Debates- Wednesday, 27th October, 2010

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Wednesday, 27th October, 2010

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you will remember that, on Tuesday, 19th October, 2010, when the House was considering the Motion of Supply moved by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, that the House resolves into Committee of Supply, and the hon. Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Hon. A. Mufalali, MP, was debating, the hon. Member for Nkana Parliamentary Constituency, Mr M. Mwenya, MP, raised the following point of order which reads in part:

“Mr Speaker, I rise to raise a very serious point of order which hinges on the conduct of business of this august House and on the duties of hon. Members of Parliament.

“It is a known fact that the roles of hon. Members of Parliament are derived from the roles of this House. Further, it is a very well established fact that the respect of this House is earned by all of us by the manner we conduct ourselves.

“Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Wusakile, Mr Barnabas Chella, in order to make disparaging remarks against me in the press? Is he in order to make demeaning conjectures against me to the extent that the residents of the constituency that I represent have started asking questions as to whether Parliament deposits money in my personal bank account for me to deliver development to them?

“Sir, I wish to refer to the Times of Zambia Newspaper of 14th October, 2010, in a story headlined, ‘MMD will win 2011 polls – PF.’

“Mr Speaker, in the said story, Hon. Barnabas Chella is quoted as having said as follows:

“It was unfortunate that PF Members were blind to the development projects going on in their constituencies. The Kitwe industrial area, where the MMD Government has rehabilitated roads, is under Nkana Constituency, but the area MP, Mwenya Musenga, has, on several occasions, attacked President Banda in the media when he, himself, has done literally nothing for his constituency. He should have commended the President for the good work,” Mr Chella said.

“Mr Speaker, I seek your serious ruling on this matter.”

Hon. Members, in my immediate remarks, I said as follows:

“I shall study the point of order that has been raised by the hon. Member for Nkana to determine whether a prima facie case can be established concerning the complaint he has made against the hon. Member for Wusakile. I shall rule on the point of order thereafter.”

Hon. Members, I have since studied the point of order and wish to make the following ruling:

In his point of order, Mr M. Mwenya, MP, alleges that Mr B. Chella, MP, made disparaging remarks and demeaning conjectures against him in the press. He alleges further that his remarks have led to his constituents asking whether Parliament deposits money in his personal account for purposes of delivering development to his constituency.

Hon. Members, Parliamentary Practice and Procedure prohibit Members from making unfounded allegations against fellow Members. It is a breach of privilege and contempt of the House for a Member to make disparaging remarks against another Member, reflecting on his or her character or conduct as a Member of Parliament.

M. N. Kaul and S. L. Shakdher, in their book entitled Practice and Procedure of Parliament, Fifth Edition, on page 278, state:

“It is a breach of privilege and contempt of the House to make speeches or to print or publish any libels, reflecting on the character or proceedings of the House or its committees, or any Member of the House for or relating to his character or conduct as a Member of Parliament.”

It is also a breach of parliamentary etiquette for an hon. Member to say anything demeaning against another hon. Member.

Hon. Members, the question, therefore, is whether the words attributed to Mr B. Chella, MP, amount to making disparaging or demeaning remarks on the character or conduct of Mr M. Mwenya, MP, as a Member of Parliament, and thereby establishing a case of breach of privilege and contempt of the House.

Hon. Members from what was reported in the press, the Chair has found nothing disparaging or demeaning on the character or conduct of Mr Mwenya, MP, as a Member of Parliament. I have, therefore, not established any case of breach of parliamentary privilege, etiquette or contempt of the House. The hon. Member was merely expressing his views, as hon. Members generally do, in their political expressions in the media.

The matter would have been different if the hon. Member had used derogatory remarks, insults or any other expressions which have the effect of lowering the dignity of the office of the other hon. Member. In this regard, the Chair is unable to establish a prima facie case against the utterances of the hon. Member for Wusakile Parliamentary Constituency, Mr B. Chella, MP.

