Debates- Wednesday, 19th October, 2011

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Wednesday, 19th October, 2011

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have received communication from the National Secretary of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) to the effect that Mr Felix Mutati, Hon. Member of Parliament for Lunte Parliamentary Constituency has been nominated as Leader of the Opposition. I hereby formally recognise Hon. Mutati as Leader of the Opposition in the House.

Furthermore, I have been informed that Professor Geoffrey A. Lungwangwa, Hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda Parliamentary Constituency, has been appointed MMD Whip in the House.

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

                                               COMPOSITION OF SESSIONAL COMMITEE
                                                      SESSIONAL COMMITTEE – MEMBERSHIP

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order No. 150, I have appointed the following Members to constitute the Standing Orders Committee for the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly:

Standing Orders Committee (8)

The Hon. Mr Speaker (Chairperson);

The Hon. Dr  G. Scott, MP, the Vice-President;

The Hon. A. Chikwanda, MP, Minister of Finance and National Planning;

The Hon. Y. D. Mukanga, Minister of Transport, Works, Supply 
                                           and  Communication and Chief Whip;

The Hon. F. Mutati, MP, Leader of the Opposition;

              Mrs E. Kabanshi, MP;

Mr C. W. Kakoma, MP; and

Mrs M. Imenda, MP.

Thank you.




The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that in line with article 44(2)(e) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, this House do approve the abolition and the establishment of the Government ministries and departments established by the President as appended hereto.

Mr Speaker, before I proceed with the speech, I would like to call the hon. Members’ attention to a clerical error in part (a) of the blue appendix which is on the gray file of the Votes and Proceedings. The abolition of Government ministries and departments gives a list of thirteen ministries. There is actually one missing, which is the Ministry of Labour and Social Security which has been replaced. I do not know the source of this clerical error, but if it happens again, I shall withdraw the Motion and I shall publicise the guilty party. We must get a better standard than this.

Mr Speaker, under Article 44(2)(e) of the Constitution, the President is empowered to establish and dissolve Government ministries and departments as he sees it fit subject to the ratification of that action by this House. We have accordingly brought this Motion to ask the House to approve the changes made. The thrust of these changes announced on Thursday, 29th September, 2011, during the appointment of new Cabinet Ministers at State House is to reduce the overhead expenditure of the Government. The reduction in the number of people in Government will reduce their expenditure when they are traveling a lot of kilometres on duty. Generally, this will help the Government in moving towards the meeting of the promises which it made to the people. This country spends an enormous percentage of its domestic revenue on salaries, pecks, benefits and other expenses for senior Government officials. We have reduced the size of Cabinet from twenty-three to nineteen. The ministries that no longer exist because they have been merged are the following:

(i) Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives;

(ii) Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development;

(iii) Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources;

(iv) Ministry of Sports, Youth and Child Development;

(v) Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services;

(vi) Ministry of Lands;

(vii) Ministry of Education;

(viii) Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training;

(ix) Ministry of Local Government and Housing;

(x) Ministry of Community Development and Social Services;

(xi) Ministry of Communications and Transport;

(xii) Ministry of Works and Supply;

(xiii)  Ministry of Energy and Water Development; and as well as the missing   
                              one from the list, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, which  
                              makes us have a total of fourteen ministries.

There are some new ministries which have being created by the simple process of merging two ministries. These are the following:

(i) Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock;

(ii) Ministry of Labour, Youth and Sport;

(iii) Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism;

(iv) Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training;

(v) Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development;

(vi) Ministry of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environment Protection;

(vii) Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health;

(viii) Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, which is a new one, but very important for our nation’s integration from the top levels of Government right down to the grassroots, especially in the rural areas;

(ix) Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications;

(x) Gender and Child Development Division which comes under the Office of the President; and

(xi) Ministry of Mines and Natural Resources.

The functions of these ministries are appended to the blue document which you should already have been given. So far, my checking has revealed that there is no clerical error in that section of the document. Therefore, hon. Members are invited to scrutinise it to see if anything there is anything of interest to them which requires our attention.

I must note, in passing, one or two things. There are no illegal abolitions of offices involved in this change. The Secretary to the Treasury was appointed on the 8th of this month and has since been performing his function as the controlling officer of controlling officers. In fact, there is correspondence from him in certain offices such as the Clerk’s office. Therefore, the matter raised yesterday by my predecessor falls away.

The detailed legal responsibilities for the new ministries which are outlined in this blue document are largely administrative in nature. Therefore, nothing can stop us from transferring a particular function from one ministry to another. What is being sought is the approval for the 11 ministries to be legally created, bringing the total to nineteen. In fact, it is approval for the downsizing of the Government that we are really talking about here.

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I beg to move.

Mr Speaker: The question is that in terms of Article 42(e) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, this House do approve the abolition and establishment of the Government ministries and departments as indicated by his honour the Vice-President. However, before I allow any further debate, I would like to take this opportunity to provide guidance regarding the debate.

Hon. Members, I wish to guide the House that while debating this Motion, hon. Members may also take advantage of that opportunity to give their maiden speeches. Let me remind the hon. Members of the pertinent rules relating to maiden speeches in the House.

A maiden speech is the first speech that an hon. Member makes in the House and traditionally, the House extends certain courtesies to an hon. Member delivering a maiden speech on such occasions as follows:

(I) the Speaker may recognise that hon. Member in preference to others rising at the same time;

(II) the hon. Member is permitted to read his or her speech;

(III) the hon. Member is not to be interrupted;

(IV) the speech should be brief, factual, unprovocative and should not cast aspersions on any other hon. Member in the House. This means that in making maiden speeches, hon. Members should avoid expressions or views which would ordinarily provoke interruption and cause unnecessary points of order.

I thank you.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, it is good that His Honour the Vice-President has come to the House with a tabulation of what the composition of Cabinet will be, especially that we have been talking about the need to reduce Government expenditure. This Government has decided to reduce the ministries from twenty-three to nineteen. This is seen as one way to reduce the expenditure of the Government.  I wholly support the move that the ministries be reduced so as to effectively reduce Government expenditure.

However, I must state from the outset that there should be due care as regards the way the operations of certain ministries are merged. This is because during certain times, funding to various departments has not been as good as when they existed as separate fully fledged ministries. In particular, in the agricultural sector, I am concerned that we have now done away with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development. It is only a year ago when we created this ministry with the view that there would be proper funding for livestock and fisheries.

Mr Speaker, since this new Government has indicated that a lot of things will be done in the agricultural sector, I want to urge it to increase funding towards this sector. We will need the ministry responsible for the sector to be well funded, especially with regard to the programmes the Government has indicated it will embark on such as livestock disease control. That is a big subject on its own which will need due care from the department in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock which will be responsible for livestock disease control. I hope that the ministry will not forget about its responsibilities just because of its intention to reduce Government expenditure.

Mr Speaker, yesterday, there was a point of order that was raised regarding the position of Secretary to the Cabinet. It was not very clear …

Hon. Members: Treasury.

Mr Muntanga: …, yes, Secretary to the Treasury. Until today, it was not clear as to whether that position had been abolished because the newspapers reported that the President had abolished it. However, we have been told today that there is actually a Secretary to the Treasury who was appointed. It is such things that need clarifications. When you, Mr Speaker, gave your ruling regarding the point of order in question, we believed that there would be specific clarifications as to whether the position of the Secretary to the Treasury had been abolished or not.

Mr Speaker, we have just told today that the position has not been abolished and that there is somebody running the office who we do not know. Such clarifications must be made so that hon. Members are left with no doubts about what is going on. We should know which departments are still operational especially after the merging of ministries.

With those few remarks, I support the Motion.

Brigadier-General Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, in the first instance, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you, the hon. Deputy Speaker and the Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House for being elected to your respective offices.

Sir, I further wish to congratulate my colleagues who are here, especially those who are second and third termers. Clearly, there is a measure of confidence that our electorates place in all of us to come and represent them.

Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the honourable and gallant electorates of Mumbwa, who elected me for the second term. This, indeed, is a vote that I do not take for granted. I promise that I will represent them effectively with my colleagues here collectively. We shall support progressive policies and programmes of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) Government. In any case, by and large, it appears that, perhaps, 80 per cent of the programmes are meant for the people and are those which we painstakingly left in place.


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

Brigadier-General Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I wish to register the view that when the President comes to this House, he obviously speaks to us and, through us, communicates to the nation his vision for the following one year. Here, again, with due respect, I salute the President, His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, for being very forthright in terms of education, infrastructure, health, and, with minor modification, agriculture. By and large, those are the issues that we had planned to adequately attend to in the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP).

Sir, whereas we had put in place measures towards the expansion of the education sector, the surprise was for His Excellency the President to choose institutions that were far from being ready to be universities. Perhaps, the hon. Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training, if that is the new terminology, will clarify the issue.

Mr Speaker, for instance, for many years, we implored the management and the Board of Evelyn Hone College to move towards the status of a university. Why then did His Excellency choose Chalimbana and Palabana? He left the already 90 per cent cooked nshima and decided to, instead get maize, pound it to make mealie-meal and then go and fetch water to cook it.

Sir, the issues involved in upgrading colleges to the university level are the ones we want to be attended to. Our young people need tertiary education. Why then should we deny them by wanting to start all over again when we have already-made institutions? I demand an explanation from the hon. Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training on why we should deny people the much-needed tertiary education any longer.

Mr Speaker, I listened carefully to the issues regarding local government. We have in place the Decentralisation Policy and the Decentralisation Implementation Plan. In these, it is clearly articulated that our thrust was on the development of area development committees (ADCs) with the involvement of the traditional leaders, which, in fact, we had started. I hope these plans to involve ADCs and capacitate them in planning …

Mr Speaker: Order! I wish to remind the House that the Motion that is being discussed now is the abolition and establishment of the ministries. May you focus on that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Brigadier-General Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. I thought I had to incorporate my Maiden Speech in my debate.

Sir, while it is plausible and understandable that there is the reduction of ministries, I hope this will not be cosmetic. We hope that the funding that will have been saved on human resource will now be directed towards programmes.

