Debates- Tuesday, 16th November, 2010

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Tuesday, 16th November, 2010

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have received communication to the effect that, in the absence of His Honour the Vice-President and Learned Minister of Justice, who is attending to other national duties, Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, MP, Minister of Finance and National Planning, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House from today, Tuesday, 16th to Friday, 19th November, 2010.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply (1)

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order No. 131, Mr C. M. Silavwe, MP, has been appointed to serve on the Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply to replace Hon. G. Mung’omba, MP, who has been appointed Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training.

I thank you.




Mr Speaker: I have permitted the hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child to make a statement.

The Minister of Sports, Youth and Child Development (Mr Chipungu): Mr Speaker, it is my honour and privilege go to be accorded this opportunity to inform this august House and the nation at the large on the programmes being implemented by the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development, particularly, on youth empowerment and job creation in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, statistics show that 68 per cent of the population in Zambia comprises children and the youth. To be specific, the youth aged between eighteen and thirty-five years make up 28 per cent of the population while the children between zero to seventeen years make up 40 per cent.

There is no doubt that this is the largest sector of our society and the bedrock for prosperity of this nation, when the sector is engaged in productive activities.

However, the situation analysis shows that our youth and children face a number of challenges in their lives and some of these are as follows:


(i) Inadequate Access to Tertiary Education

while the Government has made tremendous progress in the education sector in terms of building more schools and raising the development rate at primary level, inadequate places at  tertiary level remain a challenge;

(ii) Poverty

according to the 2006 living conditions and monitoring survey, the overall incidence of poverty declined to 64 per cent, in 2006, from 68 per cent in 2004. However, variations exist between urban and rural areas. In rural areas, poverty among the youths is a problem for various reasons. The underlying causes of poverty, among the youths, include poor education and lack of skills which make them unemployable. Poverty levels are high among the youths who tend to lack sustainable livelihoods;

(iii) Unemployment

it is estimated that 28 per cent of the youths are not in employment. However, while the unemployment levels are high, the Government has put in place good policies and, therefore, created a conducive environment for job creation. Many of the people being employed, for instance, in the mines, construction, agriculture, tourism industry, among others, are the youths; and

(iv) Limited Access to Financial Resources

 this is another major constraint that the youths face. The youth find difficulties in borrowing money from the financial markets because of the stringent economic evaluation methods. The ministry is exploring the possibilities of establishing a bank specifically for the youths in partnership with the private sector.

Sir, besides the prudent management of the economy with a view of expanding economic opportunity for all, the Government has taken specific measures aimed at empowering the youths. These are as follows:

(i) The Reintroduction of the Youth Development Fund in the 2010 Budget to provide Grants and Loans for Starting or Scaling up Youth Enterprises.

realising the current situation of the youth and the potential the sector has to contribute to job creation and taking into account the abundant natural resources in the country, the ministry has placed emphasis on youth empowerment and job creation. In 2009, K5 billion was provided for under the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development as a youth empowerment fund. The fund hpas three components namely;

(a) K3 billion for grants;

(b) K1.7 billion as a revolving fund; and

(c) K300,000,000 for administrative purposes.

The objectives of the fund are:

(1) to promote active participation of youth in the socio- economic development of the country;

(2) encourage the out-of-school, marginalised and unemployed youth to venture into sustainable and viable income generating projects;

(3) promote the development of the competitive, sustainable and growth-oriented citizen owned youth enterprises;

(4) promote rural development;

(5) provide business support services for sustainable youth enterprise development; and

(6) create sustainable employment opportunities for young people through the development of sustainable projects;

(ii) Skills and Entrepreneurship Training

the programme is designed for all school drop-outs. Those who have never been to school and those who have passed, but because of inadequate access to colleges and universities, are unable to proceed with their further education.

Mr Speaker, the youth resource centres offer various skills such as tailoring and designing, catering, food and beverages, carpentry, bricklaying, plumbing, computer lessons and agriculture;

(iii) Provision of Equipment, Tools and Start-up Capital

in addition to the provision of skills, the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development gives graduates from the youth resource centres and Chiwoka and Kitwe Zambia National Service camps equipment and tools and start up capital to venture into their own businesses. In summary, our programmes not only empower the youth with knowledge, but also with capital for them to meaningfully engage in sustainable development;

(iv) Establishment of Incubators

the ministry has signed a contract with the Motivation Centre for Africans Transformation for the provision of business incubators to provide training in entrepreneurship and provide space to implement and turn ideas into reality until they become well-established;  and

(v) Leadership Training

the training programme is tailored to equip the youth with leadership skills for them to become responsible citizens and future leaders of this nation. As a ministry, we are also encouraging the youths to form enterprises after their training so that they can apply their skills by participating in some of the Government tenders, especially in the construction of small and medium projects. Therefore, I would like to appeal to the hon. Members in this august House to consider the youth in their respective constituencies for small and medium works or contracts through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). For example, the National Housing Authority is engaging these youths in the construction of the parliamentary offices.

Mr Speaker, allow me to talk about the status of the Youth Empowerment Fund and the procedure to access the money.

So far, about K1 billion, out of the K3 billion grant, has been disbursed. About K2 million has been disbursed to 500 clubs. So, that is an average of twenty persons per club. It is very clear that 1 million youths have benefited and been empowered and many more will definitely benefit once the money is exhausted. On the other hand, K1 billion out of the K1.7 billion revolving fund has been disbursed and twenty-nine youth organisations have so far benefited from this fund. It is estimated that an additional 145 jobs-plus will be created. The money was given out to various project proposals ranging from agriculture and construction.

The procedure for accessing the Youth Empowerment Fund is as follows:

(i) the youth must be registered clubs;

(ii)  the clubs should obtain certificates of registration from either the council or the Patents and Companies Registration Office;

(iii) the applications must be submitted to the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development or through the District Commissioners’ offices, but since hon. Members are here interfacing with me, they can do so through me; and

(iv) the youths should be aged between eighteen and thirty-five years old. After lodging in the application forms, hon. Members are encouraged to take an interest in the process. Please, come forward to the office and inquire from the accounts department if the cheques are ready.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I would like to appeal to the hon. Members of this august House to encourage the youths in their constituencies to access the fund. It is their money. The Government has allocated this money. Therefore, it is important that the youths access it. We only have a month to go and we all know what happens if this money is not disbursed.

Mr Speaker, my ministry believes that there is, indeed, a strong linkage between youth empowerment and job creation. As the youth are provided with access to financial capital, which has been a major challenge for them because of the banking system in Zambia, more will participate in productive activities. They will be able to generate income, expand their operations by reinvesting their profit which, in turn, will demand for additional labour to match with increased production capacities. We are looking for merely very small projects like rearing chickens, keeping goats, simple gardening and running a shop just to mention a few projects.

Furthermore, as they acquire leadership skills, entrepreneurship training and more are provided with equipment, tools, start up capital and have access to incubators, the youth will not only be empowered with the necessary equipment, but also with technical know- how on how to create jobs. For instance, as the youths use their skills to set up companies, use the funds to invest and expand their organisations, wealth will be created and firms will expand and many workers will be required to meet the expanded capacity. For those companies in construction, as they graduate from small and medium size to large construction projects, the demand for labour will increase.

In conclusion, I wish to underline that this Government is very determined to scale up the activity. The seriousness on the part of the Government is demonstrated by the doubling of the youth empowerment fund from K5 billion, in 2009, to K10 billion in 2011. It is the commitment of our young people to learn, cultivate noble values and to fully utilise available opportunities that will improve their lives and enable them contribute to national development. Therefore, I would like to urge the youths to work hard and maintain high standards of personal discipline as we work together to create more jobs.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister.

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development for such a good initiative. One of the criteria for accessing the Youth Empowerment Fund is a certificate. However, some of us have gone to our districts and it has been …

Mr Speaker: Order! What is your Question?

Mr Ngoma: I thank you, Mr Speaker. They say that there are no mechanisms …

Mr Speaker: Order! Do you want to ask a question or to debate?

Mr Ngoma: Mr Speaker, I have wound up.

There are no mechanisms for certificates …

Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the Government is doing to reduce poverty, especially in rural areas vis-à-vis the provision of jobs.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, that is what I just read in my statement.

Mr V. Mwale: Mwila samvela Chizungu!

Mr Chipungu: Hon. Member of Parliament, all you need to do is bring those certificates to my office and you will be given K20 million. I have already indicated that K20 million is a lot of money for ventures such as running a shop. I am sure that if we took stock of most of the groceries that we see around town, we would discover the stock to be only K500 thousand. How much more will K2 million per club do? It is quite a lot of money. This is another way in which the Government is creating jobs.

Sir, please, allow me to tie this to what the hon. Member for Sinda was trying to say because this is an issue. I am sorry if I worry you. I hope the council secretaries are listening to what I am saying. The council secretaries throughout the country …

Hon. Member: That is scary

Mr Chipungu: … can come up with the certificate. They can design a certificate …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: … and charge a fee that is not exorbitant of, maybe, about K50,000 or so.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, other constituencies are doing it. What is the problem with some councils? Councils such as the one for Hon. Mwansa Mbulakulima and for the Hon. Madam Deputy Speaker in Kaputa District have done it. What, therefore, is the problem?

I appeal to the council secretaries, throughout the country, not to delay the process because the financial year is almost coming to an end. As a ministry, we want to disburse this money as quickly as possible.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister tell us what he will do about unfair competition in sectors such as chicken production and retail industry from non-nationals who are recipients of subsidised financing from their own countries?

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I do not know what the hon. Member wants to find out. I suppose competition is important in business. There is nothing like unfair competition. If you have to produce quality chickens, there must be competition in the poultry production. Without competition, we would be producing mediocre quality chickens that nobody would buy. I think that the Zambian people deserve good products and these can only come about as a result of reasonable competition.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, in Luena, the whole K20 million Youth Empowerment Fund was disbursed. Would the hon. Minister explain why this whole amount was disbursed to clubs that were not registered and why this was done during the by-election?

Mr V. Mwale: There was no hon. Member of Parliament.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, it is the policy of the Government that disbursement of funds or, indeed, other projects are done when it is necessary. Whether by-elections are taking place or not is not the point.


Mr Chipungu: I am so happy that we have disbursed this money in Luena. The hon. Member must know that he is an hon. Member of Parliament for all the youth in Luena irrespective of the political parties that they belong to.

Mr Speaker, as hon. Members of Parliament, we must not create division amongst the youth on the basis of their political affiliation. As long as you are an hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central or any other constituency, all the youth in that area are your youth.

I thank you, Sir.

Captain Moono (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what initiative the hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development is using to discourage the youth from taking the so-called ‘utujilijili’ which affect the conduct of the projects.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, the fight against bad behaviour amongst our youth, including the abuse of utujilijili, smoking and fighting, should not be left to the Government alone. As hon. Members of Parliament, we are also part of the Government. It is our responsibility, therefore, to intervene. For instance, if the hon. Member for Chilanga walked to Chilanga Central and saw a lot of youth involved in such vices, he should, please, intervene.

Hon. Member: Instead, he buys for them.

Mr Chipungu: Yes, that is where the problem is.


Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, in addition, we have engaged the producers of the said beer to see the way forward. We have identified their marketing as one of the areas that needs to be changed, considering that the beer is sold everywhere, including the markets that are used as wholesale points.

We have also been trying to find out if they could change the packaging from sachets to bottles. These are on-going negotiations with my ministry, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the manufacturer. The results will be known very shortly.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what monitoring mechanism the hon. Minister has put in place to ensure that funds are not abused when disbursed.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Members of Parliament are the ones who bring the certificates. I am sure that they know their youth very well and where the clubs are. I think they know what kind of business they want the youth to engage in. Therefore, they are the best people to monitor and evaluate them. At some point, I shall be writing to ask the hon. Members to tell me how the youth are progressing on the basis of the money that has been given to them. The monitoring must begin with the hon. Member of Parliament.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Chifubu.

Mrs Kawandami (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister will put in place measures to ensure that the administrative hurdles which are making it difficult to release the money on time are addressed as quickly as possible.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, we are doing exactly that and I know what the hon. Member of Parliament is referring to. However, I am aware that some constituencies such as Mwense have no banking facilities and if ten clubs are issued with certificates, it means K20 million has to be released. This means that they have to travel to Mansa to open an account. In that case, I would like to encourage those who may not afford individual certificates to form one association which my ministry can use to pay them.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: Please, take into account the aspect of monitoring those youth clubs that you give money to.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Banda (Chililabombwe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just mentioned that the Government will establish a bank for youths. Can he be specific on when this bank will be established?

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I cannot give the timeframe, but we, as a Government, are discussing with our co-operating partners. In fact, we got this idea from Kenya, which is also running an equity bank for youths. This is a new concept and we are still discussing it but, very shortly, we will inform this august House when it will be opened.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the certificates that are being given by the councils are being rejected by the banks?

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, unless the hon. Member can bring that to my attention, I am not aware about it. So far, nobody has ever come back to complain about issued cheques being rejected by banks.

I thank you, Sir.




163. Dr Machungwa (Luapula) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the works to redesign and widen Mumbwa Road at the junction with Lumumba Road in Lusaka would be carried out.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mangani): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the Government’s plan is not to redesign …


Mr Speaker: Order!

 The House will pay attention to the answer.

Mr Mangani: …. and widen Mumbwa Road, but to decongest this junction through extending the junction with Kalambo Road that joins the Mumbwa and Mulalila roads.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister aware that it takes about thirty minutes to just get in and out of that junction because of heavy traffic and a very narrow entry?

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, that is as a result of two reasons. The first reason is that of the prosperity that has come about and, ....


Mr Mulongoti: …therefore, too many vehicles have been purchased.

Sir, the other reason is well-known by the hon. Member. It is that the industrial area located in the area also joins Matero Township at Amanita. That is why we are saying it is not possible to widen it, but to provide access roads away from the Mumbwa Road and congested junction.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lumba (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if feasibility studies have already been conducted for him to suggest that it would be better to open up access roads than to widen the junction.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, in fact, there is a design by the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) for the Greater City of Lusaka where all access or ring roads are provided for.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether this has nothing to do with prosperity, but lack of planning for the future like the way other countries are doing it. The congestion which is at the Mumbwa/Lumumba Road Junction is also on the access road which passes through Amanita. Is this not because of lack of planning? I think we should have planned ahead of time.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I said that the Greater City of Lusaka Plan is readily available. All we need to do is implement it and we are slowly doing that. It is not possible to do it all at once, but I would like to assure the public that, along the way, we will construct ring and access roads. Instead of people coming from Lusaka into Cairo Road, they will go through Makeni to join Mumbwa Road and cross into the Great North Road. Others will go to the other side of Lusaka through Chilenje to join the Great East Road and cross into the Great North Road. Therefore, the plans are there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether this is not a wake-up call for the Government to avail the plan for the Greater City of Lusaka Road Network because the congestion is pathetic. The Mumbwa Road issue is about expansion and not access.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, almost two years ago, His Honour the Vice-President launched the Greater City of Lusaka Plan at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre. I would like to encourage hon. Members to find time to access that plan.

In any case, it is not a question of extending only, but also providing alternative routes so that people do not congest one point.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, the outlets to the Great North Road, Great East Road and ‘Great South Road’ are all dual carriage ways.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Why is this Government insisting on keeping the access to the ‘Great West Road’ as a single lane?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, it must be understood that the planning for the City of Lusaka is the responsibility of the Lusaka City Council (LCC). What we do to intervene at a higher level does not imply that we have taken over the planning of the city. There are councillors in this House who should answer that question.

I thank you, Sir.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, looking at the junction in question, is the hon. Minister not seeing it as an inconvenience which needs to be addressed?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, even if I think like that, I have already told the House that the planning for inner roads is the responsibility of the LCC. Talk to Hon. Dr Guy Scott because his council is responsible for that.

I thank you, Sir.



164. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Health when newly-constructed health facilities in Lukulu East Parliamentary Constituency and elsewhere would be supplied with the necessary and appropriate equipment to make them operational.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Kalila): Mr Speaker, the Government has completed construction of 133 health posts, forty-nine community health centres and thirteen first level hospitals that need medical equipment.

