Debates- Friday, 12th November, 2010

Printer Friendly and PDF


Friday, 12th November, 2010

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you will recall that, on Wednesday, 29th September, 2010, when the House was considering the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address, and the hon. Member for Chimbamilonga Parliamentary Constituency, Mr B. Sikazwe, MP, was debating, the hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of His Honour the Vice-President, Hon D. Munkombwe, MP, raised the following point of order which reads in part:

“Mr Speaker, I rise to seek your serious ruling and guidance. We must be seen to protect the integrity of this House. Political parties [the] world over are not governments. Although political parties produce governments, they do not come to this House to legislate … I … refer to an article in the Post newspaper headlined: ‘Kazabu Accuses the Speaker of being Partisan …

“Mr Kazabu is a former mayor who has been trying to come to Parliament, but has been failing. …We must protect this institution. If everybody is going to be allowed to discredit the Speaker, particularly to accuse him of being partisan, then the democracy that we want to develop in this country is going in the wrong direction. Is Mr Kazabu, therefore, as quoted in the Post of 24th September, 2010, in order to say that Mr Speaker is partisan, more so when he is not?

“Mr Speaker, Mr Luckson Kazabu has accused the Speaker of the National Assembly of intimidating hon. Members of the Opposition by the ruling he made on Hon. Mpombo. Was he in order to do so, Sir?”
Hon. Members, let it be emphasised that Hon. Mpombo, MP, is not a hon. Member of the Opposition as falsely alleged.

I have studied the point of order, and now wish to make my ruling. As I do so, I remind the House and members of the public of the events leading to the point of order I have cited above.

Hon. Members, the outbursts that were debated outside the House stemmed from the premature question raised on Friday, 2nd July, 2010, by the hon. Member for Katuba, Mr J. Shakafuswa, MP, and the response by His Honour the Vice-President and learned hon. Minister of Justice, on the then intended removal of Section 37 of the Anti-Corruption Act from the revised Act.

The House will recall that the hon. Member for Kafulafuta Parliamentary Constituency, Mr G. Mpombo, MP, picked up the issue and was quoted in The Post newspaper of 5th July, as follows:
 “Kunda is the most stupid Vice-President – Mpombo.”

As a consequence of the newspaper article, the hon. Member for Mwense Parliamentary Constituency, Mr J. Chongo, MP, raised the following point of order on Wednesday, 7th July, 2010, when the House was considering question for oral answer number 484 and the Minister of Works and Supply, Hon M. Mulongoti, MP, was responding.
“... Mr Speaker, is it in order for an hon. Member of Parliament to make derogatory remarks against the Vice-President, who is Leader of Government Business in the House, and insult him in the press over issues that were raised in this House? I have raised this point of order in reference to an article in the Post Newspaper of Monday, 5 July, 2010, headlined: ‘Kunda is the most stupid Vice-President – Mpombo…’”

Hon. Members, the details of the article are a matter of public record. The findings and recommendations of the Committee on Members’ Privileges, Absences and Support Services culminated in Hon. Mpombo being punished by the House and also required to tender a suitable, unreserved and acceptable apology to the House and to His Honour the Vice-President and learned hon. Minister of Justice.  This, as the House will recall, he did on Tuesday, 5th October, 2010.
Hon. Members, subsequent to the above ruling and guidance by the Hon. Madam Deputy Speaker, Mr G. Mpombo, MP, decided, in total disregard of the Chair’s guidance, once more, to make disparaging remarks, outside the House, in The Post newspaper of Tuesday, 21st September, 2010, this time directed at His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, regarding his address to the National Assembly during the official opening of the Fifth Session of the Tenth National Assembly.

  Hon. members, as a result, on Wednesday, 22nd September, 2010, the hon. member for Bahati Parliamentary Constituency, Mr B. Chimbaka, MP, raised a Point of Order that Hon. Mpombo had done it again, in The Post newspaper of Tuesday, 21st September, 2010, in the article headlined ‘Rupiah is a Shameless Liar, charges Mpombo.’

The House will recall that the detailed story was sufficiently quoted in that point of order.

 As the House will recall further, Hon Chimbaka, MP, wanted to know whether it is parliamentary for an hon. Member of Parliament who has the opportunity and privilege to debate and discuss the Presidential Address on the Floor of this House to go out to the media and call the Head of State a liar.

My ruling on the point of order, which is also on public record, guided Hon. Mpombo regarding the need for adults, especially leaders, to respect one another.  I emphasised by reminding the hon. Member and the House as a whole that all hon. Members subscribed to the Oath of Allegiance to the President as Head of State.  I added that hon. Members of Parliament who, outside the House, defame the Head of State could fall foul of Section 69 of the Penal Code Act, Cap. 87 of our Laws, enforceable by the law enforcement agencies.

For avoidance of doubt, hon. Members, Section 69 reads:

“Any person who, with intent to bring the President [of the Republic of Zambia] into hatred, ridicule or contempt, publishes any defamatory or insulting matter, whether by writing, print, word of mouth or in any manner, is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years.”

Certainly, hon. Members, I do not wish any of you to undergo the foregoing humiliation in search of vain martyrdom.

It is the above ruling, and the apology tendered by Hon. G. Mpombo, MP, on 5th October, 2010, which generated ill-informed and malicious comments from a few members of the public who took it upon themselves to comment and misinform the public on the rules of procedure of the House and question the impartiality of the Chair in his rulings. 

  Mr Luckson Kazabu, who is the subject of the point of order, in an article headlined: “The Speaker is being Partisan, says Kazabu”, published in The Post newspaper of Friday, 24th September, 2010. The Information Officer for the Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD), Mr Obby Chibuluma, said something regarding this matter in an article headlined: “SACCORD Accuses Speaker of Bias”, published in The Post newspaper of Sunday, 26th September, 2010.
The third is Professor Michelo Hansungule, (who I understand lives somewhere in South Africa) who said something regarding this matter in The Post newspaper of Monday, 27th September, 2010, in an article headlined: “Speaker is violating Mpombo’s Rights.”

Finally, the editorial of The Post newspaper of Wednesday, 6th October, 2010, completes this orchestra of misinformation and the display of their ignorance of the National Assembly practice and rules of procedure.

Hon members, the foregoing remarks by these few members of the public raise the questions of parliamentary privilege vis-à-vis outsiders criticising the rules of procedure of the House and, more so, the Speaker’s conduct of parliamentary business.

Furthermore, the comments raise questions of whether the authors are knowledgeable on matters regarding practices and rules of procedures of Parliament and, in particular, the role of the Speaker.  It is in this vein that I wish to guide the public on the practices and rules of procedure of the House.

In doing so, let me inform the members of the public who genuinely follow what we say and do here as follows.

In accordance with the Republican Constitution, Cap 1 of the Laws of Zambia, no elected Member of Parliament is eligible for election as Speaker. If a suitable member is identified from among the elected membership of the House, he/she must first resign his/her constituency seat.  He/she, where applicable, must also resign from any positions he/she holds in his/her political party, or from Cabinet.

Once elected, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia owes allegiance only to the Constitution and other laws, that is to say, to no one or to any political party.  In the House, the Speaker sits neither on the right nor on the left side of the House, but here in the centre.  The Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia is thus uniquely outside active politics.

To ensure that his/her impartiality is further seen and demonstrated, the Speaker, among his/her many functions, gives and allows equal opportunity to the hon. Members, irrespective of their political affiliation, to debate freely within the rules of debate.  He/she, disallows insults, other forms of foul language, ill-temper or any disorder in the House.  This is done to promote an atmosphere conducive to freedom of speech.

The Republican Constitution, under Article 87 (1), guarantees the National Assembly the enjoyment of certain rights referred to as parliamentary privileges.  These include:

(a) freedom of speech;
(b) freedom from arrest in civil actions;
(c) the power to discipline, that is, the right to punish persons guilty of breaches of privilege or   
          contempts, and the power to suspend Members guilty of disgraceful conduct; and
(d) the power to regulate its own internal affairs and proceedings.

The privileges enable the House to perform its functions without interference or undue influence from any person.  In this regard, the powers and privileges are important to the House because, without them, it would be difficult for the House to effectively perform its constitutionally mandated functions of enacting legislation, scrutinising and approving the National Budget, carrying out the oversight role on the Executive arm of the Government, approving taxation measures and ratifying Presidential appointments where such measure is provided for under the law. The powers and privileges of the House are codified in various pieces of legislation and standing orders and rules. Article 86(1) of the Constitution provides that:

“Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the National Assembly may determine its own procedure.”
It is from this provision that the National Assembly has formulated rules known as Standing Orders, which regulate the procedure in the House. These rules, among other things, regulate the manner in which hon. Members debate in the House and how the House carries out its various functions.

Parliamentary privileges are to be respected not only by hon. Members, but also by the public. When any individual or authority disregards or attacks the privileges of the House, it amounts to the offence termed as breach of privileges and is punishable by the House. Other actions such as libels upon the House, its hon. Members or officers, although not amounting to breaches of a specific privilege, are punishable by the House as contempt. The House has, in the past, taken action against persons or institutions for obstructing the Assembly, its hon. Members or officers in the performance of its functions.  The power to punish for breach of privilege and contempt of the House gives reality to the privileges of Parliament and emphasises its sovereign character under the principles of separation of powers.  Through this power, the House is able to protect itself and its hon. Members from outside interference.

The public may wish to know that the Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia has been mandated to perform a number of functions. The Speaker acts as a spokesperson of the National Assembly and presides over its proceedings, among other things. To perform his functions unimpeded, the Speaker has been granted supreme authority in the House based on his absolute and unwavering impartiality.

Hon. Members, from the aforesaid, it is clear that one of the duties of the Speaker is to keep order in the House. In so doing, the Speaker may pass decisions against any erring hon. Member. It is also clear that the Speaker is required to exercise this function with utmost impartiality. The Speaker may also exercise his discretion in arriving at a decision and no person can criticise the Speaker’s decision as doing so amounts to breach of privilege and contempt of the House. The only way an hon. Member may criticise the ruling of the Speaker is by tabling a substantive Motion in the House as provided for in one of the Standing Orders of the House.

Hon Members, it is evident that the members of the public who rashly commented on the proceedings of the House did so without facts. If they cared about democracy, as claimed in their articles, they would have taken the necessary steps to consult with the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly so that the facts were established on the matter relating to Mr G. Mpombo, MP, before making their comments public. 
Under the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Cap. 12 of the Laws of Zambia, the comments amount to the offence of disrespect to the Speaker. Sections 19 (d) and (e) of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Cap. 12, of the Laws of Zambia, state:

“19(d) Any person shall be guilty of an offence who shows disrespect in speech or manner towards the Speaker;” or

“19(e) Any person shall be guilty of an offence who commits any other act of intentional disrespect to or with reference to the proceedings of the Assembly or of a committee of the Assembly or to any person presiding at such proceedings.”

