Debates- Friday, 4th November, 2011

Printer Friendly and PDF


Friday, 4th November, 2011

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, further to the announcement I made on Wednesday, 2nd November, 2011, regarding the Post-Election Seminar for all hon. Members of Parliament, which will be held in the Chamber at Parliament Buildings from Sunday, 6th November, 2011 to Tuesday, 8th November, 2011, I wish to inform hon. Members that the purpose of the seminar is to enable hon. Members of Parliament to be oriented regarding the activities of international organisations, which include the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the Southern African  Development Community (SADC) and other parliamentary networks. In this regard, we have invited resource persons from these institutions and other stakeholders.

Further, the seminar is intended to sensitise hon. Members on various topical issues ranging from parliamentary doctrine, constituency communications strategies, international perspectives on governance, inter-parliamentary collaboration as well as regional integration. The seminar is also aimed at updating hon. Members on current views concerning parliamentary practice and procedure in order to enhance the hon. Members’ capacity to appreciate the need for Parliament to co-operation with other organisations. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members to attend and participate actively in this very important seminar.

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!



The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the business it will consider next week.

Sir, on Tuesday, 8th November, 2011, the Business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then resume the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

Sir, on Wednesday, 9th November, 2011, the Business of the House will start with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider a Private Member’s Motion on the need to “Review the Human Rights Curriculum for the Law Enforcement Agencies.” Then, the House will continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

On Thursday, 10th November, 2011, the Business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will debate the Motion to suspend Standing Orders 19 and 20 to enable the House to sit from 1415 hours to 1800 hours on Friday, 11th November, 2011. This is to enable the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to present the 2012 National Budget. The House will then wind up the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address moved by the hon. Member for Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency.

On Friday, 11th November, 2011, the hon. Minister of Finance will present the 2012 National Budget to the House.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.



Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me the opportunity to ask the Vice-President a question pertaining to a very important issue that needs to be addressed by the Government. Currently, there is a lack of trust between the Government and the people of Zambia regarding the pronouncements that are being made by the Government. In that light, what is the Government’s intention pertaining to the Constitution-making process in this country? We have heard pronouncements from the President indicating that the Constitution will be ready within ninety days. The hon. Minister of Justice has also made a pronouncement that the Constitution will only be ready when they finish working on it. I would like His Honour the Vice-President to issue a categorical statement regarding this issue.

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Two weeks ago, Mr Speaker, I likened this experience to being before a firing squad. The firing squad is normally made up of only about six people, but the Vice-President’s Question Time is more like being stoned to death under the Sharia Law.


Dr Scott:  So far as far as I am aware, the Committee of Experts is in the process of being set up. We will have more information about the time line and the road map when that is done.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, may His Honour the Vice-President shed more light on the ‘ninety days concept’ which seems to have created different interpretations among the Zambian people?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. It is not the intention of this administration to go on leave after having turned this country into a paradise in ninety days time. It is the intention of this Government, around the Christmas period which is the time this country will clock ninety days under Patriotic Front (PF) rule, to be able to point to the radical changes regarding the ongoing processes of change in this country. Already, only forty-one days after, I believe that one can detect the change in the working attitude of civil servants.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, they are arriving at work on time, writing reports and letters as they are supposed to.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: There has been a tremendous improvement in the morale of workers in the Public Service. The prices of various commodities have gone down including that of fuel.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott:  I do not want to talk too much about the price of maize because we, shall later this morning, debate a Motion which will look at issues related to it. I think we now have a press in which you can confuse one newspaper with another.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: This is surely a move in the right direction. I am now always very keen to watch the 1900 hours Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) news for the first time in years.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I assiduously used to avoid watching it for fear of dying of boredom or excess exposure to only one or two persons. I think that people can now see some indicators of the change which they wanted. I believe we are getting towards an understanding with some of our foreign investors that quality jobs are what we are after in Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Workers are going to deliver in a satisfactory manner if they are managed properly. The workers in Zambia in many companies have not been working under satisfactory conditions over the years.

Hon. Government Members: Boma!

Dr Scott: The interest rates of many banks have gone down.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: We were told, earnestly, that the banks could not reduce their rates because the ordinary laws of economics could not support such a move. It now appears that some laws of economics are working. Mr Speaker, I will end there because I believe that I have given the hon. Members a glimpse of some of the achievements by the PF so far.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kunda, SC. (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, the late President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, may his soul rest in peace, and his successor, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, never signed death warrants for prisoners on death row. Will President Sata sign death warrants?


Dr Scott: I have not had the privilege of discussing this issue with His Excellency, the President. I, however, have made a private observation which is that it is very strange to have a law in place which indicates one thing and practice which leans to the other extreme. My own personal view based on my conscience, …

Hon. MMD Member: We do not want your personal view. What is the Government’s position?

Dr Scott:  I can only give a personal …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Scott: If they do not want my personal view, then they will have to wait for the opportunity to ask the President the same question.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, going by the events of the last one week, whereby His Excellency, the President has been making appointments to the Public Service of individuals, some of whom have had issues before the courts of law, …

Hon. Government Members: Which ones?

Hon. Opposition Members: Mwamba!

Ms Namugala: … can His Honour, the Vice-President confirm to this House and through it to the public that, in fact, his Government has no political will to fight corruption and that it is not allergic to it at all.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I cannot confirm what the young lady would like me to confirm.


Hon. MMD Members: Honourable!

Dr Scott: If she wishes to object to being called a young lady, she may raise a point of order.


Dr Scott: We are fighting corruption. There are some stories to the effect that certain people are about to be appointed to the Public Service, but I have no reason to believe them because they have not come from His Excellency, the President.

Mr Speaker, I think most of us have had cases before the courts of law at one time or another. That means nothing under the precepts of English law. You have no case to answer once the matter is disposed off by the courts of law.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, a lot of our farmers have not yet been paid by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) despite the 2011/2012 farming input distribution exercise having already started. What measures has the Government put in place to ensure that even those who have not been paid are able to access the 2011/2012 inputs in good time?

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, there was a total bill of over K2 trillion for maize which was purchased by the FRA. About K1.4 trillion had been paid to the farmers under the previous administration. The balance is close to being paid to the farmers. There is one more bank loan of K300 billion remaining to be secured. I believe that will happen this week.

The payments have become complicated by the fact that commercial farmers have been also finding ways of selling their maize to the FRA. Part of the K2 trillion was paid to commercial farmers who are not eligible under the buyer of last resort system that we intend to operate in this country. There is also some evidence to suggest that some people who are not from this country have also been able to sell maize to the FRA. The matter is more complex than it appears. 

Since we have a debate coming regarding maize marketing, I will ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock to talk about, in passing, what is happening regarding the distribution of inputs to people who are unable to pay their deposits on the bags of maize.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, in line with the President’s directive, the Public Service Commission appointed 74 district commissioners (DCs). May I know how the 10 DCs for the Copperbelt Province were corruptly employed as revealed by the Permanent Secretary for the Copperbelt Province and  whether the matter has been reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I have been quietly advised that nothing like that happened.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, it is about a month since the last Bank of Zambia (BOZ) Governor, a man of immense professional qualities and international experience, was relieved of his duties. Since then, the post of Governor has remained vacant for far too long for such an important institution. Is the PF Government finding it difficult to find somebody with a similar international reputation to occupy that position?

Dr Scott: I think it is always heartwarming when a close colleague laments on behalf of another colleague in this House.

Mr Lubinda: Kwasha mukwenu!

Dr Scott: The post of Governor of the BOZ, if I am not mistaken, requires ratification. At the moment, the de facto Governor of the BOZ is in place as the Deputy Governor because that position does not require ratification. We will, in due course, come for ratification. I was hoping that the hon. Member for Liuwa, like the Zambian entrepreneurs, would celebrate the reduction in the interest rates.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, in the Auditor-General’s Report of 31st December, 2009, there are glaring examples of money meant for a drainage system for the people of Kanyama being misappropriated.

May I know whether the Government has any intention of following up this matter so that the people of Kanyama can live like human beings?

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, at least, the hon. Member for Kanyama should look forward to some more transparency in view of the fact that the Ministry of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection, the Vice-President’s Office, which controls the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), and other relevant bodies, like the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, are singing from the same song-sheet.

Sir, I have asked for a report regarding the works on the Kanyama drainage from the DMMU. I am also waiting for a briefing, this afternoon, from the Millennium Challenge Account on the Lusaka Water Drainage Project that they intend to put up in the next few years.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, may His Honour the Vice-President make a clarification regarding the full mandate of the Commission of Inquiry into the Mongu shootings. This is because, at the moment, there is a running advertisement entitled “Commission of Inquiry on the Barotseland Agreement, 1964,” whose terms of reference have nothing to do with looking at the possibility of implementing the Barotseland Agreement, 1964. That advertisement is running, and yet the terms of reference only have something to do with the shootings.


Mr Mweetwa: Can he also inform this House when his Government intends to bring the issue of the Barotseland Agreement into play.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, there is an inquiry taking place. One of the unfortunate things about this session is that one does not have fore knowledge of what may come up. Otherwise I could have, at least, done some research.

Mr Kunda, SC. interjected. .

Dr Scott:  Mr Speaker, let me now try to talk about what the question is referring to.

I am sure that any evidence that is relevant to the question of the Barotseland Agreement, which is not a straightforward, but controversial matter that we accept and want resolved, and the shootings that were peripheral to that issue and people’s views of it, will be taken care of in due course. This means in quite a short period of time.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, what was illegal about the contracts of the twenty-eight senior army generals who were relived of their duties, and yet will continue getting their salaries up to December?

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, those personnel were retired officers. They had reached the retirement age and should have been enjoying their gardening leave with their pensions. However, they were re-engaged on contract. It seems that this is a fairly common practice in this country.

Sir, our view is that this is contrary to the whole intention of the Act under which they were employed. So, it was illegal. Maybe, that is putting it a bit strongly, but the main point which must be understood is that their contracts have been terminated.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, the country faces a number of challenges. One of these is the unplanned settlements throughout the country. May I know what the Government’s plans are regarding new and old unplanned settlements?

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, one of the major features of unplanned settlements, and one can point to several, is that where there is a vacuum, in terms of governance by the city councils, it tends to be filled by cadres or political mafias, if you like. We can point to a number of such incidents in Lusaka.

Sir, we are trying to get Zambia back to normal administration …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: … where everybody from the DC, downwards, must be a fully-qualified and professional civil servant. We believe that many of these anomalies that we are finding, where you have some sort of gang law as one tends to have under the rule of cadres, is going to be a thing of the past.