Sir, the newly-constructed health facility is in Lukulu East Parliamentary Constituency and the ones constructed elsewhere will be supplied with the necessary medical equipment by the Government through the following mechanisms:

(i) forty-five health centres throughout the country will receive equipment under the Mobile Health Services Programme. Under the contract to supply mobile health services, equipment will also be supplied for the static health facilities. The mobile health services will complement the static health facilities. Avic International Holding Corporation of China will supply, deliver, install and commission the medical equipment;

(ii) seven of the completed first level hospitals, that is district hospitals, will be supplied with medical equipment through the Mobile Health Services Programmes. MED-1, partners from the United States of America will supply, install and commission the medical equipment to the seven district hospitals; and

(iii) procurement for the rest of the completed health facilities has been included in the 2011 Ministry of Health Procurement Plan.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, the question also referred to health facilities in other areas and not just Lukulu East. Would the hon. Minister indicate why Nangula Hospital has never had a full complement of health staff from the time it was commissioned?

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, at the moment, there are 3,000 vacancies and we are recruiting medical staff to fill these positions. I did give a statement, in this House, and I will be including it in my policy statement that we are recruiting staff currently. We have vacancies available for every cadre in the health profession. Therefore, if you know of any qualified person, you can bring that person to us.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like the Hon. Minister of Health to confirm to the nation that whoever is qualified in the medical field and is available will be recruited by the Ministry of Health.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I do not really know how to explain this. I would like to emphasise that we have 3,000 vacancies, at the moment, and if anyone comes with proper certificates, he/she will be recruited right away.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether basic equipment such as diabetes detecting equipment can be put in health posts, for example, in Katuba where we have health posts that do not have diabetes diagnosis equipment and hence people have to be referred to Matero Health Post.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, we will look into that matter and see how well it can be administered.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lumba: Mr Speaker, I want to find out if the ministry has a programme of recalling Zambians who are working abroad to come and work in the hospitals in our country.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, currently, we are discussing the possibility of attracting not only Zambians, but also other nationals who are consultants so that we can quickly fill the gap in the consultancy field in the country. Therefore, if there are Zambians who are qualified consultants, we will approach them, but we might have to bring in other nationalities too.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, according to the hon. Minister, there are 3,000 vacancies. Therefore, has he obtained authorisation from the Treasury , under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, so that when the 3,000 staff are employed, they will be put on the pay roll immediately and will not have to wait.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, Treasury authorisation has been given for these positions. That is why these vacancies are advertised to be filled.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


165. Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali) asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources when the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) would crop the elephants in Mambwe District to reduce the animal-human conflict.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Mwangala): Mr Speaker, ZAWA has no intentions of cropping elephants in Mambwe District where Lupande Game Manageemnt Area is located. There is no need to crop the elephants in Lupande Game Management Area because they are already being hunted as a safari hunting quota of twelve elephants per year. Problematic elephants in the area are controlled through killing by ZAWA officers. In 2009, sixteen problematic elephants were killed as a control measure by ZAWA officers.

In order to further minimise the animal-human conflict, ZAWA sensitised the communities within and around Lupande Game Management Area to avoid confrontation with dangerous animals by fencing their premises with solar electric wires or chili fences. Communities are also advised not to encroach into areas reserved for wildlife habitat.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr V. Mwale: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the human-animal conflict is not just around the areas of Lupande Game Reserve, but also South Luangwa National Park where there are a lot of elephants. What is the Government doing about the elephants around Luangwa National Park.

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, the question relates to Lupande Game Management Area and not other management areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I am sure that the hon. Minister is aware that elephants quickly learn how to handle electric and chilli fences. What further developments are going on in the ministry to actually help the people who live in villages quite far from game parks, but whose crops are still being raided and their children injured on their way to school? What new measures have been put in place or are we just going to have to tolerate the current situation?

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, I stated, earlier, that ZAWA has sensitised communities within and around Lupande Game Management Area to avoid confrontation with dangerous animals by fencing their premises with solar electric wires or chilli fences.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, in view of the many areas of human-elephant conflict, as explained by the hon. Member for Chipangali, is this not an opportunity for the ministry to consider translocating some of the elephants from areas where there is this conflict to game parks such as Liuwa National Park where these animals have disappeared?

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, the question of transferring elephants from Lupande to other national parks is not our problem.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether, in answering the last question, the hon. Minister is emphasising that the elephants cannot be transferred to Liuwa National Park because they have been depleted by people hunting them for ivory bangles.


The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Ms Namugala): Mr Speaker, I understand that the hon. Member is a traditional cousin of the people of the Western Province. I, therefore, believe that he is asking this question in that context.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




VOTE 78 – (Zambia Security Intelligence Services – Office of the President – K281,390,446,217).

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to continue my debate. I hope that I will have the protection from Hon. Kakoma and Hon. Lubinda.


Major Chizhyuka: When business was suspended on Friday, 12th November, 2010, I was talking about monies allocated to the Security Intelligence Services of our land. I started my debate by stating that what had been allocated was insufficient in view of the political climate obtaining as Zambia heads for the polls, next year, and also given the existing ultra participation in the political process. 

  Mr Chairperson, today, I would like to try and defend the notion that the Zambia Security Intelligence Services interferes in the political process of our country. Given my background, and all the years I served in the Zambia Army and Ministry of Defence, I have an advantage in understanding the role of the Zambia Security Intelligence Services. I explained, on Friday, quite clearly that my background is not laced with things that may give rise to rumour and other vices.

Mr Chairperson, intelligence services the world over do not interfere in political processes. The primary responsibility of the Zambia Security Intelligence Services is to protect the security and integrity of our country. This is its core business. It is its bread and butter. It is the reason the men and women who work in the Zambia Security Intelligence Services leave their homes, everyday, to go and do that which is needful to protect the integrity and security of our nation.

Mr Chairperson, at the time we had the 1st World War, as a result of the work of the MI5, it was discovered that the Prime Minister was actually disclosing the British secrets to the Soviet Union. The MI5 had an option. On one hand, it had its constitutional duty to defend the security and integrity of Britain and on the other hand, it had the Prime Minister to protect who, in fact, was the employer. At that time, the MI5 decided that going by the Constitution of Britain, its core function was the protection of the national security of Britain. It chose the protection of the security of Britain against that of the employer.

Mr Chairperson, do the intelligence services interfere on the African continent with regards to the way governments govern? In Uganda, there was a man who rose to power on the ambit of his popularity among students. The students of Makerere University sang songs about Idi Amin. All this was happening when the intelligence and security services in that country had information regarding the quality of the man that was getting into the leadership of that country. In fact, the security and intelligence services knew before hand that, in the following one week or so, Idi Amin would take action against the Government of the day. In Africa, unlike in Britain, the security and intelligence services failed to prevent a man who should never have, in the first place, been given a chance to be part of the national leadership to lead Uganda.

Sir, all of us in this House know what happened to Uganda which eventually fell into an abyss. Could you refer to the security services carrying out their duties in such situations as interference? That is not tantamount to interfering in the country’s governance, but merely them carrying out their mandate to ensure that, at any one time, our country is only led by the best men.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: It is their duty to ensure that our beautiful country, which has been a haven of peace for all refuges, be it South Africans, Namibians, Angolans, Zaireans, Rwandese and many from other countries, continues to be peaceful. It is the duty of the intelligence and security services to ensure that the peace that we are currently enjoying is sustained. It is their duty to ensure that we continue enjoying the prosperity that we are enjoying. They should, in fact, ensure that the leaders that are chosen have leadership qualities such  as humbleness as well as being development-oriented and not leaders who want to come on to the scene using aggression. We do not need leaders who spend their time seeing skeletons in other people’s cupboards. When we go to the polls, next year, here in the Republic of Zambia, we are interested in having a leader in place who is humble. Are we not enjoying prosperity at the moment?

Hon. Government Members: We are!

Major Chizhyuka: Are we having problems being asked about our country being congested? Are we not seeing the developments that are taking place in our country?

Hon. Government Members: We are!

Major Chizhyuka: What is the international community saying? Is it saying that we have an enclosed economy or that we are headed for a boom?

Mr Chairperson, it is the duty of the intelligence services to ensure that it collects information and prepares it in a presentable manner so that it helps to preserve and protect the integrity of mother Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: If it does not do so, it will have failed in its duties.

 Mr Chongo:  Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: We are happy for the work it is doing to ensure that mother Zambia remains a haven of peace in Africa. We thank the people who work for the Zambia Security and Intelligence Services for the job they are doing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: If the intelligence and security services let Zambia land into the abyss that Uganda landed, as we enter the politics of 2011, it will have failed the nation and also the country in carrying out its core responsibility. I am saying all these things because I have inside knowledge, …


Major Chizhyuka: … having spent my entire working period around the borders of this country fighting to preserve the integrity of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, I told you, the other day, that I did not go to the Zambia Army to grow tomatoes.


Major Chizhyuka: I went there to do my job which meant my ensuring that, at the end of the day, the integrity of this country was preserved. Having looked at these figures in relation to the inside information that I have, I can safely say that the allocation for the intelligence services is inadequate. I would have preferred for the Government to have boosted the job of the intelligence service so that, in the hour of need, the officers there will have sufficient power to deal with their roles and responsibilities which make them earn their bread and butter.

Sir, I wish to end my debate by applauding all those that have headed the intelligence and security wings of our country from the time that I keenly started following issues about Zambia, for the job that they have done so well so that we continue enjoying peace, prosperity, stability and unity in our country.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to support the Vote and I thank you.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo (Pemba):  Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for this opportunity.

   Sir, experience is the best teacher. The last decade is gone. It is not time to cry over spilt milk. It is time to reconstruct and build our systems, forty-six years after independence.

Sir, mistakes may have been made, but those men and women in the security services that bore the brunt of their services need some kind of a pat on the back because not all of them were terribly misled, terribly bad or did not serve their country in a distinguished manner.

When you are a district education officer and somebody from nowhere becomes a supervising officer in Lusaka where the power lies and appoints you in a position you are ill-prepared for, having himself or herself not been properly prepared for a top job, what do you expect? Professionalism should be the art of the day. I am digressing from the debate on the Floor of the House as some of you might think.


Mr Matongo: Last week, there were two appointments of Permanent Secretaries that were properly done, in the North-Western Province and the other one in the Department of Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in the Office of the Vice-President. If backgrounds of these two Permanent Secretaries were checked, you would find that they are men of good standing in society. One does not even need to know their faces to accept that fact.

As hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, just after doing three months of training in diplomacy studies, you can appoint people as ambassadors. Do you expect to have a distinguished service from such people?

Hon. Member: No!

Mr Matongo: Mr Chairperson, what we have been saying, as the Opposition, is that ten years is long enough a time for this Government to rejuvenate the Zambia Security Intelligence Services. This department needs our support and encouragement. We should not involve ourselves in matters that are before the courts of law. Let us avoid being judgemental. Those handling court cases can also make mistakes. Therefore, we must learn to remain patient so that the learned Judges can do their work properly.

I wish to advise hon. Members that even if one was part of the previous Government, it is not good to defend what cannot be defended. I have always told my younger brother from your right side, Sir, that it is better to correct situations and move forward. When mistakes are made, appropriate corrections should also be made. It is high time the Zambian Government started moving in the right direction. Leave whatever happened in the last decade and move forward. We, on the left side of the House, emphasise the point that people should not be judgemental, but should instead leave whatever happened in the last decade in the hands of the courts of law. 

Sir, I do not know what happens at the Red Brick, as people call it, or the Office of the President. However, I would like to believe that the officers there are serving a good purpose to the people. They protect all of us. To support my argument, I shall tell of an incident which happened recently.

Last year, in Pemba, two young men were shot. There was only one vehicle in that area and the police did not have a vehicle, kulibe, kunalibe.


Mr Matongo: A visiting officer, who I do not know, happened to have been in the area for some other duties. I just saw him driving a white vehicle and I approached him to explain the problem. That particular day, I was driving one of my small vehicles, thus I could not get to the scene of the incident. This officer, without explaining who he was to me, helped us retrieve the bodies and joined the investigation on the same day, without me lifting the phone to inform His Excellency the President as some of you often do.

I am pleased to inform this House that because of this officer’s work and the vehicle I ordered my family to send to Pemba, the murderer was caught. The murderer was caught despite the officers not having a bicycle for movements. The murderer has since been sentenced to hang by the neck until he goes to wherever he deserves to go. Since I do not believe in hanging, I hope the system will be lenient on him and sentence him to life imprisonment. Was that not good work by a stranger whom we did not know? However, later, I discovered that he was from this office we are now debating. I did not bother to follow up on who he was when the investigations were taking place. All I wanted was the job to be done and it was done, hon. Minister. Later, I inquired from the Officer-in-Charge, in Pemba, about that officer.

 My friends on my left, I wish to caution you that you must be careful in the way you go about doing things. If you are supporting the people on the right, then you are forging a friendship somewhere else. However, you must not forget to forge friendships on this side of the House. We all need each other and have mouths and the arrogance to speak out.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Do not be pretentious in your efforts to defend what went wrong. I am happy …

Mr Shakafuswa: But they were part of the wrong things that were done.

Mr Matongo: It does not matter. I know who I am, unlike you who does not know where you came from.

Hon. Members: Aah!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Member, you are doing very well, but ignore the hecklers because they will detract you from a good debate.

Mr Matongo: Mr Chairperson, I respect you very much, but I wish to say that I am experienced on how to handle hecklers.


Mr Matongo: I know how to handle them. I have been here for eleven years now. I can defend myself.


Mr Matongo: I support this Vote, …

Mr Kalenga: Stand up!

Mr Matongo: I am going nowhere. I support the Vote.

Mr Malwa: You will not be voted back.

Mr Matongo: Hon. Member of Parliament for Kapiri Mposhi, you have to contend with me being here because I am winning the next elections whether you like it or not.

In supporting this Vote, I wish to say that it is wrong for the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to reduce allocations just because, last year, this institution was given ten per cent higher than it got the year before. We should use activity-based budgets. If the army, police and intelligence services need money, all we need to do is to give it to them and set up systems to ensure that the money is properly utilised. That is all we need to do.

This year, I agree that the budgeting system has improved, Mr Chairperson. However, I hope that it will improve further. In my view, the idea of cutting down on what has been requested by the controlling officer is not right because it is them who know what is required by the institution. Of course, there are some controlling officers with inadequacies from some political party in the north and south, who are cadres that do not understand how to do things properly. Surely, if you have an astute career, as a Permanent Secretary, you need to exhibit a sense of professionalism. I appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to treat the serious Permanent Secretaries properly because he knows the bad ones. I believe that the security forces are disciplined enough to give figures that can be used in a proper manner. The bad ones should not be made ambassadors because they will be irresponsible at the embassies.

Finally, I would like to say a few things about those colleagues of mine in this House who are sceptical about everything. If you are a sceptic from day one, one of them has just walked out, …


Mr Matongo: … to everything, then one wonders what you believe in. It does not matter whether you went to school or not. This country has a problem of scepticism even where logic demands that we become rational.

I should not refuse to agree to certain things just because I am in the Opposition. I should not oppose something just because I cannot convince the people on the right to agree with me on which way we to move forward. To be in the Opposition does not necessarily mean that, everyday, you see an hon. Minister walking upside down or,


Mr Matongo: … probably, that you see some other politicians walking backward when they are actually walking forward.

Ms Changwe: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: It does not necessarily mean opposing even the correct things.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: The logic in our party …

Hon. Member: Which one?

Mr Matongo: … was shown by what happened last Friday. Some young hon. Member of Parliament asked whether the Government had any regrets regarding certain issues and the answer was no. What was said then has become national debate. That is what I call an intellectual debate. Congratulations to the ones that started it.


Mr Matongo: If you say that one has a bigger nose or stomach and, tomorrow, nobody comments about that, then just know that they are telling you that you are worse than the frog the people of Pemba voted against a few years ago.

This Opposition is a constructive one. I will not be dictated to by anybody except the people of Pemba. When they are right, divided as they are, I will support them. When the people in my constituency are right, they know that I discuss issues with them even before I come here and they tell me when I am wrong. In the same vein, when you are wrong and are always wrong, …


Mr Matongo: … it is our duty, as the Opposition, to ensure that we correct you. As you can see, the length of my fingers is not the same and, in the same way, we do not think the same way. So, we are here to cut the longer finger to the right size. Our duty is to provide leadership because there are certain things we know which you, as Government, do not know. You have to listen to those of us on this side of the House.

Mr Mubika: Finally!

Mr Matongo: Finally, …


Mr Matongo: This is not Shang’ombo. This is Lusaka, my friend.


Mr Matongo: If you are inadequate, go back to Shang’ombo to be looked after by your sisters. I have campaigned there and so I know what I am talking about.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Matongo: Mr Chairperson, in my conclusion, let me state that the Government is the Executive and the Judiciary and Parliament will help to perfect its role. When we speak, we do not do so because we are malicious, but because we want to have things done correctly.