Furthermore, as stated above, the comments lacked a factual basis and were made without any attempt to verify the information with the National Assembly. As a result, the authors published misleading information. This, in itself, amounts to a breach of parliamentary privilege under our laws. Section 25 (a) of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Cap. 12 of the Laws of Zambia states:

“Any person who publishes any false or scandalous libel on the Assembly or any report which willfully misrepresents in any way any proceedings of the Assembly or any Committee shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both.”

To conclude, members of the public who, without facts, blindly commented on the proceedings of the House were in clear breach of parliamentary privilege.  Had the House decided, the culprits would have appeared before the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services for determination of the matter and necessary sanctions to be imposed upon them.  In this regard, the public must know that the House has power to summon any person to appear before the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services to answer to charges of breach of privilege and contempt of the House. If found guilty, the following sanctions are applicable against outsiders:

(i) admonition or reprimand before the Bar of the House; or

(ii) prosecution by the Director of Public Prosecutions in line with Section 27 of the National   
             Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act which may result in the following penalties:

(a) a fine; or

(b) imprisonment.

Let me guide the public that, with regard to the sanction of reprimand or admonition, the offender, for emphasis, is made to stand behind the Bar of the House and is reprimanded or admonished by the Chair. The practice and procedure of the House then requires that such a person tenders an apology after the reprimand or admonition. The nature of such an apology, while dictated by the circumstances of the case, must comply with the practices of the House for it to be accepted.

With respect to the sanction of a fine or imprisonment, the offender is prosecuted by the DPP upon information given to him, in writing, by the Speaker.

Accordingly, while I appreciate fair comment, I advise the media to ensure that it reports factually. In order to do this, the media should thoroughly investigate and authenticate all information with relevant sources before publication. This way, it will avoid misleading the public and tarnish the image of the House and the Office of the Speaker.

Also, I strongly caution members of the public to familiarise themselves with the rules of procedure, privileges and powers of the House.

Information on these is readily available at the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly. In addition, Parliament Radio helps to disseminate information to the public on the National Assembly. Finally, the Parliament website at is accessible to the public.

Hon. Members, the core message of this ruling is that even those who are judgmental should make an effort to understand and respect what we do, how and why we do it. If they do, then we, too, shall respect them.

I thank you.


Mr Speaker: Order!


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, I rise to acquaint the House with some idea of the Business it will consider next week. On Tuesday 16th November, 2010, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2011 Budget and the following Heads will be considered:

 Head 64 Ministry of Works and Supply;
 Head 76 Ministry of Sport Youth and Child Development;
 Head 33 Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry; and
 Head 45 Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

Sir, on Wednesday, 17th November 2010, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. Then, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply and the following Heads will be considered:

 Head 65 Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training;
 Head 68 Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources; and
 Head 77 Ministry of Defence.

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 18th November, 2010, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Second Reading Stage of the following Bills:

 The Property Transfer Tax (Amendment) Bill; and
 The Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill.

Then, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply and the following Heads will be considered:

 Head 51 Ministry of Communications and Transport;
 Head 85 Ministry of Lands; and
 Head 89 Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Sir, on Friday, 19th November, 2010, the Business of the House will begin with His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Second Reading Stage of the following Bills:

 The Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill;
 The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill; and
 The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill

Then the House will resolve into Committee of Supply and the following Heads will be considered:
         Heads 90 – 98 Office of the President Provinces



Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, may His Honour the Vice-President inform the nation whether the fight against corruption is on course or has been weakened.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Leakage!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, this gives me an opportunity to explain to those who may not understand what we, as a Government, are doing in the fight against corruption.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, we have made reforms on the laws as regards the fight against corruption. We are also striving to strengthen institutions involved not only in the fight against corruption, but also vices like money laundering. We have improved on the laws which must be looked at collectively. We have passed laws which will complement each other. For example, we have reviewed the Anti-Corruption Act so that there is harmonisation among laws such as the Penal Code because it also has offences on corruption.

We have also strengthened the Anti-money Laundering Act by amending it so that we can fight corruption collectively. We have passed the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime and the Financial Intelligence Centre Acts.

So, when you look at all these laws and the strengthened framework of the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Drug enforcement Commission, we are now better placed to fight corruption.

Therefore, for those who doubt that we are determined to fight corruption, I would like to remind them that the President, in his Speech to Parliament, mentioned that we shall fight corruption with new vigour.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, the Office of the Auditor-General issued an audit report on 5 October, 2010, on the weaknesses in the procurement, financial management and governance at the Ministry of Health. I would like to find out from His the Honour Vice-President and Minister of Justice whether, considering that the Global Fund Board meeting is scheduled for December, the Government will give a comprehensive statement on the issues raised in the Auditor-General’s Report so  that, as a country, we continue to benefit from the Global Fund.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, indeed, the Auditor-General’s Office is performing very well in highlighting abuses of public funds where they occur. We are a transparent Government and it is because we have strengthened the Auditor-General’s Office that these malpractices are being exposed.
Further, some of the malpractices that have been highlighted in the Auditor-General’s Report are before the courts of law. Therefore, let the courts of law decide on some of these cases. I would like to assure the hon. Member that we will continue to fight vices such as abuse of office and misappropriation of public funds where they occur. However, people must appreciate that action is being taken so that we can protect not only the  Zambian Government funds but also donor funds.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I would like His Honour the Vice-President to explain to me, with the onset of the rains, whether or not they have a comprehensive weather forecast from the Meteorological Department and know which areas may be prone to excessive rain which may amount to calamities. In the same vein, I would also like to find out whether they have prepared themselves, up to district or constituency level, to combat the potential disasters resulting from excessive rains.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, at the moment, we are preparing ourselves for any calamities which may arise from flooding. I can safely say that, actually, the Council of Ministers, under the Disaster Management Act, will be meeting tomorrow to look at issues of the forecast of the rains. We will discuss and review the measures that have been put in place. As you may be ware, a few days ago, I visited some of the areas in Lusaka, Kamwala in particular, where we are working on the drainage system. That is part of preparedness.

I would like to inform the House that there are several other points not only in Zambia where we are working on the drainage systems.

Hon. Opposition Members: Not only in Zambia!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I am sorry, I meant to say that it is not only in Lusaka, but also outside Lusaka, where we are working on the drainage systems.

Therefore, we are prepared to address the issue of floods, but let me also take this opportunity to mention that, here in Lusaka, we had released K11 billion to the Lusaka City Council  (LCC) to work on the drainage system a year ago, but it did absolutely nothing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, the LCC engaged a contractor and about K4 billion has been paid under that contract, but we are waiting to check the works that have been done although I understand that not much has been done. That is why we have moved in by moblising members of the Defence Forces to do proper drainage systems.

Mr Speaker, it is a shame that the LCC, …

Mrs Phiri: Question!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … an Opposition-controlled council, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … can fail to serve the people of Lusaka by subjecting them to floods and squandering or misusing the money.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, we shall investigate this matter.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, coming from a constituency that borders a neighbouring country, may I know what progress this Government has made on the border demarcation exercise that commenced two years ago. People would like to know whether we are ceding off parts of Zambia or not.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, demarcating of the border that is between Zambia and Malawi was being undertaken through the Ministry of Lands. This is an on-going exercise. We have engaged the Government of Malawi and meetings have been held before. Therefore, everything will be done to protect the interests of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lundwe: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Nyimba.

Hon. Members: He is not in the House!

Mr Speaker: He is not in the House? What has happened to him?
Mr V. Mwale(Chipangali): Mr Speaker, how is the relationship between our Government and the Church?


Mr V. Mwale: The Church in general, in Zambia.


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, as regards the relationship between the Government and the Church, I would like to say that the Government is God-fearing.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: It is God-fearing …


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … and each time we have a Cabinet meeting, we start with a prayer.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, Zambia is a Christian nation …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … and we are committed to ensuring that it remains so and we have even preserved this in the Draft Constitution.

Now, I would like to say that the relationship between the Government and Church is very warm. When we go to church, we go to pray and not to talk about politics.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, when you go to some churches, priests start talking about politics and that is undesirable because we go to church for salvation and …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … that is why we shall continue to pray in our various churches and our relationship with them will still remain warm. Not only that, we co-operate with the Church in providing education and health facilities. That is why we budget for these facilities through the National Budget. As a Government, we are providing a lot of money. Therefore, we would like to work with the Church, starting with the Catholic, Anglican …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … and Pentecostal churches. In fact, let me state that most of the churches love our Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear, Boma!
Mr Kakoma (Zambezi-West): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President whether this Government is not abrogating the provisions of the National Constitutional Conference Act which stated, clearly, that after the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) has adopted the Constitution, it should be given to the hon. Minister of Justice for tabling in Parliament. Now that he has decided to table it before his Cabinet which was not provided for in the National Constitutional Conference Act, so that they doctor it …


Mr Kakoma: … and choose what to present, …

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: … is his Government not abrogating the provisions of the National Constitutional Conference Act?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I will forgive my brother because he has never been in Government before …


 The Vice-President and Minister of Justice:… and he does not know how the Government runs. Unfortunately, he will never know because he will never be in Government.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, this gives me an opportunity to explain, not only to hon. Members, but the public on how the Government operates. Taking the Draft Constitution to the Cabinet is procedural and a necessary step because that the Draft Constitution has financial implications. Therefore, we have to prepare ourselves. We have to budget and provide money for all these processes. We shall not go against the National Constitutional Conference Act. We shall do everything possible to ensure that we proceed with the Constitution review process. It is for that reason that the Draft Constitution will be tabled before Cabinet. Any law must be tabled before Cabinet, if you did not know.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, through you, I would like to draw the attention of the Leader of Government Business in the House to this volume (Yellow Book), which is growing year in, year out. Is it not time he considered bringing computers in this Chamber so that we can use soft copies and be able to access internet and, indeed, have all Zambians access this document through the internet rather than carrying these volumes of documents? If you see where he is sitting, you will see that he is almost drowning in paper work.


Mr Speaker: That is not for His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice, but for you here to do. If any of you wishes to make an amendment to the Standing Orders, you go to the Committee on Reforms and Modernisation. That is where you start from. Then, the House will deal with your amendment. This is what I was saying this morning. That is part of your own procedures. Even if he said, yes, we will bring computers into the House, that would not be allowed because you will not have sanctioned yourselves to do so.

Where are the ladies?


Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, very soon, we are going into tripartite elections and a lot of women will want to participate at both local government and parliamentary level. According to the laws of this country, we get National Registration Cards at the age of sixteen and, at the same time, you cannot get married before you are sixteen because that will be child abuse.


Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, I declare interest because I was one of those …

Mr Speaker: Order! You must look at the clock. The longer your preamble, the more time is going.
Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, I would like His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice to understand fully because this happened, again, …


Mrs Phiri: … to the present hon. Member of Parliament for Kabushi. Are we going to see a situation where women are going to disfranchised because the names on their registrations cards are different from the ones they are using which are their husband’s? What is going to happen?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, that kind of issue can be resolved by presenting it properly to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the experts dealing with that particular issue. We do not want to disfranchise any of our citizens. Indeed, if you have a genuine complaint, bring it up and we shall look at it, as a Government, so that as many of our citizens as possible participate in the very important voting exercise in the 2011 elections.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, my question is on the bumper harvest. Would His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice explain, bearing in mind that the cost of maize at K65,000 per bag is equivalent to US$300 per tonne and with the transport and handling cost of US$100, it is US$400 per tonne. Would His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice explain where the Government is going to get the money from to enable it to subsidise the maize at a cost of US$200 per tonne to export the US$1 million excess maize. Where are they going to find the K1 trillion extra required to export this maize and further, what immediate measures is this Government taking to lower the cost of producing maize so that Zambia can be a viable maize exporting country?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I doubt your understanding of economics.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: We have experts in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives who are better placed, including our very powerful hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning who is going to advise us. We have the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) experts who advise us on the costs which you are talking about, but I do not agree with you that that is the situation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Syakalima (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, does His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice, as a matter of public policy, today, regret having taken a case on Dr Chiluba to a London High Court and for having secured favourable judgment for the State at the time he was Attorney-General and learned Minister of Justice?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, that is a very simple question. When I was Attorney-General of the Republic of Zambia, I was working on instructions of my client, which is the Government. There was no personal interest. In any case, there is no need for me to regret anything. I was acting for the people of Zambia, for the Government of the day and the Task Force on Corruption which gave me certain instructions that were abided by.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the rains have started and farmers are not yet paid, especially in my constituency. Everyday, they are in Livingstone, but they are not able to access their money. In Chisamba, I am one of the farmers who have not been paid. Is the Government going to give us seed so that we start planting, now, while they are looking for money to pay us?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, sometimes, we should appreciate what the Government has done. Many farmers have been paid. We have put money in people’s pockets and that must be appreciated. Those who have not been paid will be paid. We shall continue to pay farmers throughout the country, not only in the Southern Province, but all the other parts of the country. We are also conscious that our farmers have to plant seed and buy fertiliser. We want another bumper harvest and we are going to achieve it, God willing. Therefore, we would like our farmers to be empowered so that in addition to the Farmer Input Support Programme, they can also use their own money and contribute to food security in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwamba (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice  is on record as having promised the people of Kasama that Kateshi, the biggest coffee company in Kasama, would be resuscitated a few months after the October by-elections last year. The people of Kasama would like to find out when this factory will be revived and how far he has gone with this. I am sure that His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice is aware that this is the only factory which employs more than …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Look at the clock.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, we are looking for investors to resuscitate the industry. The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) is looking into the matter. We would like to take development to Kasama where we had a lot of support even though we lost the election.

We had 4,000 voters and the people have now realised that they made a mistake in Kasama.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: They will vote for the MMD in the general election. At the moment, people in Kasama are listening and will vote for this well-performing Government.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, the constitutive Act which established the Pan- African Parliament (PAP) stated that at the end of this year, the protocol that established PAP would be reviewed to make it a fully-fledged legislative body, whereby each African country would vote for five Members of Parliament to represent each African country at its assembly. 
Hon. Opposition Members: What is your question?

Mrs Masebo: I am aware that in January, 2011, Heads of State will be looking at this matter.
Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mrs Masebo: Is the Government positively looking at supporting the establishment of fully-fledged Parliament that will have full legislative powers?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, those that are members of PAP, including the hon. Member for Chongwe, represent us as ambassadors. They must, therefore, render progress reports on what they are doing there and consult with this Government. I would like a report on this matter so that as a pragmatic Government, we look at it.

 You are welcome to render a brief on behalf of Zambia, not only to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but also to the Ministry of Justice so that we can do the needful.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Mr Speaker, this is the third time I am asking His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice this question. Why has the Government failed to fund the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) for it to work on washed-away bridges?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I know that the budget for the DMMU has been approved. I was not here when it was being approved, but the hon. Member was. We have created a specific head for the DMMU.

Under this head we have specifically budgeted for washed-away bridges, culverts and infrastructure. We, therefore, have addressed this particular issue. We have started with K50 billion and a large chunk of this money is reserved for addressing this particular problem in all the constituencies. From next year onwards, we shall address this problem with more capacity because financial resources will be available.

If you have not read the Yellow Book, I am appealing to you to go through it once again.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Msichili (Kabushi): Mr Speaker, Ndola City Council has successfully sold council houses and flats at Chinese Masala. I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President whether there are any intentions to reduce the price for houses owned by the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA).

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, we have been following the issue of sale of houses in Ndola and I know that, for some houses, prices have been reduced. However, concerning the NAPSA houses I would like to study what the position is.

It is the policy of this Government to empower citizens in Ndola and elsewhere with housing. We are constructing houses in various parts of Zambia through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and National Housing Authority (NHA). However on whether prices need to be reduced is a matter which I need to be briefed on. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, Standing Order No. 148 provides that the Executive shall table action-taken reports on Treasury minutes within sixty days of the adoption of the committee reports by the House. What measures has His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice taken to ensure that the Executive complies with getting these reports on time and in a manner that is qualitative and acceptable?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, indeed, we shall strive to ensure that we abide by this Standing Order. We shall look at it as an in-house issue to ensure that we are efficient as a Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Mulenga(Kwacha): Mr Speaker, we are almost at the end of a financial year and the disbursements of the Budget are below 50 per cent. How are you going to normalise the situation to ensure that the Budget allocations are disbursed before the financial year ends?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, this statement is not true.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice when the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for 2010 will be released.

Mr Speaker: Order!

It is time up. 



161. Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali) asked the Minister of Education whether the ministry had any plans to upgrade Jerusalem Basic School to high school level?

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, there are no plans to upgrade Jerusalem Basic School to high school status. This is in view of the fact that upgrading of basic schools has been discontinued.

The ministry has found that when a basic school is upgraded to a high school, the Grade 1 to 9 pupils are disadvantaged as their places are taken up by high school pupils.

Furthermore, the physical structure and staff establishment for high schools and basic schools are totally different.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr V. Mwale: Mr Speaker, in view of that answer, is the ministry thinking about constructing a new secondary school in Luangeni Constituency.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, yes, the Government has plans to build a high school within the area, which is Chikando High School in Luangeni Constituency, using the community mode.

I thank you, Sir.


162. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) how much money Mopani Copper Mine Plc intended to invest in the opening of two   
                                 new shafts in Kitwe; 
(b) how many jobs would be created; and
(c) what the expected output of copper ore annually from the shafts was.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Development (Mr Namulambe): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that Mopani Copper Mines intends to invest a total of US$206 million in the opening of the two new shafts in Kitwe. This will extend the life of Nkana Mines by twenty-five years. A total of 500 jobs will be created at the construction stage.

Mr Speaker, the expected output is 4,000,000 tonnes of copper ore per annum.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the lifespan of the two shafts in terms of copper production will be.

Mr Namulambe: Currently, there are three years before the existing shafts close. In my answer, I stated that the opening of the two new shafts is going to increase the lifespan of this mine or rather extend it by twenty-five years.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, if I got the hon. Minister correctly, the planned expenditure is US$450 million and 500 jobs job are expected to be created. That is the cost of nearly US$1 million per job. Does the country need such capital intensive technology. Can we not have a more labour intensive approach to our mining industry? What number of people comes on the markets everyday looking for jobs?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, in the first place, that question is misplaced because I never mentioned US$450 million. I had indicated that Mopani Copper Mines intends to spend US$206 million. Therefore, I cannot answer that question because my answer was specifically US$206 million.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, Mopani’s workforce, particularly in Mufulira, will be thrown onto the streets because of the dwindling copper resources in the mines in Mufulira. What is the Government doing to ensure that Mopani takes over the Mokambo Mine which has remained unexploited for many years?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the question was specifically on the two new shafts that are going to be opened in Kitwe. However, in relation to the question that the hon. Member has asked, we are going to do everything possible to ensure that the jobs are safeguarded. Besides, Mopani Copper Mines are always planning and what the hon. Member has mentioned is going be taken care of.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, shaft sinking has to do with underground mining which is dangerous in nature. Chile had thirty-two miners trapped underground and were retrieved. Mopani had one miner trapped underground this week and he died. Why was that so?

Hon. Government: Aah!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the miner died because there was an accident. Apart from that, we have a report that has been prepared by the Mines Safety Department though I do not have the answer with me at the moment as to what led to the death of the miner. However, the hon. Member can come to our offices and we will avail the answer to him.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.




VOTE 80 – (Ministry of Education – Headquarters – K3,791,573,847,495).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Chairperson, when business was suspended last night, I was discussing the community mode of constructing schools throughout the country. I pointed out that there seems to be no quality control. As a result, this will have an effect on the lifespan of the schools.

 Sir, I explained that the normal lifespan of a building is between fifty and sixty years. Therefore, I cannot see these schools or houses lasting that long using the community mode of constructing. I know that it is a policy of the Government to instill a sense of ownership to the community, but it should not be at the expense of the lifespan of the schools. If a building lasts half of that or twenty years, it will be very costly and it would mean putting up new schools every after twenty or fifteen years. The materials that are being used to construct schools leave much to be desired.

Mr Chairperson, as a way forward, I propose that this policy must be revisited. The ministry should sit with the experts and find a solution to this problem so that the constructed buildings can stand the test of time. I have in mind experts such as the Engineering Institution of Zambia and the Zambia Institute of Architects. I am sure their input could assist in order to improve the quality of these schools being put up.

Sir, in this House, we approved the Engineering Institution of Zambia Act which requires everybody in the construction industry to register as well as to get monitored and regulated. This includes all the crafts persons, technicians, technologists and engineers. Before that, it was only the engineers. However, all these people are needed when it comes to the construction sector. I, therefore, propose that this Act be implemented as quickly as possible so that all those technicians and craft person handling the construction of these schools are regulated. They must be issued with certificates to practice. They must also be monitored by the Engineering Institution of Zambia. That way we would improve the quality control.

Finally, let me talk about an issue that I want to reemphasise, regarding married teachers that have been separated from their spouses. There is need to reunite these teachers with their spouses. They cannot continue to be separated for three or four years. As I pointed out last time, I would not really stomach that because I would not want to be in that situation.

