying that the people in the Southern Province will not complain about the Bottom Road, in Bemba we say, ukutangila tekufika, meaning that when you run fast, do not say you have reached  …


Mr Muntanga: My friends, I was working with bembas and I know enough Bemba to be able to acquit myself except that you do not know any Tonga.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we have had several budgets for the Choma/Namwala Road and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning knows about this because he was Minister of Finance in the Kaunda days. He would budget money to work on the Choma/Namwala Road, but when it was time to implement, the big man at State House, then, would move the money elsewhere. As a result, the works on this road have taken forty-seven years to finish.

UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we waited and waited. We are now told of this Bottom Road. We are used to promises. We farmers even received money or promissory notes. So, we know that while you are talking about the Bottom Road, it might not be constructed because the former MMD late pioneer, may his soul rest in peace …


Mr Muntanga: … had, at least, found donors. My friend, you may complain, but that is a fact. We will be here for the next five years. If you do not work on the Bottom Road, I will refer you to this and tell you that you told us a lie.


Mr Muntanga: Do not tell us to be smiling about a promise of something which is not there. Were we not promised the Bottom Road by the MMD, but did we get it?


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we were told that there was going to be less tax, and yet I am still taxed the same 35 per cent. Therefore, in this particular Budget, yes, there are certain good things because they are talked about generally.

Mr Speaker, I am an agriculturalist. When we talk about irrigation without there being a specified amount allocated to it, then, we will know that it is just talk. This is my worry now and I will go back to it. Here, there is K800 billion that is to be shared for a big investment on irrigation. I am not surprised by certain friends who think farming is growing crops behind a house and calling that a farm and so will think this is good. No mwana, it is not. This is worrying.

Mr Speaker, for the benefit of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, you have to advise the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock that there is definitely going to be a drought this year. We might as well start getting ourselves ready. Instructions to export maize have been given. However, if we do not control this and we export all the maize, I am afraid that we will see a repeat of what we saw when the Vice-President, who was then Minister of Agriculture in 1991/2, sold all the maize and when there was drought had to bring yellow maize for us from America.

Hon. UPND Member: To eat.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, now, he is the Vice-President and there is an impending drought. I do not want to associate this drought with his being in the Government a misfortune, ...


Mr Muntanga: … but I just want to say that let us prepare ourselves so that we do not import yellow maize because we shall have a problem as stacks of maize have already sanctioned to be exported. I know that a lot of people are saying do not talk about maize, but it is the staple food of Zambia. Once, we have a drought, there will be hunger. Everyone cries of hunger even after just experiencing a partial drought in the Southern Province. Even people who eat cassava forget about it and, then, we have a problem that sees the Government panicking and importing yellow maize. With this Government, which says we shall have comparative advantage, …

His Honour the Vice-President walked into the Chamber

Hon. UPND Member: Wasika.

Mr Muntanga: He has been listening from the office.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we are going to import yellow maize. So, it is important that this Budget addresses this. Having roughly looked, again, in the speech, we have said that we are going to have a new Constitution this year.

Hon. UPND Member: Ninety days.

Mr Muntanga: No, not within ninety days. That is just talk. Hon. Minister of Justice, there is a style engaged to win elections, but to govern is another issue.


Mr Muntanga: I understand, my friends, that we should perform certain tricks to win elections, but when we get into the Government, it is another thing. The hon. Minister of Justice has said it will take time to come up with a new Constitution, but there is no allocation for the constitution making process or, maybe, I have not just seen it.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, through you, hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, this is what I wanted the Yellow Book for, but I do not have it and this is what we are talking about. When the Yellow Book was out, we were told that there were several mistakes, among which were wrong pages and it was written in pen …


Mr Muntanga: … that there is a missing page. We are now having a similar situation as when the President of the MMD told us that there was a missing page in his speech. Now, there is a missing page in the Budget. I am told these pages have been stitched back.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I might as well remind His Honour the Vice-President, who has just arrived, that he must check and ensure not to drive us where we will be getting yellow maize. Do not sell all the maize and take us back to 1992 so that we begin eating yellow maize. We do not want that.


Mr Muntanga: Let that yellow maize be in America. We want the white maize in Zambia. This particular Budget has certain good things about it and I am saying the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning had a lot to do, but I know that, next year, we are going to have a beautiful Budget because it has been difficult to come up with one this time around.