The armed forces and intelligence services must be supported and if they go wrong, we can question the budget here. My district mate − I suppose that, in his book, he indicated that he was the first to head this institution we are debating today − quoted President Ceausescu in one of his meetings with a President he made reference to in his book by stating that when a car is rushing against a bend, it is wise to reverse to avoid a crash. Those who have ill feelings because they have not benefited in the past decade, must seek wisdom from this man, Hon. Mwaanga. Put your car in reverse when you go wrong.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to join the hon. Member for Namwala (Major Chizhyuka) who has ably saluted our personnel in the Zambia Security Intelligence Services.

Mr Chairperson, I have said this before and I will reemphasise the point that I am happy that the environment that is obtaining in this House now points to one particular issue, which is that this is an institution that must unite all of us, whether you are in the Government or the Opposition. This is because its role is to maintain peace and stability in our country, which are an important ingredient for development. We, as country, have come this far and have achieved a lot politically, economically and socially and we have to maintain this kind of progress that we have made because it is good for the nation.

However, Mr Chairperson, I would like to acknowledge the fact that the Government has to continue to improve the conditions of service of our men and women in this organisation. This is important because they need to be mobile in order to be closer to the people to gather information from Choma, Samfya and elsewhere. In most cases, they have been forced to travel long distances from the Boma to collect the information which they can use to maintain peace and stability in our country.

Mr Chairperson, apart from that and I have said this before and appealed through you that this tendency of smuggling top secret information from our officers to the newspapers must stop because we will end up endangering our security. The importance of State security cannot be underplayed by any Zambian, whether in the Opposition or in the Government. We must guard against the tendency of using some of our people to collect information from offices to be published in the newspapers because it is dangerous and it endangers the security of our country on a daily basis. We have to stop it.

Mr Chairperson, I have said before that God performs miracles. Those who are using some officers in the ministry to smuggle that top secret information, which they publicise in newspapers, will dance to the same tune in the event that they get on the other side. The same people you are using to give you that top secret information, today, will be used by other people to display the information of a similar nature publicly and that will endanger the security of our country.

I would like to appeal to leaders of political parties in the country to stop this weakness of using some people to smuggle top secret information from our offices because it is dangerous. What are they trying to achieve by so doing anyway?

Mr Chairperson, the men and women in the Zambia Security Intelligence Service have made a sacrifice to ensure that there is peace and stability in the country, but they cannot do that if those of us who are called political leaders are careless. We need to support our officers so that we develop a culture of maintaining peace and stability in the country and this should be done by all of us at individual level and even collectively.

Finally, on the basis of your advice that we have to be brief in our contributions to the debate, let me also cancel this perception that the Zambia Security Intelligence Services is involved in rigging elections because it is not true. Those in the habit of saying this should look at the Bangweulu Constituency as a practical example with emphasis on the 2001 elections. During these elections, I, single handed, won overwhelmingly in a Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD)-dominated area, Luapula Province. This is a practical example to make people cancel this perception of making false allegations against innocent officers once and for all.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: In 2001, there were twelve Parliamentary Candidates in Bangweulu Constituency and I was one of them and this is how I performed in an MMD dominated province. I recorded 5,652 votes against an MMD candidate who only attracted 2,000 votes. If these officers rig elections as claimed, would it not have been possible for them to rig elections in Bangweulu Constituency?

Mr Chairperson, we should also look at another competitor, the very intelligent hon. Member for Luena (Mr Milupi).

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: He also won elections in a province dominated by the MMD, save for three or four wards.

Major Chizhyuka: It was only one.

Mr Kasongo: He sacrificed his parliamentary seat to seek a second mandate within five years, but he is here today. So, when we say the ZSIS is involved in rigging elections in favour of the Ruling Party, what is it that we are talking about?

Mr Chairperson, I thank you so much.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Vote of the Zambia Security Intelligence Service, which is on the Floor. I note that there is a minor increment in the allocation to this Vote of about 20 per cent, which is from K232 billion to K281 billion. This is good considering that this institution performs very difficult tasks.

Sir, national security in any country or society is important for any social, economic and political development to take place. Without national security, an economy cannot develop and even life itself becomes threatened. However, most citizens do not know that there are people who work quietly to help promote national security. It is very easy for most of our citizens, and even some hon. Members of Parliament, not to pay any attention to the work of our intelligence service because it is as though it is non-existent. Intelligence work is not supposed to be performed publicly and, therefore, goes unnoticed. Operations that are carried out in view of the public eye cannot be effective and hence the reason they are done quietly.

I also want to point out that security does not happen by accident. It must be planned and worked for. So, one of the most important tools we have, in this country, among others, that helps the Government to maintain peace and security, is the ZSIS.

As I said, an average person may not know how the intelligence service works and, hence their reference to the officers as ba Office of President (OP) or ba shushushu …


Dr Machungwa: Shushushu is a French word which means quietly. Nonetheless, these officers supply valuable information to the State to help run the affairs of this country. So, I want to commend the men and men in this service who continue to work very quietly and do not even ask to be praised for the successful operations that they carry out because, by nature of their work, they cannot do that, for helping maintain peace in this country.

In recent years, this country has gone through a period which has been very traumatic to the intelligence service. As a way forward, it is important to ensure that there is an internal system in place for maintaining accountability or keeping checks and balances in this institution. The Zambian public and I do not want to know if, for example, one operative spent US$50,000 or US$100,000 to pay a girl to put a foreigner in a compromising situation in order to obtain information. We just want to know that the threat is removed and not all the details involved.

We can all see what is happening in some countries to the north of Zambia. For example, what happened in Uganda during the period of the World Cup where a lot of people died in a terrorist bomb attack. Therefore, what we want to know, in Zambia, is that our intelligence service is working to prevent such incidences from occurring in this country. We are not interested in washing dirty linen in public and knowing how this work is being done. There is nowhere in the world where the intelligence service is subjected to public scrutiny and debate or an open court because the public does not know anything about how intelligence work is done. Only the people involved can explain it and this is usually done in-camera.

Sir, because of the traumatic period I mentioned, we had a situation where there was an exposure of the operations of our intelligence officers and this even jeopardised future links and co-operation with sister intelligence services in neighbouring countries. There was creation of fear in the intelligence community across borders. There was paralysis in intelligence service because people did not want to act for fear of being exposed in some newspaper. Intelligence institutions in neighbouring countries refused to co-operate with us because the Zambia Security Intelligence Service was compromised and one could not tell what would happen. 

Sir, this should not be allowed to happen. The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations (MOSSAD), which is the Israeli intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or even Ministry of Intelligence Department Number 6 (MI6) cannot be expected to bring out graphic details of their operations before a foreign or local judge to determine how money was spent. Such details are supposed to be known internally.

I, therefore, want to repeat my appeal to the Government to put in place an internal system for accountability in the Zambia Security Intelligence System. All we want to know is that those who wanted to infiltrate the security of our country or bring about instability were sorted out. That is our interest.

Although it is very difficult to document the work of this institution because it works in secrecy, we need to support this service. The security that we experience in this country is mostly attributed to intelligence work. As a modern democratic country, we need this service and, therefore, I fully support this Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Chairperson, to start with, I want to say that I support this Vote. I also want to say that a lot of us do not understand the work of ‘ghosts’ in the Office of the President. Nonetheless, there are supposed to be ‘ghosts’, as someone has rightly put it. We are not supposed to understand the work of intelligence officers and that is why there is a lot of speculation about this institution.

Maintaining security entails information gathering and it is what is done with the information gathered that matters. I think there is a lot of misconception by people as regards the work of this institution. For example, someone suggesting that our intelligence service should prevent a change of Government, if there is a need to do so, is misguided.

Mr Chairperson, I do not think that our intelligence service is so unprofessional as to go to that extent. I think what this person was suggesting is unprofessional conduct by the professional men and women in this service. Informing the Government on where it is going wrong is part of maintaining security by this institution. The intelligence service can advise the Government on how to handle certain contentious issues and it depends on how the Government uses this advice. Therefore, I do not think the ‘ghosts’ in the Zambia Security Intelligence Service can, in these modern times, go to an extent of supporting one political party over others. They stand to support the nation and not individuals. They might give individuals preferred information at the time when they are there, but not that they will support them perpetually because their allegiance is to the nation.

Mr Chairperson, we have talked about intelligence and, everywhere in the world, you can never charge the system with corruption. The system is supposed to rely on uncorrupt people to get information and this is how it is done everywhere. It is unfortunate that, at one point, we even had a situation where names were published, but we did not know what kind of information or services were being offered. Therefore, I might interpret a certain payment as a way of corrupting someone but, perhaps, that person could be a client who is providing a service in the interest of the nation. What we are against is someone in a position of authority taking advantage of the secret nature of the operations of the Office of the Zambia Security Intelligence System to use their service as a conduit to embezzle from the people of Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: That actually depends on who the client is at a particular time and this would introduce unprofessional conduct into the service and that we refuse. Many people would want to use the system, maybe, to launder money. In developed countries, such systems are prone to parliamentary scrutiny. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has to account to the Senate Committee which looks at that and this also applies to the British system. Therefore, I am not suggesting that we espouse this practice because, maybe, we have not reached those levels yet. However, all we are saying is that we should not allow our system of men of integrity to be abused by those in authority who know that they can give instructions which cannot be disobeyed. If those instructions are disobeyed, you are fired the next day and they will find a puppet to put there who will follow their instructions.

Mr Chairperson, to the same extent that we need this system, it needs funds to find out what is happening in the country and how the system operates is up to it. In other countries such as America, they had to sell arms to Nicaragua to promote democracy in Iran. We should also give them leeway by giving them a legal system of raising funds because the monies which we are giving them for the operations of maintaining peace in this country are not adequate. That said, I know that we have ‘ghosts’ in that system who are capable of utilising the meagre resources that are given to them at a particular time.

The other point is that we should not frustrate people in this ‘ghost’ house because they give professional information which is verified by the time it goes to the client. Sometimes, there is a tendency by clients to distort and put holes in such information and wrong decisions are made because information that comes from our systems is not relied upon.

Mr Chairperson, we will never understand the operations of the system because we are not supposed to be party thereof and, also, because their operations are supposed to be covert. However, we should know that, sometimes, the police are in the background so that if there is a threat of terrorism, today, the system is supposed to know who is entering the country, who is sleeping at what hotel and what their intentions are. Those are the operations we applaud. We usually applaud the men in uniform, but I think we should also applaud the ‘spooks’, the men whom we do not see. The ‘spooks’ also contribute to the security which we talk about, but it should not be abused by us, in the political system, because we …

The Chairperson: Order!

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


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Chairperson, I would just like to emphasise that it is uncalled for, for any Zambian to ask the Zambia Security Intelligence Service to involve themselves in partisan politics. The choosing of what kind of leadership this country wants lies in the Constitution.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: The Constitution specifies who qualifies to be a Zambian. Since the Zambia Security Intelligence Service follows the Constitution, as Hon. Major Chizhyuka said, it is better we leave constitutional issues to the Constitution. As politicians, all we need to do, as Hon. Major Chizhyuka has put it, again, is to humble ourselves. We should not become bosses of the people, but leaders of the people so that we do what is right for them. In that way, we will be moving in concordance with the people so that we do not give a lot of headaches and bad instructions to the system. The time for one to talk about rigging is long gone.

Mr Chairperson, if you do your homework properly and talk to the people properly, you will not need anyone to interfere with your paper. Just ensure that the person you put to monitor the ballot boxes is not corruptible. You should also make sure that the person, who is entering the results, is not transposing like where someone has 301 …

Mrs Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: … he puts 103. That should remain the responsibility of political parties to ensure that they do their campaigns and adequately appeal to the people on who shall become president. He should be a person who has no hand in the spooks, the intelligence. When people say this is the decision, the people’s decision is the one which will override everything else.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I thank the hon. Members for the overwhelming support of the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 78/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 77 – (Ministry of Defence – K1,502,512,496,519).

The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa): Mr Chairperson, it is my honour and privilege to stand before this august House to present the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Ministry of Defence for the period from 1st January to 31st December, 2011.

Mission Statement

The mission statement for the Ministry of Defence is:

“To preserve, protect and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Zambia in order to maintain peace and security for all citizens and residents.”

2010 Budget Performance

Sir, the Ministry of Defence had an approved budget estimate of K1,344,080,814,560 in the year ending 31st December, 2010. In line with our mandate, I wish to inform this august House that, under the 2010 Budget, the following notable achievements were made:

(i) acquired and upgraded equipment, carried out continuous training and skills upgrading and recorded successes in infrastructure development;

(ii) conducted patrols throughout various border points;

(iii) carried out internal joint operations with other security wings in the Government;

(iv) promoted defence and security co-operation with neighbouring countries through Joint Permanent Commissions;

(v) conducted air surveillance;

(vi) contributed to improvement in food security;

(vii) substantially reduced outstanding personnel-related claims for serving personnel in all services;

(viii) carried out various civil and engineering works whenever the defence forces were called upon;

(ix) contributed to training of youths in skills such as shoe making, catering, bricklaying, plumbing and others; and

(x) participated in peace-keeping operations under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Mr Chairperson, let me briefly mention the salient features for the 2011 Budget.

Personal Emoluments

Mr Chairperson, in 2011, the ministry’s expenditure on personal emoluments will increase because of the 15 per cent salary increment awarded to all Public Service personnel and the planned recruitment by the three services.

Capital Projects

The building of housing units for all services, namely, the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force and the Zambia National Service will remain a priority. To this effect, we intend to construct over 4,600 houses for service personnel in the Lusaka, Central and Copperbelt provinces over the next two years. Subsequently, the exercise will be extended to other parts of the country until we construct a total of 9,100 housing units nationwide.


Mr Chairperson, the services have, over the years, experienced a decline in manpower levels due to retirements and natural wastage. My ministry will, therefore, continue making efforts to resolve this manpower problem the services are faced with. Given the resources available, all the three defence forces will undertake the recruitment of officers and men in 2011 as follows:

Defence Forces No. of Officers

Zambia Army 1,250 officers and soldiers

Zambia Air Force 700 officers and airmen

Zambia National Service 240 officers and servicemen.

Total 2,190

In conclusion, Mr Chairperson, my ministry shall, within the available resources, continue to fulfill its mandate of defending the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity effectively and efficiently. I, therefore, call upon the hon. Members of this august House to support my ministry’s budget estimates for 2011 as presented.

Sir, allow me, also, to welcome to the House the two new hon. Members of Parliament, namely, the hon. Member for Chilanga Constituency, Captain Moono and the hon. Member for Mpulungu Constituency, Mr Mung’omba.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: I warmly congratulate you on your victory and wish you the very best in the discharge of your new responsibilities.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Captain Moono (Chilanga): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for according me this opportunity to support the Vote for the Ministry of Defence.

Sir, first and foremost, I would like to reciprocate the appreciation of the hon. Minister of Defence through his remarks on us who are new in this House. I feel very much welcome.

Mr Chairperson, the Defence Force is made of three arms, namely, the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and Zambia National Service (ZNS). Their achievements have been outstanding and, therefore, I would like to encourage the hon. Minister to continue the good work the defence forces are doing under difficult conditions.

Mr Chairperson, it is nice to undergo this service because you learn a lot and come out a complete human being. Let me also recognise the contribution made by the ZNS to our food security. It has done a lot in terms of production and, I think, the ministry will be doing it a service if it acquired latest equipment for the production of crops for it.  I am aware that most of the equipment the ZNS is using, now, such as tractors, is in a bad state. Therefore, I urge the ministry to buy new equipment so that there is efficiency of production in our camps. I will not overemphasise the importance of food production, but just encourage the service to produce enough for the country.

Mr Chairperson, let me also talk about military training, especially the one I underwent. It is very nice because it makes you an all-rounder and you have to have integrity and loyalty. When military personnel discuss issues, they do so with tact. They do not discuss issues anyhow and demean their friends like those who grow crops by referring to them as tomato and cabbage growers.


Captain Moono: Mr Chairperson, our defence forces have done very well, especially in peace-keeping operations because of the integrity with which they continue to carry themselves in and outside Zambia.

Our defence forces have come out with flying colours from all the countries where they have carried out peace-keeping operations. Of course, I am aware of minor incidences where our defence force personnel have had excesses in the foreign missions which they are called upon to carry out.

Mr Chairperson, being a disciplined force takes into account the conduct portrayed both at work and outside. One of the problems which most of the defence personnel face is their conduct in relation to their social behaviour outside their work. In that light, I want to encourage the ministry to continue sensitising our defence personnel particularly on the advent of human immuno-deficiency virus/acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS).