Mr Chairperson, you may wonder how these married teachers who are separated from their spouses concentrate on their work. Therefore, I suggest that this policy, too, must be revisited. Moomba Constituency is affected. I have three or four teachers who are separated from their spouses. I have written more than three letters to the hon. Minister regarding this issue. For the past two years, no answer has been given, and yet, when I had a discussion with her, she assured me that that ban regarding the movement of teachers had been lifted. That was about three or four months ago. I expected that these teachers in my constituency would be reunited with their spouses.

Sir, the issue of ghost workers is one issue that led to the ban. I am, therefore, appealing to the hardworking hon. Minister of Education to look into this matter and reunite these married teachers. We do not want to experience divorces.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Chairperson, thank for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this very important vote.

Sir, I have gone through the Yellow Book and noticed that Kazungula District standards officers have only been allocated K25 million. Kazungula District is a very wide district such that this allocation is not enough. It is a vast district such that these standards officers would need to spend days, if not weeks, outside their stations. I, therefore, request the Ministry of Education to re-look at this allocation so that it can give more money to the standards officers of Kazungula District, if we are to have quality education in the district. Quality education can only be achieved if standards officers are motivated to visit schools so that they can encourage teachers by giving them advice and direction.

Mr Chairperson, I have also noticed that special education has been allocated K6.2 million which, again, is inadequate. Even though, I do not know how many special education schools we have in the district, I still believe this K6 million is not enough to cater for the children with special needs in the district.

Sir, Kazungula High School that is being constructed in Kazungula District should have been opened in 2009. We were hoping that it would be opened this year, in 2010, but that has not happened. Again, it is unlikely to open in 2011, simply because the contractor is working very slowly due to him having not been paid. I am requesting the ministry to seriously look into this issue. I am aware that we still have two months before January comes. Let this school open with other schools in that month. May this Government, please, pay the contractor who is building Kazungula High School.

As a community in Kazungula District, we have also started building Nyawa High School. This Government requested us, as a community, to firstly gather some materials which we have done, but this Government has not come forward to start building this school. With the onset of rains, I foresee our sand being washed away. We have had those materials in place for about a year now, but Government has not come forward. I am also looking forward to seeing the ministry start constructing Nyawa High School.

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Education built an office at Kazungula Boma and it was completed in 2008. Up to date, the officers have not shifted to the new building because the offices have no power. I believe the hon. Minister is aware of this. We want the officers to shift to the boma. Can you, please, give them money so that they can have electricity connected to their offices so that they move to the new place. It is better to work together in one place than have other people operating from Livingstone and some at the border.

Sir, I wish to inform this House that the funds for infrastructure development for 2010, have not been released up to date. We have a lot of projects in our various constituencies. I believe this issue affects all constituencies and not only Katombola Constituency or Kazungula District. I think all the districts in the country have not received this money. What happens to the projects that should have been finished this year if the money is not released on time?

I, therefore, wish to appeal to the Government to look into this issue seriously because the year is now ending. I hope this money is not going to be sent back to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning because it has not been used. I also hope that this money has not been diverted to other projects because we need this money in our districts.

Mr Chairperson, yesterday, we were told by the hon. Minister that the ministry is user friendly. I really do not know about that because the standards of the work culture at the ministry headquarters has gone down. I know of some senior officers who report after 1000 hours. Is that being user friendly when teachers have to wait to meet them? What example are we giving to our juniors if, as senior officers, we are going to report at awkward hours? That is not acceptable and is not being user friendly. User friendly officers report at 0700 hours in the morning so that when you go there at 0800 hours, you find them already in their offices. Reporting for work at 1200 hours is not being user friendly.

Mr Chairperson, I have also noticed a new system of locking doors such that you would need a person with a key to open for you. The day I went to the ministry, the time I was coming out of a particular office, something went wrong and the door jammed. You should have seen me and the people around me panicking. Why do we close the doors? We do not need to do that in public offices where people should walk in and out any time. Are we going to give visitors the keys to open the doors? That is not being user friendly. The offices which are user friendly have doors which are open so that people come in and go easily. You do not need to look for an officer with the key to open for you.

Mr Chairperson, on discipline in schools, I agree with what the hon. Minister said yesterday that charity begins at home and that, as parents, we have the responsibility to discipline and teach our children our culture and good behaviour just like the schools. Our children spend more time at schools than at home and so we need to find solutions to improve the standards of discipline in school which have gone down. This time it is not unheard of to find school children raping each other and even slapping teachers. That is not acceptable. We all need to work together to improve the levels of discipline in our schools. The ministry, teachers and parents should all work together because this is not a problem of only the parents. The fact that children are rapping each other and slapping teachers in schools, and not homes, is an indication that we all should work together. Discipline must be inculcated into the minds of our school going children. Sometimes I ask myself if we need to bring back corporal punishment because there is a saying in English which says, “Spare the road and spoil the child”. Is that what has happened? We need to pull our socks up and do something about the discipline in our schools which has gone down.

Mr Chairperson, finally let me move to an issue regarding public universities. I remember asking why there were no public universities in the Southern Province and the hon. Minister responded that there are private universities in the province. The cost of education at these private universities is expensive. As taxpayers in this country, we want a Government university in the Southern Province. Some provinces have more than one Government university when the Southern Province has none. Being taxpayers and Zambian, we are demanding for a university which is going to be run by the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to say something on this important vote.

Mr Chairperson, all of us understand that education is a very important sector because if we have to get economic and political independence as well as attain economic growth, we need education. Before I go to the next point, I would like to commend the ministry for the good job it is doing. The ministry might not be able to do everything at a go, but if you have knowledge regarding its history, you can tell that it has done a lot in terms of trying to address a lot of issues although more needs to be done.

Mr Chairperson, we can see infrastructure coming up and the number of school going children increasing. If you look at a report that was released in 1996 when I was in the ministry, you will be able to find out that 750,000 children of a school going age were not able to access education because of lack of classrooms. However, the ministry has done quite a lot in trying to address that challenge. The ministry’s workers have big challenges, but with determination and hard work, they will succeed. Access is being vigorously addressed as we can see from the number of schools that they have been built. However, let me emphasize the need that we also need to pay attention to the quality aspect. If we are going to have quantity and not quality, then we are not moving in the right direction. We can only achieve quality by having adequate motivated teachers in schools who will be happy to work and belong to the ministry.

Mr Chairperson, we should also have enough teaching and learning materials. I am worried about the pupil : book ratio. We should go back to a situation where a child takes a book home to read and does an assignment at home, other than providing one book for three to four pupils to share. We should also produce more desks. Some people say it is only the rural areas that do not have desks but just next door in my constituency, Muchinga High School has about three classrooms which do not have desks. I urge the ministry to look into this issue because if the children are not comfortable by not sitting properly, they will not pay attention to what is being taught.

Mr Chairperson, I am glad that the ministry allocated money for a high school in Matero, but the project has not taken off because there is no land to build this high school. I wonder whether the Government cannot find land on which to build this high school on. If you go to Nyumba Yanga, you will find a school called Matero because the money which was supposed to build a school in Matero was taken to that area. Fortunately, they have again given us money to build a school. Hopefully, this time we shall not see a school called Matero being built in Kanyama. I am pleading with the authorities to do something to sort out the problem because the people of Matero are really crying for a high school.

The children in my constituency go to Libala, Kabulonga and Munali. Sadly, the people in that community are not well to do such that they can afford to give their pupils transport money to and from school. I pray and hope that something will be done about the problem we are facing regarding the building of a high school in my constituency.

Mr Chairperson, I now want to discuss distance education which is key if we are going to have education for all. We cannot underplay it that fact. It is distance education which will enable even hon. Members to attain good education levels because they can be in Parliament, but still learn through this mode of education. The K11 million that has been given to this programme is almost nothing considering that distance education is not cheap and it should not be treated as a by the way programme in the ministry as has always been the case. I hope that something will be done to ensure that more people go for the programme.

Mr Chairperson, in developed countries, a lot of attention is paid to distance learning. That is why I commend the Lusaka Open University for what it is doing. We have a lot of graduates coming out of that institution because it offers distance education. The Government should play a role in providing that form of education.

Mr Chairperson, let me now talk about education broadcasting which is almost dying. It makes me sad to see it dying because once upon a time, I was involved in providing that form of education. We tried to revise and revive it such that it started doing well, but unfortunately its standard has started going down.

I do not know why because the media plays a very important role in education. It can supplement what the classroom teacher teaches and it can also be used independently, especially in areas where we do not have qualified teachers.

As regards television, it is non-existent. The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Kitwe office has staff, but I do not know what they are doing, to date, as nothing is being done year after year. Television brings the outside world into the classroom because it gives a child, who is in the rural area and has not seen Lusaka, State House or the President, an opportunity to do so from his or her classroom. I think we should pay more attention to this.

Sir, it is very sad that education broadcasting started in 1961 in this country, and this is where ZNBC was derived. However, we are miles or kilometres away from the people who started education broadcasting. I hope this can be looked into because it is a very important tool.

Mr Chairperson, let me come to university education. This is good for economic development. Although other people say education is nothing and that they do need it, it is very important. Therefore, we need to pay more attention to it. I am glad that the Government has liberalised this sector and we have seen a lot of universities coming on board, but I would like the Government to monitor the quality of these universities that have come up and the type of education they are giving. I am also glad that most of the colleges have now been turned into university colleges and, very soon, I am sure we can have university colleges in all provinces.
Mr Chairperson, Mulungushi University is a good development. We have been seeing a lot of children going to Namibia, South Africa and Australia because they are looking for quality education and most parents say that they are scared of taking their children to the University of Zambia (UNZA) because of the strikes and closures. However, Mulungushi University is a good project and, as such, I would like to urge the Government to do more so that it is fully established and handed over. If we are going to attain a centre of excellence at this university, we need to pay more attention to infrastructure. I can see in the Budget that the infrastructure allocation has been reduced from K15 to K5 billion, this year, and I wonder whether infrastructure development will be done.

Mr Chairperson, in addition to that, grants to the university have been static. Considering that the university is growing, as more students are being enrolled and teachers being employed, there will be more programmes and keeping the grants static makes it very difficult for this university to run.

Mr Chairperson, lastly, I would want to talk about early childhood education, which is key to human development and whose significance has been underplayed. When we talk of early childhood education, we do not just talk about the nursery school. We talk about a child between one and two years old. Why are we are referring to this age group? This is because this is the age at which a child is moulded into being accepted in the family and community in which he or she lives. The critical things that a child learns have mainly to do with survival as linked to the available knowledge, attitudes, skills, moral controls and other things as they are practiced within the family. Between the ages of two and five years, early childhood education takes a child beyond the family and introduces him or her to high values. Why are we saying this? We want a child that is going to grow up as a normal child.