Mr Speaker, this is our policy which we will pursue vigorously even if it embarrasses us in the eyes of our own cadres.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Ms Sayifwanda: Mr Speaker, on behalf of all the seventeen female hon. Members of Parliament in this House, I would like to ask His Honour the Vice-President to confirm that the PF Government will continue with the policy that the late President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. left in place, which is the existence of a desk for women issues so that they are not handled by technocrats.

Hon. Government Members: Mwalikana!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I thought we had gone further than a desk for gender matters. We have gone as far as appointing an hon. Minister, underneath the tutorage of the hon. Minister in the President’s Office. Infact, the hon. Member asking the question was actually offered the job, but she turned it down.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr C. Mulenga (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President just came back from attending the Commonwealth Conference in Australia. Can he inform this House and the nation some of the investment commitments made by investors now that the international community has confidence to invest in Zambia because of the good governance …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Mulenga: … being practised by His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, the proceedings of the Commonwealth meeting did not include having investors present. Commonwealth meetings are where heads of State discuss delicate matters such as what it would take to get Zimbabwe back into the Commonwealth. This Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, nicknamed CHOGM, is held every two years.

Sir, on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, there are symposia organised by potential investors. I can tell you that Western Australia is a veritable hornet’s nest of mining investors and they all wanted to come to Zambia. We told them that they could come so that we could talk from the place they wanted to invest in. Why should we discuss such matters in Australia? There was a lot of interest shown.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muteteka (Chisamba): Mr Speaker, recently, President Sata issued an apology, publicly, to the Angolan Government. This was followed by the sending of a special envoy to that country. I believe Dr Kaunda was sent to deliver a letter of apology. However, I missed the details of the wrongs that were committed by the previous Government which compelled the President to apologise on behalf of this country. Could His Honour the Vice-President clarify this matter.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, let me answer that question slightly obliquely. When the freedom war was on in Angola, Zimbabwe and other countries, Zambia, quite often, supported one particular group of freedom fighters while other countries might have supported other groups of freedom fighters. This is a normal situation in this part of the world. I think you could put it this way, the fault of the previous Government was to continue supporting, in a partisan way, one group once the freedom had been won.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Moonde (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out when the privatisation or the sale of public media such as Daily Mail and Times of Zambia is going to be effected as this was one of the major PF campaign messages.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, the first stage, as I am aware, is that something like 35 per cent of the shares in each of these media are going to be floated on the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LUSE). At the same time, there are preliminary discussions underway with various newspaper owning private groups, for example, in East Africa.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, during the campaigns, the MMD told the Zambian people that if they voted for the Patriotic Front (PF), all the investors would pull out from Zambia. What is the current position after elections?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I have no reason to believe that any change has occurred in terms of investor intentions, whether they are airlines, mines or construction companies. I think the situation is one of no change so far. Yes, on one hand, people are waiting to see how it turns out and on the other hand, there are no alarm signs, which can drive people out of this country. So, I think, in as far as the situation is concerned, we have made a smooth transition.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, in 2009, the Government of the Republic of Zambia, through the Luapula Provincial Administration, released K200 million to go towards the repair of the dredging machine. This year, the Government released K250 million to go towards the deepening of the canals in Luapula Constituency. In 2009, the Government released K70 million to the Northern Province Administration to go towards the clearing and deepening of canals in Chilubi Constituency. Since then, this money has been mismanaged. Therefore, what is the Government doing to correct the situation?

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I am grateful for that question as someone who has suffered the consequences of the canals in the Luapula Constituency not having been properly cleared and having had to spend ten hours in the sun instead of two hours thus having my face cooked. Very comprehensively, I have an interest in making sure that, next time I go there, the canals are properly cleared. The hon. Member has raised an audit issue which deserves to be looked at. If the Auditor-General is not already handling it, I will make sure that she soon does.

I thank you, Sir.

   Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, could the Vice-President state the Government’s position regarding gay and lesbian rights.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, this country has, for forty-seven years, had a law which criminalises the so-called acts contrary to the order of nature which include, by custom, homosexual acts. There have, of course, been more extreme views expressed on both sides. Some people say that such rights should be legalised while others say that they should become subject to capital punishment. However, as a Government, we see no reason to veer towards either extreme. Matters of this nature have been handled in quite an uncontroversial manner for the last forty-seven years. So, why do we want to make friends or enemies about this matter at this stage? I think we shall let the sleeping dog lie.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Ndiye ba Vice-President aba, George!





Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House urges the Government to urgently mobilise adequate financial resources to transport the 2010/2011 crop to safe storage before the onset of the rains.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Kunda, SC. (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, I second the Motion.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to move this Motion regarding a very important aspect in our nation. This Motion is non-controversial, but it is critical to the nation’s fight against poverty and the promotion of food security. As a result of this fact, this Motion deserves support from both sides of the House.

Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to note that maize production in Zambia has consistently increased since 2008. Maize production, in the 2010/2011 Farming Season, was estimated to have reached 2,800,000 metric tonnes. A number of factors account for this expansion in maize production. These factors include increased use of hybrid feed, fertiliser and favourable weather patterns. I am happy to note that our small-scale to medium scale farmers have been responsive to the incentives provided by the Government. It is for this reason that our small-scale and medium-scale farmers have produced 33 per cent more maize per household in the 2010/2011 Farming Season than ten years ago in the 2000/2001 Farming Season. This certainly means that there is more money circulating in rural areas due to the procurement of the crop by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and the private sector and the provision of inputs through the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

Mr Speaker, the increase in maize production has brought with it several challenges, notable among them is the storage of the much talked about bumper harvest. It is very disheartening to note that there are still large quantities of maize lying around unsecured countrywide. It is worrisome that the maize may go to waste due to the onset of the rains. All hon. Members are aware that in some places in the country, including Lusaka, rains have started. 

Mr Speaker, the gist of this Motion is to urge this Executive to take drastic measures to ensure that no more of the 2010/2011 crop goes to waste. This is in line with what the Republic President said during the Official Opening of the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly on Friday, 14th October, 2011. The President said:

“To avoid perennial wastage of crops, my Government will construct additional modern storage facilities and rehabilitate existing ones which have lacked maintenance over the years.”

This, indeed, is a non-controversial, but progressive Motion.

Mr Speaker, I would like to make some proposals that I think will help the country avoid further wastage of the 2010/2011 crop which was produced at a high cost to the Treasury.

My first proposal is that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning should release, as a matter of urgency, more money to the FRA for the purpose of paying farmers and transporters who are engaged in the transportation of the crop to the storage facilities. At the moment, there is a backlog of payments to the transporters, some of whom have stopped providing their services because they cannot afford to purchase fuel.

Mr Speaker, my second proposal is for the Government to mobilise all defence forces, if need be, to assist with the transportation of the crop. I am aware that the defence forces, particularly the Zambia Army and the Zambia National Service (ZNS), have sufficient capacity to help in this regard. These defence force wings can make available their trucks and personnel to carry out this exercise. This proposal is not out of place because the President has already directed service chiefs to utilise their personnel for national development.

Mr Speaker, the other proposal I am making to this Government is that it should go ahead and repossess some storage facilities that were leased out to the private sector. This will go a long way in increasing storage facilities for the 2010/2011 crop. It is disheartening that some of these storage sheds are used to make bricks as evident on Mungwi Road. Other sheds have been turned into community schools in some areas.

It is in the same vein that I am proposing that the Government considers renting sheds from private individuals and organisations. Some farmers have storage facilities that can be hired by the FRA to store the crop.

Further, Mr Speaker, the Government needs to act with a sense of urgency to ensure that the entire 2010/2011 crop is safely stored in the next fourteen days to prevent it from going to waste. As I mentioned earlier, this is a non-controversial Motion. I, therefore, ask hon. Members from both sides of the House to support it.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Kunda, SC.: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion, let me begin by saying that it is timely. There is an urgent need for measures to be put in place to secure the 2010/2011 maize crop which is in danger of going to waste.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Thus, we should all join the progressive voices in urging the Government to urgently mobilise adequate financial resources to transport the …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kunda, SC.: … 2010/2011 crop to safe storage facilities before the onset of the rains.

Mr Speaker, the unprecedented bumper harvest of 2010/2011 came about because of the visionary leadership of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government, which the people of Zambia are already missing,  …

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: … and the hard work of the people of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, we managed to achieve bumper harvests during the last three consecutive seasons.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: These achievements, Mr Speaker, were as a result of meticulous planning by the MMD Government.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: We also emphasised hard work and less politicking during our successful reign.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: The PF Government should emulate these positive attributes of the MMD Government.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, we should not allow the crop, which we invested in so heavily, in terms of financial resources, to go to waste.

During the 2011 Presidential Election campaigns, I toured many of the FRA depots countrywide. I was very impressed with the stacks of maize grown by our hardworking farmers. This maize must be delivered to safe storage facilities or secured within the collection depots.

Mr Speaker, the honeymoon is over for the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. Let it get down to work for the people of Zambia. If all there is for you to show in the much-talked about ninety-day illusion is rotten maize, …


Mr Kunda, SC.: ... the people of Zambia will not forgive you. They will start the red card campaign against you.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Time for blaming the MMD Government is over. Let us see what you can do as the PF to enhance food security in the nation.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: I, therefore, urge the PF Government to urgently mobilise adequate financial resources to transport the 2010/2011 crop to safe storage facilities before the onset of the rains.

Finally, I also join the mover of the Motion in seeking your support for this Motion.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

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

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, indeed, this Motion appears non-controversial in my view. I would like to begin by thanking the mover and seconder of the Motion, save to say that probably the seconder may have added a bit of ridicule in his debate.

I wish to state here that this, indeed, is a very serious Motion which requires very serious consideration. I want to preface my debate by indicating that there is a Biblical saying that goes, “in the midst of plenty, a fool starves”.

Mr Speaker, in the last three years we have had unprecedented bumper harvests attributed to many factors which include the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP), before the name changed to FISP and, indeed, the hardworking Zambians, especially the small-scale farmers who are responsible for more than 70 per cent of the yield of the bumper harvest.

Sir, it is also true that in the past few years we have suffered catastrophes such as El Nino and also La Nino, which His Honour the Vice-President, Dr Guy Scott, is well aware of. For those who are not conversant with what I am talking about, this implies extreme weather conditions where there is either excess rainfall or exceedingly dry spells, which may affect the food security in our country.

Mr Speaker, this Motion is non-controversial. We, from the United Party for National Development (UPND), having not served in any government, and will try to be as fair as possible to make the Government understand that it is important to agree with this non-controversial Motion.

Sir, a lot of maize has already gone to waste because of the careless handling starting from the farm gates at the point of harvest to the storage.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to state that those who have been in Government for a long time will agree with me that since the late 1980s when the Canadians helped us with the cedar sheds that you see all around the country, not much has happened in terms of building capacity for storage or warehousing space in this country. This has caused serious threats to food security.