Mr Speaker, a mere reduction of ministries will not achieve the intended purpose if we do not focus on the activities that are planned for in various programmes. Having been there before, I agree with the previous speaker. I am also concerned with the departmental activities in agriculture because it contributes tremendously to the gross domestic product (GDP) in terms of employment creation, especially if we embark on value addition. To now go back to the amalgamation of these ministries, there are various agreements that we have acceded to. When the Budget is represented, I would like to see that gained funds from the reduction of ministries will be translated into increased funding to these ministries.

Mr Speaker, the issue of staffing is very important in these ministries. In the past, we saw that rightsizing should be the word and not downsizing. By this I mean identifying qualified staff that will take on these various increased responsibilities. If this is not done, clearly, we shall see that there will be programmes and activities which will not be fulfilled during the financial year.

Sir, despite welcoming the reduction in the number of ministries, I have a few concerns regarding the creation of certain ministries such as the Ministry of Local Government, Housing, Early Childhood and Environmental Protection. It is not too long ago when we had early childhood development and education taken from the local government sector to the Ministry of Education. Now it is being taken away from the Ministry of Education and back to local government. Sometimes, this confuses young people as they learn about ministries in civic education because they cannot master the ministries as they change so often. I hope educating our young ones on the relevance of these changes is something that will be taken into consideration.

Sir, with these few words, I wish to thank you.

Mr Kunda, SC. (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I would like to deliver my Maiden Speech and then briefly address the Motion on the Floor. With your permission, I will deliver a very mild Maiden Speech.

Mr Speaker, let me begin by congratulating you on your well deserved election to that position of authority in this august House.

Hon. Government Members: You did not vote for him.

Mr Kunda, SC.: I also wish to take this opportunity to congratulate our President, His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: … and the PF Party for its equally deserved victory.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Indeed, the elections were competitive and the people of Zambia spoke very loudly during these elections. They wanted change and we now have a new President.

Sir, the people of Muchinga Constituency have, again, re-elected me. This is the third Maiden Speech I am delivering to this House. The only difference is that I am delivering it from the Opposition side, your left side. I can confess that I am already enjoying myself operating from this side of the House.


Mr Kunda, SC.: Sir, there is a lot of joy operating from here. We are so relaxed without undertaking any responsibilities. We are just firing questions. I must thank the people of Muchinga Constituency most profusely for the confidence shown in me. I shall continue to serve them to the best of my ability.

Mr Speaker, the people of Muchinga Constituency are very expectant, like many other Zambians. The Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) Government was committed to addressing the problems of poverty, school infrastructure, health centres, hospitals, roads and rural electrification throughout the country. A number of projects were on-going throughout the country and Muchinga Constituency was no exception. What we intended to do, in the next five years, is well-articulated in the SNDP. As regards poverty reduction and empowerment of citizens, a number of programmes such as the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) were on-going. In fact, for three consecutive seasons, we had achieved bumper harvests. This is a fact. We had stopped importing maize from outside Zambia. Instead, we were exporting it to needy countries. I appeal to my Government and President to continue with these programmes and projects for the people of Muchinga Constituency.

Mr Speaker, during the campaign, we exchanged bitter and, sometimes, unpleasant words on both sides. At that time, we were all candidates competing for votes. The elections are behind us and, at the end of the day, we are all Zambians. Let us not hold what went on during the elections against each other and use that as a basis for retribution, vengeance and witch-hunting.

Mr Speaker, our colleagues on the right won the elections and we gracefully conceded defeat. However, what is worrying is that in spite of conceding defeat and transferring power peacefully, there is still tension between us.


Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, there is a need for reconciliation in the nation. Our colleagues should realise that they are no longer in the Opposition. Some of them are behaving as if they are still there.


Mr Kunda, SC.: There is a need for behavioural change. The Government should embrace everyone. With regard to our President, most of us know him as an Opposition candidate. We would like to see a different Mr Sata, the President for all Zambians, father of the nation and a President who is capable of uniting the nation above tribe and ethnic differences.

Mr Speaker, let us now turn to the Motion to approve the new ministries and the abolition of some of them. The mover of the Motion, His Honour the Vice-President, has explained the rationale for the Motion in terms of Article 44 (2) (e) of the Constitution of Zambia, Cap. 1. Indeed, the approval of the National Assembly is required if the President is to create, establish or abolish Government ministries and departments.

Sir, according to the practices and procedures of this august House, the approval of this august House must be sought before any announcements or appointments of hon. Ministers, hon. Deputy Ministers and permanent secretaries are made. The Motion to combine, create, establish and abolish some ministries has come too late in the day. It is an afterthought. The intended ministries have already been created, established and, in some cases, abolished. The hon. Ministers, hon. Deputy Ministers and permanent secretaries are already appointed and sworn in.

Sir, it is my view that, until approval is given, such ministries are illegal or void.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Sir, I must emphasise the need to observe the provisions of the Constitution. Violation of constitutional provisions has dire consequences. Suppose we refuse to approve these ministries?


Mr Kunda, SC.: Listen.

Sir, of course, on this occasion, we can only advise the hon. Minister of Justice and his staff, as well as the Attorney-General’s Chambers, to give proper advice on constitutional matters. This is friendly advice. Of course, I understand the rush to deliver development and change things within ninety days.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: However, the rule of law should guide us in the way we conduct Government business.

On the ministries created, I am not sure whether some of these gigantic ministries will perform. Take the combination of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and the Ministry of Works and Supply where one hon. Minister and an hon. Deputy Minister may not cope with the work. There are two monsters put together in the name of saving costs. This is a sure way of introducing inefficiency. The same argument can be advanced for the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development and the Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training. Some of these ministries should have been broken into two or three. Perhaps, chiefs and traditional leaders need their own ministry because of the delicate nature of their affairs. Many of the ministries can do with two deputy ministers and permanent secretaries while some should be stand-alone ministries. After all, there are too many Back Benchers in the PF Party.


Mr Kunda, SC.: For emphasis, I repeat that there are too many Back Benchers in the PF Party.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, for example, the Ministry of Finance and National Development requires, at least, two hon. Deputy Ministers. You will prove it, Ms Kansembe. You need more than one Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and National Development because the decisions you will be making, most of them because of financial implications, will require representation of the Ministry of Finance at a fairly senior level. That is why, in our Government, we had two deputy ministers and permanent secretaries because there are so many meetings and international conferences. We need to handle issues of money properly.

Hon. MMD Member: Listen to the advice from twenty years’ experience!


Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, in the MMD Government, there was security of tenure. For example, I served for ten years as hon. Minister and three years as Vice-President. In the case of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, the President is at liberty to dissolve Cabinet three times in a year.


Mr Kunda, SC.: I have seen this happen.

Hon. Government Member: Question!

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: There are times when he has appointed people and disappointed them within a week.


Mr Kunda, SC.: This is timely advice.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kunda, SC.: Sir, I will end here.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to debate on this important Motion.

From the outset, I would like to support the Motion moved by His Honour the Vice-President in relation to the creation and abolition of new ministries and departments.

Sir, I wish to advise the PF Government that, currently, this country is experiencing a lot of boundary disputes among chiefs. Now that a new ministry has been created, I would like to urge this ministry to ensure that the boundary disputes are sorted out as quickly as possible.

Furthermore, Mr Speaker, the amalgamation of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services with the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources is a welcome move. Besides, this ministry existed some time back. However, I would like to add that the statutory functions such as the traditional ceremonies that have been put under the new Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs should have been placed under the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism. This is because we have an influx of tourists when we have traditional ceremonies. As such, the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism would be the most appropriate ministry to handle the issue of traditional ceremonies. Traditional ceremonies are already known by the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, hence there is no need for them to be put under this ministry. Instead, we should use them to generate income for the Treasury. Therefore, this function must be placed under the Ministry of Information Broadcasting and Tourism.

Sir, I would like to reiterate the advice given by the hon. Member of Parliament for Muchinga. There is a need to ensure that certain ministries are run by two permanent secretaries because of the nature of the functions that are involved. The Government will find this out in due course. We, on this side of the House, are talking from experience.

Mr Speaker, I would like to further request this Government not to abolish some positions such as those of directors.  Since it has just downsized the Executive, the directors and employees who are the experts in the respective ministries must be left to continue. This is very important. If this Government makes the mistake of amalgamating some of the functions, it is going to experience problems. Some of the positions are very technical and need experts to man the departments. It is for this reason that there should be care in the manner in which the people that are going to help in running these ministries are treated. Otherwise, the issue of downsizing the Cabinet is supported, but there must be caution to ensure that everything moves as quickly as possible.

Further, certain departments should be decentralised so as to make them effective.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I will be very brief because the Motion on the Floor is straightforward and non controversial. In fact, it is in line with the manifesto for the United Party for National Development (UPND) of downsizing the Cabinet.

However, what I want to emphasise is what has already been said by the hon. Member of Parliament for Muchinga. I have gone through the statutory functions and I should say that they are straightforward. However, in reality, there is a lot of stepping on each other’s toes. Certain functions that are supposed to be performed by some ministries are carried out by nearly all the ministries. From today onwards, boundaries must be observed if we are to stamp out corruption.

Sir, I have in mind the former Ministry of Works and Supply which has been merged with the Ministry of Communications and Transport. As the hon. Member of Parliament for Muchinga has said, there is a lot of work to be done there. I do not admire the people in the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication because there is a lot of work to be done in that ministry. I agree with hon. Member of Parliament for Muchinga that the ministries of Works and Supply and Communications and Transport should not have been merged.

What is worrying me with regard to this issue is infrastructure development which is a priority according to the President’s Speech given last Friday. The functions relating to construction, which are supposed to be performed by the former Ministry of Works and Supply, have been taken up by almost every ministry. This has resulted in a lot of shoddy work and corruption in the awarding of contracts.