Mr Chairperson, in this country, we have seen other people wake up, say anything, do anything and, in their vocabulary, there is no apology. This is because the training in the beginning was bad. I think we should look forward to having better citizens in this country and should pay more attention to this, hon. Minister.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Member: Mulongoti.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, the failure to develop the human qualities and foundation upon which socialisation and schooling can be traced has led to a general culture …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

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

the Chair]
Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was concluding that when children are moulded properly in childhood, they grow up to be better citizens because they will have skills such as keeping time, discipline, apologising and knowing what to say to others and avoiding saying that which will hurt others. What do we see now? Generally, we just see a culture of blame because very little education occurs and people cannot appreciate even things that are around them.
Mr Chairperson, with these words, I thank you.
Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this chance to also add my voice to the debate on this important vote. Education is key to development and sustainable development can only be achieved with an educated and well-informed community. It is for this reason that I consider this vote important because without it, there will be no serious development in the nation and sustainability would be a problem.
Mr Chairperson, having said that, I was a bit worried when I looked at the allocation to education because, through the years, I have seen an upward trend in the allocation with the aim to attain the Cairo Protocol. However, I am surprised that, this year, the allocation has seemingly gone down and I am asking myself how we are going to achieve the millennium development goal (MDG) on education for all by 2015.

This sector requires adequate allocation of funds if the people of Zambia are to be well- educated and informed. This sector has an utter battle in inculcating a sense of responsibility and leadership in the minds of Zambians. The reading culture in this nation has seemingly gone down. The citizenry of Zambia no longer has interest in reading. Reading is cardinal if we, as a country, are to move ahead. It is for this reason that I am saying that the Ministry of Education is key to ensuring that good reading culture is resuscitated. I recall that there was a time when every Zambian was involved in reading, but, today, I no longer see this among youths and I am a bit worried. It is for this reason that I say that the quality of education in Zambia is slowly going down and something needs to be done to revamp it.

I agree with the hon. Members who spoke before me that early childhood care and development in this country has been neglected. In 2009, K500 million was allocated for the construction of an early childhood care and development centre. However, I have not seen the construction of this centre, over the years, and yet in the Yellow Book for 2011, there is a provision of K195 million for the development and management of the policy on early childhood care and development. I think it is important that we move away from facilitation and move to the implementation stage.

It is important that we consider early childhood care and development because if we do not, we will not be doing much. There is a need for us to know what our children will go through. I think that early childhood training should start from zero to four years old because education can also be done even before a child is born. We should appreciate that because of technology the education of an unborn child can go on. I read on the internet that modern technology allows for children to be taught before they are born. I, therefore, think that it is important that we acquire this technology and revamp early childhood care and development which has been neglected.

Our children across the country seem to be neglected in as far as the Budget is concerned. The Budget does not clearly come out on its allocation to children aged between zero to four years. A lot has been spoken about children aged five years and above, but those below this age are not considered.

With regard to the age group that has been covered in the Budget, there are a number of children who attend class while sitting on the floor in schools. Indeed, the Government is looking into the issue of desks, but it needs to do much more. The television documentaries as regards this situation are there for all to see. This is an open secret. This problem does not encourage teachers to do their work properly. How can we expect teachers to be motivated when teaching pupils sitting on the floor? How can pupils be motivated to go to school when they take notes from the floor everyday? It is, therefore, important that we improve the scenario across the country. The Executive has a chance to change the situation. If not, it will be very difficult to have a well-informed citizenry.

Mr Chairperson, there are schools which are built along the national power grid, but do not have electricity. Why can the Government not connect such schools to the national grid in order to conduct programmes such as night school so that communities in these areas benefit? For schools which are very far from the national grid, we can use solar panels. It is important that we include these schools in the ministry’s budget instead of just thinking about it and leaving things to the whims of people. We need to take note of this so that there will be a budget for such schools next year or the years to come.

As regards basic schools, we have been told that free education is offered at this level, according to the Governments education policy for 2002. However, though the policy states that no child will be sent away from school for not paying Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and user fees, this Government has not ensured that there is a law to stop the PTAs from levying children. At the moment, the PTAs are meeting and agreeing on fees and this is a deterrent for children to continue learning. It is important that we do not allow such things to happen. If we allow such things to happen, it will be difficult for our children to be educated. Such things are happening because the Government’s disbursements to various schools are not enough. Therefore, the PTAs come in to try and assist the situation. We should ensure that we give enough money to schools so that PTAs do not levy our children to enable them continue to learn in a good environment.

A number of basic schools have been constructed, but how many high schools are in existence? I will give an example of Mufulira, and Kantanshi Constituency in particular. Each and every year, I have always said that we have basic schools, quite alright, but the quality of education in these schools is poor. Children are so many to an extent that it is difficult for teachers to look after all of them, let alone give them quality and efficient education.

Furthermore, pupils who complete basic education fail to access places in high schools. I am happy that the hon. Minister visited Mulundu Township. This township is about 10 km from Mufulira town and children in that locality have to walk about 20 km to the nearest high school. Why can we not provide more high schools in Mufulira? Forty-six years after independence, why should we allow a situation where children have to walk more than 10km to access the nearest high school? In Ndola rural, the same things are happening. I drive there regularly and I see school children walking along the road. If we are to help our children to learn, we must provide enough schools in every locality.

It is unfortunate that the allocation for high school infrastructure development has been reduced from K230 billion to K130 billion in next year’s Budget. The allocation for the construction of high schools, through the community mode, has constantly remained at K5 billion. I think we need to be serious and allocate enough money so that all the children in this country have equitable education.

Whenever we talk about gender issues, with regard to education, there has been so much emphasis on the need to educate the girl child. Meanwhile, the boy child has been left in the cold. Eventually, we will reach a point whereby the boy child will not be educated while the girl child will continue to prosper. It is important that when we talk about the education of our children, we are not biased towards one sex and take a holistic approach.

Let me also comment on the support that we are giving to mission schools. Such schools have been helping this nation in as far as education is concerned. A lot of people, today, are educated because of mission schools. However, looking at the ministry’s budget, there has been a reduction in the allocation for assistance to these institutions. I think it is important that we consider mission schools as partners in the provision of education of this nation. If we educate our communities, we will have an informed nation and this will make it easy for us to develop. Even political campaigns will be easy because we will be talking to people who are well-informed. On the other hand, if we do not ensure that our people are educated, it will be very difficult for this nation to develop. So, let us help mission schools so that they offer proper education.

As regards universities, why are lecturers leaving our institutions of higher learning, every year, such that most students are now taught by part-time lecturers? We will soon start producing half-baked graduates. If this happens, we will not progress as a nation. I, therefore, request the hon. Minister to look into this situation and ensure that the conditions of service of lecturers are improved so that they do not leave our universities and our country in particular. We need lecturers to give the necessary education to our children. 
Let us improve their conditions and retention allowances like it is done in other countries so that they can be retained. Reduction of allocations on infrastructure from K15 billion to K10 billion to UNZA, from K10 billion to K5 billion for Mulungushi University and from K5 billion to K1 billion to Copperbelt University will not help matters.

Mr Chairperson, there was a situation recently at UNZA where sewer effluent overflowed to an extent where it went into hostels and tampered with the learning process. We cannot allow a situation where children are disturbed each and every year and we continue to reduce their allocation. Let us look at these issues seriously so that we can have a university we can look to and that can produce graduates who will be able to stand the test of time like all of us who went through the university. We want to see those results.

Coming to the Education Act of 1966, definitely 1966 is a long way back and we have been waiting for this Act to be reviewed for a long time now. Every year, we are promised that it will be brought before this House, but it has not been reviewed to date. Why are we keeping an Act which is outdated and is not going to support the current education needs that we have in the country? Hon. Minister, it is important that you consider reviewing this Act expeditiously. I believe that even the Education Policy of 1996 needs to be looked at seriously. This is 2010 and things are changing, therefore, we need to look at these issues and ensure that we improve them.

When I look at the communication and information flow in the ministry, there seems to be a problem. I have seen teachers who have been promoted posthumously, sorry to say that. The day of the burial is when we hear that he/she was promoted to senior teacher. Why should teachers be promoted posthumously in this computer age? This shows that there seems to be a problem which requires to be addressed. The work culture and information communication at the Teaching Service Commission needs to be improved. We are in a computer age and information flow should not be a problem. People have been confirmed, but have not received a single ngwee even at the time of death. For those who are lucky to retire, they do so at a lower grade and after they retire, that is when they see the letter stating that they were promoted and did not get any benefit from it.

Therefore, I would like to ask that these issues I have mentioned are looked into so that we can have a better and improved education system because education is the strength and backbone of any system in any environment. America is what it is today because of education. Similarly, the British Government is what it is today because it has educated people who are focused. We also want a Zambia which will be like that. We want a Zambia that will have educated children and professors. We have professors in the Executive so we want our children to also be professors.

With these few words, Sir, I thank you.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the vote on education. Actually, we have noted an increase in the allocation for 2011 which is quite good, especially that the basis of this is the strength of our national coffers. The increase is by K541 billion which is quite good.

However, I do not want to be repetitive, especially that some of the issues I wanted to talk about have already been talked about by my colleagues. However, one matter that comes to mind is that in this era and age, the fact that the basis of every human development is the type of education the nation offers to its citizens, be it informal or formal, is indisputable. Once we sufficiently and adequately address issues of informal and formal education, we shall have nationals who will appreciate the value of everything that regards human and national development. The problems we have in this nation, today, results out of feeble education that some of the leaders have undertaken and that is disastrous. The end results of such leaders whether of companies, political parties or individual estates, is PF, PF, which stands for poor finishing, because they have no more reason to advance their course.

Mr Chairperson, one of the most important issues that the ministry must address is the issue of A Teachers’ Accreditation Board. I recall ever since 1980 when I represented the teaching fraternity in Zambia, one of the things that was very adequately addressed was the issue to turn the Ministry of Education into a professional ministry. That could only be done if and when a Teachers’ Accreditation Board was set up. Modalities and functions of this board were well written down. All that is required is for the hon. Minister, though you, Sir, to follow it up.

The goodness of establishing a Teachers’ Accreditation Board is that it shall have the functions and responsibility to ensure that teachers are disciplined. It shall also be the function of the Teachers’ Accreditation Board to ensure that teachers attain quality education for them to qualify to teach and practise teaching, but this is not the case today.

Mr Chairperson, the Government is trying all it can to ensure that quality education is provided, but there is no institution charged with the responsibility to regulate and approve the proficiency and effectiveness of the teacher in the classroom, especially that, nowadays, anybody can become a teacher even though it may not be his or her calling. Therefore, hon. Minister, through the Chairperson, this is a very committed Government and I hope that will go a long way in ensuring that our teachers are disciplined and work according to the ethics of the teaching profession.