Mr Chairperson, I was impressed when the Commander for the ZNS appeared in the paper, over the weekend, saying that officers who mistreat their wives would not be promoted. I think that is a good initiative. This is a very serious matter in the defence forces. It is inadmissible to sleep with a subordinate in the defence forces.

Mr Muntanga: It is indiscipline.

Captain Moono: It is indiscipline. As an officer, you have to look after your subordinates and respect them.

Hon. Member: What about retired officers?

Captain Moono: Some of the junior officers are secretaries and others journalists. You should not take advantage of their position and marry them. Therefore, the discipline …


Captain Moono: … in the defence forces is good because it teaches you to be a good husband.

Mr Chairperson, when one is promoted to a higher rank, the elevation is accompanied by an increase in remuneration. It is indiscipline to dump your wife who has suffered with you for a long time.


Hon. Opposition Member: It is immoral and called bigamy.

Captain Moono: Mr Chairperson, women who are married to defence personnel go through a lot of hardships. Sometimes, the husbands are called upon to carry out certain operations outside their camps and the women are left alone for a long time. Therefore, they deserve respect.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Captain Moono: After service in the defence forces, you should not leave your disciplined behaviour in the camp.

Hon. Member: Ooh!


Captain Moono: You should continue to behave like an officer and a gentleman.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Captain Moono: Mr Chairperson, I was trained by ZAF.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Honourable, I think …


The Deputy Chairperson: … I am trying to be as patient as I can, but could you get back to issues of defence and not about how personnel in the defence forces marry.  Please, get back to the issues that affect the military.

Captain Moono: Mr Chairperson, I am happy that the hon. Minister has talked about the upgrading of equipment …

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Captain Moono: … in the defence forces. This is how it should be.

Hon. Opposition Member: However.


Captain Moono: The hon. Minister should also look at the upgrading of the conditions of ex-service men, particularly the generals, former commanders, most of who live in Chilanga Constituency. My former Air Commander, General Zulu, the first black man to become an army commander lives in my constituency. I am just a captain, but I feel a little embarrassed when I look at their way of life. We should continue to upgrade the conditions they live in and look after them well.

Mr Chairperson, the peace we enjoy should not be taken for granted.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Captain Moono: In times of hostilities, these retired service men are required to assist in planning or, indeed, combat operations. Therefore, we should keep them in a manner that befits their status.

Hon. Opposition Member: Not just moving from party to party.

Captain Moono: I know that the hon. Minister is a capable man who can do what I am saying. I have a lot of confidence in this particular hon. Minister because of the way he carries himself. This is how an hon. Minister of Defence should behave. You should not talk anyhow ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Captain Moono: … because whatever you say is policy.

Hon. Opposition Member: That is United Party for National Development (UPND) material.

Captain Moono: This hon. Minister is a shining example of an hon. Minister of Defence.

Hon. Opposition Member: UPND material.

Captain Moono: I want most of the hon. Ministers to emulate him, particularly those charged with the responsibility to look after the security forces.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Captain Moono: Whether in the police or not, …

Hon. Opposition Member: Not ku Home Affairs!

Captain Moono: …you should not just talk anyhow. You should be uniting all the time.

Hon. Opposition Member: That is UPND material.


Captain Moono: Mr Chairperson, I am encouraged to hear that the Ministry of Defence has made efforts to build more houses for military personnel.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Captain Moono: I still see some defence personnel going into shanty compounds after knocking off. This does not augur well. These people are supposed to be in their military cantonments where they can be easily mobilised if need arises.

Mr Chairperson, life is rough in the shanty compounds. It is difficult for defence personnel to live there because military and civilian ways of life are different. If you tell me to do something, I will do it, but in other circles, they will ask questions. When a military man finds you on the way and he tells you to give way, you do it without questioning. Therefore, for the military personnel to enjoy their social life, let them live in military cantonments.

Mr Chairperson, when military men leave their cantonments, either through retirement or whatever reason, they find it difficult to integrate with the civilian population. Therefore, the ministry should come up with a deliberate programme of integrating retired military personnel into civil life.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Captain Moono: Mr Chairperson, a military general or colonel may find it difficult to sell tomatoes because of his status which entails that even his shoes are polished by a batman.


Captain Moono: Therefore, when these people leave the military, it is like the whole world has forsaken and closed in on them. These people need special care.

Mr Speaker, I know that the current hon. Minister is capable of undertaking these proposals.

Mr Muntanga: We will retire this particular hon. Minister together with the batman.


Captain Moono: Mr Chairperson, with these few remarks, I thank you.

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

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to contribute to debate on this Vote. From the outset, let me state that I support the Vote for the Ministry of Defence.

In fact, I have been comparing our defence forces with those for other countries and I am proud to say that it is trying hard to be non-partisan. In other counties, military personnel sit on the same benches with politicians in the House. I had an opportunity to visit a country where generals sit with politicians on the same benches and I listened to the debate on their constitution which stated that defence forces had to be non-partisan. The issue was on whether generals had to be allowed or not to sit in the House. I saw that the generals who were present were really uncomfortable about defending themselves. There was a barrage of attacks from other members who noticed that the generals were even sitting with members from the ruling party. They observed that, of course, defence forces had to support the government of the day, but their support did not mean that they had to be partisan to the extent of parading themselves on a ...

Mr Matongo: Party line!

Mr Muntanga: … party line.

I noticed that it was a difficult situation for them and I wondered what would be the situation in Zambia if generals were to be allowed to sit on the same benches with politicians in the House and then a debate on partisan politics ensued.

Mr Matongo: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: I concluded that our defence forces are doing very well. Let us leave them the way they are and not make them partisan.

In fact, during the United National Independence Party (UNIP) era, defence forces were not debated. They were restricted. There are many things that we would like to see changed. We cannot mention them here, but can only appeal to the Government to provide such facilities. Do not force the Opposition to mention facilities that are not available in our defence forces because we shall be making public things that are not supposed to be revealed. As you may be aware, debates are broadcast live on radio and so whatever is said in the House is heard by the public. Therefore, I am appealing to the Government to fund the Ministry of Defence adequately.

The hon. Minister of Defence has stated that the 2011 Budget has been increased by 15 per cent. This is not acceptable because it is not enough. Even the officers’ messes are not funded properly. We do not want to get into those details, but only appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, who is now elevating very fast to the position of Vice-President, as he is Acting Leader of Government Business in the House, to see to it that the messes are funded adequately. That is his training ground.


Mr Muntanga: It is important, my brother, that …

Dr Musokotwane: No!

Mr Muntanga: Ssh!

Hon. Opposition Members: Do not refuse it!

Mr Muntanga: Do not refuse it!

… you fund the ministry adequately. I know the hon. Minister of Defence is my mulamu and he has been receiving …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

There are no mulamus in here, whatever that mulamu means.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your guidance.

The hon. Minister of Defence has been praised to be a good man and has been doing well.

Mr Kasongo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: On the other hand, …

You are my other mulamu in here.


The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kasongo: Mr Chairperson, I need your guidance because it is possible that some people may misunderstand Mr Muntanga. Is he in order to allege that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is being groomed to become Vice-President? That statement has the potential of being misunderstood by some people. I need your guidance.


The Deputy Chairperson: The point of order that has been raised by Mr Kasongo is intended to assist Mr Muntanga, who is debating now, to avoid creating, in the minds of the public, the impression that something is brewing when it is not true.  Surely, even if it were to be so, it would not be for him to know. Can he avoid making statements that have the capacity to be misunderstood by the general public.

May he, continue, please.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muntanga: The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has been made Leader of Government Business in this House, a position that is held by the Vice-President, …


Mr Muntanga: … but it does not mean that he is the Vice-President. However, …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muntanga’s experience should tell him that he is actually undermining the decision of the Chair. Avoid that and simply debate the Vote on the Floor of the House.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the guidance.

Mr Chairperson, I am informing the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House that the budget for the Ministry of Defence, in my view, is not enough because there are many things that should be looked into. Yes, we have heard that the ministry is now building houses. However, contracts are being given to private contractors.

Mr Chairperson, since we do not have enough money to engage contractors, I believe that, under ZAF, there are sections and units that build houses. These units have constructed houses at the ZAF Centre, but for them to continue building more, they need adequate funding. However, problems come in when contractors get involved because they need to make profit. However, if money is given to units within the defence force, it will be utilised properly and more houses would be built.

I am positive that if money is given to ZAF, the ZNS, and Zambia Army, more houses could be built because the tendency of using contractors whose aim is to make profit has failed the institutions. We have noticed that instead of them using the money to construct houses, they are using it to buy better cars. Therefore, I am requesting the hon. Minister to fund ZAF adequately.

The first President, Dr Kaunda, introduced a day when defence forces would show their activities to the public. The military would come out and show their military hardware with good aeroplanes. We do not want to have the same type of planes every time …


Mr Muntanga: … because the planes being used to fly hon. Ministers are landing unnecessarily in Kasempa.


Mr Muntanga: We want good planes.

In fact, for anyone to fly a commercial plane, they should have flown a plane for more than 400 hours. The only people who can manage those hours are people from the air force …

Mr Matongo: Yes!

Mr Muntanga: … because they are in the air most of the time. They are able to amass the hours required for one to fly a commercial plane. It is not right to ask military personnel to fly civilian planes which will fail to land or overshoot the runway.


Mr Muntanga: I do not want to question the ability of the pilot, but I think the plane was over loaded.


Mr Muntanga: The hon. Ministers who were on that plane could not come out through the window because they were big.


Mr Muntanga: I suggest that the hon. Minister of Defence …

Hon. Government Members: You are also big!

Mr Muntanga: I am also big, but I was not on that plane.

Mr Mulongoti: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Chairperson, in as much as the hon. Member debating could have been celebrating our misfortune, is he in order to imply that the plane was overloaded when there were just normal human beings on board who were traveling on Government business? I need your serious ruling, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Minister of Works and Supply is appealing to the hon. Minister debating to avoid insinuating that it was the weight on the plane that caused the accident, but to debate the Motion on the Floor.

May he continue.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we are debating the Ministry of Defence Budget and I would like to state that we need to purchase various military wares, including planes. The plane that killed our football players was a military plane. In my appeal to buy new planes, I am trying not to blame the pilots or anyone. If you do accept the other reasons I have already given, then, let us replace those old planes.

Sir, we should buy planes that will not fail to take off due to weight even if Hon. Muntanga is on board. I am, therefore, appealing to the hon. Minister of Defence and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to increase the funds for this ministry. We will understand them if they bring in supplementary estimates. We know that it is very difficult to justify certain supplementary estimates, but we will support the estimates for such wings because we know that there are so many activities and emergencies that occur in the Defence Force.

Mr Chairperson, I want to state that the brick wall around Arakan Barracks is not in a good state. I think some defence personnel told me that it totally covers the barracks. They were responding to my question in which I wanted to find out why they put a brick wall at the barrack because the wire fences I saw in Botswana looked very nice. They said I was right because someone in the enclosure of that brick wall could do anything. I think that we should not shy away from giving them their requirements. In this regard, that observation base (OB) should be protected. It is nice to see these things done correctly.

Sir, I know that we are trying to change things because of human rights. Some people call it the police force and others call it the police service. Now, some people want to even start calling the Defence Force as the Defence Service. There is no service they provide because the defence personnel must always be ready to protect us. That is why we send them out of the country. They do not only go out there to help, but also to train. They should be able to tell us how it is in Darfur where there is actual war. You cannot keep them here where there is no fighting at all. I want you to fund them properly and to send more officers to other countries when need arises.

Mr Chairperson, as we recruit, let us make sure that we get people from all parts of the country. It is wrong, for example, if Hon. Muntanga is in charge of these recruitments and wants to collect all the people from his village. We want to have a national defence force so that if Hon. Muntanga becomes President of the country, he should not be blamed or accused of being tribal. It is important that we have a Defence Force that has a national outlook. I am very happy to hear that these officers are also trained to be loyal to their wives. They should be a shining example of people who are fighting HIV/AIDS in society. Even after they leave the military service, they should continue with this spirit.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Vote on the Floor of this House. From the outset, I support the Ministry of Defence Vote. This is with regard to one simple reason arising from the opening remarks given by the hon. Minister of Defence. This is a very important ministry and I feel that the money allocated to this Vote is inadequate. If there is a way, I think, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should increase the allocation to this ministry.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to take this opportunity to thank the people in the defence forces for the good job they are doing in this country. I think they have been serving very well outside the country and, in turn, given a good image of this country. They are as disciplined as myself because my father was in the Defence Force.


Mr Beene: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister mentioned that the budget for this ministry has gone up because of the 15 per cent salary increment which was accorded to the employees. I still feel that their salaries should be reviewed. In the Ministry of Defence, there is no union. Therefore, it is high time we tried to get good conditions of service for the people in the defence force. I am saying so because times are changing. The barracks where these people live were built a long time ago. We need to start thinking of even opening up new barracks where these people can live comfortably.

Mr Chairperson, I hope the hon. Minister of Defence will take note of that. I heard the hon. Minister talk about the construction of houses.  That will be a very good idea …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, is the respected Reverend,…

Hon. UPND Member: Bishop!

Mr Muntanga: … Bishop and Lieutenant-General, whom we are praising here, in order to walk slowly while talking to other hon. Members, thus showing his indiscipline when he is a disciplined soldier?


The Deputy Chairperson: Mr Beene can continue.


Mr Beene: Mr Chairperson, I have noticed that the procurement and supply of goods and services allocation has reduced from K800,762,416 to K415,047,000. I urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to consider this matter because those men in uniform, particularly, those who are found in operations in far-flung places need to have food and drinks in order for them to deal with the situations there properly. 

Mr Chairperson, this is a very important ministry which does not need such cuts. I hope that what I have said will be taken note of.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: Mr Chairperson, I have also noticed that money allocated for retired service men and women has remained constant at K400 million. I had the opportunity to be in Chilanga for the campaigns and I met a lot of ex- service men, who retired as generals …

Hon UPND Member: Who are disciplined.

Mr Beene: … and are extremely disciplined. I think that it is important that we do something about their situation because they are suffering. It is important that we do something because no one will speak for them. They are people of integrity who held high positions and, therefore, we should try to improve their lives. This will be good for the country and the Zambians at large.

Mr Chairperson, people in the barracks cast their votes. It is, therefore, disheartening to encounter the bureaucratic process hon. Members of Parliament have to go through to enter these barracks. For an hon. Member of Parliament to enter a barrack, he or she needs to sign papers that take three weeks to process. People in the barracks are our fellow human beings. It is high time we changed the laws so that we can interact with them. We have relatives in these areas. We cannot have such laws in the country when we need these people’s votes. We do not want to go to these places for politics because we know the role that these people play. The Government should look at this archaic piece of legislation. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: Mr Chairperson, I am aware that, in the defence forces, there is a very important engineering unit based on the Copperbelt. How much money has this unit been given? Very little. When there are floods or heavy rains, it is the first unit we call on. Even politicians give statements to the effect that this unit will fix the bridges that have been washed away in flooded areas.

Hon. UPND Member: They are in Kanyama right now.

Mr Beene: I am just being told that they are in Kanyama, at the moment, and yet they do not have adequate resources. I am sure the hon. Minister of Defence is getting me very clearly. I am not being political. I am just giving advice.

Mr Chairperson, Finally, I wish to mention that there is a very big problem with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning when it comes to disbursing funds. As I speak, some ministries whose budget allocations we approved are not getting any of this money for their day-to-day operations. They are only getting salaries. We cannot lead a country like this. This is extremely serious. There are ministries that have not had money for services and goods for the past six months. What is happening?

Mr Chairperson, it is extremely disappointing. I hope that this problem will be sorted out. I do not want to start mentioning ministries in this House. When we sit in this House to approve money for ministries, we want this money to flow. It should reach these ministries so that they can start working on their plans. At the moment, people have plans, but no money.

Mr Chairperson, may the Ministry of Finance and National Planning release the money we are approving here to the ministries so that the country goes forward.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwamba (Kasama Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the Vote under discussion. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: First and foremost, I would like to say that I totally support the Vote for the Ministry of Defence. It is a very important ministry with men and women who look after all of us, not only in the House, but the nation at large.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, men and women in the defence forces have suffered enough. I feel that the money which has been allocated is not adequate.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: It is not adequate at all.

If I had a way or if I was president of the country, I would instruct the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to improve the allocation to the defence forces.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: The men and women in the defence forces have done so much for us, and yet we have done very little for them.

