Debates- Wednesday, 15th June, 2011

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Wednesday, 15th June, 2011

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






498. Mr Mwango (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) when the construction of staff houses at the following health facilities in Kanchibiya Parliamentary Constituency would commence:

(i) Chiundaponde Rural Health Centre;

(ii) Kopa Rural Health Centre; and

(iii) Chalabesa Hospital; and

(b) what had caused the delay in commencing the construction works, considering that building materials were delivered in 2008.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Kalila): Mr Speaker, the process of constructing staff houses at the health facilities in question in Kanchibiya Parliamentary Constituency has commenced. At Chiundaponde Rural Health Centre, the Provincial Administration has awarded a contract for the supply of blocks towards the construction of a staff house. At Kopa Rural Health Centre, the construction of a staff house has commenced and the works are at slab level, while at Chalabesa Rural Health Centre, the construction of a staff house has not commenced due to the non-availability of funds.

Mr Speaker, the delay in the construction of staff houses at Chiundaponde and Kopa Rural Health Centre is mainly due to the delay in the supply of blocks and inadequate funds respectively. Whereas the process for the construction of a staff house at Chalabesa Rural Health Centre will commence as soon as the funds are available.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if he is aware that amongst the materials that were delivered to these two rural health facilities, 400 pockets of cement have gone to waste.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I am not aware that 400 pockets of cement have gone to waste, but if that is the case, we shall surely follow up the matter so as to find out what exactly went wrong.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister in his response to the question asked by Hon. Mwango stated that the project has stalled because there is no money to purchase blocks. I would like to find out why the Government is starting new projects when it cannot fund the already existing ones which it started in the past. Are you not doing cosmetic work just to show the people that you are doing something or you still seriously want to complete these projects?

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, first of all, you must understand that this is a project that should have been executed in 2008 when it was budgeted for and included in the 2008 Work Plan. The works included the building of houses at the medical facilities both at Chiundaponde and Kopa at a cost for each house of K60 million. However, it was found along the way that the K60 million for each house was not adequate. The project was fully funded expect that the money was inadequate, hence leading to the delay. Therefore, the issue of us being cosmetic in our approach should not arise.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I am a little bit baffled that the hon. Minister seems to suggest that the building of houses for staff is not an integral part of the same project of building clinics. Our way of planning has resulted into us stumbling into cost overruns which have led to some medical staff being mobile because of lack of accommodation for three years. How can we have such bad planning from a caring and listening Government? 

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Member for that supplementary question. Even though I am not in the habit of stilling other hon. Members, I still feel strongly that the hon. Member would not have asked that question if he followed the response to the main question properly. I want to make it very clear that when we are building these health centres, we do provide for staff housing. In the case of Chiundaponde and Kopa, two houses at each centre were made available, but the current thinking is that we need three at each centre, for the nurse, environmental health technician and a clinical officer. That is why we are adding an extra house.

Mr Speaker, if that is not prudent planning, then I do not know what the hon. Member calls it.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out, through you, how wise this Government was to go and buy mobile hospitals and take them to Chiundaponde and other areas when it has not provided houses for medical staff in those areas? What type of housing facilities will be in the mobile hospitals, which have got no toilets?

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, I am sure there are still some grey areas in some people’s understanding of how mobile hospitals work. These hospitals do not need ready made accommodation because they move with provisions which can be used for accommodation purposes. That is why they are mobile. When medical staff get to a place where there is no lodging, they use their own tents, beds, mattresses and linen, …

Mr Nsanda: And toilets?

Mr Simbao: … yes and toilets. You should visit those hospitals. The problem is that you just want to speak and criticise from your seats. Go and see these mobile hospitals, then come back and criticise us. Do not just sit here and criticise us. The mobile hospitals in this country are fully operational. Go and see them.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


499. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:
(a) when the construction of the second footbridge on the Lusaka/Kafue Road near the Kafue Round About would be completed; and

(c) what the total cost of the project was.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Muteteka): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the contract agreement for consultancy services for the designing and construction of flyover bridges across the Kafue Road on the section between the Kafue Round About and the traffic lights at Chawama Turn Off, including suitable fencing has been extended to 31st July, 2011. The construction works are expected to be completed by 31st July, 2011. However, this is subject to the relocation of the 11 kilovolts, high voltage, Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) electrical power line. Delays in the relocation of the line will result in delays in the completion of the works.

The contract sum for the construction of the two pedestrian flyover bridges is K6,785,775,192. The contract sum covers the consultancy services, designs, supervision and construction of the two footbridges. The footbridge at the Metropolitan Site has been completed and shall be commissioned at the same time with the Downtown Site Bridge, which is still under construction.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, are there plans to construct another footbridge at the junction of the Lumumba and Kanyama roads near the Soweto Market?

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, as Government we remain committed to construct footbridges where need arises according to the requests from the community.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I assume that the intended purpose of constructing footbridges is to protect the lives of pedestrians who are crossing these major highways. The hon. Minister has indicated to this House that the construction of one of the flyover bridges has been completed. Why should the Government wait for the completion of the second flyover bridge in order to commission the two bridges at the same time when, in fact, lives are being lost on that road? Are they caring for the communities they serve?

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, there are many pedestrian crossings on the roads.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, I was there this morning.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah! Iwe.

Mr Muteteka: People are using the footbridge. Therefore, the purpose for which the footbridge was constructed is being served because people appreciate its use.

As regards commissioning the footbridges, this will be done next month by the Government. We will kill two birds with one stone. So, it must be appreciated that we have realised that a lot of people have been losing lives as a result of crossing the main road. This is the more reason the Government has responded positively and the people are now safe.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister, in answering the question, said that the consultancy services for designing and constructing the flyover bridges were extended to 31st July, 2011. May I know the financial implication of that extension?

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, as of now, there are no financial implications. We are just waiting for ZESCO to relocate the 11 kilovolts electrical power line. Once this is done, the commissioning will take place.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister must correct me if I am wrong. There seems to be no facility for disabled people to climb up the bridge on one side, cross the road and then go down the other side. So, could the hon. Minister tell us what the people in wheel chairs are supposed to do when crossing the roads where the bridges are being constructed? Are they supposed to wait for a break in traffic and then pedal like their lives depend on it, when it should not be the case, to cross the road? Everywhere in the world ...


Mr Kambwili: Iwe, give the Floor to the general. Walabepafye ubufi iwe.


Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for the concern which he has expressed. The concerns of the disabled citizens have been taken into account. I think it is also important for the hon. Member, who is Lusaka based, to visit the site and see exactly what is happening there because the design is very suitable for that concern.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Deputy Minister to tell the House the truth. Is the footbridge being used by the people or not?

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, I have already dealt with that concern. If the hon. Member doubts that, let him invite me tomorrow so that we sit together and discuss the issue.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Msichili (Kabushi): Mr Speaker, many people, especially the women shun using footbridges, especially at night because they fear to be mugged by street kids and thugs. What security measures is the Government putting in place to ensure that the people using these footbridges at night are safe?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Kabushi for that question. The issue of security must not be seen in isolation. The House will recall that it is in this House that the extension to business hours was made. One of the issues that was considered after consultations with various stakeholders was the issue of security. Therefore, the security of women or youths crossing those flyover bridges like anywhere else is taken into the context of the general security of our citizens.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, can I find out from the hon. Minister whether or not the two flyover bridges along Kafue Road will have barricades so as to direct pedestrians to use them unlike is the case at the University of Zambia where, after the construction of the footbridge, people still disregard it and continue to walk across the road in dangerous circumstances? If that will be the case, could he indicate to the House how much additional costs will be incurred in providing those barricades? Are they a worthwhile venture in his view?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister will observe the one question requirement.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the first design included the construction of barricades on both sides of the road. We hope that with continuous sensitisation, the people will begin to observe the fact that it is necessary to use the flyover bridges.

Thank you, Sir.


500. Mr Lubinda asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) how much withholding tax on rented property and consultancy services was collected countrywide from 2008 to 2010, year by year;

(b) what was the total number of properties from which withholding tax was collected; and

(c) of the total amount in (a), how much was collected from within the City of Lusaka.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Ms C. M. Kapwepwe): Mr Speaker, the total amount of revenue collected in the country as withholding tax on rented properties and consultancy services during the period from 2008 to 2010 was as follows:

Year    Amount
2008  251.0 billion 
2009  370.1 billion 
2010  411.5 billion

Total            1,032.6 trillion

Mr Speaker, the estimated number of properties from which the withholding tax in question was collected is 3,402. The above estimated figure will change as it is based on an old manual record of properties. This is being updated as the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has now migrated to a new computerised system since April, 2011. 
Mr Speaker, the total amount collected as withholding tax on both rented property and consultancy services from within Lusaka City for the three years in question was K951 billion and is broken down as follows:

Year         Amount 
                (Billion’ k)

2008     251
2009     333
2010     367.3

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I wonder whether there has ever been a survey conducted to identify properties that are not owner-occupied properties, which should attract property rates. If so, what were the volumes and how do they compare with the figure that the hon. Minister read out of 2,000 properties in the whole country.

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe: Mr Speaker, we are aware that there are challenges in getting this information which is why, at the moment, the ZRA is working in conjunction with the Ministry of Lands and local councils to ensure that there is better sharing of information so that we can identify the rented properties and owner-occupied ones. There has even been a Memorandum of Understanding signed to that effect. Therefore, there are efforts which are being made to make sure that we get the correct information.

Mr Speaker, as I said in my answer, we are going to computerise the systems which will make the collection of this information much more efficient and, therefore, much better for us to enforce and collect these taxes.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mpika Central, are you satisfied with the answer?

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, I am satisfied.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, of the total amount given in the hon. Minister’s response, how much was raised from consultancy?

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe: Mr Speaker, we were not asked for a specific breakdown and, therefore, the only figure I have is a combined one.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


501. Mr C. Mulenga (Chinsali) asked the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development:

(a) how many heads of cattle had been procured for the Mbesuma Ranch in Chinsali for purposes of breeding;

(b) how much money had been spent on the exercise above;

(c) what the future business plan for the ranch was; and

(d) what the total hectarage of the ranch was.

The Deputy Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development (Mr Mulonga): Mr Speaker, my Government assured this august House, in 2009, that the Mbesuma Ranch would be restocked with two Boran bulls and fifty cows for breeding purposes. I am pleased to inform this House that, in 2010, the ranch was restocked with two Boran bulls and 103 cows for breeding. The two bulls were procured from Chongwe and the cows were procured from different districts. Twenty-two came from Chongwe, ten from Mkushi and seventy-three heifers from Chinsali.

My Government has also realised that the current bull to cow ratio of 1:50 is very demanding for the two bulls …


Mr Mulonga:  … and is planning to procure two more to reduce the ratio …


Mr Mulonga: … to the desired 1:25.

Mr Speaker, my Government spent a total of K498, 300,000 for procuring cattle for the above exercise. Each bull was bought at K9 million while each cow was sold to us at an average price of K4,650,000.

Mr Speaker, my Government’s future plans for the ranch are:

(i) to increase the breeding stock to 1,000 heifers and cows in the next five        

(ii) diversify into other livestock like sheep, goats and dairy cows and enhance the breeding programmes for this livestock;

(iii) to expand extension services for cattle farmers in surrounding districts;

 (iv) the Government intends to sell heifers and bulls at a discounted price to                  small-scale farmers for breeding purposes; and

 (v) develop a pasture plan for the ranch.

Mr Speaker, the ranch has a total area of 10,275 hectares. This excludes 1, 275 hectares which was allocated to squatters.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is considering treating the animals in the communities surrounding the ranch to prevent the animals in the ranch from contracting diseases from other animals.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, yes, as a ministry, we have been sensitising our farmers on the need to treat animal diseases so that there is no transmission of diseases from one animal to the other. In short, we sensitise our farmers to take care of their animals.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there has been any major cattle disease outbreak at the Mbesuma Ranch and, if so, how many animals were lost?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, that question reminds me of the debate by the hon. Member for Chilanga when we were debating the …

Mr Speaker: Order! No stories. Answer the question.


Mr Lubinda: Kucheza nimumazulo.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, there are no major outbreaks as at now at the Mbesuma Ranch.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, Mbesuma Ranch was once upon a time a show piece in terms of cattle ranching in the Northern Province. May I learn from the hon. Minister what led to the collapse of that ranch?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, there were some ups and downs in the management of the ranch. That is why the current Government has created the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development to specifically deal with the shortcomings that were there and we are sure that the management which is currently in place is what is required to raise the livestock industry in our country.

Thank you, Sir.