However, let me take this opportunity to advise hon. Members to avoid attacking one another in the media. Much as we may be aware that politicians generally do so, hon. Members should avoid this tendency, not only because of their unique status in society, but also because of the dignity and decorum of the institution of Parliament to which they belong.

Furthermore, I remind hon. Members that their freedom of speech is protected only as it relates to their debates in the House; but, as regards things spoken outside the House, whether it be defamation or libel, such Members are on their own and have no protection of this House and can, thus, be subjected to the law of the land.

In view of the foregoing, a prima facie case of breach of privilege and contempt of the House to warrant further consideration of the matter has not been established against Mr B. Chella, MP.

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima walked in.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Ba Zambia.




127.  Dr Machungwa (Luapula) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) what progress had been made by the Government in mobilising resources for tarring the Pedicle Road; and

(b) when the tarring of the Pedicle Road would begin.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Kalila): Mr Speaker, the Government is discussing with the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)  to allow the Zambian Government to tar the road through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) principle.

The construction of the Pedicle Road will begin when an agreement has been reached between the DRC Government and Zambian Government to pave way for design and construction of the road.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, considering the fact that the Government is still discussing and it is not known when these discussions may end, is the hon. Minister in a position to say whether, in fact, work on this road will start this year or not, especially during this Budget Session?

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, our current position is that we agreed that the project takes off. However, whether it is going to be in this financial year or the next one, which is just a few months from now, I am not able to say. We are, however, at a critical stage of the discussions.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister of Works and Supply where the money to tar this road will be sourced once the discussions with the DRC have been concluded since the Pedicle Road has not been given an allocation in the 2011 Budget.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the initial decision was that we undertake this project under the PPP arrangement. If that is the process we are still going to follow, investors will fund the project as they normally do. However, if there are any new developments, we will, accordingly, inform the public.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, has the Government already started making consultations with potential private partners to source money for the project?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, we have created a Directorate of PPP at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. It is, therefore, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning’s responsibility to ensure that, as quickly as possible, a partner is sought.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister of Works and Supply whether the would-be investor will consider introduction of tollgates in order to raise revenue to repair the road.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, one of the many reasons we have decided to undertake this project under the PPP arrangement is for the investors to cover such costs.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu); Mr Speaker, is there any other option that the Government intends to pursue in case the PPP arrangement does not materialise?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, we have decided to do this project on our own because this is our shortest route to Luapula and Northern provinces, all the way to the port of Dar-es-Salaam and beyond. Hence, even if the PPP arrangement does not work out, the Government will find other means of undertaking the project because we are committed to it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the total cost of tarring the Pedicle Road is and why it should be undertaken under the PPP when the Mongu/Kalabo Road is being financed from the Government confers.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, there are many ways of doing things. If we can save money from the Treasury by inviting the private sector to participate in the construction of projects, I do not think we will shy away from that because the money saved from there can go to other projects.

Regarding whether there is any link between the Mongu/Kalabo Road and the Pedicle Road, it is another matter. As far as we are concerned, our commitment, as a Government, is to the whole public. Whenever there is a need for us to deliver services, we will do that without considering other provinces as competitors because every part of Zambia deserves our attention.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, what are the details of the critical stage?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the Pedicle Road has been under consideration for quite sometime. In fact, the design was made in 2005. Our role is to update the design in terms of rates. We have advanced quite a lot as far as the project is concerned. We will get started as soon as we are ready.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, admittedly, the Pedicle Road is the shortest route to Luapula Province and most of the poor people use it as opposed to the Tuta Road because of cost benefits. What is going to happen to the poor people who cannot afford to use the Tuta Road when it is under the PPP as the cost of transport will go up with the cost of the tollgates? What alternative is there for the poor people of Luapula and Northern provinces?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, there are poor people the world over where tollgates have been introduced. I think, as a Government, we will take into account the plight of those who cannot afford tollgates, but this cannot go on forever because, at the end of the day, somebody must pay even a little for the use of a tarred road. However, this is something that the Government will consider. It does not mean that as soon as we introduce the tollgates, every person will have to pay the full amount. If they cannot afford, we have to take their plight into consideration.