Again, one issue that I would also like to talk about is the procurement of desks. If this is done locally, the Government would cut down on the cost of transportation incurred from procurement of desks centrally. Take for example, Luapula Province, there is Mansa Trades Training Institute which has human resource and machinery which they can utilise to manufacture desks to supply to Luapula. After all, it is not only Mansa Trades Training Institute, but also Mansa, Samfya, Kawambwa and Nchelenge Skills Training Centres. That way, we would be empowering our nationals and allowing our institutions to also generate money to supplement whatever Government grants we give them and then, surely there will be effectiveness and efficiency in those institutions. That is a brilliant idea, which I think we must tap into, as a Government, that has resolved to devolve and decentralise some of the responsibilities that are currently centrally controlled.

One issue is that, as a teacher, I understand the importance of staff motivation. Please, through you, Sir, let the Ministry of Education and the Government bring staff motivation. When I was employed, as far back as 1973, every teacher was promoted annually by being given salary increments which accrued to each teacher, based on the reports that inspectors submitted to the Ministry of Education for consideration. These stated whether the teacher effectively and adequately performed his/her duties and accordingly, a certain percentage of the salary was added to his/her salary besides what was negotiated for by the union. That way, teachers who served many years got better perks than those who joined the Ministry of Education later and were therefore, contended and comfortable.

   How I wish we could lessen the issue of strikes and negotiations by looking at the way teachers were looked after those days regarding promotions as a way of motivating teachers.

Sir, the Government has also done very well in terms of provision of high and secondary schools. In order for the Government to distribute these high schools evenly and severally throughout the Republic of Zambia, it is important to cut down on the expenditure of constructing boarding high and secondary schools by constructing day secondary school without boarding facilities in some communities. This will enable the communities to access education with minimal fees to pay. That way, the Government will empower the people and parents will have money in their pockets to educate their children because they will not be paying for transport and boarding facilities. In fact, the Government will also save some money to procure education and learning materials.

Finally, Mr Chairperson, let me state that the importance of illiteracy in this nation must not be underplayed. I was privileged to attend an international forum in Bel′em City in Brazil when I accompanied the hon. Minister of Education, Hon. Siliya who was the delegation leader. The issue of underdevelopment is a result of the people in Zambia not appreciating the importance of education. High illiteracy levels are very dangerous in that when the people are not able to read and comprehend for themselves, they are likely to be lead by those who read.

Mr Chairperson, on the streets of Lusaka, among the young generation, is this practice. For example, Hon. Mukanga visits the Times of Zambia Newspaper and informs them that Hon. Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha has said this and that. They will ask him if it is true and if he affirms, that story will begin evolving. After that, rumour mongering starts. People are being misled simply because they are not able to read and comprehend issues themselves. This is also the reason why Hon. Mukanga mentioned the fact that the culture of reading must be addressed. I questioned a good number of people on the stories they peddle and they said yes, they were true. People must understand the implication of the statements they make. The Government should not forget that some of the people, who have been to school, are neither learned nor are they educated. There is a difference between being in a classroom learning and appreciating education. Intelligence and wisdom are quite different and distant.

I told these crooked guys ...

Mr Chimbaka: Sorry, I withdraw the word ‘guys’.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! May you withdraw the word “crooked” as well?

You may continue, please.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Chairperson, I withdraw the word and replace it with people who are not able to understand the implication of Article 37 of the Former Anti-Corruption Commission Act. I took time to explain plainly and speak to them ...


Mr Chimbaka: ... and that was when they said, “Oh, this is a fact”. In fact, I told them this Act that has been legislated is stiffer than the former in that this one will catch you in whatever way. That is when people began to appreciate. The problem we have is that people do not read the Bills and do not consult books and papers to fully understand issues. They only get what Chimbaka, The Post and Times of Zambia newspapers say, in whatever form, misinterpret it and say it is information.

Therefore, illiteracy is a danger to the social, economic and political emancipation of this country. This is why we need learned and qualified people to lead this nation. Otherwise, we shall be retrogressive and go100 years backwards.

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

Dr Chishya (Pambashe): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Vote on the Ministry of Education. I will be brief.

Sir, there are three issues I wish to deliberate. The first issue concerns the structure of the education system in Zambia. The second issue is education curriculum in the country and the third is funding tertiary education, particularly university education.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to indicate from the beginning that I fully support the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure of the Ministry of Education. In supporting this, I would like to commend the Government and the hon. Minister, in particular, for the charismatic approach to better the delivery of quality education in this country. I praise her for her determination to overcome the challenges facing the ministry.

Sir, the structure of our education system, currently, in Zambia, is somewhat pyramidal in nature whereby it has a wide base and an apex at the top. Many basic schools have sprung up all over the country and there are many more to come. This is an indication that, in the near future, in Zambia, almost every child who has reached school-going age will have a space in school. When this happens, it will indicate the base which I have talked about in the structure of the education system. However, the high schools are not expanding or being constructed at the same rate as that of the basic schools. A similar situation is obtaining at tertiary level.

  I hope the Ministry of Education is looking at straightening the surfaces of the pyramidal structure of the education system, whereby the high schools should be in a position to absorb all the pupils who progress from the basic schools and the tertiary level should be in a position to absorb those who come from high schools. The structure should be cubical. This approach will minimise the ejection of the pupils at an early stage from the education system.

Mr Chairperson, as regards the curriculum, it is fashioned in a manner that trains students to be potential employees rather than entrepreneurs and developers. Certain people are gifted with the use of their hands while others with the use of their brains. Both types of people are very useful for the development of the country and should be catered for in the curriculum. If we look  at the curriculum, both groups are required and can also help if we consider seriously to straighten the surfaces of our pyramidal education structure so that whoever enters school at the early stage has a chance to reach the top without being disturbed regardless of what kind of skills or ability that pupil has.

Mr Chairperson, as regards the funding of the education system. I am mainly concerned about tertiary education and university funding, in particular.

 Mr Chairperson, it is expensive to fund university education and you cannot just fund university education from the meagre grants from the Government. There must be some other source of funding from elsewhere.

Mr Chairperson, many countries use what is called indirect funding. Let me give an illustration of what obtains in some developed countries in Europe. The roads and highways, in particular are designed by university students via their research programmes. When money becomes available for the construction of a particular road, students participate by coming up with the designs and the contractors participate by interpreting the design. They work together with the managers and administrators of the project, and hence the money that is earned from the job is shared amongst the participants. The university earns its money through their designs, the contractors get their money and the administrators also get theirs. This is just one example of how university education can be funded.

 This can apply not only to the area of engineering, but also agriculture and environmental science. All this can happen even in our situation. For example, when we put up certain buildings or construct roads, students at the University of Zambia or other universities that are coming up like the University of Science and Technology and others, can be incorporated into the overall development plans of our country. They can participate fully and raise funds for their universities.

Mr Chairperson, it does not make sense that a road engineer from the University of Zambia graduates without ever having participated in designing roads in Zambia. How are you going to use him? Are you going to impose that graduate on road maintenance or an unfamiliar field where he/she has never participated and does not understand? He/she would have read the books quite alright, but would have not studied the terrain of that. When the contractor leaves, who will maintain that road? We would need to use our engineers to maintain our road, but they would not understand it.

Therefore, if they are involved from the beginning and the contractor leaves the country, we will still have engineers who will continue to maintain the road because they have been involved from the beginning.

A classical example is the University of Zambia (UNZA) Sports Hall. Few people know that it was designed by the students of UNZA. The building still stands very strong. Few of those former students, if any, have been involved in the design of other buildings at all. I have never come across that, but I am sure that we can go a long way if we could involve university students in all our developmental plans, such that when money is allocated for a particular project, it can be shared with the university for participating in the development ventures.

With those few words, I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Chairperson, I want to support the Vote for the Ministry of Education. 
Sir, the Ministry of Education seems to know what it is doing going by the policy statement that was presented by the hon. Minister. I listened very attentively and noted that her policy was very comprehensive in that she articulated all the problems facing the education sector and how the Government intends to address them.

Mr Chairperson, I still want to make a few comments on some of the issues that were raised by the hon. Minister as they relate to the education sector in my constituency.
Mr Chairperson, it seems we will achieve the MDG on achieving universal primary education if we have not already done so like most African countries. However, we still have a problem of matching that with the primary school completion rate. This problem is more pronounced in rural areas like Chongwe Constituency.

Mr Chairperson, there is a school in Chongwe Constituency called Mikango Girls High School. This school has a problem of lack of dormitories. As a result, girls coming from far-flung areas are renting houses in villages near the school. Unfortunately, these girls end up getting pregnant. However, the community has embarked on a programme to construct a self-help dormitory. I would like to find out what the Government’s policy on self-help projects. Do you have any resources that can support this kind of initiative?

Mr Chairperson, there is also the issue of shortage of accommodation for teachers in Chongwe District. I am talking about Elensdale School in Ngwerere where only four out of thirty-nine teachers are based in Chongwe while the rest commute from Lusaka. As a result, instead of teachers reporting for work at school at 7 o’clock, they get there at about 11 hours because of transport problems. Therefore, I am making an earnest appeal to the hon. Minister to address the issue of teachers’ accommodation. Something needs to be done urgently. Otherwise, we will have a situation were pupils will be in school without teachers for many hours.

Mr Chairperson, we have embarked on electrification projects to electrify a number of schools in our constituencies using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). However, even where we have managed to give them money, the schools seem to be having problems with the connection fees. Again, I would like to make an appeal if there are any funds that can help schools which have been assisted with the CDF, but cannot find money for connection.

Mr Chairperson, the issue of the National In-Service Training College (NISTCOL) is still outstanding. I note that in her policy statement, the hon. Minister talked about upgrading colleges. NISTCOL is an old college. Therefore, I would like to make an appeal, for the fourth time to the hon. Minister for her ministry to consider upgrading Chalimbana Teachers’ College to a university because it has all the infrastructure. It will be cheaper to upgrade this college than some of the colleges that are earmarked for upgrading.

Sir, I also want to comment on the issue of morale for teachers in constituencies. There seems to be a problem with some issues that do not really need money per se. Of course, there is, in the long run, an implication of resources, but I think it has more to do with administration.

For instance, the issue of confirming teachers has been outstanding for a lot time. In my constituency, at Elensdale School, a teacher has been working for nine-and-half years, but has not been confirmed. Letters have been written to the ministry, but nothing has been done about it. A good number of teachers in almost all the schools in my constituency are facing the same problem. There are thirty-six basic schools in my constituency, and in almost all these schools, there is, at least, one, two or three teachers who have been working for over four years, but have not been confirmed.