502. Mr Mwenya (Nkana) asked the Minister of Health:

 (a) when the Kitwe Central Hospital was constructed and opened to the                  public;

 (b) what the nurse-patient and doctor-patient ratios at the time the hospital        
                         opened to the public was;

 (c) what the current ratios were; and

 (d) what the bed capacity of the hospital was:

  (i) at the time of opening; and

  (ii) as of March, 2011.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, the construction of Kitwe Central Hospital was completed in 1957 and the hospital was opened to the public on 18th October, 1958. The nurse-patient and doctor-patient ratios, at the time the hospital was opened to the public, are not known.

Mr Speaker, the current nurse-patient ratio is 1:20 and the doctor-patient ratio is 1:30. The bed capacity of the hospital was 604 at the time of opening and as of March, 2011, 630.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwenya: Mr Speaker, what programmes do you have for the expansion of Kitwe Central Hospital, taking into account the increase in the population that requires medical care?

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to mention that the Government has repeatedly stated its programme regarding expanding and improving health care facilities in the country. Our concentration, at the moment, as the hon. Member knows very well, is to build a lot of district hospitals, health centres and posts. We are improving our referral systems within those districts. It is not just a question of improving one facility in one place without taking into consideration the wider interest of the whole population.

Mr Speaker, you can expand Kitwe Central Hospital, but as long as you do not strengthen the referral system, you simply continue to congest it and your delivery of the health services will suffer. Therefore, other than the expansion of the hospital, what is important is to strengthen our health referral system. In that respect, the hon. Member is aware that we have upgraded Ndeke Village Clinic to a district level hospital. Those are some of the programmes that we are undertaking.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, 120 patients to one nurse is high. May I know what the standard is according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I do not know where hon. Members of this House, sometimes, get some of their figures. When we are speaking or answering these questions, it is important to listen attentively. The nurse-patient ration as given for this hospital is 1:20. In other words, it is one nurse for twenty patients and not 120 patients.

I thank you, Sir.



503. Mr Simama (Kalulushi) asked the Minister of Education how many schools in Zambia had school weather stations to assist pupils monitor the weather and understand changing weather patterns.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Dr Kawimbe): Mr Speaker, thirty-eight schools in Zambia have school weather stations. In order to help pupils understand the concept of the weather, the Ministry of Education bought the science kits that included weather station equipment. These science kits were distributed to all basic schools in the country. The Africa Development Bank (ADB), with the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), conducted training of the science teachers on the use of the components in the science kit. The equipment were samples for teaching and not meant to be installed outside.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, the specific question was about understanding changing weather patterns. Perhaps, I could ask the hon. Minister whether he, himself, understands the changing weather patterns concerning that he avoided the issue.

Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, as clearly indicated in our answer, for the pupils to understand the concepts of weather, they need to understand how weather is measured, in terms of rainfall, wind and barometric pressures. We are saying that we have taken a very important step in providing this knowledge through the supply of the kits to all the basic schools in the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, weather stations are registered and managed by the Meteorological Department. May I find out whether these thirty-eight learning centres for weather are really weather stations and qualified to be called as such as if they were controlled by the department responsible for weather stations in the country.

Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, clearly, the hon. Member is directing the right question to the wrong ministry. This ministry is not in charge of weather stations across the country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.



505. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:

(a) how much money the Japanese Government had contributed towards the implementation of the Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP) from May, 2006 to December, 2007; and
(b) how much money had been utilised by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) on electrification projects from 2008 to-date.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Akakandelwa): Mr Speaker, during the period May, 2006 to December, 2007, no funds were available for the implementation of REMP since it was at its preparation stage. However, approximately, US$2 million was spent on the process of formulation while US$50 million was set aside for implementation.

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the hon. Member of Parliament that over K237 billion has been utilised by the REA on various electrification projects from 2008 to date and the details of expenditure, on a yearly basis, are as follows:

Year Amount Utilised (ZMK)

2008 22,117,040,000
2009 68,905,216,000
2010 121,028,716,000
2011                                     25,000,000,000

Total                                   237,050,972,000

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister indicate which project among those in the Northern Province the aforesaid amount was spent on.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Mr Speaker, the REA undertakes various electrification projects nationwide including the Northern Province. There have been several projects that have been undertaken in the Northern Province, including the electrification of Mbala, their royal highnesses’ palaces and other projects in Chilubi, Kaputa and Chinsali.

Mr Speaker, I could have given a detailed breakdown of the various projects if an appropriate question was asked.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, when the Ministry of Energy and Water Development launched the REMP, people of Chasefu received the news with joy. Mwata, an area in Chasefu, was supposed to be electrified in 2010 with funds from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

Mr Speaker, now that 2010 is no more and nothing is on the ground in the form of electricity in Mwata, I would like to know why there has been this delay and when joy will be extended to the people of Chasefu.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Chasefu for asking, once again, when Mwata in his constituency will be electrified.

Mr Speaker, as we indicated last time, subject to funds being available, Mwata will be electrified.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if there are other donors apart from JICA funding this project. If so, how much has been pumped into the project?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, other than JICA, we also have the World Bank and the Government of Sweden contributing to the Rural Electrification Fund.

I thank you, Sir.


506. Mr Lubinda asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) how much revenue was received in the form of the following taxes from 2008 to 2010, year by year:

(i) Pay-as-You-Earn (PAYE);
(ii) Value Added Tax (VAT);
(iii) Customs and Excise Duty; and
(iv) Corporate Income Tax; and

(b) of the total revenue, how much was from the following sectors:

(i) mining;
(ii) manufacturing;
(iii) tourism;
(iv) agriculture;
(v) financial services; and
(vi) information and communications technology (ICT).

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe: Mr Speaker, between 2008 and 2010, the Treasury received a total of K26,133.5 billion from PAYE, VAT, Customs and Excise Duty and Corporate Income tax, broken down as follows, year by year:
 Type of Tax  2008  2009  2010  Total (K’bn)

Pay-As-You-Earn 2,531.2  3,014.5  3,866.3  9,412.0
Value Added Tax  2,210.0  2,475.5  3,102.2  7,787.7
Customs and Excise 1,393.0  1,088.6  1,254.3  3,735.9
Corporate Income Tax  1,352.7  1,353.3   2,421.7  5,127.7 

Total                  26,063.3

Mr Speaker, from the total tax revenue collected, the contributions from mining, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, financial services and ICT were as follows:

Sector   2008    2009  2010  Total (K’bn)
Mining   1,110.7   1,163.6  2,513.5  4,787.8    
Agriculture 121.6        151.3        197.3        470.2
Tourism   72.9  60.7     255.0        388.6
Manufacturing   285.4        249.9        307.1       842.4
Financial Services 466.0      471.1        533.8  1,470.9
ICT 294.1       378.9       954.1            1,627.1
Total         9,587.0 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, from the figures, it is clear that second to the mining sector in terms of contribution to Government revenue is the ICT sector. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what incentives are being provided by the Government to grow the ICT sector even more, given the fact that it is clearly a growing sector unlike the other sectors where this Government is spending huge amounts of money in form of subsidies.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, the incentives include a very accommodative environment for investment which has allowed the sector to thrive in the country. For instance, the recent action to bring Lap Green into the country is an effort by this Government to attract more investment and to expand the sector for job creation purposes. This is one example which can show you that we are providing attractive incentives.

Secondly, we have provided tax incentives. Currently, there is a lot of expansion taking place in the ICT sector, especially that to do with mobile phones. There is a rollout, which my colleague, maybe, talked about that is taking place in the rural areas so that telephone connectivity can reach all the parts of our country. In short, Mr Speaker, we have created a conducive environment with regard to tax incentives.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, it seems the mining sector is contributing the highest tax revenue while Corporate Income Tax is the least contributed tax amongst the taxes, leaving PAYE as the highest. Can the hon. Minister confirm that this Government is actually getting more contribution from the workers and the least from the mining companies? What is this Government going to do to reverse that trend arising from the figures he has given?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, that question gives us an opportunity to explain some of the mistaken beliefs and misunderstandings that some of our colleagues have on issues to do with taxes.

Sir, to claim that the business sector is contributing nothing in form of tax is wrong. The ultimate payers of taxes are the companies. If a company does not exist or collapses, it follows that the employee will be out of employment and, therefore, there will be no tax coming from the employee. This is why it is important that we take care of investment very carefully because, if we do not, the workers will be out of their jobs and will have no tax to pay.

Mr Speaker, I, therefore, wish to state that the PAYE, which is very high, is contingent upon the companies being able to survive. Therefore, we can conclude that those taxes, indeed, come from the mining sector. We should not start making artificial divisions as to what comes from the workers or the mines. Ultimately, the PAYE hinges on the survival of the sector.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, from the figures given, it is clear that PAYE accounts for the largest part of the revenue collected. May I know what this Government is doing to collect more revenue from other taxes so that they can cushion the highly taxed employees?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the fact that PAYE is rising and will continue to rise is an indication of the fact that the mining sector is a healthy one. As this sector and other sectors continue to expand and, as employment levels increase in the country, the PAYE contribution to the country’s revenue is actually going to rise. This is what we want to do. Obviously, as companies such as First Quantum Mine become available for profit tax purposes, we shall also see the contribution of the corporate sector to the tax base increasing.

So, that is how things stand today. I hope that explanation is clear for the hon. Member.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, following the economic hardships Zambians have been going through of late, are there any serious plans by the Government to reduce the VAT rate?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, first of all, I am quite amazed that the hon. Member is talking about economic hardships. Yes, there are people who are suffering and no one can doubt that but, I think what he is trying to hide is the fact that, increasingly, more and more people are becoming prosperous in our country.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: The most important thing about our current situation is that it gives hope to society. When more and more of your neighbours are thriving, it gives you hope that within a short period of time you too are going to thrive.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: With regard to the issue of reducing taxes, especially VAT, I wish to say that VAT in Zambia is comparable to the VAT rates in the neighbouring countries such as Botswana, South Africa and many other countries in the world. We are at 16.5 per cent and are comparable to many countries. Obviously, as we become more and more prosperous; as more and more people get jobs so that they can pay taxes; as more and more consumers become able to purchase goods and services and they can pay VAT, we may consider reducing the rate.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Captain Moono: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Please, let go of the microphone.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, as the Government continues to claim that the economy is booming and thriving, can the hon. Minister explain when we expect to see a reduction in the tax rates applicable …

Captain Moono: On a point of order.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Captain Moono: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you and apologise for interrupting the president and hon. Member of Parliament for Luena who was asking a very good question.

Mr Milupi: Hear, hear!

Captain Moono: Sir, you have guided this House that points of order should be focused around issues to do with procedure or a matter of life and death. Therefore, my point of order is a matter of life and death.

Is the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources in order not to inform this House and the nation about the lions in Chilanga Constituency that are terrorising the people and have so far killed fifteen heads of cattle, seven of which belong to Hon. Hamusonde? As a result, school-going children have stopped going to school for fear of the lions. These lions have imposed a curfew in Chilanga. So, …


Captain Moono: … people are sleeping at as early as 1800 hours. Peoples’ lives are in danger. Therefore, Mr Speaker, I humbly seek your serious guidance and ruling.

Mr Speaker: The point of order raised by the hon. Member for Chilanga relates to why the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources has not come to this House to inform the nation of the marauding lions in his constituency. The ruling is as follows:

When life is actually threatened, practical steps must be taken by those concerned.

The authority dealing with this matter is known as the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) and, coincidentally or remarkably, that authority is located in Chilanga.


Mr Speaker: If the hon. Member for Chilanga needs assistance, he should go to the ZAWA Headquarters in Chilanga for assistance. None of the hon. Members in this House owns the two things, a lion or that type of firearm known as Avtomat Kalashnikov 47.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member Parliament for Chilanga, please, serve your voters by going to ZAWA for help.

Will the hon. Member for Luena continue, please.

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, in view of the claim that the economy is booming, would the hon. Minister explain why it is not possible to reduce the rates applicable to the direct taxes bands within the tax structure as was the case in the past? Now, unlike in the past, everybody is paying the higher tax of 25 per cent and above.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, it is not a claim that the economy is growing fast. There is enough evidence which everyone can see. A few moments ago, a colleague from across there talked about the thriving telecommunications industry. A few days ago, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives announced yet another bumper harvest. The hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development is always talking about expanding the mining sector and those with eyes to see, as they drive around, see the evidence of the growing prosperity.