I would like to urge the Government not only to mobilise finances immediately, but also look at the short and medium-term by putting money aside for the purpose of developing storage space.

Mr Speaker, the catastrophe of losing food because of what I would call poor planning on the part of those who have been managing the affairs of this country, for lack of a better term, …

Dr Scott: It was the MMD!

Mr Nkombo: Can you, please, excuse me, Hon. Vice-President. I have a serious subject to discuss.

Mr Speaker: Address the Chair, please.

Mr Nkombo: Some fellows from the right side who have been in the Government since 1991 should not make comments regarding such matters.

Hon. Government Members: No, hon. Members!


Mr Nkombo: There are some hon. Members of Parliament who have served in Government for the last twenty-five years. This is the reason I am saying this is not a blame game, Hon. Vice-President. Let me again state that since the time the Canadians helped us with Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) sheds, we have not seen any …

Mr Mwila: On a point of order.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central in order to refer to the hon. Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers as ‘fellows’?Is he in order? He is degrading them.

Mr Speaker: Certain language does not befit the decorum of the House.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, without any regret, I withdraw the word ‘fellows’ if it pleases the hon. Member of Parliament.

However, my substantive point, Sir, was that many hon. Members of Parliament both, on your left and right, save for these in this corner, the United Party for National Development (UPND) ones, have been in Government. So, my point is simply that there is a need before and after, to develop capacity to try and save the food that we produce as a country so as to circumvent the wastage of food year in and year out. That is what this Motion seeks to achieve.

I also want to say that the problem of silos in this country has been exacerbated by the lack of service of the silos for a long time. For example, silos in Bwana Mkubwa, Natuseko, Mungwi and Monze have not been worked on for a long time. For this reason, it is important that the Government considers putting some money aside to meet the requirements of Hon. Muntanga’s Motion, to save food by refurbishing the silos. There is nothing controversial about that.

Sir, we, on the left side of the House, have indicated, many times before, that we will not disagree just for the sake of disagreeing, but I hope that the people in the Government can also find room in their hearts to agree when a Motion makes sense. In any case, if they refuse to adopt this Motion, who is going to be looked at with indifference in the eyes of the people, whose interest and aspirations we are elected to serve? It is not us. So, we are basically trying to assist the people in the Government by ensuring that they put money where their mouths are.

Mr Mwaliteta interjected.

Mr Nkombo: It would be important, Mr Speaker, if you could protect me so that the hon. Member of Parliament for Kafue can learn that when someone is debating, he needs to pay attention so that he can make meaningful contributions.

Mr Speaker: Just a point of guidance. Please, the hon. Members on my right will also have an opportunity to debate the Motion and express their views.

May the hon. Member continue while others remain silent.

Mr Nkombo: I am thankful, Mr Speaker, once again.

My point is that a journey of one thousand miles starts with one step. There is absolutely no reason we should lump blame on previous governments because many of the hon. Members, both on the right and left, like I have said, have served in previous governments. I worked with His Honour the Vice-President and he knows what I am talking about.

They need to put money in warehousing development. They need to find ways of ensuring that the crop that our farmers have grown on behalf of all the Zambians who are not engaged in agriculture is safely stored. Like the Head of State, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata said, people are supposed to have three meals in a day. Every Zambian deserves to have three meals in a day. The only way the Government can afford to make it possible for Zambians to have these three meals in a day is by taking some simple, but costly steps.

Sir, I implore the Government to look into the issue of building storage facilities in the remotest areas of our country so that the cost of transport from the farm gates of our small-scale farmers can be reduced. If you put up forty-five warehouses to a tune of 5,000 metric tonnes per warehouse, that would be meaningful. You cannot achieve this in fourteen days, but I think that you must start working towards that. You must also ensure that the FRA stops to engage political cadres to run food storage warehouses. If these cadres were to be engaged because they possess professional qualifications to run warehouses then, at least, they should not have trading interest in maize. You cannot have a person holding a key to a warehouse who is also a very renowned maize trader because you will find the warehouse empty one day.

It is important that in the interim, the Government spends money on handling facilities. I know that the Vice-President understands what I am talking about. I worked with him for a long that in those good old days when we used to have stacking machines and fork lifts to make work easy. They need to make sure that food is moved from vulnerable areas as quickly as possible, especially that we are going towards the onset of the rains.

Mr Speaker, once again, I want to thank you for allowing me to debate this Motion and also urge this Government to mobilise adequate financial resources to transport the 2010/2011 crop to safe storage before the onset of rains.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the mover and seconder of this non-controversial Motion. Since the majority of hon. Members of Parliament come from the rural areas, this Motion really needs every hon. Member of Parliament’s support. This Motion needs our support because it affects our people. In supporting the Motion moved by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central, I just want to say that the bumper harvests recently experienced in the country, as articulated by the seconder of the Motion, are as a result of good Government policies and the hard work of our farmers. These were MMD Government agriculture policies.

Mr Speaker, we can recall that not in the far distant past, the agriculture sector was on the brink of collapse, but we saw a turnaround recently.

Professor Luo interjected.

Dr Chituwo: I wish the hon. Minister of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection could just keep quiet.


Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, in addition to the mobilisation of transport, I would like to urge the Government that it has, in fact, the ability to mobilise road maintenance equipment. We know the rural areas with short distances and where the maize is at the moment. I am sure with the assistance of the ZNS, we can quickly work on many feeder roads in the next two weeks.

Mr Speaker, we left in place plans for the construction and rehabilitation of …

Professor Luo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member of Parliament, who is debating and keeps reminding us about the so-called good policies of the MMD, in order to remind us of the pain that we, as Zambians, have gone through which was one of the many caused by him when he was hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that the point of order is not procedural and the hon. Member is in order to debate in the manner he is debating.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, all I am doing is to remind the PF Government that we had embarked on the construction of slabs and rehabilitation of silos around the country. We embarked on the building of silos in Mkushi, Chambeshi, Mbala and Kapiri-mposhi. Those who use the road from Lusaka to Ndola should, please, take time to look to the left hand side in Kapiri-mposhi to see the brand new modern storage sheds there.

There is also visible evidence of storage shed construction works in Serenje, Kalomo and Chisamba. What is wrong with that? All we are saying is that the PF Government should, please, continue with this programme. Therefore, I do not see the pain which is being inflicted on people by me saying that we started this programme and our colleagues on your right should carry on with it. It is for the good of our Zambian people and our farmers especially.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, here in Lusaka, the silos along Mungwi Road were rehabilitated. When people go there, they should, please, take time to look around. We have state-of-the-art silos in this country. The plans were there and are still in the files to also rehabilitate the existing silos in Monze, Ndola, and Kitwe, among others.

Mr Speaker, let me now talk about the present time. Perhaps, the PF Government can take advantage of the Agricultural Credits Bill, which is now the Agricultural Credits Act and whose thrust is warehousing systems, to build more storage facilities. We are just pleading with the Government to look at this Act because it has the ability to galvanise the private sector in order to build storage facilities not only for grain, but for any other agricultural commodities, particularly in the rural areas. Surely, this can only be for the good of our citizens. Why then should one oppose that?

I am not quite sure what caused the ridiculing of the seconder of the Motion on this matter because he was just pointing out that when we were in the Government, we reviewed the FISP which, in fact, kick-started the bumper harvests we have witnessed recently. However, we are not saying that is the only factor. Definitely a policy is important, but there other ingredients or players and, in this case, it is the small-scale farmers.

Mr Speaker, this is a Motion I certainly urge all my colleagues, both in the Government and the Opposition, to support because it is meant to secure and ensure food security for our people.

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to add my voice to this extremely important Motion which is non-controversial. This Motion is a call to work. It is a Motion that is rooted in the need for the Government to rise from the post-election rhetoric and euphoria and get down to serious work. This Motion is at the core of who we are as a nation. It is at the heart of the survival of our youths, children, women and the elderly. This is a Motion that affects our people directly.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, this is a Motion which is in national interest because it directly touches on our sovereignty, pride and integrity. This is because food security is what ought to concern each and every one of us. I am sure none of us in this House will be happy to see Zambia being projected in the international media in the same way that countries in the Sahara Region have been projected, where children have been seen extremely malnourished and at the point of death, all because the very important issue of food security has not been addressed seriously by the respective governments. This is what this Motion is all about. This is a Motion that is non-controversial, but one which should bring all of us together to focus on that which matters for our country.

Mr Speaker, as a result of the three-year bumper harvest we have been witnessing as a nation, there has been tremendous improvement in the lives of our people in the rural areas.

For example, in a district such as Kalomo, in the 2009 harvest year, K75 billion was spent by the FRA to buy maize from small-scale farmers. You can imagine what that kind of money did to our small-scale producers. This is money which has gone directly into the people’s pockets, …

MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: … and has enabled them to buy canters. That is the more reason Dundumwezi has been described as a ‘canterland’ or there is the ‘cantermania’ fever  in the Southern Province.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: That is what our people are expecting. That is the continuity that they want to see. They want to see the crop on which they have spent so much energy not go to waste, but to safety and to realise income out of that.

Mr Speaker, in Monze District, two years ago, the FRA spent K45 billion on buying maize from small-scale farmers. That is exactly what our people are waiting for. They do not want to lose their crop. They do not want to see their maize go to waste or to rot. They want to see that this Government cares for what they have produced and that the small-scale farmers can get something out of what they have spent their energy on. This is what this Motion is all about. I do not see how any serious-minded representative of the people can oppose it.

Mr M. H. Malama: Mubwelelefye ku UNZA namufilwa.

Ms Kapata interjected.

Professor Lungwangwa: Hon. Kapata, please. Mr Speaker, Hon. Kapata is a hon. Deputy Minister and we expect her to behave like one.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

May the hon. Member debate the Motion, please.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, thank you very much and I hope the hon. Member has understood what I have just said.


Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, this is non-controversial Motion. The euphoria of the election process is not what people are expecting. They are expecting us to work. This is why Hon. Kunda, SC., has urged the Government to consider what has been done and build on that in the interest of our people. It is as simple as all that.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, indeed, I would like to support this Motion. I have a few additions to make to what has already been said. In the first place, we, as the MMD, have humbly accepted defeat. We have also accepted that our colleagues are in the Government. The running of the Government can be likened to a capable driver. Yes, we were in the driving seat but, maybe, at some point, we got tired. We are now resting and they are now in the driving seat. If we see that they are driving into a pothole, we are duty bound to tell them to, please, avoid it.


Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, in this vein, as hon. Members coming from areas where we have seen this crop going to waste, we are urging this Government to ensure that it moves this crop to safety immediately before it is destroyed. That is meaning well. Therefore, we do not expect the Government to continue hitting back by passing running commentaries as if the Motion is controversial. We are simply reminding it that if, for instance, there is no money or, maybe, the money which is in the budget is not adequate, once it brings supplementary estimates, we are going to support it. So, what we are saying is that let it find money and move this crop to safety because the people are getting money out of it, but would be very sad to see it go to waste.