I thank you, Sir.


128. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) how the Islamic Community acquired the piece of land on Addis Ababa Drive in the Rhodes Park residential area for the construction of a mosque;

(b) which Government institution or agency granted the authority for the acquisition of the piece of land above; and

(c) whether planning permission was obtained for the construction of the mosque at (a) above.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I am not able to answer this question because this particular matter is before the courts of law. Therefore, to prove my point, I will lay the evidence indicating that the matter is actually before the courts of law on the Table.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Having previously examined those documents, I rule that it will be sub judice for this question to be considered in the House.


129. Mr Kambwili asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a) how much money the Zambia Postal Services (ZAMPOST) recorded in the 2008 and 2009 financial year as turnover;

(b) what the net profit or loss was in the same period and, if a loss was recorded, why; and

(c) what measures the Government had taken to improve the services of Zambia.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Mr Speaker, the Zambia Postal Services Corporation recorded a total of K109,227,309,000 billion, as turnover, in the 2008 and 2009 financial year broken down as follows:

Financial Year Turnover (K’bn)

2008 52,882,959

2009 56,344,350

 Total 109,227,309

In 2008 and 2009, the Zambia Postal Services Corporation had total net profits of K16,937,002,000.00 broken down as follows:

Financial Year Net Profit (K’bn)

2008  12,696,078

 2009  4,240,924

Total   16,937,002

Mr Speaker, in order to improve the services of ZAMPOST, the Government of the Republic of Zambia has enacted a revised Postal Services Act No. 22 of 2009 to enable the corporation operate as a commercial entity and enter into various strategic alliances as part of its diversification policy. This allows the corporation to have the required financial autonomy and implement associated good corporate governance issues.

In addition, the Government has taken over the construction of post offices after which it hands them over to ZAMPOST to run. This has been done to the Sinda Post Office in the Eastern Province ...

Mr Ngoma: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: ... and the renovation works at Solwezi Post Office in the North-Western Province. The Government gives grants to ZAMPOST, on a monthly basis, for the maintenance of two post boats on Lake Bangweulu in Samfya and the Zambezi River in Mongu respectively.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, let me thank the hon. Deputy Minister for that elaborate answer. The Zambia Postal Services Corporation has, at last, started making profits.

What is the ministry doing about the fact that there are a lot of thefts of parcels, more especially those coming from outside the country, within the line of delivery of ZAMPOST? What is the ministry doing to stop the thefts in ZAMPOST because people are losing confidence in it?

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, this is a new question which we cannot provide an answer to. However, we will carry out some investigations to establish the magnitude of the theft that might be occurring. Thereafter, the strategic responses of the institution to such a problem will also be established.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, will ZAMPOST, through the diversification programme, consider introducing bank services like it was before?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, indeed, that is the more reason we have come up with a new legal framework which provides conditions for ZAMPOST to operate commercially. These are innovations that the corporation will get into in addition to others. Currently, there is, for example, the electronic money transfer that ZAMPOST is engaged in. Therefore, I can confirm that, indeed, such provisions are being explored by ZAMPOST.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, now that ZAMPOST has started making profits, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government has intentions to privatise it, considering that there is no longer any construction of more post offices in rural areas.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, we have no intention to privatise it. However, we have intentions to enable the institution operate commercially so that it is able to make profits just like it is indicated in our response. That is the measure we have taken and the legal framework to that effect is in place.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why there was a reduced profit of K4 billion in 2009 when the turnover was high at K56 billion.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Kantanshi should be happy that a profit and not a loss was registered.

I thank you, Sir.


130. Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:
 (a) when the Government would tar the Mongu/Itezhi-tezhi Road (D769)      which had remained untarred since 1978; and

 (b) what the estimated cost of tarring the road was.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, the Road D769, Mumbwa Junction to Itezhi-tezhi, was earmarked for rehabilitation in 2008 and 2009 by Sable Transport at a contract sum of K95 billion, but the project could not commence due to lack of funds. However, the intention of the Government is to rehabilitate the road as soon as funds are made availed by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Speaker, the estimated cost of tarring the road presently is K150 billion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out why the road has not been maintained from the time it was tarred thirty-two years ago, turning it into a gravel road and now a bush path.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, there are many other roads in Zambia that have been waiting to be attended to just like the Itezhi-tezhi/Mongu Road. There is no intention to ignore it. The hon. Member will also appreciate that, just across the Kafue River in Namwala, there is a big project running from Namwala to Choma. We have also started to prepare for the construction of an embankment from Namwala to the river so that there will be connectivity.

I would like to assure him that as soon as resources are available, it will be the first project that we shall attend to.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, as an interim measure, why do we not grade the road so as to make it possible …

Mrs Masebo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to raise a point of order. Is the Leader of Government Business in the House in order to keep quiet about the census process which is going on and not make a ministerial statement to give us details on its process?

Mr Speaker, the position on the ground is that enumerators are not being welcomed in most parts of our country. Only this morning, an enumerator visited my house and the information I got from him was disturbing. He told me that we have not done enough sensitisation of the public for it to appreciate the importance of the census exercise, hence the enumerators are being chased in many places that they visit.

 I was also informed, to my dismay, that somewhere in Kabulonga or Ibex Hill, an hon. Minister is alleged to have chased away one of the enumerators on the basis that he should have gone with a letter of introduction from his superiors.

I was further informed that in some area in Ibex Hill, one enumerator was almost killed because the person who was interviewed did not want to see this young man on the allegations that he was asking him personal questions.

I think it is important that the Government brings this issue to this House so that hon. Members of Parliament can assist the Government by giving more information to the public if this exercise is to be a success.

In addition, there was a complaint that the money being paid to the enumerators was very little. In Lusaka, the enumerators have not even been provided with transport. I thought that this was an important matter. Otherwise, we risk getting data that will not be factual.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The Hon. Member for Chongwe has raised a point of order on an important current national exercise in which she wishes to know why the Executive has not come to the House with a ministerial statement so that, through this House, the republic would be informed about what is required of the people when approached by the enumerators in their homes.

 I agree with the point of order and that it is important that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, who is the portfolio Minister, comes to this House with a suitable and informative statement on this matter.

Today is Wednesday, 27th October, 2010 and, since I am aware that there are various announcements that are being made in the media, I take it that it is easy to put that information together and, through it, make the necessary statement in the House. The hon. Minister should come to the House with the statement on Friday or before then if he can.

The Hon. Member for Mmbabala was raising a supplementary question. He may continue.

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, the road requires immediate attention. Why can the Government not carry out some spot improvements as an interim measure?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I know the road is not smooth, but it is passable. The cost of gravelling will be quite huge and, therefore, we would rather save that money to rehabilitate the whole road.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


131. Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali) asked the Minister of Education:

(i) how many schools have been built from 2008 to date;

(ii) how many schools have been rehabilitated in the same period; and

(iii) how many new school places have been created as a result of the new schools built at (a), grade by grade.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that 542 basic schools have been constructed since 2008. Forty-five high schools were started in 2008 and are at various stages of completion. Out of these high schools, six have been completed. An additional twenty high schools are expected to be completed by mid-2011.

Sir, the rehabilitation works were carried out in 347 school sites. The rehabilitation works comprised teachers’ houses and classroom blocks.

Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that 542 schools created space for 65,040 pupils when used for single shifts.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, what criterion does the Government use when choosing schools to be rehabilitated because none of the schools in Solwezi Central have been rehabilitated since 2008?