Mr Speaker, issues to do with possible tax reductions need to be reviewed and discussed on an annual basis.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


507. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) how much money the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) printed from 2006 to March, 2011;

(b) how many banknotes in the following denominations were printed:

(i) K50,000;
(ii) K20,000;
(iii) K10,000;
(iv) K5,000
(v) K1,000;
(vi) K500;
(vii) K100;
(viii) K50; and
(ix) K20; and

(c) what the total cost of printing the banknotes was.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Phiri): Mr Speaker, BOZ contracted various printers to print a total of 900,950,000 banknotes during the period 2006 to 2009. The total value of these notes was K5.18 trillion.

In 2010, there were no banknotes printed due to a delay encountered in the procurement process. In the third quarter of 2011, BOZ intends to print 233 million banknotes, with a total value of K2.29 trillion. Over the period 2006 to 2011, therefore, the total value of banknotes printed will be K7.47 trillion.

Mr Speaker, the numbers of banknotes printed in the respective denominations during the period 2006-2009 were as follows:

 Denomination No. of Banknotes Printed

 K50,000  58,000,000
 K20,000  58,000,000
 K10,000  64,000,000
 K5,000  65,000,000
 K1,000   75,000,000
 K500 85,000,000
 K100      271,940
 K50    222,000,000 
 K20      Nil

Mr Speaker, the BOZ spent a total of K187.2 billion printing banknotes for the period 2006 to 2009. The estimated cost of printing the banknotes in 2011 is K76.7 billion. This will bring the total cost of printing the banknotes for the period 2006 to 2011 to K263.9 billion.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what safeguards the Government has put in place to ensure that there is no fraud in the printing of these notes. I also would like to find out why K20 notes were not printed during the period in question. Is this note no longer a legal tender? Likewise, are coins also no longer legal tenders?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, with regard to fraud, the companies that print our currency are reputable. They survive on the fact that when they print money and there is no fraud, the central banks go back to them over and over again. When they commit fraud, then they will go out of business because no one will trust them.

I can confirm, Sir, that, in the recent years, no case of fraud has been reported.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Mr Speaker, while I applaud the steps taken to procure banknotes in 2011, may I know what steps will be taken to ensure that the scarcity of coins, which is the order of the day, is averted as the economy is evidently picking up.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, obviously the issue of currency composition is a very important one, taking into account utility and costs. It is evident that hardly anybody uses the low denomination note of K20 any more. However, even if they were used, it would require us to print large amounts of them. The cost of printing a K20 note and that of printing a K50,000 note do not differ substantially. Therefore, if we print these low denominations in big volumes, because they are like change, we will end up spending a lot of money.

In the near future, the currency composition will have to be reconstituted. Reconstitution means knocking off a number of zeros from the high currency denominations so that the numbers are manageable. At that point, it will become economical to have coins because they are produced in large volume per piece and since they are made out of metal, they last forever. Therefore, even if we mint or manufacture so many coins, they last longer and the cost of production is minimised. However, the reintroduction of coins has to wait until we reconstitute the currency composition.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, is the Ministry of Finance and National Planning considering improving the quality of K1,000 notes and stopping the printing of K100 notes which are completely or almost valueless?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the K100 note is not completely valueless. It is still useful because people get change in K100 denominations and, in rural areas, this is money that still buys some items. As regards the K1,000 notes, just to repeat what I said earlier, these notes are used mostly for change because they are low denominations and, therefore, we need to print them in large quantities. They circulate fast and wear out very quickly. As a result, it was found economical to manufacture them out of the plastic or polymer that we use now because that gives them longer life. Therefore, we will not change the material out of which the K1,000 and K500 notes are produced.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, most traders and shop owners no longer accept K20 notes. What action can the Government take against the traders and shop owners who no longer accept these notes?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the K20 note denomination, where it exists, is still a legal tender. Therefore, if anyone refuses to accept it, the one presenting it has the legal right to complain to the police for action.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I wish to find out from the hon. Minister the main driving force behind the printing of notes amounting to K7.4 trillion. Is it mutilations or lack of production capacity of the country?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the main driving factor is, of course, replacement of worn-out notes. The notes that we use wear out. As they wear out, the banks sort them out when they are deposited in the banks. Those that are too old to be used are withdrawn from circulation and, therefore, need to be replaced by new ones. The other factor is that as the economy grows, on certain cases where the inflation rate is high, the demand for currency tends to increase and, therefore, we must satisfy that demand by printing more notes. Thus, a combination of growing demand for currency and the need for replacements is the key factor in determining the need for printing more notes.

Mr Speaker, let me also say that, as part of the reforms of the payment systems, we are encouraging the public to use more alternative payment instruments such as cheques and automated teller machine (ATM) cards, among others. If we do that, the amount of actual notes that we will use or need to use, will be reduced. These notes are printed outside Zambia, as we all know, at a heavy cost. Therefore, it is in our interest to ensure that we pay using other alternatives to cash such as cheques, cards and transmission instructions. Finally, as part of the cost saving measures for our currency, I have to remind all of us to look after these notes very carefully. We should handle them with care so that they can last longer.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, would the hon. Minister be in a position to indicate to the House what the optimal value of notes in circulation is, at any given time, so as to qualify the answer he gave to the question raised by my colleague from Nchanga to replace mutilated notes.

Mr Simuusa: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, there is no exact figure for the optimal value of currency in circulation at any given time. The determining factor is the demand from the public. None of us wants to be told that there is no cash at the bank when we go to withdraw money, as this causes problems. Therefore, I cannot give any figure for the optimum value in circulation. I can only advise, as I said earlier on, that we look after the currency carefully so that it does not get worn out quickly. Secondly, let us use more of cheques and our cards than actual cash.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that the Government will consider reviewing or reconstituting the currency composition so that some zeros may be dropped from some denominations. Would the hon. Minister indicate when such an exercise might be considered?

Hon. Opposition Members: And how many zeros.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the key consideration is the inflation rate that is reigning. It has long been noticed that it was necessary to reconstitute our currency composition but, at some time, the inflation rate has been a bit too high to do so. Had we dropped some zeros from the high denominations then, it would not have been too long before we reintroduced a currency with added zeros. That, obviously, is not desirable. Where the inflation rate stands today, I think it is acceptable that as soon as is practical, we reconstitute the composition of our currency. This is because we are beyond the stage of having the possibility of having to introduce high denomination notes because of fast rising inflation rates. However, I cannot give the specific time. All I can say is that the economic conditions are ripe for that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, may I know which company is charged with the responsibility of printing banknotes for Zambia. Additionally, does that company have any links with the companies that print the counterfeit notes in Matero?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the printing of currencies is tendered out to reputable currency printers in the world. Usually, the name of the printer is indicated on the notes.

Mr Speaker, if there are any currency printers in Matero, those are probably illegal printers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, one of the few good things that President Chiluba and his administration did was to remove the portrait of the President from our currency. Can the hon. Minister and this Government assure this House and the nation that never again will the portrait of any President appear on our currency.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, since the hon. Member is a presidential candidate, could he assure this House that if ever he becomes President he will not insist that his portrait appears on the notes.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, there are so many currency denominations in the world which bear portraits of leaders. That is not entirely strange, unusual or undesirable. It is up to the Zambian people at any given time to determine whether it is desirable to have a portrait of any leader or any other personality of some reputation, for example a sportsman or sportswoman or a scientist. This question should be left to society to decide whenever the situation so requires.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that in view of the inadequate information on the labour market that this House urges the Government to annually publish consolidated labour statistics reflecting current employment and unemployment trends, targets and pledges by all investors against actual jobs created both in the public and private sectors.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to move this Motion that talks about a very important aspect in the governance of our nation. This Motion is non-controversial, but it is critical and crucial in tracking the nation’s fight against poverty and the promotion of sustained economic growth. As a result of this fact, this Motion deserves support from both sides of the House.

Mr Speaker, the importance of labour statistics in the economic and social sectors cannot be over-emphasised. We need labour statistics for effective planning, monitoring and assessing the performance of a wide range of Government policies and of the labour market.

Mr Speaker, there are two aspects I would like to bring up in relation to labour statistics and their importance. In planning for the nation, we need to have a solid base on which to anchor our planning process. When we plan, for example, as we did with the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) or Vision 2030 which we always talk about, we need labour statistics to give us a framework on which we can base our targets. That is what we would use when coming up with policies because it can give us the direction in which to proceed. Having planned as a nation, we need to monitor our performance and see whether we are achieving our set targets or not. We need to know whether we are moving in the right direction or straying off our targets. Only labour statistics serving as indicators can give us accurately how well we are doing as a nation in relation to the plans that we have made.

Mr Speaker, labour statistics are not only important economic and social indicators, but also a measure of the performance of the labour market. In this regard, labour statistics are not only used to measure and describe the size of the structure and characteristics of various entrants on the labour market, but also enable the Government to design appropriate employment and social economic interventions. Labour statistics are useful to a wide range of stakeholders. The Government needs the labour statistics so that it can give this nation the correct direction and good policies on labour matters. These statistics are used by business people, trade unions and politicians. Political leaders need to tell the people in their constituencies how well Government is performing, using those statistics.

Mr Speaker, even this House in assessing the performance of this Executive in relation to the policies that have been made with the intention of contributing towards the achievement of social justice and economic development. We need those statistics even as a House to assess how the Executive is performing.

Mr Speaker, the importance of labour statistics cannot be overemphasised. Labour statistics also tell us the quality of the jobs that are being created as well as the ethnic divide of the jobs that are being created. For example, we need to know how many Chinese and Zambians are working in a given company. We need to know how many jobs have been created for Zambians so that we know whether, indeed, we are creating jobs for our countrymen and so on and so forth.

Mr Speaker, in raising this Motion, in fact right now, if you look at literature and global debates, you will find that job creation is at the centre of most agendas of governments. It has been identified that employment or job creation is one of the main channels connecting economic growth and poverty reduction. That is why, even my colleagues on your right, the Executive, are always at pains to announce how many jobs they hope to create.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister will stand up and say they are going to create 80,000 or 300,000 jobs by the year 2015 and also an investor will come to this country and promise to create a number of jobs because right now, globally, job creation has been linked to poverty reduction.

Mr Speaker, job creation has been linked to poverty reduction globally. However, the question is: How many of the thousands of jobs promised by the Executive or investors that come to Zambia are actually created? When hon. Ministers stand up and say there will be 30,000 jobs created, how many of those jobs do we actually see being created? That is what we have to assess as a nation as we endeavour to develop and reduce poverty. We need to have labour statistics that tell us that those job-creation targets have actually been met.

Mr Speaker, I am aware that employment creation has been included in the plans of many ministries and institutions. For example, Vision 2030 explicitly states that employment-creation is a priority if Zambia is to become a middle income country.

Mr Speaker, the theme for Vision 2030 is: “Achieving Broad-Based Wealth and Job-Creation through Technical Advancement and Citizen Participation.” Indeed, we have based both our long-term and short-term plans on employment creation. This is also evident in the structure of the SNDP, which has included employment creation as a key performance indicator (KPI).

Mr Speaker, in the SNDP which runs from 2011 to 2015, the Government has committed to increasing employment from 8.5 per cent to 20 per cent in five years. It is very interesting to note that the target above is the backbone of Government’s short to medium term plans.

Mr Speaker, it is interesting to note that the last survey published in 2005, puts employment at 10 per cent. We started at a lower percentage point in an aspect that we recognise as a KPI of the SNDP and Vision 2030.

Mr Speaker, while setting targets is a positive move, it will only be meaningful if strategies and progress towards meeting them are reported in every National Budget.

Mr Speaker, if poverty reduction is at the centre of Government plans, then employment creation targets should be reported alongside other economic growth indicators in every National Budget. In this regard, we should take our labour statistics seriously because they are like our pulse. There are our vital signs that will tell us how well we are doing as a nation in terms of the health and strength of our programmes. That is how serious we need to take the gathering of our labour statistics.

Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), provides significant incentives for priority sectors to attract investors. Some of the priority sectors include manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. The main objective of all these sectors is to create decent employment.

Mr Speaker, notwithstanding these efforts, it has been observed that there has been inadequate commitment by the Government to the following:

(i) making available comprehensive statistics on the employment situation in the country on a more regular and timely basis; and

(ii) providing regular updates on the implementation rate of employment-creation targets pledged by investors, and reasons for any discrepancy.

Mr Speaker, we are operating in a statistical vacuum in as far as the labour market and employment statistics are concerned. We do not have labour statistics produced and made available for us as a nation to operate and govern correctly. Even my statement has a statistical vacuum. The last labour statistics produced were in 2005. The current 2008 Labour Survey has not yet been published. Given the importance of labour statistics in terms of planning, effective monitoring, analysis and control of directional policy for this country, how can we allow a situation in which current statistics are not provided to people who need them?