Mr Speaker, in Mpongwe, the FRA is moving the maize crop to safety. However, there are some areas where it is supposed to use some trucks which are about thirty tonnes, but the trucks that are sent to these areas are above a certain tonnage and are destroying the bridges. Therefore, it is important that as it moves this crop, it also engages the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to repair the bridges that are being destroyed. It is very important that we move as a team. As their partners in the development of Zambia, the PF Government that is in the driving seat now should not view us as people who will be opposing everything. It must sometimes get the sense out of what we are saying. It is not right that each time people are trying to give the Government good suggestions, they pass running commentaries that we failed. Yes, you are there and should not fail the Zambian people. This is the more reason we are urging you to accept our suggestions. We will continue to offer you practical suggestions which we feel are going to be beneficial to the Zambian people.

Mr Speaker, I would like to take the suggestions made by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central as my own. If the suggestions made can be taken into account, they can help address the present situation.

With these few words, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. Phiri (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to add my voice to the Motion which has been ably moved on the Floor. In our country, the cost of managing maize per month is, at least, US$2 or, maybe, K10,000 for every twenty bags. When you look at the current quantity of maize that Zambia is holding, one would need to worry if we do have the capacity, indeed, to look after it.

Mr Speaker, I would like to suggest that the solution to this stock of maize that we have is to very quickly sell it out of the country. If we do not do this, we will be unable to manage it because it will go to waste in our own sheds if we do manage to take it to take it there.

Secondly, I note that the sales modalities of the FRA exclude individuals. I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock to revisit this issue and include individuals because they are a very efficient outlet of sales for the maize in this country.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to suggest that the current issue is not to bring this maize to Lusaka or take it to the Copperbelt, but to move it from the remote areas into the provincial centres so that we avoid huge costs. What we need is for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to seriously sit with the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and look at the issue of buying tarpaulins so that we cover our maize in the provincial centres. We do not have capacity and sheds to store all the maize that we have. We simply do not have that capacity in the country and, therefore, we should rely on tarpaulins.

   Mr Speaker, finally, I would like to suggest to the House that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock should not only rely on the able management of the FRA to move this stock to safe storage, but that it should constitute within the provinces and, maybe, with support of all the many hon. Deputy Ministers who are here, task forces which should be given the responsibility and authority to manage this activity. If we do not do that, whether it is the United National Independence Party (UNIP), MMD or PF, we will continue to experience heavy maize losses which will be disastrous to the nation.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Colonel Kaunda): Mr Speaker, in my trade, we say, the battle is lost at the planning stage.

Mr Speaker, if our colleagues had planned well for this crop, today, we would not be talking about tarpaulins and slabs in this House. It shows that our friends have turned Zambia’s agriculture into a mono-crop sector. They want to grow maize in Chilubi, where they are supposed to be breeding fish and to grow maize in Shang’ombo, then move it from there to Lusaka.

Mr Speaker, as the former Vice-President said, we too, travelled across this country and saw sheds everywhere. Some of these depots are not known to the FRA because they were established by district commissioners (DCs) on purely political grounds.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Colonel Kaunda: They said that people cried for sheds and markets near them and, without planning, the FRA went ahead and built the depots. Hon. Kazonga is my witness.

Mr Speaker, in some areas, Kapoche Constituency for instance, the sheds have 20,000 bags of maize from three seasons ago. This maize is now rotting because there is no road on which it can be transported. Now, the FRA is buying maize and putting it outside the shed. Chieftainess Mwape’s area has thousands of bags of maize that have not been collected for three years.

Mr Speaker, as a responsible Government, we accept the liabilities the MMD left behind. We shall plan properly and grow maize where it should be grown. The Southern Province is a cattle growing area. The maize which is grown there is for feeding cattle.


Colonel Kaunda: Mr Speaker, food security is not about maize …


Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member has the right to debate.


Colonel Kaunda: Mr Speaker, in Zambia, we think that if you do not eat nshima, you are hungry. That should not be the case. Food security can be having anything that you can eat or grow. The PF Government will change the policy on agriculture to make sure that, where we cannot grow maize, we identify a crop that can be grown so that our farmers attain food security.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Colonel Kaunda: We will make sure that whatever we grow can be exported to avoid wastage. This is what a responsible Government must do. It does not put blame on others. We are here to clean the mess that the MMD Government left behind.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Colonel Kaunda: We need to do a good job which will make Zambians more proud of this Government. Let us not, again, have mono-cropping in this country.

In Eastern Province, we grow legumes and, therefore, we will make sure that soya beans, groundnuts and sunflower are promoted. From sunflower, our villagers can make cooking oil and animal feed. This is what a responsible Government must think of and not the growth of maize all the time. We will change this so that this Government is here for the next thirty years …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Colonel Kaunda: … because our policies will be for the good of this country. It does not matter whether we have facts or not because what we will do is what Zambians put us in power to do.

Mr Speaker, we accept the responsibility of cleaning up the mess which was left behind by the MMD.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Please note that the word ‘mess’ is unparliamentary.

Colonel Kaunda: I apologise, Sir.

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to make a contribution to the Motion, which was ably moved by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central and seconded by the hon. Member of Parliament for Muchinga. I will concentrate on what the Motion says.

Mr Speaker, when you look at the Motion on the Floor of this House, there are basically three issues that it contains. It talks about transportation, storage and, the one that cuts across storage and transportation, financial resources. For us to transport and store our crop, especially if we are talking about extra storage facilities, we need adequate financial resources. Hence, my analysis of the Motion is basically bordering on those three issues.

When you look at the state of the storage facilities in this country, my dear colleagues, you will agree with me that the MMD Government did its part. Further, the nation is not blaming you …


Mr Speaker: Let the hon. Member debate freely.

Hon. Government Members: Bamalukula!

Dr Kazonga: The Motion shows that we are together in the development of this country. Issues that concern the people of Zambia concern all of us. Therefore, let us find the solutions together. In terms of storage, the MMD Government did its part as was already articulated by Hon. Dr Chituwo. We constructed storage sheds in Kalomo, …

Hon. Government Members: Where?

Dr Kazonga: If you have never seen them, go to Kapiri-mposhi, Kasempa and Chisamba. For the sake of those who may not know, in the last one year, the MMD Government was able to have extra storage facilities amounting to 380,000 metric tonnes.

   Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: That was not all. The FRA, using its own resources, built a storage capacity amounting to slightly over 300,000 metric tonnes. By the time we were leaving office, we had built 700,000 metric tonnes extra capacity within one year. For those that may not know, this country requires 2,000 000 metric tonnes of storage capacity. In one year, we were able to do 700,000 metric tonnes. Therefore, if you continue addressing that particular concern in that manner, I do not think there will be complaints about storage facilities. We simply urge the Government to continue with this programme.

As the MMD Government, we left a development programme for infrastructure, especially storage facilities. We were building silos and rehabilitating the existing ones. Silos, such as those in Monze and Chambeshi, were supposed to be rehabilitated. We even did the costing, which came to K555 billion. The plan is already there. Our request to our colleagues is that they should, please, start implementing that programme so that issue of storage facilities is addressed.

For immediate attention, the following actions may assist in mopping up. When I talk about mopping up, I am simply talking about the collection of crop from satellite depots to sheds. From those satellite depots, hon. Deputy Minister of Defence, we have, for instance, Gase and Vubwi satellite depots, which are now feeding Chipata Depot, thus creating room for both fertiliser and seed in those storage sheds.

One of the solutions also connected to this is to quickly distribute the inputs because, by doing so, we shall create room for new crops in those storage facilities.

Mr Speaker, I wish to tell the Government that we mean well as far as this Motion is concerned.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: We want to work together in finding solutions to the problems which our country faces. We are not going to be negative on every move or problem that we see. We shall also offer solutions like we are doing now.

Sir, when you look again at the creation of extra storage facilities, the export programme is very important. We need to fast-track the exporting of surplus maize. We have approximately 1.6 million metric tonnes of surplus maize. So the PF Government should quickly export the surplus maize so as to create room for the new crop from the satellite depots to be stored.

Sir, the issue of pricing is a big one. We need to address the economic fundamentals of maize production otherwise the price at which we sell might not be competitive. So, as we address these long-term issues, we also need to look at the cost of production of different crops, including maize. Therefore, I urge the PF Government to work out a mechanism. The Motion on the Floor of the House is suggesting ways of mobilising financial resources. I hope that the hon. Minister of Finance will assist the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock so that this problem is addressed adequately. It is not possible to have it addressed within a short period. Of course, I will not talk about the proverbial ‘ninety days’ because we need a lot of time to construct the storage sheds and implement other measures.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of mono-cropping that was raised by the hon. Deputy Minister of Defence, the Government that gave way to the current one was actually in the process of diversifying the agricultural sector in the country ...


Dr Kazonga: ... and these storage sheds were not only for maize, but for other crops as well. In the Western Province, rice was included in the FISP. This is not fictitious, but real. If you go to Chama, in the Eastern Province, farmers were given rice seed to promote the growing of the crop. In fact, we had a system of moving forward. We did not want everything to be done at once. We also supported the growing of cassava in the  Luapula, Northern-Western and Northern provinces. This Motion is very progressive and harmless. It is not attacking the Government, but helping it to find solutions.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Chenda): Mr Speaker, we acknowledge the concerns that have been raised by our colleagues on your left. However, from the onset, I want to state that we are in this situation because of the poor planning and poor execution of the programmes that the previous Government initiated in as far as maize purchasing is concerned.

Mr Speaker, the issue on the Floor of the House is about transportation of the 2010/2011 crop. The bill that was owed to transporters was in the range of K229 billion. It has been reduced to only K14 billion.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: The maize could not be hauled because the transporters had withdrawn their services because they were not paid. How does one expect them to continue transporting our crop when they are not being paid? The real issue we are talking about is maize security. There were no tarpaulins bought despite the demand. The previous Government needed to buy 2,000 plus tarpaulins and 40,000 grain bags. This was not done. In contrast, in the forty-one days that the PF Government has been in power, it has bought close to 900 tarpaulins to ensure that maize is secured.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: In the forty-one days that the PF Government has been in power, more than 10 million grain bags have been brought to ensure that the grain that has been spilled from damaged bags is repacked. In addition to these measures, we have also authorised the sell of maize at discounted prices, which will enable all maize buyers to move the maize from the depots to safety. Having said this, it is clear that the PF Government has taken measures to safeguard the maize. It is in this regard that I would like to say that this Motion should not be supported ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Chenda: ... because the Government has already taken measures to ensure that the matter before us is addressed adequately.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: As regards transportation, we have not only persuaded the transporters that had withdrawn to come back to the fold, but also paid, upfront, Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) to haul the maize from the depots along the line of rail. This will create additional space for the maize to be hauled from the satellite depots. Not only have we done this, the Government has also reclaimed the storage facilities that had been leased out.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: On the issue of the construction of slabs, this is a continuing process. We will continue where the previous regime left and build even more.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members may need to know that the issue of transporting maize is also linked to the poor road infrastructure. There are places in this country where transporters face great challenges.