Mr Muntanga: When you said that for income purposes, you are going to have nine months and a full performance, it worried me a bit because you are only going to get the revenue which you budget for nine months. Now, you are being a bit honest. You are correcting nine months for twelve months. So, it worries me that this is what the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning can say about his revenue. The measures will apply from April and this is a statement by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. Hon. Minister for Information, Broadcasting and Tourism, you should understand that.

Hon. Opposition Member: He does not know.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, can you address the Chair.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, on a point of order.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, is my hon. Colleague, who normally debates in a very researched fashion and who, today, is finding it extremely difficult to advance any points because of the fact that he is not ready, in order to bring me into his debate when, in fact, he is failing to explain that when there is an increase in the tax free threshold, everyone has a relief on tax? Is he in order to mislead the nation and bring me into his terribly unresearched debate?

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

Mr Speaker: Certainly, he is not in order to bring you into the debate. It is a practice that the House deeply regrets. However, in the context of your point of order, I do not think you are also entitled to raise a substantive issue. That substantive issue will be responded to at an appropriate juncture by the colleagues on the right.

May the hon. Member continue.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I thank you. I listen to hecklers like him to whom I respond. I said earlier that this Budget, with a K2 million threshold, was a good thing. The promise of the reduction of tax was made to the people. All I am saying is that the tax bands remained the same. I expected them to change so that we would have something from 0 per cent to 10 per cent, 15 per cent or 20 per cent. Then, I would have praised the Government. However, the tax bands have been left the same way.

Hon. Opposition Member: Okay, praise them. Maybe, that is what they want.

Mr Muntanga: Maybe, they want to be praised. I am not in the mood now to praise you, …


Mr Muntanga: … but I will try next time to tell you exactly that for you to under budget agriculture, you are doing very well. To allocate less money to agriculture and make farmers continue suffering is very good. Well done. This way, the farmers will continue voting against you in areas predominated by them …

Mr Nkombo: Like Magoye.

Mr Muntanga: … like they will do in Magoye because there is confusion in fertiliser allocation exercise.

Although this particular Budget, which everyone is excited about, promises to work on the Bottom Road, it does not have enough money to achieve this. The K60 billion is for Lusaka Ring Roads. The other roads to be worked on without a particular budget include the Bottom Road. So, if this road with no budget should please us and you should want us to praise you, you are doing well.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Budget Speech presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Speaker, quite a number of positive attributes, such as the PAYE threshold that has increased to K2 million, have been mentioned in the Budget Speech. That is, indeed, very commendable, particularly for workers in the formal sector that, probably, might have more money in their pockets. However, I am personally worried given that I represent a rural constituency of Lubansenshi, in Luwingu, where, again, our rural people seem to be confined to perpetual poverty as the case was under the previous administration.

Mr Speaker, I say so because if you look at the allocations to specific sectors, in terms of percentages, what Hon. Muntanga mentioned is true that, once again, Zambia has failed to reach the 2003 Maputo Declaration of 10 per cent budget allocation to the agricultural sector.

This also implies that if you have K1.6 trillion and 50 per cent of that being given to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and FISP, you have K800 billion remaining to deal with all those equally important programmes under the agricultural sector. These are programmes such as irrigation infrastructure development, research and extension, market access, livestock development, fisheries development, feeder roads and storage facilities. I do not honestly see how the K800 billion will be able to deal with all those structural rigidities in the agricultural sector. If we agree that, indeed, poverty is a rural phenomenon and that 65 per cent of our people are rural based, it would have meant that, logically, more funding would have been given to that important sector.

It, therefore, means that, with the inadequate funding to the agricultural sector, there will be no corresponding increase in terms of structural and institutional rigidities being sorted out. It also means that our rural farmer who needs money to be put in his/her pockets will not be able to take advantage of having voted for the PF as that would have only happened if there was sufficient funding allocated to the agricultural sector. We need to have a situation where our farmers become entrepreneurs.

The Government should be able to transfer terms of trade to small holder farmers by making them farmers throughout the year so that they are able to make choices in terms of what crops they need to grow. However, this has not been given adequate funding in this year’s Budget. Unless the Government tells us to forget about the millennium development goal (MDG) No. 1, which is linked to the funding in the agricultural sector, where we should be talking about achieving food security by 50 per cent, it will not be achieved. We needed to see how the agricultural sector funding is linked to the attainment of the MDG No. 1 and how the Government is committed in terms of attaining it by 2015. However, as the case is, I am afraid we will not be able to get there.