   To shed more light on this, I will give an example of the forty-two contractors that were blacklisted. So far, twenty-nine have been cleared, leaving thirteen. I got this data from the Times of Zambia of 2009 in the first quarter of the year. Twenty-nine contractors were cleared but, to date, the thirteen have not yet been cleared. The reason for blacklisting the forty-two was that they were involved in corrupt activities. I carried out a research and consulted the people involved, especially at the ministry and I was shocked to find that out of the forty-two contractors that were blacklisted, only three passed through the Ministry of Works and Supply, the remaining thirty-nine were from other ministries. I was also told that a lot of illegal payments were effected by non technical ministries. My appeal is that the PF Government should look into this problem.

The boundaries are there, and statutory functions are stated here. There should be no encroachment at all. I know what goes on in the construction industry. One can get rich quickly while the workmanship is poor and everyone in this country is complaining about it. When you examine this, you will find that the experts in the Ministry of Works and Supply were not involved from the beginning. They are only involved when there is a problem. So, my appeal is that we should enforce the boundaries with regard to functions. What belongs to Caesar should be given to Caesar. What is handled by the Ministry of Health should remain there. Why should matters of the Ministry of Works and Supply be handled by the Ministry of Health?

Mr Speaker, I would like to state that the two ministries which have been merged are technical ones. My prayer is that we will give chance to technical people to handle that ministry and there should be no political interference. If we will have people declared redundant, I am appealing to the Government to pay them quickly, preferably within a month or two.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalaba (Bahati): Mr Speaker, first of all, I want to say that I am very grateful to God for giving me this unique and prestigious opportunity to be in this august House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, may I begin by congratulating His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, on his election to the very high office of President of the Republic of Zambia. I wish to acknowledge that his tenacity and resilience of wanting to serve the Zambian people in this high office in order to improve their well-being has finally paid off. Indeed, it is the tenacity and hope that made a black man ascend to the most powerful and influential position in the United States of America (USA). Like Mother Theresa of Calcutta, India, President Sata has embraced the struggle of the poor and marginalised in our country as his own.

The spirit that made the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC), the Umkhonto Wesizwe, in 1962, to achieve liberation for the people of South Africa is the same spirit that has enabled President Michael Chilufya Sata navigate his way up to the top. I wish His Excellency well as he continues to steer this country to greater prosperity. 

Mr Speaker, may I also congratulate you on your election to the position of Speaker, even though others wanted to thwart your ascendancy to that position.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: I am confident that this august House will reach its full potential with you in that seat. I also congratulate the Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House from whose wide experience we all hope to benefit. Allow me to also thank all the organs of the party for adopting me to stand on the great PF ticket.

I would also like to thank the people of Bahati who, in electing this Government, have chosen hope over fear. The people of Bahati saw the need for change as early as 2006 when they refused to vote for another party, but the PF. The people of that great constituency refused to be hoodwinked by the gifts from our rivals and strictly followed the principles of “Don’t kubeba”. Indeed, they ate, drank, wore party regalia, and even rode bicycles in some instances, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: … but when the day came, they delivered justice.

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

Mr Kalaba: To my colleagues in the former Ruling Party, I say this is not about the vanquished and the vanquisher, this is not about the loser and the winner and this is not about the conquered and the conqueror, but about respecting the will of our people and listening to the masters who put us in this House. Therefore, I can only say that your party tried but, unfortunately, did not meet the minimum expectations of our people.

Mr Speaker, I will be failing in my duties if I do not acknowledge and recognise the role of my family in my ascendance to the position of hon. Member of Parliament, especially my mother, Julian Mumba. I also pay tribute to my father who was once hon. Member of Parliament for the same constituency. I thank my wife, Irene, and my two sons, Chetekela and Mutende, for always standing by my side in times of difficulties. It was, indeed, a collective and shared fight. In Bemba we say, “Utambile eulwile” meaning that he who has watched the fight has also participated in its struggles. I also thank all my competitors during the adoption process and my predecessor, Mr Chimbaka, who, in his own way, tried to develop Bahati Constituency. I acknowledge his strengths even though he refuses to acknowledge mine.


Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, hon. Members have come to this House and have gone and each season of hon. Parliamentarians is different. My election during the 20th September, 2011 Tripartite Elections by the people of Bahati Constituency to be their representative in this House is as a  result of several years of critical thinking, careful study and practical planning. Thanks, in part, to the habits of present day politics.

It is clear that the nation is largely polarised along political lines. Yet, amidst that political polarisation, the conditions of everyday life, even in urban areas where the majority of us live, are deteriorating dramatically. The numbers of people that cannot afford decent meals as well as unemployment levels are ever on the increase. Epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria proliferate with no victory in sight. Crime and violence are not scaling down. Our nation has, for a long time, been consumed in alcoholism amongst young people who have lost hope for the future. Drugs are an everyday calamity and thousands of Zambians are becoming casualties of these deadly habits which, themselves, are linked to rising poverty.

Mr Speaker, many of our people continue to drink dirty and contaminated water and water-borne diseases have become part of our everyday lives, especially during the rainy season. Not only are they part of our lives, but they are also taking our lives in the hundreds of deaths that are recorded every year. Cholera in this country is a perennial problem. Year in and year out, cholera claims lives. Many of our children are dying because they cannot receive the much-needed medical attention when they need it. Others are dying from the inadequate provision of nutritious food because families cannot afford even one nutritious meal a day. Our dear loving mothers are dying in maternity wards or en-route to accessing maternal health services. Why should this be the case forty-seven years after independence? This can only be attributed to the existing poor healthcare services which the MMD Government left behind.

Mr Speaker, while the social and economic conditions of most of our people are decaying everyday, the nation is only compensated by a bombardment of politics each and every day, even where it is clear this will bring in other things just to distract the  Zambian people. This has to come to an end. I am of the view that there must be a departure from old habits of politics. There must be a new way and this is the way that the PF Government, under the able leadership of His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, will be bold enough to take.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I acknowledge that the beginning will be challenging because of the damage that has occurred in the many areas of our economy, but we are resolved to navigate that rough road in the interest of the nation so that we use the resources of this rich nation to focussing on the wellbeing and best interest of the people of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, Bahati Constituency that I represent has an electorate of 33,000 which is predominantly rural with only a small urban percentage. The majority of the people are, therefore, rural peasants who grapple with a lot of social and economic hardships that have existed in their families and communities for a long time. These problems that I am later going to mention would have been history in the lives of the people, especially the people of Bahati Constituency, if the Government had taken due responsibility to ensure that an investment plan suited to the needs and skills of Bahati Constituency was implemented.

Due to a lack of dedication to resolving the problems of the people by the previous Government, the people of Bahati Constituency, like those in many constituencies in this country, have not been spared the negative impact of social and economic underdevelopment. All this is sadly happening in a country that is so richly and abundantly endowed with natural resources that we boast of everyday. Some scholars have even found a new terminology for countries such as ours. They call them resource-rich economically-poor countries. What an irony. Maybe, we should agree with them, but this should not be the case. I will now talk about the key developmental areas in my constituency.


Mr Speaker, agriculture is the mainstay of the people of Bahati Constituency and we all know that this lifeline activity is seasonal. Despite this activity being seasonal, it disturbs me, as a son of the soil, to note that for a long time now, every year, our people have failed to access sufficient fertiliser and it is not delivered in time. This situation has helped to perpetrate poverty among the people despite the fertile soils of our land.

It bothers me to see how that peasant farmer in Chofoshi has failed to sustain his family of six, that is, to feed them, send them to school and provide for their other daily necessities all because the MMD Government neglected and only paid lip service to the entire agriculture management system. The PF Government, as indicated through His Excellency the President’s Speech to this House, is committed and resolved to addressing the imbalances in the agriculture sector through a complete overhaul of systems which have failed to pay dividends.


Mr Speaker, it is well said that a healthy people will always produce a healthy nation and this is what we need. This is what the people of Bahati Constituency have yearned for, for a long time. However, this situation is far from being a reality for the people of Bahati. Many of the healthcare facilities are either non-existent or, if available, are situated in far-flung places such that people have to walk incredible distances to access health service.

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, not so long ago, you gave guidance to the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa to stick to the Motion on the Floor. Therefore, is the hon. Member debating in order to continue delivering his maiden speech without saying a word or two on the Motion on the Floor? I need your ruling, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Maybe, we should allow the previous speaker to continue with caveats, but there will be a need to address the Motion.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I have an example of one area called Matelo in Mansa where people have to walk 25 km to the nearest health centre in Bukanda. I think this is very sad for a nation that is celebrating forty-seven years of Independence.

Sir, there is a saying that ‘Your health is your wealth’. Therefore, the deplorable health situation in this country is totally unacceptable and, as an hon. Member of the party in power as well as a representative of the people of Bahati Constituency, I will ensure that health care services are a priority so as to serve the people in Bahati and Zambia as a whole.


Mr Speaker, it is sad to mention that Bahati Constituency has only one Government high school and that is Mansa High School. We all know that education and skills development are the keys to reducing poverty, providing employment and enabling our youths to have a productive life. I know that the hon. Minister of Education, Hon. Phiri, who is very able and adequate, is listening. The people have done their part by electing an action-oriented Government and I hope that their desires will be attended to. I can safely say that the previous Government had misplaced priorities as regards the people’s plight, but this situation must change with this Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, there is a school in my constituency called Chilila which has no teachers’ houses. We need to ensure that there are enough schools and houses for teachers so that children have adequate access to quality education by expanding and improving infrastructure. We need to increase the number of teachers in schools. We also need to increase access to skills training. Our curricula in schools are too tailored for white collar jobs. We need to include vocational training so that our children graduate with life skills from our schools, as was emphasised by the President in his inaugural speech to this House. The welfare of teachers needs to be improved. Some retired teachers have not vacated the Government houses simply because the previous Government failed to pay them only a K5 million repatriation package so that accommodation is created for new teachers.

It is sad to note that, in some schools in Bahati Constituency, classrooms and storerooms have been turned into houses. There are some teachers such as those at Mano Basic School who share accommodation with goats, while others share one room with their older sons and daughters, a situation that is unacceptable.