Mr Speaker, I would like to liken this situation to flying an aeroplane without having proper navigation equipment or readings to show you where you are going. Unless this situation is reversed, we are bound to crash as a nation. What is even critical about this is that to date, we do not know the exact number of workers that lost jobs during the global economic crisis, which also affected Zambia; and how many have since been re-employed. We do not know how many of the jobs go to new entrants on the labour market, and how many of those who lost salaried jobs during the crisis are still without jobs.

Mr Speaker, the lack of such information for over five years makes it difficult to judge the effectiveness of Government’s policies and strategies on employment creation with any degree of accuracy. Accurate and regular labour statistics are key indicators, which the Government can utilise to assess on a regular basis the impact of the economic crisis on the living standards of Zambians and the appropriateness of its policies and strategies on employment creation.

Mr Speaker, another crucial issue is that labour statistics should be accurate and presentable. It is a well-known fact that Zambian labour statistics fail to meet certain requirements. Various issues, for example concerning co-ethnic employment in Zambia are not well represented. Consequently, it is difficult to determine the ratio of domestic employees to foreign expatriates.

Mr Speaker, in 2006, a United Nations report estimated that for every Zambian in a Chinese firm, there are about fifteen Chinese workers with a total of only 10,000 local jobs created in the past thirteen years. More recently, a study indicated that at senior management level at Chambishi Mine, eleven were Chinese and only one was Zambian. Furthermore, the number of non-Zambian employees’ wages and skills profiles of these workers are not readily available.  Without doubt, filling labour statistics will be essential in providing for evidence-based planning and reviews in the area of employment.

Mr Speaker, these issues have indeed been raised by various concerned stakeholders in the nation such as the Government, non-government organisations (NGOs) and the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR). The JCTR has been very consistent in giving out statistics and raising concerns of the lack of labour statistics in the country and the effect it is having on the nation in the sense that we are not going in the right direction.

Sir, the same issues which I have raised were also observed by your Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour in the Second Report for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. The Committee observed that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, in collaboration with the Central Statistical Office (CSO), has not produced consolidated labour statistics on the current employment situation in the country in the last five years. Your Committee found out that this was mainly due to inadequate funding to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security as well as lack of political will.

Mr Speaker, I can speculate as to the reasons this situation has been going on. I do not know whether it is lack of political will or the fact that we are afraid of evaluating ourselves. I also do not know whether or not we are afraid that if correct labour statistics were published, it may show that we are not performing well. There is also the reason of not providing the Ministry of Labour and Social Security with adequate funding.

The last time, I raised the question for the attention of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security as to why labour statistics were not being produced, I was told that the ministry lacked the funds for such an exercise. How can we not have funds for a question which involves life and death? This is how highly I rate labour statistics. They are a question of life and death such that we seriously need to make them available. We must find the money to fund the ministry and CSO for the exercise to be carried out. Let us fund whichever institution requires to be assisted to capture the labour statistics because they are the pulse of this nation. In fact, once this is done, as a nation we will be able to know if we are going in the right direction so that we can avoid crashing.

In conclusion, I would like to urge the Government to increase its financial support and human resource development at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the CSO so as to enable the institutions to capture and publish comprehensive employment and labour market data on an annual basis. Human resource in these two institutions can be developed by promoting national and sub-regional training and networking regarding labour statistics. For instance, lessons can be learnt from countries such as South Africa that publish labour statistics on a quarterly basis. We have nations like the United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom (UK) which, maybe, we cannot compare ourselves with, that produce their statistics on a monthly basis. Even the presidency in those countries is shaken if the monthly labour statistics are not produced or not favourable. That is how serious they take the issue of labour statistics.

I would also like to urge the Government to begin to state its employment creation targets in every annual Budget Speech alongside macro-economic targets such as economic growth and inflation targets. It should also be able to provide policy direction on how to achieve the employment targets set in the SNDP (SNDP) from 2011 to 2015 so that we are able to achieve these targets without any excuses, politicking or finger pointing.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, now.

Mr Speaker ...

Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I had just started contributing to the Motion on the Floor of the House.

Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion that in view of the inadequate information on the labour market, this House urges the Government to regularly publish consolidated labour statistics which reflect current employment and unemployment trends, targets and pledges by all investors against actual jobs created both in the public and private sectors. This Motion is not only timely, but also non-controversial.

Madam Speaker, I will start my debate by giving hon. Members a background to this Motion. Three committees of this House had the privilege, through your office, to attend a workshop that was organised by one of our development partners. It was quite interesting to actually note that indeed there was a gap in as far as consolidated labour statistics was concerned. To this effect, I would like at the end of my statement to lay on the Floor of this House an analysis of Zambia’s employment generating policies and strategies which was prepared by the JCTR just for the information of all hon. Members and the Executive so that they see the importance of this Motion for the good of the poor people and our country.

Madam Speaker, it is interesting, though sad, to note that we have a labour force of only 10 per cent in the formal sector as opposed to 90 per cent which is in the informal sector. Sad as this data may seem, it is not surprising considering that we have concentrated on the extractive industry, that is, the mining sector which we know is more capital intensive and not labour intensive.

The mover of this Motion, Madam Speaker, did stress the need for having consolidated labour statistics. I will give the House ways and means by which we can come up with quality employment in the formal sector by way of putting in place certain policies that would increase the amount of employment in the formal sector.

Madam Speaker, it is common knowledge that to increase employment, there is need to invest heavily in labour intensive industries such as manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. If these jobs are to be sustainably created with a large number of formal sector jobs which Zambia requires to reduce poverty, the Government needs to creatively harness the positive economic growth effects which have been …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Whosoever wants to follow with the Chair, will agree that it is not easy because the hon. Member has to try and shout over the discussions going on. The Chair will not allow a situation where points are repeated over and over because one was not listening. Can we listen to one another so that we move together.

The hon. Member on the Floor may continue.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I was saying that in order for Zambia to reduce poverty, there is need for our Government to creatively harness the positive economic effects that have been experienced in the mining sector. This can be achieved by implementing targeted industrial policies that support more labour intensive sectors which are the manufacturing, agriculture and tourism sectors to mention, but a few.

Madam Speaker, this implies that any suitable foreign direct investment (FDI) driven solutions to Zambia’s employment problem must be less capital intensive and more focused on employment intensive industries. There has to be a deliberate effective way of linking FDI to the locally owned companies.

Madam Speaker, this Motion is being moved at the right time when Zambia is just from hosting the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Conference. As we know, this forum was meaningful in that it tried to expose us to the need to have more linkages between local partners and international businesses beyond the forum. Our Government should boost the manufacturing sector by emphasising on value addition in its industrial strategy.

Madam Speaker, what I am proposing here is actually very much in line with what has been stated or what our Government is already pursuing. The SNDP says on page 14:

“The policy of Government is to accelerate private sector investment so as to achieve increased and diversified growth. Deliberate effort will be made towards linking foreign direct investments to the domestic economy in order to broker linkages with SMEs with the view of increasing their productivity, capacity and ability to penetrate into larger markets. The overall effect intended is the creation of decent employment in the various areas of investment.”

Madam Speaker, in order to create the much-talked about large numbers of sustainable jobs, we must develop the labour intensive sectors.

Secondly, the Government must increase investments in agro processing, value addition in minerals extracted as well as technical fields that support value creation.

Madam Speaker, the success of these and other policies and strategies that the Government may decide to implement will only be possible when they are based on the generation of data which shall provide a basis for evidence based planning and monitoring in the area of employment.

Madam Speaker, as expressed by the mover of the Motion, the House needs to see clear policy direction and strategies from the Government with regard to the employment targets in the SNDP. It is imperative that the employment targets and strategies are reported alongside other macroeconomic indicators such as economic growth and inflation rates in every National Budget Speech.

Madam Speaker, as I indicated earlier on, whilst the Government may have these good policies, it is difficult for us, as hon. Members of Parliament, to appreciate them and to hold it to account on statements that promise to create a particular number of employment opportunities when we do not have the consolidated labour statistics on an annual basis.

Madam Speaker, you will appreciate that, indeed, this Motion is not only for the good of the Executive, but the Back Benchers as well who will be able to use that data if and when it is required.

Madam Speaker, I said earlier on that we have 10 per cent of the people in formal employment and the rest are in the informal sector. Our Government, has come up with a good policy of a minimum wage of about K700, 000.

Hon. Members: No! It is K419,000.

Mrs Masebo: I stand to be corrected. I think it is about K419, 000 going towards K700, 000 or, maybe, that is what we hope to achieve. Now, if you have 90 per cent of people working in the informal sector, it means that these are not regulated. It means also that even these policies that we are coming up with may not really be reflecting the true picture of what would be required.

Therefore, there is need for this consolidated data to be published annually so that it can be used to come up with policies that are well instructed because you know exactly what kind of achievements you have made and what kind of gaps you need to fill up.

Madam Speaker, I urge the House, both on the right and the left, to support this Motion because it will also help the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security to do his job well.

Let me also consolidate the proposals that the mover made with regard to the financing of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security so that it can have the capacity to create employment data. We know that in the last report of the Committee on Economic and Labour Affairs, it was said that the carrying out of such an exercise was not possible because of the lack of resources. I urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to take this matter seriously next time around so that the relevant ministry can be capacitated because at the end of the day, the results of that data will feed into the policy making process of the Executive. It will obviously also help us as the Back Benchers to check whether the employment figures that we are being told have been created by companies that come to invest in the country are true.

Madam Speaker, I want to leave enough time for other hon. Members to contribute to the Motion on the Floor. Before I sit down, allow me to just lay on the Table of this House a very important document which we in the Estimates Committee, had the privilege of going through at a workshop where you sent us to learn about this important topic.

Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion of the Floor of the House.

Mrs Masebo laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Soli Princess!

Mr Kambwili: Ebanakashi aba!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to say something on the Motion on the Floor. From the outset, I want to say that I am persuaded to believe that the intention of the seconder of the Motion was to discuss policies of how to create employment. I think that although the Motion is about labour statistics, the seconder may have actually wanted to talk about how to create employment.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}
   Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, I think the Motion would have been richer had it touched on real topical issues of how we can plan to create employment, year after year. Discussing labour statistics alone is not enough. This Motion does not really reveal the critical issues at hand. Whether there is more or less employment, we would want statistics so that we can plan. The importance of these statistics depends on how we use them to come up with plans to create employment.

Madam Speaker, the earlier presentation was about how to create employment, which departed away from the topic that is stated in the Motion.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! You have a Motion clearly stated. Your feelings are not those of the mover. Therefore, you will have to debate the Motion as presented to the House. You may continue, but do not create a Motion.

Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, I will follow what has been presented before us. There is a need for us to have labour statistics, but what is more important is for us to look at methods of creating employment that will create the statistics. The topic of employment is important in our country because it is the main factor of production for our poor people. When you create employment, you reduce poverty in society. That is why employment creation becomes key in our planning of economic growth.

Madam Speaker, the seconder has emphasised the issues or the areas we must concentrate on for us to create jobs so that our statistics are qualitative and quantitative. I have already indicated that poverty can be addressed in Africa through creating employment for our people. What they have to offer on the table is through their labour. They might not have the money or land, but they can offer labour. Therefore, employment creation can help us to deal with poverty in our country. 

Madam Speaker, the issues of unemployment must be looked in relation to the history of our country. What has caused unemployment in our country is the route of liberalisation that we took in 1991. When we liberalised our economy, our local industry was not protected from foreign goods. Therefore, even if we put emphasis on value addition without the protection of our local industry, our products might not be able to compete with foreign goods that are produced cheaply. Therefore, efforts to create employment will become very difficult.

Madam, in value addition and manufacturing, there is a need to go back to what we know best. The levels of employment in this country reduced because we exposed our infant industries to competition with efficient producers. I can give you examples of the areas where employment has really gone down.

Madam Speaker, for example, the textile industry …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member wants to debate and, indeed, a very important component of labour or employment. Unfortunately, that is deviating from what the Motion is about. What the Motion is about are statistics. It has to do with labour information and not employment creation. Therefore, one would think you would talk in terms of how this information can be gathered and, as such, enrich the debate around labour information and statistics. That is what the Motion is all about. You may have very strong feelings on employment creation, but if we allow you to continue to debate along that route, then, everybody will have something to say about labour or employment. Can you come back to the Motion.

Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, in that case, I will be very brief and come to the topical issue at hand. As indicated, the labour statistics are important for us to plan properly. Without them, we will not have an indication of how we are dealing with poverty in our society. Year in and year out, it is important for the Government to present to us the incremental issues on labour statistics so that we know how many jobs we are creating and how much poverty we are reducing in our society.