Yesterday, the hon. Minister said that thousands of teachers have been confirmed. I do not know, maybe, in other districts because this problem is rife and is demoralising teachers in my constituency. In fact, at one of the schools which I visited, teachers raised the issue of why the Government was encouraging casualisation of teachers. That was the first time I heard of such a term as ‘casualisation of teachers’ because most of the teachers have been working for a long time and have not been confirmed.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue is with regard to salary increments. Teachers have been told that once they upgrade themselves by acquiring diplomas and degrees, their salaries would be increased, but they needed to get a letter of confirmation from the Teaching Service Commission. In my constituency, a number of teachers have upgraded their qualifications and have collected letters from the Teaching Service Commission, but their salaries have not been increased as per promise. In some cases, teachers’ salaries have not been increased for four years. As I said, these are minor issues, but demoralise teachers in a way.

Sir, other issues that seem to be demoralising teachers are those of the rural hardship allowance and teachers pay points. Teachers have been transferred, but their pay points have remained the same for two or three years. Perhaps, at their new school, they are entitled to, for example, rural hardship allowance, but they are not getting it because their names are still appearing at their former school which does not qualify for rural hardship allowance. These are issues that the ministry must look into because they are demoralising teachers. Some of them have not been paid their double class allowances for a long time. As a result, the budget for the ministry has improved in terms of resources, but there is still a backlog.

In the policy statement, the hon. Minister mentioned that money has been allocated to clear some of the arrears, but I do not know whether it is sufficient to clear all the arrears. Does the ministry want to just clear 10 per cent of its debt? What happens to the rest of the arrears that have not been paid in the last four years? Does the ministry have a plan to, at least, clear all the arrears within two years so that it does not owe teachers anything and, probably, start on a new slate? I see that even if the ministry is paying some of them, this problem is still being created. As a result, even when teachers are being paid, it is as if they have not paid anything because there are others who were confirmed, for example, last year or those who have moved and have not changed their pay points, joining the queue.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue that I should bring out is about the responsibility of parents. Most parents do not seem to care about their children’s education, especially that most children spend most of their time at school. Even when notices are sent to parents to attend a school day or when the teacher wants to explain to them how the child is doing in school, parents are have not responded positively to such calls, especially in rural areas. Is the hon. Minister considering coming up with legislation that can compel parents or guardians to ensure that they take an interest in their children’s education.  It is really unfair because children cannot talk for themselves because parents do not care about what is happening at school. They are not concerned at all. However, teachers try to help parents to the best of their ability, but the parents are not playing their role. Should we not come up with legislation to compel these parents to ensure that they take an interest in their children’s education?

Mr Chairperson, I also want to talk about the issue of desks. In my constituency, almost all the thirty-six basic schools have a shortage of school desks. For example, one school has about 1,300 pupils, but only has 200 desks. That is the situation prevailing in most schools in my constituency. This means that six pupils sit on one desk. Basically, this means that most of the pupils sit on the floor. Perhaps, decentralising the purchase of desks can help to quicken this process so that pupils can learn in a better environment.

Furthermore, the hon. Minister said the ministry will concentrate on quality this time around, but I notice that the problems in the education sector are huge because in the past years, there was less investment in the sector. Therefore, even as the ministry is doing its best to address some of these issues, there is a need to look at how long the pupils are going to continue sitting on the floor. It is embarrassing that after forty-seven years of independence, pupils are still sitting on the floor in class.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister also talked about the 800,000 plus desks that are needed. Yes, there is an improvement in the 2011 Budget allocation compared to the 2010 Budget, but it is too small to solve the problem.

  Is it possible that we can strive to solve some of these problems which really give a bad image to the sector, in terms of basics such as school desks and water? We need water in all schools countrywide. You cannot have a school that has no water and even have children that are sitting on the floor.

Mr Chairperson, there is also another issue which I have not heard the hon. Minister address. This is the issue of staff rooms. Many of our schools do not have staff rooms, thus teachers stand under the trees as they wait for their classes. When they finish their school work and need to wait for the next class and you will find them just hanging around the school premises because they have no staff room. Is there something that we are doing about this issue? This is a very serious issue and a number of schools such as State Lodge School have no staff rooms such that teachers are complaining about this issue.

Mr Chairperson, lastly, I would like to say that we have a problem of encroachment on a number of plots belonging to the Ministry of Education. Is it possible to take an inventory of plots which are meant for school construction and ensure that those that have been encroached upon are repossessed by the Ministry of Lands? In Ngwerere, there is land which was first allocated to the Ministry of Education for the construction of a high school, but has since been allocated to may be a farmer or just to an individual for residential purposes. I think the ministry should deliberately put a policy in place which will ensure that an inventory of all the land belonging to the Ministry of Education in all the districts so as to ensure that it secures its plots for future development.

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

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Munkombwe): Mr Chairperson, I want to thank you for affording me this opportunity to support this vote. As you may know, the Government has massively invested in the Ministry of Education by building schools, colleges and universities. I get very worried when the products from our colleges adopt a shift stick attitude and think that the situation in Zambia is so horrible that they would rather work in other countries. I know that the Vice-Chancellor of the Copperbelt University, Professor Musonda has never worked out of this country.

Hon. Opposition Member: Aah!

Mr Munkombwe: You can say, “Aah” but I do my research first before I can open my mouth.


Mr Munkombwe: Sir, we also have Professor Lungwangwa who has never worked outside this country. Dr Musokotwane briefly worked in Swaziland, but the call of nature to come home persuaded him to come and teach at the university. You can become a professor outside this country, but you will still be considered an alien. All that the Zambian professors who are in other countries do is to throw mud at the system when its themselves who do not want to come and live in a society which has brought them up. The Government has heavily invested into the Ministry of Education.

Sir, I think you know better than I do that more than 2,000 years ago, Jesus said, “For whom so ever, much is given, much will also be required of him.” Since we have invested heavily in these people who graduate from our colleges, we expect the Zambian society to get more returns from them. We expect to get certain things from these people. When some people get carried away with their educational achievements, they even want to become presidents of the country by using their cellular phones. They think Zambians are so cheap to trust them. Why do they not come back home so that we can share what we have with them? Why do they think that we are so backward that they cannot live with us? Society wants rewards and returns from the massive investment of the Zambian taxpayers. It is natural for them to demand for better provisions in this country.

Mr Chairperson, for example, I am a dairy farmer and I know that if you want to milk a cow and you do not feed it, nothing will come out of it. We want these people to help us to develop the country. We want these people to make demands, but they must know that these demands must also have a limit. I am not a teacher by profession, but I can speak competently regarding the education sector. I have the propensity to speak about anything.

Sir, in the Civil Service, I was employed for one and half days.


Mr Munkombwe: Mr Chairperson, because of that, I adopted a system of self employment as well as meditation. When I was employed, I found a young English man whom I saluted and asked what his age was. He said he was nineteen and I told him that I was twenty-three. However, the young man continued addressing me as his boy.  I told him that since I was twenty-three, he should respect me. He said if I was like that then I would not last in the Civil Service. The following morning, when greeting me, he referred to me as a boy. So, I pushed his file away and told him to keep his job. I went to Livingstone and started staying with my uncle. I, therefore, want us to appeal to our educated people to live in our society, eat what we eat and suffer with us. If they do not do that, then they are irrelevant to this country. 
I thank you, Sir.

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

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank the many hon. Members of Parliament that have contributed to the policy debate on the Budget of the Ministry of Education. I realise that many of them feel very passionately about education. I just have a few very quick points in response to the issues that they raised. In the Ministry of Education, our core function is really to train teachers so that we deliver education to all the citizens in this country. The Ministry of Education is a very large ministry. We have to deal with matters affecting our society from the early childhood level. Others were even talking about unborn children all the way up to the universities so that we can create professors who will provide solutions to the problems affecting this country.

Sir, one of the things that we realise we need to do very quickly is to re-organise the structure of the ministry so that it can truly correspond to the particular responsibilities it has been given. We are also very determined to overhaul the human resource system of the ministry. I realise from what many of the hon. Members of Parliament were saying that, that is a bone of contention, particularly, with regard to the management of teachers’ issues. I make specific reference to Hon. Masebo and the matters that she has raised. We intend to overhaul the human resource system in the ministry. I noted the point that the ministry needs to be user friendly. It is not so much a matter of finding a director in the office, but a system in place such that when someone wants to have a certain issue addressed, they can go to the ministry where they will find a desk at which that individual can be provided with the required assistance. This matter will be addressed adequately. It is not so much about directors sitting in the offices the whole day. We are very determined to ensure that we overhaul the human resource system so that issues of lack of confirmations for the teachers should be matters of the past.

Sir, the Government is happy with the standard of training it is giving the teachers. Thus, there must be a simpler way of confirming teachers without them having to wait all their lives in order to get confirmed. We are determined to do that. With regard to most of the issues that were raised by specific hon. Members of Parliament, I am ready to meet them so that we go through the specific issues. However, what is important is that we are trying to address an important basic need which is the provision of access. When we provide access, we then start moving to the higher needs. We have to ensure that there is a teacher in every classroom. Moving on to higher needs, we have to make sure that there are learning materials in the classes as well as well-trained teachers who are well motivated. We need to ensure that the quality of our teachers improves so that the whole education system functions properly.

Further still, there are many higher needs such as ensuring that there is technology provided in classrooms. We have to ensure that there is distance and open learning and adult literacy. All these things we have cannot do overnight. However, what is clear is that have a plan which is that, by 2015, we should be able to sort out a number of these issues for the education system to truly move on autopilot.

Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank everyone who contributed and even those who did not, but who, also, appreciate the importance of education.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 80/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.
Vote 80/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/14 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 80/15 – (Ministry of Education – Teacher Education – Copperbelt Province – K20,757,188,893).

Mrs Kawandami (Chifubu): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 3, Programme 11, Activity 03 – Laboratory Equipment Procurement (89) – K22,068,206. The amount allocated for this activity has been consistent for the past three years.  Are we buying the same equipment?

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Chairperson, Unit 3, Programme 11, Activity 03 – Laboratory Equipment Procurement – K22,068,206 is for the procurement of the same equipment. This is why we have not had any increase in allocation.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 80/15 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/16 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/17 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/19 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/20 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/21 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/22 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/23 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/27 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/28 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.
Vote 80/29 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/30 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/32 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/33 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/34 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/35 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/36 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/37 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/38 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/39 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/40 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/41 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/42 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/43 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 87 – (Anti-Corruption Commission – Headquarters – K55,825,561,882).

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Chairperson, I rise to present the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for 2011.

Corruption in Zambia has been recognised and asserted as a phenomenon that has negative effects on the country’s strides to socio-economic development. Corruption in both the private and public sectors negates principle tenets of good governance, namely transparency and accountability.

The fight against corruption has, therefore, continued to rank highly on the agenda of the MMD Government and the nation as a whole. The socio-economic and political programmes of the MMD Government have consistently recognised the need for good governance measures. These measures include transparency and accountability and seek to reduce the harmful effects of institutional weaknesses that provide opportunities for behaviours and practices that can undermine socio-economic development.