Mr Lubinda: Dora.

Mr Kalaba: Road infrastructure

Mr Speaker, the road network in Bahati Constituency leaves much to be desired. The rains have started and people are now worried about being cut off from civilisation due to impassable roads. Vehicle owners have to think twice to go to some areas because the roads are a nightmare.

How do we expect our farmers to confidently produce crops and take them to the markets? This is one of the most critical areas that needed to be attended to a long time ago. However, I believe that we now have a capable Government that is going to work for the people to alleviate some of these bottlenecks hindering development. I would urge the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, Hon. Yamfwa Mukanga, who is equal and able to the task, to further strengthen the Road Development Agency (RDA) so that it is more responsive to the needs of the people.

Mr Speaker, while on the subject of infrastructure, allow me to talk about access to electricity in this country, which stands at as less than 30 per cent for the entire population. On this matter, the rural population is the most affected.

For a country with so much water and hence a huge potential for hydro power, I find this hard to understand. Countries with less generation potential have higher access to electricity for their citizens than us. This area has to be looked into and I yearn to see a day when more than 75 per cent of our population will have access to electricity.

Mr Speaker, with the vast hydro power potential Zambia has, this is not a mirage. As we are all aware, electricity is a key ingredient and driver of economic activities such as agriculture, mining, tourism, and manufacturing. Therefore, if much more of the rural population, the sleeping giant of our economy, can be connected to the national grid, they would be able to produce more at competitive prices and compete at a regional and global scale. In short, increased access to electricity will have a lot of spin-off effects, including increased business opportunities.

Mr Speaker, I have heard that there has been much cry from colleagues on your left that they would like me to talk about the Motion and I am cognisant of that fact. I will now comment on the Motion on the Floor since I have four minutes more.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I would like to, first of all, congratulate this very able Government on having thought of reducing the number of Government ministries. All over the world, responsible Governments are looking at how to reduce expenditure. They are looking at ways of how the ordinary people in the villages, in Muchinga, can find a way of accessing the Government. If all the resources that the Central Government has are going on us, hon. Ministers and hon. Deputy Ministers, what is left for the ordinary Zambian?

Hon. Government Members: Yes.

Mr Kalabo: That is an irony.

Somebody said that there are so many PF Back benchers seated in this House. Firstly, when I stood as hon. Member of Parliament for Bahati, I stood on an Opposition PF ticket. If I had wanted to be made hon. Minister easily, as some are trying to insinuate in this House, I would have stood on the MMD ticket.

Hon. Government Member: One time.

Mr Kalaba: However, because we understand the struggles and challenges of the ordinary Zambian, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: … we, therefore, appreciate the sacrifice.


Mr Kalaba: Yes, it might not be fashionable to be a Back bencher when one is an hon. Member from a Ruling Party, but everything has stages. In any case, we, in the PF, are very comfortable being here.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: We are smiling and very happy because we are working with a Government that is very equal to the task.

Hon. Government Member: Bwekeshapo!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I would like to also support this Motion by welcoming ...

Mr Muntanga: Why borrow from the MMD.


Mr Kalaba: … the reduction of Cabinet and Government ministries – speaking as a former civil servant, a technocrat at Cabinet Office, I know very well that the people who do the work are not even the hon. Ministers or Deputy Ministers.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers are policy makers. There are technocrats in line ministries whose jobs have remained as they are.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Therefore, the issue of saying that it is going to affect the way the Government operates is non-existent, Mr George Kunda, SC.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I would only say and I understand how difficult it is if, at one time, you were sitting where my elder brother, Hon. G. B. Mwamba, is seated but, today, you are on the other side. It is not pleasant.


Mr Kalaba: I understand and hear you, but just keep the faith.

I support the Motion and I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muteteka (Chisamba): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor that some Government ministries and departments be abolished. Having listened to the previous speakers, especially the learned Counsel, who articulated issues very well and the hon. Member of Parliament for Mpongwe and others, I felt I should also contribute.

Mr Speaker, yes, they have abolished some ministries in a hurry. I want to advise that the first thing the PF should have done was to get into the ministries as they were …

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Yes.

Mr Muteteka: … and, thereafter, consult the technocrats in those ministries to give them advice so that they can really understand before they take a step.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Mr Muteteka: However, the Government was in a hurry to reduce the number of Government ministries. Yes, it is saying it wants to save money, but does it know how much money it is going to lose in the process? The salary of the hon. Minister compared to the reshuffles you have made in those ministries of combining the civil servants  from different ministries is huge.

Hon. Government Member: Aah!

Mr Muteteka: Unless, you do not understand what is going on in your ministry.


Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, this must have been explained. I am one of those who have worked in the Government in a very busy office. I am just telling the Government that what I am explaining is what I have known and learnt. If you combine the Ministry of Local Government with Early Education and others, really, what has gone wrong? What mischief is it curing in that ministry for it to combine the two? The Government is saying it wants to save money, but is it sure money will be saved? Does it have a report on that? It is very critical that it be told that it may be thinking it is pleasing the people out there by talking about cost saving and combining the two ministries, but does it know what is going on underground in the ministries? Therefore, first of all, it must understand what mischief it would like to cure before it can pronounce that this is a step that has to be taken.

Mr Speaker, it is also important to advise that we now have a President who requires timely advice from all the citizens of this country. I am one of those who can make him understand certain issues.


Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, I am just honestly telling you the truth.


Hon. Government Members: Talk through the Chair!

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, let me tell you this, you may take it as a joke.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, please, address the Chair.

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, you may take it as a joke. Let me remind you that in 2002, we had a President who went to State House with me. We called him a cabbage, but he died as steak. You may be shocked that your President might end up as a cabbage ...

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: Question!


Mr Muteteka: … if you do not want to listen …

Mr E. Lungu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr E. Lungu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member in order to refer to the Head of State as ‘your President’? Is he declining and saying that the President is not his President and yet he took an oath alleging that he will support the President? Is he in order to say ‘your President’, Sir?


Mr Speaker: Order! I would like to urge hon. Members to, as much as possible, debate the Motion on the Floor. As I indicated earlier, please, avoid making aspersions on characters.

May the hon. Member continue.

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, thank you and I appreciate your timely guidance. I was not making a reference to the current President of this country who is a President of all of us. I was making of reference to what happened in 2002 that when President Mwanawasa, SC. went into State House, some of the people were calling him a cabbage. That is very correct and it is on record, but at the time he was dying he was the most popular President of this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Muteteka: That is very true and he died as a steak because he changed form.


Mr Muteteka: Sir, what I am saying is that the opposite can as well happen if we do not handle our President carefully.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Muteteka: For me, I am concerned that he took steps to abolish these ministries. Where were we when he did this and when he appointed an hon. Minister in the morning and dropped him in the afternoon? Where were we? Where were they? So, what role are they playing in that office?

Mr Muteteka: You are embarrassing our President.

Hon. MMD Members: GBM!

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, I thought I should contribute because, if we do not advise our President properly, it is Zambia which is going to be embarrassed in the end. It is important that we become brave and tell the President the important things regarding national governance because this will help me, my children and all of you. After all, if he succeeds, it is our pride. If I happen to be in Europe and say that I am from Zambia, and they say that we have a good President in Zambia, it will make me proud.

Hon. MMD Members: When he fails?

Mr Muteteka: When he fails, I will be ashamed to say that I am from Zambia.


Mr Muteteka: Therefore, this is what I am trying to say in adding to the lessons that the former Vice-President has taught us in this House, which are very pertinent and must be reflected on. It is not too late for us to start afresh and take the ministries back to the way they were and consult the stakeholders to see if our decisions make sense or some or not. It is timely advice to all of you that that you must avoid thinking that you have all the wisdom in governance. The wisdom is among all of us. Therefore, consult and, please, listen when we advise you because we understand these issues.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to add my voice to this very important Motion on the Floor of the House: Approval of the Government Ministries and Departments.

Mr Speaker, the justification for the abolition of Government ministries and merging of some ministries as a cost-saving measure should have been given a little more thought. His Honour, the Vice-President, who has brought this very important Motion to this House should have done a little more work so that we are best informed on the rationale and justification for this change.

Mr Speaker, there are experts at Cabinet Officer where His Honour, the Vice-President, operates from and he could have requested available expertise to do some quantitative analysis in order to give us an in-depth idea of how much it was costing the Treasury to run the ministries the way they were and how much saving will be done by merging or even abolishing certain ministries. This would have best informed this House. To come on the Floor of this House and give us general statements that this has been done by the Government in order to save costs is not helping this nation. A little more research should go into our policy development process. Other countries, for example, have ministries that transcend government or political actors. If you go to the USA, you will find the title of ministries cast in stone, such as Secretary of Education, and whichever government comes, the title remains for centuries. I think time has come for us, as a nation, to seriously reflect on this process so that what is established is not only responding to political campaigns that may have taken place, but to the long-term development of the nation. A little bit more research could have helped matters.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: When we look at what has been proposed here, there are certain critical issues that should be addressed because cost saving alone might not be sufficient justification. There are issues of efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of development in the various ministries. For example, how will the broader Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training and other portfolios function in the whole quest of delivering quality education to our children at all levels given the challenges of the broader portfolio that the new hon. Minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training will be responsible for? What will happen to his performance, efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of services in the education sector? What more the broader Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication where the new hon. Minister will have to attend to many challenging responsibilities? What will the efficiency, effectiveness and performance in the delivery of services be like?

Mr Speaker, we expect that His Honour, the Vice-President, will, at some point in future, give us an indication of how effective and efficient these ministries will be fairing in delivering services to our people. I think that is very important and His Honour, the Vice-President, should bear that in mind. I am sure that he knows, being a man with a PhD, the importance of research in the policy formulation process.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: That said, Mr Speaker, I wish to just make a few comments on what has been proposed for the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication. I think there has been an omission. That ministry, like it has been before, is responsible for the Railway System of Zambia (RSZ), but I do not seem to see it here. The RSZ is answerable to this ministry.