Madam Speaker, I want to support this Motion by saying that labour statistics are very important because they will help us plan properly. Without statistics, we would be claiming that we are creating jobs by opening one mine, and yet we have lost jobs elsewhere. With the actual figures, we will be able to know how we are dealing with the issues of poverty via employment creation. Those figures must be reflected in the labour statistics and must be reported. It is, therefore, very important that, periodically, the Executive addresses the nation and talks about labour statistics so that we know how well we are doing in this area.

Madam Speaker, the labour statistics must also be segmented into a number of areas such as  the quality of that labour. You can have 10 per cent of the total population employed, but we will not know the quality of that employment. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is emphasising the need for decent work. There is a decent work agenda on the table and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security must endeavour to segregate the labour statistics so that we know the quality of those statistics. We might have so many people employed, and yet they are just casual workers. You will find that even the salaries that they are earning are not enough to have a dent on poverty. Therefore, those statistics must be segmented so that we know the quality of the jobs. There is no point in having so many jobs that do not change the lives of the people.

Madam Speaker, over the years, when you look at these labour statistics, you will discover, by and large, that most of the jobs that are revealed are not qualitative, but quantitative. We would rather have qualitative jobs that put value in our families and those statistics will help us know how much we are dealing with poverty.

Madam, in Zambia, we have a very high dependency ratio. The people that are working are fewer than those that are not. Therefore, the few who are working are looking after so many people in their immediate and extended families. So, we are interested in knowing the value of those jobs in monetary terms so that we know what impact one job can have on a family and, indeed, the extended families. Yes, it is important to know the statistics for us to plan properly and move forward.

Madam Speaker, as I conclude, I want to mention that I would have loved to go into the issues that the seconder indicated on how we can create jobs. Although the issues are not up for discussion, at the moment, there are real issues.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to just say a few words in support of the Motion on the Floor. In doing so, I wish to register my very utmost disappointment at the behavior of the Chief Whip and His Honour the Vice-President and Learned Minister of Justice. Just upon entering the Chamber, they saw the Motion and said that they would reject it. This was even before they listened to the debates. 

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: That is a very bad attitude.

Madam Speaker, we come here to debate issues and only when we do so can we know whether to reject or accept something. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Madam.

Mr Kambwili: However, Madam Speaker, from the outset, they decided that they would not support the Motion.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

 A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, I wish to apologise to you for disturbing the deliberations. I rise on a very serious procedural point of order.

Madam Speaker, this House has been guided before in terms of procedure. Is the hon. Member debating in order to bring in names of hon. Members, in this case, the two he has mentioned, who have not yet even debated the Motion, which has since been …


Mr Sichilima: Muleumfwa icisungu!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, …

Hon. Members: Sit down!

Hon. Opposition Member: Order means sit down, iwe!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members will give an opportunity to one another and the Chair will definitely guide if there is a need for guidance in what is being raised. Allow the hon. Deputy Minister to finish his point of order so that we can move on.

The hon. Deputy Minister may proceed.

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, we cherish your wisdom.  

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, my point of order is that this Motion, which has just been introduced, was not on the Floor earlier. Is it in order for the hon. Member, who is debating, to bring in names of people who have not yet debated the Motion and purport that they wanted to reject the Motion, when they have not even spoken yet?

Madam Speaker, I need your serious ruling.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: The guidance from the Chair is that what the hon. Member on the Floor referred to must have been a private conversation. He, however, did refer to the Chief Whip and His Honour the Vice-President and Leader of Government Business, in their very official capacity. They will, therefore, have an opportunity to state their case.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member, however, should try not to bring in private conversations into the House by bringing out the information as he knows it. Stick to what you know.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I thank you. Jesus said “forgive them Father for they know not what …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

When guidance has been given, you do not also guide over it. You will withdraw the forgiveness part and then continue.


Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the biblical provision.

Madam Speaker, labour statistics are extremely important for any nation. In fact, it is only in Zambia where election campaigns are not based on labour statistics. The major issue which people in developed countries talk about during elections is labour. They talk about it with figures that are published by the relevant authorities in those countries.  We expect every reasonable government to accept its mistakes. It is true that this Government has not been publishing labour statistics on a monthly or annual basis. Therefore, I do not find anything controversial about this Motion.

Madam Speaker, if the people on your right are reasonable, they should accept their mistakes and support this Motion rather than reject it even before they hear the views of the hon. Members of Parliament.

It is only by publishing labour statistics that we can know the quality of jobs being created for our people. For instance, this Government has boasted of creating jobs in Luanshya, and yet all the miners at the mines are casuals. In the contracts which they have signed, there is a provision which states that the company has the right to terminate the contract at anytime without giving notice. These people are being called permanent and pensionable employees, and yet two people have already been laid off using this same provision.

Madam Speaker, therefore, it is only when we have labour statistics that will define the kind of jobs that are being created and the value of how the workers are being paid will we be able to quantify and positively defend the statements that, indeed, jobs have been created in Luanshya.

Madam Speaker, this Government announced that the Mulyashi Project would create 520 jobs in construction. Indeed, they are constructing, today, but out of the 520 jobs, over 280 belong to the Chinese who are doing work that Zambians are supposed to be doing. Without labour statistics, it is very difficult for this Government and anybody else to know that out of the 520 jobs that this Government was preaching about, 280 of them have gone to the Chinese. If you go to Roan Township this evening, you would think that it is Yung Ho …

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: … because there are so many Chinese doing jobs that are supposed to be done by Zambians.

Madam Speaker, the highest paid worker at Mulyashi gets K600,000. If you create employment that has no value, it is as good as not creating it at all and this is why people have moved to India and China.

Madam Speaker, Audico in the United Kingdom (UK) transferred its manufacturing workshop from the United Kingdom to China because of cheap labour. Now, if we also create jobs which do not benefit our people in any way for the sake of attracting investment then we are not doing anything as a nation. We should, therefore, support the Motion that the Government starts publishing labour statistics for the purpose of planning and to know whether we are creating quality employment or not.  I, therefore, want to urge everybody who is reasonable in this House to support the Motion because it is non-controversial and straight forward.

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

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!  

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Madam Speaker, I think that we should start by accepting that a lack of labour statistics is not some astronomical event which just happens to occur to us or happens to happen like the full lunar eclipse that is occurring tonight at 2200 hours maximum. It is something which is a consequence of our own actions or lack of them. It reflects on our priorities and what we think is more important than something else.

Madam Speaker, I will tend to take this Motion implicitly as a Motion of censure for this outgoing Government that has failed to take, perhaps, the most important indicator as the one by which to judge itself by.

Madam Speaker, I would like to give the history of economics very briefly. At the end of the 19th Century, there was a greedy belief that supply and demand as well as the operations of the markets would secure the best prices. It was assumed that full employment would result from the market working because as a surplus of labour grew the value of wages would go down and more people would employed. Unfortunately, the thing which upset the situation more than anything else is that the great depression had started in the late 1920’s and continued, in fact, through to the outbreak of World War II.

Unfortunately, the Great Depression that started in the late 1920s and continued through to the outbreak of World War II showed that the high levels of unemployment in the west were absolutely consistent with free market operations. In my understanding, that led to the Keynesian Revolution, where the level of unemployment became the indicator of how a country was doing.

After the Second World War, the Keynesian Compact, as it is sometimes called, took over in the running of central banks and ministries of finance. Everybody agreed that if there was a lack of employment looming, interest rates and taxes would be lowered to engender demand and that if there was a shortage of labour occurring then the opposite would happen. The result was more or less a developed economy across Europe and the United States of America (USA).

At this point, some revisionist such as Milton Freedman, for example, in his Chicago School of Economics, came along and said the important things in life are the rate of inflation and similar inconveniences in our life. He believed that once inflation was sorted out, employment was a solved problem. Unfortunately, in the developing world it is not a solved problem. In this country, it is not a solved problem. This is so because our rate of inflation or the growth rate of the gross domestic product (GDP) is not even a measure of how Zambians are doing but, how much economic activity there is in Zambia from all sources, including the Chinese and South Africans. These are the numbers we have been banding as if we were a country with enough employment or as if we were the USA. In fact, even the USA, given this recent recession, where unemployment has risen to about 10 per cent, is reverting to unemployment as the important variable; the litmus test and the thermometer by which you measure the health of the economy. They are not worried about inflation or many other things, but about losing elections because they cannot provide jobs in their economy.

Madam Speaker, lack of priority given to labour statistics in this country is a reflection of the fact that we think we can act like a developed country when we are an undeveloped country. We think that we can engage in financial finagling or the extracted industries and go for capital intensive things, but not publish labour statistics. Such a state of affairs is a reflection of our leaders’ attitudes. It is not something which has just happened to us.

I must say I think the chickens may come home to roost. I have no trouble raising a large rally in virtually any part of Zambia on any day of the week …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!


Dr Scott: … because …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Can you come back to the Motion on the Floor?

Dr Scott: Madam Speaker, the levels of unemployment in this country are high and growing. That is self evident from what one experiences and when one goes and meets people.

Jobs are being created at only one tenth of the rate at which the labour market needs them. Madam, if I was a member of the Government on your right, which is largely MMD with a token United National Independence Party (UNIP) hon. Member …


Dr Scott: … and ex-Patriotic Front (PF) hon. Members, I would be very frightened. We will meet in the field.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, from the outset, I wish to support the Motion ably moved by the hon. Member of Parliament for Nchanga and seconded by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chongwe. Let us set things straight. This is a good Motion because it talks about an issue affecting our citizens.

For this Motion to go through, which I hope it will, it is important to make sure that we separate it from party politics. Therefore, I disagree that this is a Motion of censure. I think it is a Motion that allows all of us to reflect on that which is necessary to move our country forward.

Madam Speaker, in order to successfully fight poverty; either eliminate it or reduce it, one of the measures is the creation of sustenance of not only employment but, that which is of a high value. In order to ensure that we create the right levels of employment, it is important that we know where to create employment and what type needs to be created. It is for this reason that this Motion that deals with labour statistics, in my view, is very critical.

In other countries, Madam Speaker, labour statistics are a key economic indicator on the same level as inflation, growth in the economy and, indeed, GDP. The number of people in employment or out of employment is something which must be followed up by whichever government comes into power. It is upon this employment that the vast majority of the people depend.

Madam Speaker, in the Zambian context, sometimes, we do not even know how many people are in employment. In this House a figure has been quoted that over 60 per cent of our citizens are unemployed. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has come at various times in the House to refute this and has talked about a figure much less than this one or in other words, a number of people in employment much higher. This, in itself, is an indication of the need to ensure that we have proper and regular labour statistics published.

The number of 490,000 people in formal employment is the one that sticks to mind. However, you will recall that in 1964 when the population of this country was 3.5 million, the number of those in formal employment was 300,000. So, if this number of 490,000 is accurate since it is from Government statistics and not myself, it clearly shows that in the forty-seven years that we have been independent, we have failed, as a country, to look after the interests of our growing population.

Alongside the need to have proper statistics, there is also a need to plan for the future. It is referred to as succession planning. One generation plans for the next generation. What are we doing about this as a country, Madam Speaker?

If you look at a number of key skills, you find that we have been inadequate in the way we have prepared our future generation that will take up the mantles of leadership in various areas of our economy. Specifically, if you look at key technical skills like bricklaying, fitting, electronics, boiler making and so on and so forth, you find that because of lack of labour statistics, we are creating a vacuum which very soon will catch up with this country.

If you go to any construction site, you will find that those that have trowels; the bricklayers, are either elderly people trained in the Hodgson days or, indeed, foreigners mainly coming from Zimbabwe. What is happening to the Zambians and the training that is required?

Madam Speaker, it is necessary to have these statistics because it is on the basis of these labour statistics that the country will know where critical skills are required. On the basis of the need for these critical skills many other social sectors are able to be engineered to take into account the needs of the labour market. Therefore, the type of education we impart to our children will reflect the critical areas where labour will be required. Those going to colleges and universities as well as those going for job on training will be a reflection of the type of labour requirements that a country has.

Madam Speaker, the labour statistics will also reveal whether we have adequate labour productivity in this country. All too often, if you travel around our countryside or, indeed, our towns and compare with what you see in other countries, for example, the developed countries, a job that is normally done by, maybe, one or two people  in another country, will be done by twenty or thirty people here. No wonder, the amount of money that we pay is commensurate with our labour productivity.