Mr Speaker, my colleagues, Hon. Dr Chituwo and Hon. Dr Kazonga, who were in charge of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock are fully aware that as we speak, maize in Shang’ombo, Sesheke, Tendere and Muyombe at Mafinga, Isoka and Chitimbwa at Mpulungu  has not been collected in the last two seasons.

Hon. Government Members: Shame!

Mr Chenda: These are the serious issues which are affecting us. I would like to assure this august House that our Government will try everything possible to put in place measures aimed at addressing the problems which I have highlighted. I want to repeat that this Motion is not necessary because the Government is already addressing the problem which it is looking at.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President(Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, our view from this side of the House is, indeed that this Motion has a large element of grandstanding or playing to the gallery and seeks to only make it seem as if any actions which are being taken by this side of the House have been prompted by the geniuses on that side of the House.


Dr Scott:  Since the situation is well under control, I do not think we can accept a Motion which is whipping us to do what we are already doing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott  : Sir, it is interesting to observe the ongoing development of a pact between our Opposition friends. I am sure my good friends, Hon. Request Muntanga and Hon. Garry Nkombo, both of whom I have worked with in the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and other institutions in the maize industry over the years, do have a point which is lurking somewhere in the points which have been debated on the Floor of this House. I want to bring that point out quickly because it is important that we understand what the options are.

One of the options we have is to mobilise the Zambia National Service which can get this maize from the satellite depots and take it to properly protected depots very quickly. That is actually an emergency measure. It can only be done under the auspices of the DMMU when we have a disaster. If Hon. Kunda or Hon. Shikapwasha had stood up from the MMD side, apologised for having left us with a disaster and then proposed a Motion urging us to use disaster measures to deal with it, we might have been receptive to such a suggestion.

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: What point of order?

Dr Scott:  However, what we decided upon examination, …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Scott: … we discovered that our usual civilian system was adequate to deal with the situation that we had inherited. We thought that bringing in people from the defence wings would make it seem like a genuine disaster …

Mr Speaker: Order!

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

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I just want to place on record the point that there are shortcomings in the present system of distributing subsidised fertiliser and the buying maize at guaranteed prices. The price for buying maize at a particular point in time is the same in Shan’gombo where the farmer spends US$100 per tonne to transport it to the point of purchase as it is in Lusaka where the transport costs are less. There are also other irregularities within the system. For example, as I mentioned earlier during the Vice-President’s Question Time, some of the maize was bought from commercial farmers who are not supposed to be, in as far as I am aware, part of the FRA buying system. There are some people who have been taking advantage of the influence they have within the ZNFU circles.

One of the jobs that the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock is going to have to do, perhaps, in collaboration with his colleague in from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is to get to the bottom of some of these irregularities. We have heard a lot of stories about maize being recycled more than once. In fact, even the people who buy canters are not doing so based on the money they made using two bags of D-Compound and Urea. They are buying their canters because of the money which they realise from their produce which benefits from the many bags of fertiliser which they get at the expense of other farmers. The farmers who benefit from such activities later on become commercial farmers. I think that our Government needs to know who exactly our fertiliser is helping. It is possible for us to gather that data because we have a lot of information including academic studies showing that the fertiliser which is subsidised by the Government is actually unevenly distributed in the rural areas. Some farmers use a lot of it while others sell it as soon as they receive it. It is not a uniform phenomenon that we are looking at.

Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, if the Motion was based on the fact that a disaster existed, and that we needed extra resources from the DMMU in order to solve it, it would have been a substantive one which we would have strongly supported. Our decision which is to use purely commercial methods of purchasing maize is the right one.

   Mr Speaker, I believe that we are already doing what the Motion is urging us to do which is to urgently ensure that our maize stocks are safe. I suppose that when an individual is asked to do something, he or she has no other choice, but to do it.

Sir, we heard from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock that adequate financial resources have been mobilised to ensure that our crop is secured. Since there is no harm in urging somebody to do what they are already doing in earnest, …


Dr Scott: …we have decided among ourselves to let the big man’s Motion go through, …


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

Dr Scott: … even in the face of extreme provocation …


Dr Scott: … from your new found friends, …


Dr Scott: …many of whom are clearly still baffled as to how they lost the election six weeks ago.


Dr Scott: What are they calling for?

Mr S. Zulu: They are saying long live VP.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, we do not mind being reminded to continue doing what we are already doing.


Dr Scott: We hope our colleagues will also be as constructive as we have been today, when we start putting in place measures to sort out some of the irregularities involved in the buying of maize by the Government.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the Vice-President for his contribution. I was getting ready to wind up in a different way because …


Mr Muntanga: …the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock said that he did not agree with what we were saying. However, since the Vice-President has decided to pacify the situation, I will …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: … end by thanking all those who have supported the Motion.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


(Debate resumed)

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Ms Kansembe): Mr Speaker, I join many honourable women and men in the House who have congratulated you on your election. I also wish to congratulate the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House on their election to their respective positions.

Sir, it is amazing how, in just a few weeks, you have settled with sublime finesse in your seat and guided us efficiently during the debates on the President’s Official Opening Speech for the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.

Mr Speaker, your years of experience and leadership regarding legislative matters are unquestionable by both those on your left and those on the right side of the House. May the dear Lord, the most compassionate and generous one, grant you more wisdom as you take care of the onerous task of guiding this august House.

Sir, I am here as a proud representative of the people of Zambia from Lukashya Constituency. Like in many constituencies across the country, the people of Lukashya Constituency wisely decided to replace a dysfunctional Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government with the action-oriented Patriotic Front (PF).

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kansembe: Mr Speaker, during the general elections, the people in the area where I come from spoke loudly and clearly that His Excellency, President Michael Chilufya Sata, a PF Member of Parliament and all Patriotic Front councillors were the best people to restore the dignity of Zambia and to lead the nation towards a flourishing future.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kansembe: Sir, I join many Zambians who have proclaimed that President Michael Chilufya Sata has been chosen to lead this country. Indeed, who God calls, he qualifies.

Mr Speaker, may I take this opportunity to commend former President Rupiah Bwezani Banda for peacefully handing over power to President Michael Chilufya Sata.

While many Zambians have bitter memories of their suffering under the previous Government, they will still remember their fourth President for accepting the inadequacies of his Government and ensuring that the will of the people prevailed by facilitating a peaceful transition.

Mr Speaker, while the MMD thought that it was delivering unprecedented levels of development, the people of Zambia thought that it was not doing good enough. This is because the much talked about development did not accord the majority of our people the opportunity they deserved to fulfill their vast potential.

Sir, as I join many of the hon. Members of the House who took the Floor to support the President’s Address, I sincerely thank President Sata for affording me the privilege of saver the people of Zambia as an hon. Member of Parliament for Lukashya Constituency, and indeed, as hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning. I am greatly humbled by this responsibility entrusted in me.

Mr Speaker, I am also gratified that the opportunity will enable me to more effectively contribute to our country’s developmental goals.

Sir, there are many reasons which made the people of Zambia to vote for the PF. There are even more reasons why the popularity of the PF is now growing day by day, including among hon. Members of the Opposition. 

Other reasons which aided the PF’s victory include the fact that the MMD had stopped listening to the people. It had started to ignore the plight of the youths. It also stopped to take care of our women and discriminated against vulnerable groups. It was not interested in the views of stakeholders on poverty reduction and wealth creation. The failure of those in the MMD to listen was manifested by their always rejecting incessantly Private Member Bills brought to this august House. They got tired of the criers from the people they were supposed to govern. They instead chose to fraternize with aristocrats and other members of society whom they considered to be high class.

Sir, the cries and the plight of the poor were irritating them such that they demonised any one who reminded them of their responsibility to the Zambians.

On the other hand, the PF Government, which is the people’s Government, is now implementing measures to reverse this trend day by day.

Sir, the previous Government neglected the laws protecting workers’ interests. It discarded the interests of retirees and those who had lost jobs. It abandoned its civic responsibility to create jobs which many youths, coming out of tertiary education were yearning for.

Sir, our approach is different. Through the relevant Government agencies, we are addressing the disorder which was left behind by the MMD everyday.

Sir, our friends pushed the fight against corruption down the hierarchy of priorities. They neglected fiscal responsibility. They spent public resources on frivolous operations and, in due course, overlooked the provision of public goods and services to many of our brothers and sisters in rural areas, thereby dumping the obligation to fight poverty and social inequities. The previous Government ignored the constant need to ensure that the procurement of public works was above board. In many cases, it allowed domestic arrears to escalate because it did not want to pay suppliers of goods and services. Foreign contractors and suppliers received their payments promptly, but many of our indigenous entrepreneurs closed their businesses because the Government’s domestic debt locked their source of capital.

Sir, it was disheartening to observe that business opportunities with the Government were primarily a preserve of a few favoured firms, usually party sympathisers. Politically neutral suppliers received crumbs. Sometimes, the MMD Government scolded indigenous suppliers for requesting for payments. Sadly, procurement reforms, which were strongly supported by co-operating partners, did not bear the intended results because of this culture. The evidence is in the Auditor-General’s Report and I am privileged to be privy to this knowledge because I was a member of the Public Accounts Committee for two years. Through transparent sessions of public inquiry, the PF Government is now addressing these shortcomings every day.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kansembe: Sir, the MMD Government did not care how much Zambian entrepreneurs spent on running their businesses. That is why it kept the cost of finance and interest rates very high, thereby making it difficult for entrepreneurs to access capital for growth and expansion. Through quick action by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the Bank of Zambia, the records are there for all to see that the PF Government is addressing this, again, on a daily basis.

Mr Speaker, the MMD Government did not bother about basic responsibilities like efficient tax administration. That is why it deliberately maintained skeleton staff in the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Inspectorate, Mines and Customs Audit units. Due to this negligence, there is a lot of uncollected revenue due to poor tax administration and surveillance systems. One chronic failure of the past is in sensitisation of the public on the importance of paying tax. The goal of the PF Government, as indicated in the President’s Address, remains that of achieving higher and sustained economic growth so as to uplift the well-being of the poor in our society.