Mr Chairperson, the ACC is the lead institution in the fight against corruption as mandated by law and the MMD Government shall continue to support the ACC in its quest to eradicate the pandemic. The ACC will be supported and encouraged to be effective and robust in its operations.

Mr Chairperson, in a bid to strengthen the fight against corruption, the Anti-Corruption Act has been revised while new complementary legislation has been enacted. Among the new legislation that this august House has passed were the Forfeiture of Proceeds Crime Act, 2010, the Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Whistle Blower) Act, 2010, and the Plea Negotiations and Agreements Act, 2010. With this new supporting legislation, we envisage that the ACC will register significant success in fighting corruption.
Sir, the fight against corruption is a mammoth task which the ACC cannot undertake on its own. The MMD Government will, therefore, ensure that the National Anti-Corruption Policy, which has an embracing and holistic approach, is implemented. This will bring on board other stakeholders and players both in the public and private sectors to assist the ACC in preventing and combating corruption.

Let me mention that under the policy, the following milestones have been achieved by the ACC in 2010:

(i) a National Anti-Corruption Steering Committee has been established to oversee   
                             the   implementation of the policy;
(ii) the dissemination of the policy at the national, provincial and district levels   
               countrywide has been initiated; and
(iii) corruption vulnerability assessment in the Ministry of Health, Road   
                                            Development   Agency and Road Traffic and Safety Agency has been initiated.

In addition, under the policy, the institutionalisation of corruption prevention through the Integrity Committee Initiative has been further rolled out to four new institutions, namely National Road Fund Agency (NRFA), Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) and the Pensions and Insurance Authority. This brings the total number of institutions with established Integrity Committees to seventeen. Three more institutions are earmarked for establishment of the Integrity Committees which will bring the total number to twenty by the end of this year. The three institutions are; Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), Kalulushi Municipal Council and Luanshya Municipal Council. The increase in the number of Integrity Committees being established is a clear testimony that the initiative is bearing fruit.

Mr Chairperson, the ACC is set to mainstream anti-corruption programmes in schools and produce youth educational materials for dissemination countrywide.

The wish of the Government is to increase funding to the ACC in order to enable it perform its functions more effectively and efficiently to ensure the creation of a corruption-free environment.

   Sir, the budgetary allocation for the ACC for 2011 is K55,825,561,882 against K35,984,235,807 allocated this year. This means that there has been a significant increase from K35.9 billion to K55.8 billion.

I am thankful to hon. Members of this august House for their continued support to the anti-corruption crusade. I also wish to thank our co-operating partners for their invaluable material, technical and financial support towards this noble cause. I urge hon. Members to support this vote.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairperson, I can see that hon. Members are satisfied with the manner in which we are fighting corruption and, so, I sincerely thank them for the overwhelming support.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda indicated to speak.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Member if you had wanted to debate you would have stood up before I called upon the Vice-President and Minister of Justice to wind up debate. You cannot indicate to speak after His Honour the Vice President and Minister of Justice has concluded the debate. This is what happened even yesterday. Such behaviour just complicates issues for us here.

Vote 87/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for this opportunity to present the estimates of expenditure for the year 2011 in respect to the Zambia Security Intelligence Service.

The Zambia Security Intelligence Service is responsible for the security of the Republic of Zambia and its people. It is, therefore, charged with the responsibility of being the principal advisor to the Government on matters of security.

Mr Chairperson, the mission statement for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service which is, “To provide accurate and timely intelligence on threats to national security in order to protect the Constitution and economic well being of Zambia”, gives an insight into what this institution is obliged to do in as far as the security architecture of our country is concerned.

The legal mandate bestowed on this institution is strategic to the preservation of Zambia’s security. Therefore, it is important that we give this institution the necessary support it deserves so as to enable it deliver on its mandate which is to ensure peace and stability.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to remind this august House that the peace our nation continues to enjoy is not by accident, but is underpinned by the tireless efforts made by the Zambia Security Intelligence Service and other security agencies with the support of the Zambian people. Given this background, I wish to appeal to hon. Members to be objective and alive to the fact that this institution is strategic to the preservation of peace and stability in the nation as they debate the Motion that I am about to lay before this House.

Programmes for the year 2011

Mr Chairperson, as we consider the budget for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service for the year 2011, it is important that we take stock of threats facing our country and appreciate the fact that security is a costly, but priceless commodity. Therefore, the House is implored to support this vote. We should also bear in mind that security is at the core of the wellbeing of every nation as without this vital prerequisite, no meaningful development can take place both at personal and national levels. Our country is built on a solid foundation of democratic principles which are an admiration of the region and the world at large. Notwithstanding this, we need to continue sustaining these democratic values in order to remain relevant to the democratic dispensation that the international community has continued to embrace. This is only possible if the security apparatus of our nation is effective and efficient.

Mr Chairperson, the sustenance of peace and stability can only be attained if security institutions that include the Zambia Security Intelligence Service are provided with the necessary logistical support. May I remind hon. Members that Zambia faces the responsibility of enhancing democracy, peace and security in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region following her assumption of the chair of the organisation’s organ on politics, defence and security co-operation. This is an added responsibility on the Zambia Security Intelligence Service as it is expected to provide not only timely, but accurate intelligence to the Government in so far as the political economic and security situation in the region is concerned. To achieve this, the Zambia Security Intelligence Service requires our undivided support.

Budget Estimates for 2011

Mr Chairperson, may I now draw the attention of this august House to the proposed budget for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service for the year 2011. The 2011 budget estimation is K281,390,446,217 compared to last year’s authorised expenditure of K232,219,324,867. This increase has been necessitated by among other things, the need to develop infrastructure in form of office accommodation in a number of districts.

Mr Chairperson, the budget estimates also include the construction of new staff houses and renovation of old office blocks in various parts of the country. The hon. Members may wish to know that the construction of new office blocks which started in 2007 in Sesheke, Pemba, Kaoma, Choma, Chama, Chadiza, Luwingu, Nyimba, Lufwanyama, Kawambwa and staff houses in Lufwanyama and a guest house in Mongu have been completed.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairperson, meanwhile, the construction of hostels at the academy in Lusaka and offices in Kazungula, Isoka, Mkushi, Nakonde, Mporokoso and Senanga districts is ongoing.

In addition, the institution will, in 2011, embark on the construction of other new office blocks in Katete, Mpika, Monze, Lukulu and Kasempa districts. The hon. Members are, therefore, not only urged to support these estimates, but also encouraged to continue monitoring the progress of these projects in their respective areas.

It is hoped that the continued construction of offices in the districts will alleviate the current shortage of office accommodation and improve the working environment for officers. Furthermore, it is envisaged that once most of the districts are covered in this regard, we will embark on construction of houses for officers in various districts.

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, I wish to appeal to this august House to favourably consider the proposed budget before it. It is now my honour to present the 2011 Estimates of Expenditure for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service for consideration.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Captain Moono (Chilanga): Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the vote before us.

Mr Chairperson, from the outset, I would like to emphasise the importance of security in every nation and in particular, Zambia. I am alive to the fact that without proper security, our growing democracy will not be sustainable.

However, I have a few remarks to make with regard to the Zambia Security Intelligence Services and I would like to ask this noble security wing to continue polishing its name because, currently, there is a lot of mistrust between the general public and intelligence services.


Captain Moono: Mr Chairperson, there are serious allegations labelled against this wing of the Government of being used particularly during the voting periods.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Captain Moono: Mr Chairperson, unless serious steps are taken by this security wing of the Government to clean its name and distance itself from the ballot box, the ordinary Zambian will continue suspecting …

Hon. Opposition Members: In Mpulungu.

Mr Chilembo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chilembo: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member in order to make those allegations without producing evidence? Furthermore, is he is in order to bring such a matter here when he knows where such matters can be taken? I seek your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: The point of order raised by the hon. Deputy Minister of Justice is alerting the hon. Member debating now that issues of allegations must be backed by evidence. If the hon. Member has to continue with those allegations, it would be helpful for him to give valid evidence to that effect.
May the hon. Member continue.

Captain Moono: Mr Chairperson, I would like to encourage this security wing to actually improve the confidence the Zambian people have in its services. I want to refer you to the developed democracies such as America. During elections, in America, you will find that candidates, particularly those who contest the presidency, are protected by State security. I think, as a country, Zambia, we should move towards that direction. The problem with our democracy, which I understand, and even the perception of our people, is the way it should be because we are still growing. Security is a matter which all of us should be free to discuss because it affects all of us. Without it, we cannot do anything. I think this vote in particular is the most important one.

Mr Chairperson, I want to ask His Honour the Vice-President, the learned hon. Minister of Justice, SC., to take my contribution very seriously. We, as Zambians, are equal and should equally share the security of this country. Sometimes, because of the imbalances in security protection to all the Zambians, you find that there are incidences where security is almost compromised because it is a preserve of those who are in the Government at that time.
Due to our schedules of work during campaigns, we are, sometimes, forced to meet or collide with the Vice-President or Presidential Motorcade without adequate security information on both sides. Such incidences will continue occurring and these are embarrassments because we have only concentrated on providing security to the Ruling Party. As a result, there are lapses and gaps which are, sometimes, perceived as the Opposition being unco-operative on issues of security.

Mr Chairperson, currently, in the Opposition, to which I belong, if a security person from the intelligence services is noticed during a meeting or rally, he or she is viewed with high suspicion. Most often, violence has erupted because people have suspected one of the members attending a rally of being from this service. It is this kind of mistrust that we need, whether you like it or not, to iron out. We further need to ensure that the services of this particular wing of our security services, which I value so much, is cherished and embraced by all of us. Without such strong moves or decisions, our security, during elections, especially now that we are going into the general elections, will remain always a subject of the people’s mistrust.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to end by saying that I support the vote on the Floor.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add the voice of the humble, and yet tempestuous people of Namwala to this debate which is quite close to my heart.


Major Chizhyuka: Mr Chairperson, as you know, I commanded a tactical communication squadron in the Zambia Army.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tembo: Captain wa ma cabbages.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Chairperson, I also commanded tactical infantry units and trained as a trainer of trainers and produced some of the very finest and toughest officers which Zambia Army has and that can be counter checked. I worked in the Ministry of Defence for four years. I did not go to Zambia Army to grow cabbages …


Major Chizhyuka: …or tomatoes.


Major Chizhyuka: So, my understanding of the intricacy of communication is profound, deep and quite close to my heart.
Mr Chairperson, the intelligence service, in so far as it focuses on security, is a very important arm of this country. From as far back as the 1970s, at the time when the Kavalamanja Debacle was an issue, the intelligence has always advised the nation about the possible oncoming incursions by the enemy, the Rhodesians. For the period that I have known the intelligence service, it has always timely warned and provided professional advice to the country or to the armed forces …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1257 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 15th November, 2010.