Sir, I hope, at some point, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock or the His Honour the Vice-President will come with a statement indicating that we must forget about the attainment of the MDG and see how best we can move after 2015.

Sadly, when you look at the funding to environmental protection, under the 2011 Budget by the MMD Government, the funding was K121.3 billion, but, in the 2012 proposed budget, it has reduced to a paltry K31.8 billion.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, I would have thought that this is the time we should be talking about managing the negative effects of climate change. However, it looks like this issue does not concern us. Yet, it is very true that the people that will bear the brunt of the negative effects of the climate change are, especially, our people in rural areas. 
Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: As if that is not enough, when you look at the funding to the local authorities, as Hon. Hamududu mentioned, less than 1 per cent of the Budget is being shared by seventy-five districts. How, then, do you expect our people in rural areas to move out of poverty? My understanding of the 100 per cent increase to the local authorities is that the bulk of that money will go towards dismantling the arrears of the workers that have gone for months without being paid.

Mr Speaker, I will be very happy to see how much has gone to the local authorities in terms of service provision so that, at the end of the day, I must be able to say this is how much has been allocated for operational costs for the local authorities and this is how much money will be used for service provision. However, this has not been included in the Budget.

Unfortunately, the PF, like their predecessor, the MMD, seems to have come with this urban bias where it believes development can be driven from the centre. I am afraid that will not happen.

Sir, after the 2016 elections, the PF will come back to defend itself in the same way the MMD did because it seems not to have learnt lessons.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Forget about the MMD because it is gone. You are in the driver’s seat and there must be a very serious paradigm shift in terms of allocation of resources to the lower structures. The issues of saying that the local authorities are not ready for decentralisation or that we need to build capacity are stories which we have heard before as perpetuated by the MMD. Now, you seem to be inheriting what they were saying.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: I want to advise you because I am speaking as a rural development practitioner.

Mr Speaker: Address the Chair!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, this is the first Budget for the PF Government, but I believe that when the 2013 Budget is presented next year, they will have dealt with these issues. If not, it means Zambians will continue to wallow in abject poverty. As the hon. Member for Kalomo Central mentioned, it is sad to note that the Budget has gone up by 34 per cent. Comparing the 2011 and 2012 budgets, the percentages in real terms are basically the same for certain allocations. In some cases, they have actually been reduced. I gave an example of environmental protection. Social protection under the MMD Government 2011 Budget was 2.7 per cent. Under the PF Government 2012 Budget it is 2.4 per cent, which means it has actually reduced.

Hon. PF Members: More money in people’s pockets.


Mr Mucheleka: Yes, more money in people’s pockets can be talked about, but we are quickly sliding into another debt trap which sooner or later might become unsustainable. According to the 2012 Budget, the Government will depend on 23 per cent of external financing, which means that the country has to borrow almost US$900 million. Assuming that we continue with that same trend in the next five years, the Government will have accumulated huge external debt which will become unsustainable and it is the rural poor people that are going to bear the brunt. So, if poverty has to be reduced, it must be agreed that rural poverty is the biggest challenge of our time. If 78 per cent of our people in rural areas are wallowing in poverty, what is going to be done immediately to try and reverse this challenge? We seem to have done nothing in terms of budget allocation.

Hon. PF Members: Yellow Book!

Mr Mucheleka: Yes, we may be able to look at the details in the Yellow Book, but I do not think the picture will still change. The picture will still be the same where the rural people are given a raw deal.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: This is the case, sometimes, with economists and those that plan from the centre unless, over time, a particular district development budget is seen. For example, how much money under the 2012 Budget will go to my constituency and Luwingu as a district if it is a development budget? However, I think this will not be done, especially that things will still be done from the centre. Until we study what the Opposition hon. Members of Parliament talked about a few weeks ago, there will be no impact on the people.  They talked about increasing either the allocation of resources to the rural sector, through, particularly, the CDF, or increasing funding to the local authorities. In the absence of that, I can assure you that things will remain the same. Our people will still be wallowing in perpetual poverty. If anything, it might even worsen, as the hon. Member for Bweengwa said when he talked about inefficiency. There will be a lot of inequality arising from the manner in which planning is done.