Mr Speaker, I appeal to this august House to uplift the well-being of the poor in our society by joining hands in sensitising our people to begin exercising basic tax surveillance responsibilities by demanding sales receipts from cash registers whenever they make purchases in shops. I also request shopkeepers, especially in places like Kamwala and other high volume trading areas around the country, to voluntarily issue these receipts. They should not wait for customers to ask for them. We all need health, education and social amenities. It is for this reason that I appeal to organisations like the Islamic Council of Zambia, hotel and tourism operators, consumer associations, Hindu Association of Zambia, Zambia Association of Manufacturers, Christian Council of Zambia, Zambia Episcopal Conference and many others to help in this campaign.

Sir, in addition, I urge members of the public to report any shopkeeper or trader who deliberately fails to issue an electronic receipt to the ZRA or law enforcement agencies. Let us not be shy because if we do not ask for receipts, the Value Added Tax (VAT) which leaves our pockets will find itself in the pockets of shopkeepers and traders. If we do not ask for receipts, indeed, we will continue admiring their cars and mansions, some of which, the MMD Government allowed them to acquire using Government’s unremitted VAT.

Mr Speaker, furthermore, the appointment of an internationally recognised and experienced Commissioner-General gives me confidence that, in the medium term, tax compliance will improve over the entire spectrum of tax administration and that our vision of putting more money in the pockets of Zambians will be realised because there will be more revenue in Government coffers for accelerated development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kansembe: Mr Speaker, the time to act is immediately. The PF Government recognises the diversity of political interests in the House, but I have no doubt that hon. Members agree with our pedigree of practicality. We recognise the fact that improving the welfare of the Zambian people requires a fundamental shift in the growth trends of our economy. This will be underpinned by increased investment, stable macro-economic environment and a favourable external sector environment. Furthermore, maintaining single digit inflation, safeguarding the economy against domestic and external shocks, maintaining a viable external sector position and removing various bottlenecks that impede private sector growth will be crucial.

Mr Speaker, success in macro-economic indicators in the past few years has not translated into improved welfare for our people. The key challenge of the PF Government is to manifest and transform the current positive macro-economic environment into benefits for ordinary Zambians. A key starting point is to aim for even higher growth rates and increased productivity to improve the livelihood of Zambians. The second strategy relates to the poverty dynamics in the country. As the majority of poor people are in rural areas and involved in agriculture, measures that facilitate rural development will be pursued, including improvement of infrastructure and promotion of growth in pro-poor sectors. To this end, it will be cardinal to ensure implementation of the PF growth strategies through strict action planning, monitoring and evaluation.

Sir, monitoring and evaluation will serve to drive accountability and transparency, guide us in decision-making on project design and implementation and provide learning experiences for enhancement of policies, programmes, processes, procedures and systems.

Mr Speaker, as we strive to uplift the standards of living of our people, let me assure you that the PF Government has placed zero-tolerance on corruption as a pertinent matter on its agenda. This is to facilitate cost-effective running of businesses and development programmes and to avoid diverting resources to a few greedy and dishonest individuals at the expense of the hard working majority of Zambians. It is greed which causes people to be deceitful.{mospagebreak}

Mr Speaker, early this year, the former Government told the nation that it could not allow a meeting scheduled to take place in Mongu, in January, 2011, at which organisers just wanted to seek the views of the people on the way forward on the Barotse Agreement. Since the Government felt that the subject matter was a danger, pleas by interested groups, including the PF, to allow the consultative meeting to materialise were thrown out by the former Government. My heart is filled with grief when I remember the police brutality on the people of the three towns in Zambia whose names start with letter “M” ─ Mongu, Mazabuka and Mansa.

Sir, in this regard, I wish to debate the issue of Mongu. It has been stressful to see hon. Members who come from the Western Province and who were in the Government before to be championing the Barotse Agreement when they were against it. Where were they before?

Hon. Government Members: Shame!

Ms Kansembe: Mr Speaker, where were they when their people were being butchered and shot dead? Why did they not say anything in the affirmative on the Barotse Agreement to the people of the Western Province and to the Barotse Royal Establishment when they were in the Government? Why are the former MMD hon. Ministers discarding and throwing aspersions on the dialogue that has commenced with the people of Zambia in finding lasting solutions to the matters that led to the carnage caused by the police in Mongu in January, 2011?

Mr Speaker, this debating spirit is a shame and an insult to the families and sympathisers of our brothers and sisters who lost their lives in Mongu. Whilst the investigations are still in progress, the leader of the Opposition in the House must cage the deceitful debaters, especially those from the Western Province who were in the Government …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kansembe: … and who are pretending to be champions of the restoration of the Barotse Agreement.  Where were you?


Ms Kansembe: The victory of the PF and resounding defeat of the MMD, in Mongu, speaks volumes of the anger and betrayal which the people feel for the party.

Hon. Government Members: Hammer!

Ms Kansembe: For the whole truth to come out, the Leader of the Opposition in the House should ask hon. Members, who originate from the Western Province, to travel there this weekend and explain to the commissioners, at the hearing, what roles they played in facilitating or averting the fatal events of January, 2011, during their time in Government.

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I hasten to state that what I have debated in the House is relevant to the people of Zambia at large. I will continue to speak my mind and stand up for what I believe in. With the solidarity from the electorate in Lukashya, I hope to work cordially with all hon. Members of Parliament who want to play a part in developing the country through the PF Government. I will continue to fall back on the support of all the people of Lukashya Constituency in the execution of my duties.

I will also continue to rely on my husband and my children who stood by my side, and, together with me, believed in delivering power to the people through the PF.

Mr Speaker, I sincerely thank President Michael Sata for identifying me as a candidate for Lukashya and I thank my campaign team, under the able leadership of Mr David Chanda, who was once the MMD Chairperson for Kasama District, for their hard work and for giving victory to the people.

I make special mention of the overwhelming support that I received from Hon. Geoffrey Mwamba, Minister of Defence, before and during the campaigns. I am currently enjoying support of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and all my colleagues in the Government. Together we will excel.

I also thank the women’s lobby group for giving me both material and moral support during my campaign fight against six strong male contenders for the Lukashya Constituency.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kansembe: One of the contenders was a former Vice-President in the Mwanawasa, SC., regime, Mr Katoloshi Mwape. 

 Last, but not the least, I will continue to draw inspiration from the youth of the Northern Province and Lukashya Constituency, in particular, and depend on their feedback on the performance of the PF Government in meeting their needs.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mukata): Mr Speaker, I am grateful and delighted for the opportunity you have accorded me to deliver my Maiden speech to this august House.

Sir, allow me to join the many that have spoken before me in congratulating you on your well-deserved election as head of this very important Arm of Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, it is worth noting that you and Hon. Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula were my lecturers at the University of Zambia. It is, therefore, exciting and a great privilege to be associated with you in the service of our beloved country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: Sir, allow me to also congratulate the hon. Deputy Speaker and the hon. Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House, who were elected unopposed. This clearly demonstrates the confidence that hon. Members in this House have in you, Sirs.

Mr Speaker, let me also congratulate all hon. Members of Parliament on their election as well as the nominated hon. Members of Parliament for being identified from among the millions of Zambians to serve in this august House.

Sir, my congratulatory message also goes to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, for being elected as the Fifth President of the Republic of Zambia. The will of God has, yet again, manifested itself in the many Zambians, especially the youths, that turned out in great numbers to endorse this great son of the soil.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: He is undeniably one of the greatest politicians on the Zambian political scene.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, let me also commend His Excellency the President for extending his thanks, as I also do now, to his predecessor, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, for the smooth transition which has won accolades all over the world and positioned Zambia as a beacon of true democracy.

Sir, my gratitude also goes to the great people of Chilanga Constituency for resoundingly endorsing me as their hon. Member of Parliament. To the people of Chilanga, my message is that you made a right choice and that I will not fail you.

Mr Speaker, now that the election euphoria is long past us, it is now time to roll our sleeves and get to work. As His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, stated in his Address to the House on Page 2 of his Speech:

“The great task before us now as Members of this House is to effectively contribute to the development of our great nation.”

Mr Speaker, as an hon. Member of this House as well as a Member of the Executive, I have taken this piece of advice seriously and I urge all hon. Members to do the same.

Sir, the challenges in terms of high levels of poverty, unemployment, especially among the youths, and lack of proper infrastructure in form of schools, clinics, hospitals and roads that other hon. Members, especially from rural constituencies, have highlighted in this august House equally continue to negatively affect the people in Chilanga.

Mr Speaker, I am glad to note, however, that the PF Government has clearly identified these challenges and queued them up as priorities on its agenda.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, these challenges, especially the high levels of poverty and unemployment, are in large measure a direct result of man-made hurdles our people face in conducting business and accessing employment not only in quantitative, but qualitative forms as well.

Sir, I have used the term man-made in the context of the fact that these challenges are not a creation of natural occurring disasters, but of human failure.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) figures of 2008 indicate that only 511,000 Zambians are in formal employment and 4.1 million Zambians are in informal employment. I am advised that these were the last official figures posted by the CSO and that the scenario is much worse than this, three years after the fact.

Sir, I cannot agree more with His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata’s statement  on Page 9 of his speech that despite being endowed with a lot of natural resources, Zambia continues to face staggering poverty levels and low formal sector employment opportunities, forty-seven years after independence.

Mr Speaker, I also agree with His Excellency the President that the positive economic outlook that is being talked about, today, is meaningless as it has registered no impact, whatsoever, on the high poverty and unemployment levels the country is experiencing today.

Hon. Government Members: Quality!

Mr Mukata: Sir, the only result that this positive economic posture has had has been to enrich the rich even further, especially given the corruption and greed that has perverted our country.

Hon. Government Members: Shame!

Mr Mukata: This, in essence, has created an island of excellence for the rich in a sea of poverty for the rest of our people. This is mainly because poverty alleviation interventions have been applied in a top to bottom and not bottom to top approach.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President, on Page 13 of his speech, clearly rolled out the developmental agenda for the PF Government as being to promote pro-poor growth for the vulnerable in our society.

Sir, His Excellency the President has also noted, on Page 10 of his speech, that empowerment of the youth and women is critical in view of the massive unemployment levels.

Mr Speaker, in response to the challenges of poverty and lack of employment, the PF Government is looking at promoting the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises. This approach has been adopted by many countries as a means to creating jobs and wealth, alleviating poverty and growing their economies.

Sir, in India, for example, the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) generate 70 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) and also accounts for over 90 per cent of all industrial units in that country, whereas in Japan, for instance, they account for 86 per cent of all the industrial units. According to a baseline study conducted in 1996 on SMEs in Zambia, the sector consists of approximately 97 per cent of all enterprises in the country and employs 18 per cent of the labour force of whom 47 per cent are women.