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, the Government policy is that all the schools that are in dire need of a facelift must be rehabilitated. I know that we may not have the figure of how many classrooms have been rehabilitated in Solwezi Central, but I challenge the hon. Member to give us the number because I know that, at least, every constituency has benefited from the rehabilitation and construction of schools.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister when the schools that were being constructed by the Basic Education Sub-sector Investment Programme (BESSIP), and have been abandoned for the past five years will be completed.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for that question because I have seen that he has a passion for the schools that have not been completed. However, I would like to inform him that it is our intention to complete constructing all these schools but, currently, we are still compiling a list of all the schools that were not completed during the BESSIP period. It is our hope that sooner than later, we should  finish constructing these schools.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister claims that schools in almost all the constituencies have been rehabilitated, and yet no school has been rehabilitated in Roan Constituency. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the Government will replace the roof that was blown off from a school at Nkulumashiba High School. I have been telling the hon. Minister about this issue since 2007, but nothing has been done and the walls are now collapsing.

 Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, we are not saying all the schools have been rehabilitated but that, at least, every constituency has benefited from the rehabilitation of schools in one way or another.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the situation at Nkulumashiba High School, I would like to inform the House that the Government is aware about it. In fact, when I was privileged to accompany His Excellency the President to the Copperbelt, we discussed this issue with the Provincial Education Officer in an effort to see how we can expedite the rehabilitation of the school. I would like to confirm that we are aware about that problem and we will attend to it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister be specific on how many staff houses have been constructed and how this has improved the staffing levels of the teachers?

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to confirm that we are still being challenged with the issue of lack of teachers’ houses. We may not be in a position to state the number of houses that have been constructed, but we recognise the fact that we are challenged in this area and will definitely overcome this challenge because we have already started the process.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, the 2010 Infrastructure Development Plan for the Ministry of Education states that two schools were to be constructed this year in Chasefu Constituency. Now that the year is coming to an end, but nothing is happening, may I know when the works will start.

The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, a lot of progress has been made in terms of procurement of contractors’ services to begin the construction of these schools. I am sure that the Procurement Department and the Zambia Public Procurement Authority will soon conclude the evaluation of contractors so that tenders are awarded and the schools can begin to be constructed. I concede that the evaluation process have taken quite long. In fact, this morning, I met the Permanent Secretary to see how we can expedite the process so that we do not get caught up in the rains and also reach the end of the year without doing anything.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister of Education take the statements the ministry makes on the Floor of this House, especially with regard to the rehabilitation of the Limulunga High School seriously? For the last two or three years, the Government has been promising, on the Floor of this House, that it will rehabilitate this high school, but it has not done so. Why?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I wish to assure Hon. Milupi that we take the statements that we make on the Floor of this House very seriously. Of course, it would help if our hon. Members of Parliament followed up on these issues with our District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS) and the provincial education officers. We acknowledge that fact and I have said, many times, that we, at the headquarters, cannot be everywhere. In the Ministry of Education and at management level, we are trying very hard to encourage everybody to be user friendly and to respond to the challenges that the people have as quickly as possible because we are not there to serve ourselves, but the people through education.

Sir, sometimes, there are administrative bottlenecks in terms of processes, but we will continue, within the ministry, to try to review the procedures and change things so that decisions that are made can be quickly implemented. We do take note of the time it has taken to work on the schools in question. However, some of these delays are as a result of budgetary constraints such as the unfinished BESSIP infrastructure which I know is in the Northern and Luapula provinces. We are trying very hard to ensure that we capture all that data so that we can quickly complete that infrastructure. As much as we are constructing schools, we have to also make a deliberate decision to rehabilitate the existing ones which are numerous in this country. We are trying everything possible to ensure that we address the problems in the education sector.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, on the priority list for the rehabilitation of schools, there was Mansa High School. May I know whether it is still on that list.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of all schools is a priority but, sometimes, like I said, we are faced with budgetary constraints. It costs us between K20 to K30 billion to construct one new high school, depending on where the school is located. We also have costings of the rehabilitation of some of the existing schools in the range of K20 billion and above. You can imagine that, sometimes, we give priority to the construction of new schools so that we can create new places for the many children that do not have school places immediately. That does not mean that we do not care about the rehabilitation of the existing schools.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, at what stage is the school construction exercise deemed to be complete? I am asking this because there are certain school structures that were completed last year and have even started ageing, but neither the landscaping nor electrification has been attended to at these schools.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the construction, especially of the big high schools is done in the first, second and third phases. Of course, it is our intention to ensure that all the phases are complete, including the landscaping.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister state how many community schools have been rehabilitated?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, nationwide, there are over 4,000 community schools. Some of these schools have registered with DEBS offices for support. I know that many of them are truly makeshift schools because they are made of are mud and pole walls and most of them actually are grass thatched. The intention of the ministry is to ensure that it commits resources to such schools so that, at least, it can replace some of the grass-thatched roofs with iron sheets and the children are not disturbed when it is raining.