Mr Speaker, the money that has been allocated to sectors such as education, health, agriculture and roads is the same money that has been opened to a lot of abuse and misuse. This means that the money may not be able to reach the intended purpose until things are done from below. I do not know why there are difficulties in terms of bringing the lower structures in mainstream planning. I am aware that each district has what is called an district annual investment plan which has adequately dealt with issues of what each district would like to see happen. However, those budgets at the district level have never been included in the central planning budgetary process. Instead of this being done at the lower level, it is the technocrats in specific ministries who have dealt with whatever projects without an input from the rural people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: How is poverty going to be addressed? How is the PF Government going to put money in people’s pockets?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: There is a very serious mismatch in terms of the K27.6 trillion and what will actually go to the rural sector. Therefore, I urge the hon. Ministers of Finance and National Planning, and Local Government, Housing Early Education and Environmental Protection to inform this House how much money has been put in the various sectors in the districts. For example, the people want to know how many dip tanks will be constructed in Magoye, Dundumwezi, Gwembe and Luwingu and how much all these will cost. Those are the things we would like to see so that we ultimately take development to the rural areas. In the absence of all that, I am afraid, it may just be mere rhetoric.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, let us move away from the urban bias. We are all based here in Lusaka and we think we can plan and do everything for the people out there. Allow the people to participate in the planning process by asking them to make their own district annual development budgets.

Mr Chisala: On a point of order, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Ikala panshi.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, what we would like to see over time, and I think this is timely advice to the hon. Minister of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection, is to try and consider reforming the institutions at the lower levels as a matter of urgency particularly ...

Mr Chisala: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, many a time hon. Members have been guided on the way they are supposed to debate in this House. Is the hon. Member for Lubansenshi, who is my neighbour, in order to continue addressing us instead of you? I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I noted that as well ...


Mr Speaker: ... with some measure of amazement that the address seems to have been focused on a particular location of the Chamber. I think it is inappropriate. I think all speeches should be directed to the Chair ...

 Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: ... and the audience is larger than one hon. Member. Thus, the hon. Member may continue winding up his debate bearing that in mind.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of the windfall tax, I think it is appropriate that the Zambians are given a proper answer. There seems to be a lot of secrecy surrounding this windfall tax.

Hon. Member: Don’t kubeba.


Mr Mucheleka: I say so because it was a very serious campaign message for the PF. Sadly, there is a deafening silence on the issue of the windfall tax. It means that for years to come, Zambians will not benefit by way of windfall tax unless there is something that we are not being told. I can only speculate that there could be some pressure from external forces such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank.

Mr Muntanga: From the Chinese.

Mr Mucheleka: We need to be told. Otherwise, at the rate we are going, I can assure you that five years down the line, the PF will fall in the same trap as did the MMD.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the chance to debate the Motion of Supply. The pride is mine because the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning acknowledged, not only by word of mouth, but also written word that they are taking over from a Government which did well ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: Ni diplomacy.

Mr Mutelo: … as they have ‘somesing’ in the reservoir.

Mr Mushanga: ‘Somesing’.


Mr Mutelo: When the PF Government leaves office and another government takes over the reigns, it should be able to say that the PF has grown the economy. It would be very sad for the PF Government and the country at large if a reduction is recorded. It has been acknowledged by those on your right that even the poverty levels have reduced. Be it by 1 per cent or 0.001 per cent, the fact is that it has reduced and that is a plus.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: The general statement and the truth today over the Budget is that hon. Members are not ready to debate it. The hon. Ministers have acknowledged that Hon. Muntanga was not ready. He had not done enough research.

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, with due respect to the young man, is he in order to say that I was not ready to debate the Budget Speech when, in fact, I raised points such as the reduction in the Budget for the agricultural sector, a fact which even Hon. Mucheleka, who is able to understand such issues, acknowledged as a cardinal point? Is he in order to refer to me and use me as an excuse for his not being ready to debate?


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member is certainly not in order. I think that in so far as the subject under discussion is concerned, it would be inappropriate for him to appoint himself spokesperson.


Mr Speaker: Please, continue with your debate whether you are ready or not.

Mr Mutelo: I thank you, Mr Speaker. Of course the next statement is that I am not adequately prepared either.


Mr Speaker: I am not surprised that the hon. Member is not ready. The most honourable thing he should have done is not to take the Floor.


Mr Mutelo: The phrase ‘not adequately’ does not mean that I am not ready.


Mr Speaker: Order!


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 1721 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 16th November, 2011.