This information is from the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Development Policy under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry published in April, 2009.

Mr Speaker, the Government has identified a number of bottlenecks that impede the maximum growth of this sector, among them the lack of financing mainly due to the high cost of borrowing, the absence of the credit culture and entrepreneurial skills among our people.

Sir, with the slashing of the statutory reserve ratio from 8 per cent to 5 per cent on both the kwacha and foreign currency by this hardworking Government through the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) in less than forty-five days of assuming office, the cost of borrowing will undoubtedly reduce. In fact, Investrust PLC, among other banks, has slashed its lending rate from 20 per cent to 16 per cent, Standard Chartered Bank has slashed its lending rate from 20 per cent to 17 per cent and other banks are following suit. It is expected also that in quid pro quo terms, all banks will follow suit and reduce their interest rates even further.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chilangwa: In ninety days!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, this reduction is expected to unbundle about K700 billion to commercial banks for onward lending to the private sector. Here, I mean, the Zambian private sector, translating into more money for investment in people’s pockets within a space of forty-five days inside the ninety days promised to our people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Mr Mukata: Sir, having listened to speeches from my colleagues in the House, especially on the untapped economic potential in their constituencies, I urge them to be part of the instruments of economic empowerment in their constituencies by visiting the Zambia Development Agency’s one-stop shop which offers platforms for fast track incorporation of companies; information on the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and the services it offers; and also as a database on agro and non-agro products, including pricing as well as lists of buyers and sellers of the said products.

The agency has also developed a website which you and your electorate can access. This information could be quite useful as you deal with the challenges affecting your constituencies, especially in the area of economic empowerment.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, I will conclude by tackling an issue which I have sat in this House and heard my colleagues from the UPND bemoan in very disparaging terms. The issue is on what those from the MMD are doing on this side of the House.

Sir, I will begin by reminding the hon. Members that we have a Constitution in Zambia which, as I recall, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, Hon. Gary Nkombo and Hon. Muntanga strongly pledged to uphold. The Constitution, which is the embodiment of the will of the people, gives the Republican President the blanket power to appoint his Executive from among hon. Members of the House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Let us have silence, please.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, who is an expatriate …


Mr Nkombo: … in order to practise, tribal cousinship when I am seated quietly listening to his debate? I seek your ruling.


Mr Speaker: My ruling is that as much as the hon. Deputy Minister is making a valid Constitution observation, it is unnecessary to draw in hon. Members from the left as he advances his argument.

Mr Mukata: I am indebted to your counsel, Mr Speaker, and I will circumvent such arguments.

Sir, if the Republican President, having a blanket power to appoint his Executive from among hon. Members of Parliament is correct, then the question that begs to be answered is: Who should be called a rebel?


Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, according to the Oxford Dictionary, the word ‘rebel’, which can be used both as a noun and as an adjective, means to refuse to continue allegiance to an established government; …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: … to take up arms against government, to resist control or to refuse to obey the government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: The Dictionary of Law, Third Edition by L. B. Curzon, borrowing from the word ‘rebellion’ defines a rebel as a person who organises resistance to the ruler or government with the intention of supplanting them or at least depriving them of authority over part of their territory.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, I will be glad to hear which part of that territory some of our colleagues are trying to supplant.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: Sir, it is very clear that the colleagues accusing others of being rebels are at the wrong end of the definition as it is them who are rebels in that they are resisting the will of the people who, in the true sense of the word, are the Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Mukata: The people, in delegating their collective power to the Republican President, have given him the discretionary power to appoint his Executive from amongst hon. Members of the House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, I am clearly not surprised by this behaviour of name calling because after collectively agreeing on a Draft Constitution at the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) and pocketing huge allowances in the process, some people came here and shot it down.

Sir, from what I have said, it is clear that it is not the hon. Members from the MMD seated here on this side of the House who are in it for the money.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: I will leave it to the Zambians to explore that argument further and see in whose favour it translates.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Tell them!

Mr Mukata: As I pondered, Mr Speaker, on the word ‘rebel’ when it was being thrown around, I took time to look around and my eyes set on someone on your left who is a look-alike of Savimbi and I thought it could be a twin …


Mr Mukata: … then, I thought to myself that, oh my God, it appears rebellion runs in the family.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!


Mr Speaker: Order, order!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, as I pondered further, I was wondering why the definition of the word ‘rebel’ was used to refer to my colleagues, my eyes, again, landed on someone I recognise as a professional with a background of teaching and I wondered why he did not advise his colleagues as to the true meaning of the word ‘rebel’. Then it clicked that actually he was not a trained teacher in English, but his expertises in primary school teaching was woodwork.


Hon. Government Members: Hammer!

Mr Mukata: The level of hypocrisy that has been exhibited has clearly come out in the last forty-eight hours where I have seen some hon. Colleagues on the left falling all over themselves with praise. In some language, which is Bemba, they say ukukunkula, where people fall prostrate on the ground clapping and howling aggressively in praise and thanks of the appointments that have befallen them, and yet they continue to blame others when they are appointed, but celebrate that they have been visited by similar appointments. What a shame, Mr Speaker!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutaka: Mr Speaker, I will rest my case by thanking the people of Chilanga, once again, for electing me as their representative for the next five years. I undertake to live up to their expectations and commit myself, as I pledged earlier, to work with loyalty for this Government under the mighty leadership of His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, for the benefit of our people.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

The Minister of Justice (Mr S. Zulu): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to make my Maiden speech in this august House. In fact, this is my second Maiden speech. I made my first Maiden speech in this very august House in December, 1973 some thirty-eight years ago, when I was hon. Member of Parliament for Minga Parliamentary Constituency in Petauke District. I was then a member of UNIP under the one party participatory democracy which was ushered in by the Choma Declaration after the merger between UNIP and the Africa National Congress (ANC).

At the outset, I wish to congratulate His Excellency President Michael Chilufya Sata on his election as President of the Republic in September, 2011. He deserved to win against all odds because the people wanted change. I also wish to congratulate you, Mr Speaker, on your election by this august House in a tight two-man contest. I remember even former President Bush in the United States of America (USA) also won in a tight election. We, the PF members, deserve to rejoice and celebrate.

I also wish to congratulate all hon. Members in this House for fighting a rigorous election campaign and winning. I even congratulate my colleagues in this House who, like me, were nominated by His Excellency the President in his own wisdom, as hon. Members of Parliament. Even at my age, which is not very young, I am very healthy and will do my best to serve the people of Zambia in every way. I will not disappointment them. I will use my professional skills and experience I have gained over the past forty-five years to the best of my ability.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr S. Zulu: In his speech, when he officially opened this august House, His Excellency the President said:

“The citizens of this great land not only deserve better lives, but are entitled to better lives”.

Mr Speaker, this can and will be achieved not only by the PF Government, but also by each one of the hon. Members of this House on both sides playing an important role. Hon. Members who live in or come from a rural area like me can make a difference to the lives of the villagers not only by using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), but also through self-help projects. We can organise the people in our villages to construct good and modern permanent houses made of materials such as bricks. We can also organise the villagers to build certain facilities on a self-help basis such as schools and clinics to augment Government efforts. That is a very important point.

Mr Speaker, between January, 1979 and 1983, when I was no longer hon. Member of Parliament, I spearheaded the construction of a model village at Kakwia village, my birth place in Chief Nyamphande’s area in Petauke. I persuaded each family to make their own bricks and organised retired village bricklayers to construct the houses and I helped them with asbestos roofing. I then sold the idea of building a clinic to village headmen and that is where you come in, hon. Members.

I then co-ordinated the construction of a clinic for the villages near and around my villages in 1979 which, in 1980, became a rural health centre when the Ministry of Health kindly posted a clinical officer and nurse who was also a midwife. The nearest hospitals from Kakwia village are Petauke District Hospital and Minga Mission Hospital which are each approximately 30 kilometres away. At that time, there was no CDF. I then sourced for funds from the European Union through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. We constructed an even better and bigger rural health centre with seven wards, including labour and maternity wards.

Mr Speaker, in the late 1980s, we built a post office at the village to serve the community all around with full postal services operated by a young man from the village specially trained who was supervised by the postmaster from Petauke Boma. In 1991, after the change of Government from UNIP to MMD, the postal services were dome away with. However, during the past five years, the village development committee has let the post office building to the National Assembly as the Msanzala Parliamentary Constituency office. With the new administration of the PF, we hope to resume the postal services for the people in the area which is about 30 km from Petauke Boma.

Mr Speaker, about three years ago, the Government, impressed with our self-help projects, decided to build a hospital which is as big as some of the district hospitals I have seen in the country with solar power, a borehole and piped hot water for the patients. The Government realised that people in the area were committed to improving their standard of life through self-help projects and were not only relying on the Government. Any hon. Member who is interested to see how to improve the lives of the people in his or her constituency is welcome to come and see Kakwia model village. I am inviting you all. You will be very impressed.

Mr Speaker, a responsible Opposition can play a very vital role in making the lives of our people better by making constructive criticism of the PF Administration. Such criticism will help us on the right side of this House to be on our toes. We shall listen as to what people want us to do through hon. Members of Parliament regardless of the party they belong to. I am very aware that nobody has the monopoly of wisdom, hence I will listen to good advice and constructive criticism, even from Hon. Muntanga, Hon. Felix Mutati and the rest of the hon. Members.

Mr Speaker, when His Excellency the President was the National Secretary of the MMD and I was the UNIP Secretary General in the late 1990s  – …


Mr S. Zulu: … listen carefully – we respected each other. We did not trade insults and whenever we were called for a public debate on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), we did so with dignity and respect for each other. Perhaps, it is because of this background that His Excellency has nominated me as hon. Member of Parliament and appointed me hon. Cabinet Minister.

Mr Muntanga: Is that all?

Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, we leaders should discuss issues particularly those in the national interest and not make personal attacks on each other.

Mr Speaker, on local Government, district councils, municipal councils and city councils are institutions which are close to the people. As His Excellency the President said in his speech:

“The PF Government appreciates the critical role local government plays as an engine for delivering services, infrastructure and development to the local communities.”

  We know that the councils have been run down and their financial capacities eroded due to many factors, including a lack of political will by the MMD Administration to revamp them. This has to change and I hope the PF Government shall redevelop the councils because those are vehicles for development to our people.

Mr Speaker, I do not appreciate, therefore, why the MMD Government passed the Local Government (Amendment) Act, 2004 by inserting Section 67A in the Local Government Act Cap. 281 of the Laws of Zambia. This provides that where any judgement or order has been obtained against a council, no execution or attachment or process of any nature shall be issued against the council or its property, but the Town Clerk or Council Secretary shall cause to be paid out the revenue of the council the judgement debt. That is an anomaly, Hon. George Kunda, SC. The council did not have sufficient revenue to pay the terminal benefits of some of its staff who have had to wait for their benefits for more than five years, and yet its assets cannot be seized by the bailiffs.