Mr Speaker, like I stated yesterday, the process of delivering development is long. We have to continue meeting the basic needs first which is to provide school places for the children. We all hope that by 2015, we will have certain equilibrium with regard to available school places. Along the way, we hope to address some of the issues that you are raising such as the upgrading of community schools and rehabilitation of some of the existing schools, especially high schools.

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, early this year, the Government came up with a scheme of subjecting teachers, particularly in the rural areas, to paying rentals even in houses that were built by communities. May the hon. Minister, please, shed more light on that issue.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to say this, once more, for those who missed the statement, that the Government has suspended that practice. We know that the practice brought about a lot of confusion and many teachers were affected adversely. We are aware of the fact that some of our teachers share accommodation, including the one provided by the Government. It is also unfair to have an across the board approach of making all the teachers pay 10 per cent of their salaries as rentals for houses that are at various levels of housing, be it in urban or rural areas or even within the same locality. This practice has been suspended.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Kawandami (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, what steps are being taken to rectify the situation at Kaniki School that has pit latrines that are now full and is threatened with closure?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the ministry is aware that there are quite a number of education institutions that do not have sufficient sanitation and water supply. It is trying to work very hard to address the sanitation and water supply issues with the Ministry of Energy and Water Development in some of the schools where there are no boreholes. At the same time, I wish to encourage the hon. Members of Parliament that for problems of pit latrines, it may be helpful for them to use another avenue of Government resources, which is the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). This way, a temporary measure can be put in place immediately before we find a long-term solution to the problem.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




The following Bill was read the third time and passed:

The Agricultural Credits Bill, 2010.




(Debate resumed)

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, the gist of my contribution yesterday was that on the whole, the Budget was good and welcome. However, my position was that the ministry could have done more to ensure that it collected a little more from mining companies that are making hefty profits from our resources. Apart from that, it is abundantly clear that this Government is not doing a lot to harvest some revenue from people who are mining precious and semi-precious stones in this country.

Mr Speaker, once upon a time, I found myself in the City of Haifa in Israel. I was taken on a conducted tour to this big company which was displaying products made from precious and semi-precious stones. When I was asked which country I came from, I told them that I was from Zambia. They said, “Oh, Zambians are our friends. Come and see. All the products displayed from that corner to that corner are from Zambia.” I said, “Aah, this is good.” That put me off from buying any of their products. It was clear evidence that we are careless in handling our resources in this country.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: When we stand upto advise you, we do that because, as I said yesterday, we want you to succeed. Why do you not want to turn your attention to harvesting some money from this important national resource?

Mr Muyanda: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Mr Speaker, if we harvest a little more money from our mineral wealth, this Government will be in a position to do even more for the people it is representing. It cannot be denied that each hon. Member of Parliament here wants development and that development comes from the Government. What baffles us is the failure by the Government to collect reasonable income from the mining companies. Why is it like that? You are always keen, as I said yesterday, to charge taxes on salaried employees, but not the mining companies.

Mr Speaker, having said that, may I wind up by addressing the issue of the collection of revenue. May I urge the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to ensure that it reconsiders the collection of trade taxes at the borders where X-ray machines are used to scan the items.