Mr Chairperson, their conditions of service have not improved in a long time. In the last ten years, there have only been, maybe, four or five increments of fifteen to twenty per cent, which is nothing looking at the inflation rates in this country. I think that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning must try and see that the allocation improves.

The services and goods allocation has been reduced from K800 million to K400 million. This is very unfair because it means that the men and women in the defence forces will suffer greatly because certain items will not be purchased in the ministry.

Further, Sir, the budget ...

Hon. MMD Member: Talk about mealie-meal.

Mr Mwamba: I will talk about it later.


Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, figure wise, the budget for the Ministry of Defence seems to be colossal. Unfortunately, it is not. When I was in good terms with my colleagues on your right, I had the opportunity to supply for the ministry. I was quite close and monitored the way the men and women were suffering. No matter how much money was given, nine months down the line, the ministry would run out of money. I have some experience and I still insist that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should find more money for these men and women.

I have been reminded to talk about mealie-meal and, for sure, I will. However, I also want to talk about suppliers. Zambian suppliers are very few. Most suppliers who benefit in the Ministry of Defence are foreign. Why is it that three quarters of the money allocated to the Ministry of Defence goes to foreigners? Why not Zambians?

I supply mealie-meal. However, it is unfortunate that since I became an Opposition hon. Member of Parliament, I have not supplied even a single grain of mealie-meal.


Mr Mwamba: Why should it be so?

Is the Ministry of Defence only for the men and women on your right, Sir?

Hon. MMD Member: Reduce the price!

Mr Mwamba: My mealie-meal is the lowest priced in this country …

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mwamba:  … but, unfortunately, …


The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Chairperson, I did not wish to …

Mr Muntanga: You just want to be heard.

Mr Sichilima: Iwe, Muntanga, iwe!


Mr Sichilima: Sir, I did not wish to interrupt the debate of the hon. Member on the Floor, but is he in order to mislead the nation by stating that he has differed with some people on you right without explaining the reason behind that? Secondly, should he continue debating on this Vote without declaring interest by stating that he is one of the suppliers?

Mr Chairperson, you have guided us before …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 You are now debating

Mr Sichilima: Is the hon. Member in order to mislead the nation without declaring interest? I need your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

I have been following the hon. Member debating very closely. He said that he was one of the suppliers of maize to the military. Obviously, that is the declaration of interest. I think that the hon. Member was within right to raise concerns he observed because the interest has been declared.

 May he continue.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, let me repeat by saying that I was one of the suppliers when I was in the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD), but I am no longer a supplier because I am in the Opposition.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

By giving the hon. Member the leeway to debate, I do not mean that he becomes the subject of the debate. So, he will avoid going too much in detail about his own predicament with those he does business with and concentrate on the Ministry of Defence.

You may continue.

Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for your guidance.

Sir, I would like to say that the Ministry of Defence is not only for the MMD sympathisers, but for all of us, Zambians. When it comes to paying tax, there is nothing like only those in the MMD should pay and those in the Opposition should not. We all pay tax. Therefore, the money which the Government is using now is taxpayers’ money and all of us in here contribute. So, when it comes to giving contracts, hon. Minister of Defence, you should not segregate. You should always think of all of us as taxpayers.

In fact, I have read that, in some countries, people have even sued their governments for refusing to give a contract to a citizen. It is our birthright to enjoy the fruits of the Government. Therefore, in future, please, let us be treated equally like we are all from one mother.

Hon. Government Members: Come back!

Mr Mwamba: I have no intention, whatsoever, of going back to the MMD, which I call a sinking titanic.


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, please avoid listening to hecklers.

Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the guidance.

Mr Chairperson, with those few words, I rest my case.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to add a word or two to the debate on the budget for the Ministry of Defence.

Mr Chairperson, from the outset, and bearing in mind that we now carry out the live transmission of the debates in this Parliament, my personal wish would be to free the hon. Members of Parliament to debate votes such as this one to the fullest extent so that the Government gets the message of what is underlying these figures. From my personal perspective, I would have preferred that a debate such as this one was held in-camera to free us to talk about what we see in these figures.

Mr Chairperson, many hon. Members who have debated have supported the Vote only for the reason that they have no choice, but to do so. Given the total freedom, if this House had the freedom to alter or change, among other things, I for one would not support this Vote for the simple reason that we are dealing with a ministry that deals with the security of this country. It is upon the performance of this ministry that the perpetuation of us, as a nation, moving forward is premised.

Mr Chairperson, it is especially upon ministries such as this one that guarantee the security and, indeed, with security, the development of this nation. Therefore, when you look at the figures that are being proposed for the Ministry of Defence, their inadequacy clearly brings to light how poor this country is and how inadequate its revenues are.

Sir, allow me to give a few examples of figures that have been proposed for the defence wing. If you look at the Zambia Army, its total budget for 2011 is K663,945,967,041. That may sound like a lot of money, but you see, we live in a modern era where armies that perform are a lot more mechanised. Other than that, we are now in a computer age and so, there is a lot of equipment that needs to be purchased. However, look at what is being done to the Zambia Army. By proposing the budget of K663,945,967,041 billion, it means that K542,396,252,253 billion is for emoluments leaving a total of K122 billion for all other things like equipment, training and everything else.

Mr Chairperson, this figure clearly shows how inadequately we are funding the Zambia Army. What can this army do with a figure of K122 billion, especially bearing in mind that, out of the proposed total budget for 2011, 81 per cent is for emoluments? I am not saying that is all, but that the total allocation to the Zambia Army clearly indicates to all of us that we are not funding this army adequately, especially in an era where it needs equipment that also needs to be modernised.

Someone ought to tell us the last time equipment was modernised in the Zambia Army. How prepared are we, as a nation, to defend ourselves with amounts such as this? It looks like we are only depending on our people who are not even adequately paid and are ill-equipped. These are issues that we should address ourselves to.

Sir, this takes me to the core of the problem. I have sympathy for the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning because everyone who stands here says that he should give them more money. Where is he going to get it from? Which ministry is he going to take it out of? Is he going to take if from the ministries of Education or Agriculture and Co-operatives? We, as hon. members of Parliament, say that the allocation is inadequate to every ministry that comes up for debate on the Floor of this House.

Mr Chairperson, I have said that 81 per cent of the total allocation of K664 billion for the Zambia Army is just for salaries. Out of an allocation of K451 billion, K387,784,850,172 billion is for salaries. This means that 85 per cent of the total budget is allocated to salaries. What, therefore, remains for them is K64 billion, which is not even enough to buy a helicopter. Really, this should point to us, as a nation, that there is something else that we need to do.

Sir, even the ZNS which has been allocated a total of K249,518,489,818 billion with K195,097,189,044 billion being for emoluments only remains with K55 billion. This means that 78 per cent of the total budget is for emoluments.      

If you look at the totality of the budget, which is K1.5 trillion, from last year’s K1.3 trillion, you will see that there is an increase of 11 per cent. That is below the national increase. This is because the increase in our Budget from last year’s K17.171 trillion to K20.05 trillion, this year, is 33 per cent, and yet the Ministry of Defence has only received an increase of 11 per cent which is below the national average. Why are we doing that?

Mr Chairperson, my debate is brief, but it is meant to point out the inadequacy of these figures. Why are they inadequate? If hon. Members stand in this House and ask the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to find more money to allocate to the Zambia Army, it cannot be done. Why can this not be done? It is because of the simple reason that our revenues are inadequate. I am sure that the Government would want to do more, but it does not have enough in the National Treasury to allocate more. As a result, we have a defence force that is ill-equipped.

Sir, coming to the issue of retired generals, I think that all those that interact with them can bear testimony to the fact that what this nation does to them is absolutely disgraceful. These people have held so much responsibility and information on the security of this country, but to walk the streets in the manner that they do is an absolute disgrace. I think that this Government should look at ways in which it can continue to look after them way beyond retirement. Owing to the information that they have on the nation’s security, they cannot easily just join other companies and this is what happens in other countries. Maybe, we should also make better use of them even when they are in retirement.

Lastly, Mr Chairperson, the inadequacy of these figures allocated to the Ministry of Defence illustrates what we have always said. This Government must swallow its pride and go elsewhere to collect more revenues. The directions that have been given from this side of the House have been given with good will. It is not that we do not think that this Government is not working, but as long as long it refuses to collect revenues from where it can, we shall end up with a situation where we will even jeopardise the security of this country because of inadequately providing resources to our defence forces.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank you, once again, for giving me an opportunity to wind up debate on the Vote for the Ministry of Defence. I highly appreciate all the positive contributions that have been made by the hon. Members of Parliament.

Hon. Captain Moono made reference to the strides by the ZNS to improve food production and I appreciate this point. In fact, this year, Mr Chairperson, we harvested 79,000 BY 50 kg bags of maize. Plans are also underway to improve production by acquiring new equipment such as tractors and planters.

Sir, I also appreciate his debate on peace-keeping operations and I can confirm that our officers have done very well wherever they have been. They have brought accolades and appreciation from wherever they have served. Hon. Beene also debated this point and I appreciate that.

Mr Chairperson, the issue of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the defence force is a matter that is being taken seriously. We have a very active and well-elaborate defence policy which is based on many things, including awareness campaigns in all cantonments and assistance to those families that are in need of it.

Hon. Muntanga debated in support of the budgetary allocation to this Vote also and I want to reaffirm the policy of non-partisan and commitment to support the Government of the day in the Defence Force. This shall continue as long as we remain a vibrant democracy.

Mr Muntanga interjected.


Dr Mwansa: I have confirmed that Hon. Muntanga.

Mr Chairperson, the construction of houses is something that will occupy our attention in the coming years and I want to confirm that we will use the existing skills in all the three services to rehabilitate certain infrastructure in the cantonments. These are performing very well and I want to also assure Hon. Muntanga that the acquisition and upgrading of equipment is an ongoing exercise that is done almost every year.

However, the issue on the recruitment exercise is national because we want to maintain the national character of the Defence Force. Therefore, we go as far as districts to recruit, especially in the army, because we are recruiting more in the army than any other service.

Hon. Beene passionately debated the issue of difficulties in securing entry into the cantonments and I want to assure him that we will look into this matter so that we may make it easier for hon. Members of Parliament to visit their relatives in the cantonments.

Hon. Mwamba, also, passionately debated the issue of the low levels of support to the Ministry of Defence, but I want to assure him that, as the economy improves, I think the allocation to the Ministry of Defence will also improve. However, I also want to say that salary increments for personnel in the defence force are also awarded to them each time there is a general award in the Public Service. They are not left out.

In addition, I wish to also say that most of the suppliers of goods and services to the defence force are Zambian citizens and not foreigners. There is an approved list of suppliers which is available for scrutiny. It is only in specific areas and specialised procurement where foreigners are involved.

Hon. Milupi, I appreciate the suggestion that, in future, we consider debating the Ministry of Defence in camera. This is something we can take up for the future. The issue of the retirees is also something that we are looking into in conjunction with the Ex-Servicemen League, with whom we are working very closely.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you most sincerely.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Vote 77/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 77/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 77/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 77/04 – (Ministry of Defence – Zambia National Service – K249,518,489,818).

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Chairperson, may I seek clarification on Unit 2, Programme 8, Activity 03 – Chanyanya Wheat Project. This year, there was an allocation of K1,000,000,000 and there is no allocation for next year. I just want to find out what has happened to the Chanyanya Wheat Project. Has it continued or not?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Chairperson, much of the work required for the project was done with the K1,000,000,000 that was allocated this year and so, there is nothing to do next year and that is why there is no budget allocation.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 77/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 77/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 77/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 77/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 77/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 89 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – K985,221,496,496).

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Dr Kazonga): Mr Chairperson, it is my honour and privilege to deliver a policy statement on the 2011 Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry has a critical role to play in the areas of enhancing and ensuring food security for the country. The ministry facilitates food production across the country by ensuring that appropriate farming practices are followed by our farmers for improved agriculture production and productivity. The importance of agriculture cannot be overemphasised. Paul Chatfield once said the following:

“Agriculture is the noblest of all alchemy for it turns earth and even manure, into gold, conferring upon its cultivator the additional reward of health.”

The agriculture sector is also key to the development of the Zambian economy and will be the engine of growth for several decades to come.

Mr Chairperson, the mission statement for the ministry is:

 “To promote the development of an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector which assures food security and increased incomes.”

Mr Chairperson, this is in line with the objectives of the National Agriculture Policy, the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) and the Vision 2030.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry recognises the important role that the agricultural sector plays in the economic development of our country. Agriculture generates between 18 per cent and 20 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and directly provides livelihood for more than 50 per cent of the population. The achievement of a broad-based growth and the attainment of the millennium development goal (MDG) No. one of halving poverty by 2015, can only be realised with significant increase in agricultural productivity and output.

In order to achieve this, our efforts, in 2011, will be concentrated on enhancing investment in sustainable production and productivity and also in agricultural marketing. Appropriate adaptation measures will also be developed and implemented to minimise the adverse impacts of climate change. Overall, my ministry will continue to put in place systems, policies, programmes and legislation that will promote the growth of the agriculture sector for the attainment of food security for all and income generation.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to briefly highlight some agricultural programmes that my ministry has been able to undertake this year, 2010. The ministry has been able to make satisfactory progress in the implementation of some priority programmes and these include the following:

(i) Irrigation Development

  under this programme, only six out of fifteen small-holder irrigation schemes were constructed due to inadequate financial resources. These are Katombola in Kazungula, Lukulu North in Kasama, Kasamba in Kabompo, Chipapa in Kafue, Nkandabwe in Sinazongwe and Vuu in Lundazi. The African Development Bank (ADB) funded the completion of Manyonyo Irrigation Scheme in Mazabuka District. In addition, the World Bank commissioned feasibility studies for the development of bulk water transfers in Lusitu, Siavonga, Momboshi in Chibombo and Musakashi in Mufulira. The Finnish Government also provided financial support for small-scale irrigation development at Nzenga, Simupande and Sinazongwe in the Southern Province and at Kanakantapa in Lusaka Province;

(ii) Farm Block Development

In terms of farm block development, progress has been recorded at Nansanga as follows:

(a) 151 km of trunk roads have been constructed out of the planned 168 km. This represents 90 per cent progress;

(b) demarcation of farm plots for both smallholdings and commercial holdings has been completed; and

(c) two dams have been constructed.

(iii) Improved Extension Service Delivery

the ministry has made important strides in this area by providing improved extension delivery to the farmers.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: This has been precipitated by substantial investments in transport such as vehicles and motorbikes for the extension staff as well as enhanced training for farmers. In addition, there has been significant recruitment of extension staff with 90 per cent of the vacant positions currently filled;

(iv) Enhanced Research

in the area of research, my ministry continued its research activities during 2010 by conducting multi-location trials of root and tuber crops, maize, sorghum and millet, tree crops, genetic resources, food legumes and oil seeds. Development and testing of water lifting devices for small-scale farmers in light of the changes in the weather pattern were also investigated, including conducting a number of trials on site-specific fertiliser recommendations in the different agro-ecologies;

(v) Promotion of Utilisation of Improved Seed Varieties

the development of the seed industry is another area that is key to increased crop production and enhanced food security. Seed is an important input for crop productivity. As we are all aware, a good crop starts with a good seed. I am happy to report that, in this area, seed variety testing and registration was intensified throughout the country. During 2010, a total of eighteen new and improved plant varieties were evaluated and released to the farming community by various seed companies. These plant varieties include eight varieties of maize, one for sunflower, one for soyabeans and one for beans. This development enabled most of our farmers to have access to seed of improved quality;

(vi) Promotion of Crop Diversification Programmes

this is being done by emphasising production of food security crops notably, cassava, sorghum, rice, beans and groundnuts as alternatives to maize. As you are aware, diversification is key to the enhancement of food security as it ensures food availability in case of natural calamities such as droughts and other manifestations of climate change; and

(vii) Up-scaling Conservation Agriculture among the Small-Scale Farmers

this is being done to conserve our soil fertility, thereby avoiding degradation.