I regard that as a violation of human rights which should not be allowed under the PF Administration. The PF Government will see it to that it empowers the councils. It is an anomaly to make legislation that the properties of the councils may not be seized when you know very well that the councils are unable to pay their debts. That was very bad legislation.


Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, the creation of the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs was long overdue and is an A plus grade for the PF Administration.

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

Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing mishandled some of the disputes in chieftainship wrangles because public officers in the MMD Government were partisan and I am going to give an example of this. District secretaries and DCs under the partisan set up made some recommendations supporting the recognition of persons as chiefs by the President when, in fact, such persons are not entitled under the Chiefs Act and African Customary Law to take over the throne. Some of them do not even have family trees. In some cases, two persons have been recognised as chiefs in one area. For instance, Senior Chief Kalindawalo Mundikula and Chief Mumbi in Petauke have been recognised as chiefs over the same Ongolwe area. This has led to a dispute which has not yet been resolved.

Mr Speaker, again, in the Southern Province, Chief Sikongo and Chief Chipepo have both been recognised as chiefs over Lusitu area in Siavonga. This has also led to a dispute which has not been resolved. I hope the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs will now regularise this situation.


Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, with regard to a new Constitution, the President His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, is in the process of appointing a committee of experts. This committee will consider the Mvunga Constitution Review Report, the Mung’omba Constitution Review Report, the Mwanakatwe Constitution Review Report, as well as the Kunda 2010 Constitution Review Report. They will look at all those …


Mr S. Zulu: … and draft a Constitution. After drafting that Constitution, they will go round the provinces and districts so that our people can look at it. That is when the Draft Constitution will go for a referendum so that everybody has a say in it and eventually it will be brought to this House. That is the process and it will take a little longer than ninety days.


Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, we want a good Constitution which will stand the test of time.


Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, on corruption, this ministry has been instructed to draft a Bill to amend the Anti-Corruption Act 2010 so as to reinstate the offence of Abuse of Authority Clause which was repealed in 2010 by the MMD Administration.

Mr Muntanga: That is for you.

Mr S. Zulu: Mr Speaker, this clause is cardinal to fighting corruption. The ACC may investigate any public officer who is believed to have acquired property or wealth which is above the public officer’s emoluments. If the public officer is not able to give a reasonable explanation of how he acquired the property, he shall be guilty of an offence because he will be deemed to have stolen or fraudulently obtained it from the Government.

Mr Speaker, I hope hon. Members on both sides will support such a Bill because that is what the people of Zambia want. I am sure everyone will support it.

Mr Speaker, let me now comment on other legislation required to implement His Excellency the President’s Speech. The legal officers in the Ministry of Justice studied the speech by His Excellency the President and identified the laws which need to be drafted by the Ministry of Justice on instructions of relevant ministries. These are:

(i) domesticate the international instruments on corruption to which Zambia is a party;

(ii) draft the Education (Amendment) Bill;

(iii) draft Statutory Instruments to declare some universities under the University Act 1999, such as Chalimbana, Palabana and Lubwa as universities;

(iv) draft the Persons with Disabilities Bill to domesticate the United Nations international instruments to which Zambia is a party;

(v) draft the Social Security Scheme legislation;

(vi) draft the Food Reserve Agency Act;

(vii) draft the Agriculture Marketing Bill;

(viii) facilitate amendments to the Fisheries Act, 2011 so as to strengthen the institutional framework and streamline the management of fisheries;

(ix) review the Agricultural Lands Act;

(x) review the Lands Act to secure customary tenure;

(xi) review the Local Government Act;

(xii) review the Chiefs Act; and

(xiii) review the Water Supply and Sanitation Act.

Mr Speaker, it is hoped that such legislation will improve the lives of the people which is the wish of all hon. Members here. The President’s Speech is a very important speech and is a landmark. If what the President has said in his speech can be implemented, I am sure that the standard of living of our people will be improved. I can assure you that the Front Bench here is well selected. You can look round and see that we are all giants and we shall succeed.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister for Northern Province (Mr Sikazwe) I would like to thank the people of Mpulungu for giving me this rare opportunity to represent them and through them help give service to the nation.

Mr Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to the party leadership at constituency, district, provincial and national levels for having encouraged me to re-contest the seat after the fruitless first attempt, in October, 2010 in the by-election, which were held after the death of my late brother, Lameck Chibombamilimo.

Mr Speaker, let me mention that during this by-election, President Michael Sata campaigned with me for ten days and when the results were out, there was a minor setback. We lost to Mr Mung’omba of the MMD.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to pay tribute to all churches in Mpulungu and businessmen who braved the wrath of the MMD and still went ahead to provide support to the PF party and my candidature.

Mr Speaker, let me also take time to thank my family for rendering unwavering support and loyalty to my decision to go on this journey to serve the people of mother Zambia. I also wish to thank the following people: 
(I) Mr Ben Malata;

(II) Mr Potipher Chibwe;

(III) Mr Mwanjisi George;

(IV) Mr Mike Kakoma;

(V) Mr Fred Mwansa;

(VI) Mr Christopher Bwalya;

(VII) Mr Willa Mung’omba; and

(VIII)  Mr Mbita Chitala.

         My appreciation also goes out to many others who are too numerous to mention for rendering financial and material support to my political campaigns.

I also wish to thank my campaign managers Mr Robert Mutala and Mr Webby Sinyangwe, for their hard 
work during the campaigns. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your election. Zambia is privileged to have a man of your impeccable character and distinguished qualifications to serve this nation as National Assembly Speaker.

I also wish to congratulate the Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairperson of the Committees of the Whole House for their election to their respective positions. I wish to congratulate all of you, hon. Members for your election to this august House.

Mr Speaker, I wish to pay special tribute to the Republican President, His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, on his election as President of the Republic of Zambia. Mr Sata offers inspiration to many of us for his hard work, resilience, tenacity and patience.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: He stood in the last three general elections and remained resolute that God, through the people of Zambia, would give the PF an opportunity to serve them as its elected government.

Mr Speaker, let me also take this opportunity to congratulate His Excellency, the President Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, for appointing me to the position of Northern Province Deputy Minister. I want to assure the President that I will serve the people of Northern Province with dignity and will ensure that I meet their aspirations. I also urge my fellow hon. Members of Parliament and the people from Northern Province to use this office in order to enhance development in the area. My phones will always remain accessible and I have pledged to respond to all phone calls that I will be receiving.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: I do not want to be like some hon. Members of Parliament who do not respond to phone calls.

Mr Muntanga: What is he talking about?

Mr Sikazwe: Mr Speaker, let me now talk about Mpulungu Constituency. This constituency is situated in the far north of Northern Province on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. It is 204 kilometres from the Provincial Headquarters, Kasama. The district has international boundaries with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. Its local boundaries are shared with Mbala, Kaputa, Senga Hill, Kasama and Mporokoso. It has a projected population of 99,790. It is the home to Kasaba Bay and Kalambo Falls.

Mpulungu is divided into two physical features namely; the plateau and the valley. The main source of livelihood on the plateau is farming while the valley consists of fishermen and small-scale farmers.

Mr Speaker, the people of Northern Province, which includes Mpulungu, decided to give a vote of no confidence to the MMD Government because of the raw deal that they got during the twenty years the MMD led this country. The formula of last minute development and giving chitenges and money to the people failed because the people realised that they were being cheated and fooled.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Mpulungu has a lot of challenges left behind by the MMD which includes the bad road network, poor bridges in rural areas and grass thatched schools. It is unbelievable that forty-seven years after independence in Mpulungu, we still have schools which have grass thatched roofs and children sitting on the floor. We also have poor water supply, low voltage, lack of transport in major Government institutions such as hospitals and poor health facilities.

Mr Speaker, I want to state that this working Government has embarked on rectifying the problems by engaging suppliers of vital services such as the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation and Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company. The ZNS personnel have already started grading the roads and the  mobilisation of funds to purchase vehicles for Government institutions has already began.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: We intend to improve conditions in the clinics and hospitals by ensuring that these facilities are adequately stuffed and stocked with a wide range of essential drugs, equipment and other medical supplies. This Government has embarked on streamlining the operations in the companies that were confiscated by the Task Force on Corruption and were left in the hands of MMD party carders who have been running the companies with impunity and no accountability.

We intend to continue with the construction of schools and clinics which the previous government had started, but we have decided to first ensure that the current infrastructure is maintained and stocked with medicines and necessary manpower. This will include increasing budgetary allocations to the sector and improving the working culture of our personnel.

Mr Speaker, let me now react to the President’s Speech, which was delivered to this august House during the opening of the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. I wish to thank the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata for such an inspiring speech. The President’s Speech laid the groundwork for the delivery of development to the people of Zambia and highlighted the fight against poverty.

I am also pleased that the President has identified focal programmes in education, health, agriculture and local government. In particular, I wish to commend the President for recognising that as the largest administrative province, Northern Province brings unique challenges that needed drastic changes such as the one he has made to demarcate the province into two and create Muchinga Province.

Mr Speaker, the intention to bring together all districts east of the Chambeshi River namely Mpika, Chinsali, Isoka, Nakonde and Mafinga will remove the administrative bottleneck that has plagued the province in its current state. I urge the people of Zambia to support his decision and my office as Minister for Northern Province, will do everything possible to expedite the process and manage the transition. I wish to also commend the President for his decision to embark on the construction of totally new roads to link this country and increase access of one part of the country to the other.

We are, therefore, looking forward to support his decision in building the Samfya/Luwingu, Kawambwa/Luwingu, Mporokoso/Mununga, Mbala/Nakonde, Isoka/Chama and Kasama/Isoka roads.

Mr Speaker, the decision to link Northern Province with Luapula and Eastern provinces will increase local trade and interaction among our people and reduce the long distances covered currently. The decision to create a fully-fledged university at Lubwa Mission into a fully-fledged is welcome because it will afford our youth access to higher education facilities.

Mr Speaker, the President’s decision to enhance the decentralisation of resources and development will quicken the pace of development in the country. I also wish to commend the decision to involve chiefs and other authorities in the crop marketing and agro-input distribution exercise. This will take development to the local areas and allow participation by local people in the economic destiny of their own country.

Mr Speaker, I end my Maiden speech with happiness as I intend to remain loyal to the people of Mpulungu, who have sent me to this House, and to the PF and its Government, which is the vehicle the country needs to use to achieve its development.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I will briefly repeat the advice that the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning gave, which is for hon. Members of Parliament from Western Province to go there over the weekend and give evidence to the commission on the Mongu killings.


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1217 hours until on 1430 hours on Tuesday, 8th November, 2011.