Madam Speaker, let us remind ourselves of the fact that because of the critical nature of labour statistics, especially the level of employment in any country, particularly countries that we seek to emulate such as those western or developed countries, at a time when they face economic crisis, the need to keep and sustain employment is uppermost. We should remind ourselves that in 2009, during the global financial crisis, some of the stimulus packages put in place by the western world were clearly targeted at creating conducive environments in their countries to create and sustain employment. In these countries, an unemployment figure of 10 per cent or that approaching 10 per cent, as one of the hon. Members who contributed to the debate said, is considered a crisis. Therefore, steps must be taken in the economy to ensure that corrective measures are put in place. That is what we want and that is why we support this Motion that will enable this Government to focus on labour statistics and ensure that not only do we report on labour statistics, but also corrective measures are put in place to ensure that we try as much as possible to create employment for our citizens.

Madam Speaker that is what is key and I hope that our friends to your right will see it fit to support this Motion. As I said, it is non-controversial and will help the whole country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Madam Speaker, I find this Motion to be accommodative and non-controversial.

Madam Speaker, maybe, we have not understood the Motion. The Motion is asking that we should gather statistics on labour movements and labour related issues so that the information at the end of the day can help us plan our policies and see which areas we can focus on to maximise the creation of wealth.

Madam Speaker, poverty has been defined among other definitions as lack of employment. When people lack employment, it means there is poverty in that area because people are not employed to be able to earn an income. Much as this Motion is talking about statistics, it is also talking about how, maybe, we can assist the Government to create jobs. This Motion should be looked at as a substitution of job creation because we would like to know …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

That is a challenge, can you move back to the Motion.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, we are talking about consolidating statistics on the current employment levels, targets and pledges against actual jobs created. That is the Motion.

Madam Speaker, so far, as a country, we have failed to create wealth.


Mr Shakafuswa: As a country, we have failed to make Zambia an affluent country because, at independence, we had 300,000 people in formal employment but, we have only created 170,000 jobs to date. Job creation is a measure of wealth for the country. That is why in other countries, when you talk about job creation, you are talking about the development of the country. It is about how people are able to access jobs and through the accessing of jobs, they are able to contribute to effective demand derives from one getting a salary. When you get a salary, you are able to pay for goods and services and if you do this, you help grow the economy because you are putting money into the economy.

Madam Speaker, what we are talking about is that we are privileged. This does not mean that we do not have statistics in this country. We have statistics which are combined with certain statistics because we know how many people are coming into the country, how many pledges they are making and, at the end of the day, like Hon. Simuusa was asking, let us compare the pledges against the actual.

 Madam Speaker, on account of getting licences or other favourable conditions, people will say, “I want ten thousand hectares of land where I would like to put up a plant and that will help create 5,000 jobs.” The hon. Minister of Lands gets excited on that basis and gives out the ten thousand hectares of land and the person just uses the land as collateral. This is happening. After this person gets a loan using this land as collateral, he gets on the next plane out of the country the following day. All we are saying is that let us create wealth for our country.

Madam Speaker, the art of creating wealth through job statistics is very easy because it enables the Government to budget. At the moment, we can use the statistics given to us by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. We know for certain that last year there was about 6.6 per cent growth in the GDP. From that growth, you can find out which industries have been the drivers. The hon. Minister knows that agriculture, mining, telecommunications, tourism and transport have contributed to this growth. Out of these, we are able to ascertain that there has been growth in this sector and, as such, this number of jobs has been created. You may not be surprised that this figure of 470,000 in formal employment is, maybe, based on only those who pay tax to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). These may be figures captured by the ZRA as those who are formally employed and being taxed, but there are others who may not be in the bracket of formal employment, but not captured by the ZRA. It will help the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to know that certain jobs have been created in these areas. It will also assist him come up with policy and fiscal measures as he plans the budget. This Motion is not something made in futility or a position of the Opposition. It is just that somebody who is not thinking beyond his nose will say why has it come at this time? The Opposition and the Government hon. Members are being paid to be in this House to contribute to national development and not just to stand and oppose things.

   I think this Motion actually shows the quality of leadership and ability of Hon. Simuusa and his bench and those who support him. It is an indication that he is able to come here and suggest things which are very tangible such as this Motion.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Therefore, I presume this is a very good Motion which is going to help us put certain measures in place. At the moment, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning might come with his own statistics, but they will not reflect the fact that effective demand in the economy has gone down. I say so because when I go to the Zambeef Products Plc wholesale outlet on the Chandwe Musonda Road to buy beef for my constituency and my family every week, I find all the choice cuts finished by 0900 hours. This is because the company’s business has gone down by 70 per cent. People have not stopped eating beef or offals, which are locally known as ichifu. It is just that they have no money in their pockets to afford them. This indicates how well the economy is performing.

The availability of labour statistics will show us how the economy is running and therefore, help us determine in which direction we need to drive it. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will be helped to come up with the right interventions in our economy. Such statistics will also inform us on how companies are paying workers in this country.

Madam, I would also like to state that the key driver of economic activity is not the industry, but Government. The Government expenditure on goods and services in any particular year ranks higher than any other sector in the economy. Maybe, the mining sector contributes substantially to our economy through investment, but the Government puts in more, on a yearly basis, as evidenced by our last National Budget, which was between K20 trillion and K25 trillion. In terms of expenditure on services, the Government will pump in about US$3 billion to US$4 billion into the economy. This is why I say the Government is the main driver of economic activities.

Madam, therefore, if the labour statistics were readily available, the Government would direct such expenditure towards wealth creation. How does the Government contribute to wealth creation? The Government has to be careful by creating wealth within the economy and not creating wealth for outsiders. Of late, we have been praising ourselves for the availability of goods and services which have been sourced from foreign companies. We should realise that we are using our monies from this economy to pay for services contracted from outside. This means that we are taking money out of our economy. We are reducing the effective demand in the country when we spend about US$1 billion on the procurement of services from foreign contractors in every fiscal year. Essentially, this money will create employment in other countries and improve their labour statistics as employment opportunities will be increased in those countries.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: However, if we spent this money on local goods and services, we would have increased economic activities and thereby improve our employment levels. Therefore, more people will be captured in the statistics of our labour market.

Madam Speaker, for example, if I am given a contract to construct a road or build a school, as a Zambian contractor, I will keep the money I make in a local bank. The bank can earn interest on it, expand its activities and employ more cashiers and, maybe, even open another branch in an area which is booming with economic activities. That money can be lent to a farmer who will produce more and employ more people. All of these people will be captured in economic statistics.

However, when the Government prefers foreign contractors to Zambians, it is very questionable because, at the end of the day, the outflow of our liquid cash is so much more than the inflow. The inflow will come in terms of expenditure on capital goods which are not bought here. The investment made by a mining conglomerate can be so much, but be capital intensive. On the other hand, when the Government spends money within our economy, the multiplier effect is far reaching.

Failure by the Government to spend more on local goods and services is the reason we have only been able to create 170, 000 jobs over all these years. Therefore, we are not doing our work. We do not have better tools of analysis because when you create more jobs, you are creating more wealth for the country. I think what Hon. Simuusa was talking about is not just statistics. His concern is that job creation in this country has been affected. He wants good jobs to be created.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Debate the Motion. I know you may have your own line of thought, but you cannot start thinking for another hon. Member and make such challenges. Can you come back to debate the need for labour statistics. You may continue to debate on statistics and pledges in the labour component of the economy.

Mr Shakafuswa: The Motion reads …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

You debate. I have read the Motion.

Mr Kambwili: Ebaume aba.


Mr Shakafuswa: Madam, I value your counsel. In this Motion, which I am debating …

Mr Simuusa: Very well.

Mr Shakafuswa: … not very effectively …


Mr Shakafuswa: … I think the core issue here is …

Mr Shakafuswa made gestures with his hands.


Mr Shakafuswa: … that we need annual statistics which will help us know in which direction our country is heading, where we are failing and in which areas to intervene in. Economic intervention is very easy and the Government can do so in many areas. We have proved that a lot of our people are unemployed and statistics have shown that some of them do not have qualifications. Hon. Milupi was just saying that this country, today, does not have well-qualified bricklayers.

Madam Speaker, labour statistics will help the Government to see what inadequacies we have and, therefore, take action through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training. Why should we bring in artisans from Zimbabwe, when we can make a crash programme of one to two years and have our own qualified artisans? I can give an example of Cuba which has been able to eradicate diseases and, today, it is healthier than America. What the Cubans did is reduce a seven-year course for a doctor to only four years. The course was specially tailored to attend to the tropical problems that the country had. If we have the labour statistics, we will be able to pinpoint the areas that require intervention so that we can train our people and enable them to move from being employed in casual labour to white collar jobs.

Madam Speaker, this is actually going to help the Government come up with effective policy formulation. Hence, this Motion cannot be rejected like someone suggested. Although I know the hon. Member for Roan was lying, sorry, he was, what is the word?


Mr V. Mwale: Not telling the truth.

Mr Shakafuswa: I think the hon. Member for Roan was …


Mr V. Mwale: He was economical with the truth.

Mr Shakafuswa: He was economical with the truth because I do not think any reasonable hon. Member of this House can stand to oppose such a Motion.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: No reasonable hon. Member of this House will oppose such a Motion unless he or she knows that he or she is just waiting for gratuity and after getting it, he or she will not come back.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to make a contribution on this Motion on the Floor.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: Madam Speaker, let me start by saying that before I go to my written text, I wish to correct some statements that have been made on the Floor of this House because I know many other people listen to the debates in this House and are bound to be misled by information which is not corrected. To start with, this Government has created jobs for the Zambian people and I can give a few examples just in the mining sector. You know that we lost jobs in the mining sector and I keep on talking about this. It is unfortunate that our colleagues on your left ignore information even when it comes on the Floor of this House several times.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: We lost jobs in Luanshya. Those jobs have been regained, but what we have done is not only to create jobs or regain jobs which were lost, but gone far beyond that. At the time the Luanshya Copper Mine (LCM) closed, we had 1,200 jobs. When the LCM was reopened, there were 1,700 jobs. How can you argue on the Floor of this House that this Government is not creating jobs? You know Albidon Mine in Mazabuka was closed, but at the moment, the employees have been re-employed. We have not only restored the jobs that were lost, but also created new jobs. For example, at Lumwana Mine, we have created new jobs for our people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: At Kansanshi Copper Mine and Chambishi Copper Smelter, we have created brand new jobs for our people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: How can you argue that there are no jobs being created? These are just a few examples in the mining sector alone. You know that schools and clinics are being built. I have asked this question on the Floor of this House before, who do you think is building these schools? The construction industry cannot tick without people getting employed. You are talking about a bumper harvest, but how do you think you can have a bumper harvest without jobs being created? I think that those are seasonal jobs because there are seasonal and casual jobs and we must differentiate them.

Hon. Government Members: Yes.

Mr Liato: Madam Speaker, if at the LCM there is a clause in the conditions of service, like the one Hon. Kambwili mentioned, which says that one can be fired without notice, then that is not casual employment. If the conditions stipulate that one can be fired without notice, it simply means those conditions will give a facility like in lieu of notice.

Ms Cifire: Educate them.

Mr Liato: Yes, a job can be terminated without notice if you are given a period in lieu of notice and this should not be understood as casual employment because it cannot be casual employment. I think you are misinforming people in Luanshya. Hon. Kambwili, is this what you are telling them?


Mr Liato: It is important to clear these issues. You said we promised to give people 400 jobs at Mulyashi Mine, for example, but today there are 200 plus Chinese. You have to understand the working culture of a Zambian. What a Chinese can do at the place of work in so many hours, Zambian employees may not be able to do.


Mr Liato: I will you give you an example. Madam Speaker, the Chinese …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members must learn to listen. You do not just make running commentaries because you will miss a word or two and that word makes a big difference in the understanding of the issues. It is just important that we listen to each other. You have the time and right to make your own statements, but listen to other people as well.

Can the hon. Minister continue.

Mr Liato: Madam Speaker, for example, you may not overwork a Zambian. Zambians are used to working within a particular number of hours in a day, in particular, eight hours. If you tell a Zambian to work up to midnight, he/she will tell you that you are overworking him/her and making him/her a slave. Is that clear?


Mr Liato: If you agree with me, I am sure you know that during construction works, the Chinese have a target to meet in order to ensure their organisation functions well and they are productive. They have brought in people and we have allowed that. For example, they did that at the Chambishi Copper Smelter. They have a target to meet and they gave reasons for bringing in people so that they could work extra hours and abnormal hours in order for them to meet their target during the construction stage.


Mr Liato: We have not compromised the jobs of Zambians because when construction is over, it is the Zambian people who will work in those institutions and companies, and …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: … so, the Government has no regret on this issue.