It is mind boggling that collection of trade taxes is sub-contracted to individuals. Why is this so? Do you not have enough resources to train customs officers from the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to collect this money? How much are you paying, as commission, to the individuals you have sub-contracted to collect revenue? Are we serious? Does this Government really want to collect a lot of revenue? I would like to urge the Government to review the aspect relating to collection of revenue.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, allow me to highlight some of the findings and recommendations of your Committee on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, for the period 1st January to 31st December, 2011.

Sir, your Committee observed that Zambia’s economy in 2010 was to register reasonable economic growth with a 6.6 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth projected, single digit inflation rate, gross national reserves at US$ 2.1 billion and a fairly stable exchange rate.

Your Committee, however, is concerned that the above fairly reasonable macro-economic indicators do not relate well with the state of the living conditions of our people. For instance, unemployment and poverty levels still remain high. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that measures be put in place to ensure that benefits of positive macro-economic developments trickle down to ordinary Zambians.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that the projected GDP growth target of 6.4 per cent for the 2011 fiscal year is rather on the low side as the economy has the capacity to register higher economic growth that can speedily address the challenges of unemployment and poverty in the country. Your Committee, therefore, recommends a revision of the GDP growth target to a level higher than the projected 6.4 per cent for 2011.

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes the increasing mining sector output and export earnings. However, whilst the increase in the revenues from the mining sector is positive, the mining sector contribution to the overall tax revenue remains low in relation to the contribution of the sector to the overall GDP. For instance, in 2010 and 2011, the mining sector is envisioned to contribute a meagre 2.2 per cent of the total revenue in the Budget. This is unacceptable and the Government should urgently come with a favourable tax regime that will ensure that the mines contribute tax revenues to the Treasury that are commensurate to the size and profitability of the sector, especially in the light of the windfall copper prices, currently, obtaining on the market.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that, over the last decade, inflation and the yields on Government securities have been declining. Regrettably, there is no corresponding reduction in lending rates. Further, the spread between interest rates on savings and lending continues to be too wide.

In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) institutes workable measures that will ensure that interest rates on lending and the spread between savings and lending rates are brought within reasonable levels. This will increase access to credit and promote investment and employment creation in the country.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is concerned that in a country where 12 per cent of the working population is in the formal sector and 88 per cent is in the informal sector, the bulk of domestic tax is from Pay As You Earn (PAYE). This means that the burden of tax on those in formal employment is too high and needs to be addressed by widening the tax base into the informal sector.

Mr Speaker, in this year’s Budget, PAYE will account for 24 per cent of the domestic tax revenue, closely followed by Import Value Added Tax (VAT) at 21 per cent. Mineral Royalty and Excise Duty each have a share of 12 per cent of domestic revenue while company tax will contribute a paltry 9 per cent. Your Committee is of the view that company tax should provide more revenue than is the case, at present, so that individual workers can get further relief. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that the allocation in the 2011 Budget to social protection programmes is 2.7 per cent of the total Budget. However, this allocation, while higher in the 2011 Budget than in the 2010 Budget, will largely be absorbed by the long overdue allocation to pension arrears. Your Committee advises the Executive to justify why the allocation to pension arrears is not budgeted for under domestic debt servicing. The allocation appeared to merely overstate the amount under social protection programmes, which should ideally have well-designed programmes, including, but not limited to grants for the differently-abled, social cash transfers and employment programmes for the vulnerable groups.

Your Committee, therefore, recommends that payments to pensions be separated from the social protection budget because it is creating an impression that the allocation to the social protection programmes has been increased when, in fact, it has not.

Regarding the issue of foreign financing, your Committee is concerned that the Government has proposed to borrow an additional US$400 million in the 2011 Budget. Your Committee is aware of the importance of borrowing, particularly if such loans are directed towards productive sectors.

In this regard, your Committee recommends that care be taken to ensure that the proposed loans are directed towards productive sectors, otherwise the country risks sliding back into the debt trap. It also recommends that the Government ensures that the proposed legislation to govern the contraction and management of foreign debt is brought to Parliament for enactment to allow Parliament to play an active role in the process of debt contraction and management for better oversight.