In addition to that, there is a company that cuts across the three countries - Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, which was started by Cecil Rhodes, which is responsible for the land that has been allocated to the three countries arising from the words of Cecil John Rhodes. This particular ministry is responsible for that company in the region. I hope that a little more research will be done by His Honour, the Vice-President’s Office, to make those corrections and changes so that we do not lose out as a nation in terms of the benefits which are accruing as those minerals are being developed across the three countries.

Mr Speaker, the participation of the private sector, especially in education, has been growing over the years. We have a number of private universities, which are now around ten to twelve, colleges, high schools and basic schools. As it is now, the responsibility of the new ministry to look after education and training, I do not seem to see how it will relate itself to the growing private sector in education in our country. I think those are very important issues that ought to be looked into.

Mr Speaker, I hope that His Honour, the Vice-President, will take this advice seriously and do a little more work on very important and serious matters like the proposal before the House, which is very important in the development of our nation.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central):  Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor.

Sir, I want to say, from the outset, that we support the idea of trimming the ministries for various reasons, including that of cost-saving. We are also alive to the importance of efficiency in running any country and so, for now, please permit me to simply indicate that I do support the motion. We, from this end, will allow the PF to settle down with these changes that they have made and, hopefully, they will be beneficial to the people of Zambia.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: That is what we all aspired to achieve if we were voted into office.

Mr Speaker, without much ado, I want to delve into my Maiden Speech, hoping I have dealt adequately with the Motion on the Floor.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I want to begin by congratulating the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, for ascending to the highest position in the land after a fiercely-contested election on 20th September, 2011. I say to His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, aka King Cobra: ...


Mr Nkombo:  ... congratulations, Sir. I wish you good health. I would also like to congratulate you on assuming a position that I believe you are going to manage in the most non-partisan manner in which we have all known you to operate. I equally want to congratulate your deputies on coming through unopposed in the election of the presiding officers of this House as well as our colleagues who used to sit this side, but have now gone to the other side as members of the Executive. I wish them well in with the certainty that the ideas that we shared while they were on this end will be implemented by them as they work to meet the interests and aspirations of the people that have favoured them with the offices they hold. Finally, I wish my colleagues on this side, including MMD Members, well. Congratulations on coming back. Many from both sides have not managed to come back. I do not imagine that it was because you are clever that you managed to return to this House. For those of us who have been here before, we know that it all depended on how you conducted yourself in representing the aspirations of the people of this great land during your tenure of office.

For hon. Members who have come to this House for the first time, this is a very interesting place to be. We will be together for five years. You will learn, sooner rather than later, that we are actually colleagues, not adversaries. It happens out there in the field. You may meet with us soon in Magoye, Chongwe and Nakonde and in several by-elections at the local government level. We will, again, be persuading our people to see reason they should favour us with the opportunity to run their affairs.

Mr Speaker, I would now like to evaluate the President’s Speech delivered at the Official Opening of the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. There are several things that were stated ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

The occasion will come when we resume that particular debate.

You may continue, please.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, with great gratitude, I thank you most sincerely for making me aware that an occasion will come again for me to deal with the issue of the President’s Speech.

I thank you, Sir.

The Vice-President (Dr Guy Scott): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I want to thank all hon. Members who have contributed to this debate, particularly, the greater majority of those on that side of the House. I think many of their criticisms were appropriate and constructive.

Mr Speaker, there are only two things I want to address. One is the fear expressed by Hon. Muntanga and Hon. Chituwo that, if we merged the two ministries, one dealing with life forms with roots and the other one dealing with life forms with feet, we would somehow deprive them of their source of income. I do not think money to ministries is distributed according to the number of words in the name of a particular ministry. We are very alive to the need both for disease control and how much noise we made about it when we were on the other side. We have not forgotten. There is also the need to carry on with programmes to support small and medium scale farmers. We have already started dealing with the over-arching funding framework and you will be happy to know that the percentage we are going to spend on agriculture is going up.

The other thing is ...

Mr Muntanga: Government assurance.

Dr Scott: Yes, Government assurance. You can write it down with your laser.


Dr Scott: On the point made by the hon. Member for Muchinga Constituency, Mr Kunda, that we must come here and amend the constitution before we make any changes to the Executive structure, of course, I consulted my legal advisors on this matter. I will be grateful if the former Vice-President could remind me whether the MMD Government came to this House to get clearance before it changed the structure of the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operative splitting it into two.

Mr Mwamba: No.

Dr Scott: If I remember correctly, it was, or seemed to be, an afterthought at a press conference at State House. There is, of course, a practical issue. If you Parliament is sitting, as was the case when these two ministries were split, it is possible to bring the matter before Parliament. If Parliament is not in session, it is difficult to do so. Either you assemble that Parliament without a Cabinet in place and come in front of the Speaker saying, “Can we, please, exist in this or that form?” Our advice is that it is not feasible. It is traditional to bring a matter for ratification after the idea has been developed adequately. Anyway, we have brought the matter for ratification on the second day of the proceedings of this First Session of the Eleventh Assembly.

Mr Speaker, with those few clarifications, I thank all the people who have contributed and ask the House to support this Motion.
Thank you, Sir.

 Question put and agreed to.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


(Debate resumed)

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, once again, I thank you for the opportunity to speak. I want to congratulate those who went around our country singing the donchi kubeba song.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: They deserve our heartfelt congratulation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I, however, wish to state that the fruits of their winning the elections must not be enjoyed exclusively by themselves because we all have a President in Mr Michael Chilufya Sata. You must understand that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. H. Malama: Ebamano aba!

Mr Nkombo: For this reason, I want to state that we will give you the support that you need when you deserve it. We will be the first ones in line to say well done. Please, do not forget the tradition whereby when you are on the left side, you co-operate very well with those on your side in stopping those in Government from doing the wrong thing. We will continue on that path because this is the dispensation that we agreed to adopt as Zambians when we embraced multi-party democracy.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, when we do not agree with your plans, we will tell you without fear or favour.

Mr Speaker, I would now like to talk about what was contained in the speech that was delivered by the President on the Floor of this House. He indicated in his opening remarks to the House that the time to put politics aside and engage in serious work must begin. I agree with him to the extent that our colleagues in the Patriotic Front (PF) must take the lead in turning what was contained in that statement into reality. We know what has been going on regarding politics ever since the PF came into power. Politics are over and you know as much as I do that a rebel is only called a rebel depending on which Government is in power. You had 22 rebels here and they are all gone.

Hon. Government Members: All of them!

Mr Nkombo: All of them are gone. I want you to understand that depending on where you are standing, you see the world differently. You are harbouring other people’s rebels that side.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, it is very sad that as I speak, half the Cabinet is not here.

Hon. Opposition Members: Imagine.

Mr Nkombo: There are some ideas that we ought to share but, in their wisdom, they found it necessary not to come and listen to what I have to say. All the same, the public is there to listen.

Hon. Opposition Members: Nababutuka.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I require your protection from hecklers so that I can deliver my points as quickly as I can.

Mr Speaker, before we broke off, I was saying that depending on where you are positioned, you see the world differently. In politics, “rebels” are created by those in Government. In the last Parliament, without mentioning names, on this side of the house (for the UPND), we had one rebel and he is not here. The PF had twenty-two rebels who are all not here.

Mr Muntanga: Yah!

Mr Nkombo: These are issues that have to do with governance. The issue of separation of powers must be respected at all stages. There is absolutely no reason somebody without special qualities or skills should be taken away unwarrantedly, and if the word ‘stolen’ was not unparliamentary I would have used it, from the Opposition and made to join the Ruling Party in order to weaken the Opposition. That is a mutilation of the democracy that we fought for over a very long time. Posterity, like has judged many others such as the twenty-two who are not here, will serve to judge those of you who are still toying around with governance. The PF has got many able bodied, strong minded and intelligent hon. Members of Parliament …

Mr Muntanga: Like Kalaba!

Mr Nkombo: … who can be part of the Executive. As for the others who are part of this House, their duty is to provide checks and balances on the Government and to represent the interests and aspirations of our people. I think that I have driven that point home very carefully and clearly.

Mr Muntanga: Emphasise.

Mr Nkombo: Before I deal with the President’s speech, I would like to quickly thank Mr Hakainde Hichilema, the president of the United Party for National Development (UPND) …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I am a very concerned hon. Member of Parliament with what is happening in this House. This is my second term in the House and I rarely stand on points of order.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, is it in order for the entire Front Bench which is composed of Cabinet Ministers and the Vice-President not to be here to listen to a very good debate coming from the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! Well, I agree that the Front Bench ought to be present as this important debate continues.

May the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central  continue, please.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I will try to raise my voice so that they hear me wherever they are.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank Mr Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND for adopting me for the Mazabuka Central Constituency.  I want to thank my family and friends for equally supporting me. I would also like to thank the chiefs in the area, Chief Mwanachingwala, Chief Haanjalika and Chief Naluwaama who supported us and did a ‘don’t kubeba’ to the other people who just left. That saw us win.

Mr Speaker, I want to state that I was fortunate that my results were part of those which were broadcast countrywide. This was a sign that out there, people were interested in seeing me return to this House to look after their interests.

Sir, on Page 3 of the President’s Speech, he indicated that there was need to walk together in this path of national development. That part of the speech forms part of what we believe in as the UPND, for the development agenda of this country.

Mr Speaker, on Page 5, the President talked about improving the operations of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). However, he did not state clearly whether its operations were going to be delinked from those of the Executive. This was our cry when we were together in the Opposition.

Sir, the fact that the previous Government had a hand in the operations of the ECZ made Zambians uneasy because they believed that its work was controlled by those who were in power. However, we are glad that we managed to get a President from the Opposition.