Mr Chairperson, following these efforts by the Government and other stakeholders, I am happy to inform this august House that during the 2009/2010 agricultural season, the country recorded a bumper harvest in maize production, amounting to 2,795,483 (which is rounded off to 2.8 million) metric tonnes …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Dr Kazonga: … compared to 1.9 million metric tonnes produced in the previous farming season. This gives us a surplus of 1,085,709 metric tonnes of maize compared to the 203,271 metric tonnes recorded in the 2008/2009 season. This is the biggest maize surplus ever produced in the history of our nation. Clearly, the Government’s programmes and policies, with the enabling good weather, are working.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: Mr Chairperson, the unprecedented growth in maize production that has been achieved in the 2009/2010 agricultural season can be attributed to significant increases in both total area planted as well as the average national maize yield. Both these factors rose sharply compared to the previous season. The average yield of maize in the 2009/2010 agricultural season increased significantly by approximately 34 per cent to 2.2 metric tonnes per hectare from 1.7 metric tonnes per hectare in the 2008/2009 agricultural season. The area planted with maize also increased by 14 per cent from 1,125,466 hectares in the 2008/2009 season to 1,242,268 hectares in the 20009/2010 season. Further, the relatively attractive price offered to farmers in the last marketing season may also have resulted in a positive response effect and contributed to the increase in production during this season.

Mr Chairperson, additionally, there were more farmers reported using hybrid seed compared to using recycled or local seed in the last season in comparison to the 2008/2009 agriculture season. Furthermore, a number of the Government’s programmes and interventions such as the promotion of conservation farming as well as improved extension service delivery to our farmers contributed to the increase in maize production in the 2009/2010 agriculture season.

The scaled up of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), in which beneficiaries increased to 534,000 in the 2009/2010 season from the previous 200,000 that were supported in the 2008/2009 season, also contributed to the growth in maize production.

Mr Chairperson, the surplus in maize is evidence that the Government’s policies are working. It is also gratifying to note that, in addition, the country recorded increased production in cassava, Irish potatoes, mixed beans, rice and sorghum.

Mr Chairperson, the large quantity of maize that our farmers have produced has, however, brought about new challenges in the marketing of the crop. More resources had to be mobilised in hundreds of billions of Kwacha to buy the maize from the farmers.

In the 2010 Budget, a total of K100 billion has been allocated for the purchase of strategic food reserves by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). In addition to the approved K100 billion, the Government released K50 billion as supplementary funding to the FRA. The Government also approved a further K793 billion as special funding to the FRA. To date, the FRA has also accessed a K154 billion loan from a consortium of banks for maize marketing. All these funds, amounting to K943 billion, have been used to mop up the large crop of maize that the country has produced and this money is in the pockets of our farmers.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: Mr Chairperson, in the 2009/2010 farming season, the Government procured and distributed 106,836 metric tonnes of fertiliser and 5,341 metric tonnes of maize seed. From the total amount of 106,836 metric tonnes, 6,836 metric tonnes of fertiliser was donated by the Japanese Government under grant assistance for underprivileged farmers in Zambia. A total of 534,000 small-scale farmers benefited from this programme.

In order to enhance agricultural marketing and trade, the Agricultural Credit Act was amended to incorporate aspects of the warehouse receipt system which would allow holders of agricultural commodities held in certified warehouses to access credit from lending institutions. This was done with the view to levelling the playing field for all market players in the sector.

In terms of post-harvest management and improvement of the agricultural marketing infrastructure, the Government continued, in 2010, with its long-term programme of increasing the capacity of storage facilities across the country. In 2010, the Government, through a Chinese concessional loan, has completed the construction of eight new storage sheds in Chambishi, Chisamba, Kapiri Mposhi, Kalomo, Mbala, Mufumbwe, Petauke and Serenje at a total cost of US$11.6 million. This has brought an additional storage space of 98,096 metric tonnes.

Mr Chairperson, the approval, by the Government, of the National Co-operatives Development Policy, in 2010, necessitated the review of the Co-operative Societies Act No. 20 of 1998 and its subsidiary legislation in order to align them with the new co-operative development policy.

Following these efforts by the Government, the number of co-operative societies participating in agricultural development has increased from 2,378, in 2009, to 3348, in 2010, representing a 40 per cent increase over one year.

Mr Chairperson, in terms of overall budget performance, during this year, a total budget of K534.035 billion was allocated to the ministry. To date, the ministry has received K1.3 trillion. The excess above the budget is largely due to releases to the FRA, which received a total of K946 billion.

Mr Chairperson, let me now look at the 2011 Budget. My ministry’s strategic focus, in 2011, will be on the following:

(i) promote increased investments in agriculture with emphasis on irrigation, farm mechanisation, agric business, research, extension and agricultural infrastructure, among others. This will enable the sector to significantly contribute to improved food security under agricultural growth;

(ii) promote agricultural diversification through improved production, marketing and value addition of primary agricultural commodities such as rice, cassava, soya beans, groundnuts, various vegetables and horticultural products; and

(iii) mitigate climate change effects through up-scaling of land management practices and conservation agriculture as well as promoting awareness among farmers on the effects of climate change on agricultural development.

Mr Chairperson, in next year’s Budget, which is currently under discussion, my ministry has been allocated K985 billion of which K866 billion, which is 88 per cent, will come from the Government and K118 billion, which is 12 per cent, will come from co-operating partners. This allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is 4.5 per cent of the total national Budget.

A total of K28 billion has been allocated to core programmes in line with the objectives of the Sixth National Development Plan as follows:

(i) crop Productivity and Improvement Programme, which will be focusing on:

(a)   extension services enhancement;

(b) farm block development;

(c) seed development; and

(d)      research and development;

(ii) sustainable Land and Water Management Programme. This will go towards irrigation development as well as conservation agriculture and agro forestry promotion; and

(iii) agricultural Marketing Development and Investment Promotion. The funds in this area will go towards supporting the development of a competitive, efficient and transparent agro marketing system.

Mr Chairperson, in addition, the FRA has been allocated K150 billion for the purchase of maize and other crops, while a total of K485 billion has been allocated to the FISP.

This coming season, 2010/2011, we, as a ministry, are targeting to support a total of 888,500 farmers with 178,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser and 8,790 metric tonnes of maize seed and 30 metric tonnes of rice seed under the FISP.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry is committed to spearheading agricultural development through co-operatives development. In this regard, the Government has allocated K5.3 billion to co-operatives development in the 2011 Budget. Emphasis will be on implementing co-operatives education and training programmes.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry, through the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI), will generate and provide demand-driven research technologies and services in soils, crops, plant protection and farming systems that are being undertaken in twelve research stations across the country. This will contribute towards increased crop production, productivity and diversification. A total of K12.06 billion has been allocated in next year’s Budget for these activities.

To improve plant quarantine and phytosanitary services, the ministry will embark on the construction of border posts in the following districts: Nakonde, Kapiri Mposhi, Siavonga, Ndola, Sesheke, Kazungula, Livingstone, Chililabombwe and Kafue. My ministry is also committed to supplying quality seed to the farming community. K5.16 billion has been allocated, in the 2011 Budget, to ensure the production and utilisation of good quality seed under the Seed Control and Certification Institute.

 The ministry has allocated K16.7 billion for agricultural training institutions. This allocation will enable the seven agricultural colleges and training institutions to continue playing their role of providing trained human resources for the agricultural sector. K118 billion has been allocated for programmes and projects which are mostly financed by our co-operating partners. The Government will provide K500 million as counterpart funds. I sincerely thank our co-operating partners for the support to this sector.

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, William Pitt once said: …

Mr Lubinda: Not William Banda?

Dr Kazonga:

“Trade increases the wealth and glory of a country, but its real strength and stamina are to be looked for among the cultivators of the land.”

In this case, the cultivators of the land are farmers. I appeal to all hon. Members of Parliament in this august House to support the budget estimates for my ministry, amounting to K985,221,496,496, for us to continue with the current work that our administration is undertaking. This includes commercialisation of the 1.5 million small-scale farming households so as to ensure national and household food security, reduce poverty as well as increase the volume of production and earnings from agricultural exports in accordance with the ministry’s vision.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chitika-Molobeka (Kawambwa): I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Vote on the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

In supporting this Vote, I would like to state that it requires honest men and women to acknowledge that the agriculture sector grew significantly during the 2009/2010 agricultural season.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chitika-Molobeka: This is as a result of many factors, including the favourable weather conditions and improved input supply under the FISP by this Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chitika-Molobeka: Mr Chairperson, I must confess that when the Government made changes to the FISP, there was an outcry from the people. I was very worried about this. I was in this Parliament when the hon. Minister made the changes. When I travelled home, I was still very worried about what the reaction of the people would be, but to tell you the truth, the people of Kawambwa were very happy about the changes.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chitika-Mulobeka: They were also happy about the way fertiliser was distributed, for the first time, in the district. There were no complaints about fertiliser not being distributed in good time. In Kawambwa, we received fertiliser in May and, by June, 2010, all the fertiliser that we needed, as a district, had been received.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

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


Mrs Chitika-Molobeka: Mr Chairperson, when business was suspended, I was saying that because of the good policies of the Government, complemented by the hardworking staff in the ministry, Kawambwa District has contributed significantly to this year’s bumper harvest.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chitika-Molobeka: The ministry should, therefore, continue working hard. As I stated, Kawambwa had its inputs in May, this year. If this is not commendable, I do not know what else the Government should do.

Mr Chairperson, the people of the Luapula Province are serious cassava growers. This is why the Government and other food donors never send food aid to the Luapula Province because people depend on cassava most of the time when the season is bad. I, therefore, appeal to the Government to improve the floor price of cassava to motivate the small-scale farmers who it. This will improve food security because small-scale farmers will sell part of the cassava harvest which will, in turn, assist in attending to other areas of need.

Mr Chairperson, lastly, the maize from Kawambwa District has not been collected from the satellite depots. I, therefore, appeal to the Government to see to it that something is done about this. Otherwise, the hard work of our people will be in vain. Maize should be put in silos so that it does not go to waste. Food should be guaranteed for next year.

Mr Chairperson, with these few remarks, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Vote for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Mr Chairperson, the last statement made by the hon. Minister in his address by quoting William Pitt is a fact. With aggression in this sector, this country can be very different. It can be a good country for us, our children and children’s children.

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development are the key in our quest to diversify the economy. We have been talking about diversification of the economy since independence, but it is very surprising, today, to note that the Government is celebrating 2.8 million metric tonnes of maize as a bumper harvest. I cannot call this a bumper harvest considering the potential this country has and the favourable weather conditions that we are experiencing now. In fact, the weather conditions fluctuate. For now, God has favoured us with good weather conditions. Therefore, the so-called bumper harvest is mainly attributed to the good weather and not the policies of the MMD Government.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu:  At my mother’s farm, cow manure is used to fertilise crops. It is not the Government that has provided cow manure, but the animals and rain.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, we should not celebrate the 2.8 million metric tonnes of maize because that is underestimating the great potential of this country. We can do a lot more than this. The Government should not behave like a person who has been failing  his/her examinations all the time and when he/she gets 51 per cent starts jumping all over Cairo Road because he/she has passed.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Hamududu: Yes, or someone whose proposal, for the first time, has been accepted by a girl.


Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, I think the bottom line is that the excitement about this bumper harvest really must go away. This country has a far greater potential. Not only this, even the number of farmers has increased over the years. So, to celebrate this is bumper harvest is inappropriate.

Mr Mwiimbu: We are all farmers.

Mr Hamududu: Yes.

Mr Chairperson, this ministry is very important and I think the hon. Minister has articulated this very well during his policy debate. Agriculture employs the greater majority of our people. If we are to address unemployment, this is the sector we must concentrate on. Many of our people are unemployed and we can create more jobs because 60 per cent of our people in Zambia are involved in agriculture. So, there is a lot of potential for employment creation in agriculture. Therefore, agriculture must be given greater attention above anything else. Agriculture possesses great forward and backward linkages. Literally, everyone is concerned about the agriculture sector. With the bumper harvest, this year, there are a lot of businesses created in the forward and backward linkages. Businessmen and women are able to supply and even the shops now are booming a little except that farmers are paid late by the Government. As a result, the real benefits cannot be seen.

Mr Chairperson, even during the 1980s when there was a good marketing system, farmers did not get their money immediately. The payments were delayed for, at least, a month. That is the truth because I grew up on earnings from maize. Farmers would supply maize and wait for a month to get their payment.

The difference is that, during those days, there was free education and medical services. There was no pressure to get money and, therefore, sell the maize to briefcase buyers. There was no pressure for cash.

 At the moment, there is no free education and free medical services. Hospitals only give prescriptions for the people to buy the medicine. You claim that there is free education up to basic school, but the Parents Teachers’ Associations (PTAs) charge money. There is no free education and, therefore, the farmers are in need of cash all the time hence the desperation to get the money there and then.

 With the change in the structure of our country, we shall give free education and health facilities when we come into power …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: … and, therefore, there will not be that pressure. You must understand our manifesto. You have even failed to copy from it.

Hon. Government Member: Chilingalinga!

Mr Hamududu: It is strange for you to see someone passing on the next desk while you are failing, but cannot even copy from that person. Now, we will just come into office.

Mr Sichilima: That is the exit corner.

Mr Hamududu: Sir, let me move to the next issue. The farmers in my constituency are forced to sell maize between K25 and K30 thousand per 50 kg bag because they need money to send their children to school. The Government only comes to buy maize much later and, even when it does, it takes time to pay.

Sir, this issue must be addressed. It has not been addressed in the Budget under consideration. The allocation for maize purchases is too meager, especially that we envisage a good weather pattern coupled with the increase in the FISP.

  We know that maize is being sold to neighbouring countries at a loss hence the FRA has little money for further purchases. We, therefore, envisage a problem next year. I hope that the Government has not over purchased maize, this year, because of the impending decision in eight months time and then abandon the farmers with K150 billion for maize purchases. This year, the Government has spent almost a trillion to purchase maize, but allocated K150 million for next year because by then the elections would have been over. People know these things. So, please, put your money there. If you do not increase the allocation for maize marketing for next year, then your allocation, this year, was just a plan to hoodwink the people.

Mr Chairperson, the FISP, like my colleague the hon. Member of Parliament for Kawambwa said, has an over concentration on maize. Actually, it has what I describe with a new word in the dictionary – ‘maizelisation’. Everything is just about maize and other farmers, such as cassava and sweet potato growers are not given enough attention.

Mr Chairperson, this region has the capacity to flood the maize market because most of the countries have the capacity to produce maize. Geographically, small Malawi produces more maize than we do. Other countries in the region like Angola, which is now dealing with its landmine issues, has a greater capacity than us to grow maize. 
Sir, maize can easily flood the region. We, therefore, must be ready for a situation where maize can be overproduced in the region. We must have a fall-back plan. Diversification does not mean that you go into agriculture and stick to maize. That is not diversification. Diversification must continue to replicate. We must also diversify in terms of the crops that we grow. This is economics and it has nothing to do with agriculture. We must continue to diversify the crops array because we might not have a big enough market considering that maize is easy to grow.

Mr Chairperson, we must promote capacity in the different regions. We must promote rice growing in Chama and in the Western Province because you might find that there is a greater market for rice. The issue is not just putting too much money in agriculture. It is about continuing to diversify and be innovative in the agricultural sector.

Mr Chairperson, in times of drought, maize becomes a challenge for our small-scale farmers to grow. We must, at all times, ensure that the farm gate is profitability safeguarded. I would rather you buy your maize since, whether it gets soaked or not, is not my biggest problem. My interest is the long-term benefit which is to make the farmer make a profit so that he/she continues to grow. The farmer is the cow and the maize is the milk. You can spill it and go and milk again. For me, it is more important to ensure that the farmer is secure.

Mr Chairperson, few farmers are graduating. I think farmers who are doing well must also begin to receive better packages so that they continue going up. You cannot continue to give the farmer the same small pack. That is why you must have a database of the actual farmers and not a database of co-operatives. Those who are doing fine must continue to get rich.

Mr Chairperson, we are very jealous in this country. We do not want people to be rich. I want to tell you that a country must produce a rich middle class from farmers and workers. People must begin to become rich. You cannot celebrate poverty. We are always busy questioning how one becomes rich and drives a Mercedes Benz. We need more of those vehicles to be owned by Zambians, including those in my village. You must create a rich middle class that will invest in the country. We want the Government to continue supporting our farmers. Our farmers in our villages should become rich and no one should be jealous of them.

Finally I want to say this …

Hon. Government Member: Civil servants?

Mr Hamududu: The civil servants must resign and go into business if they want to be rich.

Hon. Member: And the politicians.

Mr Hamududu: Yes, the politician too. If you want to be rich, you must resign.

Mr Chairperson, for the lack of time, I would like to finally discuss an issue that is close to my heart. In this country and the region in general, there is very serious exploitation of farm workers. Your ministry must consider the introduction of a minimum wage for farm workers.