Hon. Government Members: Quality.

Mr Liato: Madam Speaker, let me start by saying I agree with the hon. Members who have made contributions and said that this Motion is non-controversial. Yes, this Motion, surely, is non-controversial. Let me also say that this Government is already implementing a lot of those issues you have talked about. I listened to the debate and the issue of employment featured prominently and yet people were supposed to talk about labour statistics. I do not blame them because I know this topic is very wide. Those who have been as privileged as I to be at the ILO, where I have been both as a worker and now as a Government official, will know that there is a desk on employment and the issue of labour in the informal sector is a very wide topic. It remains a challenge not only to developing countries, but also developed ones.

Madam Speaker, issues of employment and job creation are very wide, but let me comment on the issue of this Motion on the Floor. It is common knowledge now that our economy has been registering growth for ten years now. This growth came against the background of the negative growth rates that we saw in the 1990s.

Economic growth has direct impact on the performance of the labour market. Labour market information plays a crucial role in providing indicators that assist in analysing the economic and social progress of our nation at both macro and micro levels. It is, therefore, very important to have timely and accurate labour market information so as to monitor labour market trends and guide the development process of our nation.

Madam Speaker, a Labour Market Information System (LMIS) is a mechanism for collecting, analysing and disseminating labour market information.

Madam Speaker, there are two main sources of LMIS in Zambia. We have the labour statistics collected through the labour market household surveys conducted jointly between the CSO and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: The second one is the statistics collected through administrative records kept by district field officers under my ministry and other Government ministries and institutions such as the ZDA.

Madam Speaker, the CSO uses a number of surveys to collect …

Mr Kambwili: Liato Labour.

Mr Liato: … labour market statistics. These include the Labour Force Survey (LFS) which is the major source of labour statistics. Others are quarterly employment and earnings surveys as well as the living conditions monitoring surveys.

The first comprehensive LFS in Zambia was conducted in 1986. This was followed by another one in 2005 and a ministerial statement was given to this House thereon. Therefore, those who say we have not been updating the nation are not telling the truth because that ministerial statement was recorded in the debates of this House.

Mr Zulu: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: In 2005.

Mr Liato: The most recent survey took place in 2008 …


Mr Liato: … whose draft report is ready now and will be publicly disseminated before the end of this year. Thus, before the end of this year, you will get a copy of the latest LFS.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, since 2005 the Government has committed itself to conducting LFS every two years. This is because of the amount of money involved in conducting such work. The political will is there and that is why we are taking this issue of collecting data seriously. The cost of each survey is estimated at K5 billion. The next survey has been planned for 2012. This would have taken place in 2010, because of the national census we had in that year, we could not combine two major undertakings in one year.

Madam Speaker, one key institution that I can cite where we need a strong system for monitoring actual jobs created against pledges made by investors upon the issuing investment licenses is the ZDA. The ZDA for its part has also started compiling data for investor-pledges of employment-creation against actual jobs created. The trend so far has been that most investors employ more people than they pledge.

Following the adoption of the SNDP early this year, the Government allocated K4.6 billion to my ministry to go towards strengthening the LMIS and prepare for the 2012 LSF. As you are aware, one of the key micro-economic objectives outlined in the SNDP is to increase decent and productive employment. A strong LMIS is therefore crucial in monitoring this.

Madam Speaker, the Government’s commitment, and allocation of over K4 billion to the programme, will strengthen the LMIS and provide credible statistics on an annual basis. We will provide the information to this august House, clearly indicating employment levels, including pledged employment-creation and actual employment-created ratios.

Madam Speaker, from what I said above, it is clear that our colleagues are pushing an open door and are talking about things that this Government is already implementing. For this reason, there is absolutely no reason for me to support a Motion like this one because much is already being done and what remains to be done is already laid down in the programmes. I, therefore, wish to say that this House need not adopt a Motion which is already being ably implemented by this Government. It will be pointless.

Madam Speaker, I do not support this Motion.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Madam Speaker, Hon. Kambwili had mentioned my name and the Chief Whip as having advocated for the rejection of this particular Motion. He eavesdropped on our conversation with the Chief Whip when we were consulting on what position to take on this Motion.

This gives me an opportunity to punch a death nail into this Motion. This is an exercise in futility. To suggest that when we come to Parliament we should first listen before we take a position, as suggested by Hon. Kambwili, is preposterous.

Madam Speaker, we all know that this is not the first time that we have dealt with motions of this nature. Private Members’ Motions are moved with intent to embarrass the Government. The intention behind them is to make sarcastic statements against us on the right, pour scorn on the Government and scandalise the good work it is doing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Therefore, when we see motions of this nature, we prepare ourselves. In this particular case and for your information, I had already gone through the statement to be delivered by the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security in my office and I came to the irresistible conclusion that this Motion is not only unreasonable, but superfluous, frivolous, vexatious, unnecessary, defective and misleading to the Zambian public.

Mr Kambwili: Kuya bebele George!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Thus, we decided after due consideration that we should reject this particular Motion. Therefore, I would urge all hon. Members who are straight to reject it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: It is within our right to prepare adequately as we do. We do not come here to work randomly. In this case, we prepared and took the position that this is not a Motion that we can support.

Hon. Liato has cited a variety of sources of statistics on labour and what we are doing for the people of Zambia in terms of giving them such information. Therefore, there is no reason we should accept this Motion, and on this side of the House, we are going to vote ‘No’ against this particular Motion.

I thank you Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, I wish to thank all the hon. Members of Parliament that have contributed to the debate of this very important Motion.

Madam Speaker, like I said at the beginning, this Motion is very important and the key issue was inadequate information regarding the labour market and urging this Government to annually publish consolidated labour statistics, which is currently not happening.

The hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security has said the next labour survey which was supposed to be done in 2010 will be done in 2012, from 2008, which is clearly inadequate.

Madam Speaker, again, it is unfortunate that this Motion has been seen as an attempt to embarrass the Government and that it is acrimonious when the truth is that it is relevant to the governance of this nation. It is also very progressive.

Madam Speaker, I wish to thank you and believe that the hon. Members in this House will support this very progressive Motion. I know the nation is listening.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear.

Question that in view of the inadequate information on the labour market, this House urges the Government to annually publish consolidated statistics on the current employment levels, unemployment trends, targets and pledges by all investors against actual jobs created both in the public and private sectors put and negatived.


Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs ...


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mrs Musokotwane: ... for the Fifth Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 30th May, 2011.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, your Committee, in performing its duties, was guided by its terms of reference as set out in the Standing Orders. During the year under review, your Committee considered the 2011 Report of the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing and the Action-Taken Report on the Committee’s Report for 2010. It also undertook a local tour of six district councils in Luapula Province, namely, Milenge, Samfya, Mwense, Kawambwa, Nchelenge and Chienge in order to acquaint itself with their operations.

Madam, in performing its role, your Committee is mindful of its role of ensuring that councils deliver quality service in an efficient and effective manner to the local communities. This is so because local governance entails providing an opportunity to make a difference because councils greatly impact on the local people’s livelihoods, especially with the impending implementation of the decentralisation policy.

From the outset, let me state that your Committee is happy to note that this year, only twenty-seven councils have been named in the hon. Minister’s report for various financial irregularities compared to 57 councils in the previous year. Therefore, your Committee commends the Government for this improvement in its efforts to help address financial irregularities in councils.

While commending the Government in reducing the number of councils that appeared in the hon. Minister’s report, your Committee is perturbed in that some councils that were captured with less queries last year, have almost doubled them in the hon. Minister’s report this year.

Furthermore, your Committee is concerned with the type of accounting queries that were captured in the hon. Minister’s report. Common among them are:

(i) irregular or wrong payments;

(ii) failure to retire imprest;

(iii) misuse or misapplication of constituency funds;

(iv) failure to prepare financial statements;

(v) over expenditure on votes without preparing supplementary budgets;

(vi) non-updating of valuation rolls;

(vii) non-acquisition of title deeds for council properties;

(viii) limited capacity of financial departments;

(ix) weak or non-existence of internal audit sections;

(x) non-maintenance of fixed asset registers; and

(xi) missing payment vouchers.

Madam Speaker, the type of accounting queries above show that there is weak or lack of supervision on the part of the controlling officers in councils. This also signifies that councils have decided to deliberately not adhere to your Committee’s advice and directives. This can be seen from the behaviour of some controlling officers who have continued to appear before your Committee to answer not only queries of a similar nature, but also more queries, which makes the whole process an academic exercise. This is unacceptable. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to take corrective measures against erring controlling officers. Your Committee also urges the LGSC to urgently ensure that the capacity building for local authorities in terms of qualified manpower is enhanced. Your Committee wishes to implore the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to ensure that the number of councils captured in the hon. Minister’s report for next year is further reduced.

With regard to the local tour, Madam, your Committee was privileged to tour six district councils in Luapula Province. From the tour, your Committee observed that the local revenue base for all the six district councils was low due to heavy dependence on fish levy which had declined overtime due to depletion of fish in the water bodies. Your Committee, therefore, urges the concerned councils to diversify into other money making business ventures for them to increase their revenue base. This will enable councils to meet their statutory obligations and salaries from locally generated revenue.

Furthermore, your Committee observes that all the six councils are understaffed. However, your Committee is happy to note that the LGSC is now operational. It is the view of your Committee that the commission will address the issues of manpower in the six councils in Luapula Province.

Your Committee is happy to report that apart from Chienge and Milenge District councils that were established in 1997 and had no valuation roll in place because of inadequate infrastructure and properties, the other councils have commenced the process of updating their valuation rolls with the help of grants from the Ministry of local Government and Housing. However, your Committee urges the Government to ensure that adequate infrastructure such as roads, police stations, high schools and hospitals are developed in the newly established district councils.

Madam Speaker, during the tour, your Committee had interactive meetings with not only council management, but other stakeholders such as councillors and staff. From the interactive meetings, your Committee observed that council stakeholders greatly appreciated it, especially with regard to council operations. It, therefore, implores the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to explain council operations to all stakeholders whenever need arises, especially after elections. In addition, it also urges council management to periodically conduct workshops in-conjunction with the ministry for council stakeholders, especially on the importance of adhering to the Local Authorities (Financial) Regulations No. 125 of 1992.

In conclusion, Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank all town clerks, council secretaries, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and Auditor-General’s Office for their co-operation during your Committee’s deliberations.

Your Committee further thanks the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the advice during its work. Finally, your Committee wishes to express its gratitude to you, Madam Speaker, for the guidance given to it during the session.

With these few remarks, I beg to move.

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

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Madam Speaker, I wish to speak now.

Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to second the Motion so ably moved by Hon. Regina Musokotwane, hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola Constituency and Chairperson of your Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs. In seconding the Motion, I will be brief as I intend to confine myself to only five points.

Madam Speaker, let me start with the issue of missing payment vouchers and other documents for accountability purposes. Your Committee is dismayed that every year, this type of query appears in the hon. Minister’s report which shows that accounting systems in councils are weak.

Therefore, Madam, there is need for the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to adequately fund the LGSC in order for it to carry out its duty of employing qualified staff who will be able to file documents for accountability purposes.

Madam Speaker, the second point is on the retirement of imprest. Your Committee observes that most council staff are still failing to retire imprest on time in line with the Local Authorities (Financial) Regulations Number 125 of 1992. This can be attested to by the same staff that did not retire imprest being issued with another person. The regulation requires that a person who has been issued with imprest should retire it within 48 hours upon reporting back to his or her station. Your Committee, therefore, urges the ministry to ensure that councils adhere to the Local Authorities (Financial) Regulations Number 125 of 1992.

Madam Speaker, thirdly, your Committee observed that some councils made irregular or wrong payments to people who were not council employees such as district commissioners (DCs) while others paid social holiday allowances to staff that were not entitled to them. Such irregular or wrong payments depict the fact that the supervisory role at councils is weak. Your Committee, therefore, urges the ministry through the LGSC to address this concern seriously.

With regard to local tours, let me state that your Committee observed that all the district councils visited had no fire tenders. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to ensure that councils are equipped with fire tenders countrywide.

Your Committee also observed that most of the vehicles for the Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign in the district councils visited were malfunctioning. Your Committee, therefore, urges the concerned councils to ensure that these vehicles are operational for the benefit of the communities.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, let me take this opportunity to thank the Chairperson of your Committee for the able manner in which she conducted the deliberations. In the same vein, let me salute my other colleagues on your Committee for their dedication to  duty.

Madam Speaker, with these few remarks, I beg to second the Motion.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the report of your Committee.