Mr Speaker, under the socio-economic affairs, on Page 7, the President emphasised on the need to improve the quality of life for the majority of the Zambians, especially those in the rural areas. Sadly he did not state that the people in rural areas required special attention. I would like to remind the Executive that the rural-urban migration has been a big problem in the last fifteen years. What the President may have said regarding poverty levels in the country may not necessarily be true. The President did not state clearly that our people in towns also live in squalor.

Sir, if the Government wants to prove that what I am saying is true, they can send Hon. Professor Luo to take a drive to Chunga Dump Site. The situation she will find there is saddening. She will find people collecting garbage which they take back to their homes. 

Mr Muntanga: Scavenge!

    Mr Nkombo: They scavenge rotten meat and bring it back into the community for sale. That is happening in our country.

Mr Speaker, I would, therefore, like to urge my colleagues to quickly get out of the frenzy of the election win and look at those issues because their promise to fight squalor is the basis on which the PF Government managed to get their votes. They sang the song very well about how people were suffering and how they intended to uplift their living standards.

Sir, the President emphasised the need to improve the livelihood of people in rural areas without acknowledging the fact that the people in urban areas are equally living in terrible conditions.

Mr Speaker, on Page 9 of the Speech, the President spoke about the eradication of discrimination, especially that which is practised against women. I think he spoke well about issues in that area even though he forgot to talk about the discrimination practised against minority groups such as the lame, blind and deaf. He was very silent in his Speech regarding such minority groups. I think that the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health should have helped the President to add a sentence or two on this particular subject.

Sir, the hon. Minister of Health, Dr Kasonde, is not in the House. I wonder where he was when this speech was being prepared. We know that HIV/AIDS has continued to ravage this country for many years and that we have not found a solution for it. It is clear that if you are not infected, you are affected. Surprisingly, the President did not talk about it in his speech. However, I would like to state that the PF Government reserves the right to be quiet about the HIV/AIDS pandemic if it feels it is on top of the situation.

Mr Speaker, concerning local governance and housing, the wish of the President is my wish, too, that every Zambian must have decent housing. I would like to inform Hon. Professor Luo that I will visit her office as regards this matter. This is because, in my constituency, there are some people who have been tenants in some houses for a long time without being allowed to purchase them. They have the right to purchase the houses which I am referring to as sitting tenants, but the previous Government, in its wisdom, decided to deprive them of this right to shelter.

Sir, despite time being on our hands, there is still need for us to put in place measures to ensure that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is not misused. I would like to urge my uncle, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Development, Mr Chikwanda, to address this issue. He was not in the House at the time his colleagues and ourselves were fighting for the increase of this fund. However, the mere fact that he is a member of the PF should make him aware of what Hon. G. B. Mwamba once said when he used to sit on the Opposition side of the House ─ that the CDF needs to be increased to K5 billion .

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: We are requesting the Government to consider this proposal. We will help you make sure that we meet the benchmarks of accountability.

Sir, I wonder where Hon. Yaluma is. Despite having not met him, I am still aware that he is the hon. Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development. However, his hon. Deputy Minister may be in the House. I would like to urge my colleagues to desist from embarrassing the President.

Mr Speaker, in this speech, the President talked about increasing the installed capacity of the existing generation plants. His Honour the Vice-President, Dr Scott, knows as much as I do that the existing installations have reached their full capacity. Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank are at full capacity. The hope for this country as regards an increase in power generation is the development of the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station which is a project that was started by the immediate past Government. I needed to see a statement from the Head of State to indicate that he will support this project because this is where the answer lies regarding the power deficit in this country.

Sir, he should have also mentioned the Kariba North Bank Extension Project, which is a stand-alone project. There is need to upgrade that installation. He also did not mention the Itezhi-tezhi Project, mini-hydro power stations, bio-fuels and solar power initiatives as alternative sources of energy.

Mr Speaker, where were my colleagues when the President was seated here giving us an empty story on energy?


Mr Nkombo: Just where were you?


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I am requesting that they come out of the frenzy of winning the elections and get to work.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I wish Hon. Simuusa was in the House since I now want to talk about mining taxes. I will now read out the statistics of the levels of mining taxes collected in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region, as at 2009. They are as follows:

Mozambique  - 53 per cent
Angola   - 52 per cent
Botswana  - 49 per cent
Namibia   - 48 per cent
Tanzania  - 45 per cent
Zambia   - 31 percent.

Sir, Zambia has 8 per cent less than what the lowest in the region and world collects. Is it, therefore, in order for you to allow the President to remain quiet about a matter so passionately debated by yourselves when you were with us in the Opposition? Does it make any sense for you to …

Mr Chisala: On a Point of Order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A Point of Order is raised.

 Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, Hon. Nkombo, in order to debate issues which were not raised by His Excellency the President in his Speech? I need your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member for Mazabuka Central may continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, it is very easy to expose one’s ignorance.

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

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I want to say that the issue of mining taxes is the chorus that we sang together with the PF. We explained to each other that including this mining tax regime and broadening the tax base to the marketeers and the informal sector would be the only way Hon. Chikwanda would manage to put money in people’s pockets. However, there was no mention of this in this paragraph. So, I want to implore the hon. Minister of Mines and Natural Resources that as we go into this work together, he must not do things in a haphazard manner whereby he keeps changing statements like the up and down fluctuation of the euro. His Honour the Vice-President, Dr Guy Scott, let us be firm on the fact that we must collect this money. Together, we argued out the point that if we introduced these taxes, the miners would leave. I say that they can go, but the minerals will remain. Other investors will come.

Sir, I want to quickly go to the favourite subject of the hon. Member who raised a point of order. This is about the issues that the President clearly omitted in his speech. It is within my rights to state what I wished to see in the speech. The President did not talk about the media. Hon. Lubinda once indicated on television that he would be bringing the Freedom of Information Bill to this House. I am so excited about that. He must bring it because we are tired of being maligned in the media and we have no recourse.

Mr Muntanga: Malupenga is there now.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, we have no recourse to defend ourselves. For example, if you read today’s The Post newspaper, I was supposedly quoted by Radio Phoenix as having supported the Muchinga Province creation, an article which The Post newspaper decided to use in its opinion in order to injure someone’s character. I wrote a letter to Radio Phoenix, because that is all I can do, and complained to The Post newspaper on why this should be so. This is discrimination. I deserve to be heard. I think Hon. Lubinda is doing a better job than our colleagues before. I can now go to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and be heard. I want you to continue on that path, Hon. Lubinda. If you do not, I want you to know that those who live by the sword die by the sword. Even those who live by the media die by the media.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: It is going to catch up with you sooner or later. We deserve to be heard. We are in the Government together here. If I am waffling and not making sense, let the Zambian people be the ones to judge and not you as the hon. Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism.


Mr Nkombo:  I cannot talk to Hon. Shikapwasha because he is on my side. The Zambian people found it fit to put us together and we shall be together for a long time.


Mr Nkombo: Whoever thinks that we shall not talk to these people (Hon. MMD Members) is mistaken because the Zambian people boxed us together. We are not in the Executive. We are in the Opposition together with them and the earlier they realise that, the better.


Mr Nkombo: You should realise that there is a law of gravity. Hon. G. B. Mwamba, the law of gravity dictates that the heavier you are and the higher you go, the faster you come down.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, the President did not mention anything to do with the land tenure system, as well as labour which is the ingredient of national development. Hon. Shamenda, the President did not mention forestry and environment in detail because we know the phenomenon now is that we are facing challenges of climatic change. You all know that, you do not need to be told. He did not mention anything about transport. We have been singing together with His Honour the Vice-President, Dr Guy Scott, about the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ), and yet nothing has been mentioned about it. How do you think your people will be travelling? Are you already in the comfort zone?

Mr Muntanga: No!

Mr Nkombo: I think the answer is no. You must get to work. Review the concession that you and I fought about with these people so that we can bring some efficacy to this country in terms of how people are going to move from one place to another.

Mr Speaker, as regards national security, Hon. G. B. Mwamba, where were you? You did not talk to the President about immigration. We have a lot of illegal immigrants in this country. If you go to the prisons, you will find that a lot of them are rotting in there because you did not talk about it.

Hon. Sakeni, I rest my case

Mr Speaker, thank you very much.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to deliver my Maiden Speech. To begin with, I would like to advise the people on your right to listen to our advice. The other day, His Honour the Vice-President talked about the thinning process. If the people on your right do not listen to our advice, they will go back to gona kuzingwa, the thinning area. Your friends were on the other side (right), but they have shifted to the thinning area. You are in the fattening area and must listen to our advice.


Mr Habeenzu: We are the people who are representing our communities. Therefore, when we present problems that our communities are facing, you must listen to us. 


Mr Habeenzu: We are advising you to listen.

Sir, without wasting much of your time, let me deliver my Maiden Speech.  I wish to begin by congratulating His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, on his election as fifth President of the Republic of Zambia. I also wish to congratulate you, Hon. Mr Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House on your elections. I am sure that you will superintend over the business of this House with due diligence and impartiality.

Sir, I also wish thank the party president of the UPND, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, …

Hon. Government Members: For what?

Mr Habeenzu: … and the party as a whole, from branch to national management level, for supporting my candidature.


Mr Habeenzu: I am telling you to listen.


Mr Habeenzu: Sir, further, may I express my gratitude to the good people of Chikankata for the overwhelming support they gave me by voting me back as hon. Member of Parliament. I am highly indebted. My thanks will not be complete if I do not extend them to my family and God, who has seen me through this far.

Mr Speaker, Chikankata Constituency is divided in two chiefdoms namely Naluwaama and Mwenda. It has eight wards and these are Malala, Chitete, Mabwe Tuba, Upper Kaleya, which are under Chieftainess Mwenda while Musaya, Namalundu, Kasengo and Nansenga are under the Chiefdom of Naluwaama.

Sir, this vast constituency faces a number of challenges which include road infrastructure. In 1991, there was a by-election which saw the then ruling party (MMD) tarring a stretch of only 10 km of the Chikankata Road leaving 21 km not tarred. The road remained like that for eighteen years until 2009 when the road works were resumed. However, even then, nothing tangible was done.