Sir, the farm workers have become tools of the farm owners. This must come to an end. In countries such as Namibia and Botswana, the issues of minimum wage for farm workers are very serious ones. Some farm workers are paid peanuts. These jobs must, somehow, be formalised. We want serious inspectors to go into farms because we cannot exploit our fellow Zambians when we are receiving subsidised inputs from the Government. Some farm workers earn as little as K200 thousand per month. It is unacceptable.

Sir, what I have seen when we move around is that the farm workers are really exploited and feel this is not their country.

Sir, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives must begin to move into these farms and demand the pay structure of workers. We do not want farmers making huge profits at the expense of our brothers and sisters. That will not be accepted. We will fight against that.

Those framers, who are listening, should know that the exploitation of our fellow Zambians will only be tolerated over our dead bodies. We will not allow that.

Hon. Member: You will die.

Mr Hamududu: Then that is a good death.

Hon. Member: At midnight

Mr Hamududu: Yes, we warn them that our people are not tools of exploitation. We do not want huge profits that are tinted with blood. You suck the blood and bone marrow of the farm workers until they die. That is not fair.

Sir, I am not seriously involved in farming because I am involved in other things. However, when you come to my village, I would like you to see the house where the person who looks after my cattle lives. I built a nice two bed-roomed iron roofed house.


Mr Hamududu: Yes, a modern house that looks better than the one in Kalingalinga, for a boy who cannot even speak English.  I have even bought him a cellular phone.


Mr Hamududu: I would urge the hon. Provincial Deputy Minister to go to my village in Chilili in Kaila Ward and he will find that house. Do not exploit fellow Zambians. It is not Zambian as it is not African.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this very important Vote on the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

First of all, I want to commend the hon. Minister and his staff in as far as the implementation of agricultural policies is concerned.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Generally, I believe that peasant farmers are happy with the Government’s policies on agriculture and I urge them to continue them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, from the outset, let me state that Chongwe District is an agricultural area because about 90 per cent of its people are into farming. I also want to mention that the people of Chongwe District also rear animals. When we talk about the bumper harvest, we should bear in mind that Chongwe District produced the highest amount of maize this year. Therefore, I can safely say that Chongwe District has greatly contributed to the bumper harvest this year. Hon. Minister, you can see how important Chongwe is. I think, at the moment, Mumbwa is at number three.


Mrs Masebo: Normally, Chongwe District used to compete with Mumbwa District.

Hon. Opposition Members: What about Mkushi?

Mrs Masebo: I cannot compare it to Mkushi because it has a lot of commercial farmers who make the district’s output higher than Chongwe where only small-scale farmers are producing maize.

Hon. Minister, through the Chair, I want to say that I am happy that the Government has released some money to pay our farmers although a good number of them are yet to be paid. I commend the former and current hon. Ministers of Agriculture and Co-operatives for taking personal interest in Chongwe District because this has led to them ensuring that the farmers are paid and that the process of paying them was made easier because they were sleeping and spending long hours at the banks in the past. Some people even tried to con them by deducting 10 per cent as ni nchekeleko from their money, in the past, but I have seen that things are slightly getting better. I urge the new hon. Minister to visit the constituency, again, before the end of the marketing season because there is still a lot of maize in the area.

I am also worried about the wastage of maize in Chongwe District because some of the maize has not yet been moved from the satellite depots to the main depots. Unfortunately, at the moment, our road network is bad and when the rains get worse, some of the roads will become impassable. The hon. Minister should take another trip to the area to ensure that all the maize in the satellite depots is moved to the main depots.

In the policy statement, the hon. Minister talked about the construction of sheds. I think Chongwe district deserves a proper maize-shed because a lot of maize is being grown in the area, but we do not seem to have good storage facilities. If you go to the main depot in Chongwe, you will notice that most of the maize is in tents. You cannot keep maize under tents for a long time because, after a month, it will start rotting.

Two days ago, I was in Kumeni and Kasenga areas in my constituency. I visited one of the satellite depots where I found a truck still ferrying maize to the main deport. I noticed that the maize had already started having weevils because of poor storage at the satellite depots. We have produced maize, but of what value is it going be if we are going to fail to preserve it? This is wastage of public resources and also people’s time. We need to spend more money and time to ensure that this bumper harvest is preserved.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to comment on the issue of exporting maize to other countries at a lower cost than that of producing it. The hon. Minister should enlighten the House on this issue. I have noticed that the Government is talking about exporting maize, but at almost half the cost of producing it. Why should the Government subsidise maize being exported to foreign countries? For example, we are spending about US$300 per metric tonne and then we export at US$160 per metric tonne. Why should the Government not consider selling this maize to local millers? I know that somebody will say that the local millers have already bought maize, but they can still buy and would buy even more if sold at a subsidised price which is being offered to people outside this country. This is a serious matter because it involves a lot of money. Surely, if we are going to produce maize and export it at half the price of producing it, then we better diversify to other things that will help us.

Sir, let me also talk about the issue of roads. In my constituency, I noticed that two roads, which contribute greatly to agriculture in the area, were funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. I am grateful for that, but let me still state that some of the maize has not been moved partly because of the bad road network. I do not know whether the hon. Minister still has some funds to help a district that is doing the best in maize production. There is no need to go and construct roads in a place like, let me choose one which the hon. Member of Parliament will not complain about, …

Mr Lubinda: Shang’ombo!

Mrs Masebo: … Shang’ombo …


Mrs Masebo: … where they do not grow a lot of maize. It is better to construct a road in Chongwe where a lot of maize is being grown because we are feeding the nation.


Mr Masebo: The hon. Minister said agriculture is contributing significantly to the GDP. I agree with the hon. Member who said that agriculture was the easiest sector which could create employment for our youths. If the money that is being distributed through various sectors went to projects in agriculture, we would have good results because most of the youths in the rural areas are doing nothing. I am sure that apart from just creating wealth for the individuals and food security, we can also have a surplus of the different crops that we are trying to diversify into.

Let me now comment on the budget allocation for the 2011. I notice that it has increased to K995 billion. This is a good amount, but if we are talking about agriculture being the engine of our economy, it should have been in trillions because this is the sector that brings inflation levels down. We are boasting about attaining the lowest single digit inflation levels because of increased food production. At least, everybody has some food to eat. Therefore, we should commend the Government for implementing good policies in agriculture because they will help our country even beyond the sector.

Chongwe District is one of the districts that has benefited from the conservation farming methods which have been well received by our farmers. We thank the Government and donors for supporting this programme. It has really worked well in the district, especially in my constituency.

Hon. Minister, I also want to comment on the issue of irrigation. Chongwe has a lot of streams and rivers which if well-developed can be used to produce maize through out the year. We used to have the Mundia Sikatana Winter Maize Project, but I do not know what has happened to it.

Mr Lubinda: It died!

Mrs Masebo: I do not know whether it is still in place, but I want to say that Chongwe can be used for irrigation farming, especially that which can make it possible for us to grow crops such as maize throughout the year. This will enable us grow enough to feed the nation and also export.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to raise the issue of maize production and, indeed, other crops. Generally, I want to know why we are encouraging the growing of maize in districts where this exercise is very expensive. It is expensive because even when this maize is grown, the farmers in these districts do not know where to take it. Why can we not have a specialisation system so that a district like Chongwe, which is good in maize production, is encouraged to produce enough not only to feed Chongwe and Lusaka, but also enough for the whole country and even for export? This is so because the market is near and, therefore, it will be cheaper. In addition to that, the people of that area are good farmers.

 Of course, diversification into other crops, as a side event apart from growing the staple food, would also be good. You will find that, sometimes, fertiliser is sent to areas where it is not even needed and it ends up being exported. I know of some area in the Northern Province where fertiliser was sent and I am told it went across the borders.

Mr Muntanga: Oooh!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, I want to join the hon. Member of Parliament who spoke before me on the issue of exploitation of farmers. I would like to commend the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security for sending somebody to Chongwe District to meet with farm owners who have employed a big number of farm workers. These workers are paid very poor salaries and the conditions of service are very bad. I am happy that, now, after that meeting, we have been given a labour officer, but he needs a vehicle for him to visit most of the farms.

Sir, in my constituency, most of the labour forces are on farms and the conditions of service are pathetic. The workers are suffering and I really want to say that, as a Government, we need to look into the issue of farm workers because they are being exploited generally. If you find them working on some of these farms, they are not even allowed to get days off, among other things. They work under slavery conditions. As hon. Members of Parliament, we can articulate Government policies on some of these labour issues, but only up to a certain point. However, the relevant ministries, which are the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, need to sit down and look at these issues in order to protect our people. It is a serious issue which needs to be looked into.

Sir, whilst we appreciate job creation, I think this is slavery. It is just that the people have nothing else to do that they end up working on these farms for seven days in a week and get about K150,000 to K180,000 per month. In addition to this, they have no beak time and no days off. It is really pathetic. However, as I earlier mentioned, in my constituency, the hon. Minister assigned the Deputy Minister to come and have a meeting, but very few of our farmers have since improved. This is why I am appealing for a vehicle for our labour officer who has been sent to the constituency.

Sir, finally, I just want to urge the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives on the need for preservation of land since the rains have started. Since he talked about climate change, the relevant ministries should give fruit trees to every household to plant because we need to be practical. We should not just be talking, but also do some of these basic things. We are in the rainy season and we have free waters. In addition to that, our soils are good. The fruits of these trees will be for diet and the trees will help in the issue of climate change.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Mwiimbu ( Monze Central): Mr Chairperson, thank you for according me the opportunity to debate the Vote pertaining to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. First of all, I would like to comment on the lamentations of my colleagues as regards the payments of wages and salaries to farm workers.

Mr Chairperson, whilst I appreciate the fact that low salaries are being paid to farm workers, I would like to state that the farmers are emulating the Government of the Republic of Zambia by exploiting workers generally. Even workers who are employed by the Government, civil servants and public workers, are exploited. Their conditions are deplorable, hence, the farmers and other people emulating the Government. So, we should not just blame the farmers themselves, but the Government as well.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I want to comment on the FISP. I have heard my colleagues applauding the Government over this particular policy. I have heard my colleagues say that the farmers in their various constituencies are extremely happy with this particular Government policy. I want to state that my farmers, my mothers and relatives in Monze Central Constituency, are extremely unhappy with this particular programme.

Mr Kakoma: And in Zambezi!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, farming is a business. Under this particular programme, there is no way you can graduate from being poverty stricken to being a middle income farmer. Under this programme of being given four bags of fertiliser, you cannot send your child to the university even if you decided not to even eat one cob of green of your maize, but to sell everything. You cannot derive more than K4 million annually from this programme. How do you expect to see Zambians graduate from being subsistence farmers to commercial farmers under this programme? This is a deliberate Government policy of trying to impoverish our people.

Mr Chairperson, if the Government had a good policy, it would have done more than this. It would have ensured that farmers who are able to farm are given adequate fertiliser so that they have enough income to take their children to school and look after their health requirements in their homes. However, our people will remain poor and poverty stricken as long as the MMD continues to provide fertiliser under this particular scheme.

Mr Chairperson, in Monze Central Constituency, our farmers used to access fertiliser under the fallen United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government. They used to obtain fertiliser on credit and, at the time of harvesting, were able to pay. They could access more than fifty bags of fertiliser or any other quantity that they were able to because, at that time, the UNIP Government realised that farming was actually a business like any other.

Mr Chairperson, however, the MMD Government does not realise that farming is a business. This Government is giving fertiliser to farmers with a view of the output sustaining their families in terms of consumption and not to sell. The Government’s policies are lopsided. Our people will remain poverty stricken as long as remain in the people on your right remain in Government. Fortunately, you have only eight months to be in that Government and we shall change the system and ensure that every farmer who has the capacity accesses adequate fertiliser to support their farms.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, the other issue relates to irrigation. From 2001, we have been informed that there is an irrigation fund and money will be made available so that farmers can access it with a view to embark on irrigation. However, to date, in my constituency, I speak without fear of any contradiction, no farmer has accessed any money with regard to irrigation. Every year, we approve an allocation to irrigation, but nothing happens. All that we are doing is like going to a concert where people sing without the results being seen. That is what we are doing. Why should the Government be telling our people that there is an irrigation fund when it cannot be accessed?

Mr Chairperson, in the Southern Province, we have been assured by all the former hon. Ministers of Agriculture and Co-operatives, since 2001, that they are going to build dams with a view to enhance irrigation but alas, nothing has happened.

Even this year, there are no dams to be constructed in Monze Central Constituency. There is no benefit. The people of Monze will only benefit next year when we come into power because we know and understand agriculture …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: …and irrigation. We will provide for them then.

Ms Changwe: No Under-Five!

Mr Hamududu: We will be ministers.

Mr Mwiimbu: You cannot talk about Under-Five if you have never had a child. If you have never been married, you will not understand what Under-Five means.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I would like to talk about the poor and atrocious marketing policies of the MMD Government. As my colleagues have indicated, our hardworking farmers have been producing a lot of crops which are going to waste. I have in mind a lot of crops that are being grown everywhere in this country. I have in mind tomatoes that are rotting in markets all over this country because farmers cannot access the market. Tomatoes are marketable the world over, but our farmers are not being provided with a marketing strategy to access these markets. It is the responsibility of any responsible Government to assist farmers, but this Government is not doing this.

Hon. Hamududu talked about sweet potato farmers in his constituency.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sweet potatoes are rotting because farmers cannot find a market.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the MMD Government are not providing the sort of leadership that we require to access these markets. Cabbages are rotting in Zambia whereas in other countries there is a severe shortage of cabbages, and yet we can easily access those markets. I can say the same for oranges, lemons and other fruits.

Mr Chairperson, avocadoes in other countries are a luxury.

Mr Matongo: The only thing not rotting is impwa.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hon. Matongo said the only things that cannot rot in Zambia are stones.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, as I said earlier, avocadoes are a luxury in other countries. In this country, avocadoes are rotting because we cannot access the market. If we have the intention of assisting the farmers and of uplifting the poverty levels in the farming areas, we should find a market for them.

Mr Chairperson, there are those who praise the Government for doing so well that we have a bumper harvest this year. In my constituency, the bumper harvest is not as a result of the good policies of this Government. The bumper harvest, as Hon. Hamududu has indicated, is as a result of the hardworking people of Monze Central Constituency …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Mwiimbu: …who are using cow dung …


Mr Mwiimbu: … because they cannot access the fertiliser as they demand it. To date, a number of farmers have not accessed the four small bags of fertiliser. They are queuing up for fertiliser which is not available. They have already made their down payments, and yet they still cannot access this fertiliser. Even those who paid, last year, have not yet accessed the fertiliser to date. Unless the hon. Minister stands up to tell me that the people of Monze are being discriminated against, I will not understand. If he will not do so, then this Government has poor policies.

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

Mr Mwiimbu: The people in Kasempa have not yet been paid. This morning, the poor farmers queued up in banks for payments, but they were told that money is not available. How do they plan for the next farming season if they cannot access their small amounts of money to buy inputs?

Mr Chairperson, it is unfortunate that my colleagues who want to be adopted next year are busy praising the Government even when they realise that it is not doing well in certain areas. Even if you are adopted, you will not win if the Government is not performing.

Hon. Member: Hanjika!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, Hon. Masebo talked about the road infrastructure in agricultural areas. How do you develop agriculture if the infrastructure is poor? In certain areas, bridges were washed away ages ago and repairs have not yet been made. How do you entice any retiree to go back to the rural area and start farming when there is no infrastructure? How do you entice a farmer agricultural assistant to go and work in Shang’ombo if there are no facilities?

Mr Matongo: Let alone in Liuwa!

Mr Mwiimbu: Let alone in Liuwa?

Mr Chairperson, …

Mr Muntanga: Especially in Liuwa!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I usually praise this Government but, today, I have very little praise for it.

Congratulations to Hon. Shikapwasha on failing the agriculture sector.


Mr Mwiimbu: Congratulations also on having a bumper harvest which you cannot pay for. I praise you for torturing the farmers who are lining up at banks …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

You cannot begin to debate across the Floor. Please, deal with the Motion on the Floor and avoid mentioning Hon. Shikapwasha.

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, that was through you.


The Deputy Chairperson: No, it was not.

You may continue.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, to conclude my debate, I would like to say that in Monze, there are silos which have become a museum for rats and pythons.


Hon. MMD Members: It is time up.

Mr Mwiimbu: It is not time up yet.

Hon. UPND Member: He has fifteen minutes more.

Mr Mwiimbu: I have fifteen minutes more.


Mr Mwiimbu: I expected the Government to ensure that these silos are rehabilitated. We were assured, ten years ago, that these silos would be rehabilitated. To date, nothing has been done. The Government is lamenting the lack of facilities. These facilities are available, but they have failed to rehabilitate them.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to appeal …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Your time is up.