Madam Speaker, from the outset, I would like to commend your Committee for the job well done in bringing out this report. Having been a member of this Committee for the first two years of my being hon. Member of Parliament, I know that there are a lot of difficulties associated with coming up with such a report. Therefore, coming up with such a wonderful report is a job well done.

Madam Speaker, I will confine my debate to pages 26 and 27 of the report. What is worrying about local government institutions such as the councils is the too many repeated audit queries. One council would have three similar queries in a particular year and the following year. The same queries increase to six or seven as years come and go. Obviously, you would be hoping, as you bring these officers to appear before the Committee that next time around, there will be a reduction in the audit queries. I hope the Ministry of Local Government is doing everything possible to ensure that the councils do the right thing.

Madam Speaker, let me talk about the issue of salary arrears which has been talked about on page 26. Although I am a councilor under the Mwense District Council, I wish to note that it is the only council which has been singled out as not having any salary arrears at all. It sounds good, but you may wish to know that the Mwense District Council is one of the least, if not the least performing district council in the Luapula Province. Therefore, our concern should be on how the council is managing to pay everybody and not have any salary arrears. It is responding to that concern by misapplying a lot of funds meant for other expenditure. For instance, in the Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Lands, it was reported that K580 million which was given to the district council to open up land for the construction of houses was misapplied and given out as salaries. Therefore, the council is painting a good picture of not having arrears by doing wrong things.

Madam Speaker, I urge the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to do something about it. Yes, indeed, I agree that the resource base, especially for districts like Mwense, which although it lies in the fishing belt has very little fishing activity that happens basically because it is a transit area, is not enough.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 until 1830 hours.{mospagebreak}


Mr Chongo: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that although Mwense District lies within the fishing belt, there is very little fishing activity, especially at the commercial level, that is undertaken. The fish that is coming from other districts such as Nchelenge, Chienge and Kawambwa, actually passes through Mwense without being levied because it would have been levied where its coming from. On that account, Mwense does not get anything even out of fish. We do not even have many activities from which we can be raising our resources. It is for this reason that I appeal to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to have municipalities such as the one in Mwense supported seriously. This can be done by way of taking well-qualified staff who can help the district to devise systems that can raise money in Mwense.

Madam Speaker, it is sad to note that Mwense, which could probably be the third or fourth largest district in the province, has less than ten workers at the district level. On a daily basis, most of these people are out for seminars. During this time of registration of voters by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), all of these workers vacate their offices. We, therefore, tend to wonder when the required services will be delivered to our people. When are these officers going to employ measures to create wealth for the district so that the workers that they have, although few, can get salaries? That does not happen because those same few workers, …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member will remember that there is a voluminous report and may not debate the entire situation of Mwense where he belongs. You have, indeed, touched on it, but, maybe, you should just not stick to it for the rest of the minutes allotted to you.

You may continue, please.

Mr Chongo: Madam Speaker, such sad situations are almost everywhere in the Luapula Province because there is no money to pay workers. These council staff are not efficient enough to put up systems that can create wealth for the districts. You will find that these sad situations are almost everywhere. This is why we are calling on the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to look into this matter urgently. With the creation of the LGSC, qualified staff must be posted, especially to rural areas where they are urgently required.

Madam Speaker, be it in Monze or Chipata, service delivery has been affected because we have allowed these same council officers to be so political such that they want to shield themselves behind certain political entities. Whatever they do, they are guaranteed of protection  from politicians. In so doing, they have forgotten to deliver the services to the people. This is why we have situations such as all the Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign vehicles, including the ones in Mwense, not running because there is no proper management in our councils. What is the way forward? Of course, all district and municipal councils have got councilors who are incapacitated because even if they make decisions, the implementation is in the hands of other people.

Madam Speaker, we make moves as hon. Members to help correct the inefficiencies of these officers. However, most of the time, they are not interested in our help. The only alternative is to get to the mother ministry which is the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Sadly, it takes a bit of time to get a response from the ministry whenever you report about such inefficiencies from council management. If, probably, there could be some cases where we would hear that someone has been fired because of not doing this or misappropriating money, among others, I think we would create a situation where everybody would learn to do the right thing.

Madam Speaker, I think service delivery has been a problem in many councils, especially in the Luapula Province. The services that you see in the districts are not delivered by the local government per se, but by the Central Government. As we are contemplating to decentralise and knowing that the municipal and district councils will be at the centre of decentralisation, we wonder if when we the council management is at the centre of things we will continue to see the wonderful projects in our districts and constituencies done by the effort of the Central Government. Are we going to get services for our people? Yes, we need decentralisation, but it is important that the local government system’s efficiency is looked into so that proper services are delivered to our people.

Madam Speaker, with these few words, I support the report.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Speaker, first and foremost I must say that I am a member of your Committee.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Mooya: However, I want to highlight one …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

It is not really a rule, but we discourage members of the Committee from debating for obvious reasons. For instance, there is a chance of repetition and there is a chance of contradicting the report, which would then be a breach.

However, maybe, I can allow one or two points since the hon. Member is already on the Floor.

Mr Mooya: Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muyanda: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Is it procedural?

Mr Muyanda: Yes, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: I have already guided on procedure.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member for Moomba may continue.

Mr Mooya: Madam Speaker, there is just one small very important technical issue that I would like to share with others. I understand it, but I think that there are very few people in here who understand technical issues.


Mr Mooya:  Madam Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to follow up the issue which I shall talk about just now.  This issue has to do with the Chingola Municipal Council and the maintenance of the Mwaiseni Road Roundabout.

Madam Speaker, the Auditor-General picked it up and found that maintenance of this road cost K150 million. The council argued that it costs K37 million. Your Committee asked for working drawings and other documents to verify this and up to now your Committee has not received them. I did a quick check and actually found that the amount was actually coming to more than K50 million. The implication here is that it is contempt of Parliament that we were given wrong figures because I am sure that the project costs more than K50 million.

Madam Speaker, the principal officer is only allowed to approve projects worth up to K50 million, and I can imagine that is the reason this figure was brought down to K37 million. I am asking the hon. Minister to make a follow-up on this issue because I am sure the works cost more than K37 million. What you should focus on is the cost of the steel and the amount of re-enforcement used. The figure in the report is wrong. It is much more than this.

Secondly, the preliminaries are not included. There were four contractors that bid for the project, but the one who won the tender left out some components. Even though I heard the Chairperson of your Committee say that the queries are reducing, I am interested in this matter. Please make a follow-up to the end.

Madam Speaker, this is what I wanted to point out.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Msichili (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to support the report of the Committee of Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs.

In so doing, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the Hon. Mr Speaker, Clerk of the National Assembly and the members of staff for the services rendered to me as I take this as my last address to this House in the Fifth Session of the Tenth Assembly.

Hon. MMD Member: Forever!

Mr Msichili: However, I am preparing my new maiden speech. 
Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

We have limited time. It is not time for you to say your goodbye.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Can you come to the Motion.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Msichili: Madam Speaker, one of the functions of your Committee is to study the report and make recommendations.

This report is quite bulky. However, it has many shortcomings. I expected that your Committee would make certain recommendations so that we can improve. Your Committee’s recommendations are typical repetitions like “the committee notes the submission, the committee resolves to await the progress report and the committee directs an officer to adhere to financial regulations”.

Madam Speaker, when I came to this Parliament, I found this song. For the past five years, it has been repeated and we are seeing the same things without any improvement. This must be attributed to lack of stringent measures which they ought to take, especially against those that border on theft.

Madam Speaker, I want to comment on the retirement of imprest which has become a song whenever we are talking about the local administration. This occurs in every council one goes to. We must recommend that punitive measures are put in place for management, especially those that fail to act on these reports. In the retirement of imprest, the bulk of the amount is owed by the chief officers. It is high time we put a measure in place that will help to stop this scourge.

Madam Speaker, I also want to talk about the accounting system. Most of the pitfalls which have been highlighted in this report are attributed to weak accounting systems and in some cases officers deliberately by-passing the established internal controls, thus making it easy for them to have access to money. By the end of the day, this is one way in which officers are giving themselves soft and interest free loans. However, once punitive measures are put up against officers, I am sure that there will be an improvement. 

Madam Speaker, I also want to talk about the budgeting system. The current ministry’s insistence on councils to submit budgets is not realistic because they have been given a period in which they have to do this. You will find that at the end of the day, the people just set targets for themselves which they cannot meet. They cannot collect whatever  revenue they put in the budget. Item No. 14 relating to Kabwe Municipal Council is a very sad situation.

    Once we ask for a budget, we must also ensure that we have competent people at the ministry to look through it before it is approved. Whatever comes from the councils is always approved at the ministry. This is one of the reasons there is failure in most of these councils.

Madam Speaker, in view the time left, I would also like to briefly talk about staffing issues. With the establishment of the LGSC, we hope that this will improve the staffing levels in the councils. However, it can only work well if it is adequately supported. Once it is given the support it needs, we hope that it will be able to engage qualified and experienced manpower.

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

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

The hon. Members will realise that we still have work and the rule on tedious repetition should be observed, especially when we are short of time. I think hon. Members have heard certain things pronounced and there is a need to move on.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Chituwo): Madam Speaker, I thank you and wish to thank the Chairperson of your Committee on the quality of work they did in reviewing my report and the report on visitation to the six councils.

Madam Speaker, we are indebted to your Committee for bringing out issues, particularly in the area of financial reporting arrangements that we believe underpin financial statements, preparation procedures, including the early recognition and resolution of issues that impact on financial statements themselves.

Madam Speaker, from the analysis of your Committee, it is evident that problems in financial reporting within local authorities are more manifest in districts and less so in city and municipal councils.

Madam Speaker, following this, I am obliged to give assurance to various stakeholders that despite the current challenges facing local authorities in terms of the financial management, a number of control measures have been put in place to sort out the problem. It is on the understanding that the measures being undertaken are to improve the local authorities’ system of book-keeping and financial reporting.

It is the management in these local authorities that must be held responsible for the quality of financial management and not the entire local authority system. In this regard, disciplinary action will be taken against top management of local authorities that have been cited in the report. The disciplinary action shall not be taken by transferring non-performing officers because, by doing so, we shall just be transferring incompetence from one council to the other.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I must mention that the success of the decentralisation exercise depends on the quality of staff in the local authorities. All these audit queries and mismanagement problems arise out of us having ill-qualified staff in place. This is why we welcome the LGSC that has started its work to replace staff. Their work will be complemented by our efforts to retrain some of our members of staff.

Madam Speaker, the ministry will look at the need to up date the financial manuals so that we are up to date with the current Financial Act and the Zambia Public Procurement Act (ZPPA). The fact that only twenty-seven witness councils out of the fifty-seven have been cited in my report is an indication that although we still have difficulties, certainly, there are improvements. We are confident that with the LGSC in place and the replacement of unqualified staff, there will be improvement in the quality of financial management in our councils.

Madam Speaker, I would like to mention that, as can be seen, the issue of infrastructure development is key to this Government. Generally, even in new districts such as Milenge, which has been cited here, this will certainly be done. Infrastructure development is on-going, a hospital is being built, a trade training institute is in place and a high school is in place and that will be the way to go.

Madam, I would like to end by, once again, extending my gratitude to the Chairperson and the hon. Members of your Committee for such an informative report that shall make up the performance indicators in our local authorities.

Lastly but not the least, Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to bid farewell to the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabushi who has voluntarily given us this information.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Members of this House for accepting your report, especially the hon. Minister who has shown interest in what was recommended.

Madam, I also would like to urge the hon. Members of this House, especially those who will come back, to be part of the work of the councils because they are councillors. If you show leadership to these councils, a lot of the problems we are facing will not be there. Some of you do not care how the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is used. Please, let us show leadership, as hon. Members of Parliament, because we are councillors.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Quality!

Mrs Musokotwane: Finally, Madam Speaker, I would like to help my brother from Kabushi and tell him that your committees are not courts. We cannot institute punitive measures to erring officers because it is not part of our mandate. Most of the erring officers in most of our councils are in the courts of law. Therefore, we only advise and give directives to the Executive because we are overseeing them but, are not courts of law.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Quality!

Question put and agreed to.






Clauses 1 and 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in the Schedule, on page 4, in column 3 under the head “Ministry of Home Affairs”, by the deletion of the figure “695,100,242” appearing against the words “Drug Enforcement Commission – Headquarters” and the substitution therefor of the figure “1,391,414,553”.

Amendment agreed to. Schedule amended accordingly.

Schedule, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.




The following Bill was reported to the House as having passed through Committee with amendment:

The Supplementary Appropriation (2009) Bill, 2011

Report Stage on Thursday, 16th June, 2011.




The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1902 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 16th June, 2011.