To date, the road has not been worked on. This state of affairs leaves much to be desired as a good road network is key to productive agriculture, speedy acquisition of health services for patients who are referred from Chikankata to other hospitals, among others.

Mr Speaker, if this road is worked on, it could serve as a short-cut to Zimbabwe via Siavonga, thereby opening up the place for tourism and other developmental ventures. Chikankata Constituency boasts of a lot of scenic areas among which are the Mambwe Tuba Hills and Kabwe Kazwihya in Luala. This is a place where natural hot water flows out of a very big rock and there is always big fish found in the small dam. The area also has a red garnet mine in Hapiku area which is not yet explored. Therefore, if this road is worked on, it will bring about the much needed development and thereby bring about more opportunities such as employment.

Sir, Mwanamainda/Kasengo/Nega-Nega/Lubombo Road is another road which is very vital.

Mr Ntundu: Hear, hear!

Mr Habeenzu: This road, if in perfect condition, would serve as a by-pass or relief road in instances where the Mazabuka/Kafue Road gets blocked at the Munali Hills due to broken down trucks, which take long to be cleared off the road.

Mr Ntundu: Hear, hear!

Mr Habeenzu: Sir, you may wish to learn that it has always been a nightmare when this occurs because there is no alternative route for vehicles when the road is blocked. In addition, the bad state of the road from Mazabuka to Kafue has resulted in the nation losing a lot of precious lives.

My appeal to the Government is to look into this matter seriously by either expanding the road at Munali Hills or, indeed, working on the Mwanamainda/Kasengo/Nega-Nega/Lubombo Road so that lives can be saved.

Mr Speaker, as regards agriculture, I would like the Government to re-look at the Fertiliser Input Support Programme (FISP). In its current form, it has a number of serious flaws. It is inefficient to say the least. It lacks vision and is a recipe for corruption. If one may ask, why should civil servants be beneficiaries of the programme when we have several poor people in our communities who are denied a chance to benefit? Why should a given co-operative that receives, for example, twenty packs, in a given year, receive an increased allocation, the following year, when newly-registered co-operatives are told that they do not qualify? It is sad to note that money is allocated to this programme, every year, but it has failed to be self-sustaining and bring new beneficiaries on board.

Sir, with regard to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), it is sad to note that the agency has not yet paid farmers for last season’s maize and the rainy season is already here. This inertia in attending to this issue by the agency is unacceptable as most of the maize it bought from the farmers, which is in its custody, is sadly going to waste. My view is that the FRA should be completely overhauled if it is to be efficient and effective in serving the people of Zambia. Otherwise, in its current form, it is an unnecessary cost centre.

Mr Speaker, allow me to talk about irrigation. I will give an example of a project which was done in Manyonyo and funded by the Government, through the Africa Development Bank (ADB). It was to be run by the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, but now stands a sorry site. This project was to help communities in those areas with water for irrigation and other day-to-day activities, alas it is non-functional. To remedy the problem, I wish to implore the PF Government to consider building dams in the Lusitu/Mulawo and Kasengo areas as a matter of urgency.

Now, coming to the President’s Speech for the Official Opening of the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, I will restrict myself to a few issues that are dear to my heart and of paramount importance.

Mr Speaker, I wish to talk about infrastructure development. While the President’s Speech talked about the Government committing a substantial part of the National Budget to infrastructure development, I observed with sadness that, under rehabilitation or construction of roads in the country, the Southern Province only has one road, which was also wrongly described. The President said the road is supposed to be Zimba/ Siavonga/Gwembe. There is no road by that name in the Southern Province.

Mr Ntundu: Hear, hear!


Mr Habeenzu: As much as we want development, describe the roads that you want to give us properly.


Mr Habeenzu: It is known as the Bottom Road if you did not know.


Mr Habeenzu: I am not sure if this is a coincidence or it was planned that way. My take on this is that the Government should consider adding more roads to the list.


Mr Mushanga: Mulekana imisebo sha new.

Mr Habeenzu: We are not refusing to have new roads. We are simply advising you to describe the roads properly.

Mr Mooya: Just go ahead, do not mind them.

Mr Habeenzu: My take on this is that the Government should consider adding more roads to the list so that it balances up, like in other provinces. In this case, the Chikankata Road is very critical and it should be considered.

Mr Speaker, the other point is on good governance and administration of the State. Whereas a number of good governance issues such as delivering a new people-driven Constitution within ninety days and the Government’s zero tolerance against corruption stance in both private and public sectors were brought to the fore, a very critical office that oversees the public purse was not mentioned in the speech although something was mentioned about it off-cuff. This office is that of the Auditor-General. I believe that this office has been doing a good job, but we have seen that the past regimes have not provided enough political will. I am only asking the PF Government to look into this issue seriously. I think the Auditor-General’s office has performed tremendous work in bringing up issues on corruption.

Mr Mushanga: Past regime, MMD.

Mr Habeenzu: It is my prayer that the lack of political will will not be the case with this Government owing to the fact that the Auditor-General’s office was just mentioned in passing when it should have been included in His Excellency the President’s Speech.

Lastly, Mr Speaker, the Speech has been termed by others as an all-embracing one. However, my submission is that some sections of the media have been spreading hate speech and this has not been condemned by the Government. If left unchecked, this state of affairs has the potential of degenerating to unacceptable heights and we do not want this. Why is it that it is okay for a named media house to praise the Ruling Party when it associates with the former ruling party? However, when it is the UPND doing that, it is condemned and called all sorts of names. These are double standards and are clear for all right thinking members of society to see. What we are saying is that let there be civility in the reporting of the media if, indeed, this Government is all about embracing everyone. It should suggest that politics are left behind, especially now that elections are over, and emphasise the need to focus on forging ahead with the development of our country.

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

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate of His Excellency the President’s Speech to this important House.

Mr Speaker, let me begin by congratulating His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, on his ascendance to this very important position as Head of State of our Republic. I can only wish him God’s guidance as he settles down in that very important position for the development of our nation.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to congratulate you on the position that you have taken as Speaker of this august House. I take full appreciation of the profound statement which you made when you took your seat that you will be an impartial guardian of the House. Indeed, that is how it should be and we are all looking forward to your guidance and your effective impartial leadership as you steer this House over the next five years.

I would also like to congratulate the past Speaker, Hon. Mwanamwambwa, who provided effective leadership to this House which we all did appreciate. Following the events of September 20th, our nation has yet again witnessed another transition in governance. The first transition was in 1964 when the country witnessed a change from colonial rule to self determination by an independent Government, the second transition came in 1991 when the United National Independence Party (UNIP) gave way to the MMD and, indeed, last month our nation witnessed a transition from the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) to the PF Government. This is how it should be in a democracy.

Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Inevitability of change in leadership is the basis of a democratic environment. On our side, we take full cognisance of that process and we know that, indeed, our country is on the right path to democratic governance.

Mr Speaker, each transition in governance, brings about significant questions in the minds of the citizens. The citizens do question, for example, what type of Government the country is going to have; what direction the country is taking in all sectors; what is the view of the new Government to the underlining national ethos and values, which define the character of who we are as a nation? These are the expectations of the citizens when there is a transition in the governance system.

Mr Speaker, political transition always raises ideological questions about what the new Government is all about. What is its ideological leaning? Each party that takes over Government has, indeed to re-assert its ideological position of standing vis-à-vis national development and governance and international relations.

Just to recap, the MMD did the same in 1991. The ideological standing of the MMD over the years has been very clear. It stood for and still stands for human rights, a free enterprise system in which the private sector plays a major role. Citizenry empowerment in entrepreneurship, national unity, peace and stability, equitable distribution of national resources and development opportunities, social justice and equality for all and above all, multi partyism and, of course, the outcomes of the MMD’s ideological  and policy stance, is there for all to see. For instance, the stance in the mining, tourism, transport, communication, education, health, energy, commerce and industry sectors through the involvement of the private sector and, of course, the Government. This is what has resulted in this country experiencing economic growth, stable exchange rates and a decline in inflation over the years. True, the MMD did implement its ideological pronouncements over the years. What then can we deduce from the speech by the President, regarding the direction of our nation and what the PF stands for as a party in Government with regard to the ideological development of our country?

Clearly, a presidential speech is extremely important because it attracts the attention of the nation. It reflects the heart, the mind and the vision of a Head of State. I agree with the President, in his preamble, when he states that peaceful change of Government is a mark of the entrenchment of democracy in our country. Indeed, we should all be proud of it.

Secondly, I agree with him when he says, “It is now time for us to forge ahead in the development of our nation.” I also agree with him when he says, “The citizens of Zambia, not only deserve better lives, but are entitled to better lives.” I agree with him when he says, in his preamble, that “It is time to put Zambia first in the interest of achieving our socio-economic development.” I further agree with him when, in his conclusion, he says, “We must all work hard to bring about the transformation of our country into the society in which we shall all live with pride and dignity, for now and future generations to come.” There is no debate over these aspirations. This is what we all expect our nation to be and we support him and commend the President for these aspirations.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, what, however, is of great concern is what the President has not said, but which is extremely important in our national development. In his speech, there is no reference to our long established and cherished values, namely national unity, peace, stability, human rights, good neighbourliness and equitable distribution of opportunities for all. These are values that have governed our lives and have formed Zambia and for which it is respected. Therefore, I expected His Excellency the President to reflect on these very important values which Zambia is known for.

The speech contains various important policy pronouncements, but what is significant is the principle of continuity with change which His Excellency the President, in his wisdom, acknowledges to be extremely important. Therefore, we hope that hon. Cabinet Ministers will bear that principle in mind as they settle in their offices. They have to be mindful that in a democratic transition there has to be continuity with change.

In his speech, the President acknowledges the importance of national development planning, public-private partnership, social safety nets such as the Cash Transfer Scheme and the FISP, decentralisation in local governance, livestock restocking and the CDF. Indeed, these are important policy milestones which have been there and ought to be acknowledged and continued.