Hon. Members will notice that they are talking about the same issues. I will give Hon. Muntanga an opportunity to debate and see whether he will have something new points. I hope that there is something new.

The hon. Member for Kalomo.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the Vote on the Floor of the House. I support the budget for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Mr Chairperson, I have said a lot of things about under budgeting. I am aware that the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development was allocated about K261 billion and between the two ministries, they have a total budget of about K1.2 trillion.

Mr Chairperson, my opinion is that, as we accept and approve this budget, we should start allocating more funds to the actual development of agriculture and not give too much attention to wages. We are allocating money to Lunsanga Farm Block in Serenje.

Hon. Members: It is Nansanga

Mr Muntanga: Nansanga.

We are talking about developing a road network there, and yet there is no production there yet. There are no roads in the existing farm blocks, and yet we have allocated money into Nansanga in the hope that people will go there. Why can we not use this money to develop the already existing farm blocks?

If people are already productive in Chongwe, they are in need of roads. We do we not allocate some money and construct proper roads where production is. It is not only Chongwe, but we have several other areas. In my constituency, we have areas like the Mukwela and Tahara Farming blocks that were created by the Government, and yet there are no roads.

Hon. Opposition Members: Luena!

Mr Muntanga: Yes, Luena as well.

 We are busy creating new areas with a hope that someone will come with money to invest there.

Why are we praising ourselves over the bumper harvest while people who are already involved in farming are the ones who have brought about the pride we are all talking about? In the sub-region, it is only Zambia that is talking about the bumper harvest. Malawi does not have that maize. It does not have the production we are talking about, and yet you do not want to listen to why the same farmers are not developing those areas when we have a problem.

This year, we have allocated K1,095 billion for the purchase of maize, and yet K150 billion has been allocated for next year. This shows that we are not serious about our planning. We already know that, come next year, we shall look for K798 billion from elsewhere for the FRA.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to tell the Government that subsiding agriculture should be at the production level. Let us not subsidise agriculture at consumption. We want to treat agriculture as a business and allow people to bring in fertiliser at very high prices. That is the component that will determine the price of maize. In the process, our maize will become the most expensive grain in the region. Then, we will quickly come in and sell it at a subsidised price.

Mr Chairperson, I would like the Government to look at this differently. If it is going to subsidise agriculture, it should subsidise the actual price of fertiliser at production. Do not choose who to give the fertiliser to. The system of giving four bags of fertiliser is not complete. By deciding that you are only going to give 500 farmers, you are already remaining with 700,000 who are not supported. The 500 farmers are the ones who are going to get fertiliser at a reduced price because it is subsidised. What do you do with the others? These farmers will have no option, but to buy expensive fertiliser from the market.

The 534 farmers only cultivated 267 hectares. There is no way they will cultivate more hectares if you are going to give them fertiliser for half a hectare per farmer. Even if the hon. Minister increased production to 2.2 million, you will not get more than 600,000 metrics tonnes. If you are getting 600,000 metric tonnes, there is still two million metric tonnes of maize over and above what has been produced by the people who are not supported by the Government?

 Hon. Opposition Members: It is true.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, if we can have Zambians producing two million metric tonnes without the Government’s support, why do you insist on subsidising only a small section of farmers and use your money for consumption? Why do you do things that way? It is for this reason that we are appealing to this Government to look at this as it plans.

Sir the irrigation that we have been talking about …

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe left the Assembly Chamber. 

Mr Ntundu: Where are you going? Let us adjourn.


Mr Muntanga: When the Government wanted to import maize, last year, there was about 100 metric tonnes of winter maize coming from the irrigation which we have been talking about. I want to ask the ministry to enforce the existing law and get the exact quantities of maize and force everyone with maize stocks to declare to the Government, millers and grain traders alike.

Sir, we have heard people talking about lack of control as regards farm labourers. I want to declare interest because I am a farmer. There is a Government minimum wage which is supposed to be given to farmers and the Government knows this. If it wants to enforce this law, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security can do it because it is already there. People who are real farmers will always follow Government laws.

Sir, the other issue is on extension services. While we are happy that the Government has extended its extension services, I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to ensure that accommodation is provided for extension officers because, at the moment, they have no houses accommodation. I will give you an example.

Hon. Government Members: Shang’ombo!

Mr Muntanga: It is not even Shang’ombo. I am not even talking about Kalomo. There is a place called Mukwela.

 Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.

 The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised. While allowing that point of order, I would like to tell the hon. Member for Roan that if you want to raise a point of order, you have to stand up. You cannot ask for a point of order while seated.

Mr Kambwili: Sir, I would like to thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order. Before I do that, I would like to apologise to my big brother who is debating so well and also to the Chair.

Sir, is it in order, when we are debating the Budget, for the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, his Deputy and the Acting Leader of Government Business not to be in the House when it directly falls under them? Is it in order for us to keep debating the Budget when all the hon. Ministers concerned are not in the House?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!   

The point of order raised by the hon. Member gives me the opportunity to say that, as I have observed, at least, all hon. Members, once in a while, go out to consult. The way we debate is such that, once people go out to consult, the Government does not stop working.

Secondly, this is a budget line for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the hon. Minister responsible for this ministry is seated next to you and listening very attentively. Surely, what more do you want the Executive to do?

May the hon. Member debating continue.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, yes, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives is here and I hope he is going to respond. My worry is that once the Budget has been prepared or set by the ministry, whether we sit here and debate, nothing happens. Therefore, we hope that, as we point out some of these issues, the Government will take note of them, in future, because we do not change anything that has been proposed to this House.

Sir, the hon. Minister has stated the importance of agriculture. Therefore, he should ensure that he allocates more money to the ministry so that, with the four bags of fertiliser, the production level will be 2.2 metric tonnes per hectare. If the farmer does not eat any of the maize, he/she will get forty bags of maize. At K65,000.00 per bag, he will have K2.6 million for the whole year, and yet this is the money this farmer is expected to pay school fees for his children and survive for the whole year. The worker who works at the farm and gets K11,000.00 per day will get K3.4 which is more than the owner of the farm who will depend on the K2.6 million to survive with his family as per the support of your FISP. Therefore, in essence, the support to farmers is minimal and very bad.

If you are a peasant farmer and grow just a few crops for your survival and then, next day, you buy a bag of mealie-meal, which you do not even know where it has come from, will you say that you are very happy with the four bags of fertiliser? The issue here is that you do not expect this farmer to survive on K2.6 million for the whole year.  Please, look at it that way.        

As my friends have already mentioned, real farmers will not wait for the four bags of fertiliser from the Government, but will look for manure such as cow dung.

Therefore, we are appealing to this Government not to look at the increased numbers involved in the production of maize and sit back and praise itself. Surprisingly the Government is praising itself just because, this year, farmers were given two bags of fertiliser each, and yet there are over one million farmers that need to be supported. I am sure the farmers are not happy. The most affected person in this whole scenario is the farmer. When the rainy season comes, farmers will go in the field to till the land without complaining despite the fact that they are not paid.

In Kalomo, I went to see a bank manager of a certain bank and asked him why farmers were not paid. He told me that he had about K20 billion in the bank, but he had to wait for cheques from the FRA. This means that someone at the FRA is not preparing the cheques for farmers to be paid. If one has decided to be paying eighty farmers a week, then the FRA will not finish paying them this year. It will continue paying them until next year, and yet the money is available in the banks. When we bring up such issues, the people on your right, Sir, must listen to us. They have put the money in the banks which are holding on to that money.

Mr Ntundu: Yes!

Mr Muntanga: The banks have not paid the farmers.

Hon. Member: Go and check!

Mr Muntanga: Last week, the bank manager, told me that he had K20 billion and that he was expecting more money from the Government. I asked him why he was keeping the money and he told me that he was paying the farmers according to the list given to him by the FRA. Imagine, someone has been instructed to pay a few farmers only. Surely, we can do better than that, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Lubinda: Mwamvela ba Mulongoti!

Mr Muntanga: We can do better than that, if we have to get out of this problem.

I heard the President lamenting somewhere that he was aware that most farmers had not been paid. Mr President, if you are listening to me now and you are in the country, …

Mr Kakoma: He is in Brazil!

Mr Muntanga: … please, I wish to inform you that the farmers have not been paid, and yet the money is there at the banks. We have told the hon. Ministers about this, but they have not listened to us. Maybe, you are listening to us, Mr President. Give instructions to the banks to remain open for more hours so that they concentrate on paying farmers if they have to finish paying them before December. I am afraid that, at the rate we are going, it will take the whole year just to pay the farmers. Farmers should not be taken for granted.

Mr Chairperson, in supporting the budgetary allocation for this Vote, I wish to say that I am grateful that this Government built a chi warehouse in Kalomo to accommodate 98,000 metric tonnes of maize. However, even if you are stocking up this maize, you have not paid the farmers yet. Therefore, we are appealing to this Government to help the farmers in sincerity.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me an opportunity to respond to some of the issues raised by the hon. Members that have debated the Vote under consideration.

First and foremost, I would like to thank the hon. Members who have said a few things regarding this Vote and those that have debated in silence. I wish to thank them for their support. However, allow me, Sir, to comment on some of the issues that were raised by the hon. Members of Parliament.

Hon. Member of Parliament for Kawambwa, I wish to thank you for acknowledging that the good policy of the FISP by this Government is a good one.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: The concern you raised regarding the collection of maize from the satellite depots has been noted. We will ensure that whatever maize that has remained in these satellite depots will be taken to bigger storage facilities.

Sir, regarding the issue of the floor price for cassava, I wish to say that these are some of the issues that we, in Government are studying. I am sure that, at an appropriate time, we will give a concrete response concerning this issue. This is because we want to encourage the people to grow cassava as well as other crops as much as possible.

When I went to Kawambwa, I was so happy to see maize being grown in that area, in addition to cassava. This is a very good move regarding the diversification of the crops grown in the area.

Hon. Hamududu, I am glad that you acknowledged the fact that there is a lot of potential in the agricultural sector. However, from the Government’s point of view, I wish to state that we have already started exploiting that potential. The increase in the production of maize resulting in a bumper harvest, this year, as compared to the previous year, is evidence enough of the potential we have in agriculture. We shall continue to exploit this potential. I was also glad to hear Hon. Hamududu acknowledging the fact that, even in the 1990s, payments to farmers used to delay.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: It is not really an issue that farmers are expected to be paid immediately. There was a time when people needed to have their documents verified and so on and so forth before payments could be made. Therefore, if hon. Members are expecting that farmers will be paid immediately after selling their maize, then they are thinking something which is outside reality.

Mr Kambwili: Mmm! Question ba minister!

Dr Kazonga: However, we have taken note of the administrative problems that our farmers are experiencing …

Mr Kambwili: It is better fye mwabalipila!

Dr Kazonga: … particularly, the delays at the banks. We shall handle those issues so that we can ensure that there is an improvement. The farmers need to be paid as quickly as possible. Our target is to ensure that the inputs are in place and the farmers are ready for the next farming season by the end of this month.

Some hon. Members raised the issue of farmers concentrating on maize growing alone. As a Government, we have a programme in place to ensure that farmers diversify in the range of the crops they grow. For example, cassava, which was mostly grown in the northern part of the country, is now grown in the southern part. This is part of the diversification process. However, that is not all. In the FISP budget, this year, we have included rice as part of the crops to be supported and all that is part of the diversification process.
Mr Mulonga: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: I have taken note of the suggestions regarding the database. Indeed, we need to computerise the farmers’ registers. We have a databases at the level of the co-operatives, but with regard to the farmers’ register, we need to improve our record keeping system and make it up to date with modern technology.

The other common issue that was raised by a number of hon. Members is the issue of farm workers. My colleague, the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security is here. I would like to assure you that we shall work together in addressing the issues affecting farm workers that were raised.

Hon. Maseo, …

Mr Kambwili: Masebo not Maseo!

Dr Kazonga: … it is good to hear you say that there have been some improvements in paying of the farmers. I am glad that you have invited me to your constituency to see what is remaining at the depots. We will ensure that the remaining maize in the depots is taken care of.

On the need for another bigger storage shed in Chongwe, I wish to state that we have a programme as Government regarding the rehabilitation and construction of new sheds. As I already indicated in my policy statement, under a Chinese concessional loan, we will construct storage sheds for produce in the excess of 98,000 metric tonnes. We hope that we will continue with this programme so that more facilities can be built.

On the issue of the exporting of maize and the alleged loss regarding the pricing, I wish to say that, as Government, we are seriously looking at this issue. First of all, we are trying to address the issue of reducing the cost of production. We think that the other issues are secondary. The primary concern should be the reduction in the cost of production of our staple food which is maize. Therefore, efforts are being made to reduce the cost of production through addressing a number of growth drivers in as far as maize production is concerned.

The hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central, of course, in his usual manner of debate, I regret to say, was full of sarcasm. The people who are the best judges have listened to what he said. Let me take this opportunity to inform the people of Monze that their hon. Member of Parliament is saying that the FISP programme is not welcome in their area and that the people are not happy with it.

In Monze alone, we have 25,350 farmers who are going to benefit from the FISP out of 151,450 in the Southern Province and one is indicating that the people there are not happy with the programme. In turn, we are seeing an increased production of maize because the people are seeing the efforts that the Government is making. By increasing the number of beneficiaries, we are reducing hunger in a number of households. So, if somebody claims that people are not happy, they are listening and they will judge at an appropriate time.

Mr Chairperson, the issue of road infrastructure is of concern to all of us and efforts are being made. There is a programme in the ministry to look at roads in the agricultural areas and this shall be continued together with other efforts under the Ministry of Works and Supply.

Mr Chairperson, on the Monze silo, we have a programme which is ongoing and, as I indicated in my policy statement, eight storage facilities have already been done and this is only the beginning. We shall continue because it is our intention to work on all the silos which require rehabilitation.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Muntanga raised two pertinent issues and I thank him for that, but he talked about a half hectare and the arithmetic that was done. As a Government, we are working on technical details on how this can be addressed. The issue of roads, as I indicated, is being addressed and we want to improve, as much as possible, access to the markets by our farmers.

The issue of houses as I indicated in my policy statement is being addressed. We have a programme of ensuring that these agriculture extension officers or assistants have access to appropriate accommodation and a number of incentives for them to work in accordance with what they are supposed to do.

Mr Chairperson, I was also happy to hear him give credit to the Government on the construction of the shed in Kalomo. That is the type of spirit we need to encourage. Where credit is due, give it. You will not lose anything by doing so.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: What is required is to work together and, through that partnership, a lot of things can happen.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 89/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/03 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives – Policy and Planning Department – K133,120,686,597).

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, on Unit 3, Programme 8, Activity 01 – Preparation and Consolidation of MTEF Estimates – K900,000,000, I would like to know why the hon. Minister is asking for this amount when the MTEF for 2011/2014 has already been produced and published.

Secondly, on Unit 4, Programme 10, Activity 11 – Support to Kaunga Project-Lusaka Province – K150,000,000, could the hon. Minister indicate what this project is all about, where it is located and what work was done for which we allocated K50,000,000.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Mr Chairperson, on Unit 3, Programme 8, Activity 01 – Preparation and Consolidation of MTEF Estimates – K900,000,000, I wish to inform the House that we are still preparing by putting in place conference facilities and other things. It is a process because we intend to increase the activities.

On Unit 4, Programme 10, Activity 11 – Support to Kaunga Project-Lusaka Province – K150,000,000, this is a farmer training institute in Luangwa District which needs renovations for continuous training to our farmers hence the required amount.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 89/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/04 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives – Agriculture Department – K10, 387,760,464).

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, seeing that we are still struggling with issues of climate change, on Unit 7, Programme 11, Activity 03 – Staff Development in Climate Change Adaptation – K80,000,000,  I would like to know why the allocation has been reduced from K245,200,000.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Chairperson, this allocation is for staff training and development. This means that it is a roll-out programme. We have trained some people and the amount is for the remaining few.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 89/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/07 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives – Agricultural Training Institutions – K16,798,755,644).

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I seek clarification on page 1147, Unit 7, Programme 2 – General Administration – (PRP) – K309,532,322. Why is Kaonga Training Institute, which I talked about earlier, not listed under this programme when it is a training institute?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Chairperson, Kaonga Training Institute is in Luangwa District of Lusaka Province while Popota Tobacco Training Institute is in the Southern Province. So I do not see where the connection is.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: They are both training institutes.

Vote 89/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.
The Deputy Chairperson: Order!
(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1957 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 17th November, 2010.