The President has also made reference to the need for review of existing or inherited development projects on which financial commitments have been made in various sectors such as roads and so on and so forth. Indeed, we hope and expect that these projects will be ongoing and completed. Examples are the Mongu/Kalabo and Senanga/Sesheke roads and various educational and health institutions. All these are extremely important for our nation and our people are expectant that these are reviewed and continued through the allocation of money for their completion.

The President has made very important policy pronouncements in various sectors. For example, poverty reduction and wealth creation, compulsory basic and secondary education, expansion of university and tertiary education, provision of health services, diversification of crop production, livestock restocking, improvement in rural water supply and sanitation and resource allocation to infrastructure development. These are extremely important policy directions for our country. What, however, is missing in the speech is the role of the private sector. The speech is very silent on that.

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: What is the role of the private sector in all this? What comes out very strongly in the speech is of course the whole concept of the Government as ‘big brother’ or as a do it all. In other words, it is like the Government is the one that will deliver all the various developmental projects. I am not sure how. This of course is the ideological slant of the PF Government and we wait to see how this ideological slant will unfold and how the country will develop.

What also does not come out very strongly in the speech are the various strategic policy options that have to be put in place in order to operationalise the various policy goals that His Excellency the President has pronounced in this House. This, of course, is the challenge of our colleagues, the new hon. Cabinet Ministers, who have to quickly come to this House and inform us on how these various policy goals will be operationalised. What strategic directions will be taken for the nation to realise these very important policy goals?

Mr Speaker, this means that our colleagues have to get to work and see how best these various policy goals can be implemented as quickly as possible. Clearly, what it all amounts to is that being in Government is a call to service or to delivering o what our people expect. I hope that the euphoria of political campaigns will quickly settle down so that we can see our colleagues getting down to work to operationalise what the President has in mind in terms of the direction he has for this nation. This is the appeal that we can make and advice that we can give to our colleagues.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

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

Mr D. Mumba (Chama North): Mr Speaker, I would like to contribute to debate on the Motion on His Excellency the President’s Speech that was delivered to this House. Before I do that, I would like to congratulate His Excellency the President on his election as the fifth Republican President of this country. Further, I would like to congratulate you, Mr Speaker, on your election as Speaker of this House. I would also like to congratulate the hon. Deputy Speaker on his election to that position in this House.


Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, I would like to highlight the core programmes in His Excellency the President’s Speech. These are agriculture, education and health. The question is the implementation of these programmes. I would like to appeal to the Government to ensure that these programmes are in line with two important documents, namely the Vision 2030 and Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP). The SNDP is an extract of the Vision 2030.

Now, if we are to be proud of being a middle-income country, the question is what is our basis? I will take you back to 2006 when we said, as a country, we had our long-term vision to be a prosperous middle-income nation by 2030. This means that we have two documents which act as our road map. If you just stand up and say I am going to do this without having direction, it means you will fall into a ditch. Therefore, to us, these are the two documents which we are to refer to.


Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, much as we appreciate the revision which the current Government is going to make, these documents were produced by technocrats, different stakeholders and various stakeholders had an input into these two documents. Therefore, they are very important and, as we are working, we should be in line with them.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, I can remember because Zambia is in the middle lower bracket.


Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, we are yet to go into the upper bracket, but how do we do so? That is the question. Being reclassified as belonging to a middle lower bracket means that each citizen is at US$1,006 per capita.

Mr Muntanga: Yes, hammer mwana!

Mr D. Mumba: Those in a low income bracket are at US$1,005 per capita.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, if we are to move from the lower bracket to the upper one, we need, again, to be consistent in the way we carry out our programmes.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, how can we move to the second upper bracket? Initially, we were between US$1,006 to US$3,976, average income per head.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, this means that, if we are to move from that category of US1,006 to K3,975 to an upper bracket which is supposed to between US$3,975 to US$12,275 per capita, which is the upper limit, what should we do? That is the question.


Mr D. Mumba: That is a very important question that needs to be answered much as we want to revise those documents. Therefore, my appeal to the Government is that much as we want to revise these documents, we need to be in line with them and take into account the various stakeholders and experts who took part in producing them.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, I have heard, again, talk about the old and the new, but it does not matter. Sometimes, you can be in a system for ten years, but not be accustomed to it. Therefore, that argument that one has been in the system does not hold.


Mr D. Mumba: I must make this very clear.


Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, it does not matter whether one has been in the system for ten years, but what matters is whether one is competent and experienced in that area.


Mr D. Mumba: Doing something is one thing, but is one competent and experienced?


Mr D. Mumba: It is not a question of doing something because a wrong thing can be done, but is one competent, able and experienced in that area?


Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, my earnest appeal is that we understand that, as we are here, we are brothers and sisters. When we were in the field, we said we belonged to the MMD or the PF. However, as we are here now, we are representing the interests of Zambians and, as such, if any good policy is laid on the Table, why should we oppose it?

Hon. Government Members: Obama!

Mr D. Mumba: We cannot do that. If a good policy is laid on the Table, I can support it 100 per cent and even entice other people to vote for it. I have no problem with that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, I can rest assure you that if it is a good policy which is to benefit the people of Zambia, I will be the first one to vote …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: … even before my colleagues here, the MMD Members of Parliament, or whoever votes. Why should I refuse to vote? However, if it is a policy which is to mislead the people of Zambia, I think I will be the first one to oppose it and even urge other people not to vote for it.


Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, these words seem simple, but they have an effect at the end of the day. Therefore, please, I am appealing to you to understand that these two documents, that is, the Sixth National Development Plan and Vision 2030, are very important.


Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, the other area I want to comment on is His Excellency’s Speech. On Page 26, the establishment of the tenth province was pronounced by His Excellency the President. I think when I heard that Chama is going to be part of Muchinga Province, I celebrated when I just left this place.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, I celebrated because Chama is the largest district in the Eastern Province and, in the country, it should be third largest. At the moment, the people are still using trucks as a mode of reliable transport. Let me tell you that the roads are bad …

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

Mr D. Mumba: … and we have in the district  …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, the district, Chama, is rich in minerals, precious stones and oil, but it is sad that, to date, they have not been explored.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: Therefore, when I heard of Chama being part of Muchinga Province, the tenth province, I looked at the six districts which form the Muchinga Province. These are Nakonde, Isoka, Chama, Chinsali, Mpika and Mafinga. These districts are situated so close …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: … to each other that whichever district will be the capital, there will be a very short distance between it and the other districts, Chama included.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr D. Mumba: And to me since the province is just being set up, it means that Chama will grow and develop as a district. Once that one is done, I am pretty sure that the Chama/Matumbo Road, which has been a song for sometime …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: … and which is a direct link to the Northern Province, will worked on. This further means that the cost of doing business for my people will be reduced.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, economically, Chama will develop and the oil and those minerals which are there will be exploited fully.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, I am supporting the Motion and I will continue supporting it because I have to see to it that Chama is part of Muchinga Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! However!

Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, however, let me also highlight the negative points in the speech.

Hon. Government Members: Twalakupela bu Deputy Minister!


Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, one area which I have not seen clearly is the issue of mining and how the windfall tax should be addressed. The issue of mining and how the windfall tax is to be addressed have not been brought out clearly. However, I support the issue of reducing tax and broadening the tax base. This is because you make more people pay, but reduce the rate at which each one should pay. This is a good idea and I support it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, I think those are the key areas. All of us know that mining is one of the major employers and earners of foreign exchange, hence the need to talk about it seriously. That is my humble appeal to this House. We are not here to fight. No. We fought hard in the field.


Mr D. Mumba: We should just reconcile and chart the way forward because we are now a team.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: To me, this is a team, which I would call a multi-skilled team whose members have many skills. Therefore, we should not ask other hon. Members to consult us because we are a team. If there is something I do not understand, why not go to the hon. Member who is an expert in that field and find out from him?


Mr D. Mumba: It is true that we should consult. However, I should not tell someone to come and consult me, but just advertise.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: You should not force someone to consult you, but just make an advertisement so that those who need consultation can come to you.

Hon. Government Members: Quality!

Mr D. Mumba: Those are serious issues, and if the current Government, …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr D. Mumba: … of course, my Government, can take into account what I have highlighted, I am pretty sure things will work well. We all know that when there is a change there is a lot of anxiety because people are uncertain about where they are going and what will happen the following day. That is the characteristic of change. If you find that the place you have taken over from your predecessor is dirty, do not leave it the way you found it, but leave it cleaner than it was.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: Therefore, this is the time of reflecting on the good and bad things that the MMD Government did and then working on correcting those bad issues.

Hon. Government Members: Take over the presidency!

Mr D. Mumba: It is not good to simply criticise your predecessor on the bad things that they have done. You start by saying that we have seen so many achievements that have been made in period 1, 2 and 3. However, Robert, you need to improve here and then make recommendations.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mumba: My appeal is that in as much as you want to change everything that the MMD Government did, it is also important to appreciate the good things that it did. For instance, governing is like a church where you may have a pastor whose character is unbearable, but do you stop worshiping? No. You should follow the scriptures given to you. You cannot say because the pastor is adulterous …


Mr D. Mumba: Sorry, Sir, the word is unparliamentary.


Mr D. Mumba: … then I cannot go to that church, no.


Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, it is not that everything which the MMD did is bad, no. Here, we have 100 per cent human resource. Therefore, let us just be a team and consult each other. Let us interact because we fought very hard in the field. We need to reflect and see how we are going to develop the nation. That should be the approach. Otherwise, if we just fight, our people will suffer and, eventually, all of us will not come back after five years. You may have come here through fighting and some people may even have died, but we do not want to be led into that. The best way is to work as a team. Even if there is gap between the right and left hand side, it does not matter because we have one objective and that is to serve the people of Zambia regardless of our religious or political affiliations. We should forget about those fights now. Let us focus on helping the people of Zambia and ourselves.


Mr D. Mumba: Mr Speaker, once more, let me thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor.

Mr Speaker, I thank you and may God bless Zambia.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!


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

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1741 hours until Thursday, 20th October, 2011.