Mr Speaker, may I now turn to allocations to the key sectors; namely, education, health and agriculture.

On education, your Committee observes that the Budget registered a nominal increase of 15.3 per cent from the 2010 Budget. This allocation, as a percentage of the 2011 Budget, is 18.6 per cent. However, a critical analysis of the allocation to the sector reveals that there is more focus on primary and secondary education with little focus on tertiary education. Your Committee recommends that more resources also be allocated to tertiary education.

Regarding the agriculture sector, your Committee observes that while the allocation to this sector has a nominal increase of 8.1 per cent, the allocation, as a percentage of the total 2011 Budget, is only 6 per cent. Your Committee is aware that the Government has committed itself to the Maputo Declaration that requires that 10 per cent of its Budget is allocated to the agriculture sector. Clearly, this allocation is not in keeping with this declaration.

Further, your Committee observes that a large proportion of this allocation is meant for the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and strategic food reserves. Furthermore, agriculture in Zambia has continued to concentrate on maize production, which is overly dependent on rain-fed cultivation. In view of the above, your Committee recommends that the Government needs to begin to direct more resources into research and extension services, crop diversification and livestock production.

Your Committee also recommends that more resources be allocated towards the promotion and development of irrigation infrastructure and to ensuring that, progressively, more resources are allocated to this sector in line with the Maputo Declaration.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that the allocation of K1.7 trillion, representing 8.6 per cent of the total 2011 Budget, to the health sector is not adequate, considering the numerous challenges affecting the sector such as inadequate medical personnel, poor infrastructure and shortage of drugs. In addition, this allocation does not measure favourably with the Abuja Declaration that encourages governments to allocate, at least, 15 per cent of their budgets to the health sector.

In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government progressively increases the allocation to this important sector to ensure the attainment of the Abuja declaration. This will go a long way in improving service delivery in the health sector.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is concerned that this Budget does not inspire the development of the manufacturing sector. It is worrying that Zambia continues to export raw materials with limited or no value addition. In this way, we are losing out, as a country, because raw materials have low export value and reduce prospects for more employment creation. In this regard, your Committee recommends that deliberate measures be put in place to promote value addition through manufacturing.

Mr Speaker, regarding the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), your Committee observes that its allocation has not been significantly adjusted upwards for some time now. Your Committee wishes to point out that this fund has been useful in meeting some of the development needs at the grass root level. Your Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the CDF be increased to, at least, K1 billion

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: In conclusion, your Committee is grateful to the stakeholders who made an effort to make both oral and written submissions to it at short notice. It also wishes to thank you, Mr Speaker, for affording it an opportunity to analyse the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the period 1st January to 31st December, 2011. Your Committee further wishes to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for its invaluable, secretarial and advisory services throughout your Committee’s deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to wind up the debate on the Motion that I laid on the Table of this House on the 8th of October, 2010. I also wish to thank hon. Members from both sides of the House who debated it.

Sir, as expected, many issues were raised and, as such, it is not possible to respond to all of them. Inevitably, I have to be selective in responding. The topics I intend to cover are as follows:

(i) economic growth and  its relevance to the populace;

(ii) development and aid flows; and

(iii) tax revenue.

Mr Speaker, let me start with the first, which is growth and its relevance to the population.

Mr Speaker, this issue was expressed in several different ways. Some expressed it in technical language by stating that if we measure the growth of the Zambian economy, by expressing it through the Gross National Product (GNP) and not the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), then the performance of the Zambian economy will appear less rosy.

Mr Speaker, the GDP is a measure of economic performance in the country by giving monetary value to all output of goods and services. The GNP differs from the GDP in the sense that, as data of output is compiled, that portion of output attributed to foreign capital within our borders is excluded while output attributed to Zambian capital operating outside Zambia is added. In other words, where foreign capital operating in a country generates more value compared to the value that Zambian capital operating abroad generates, the GNP will be less than the GDP and vice-versa.

As already stated, the fear by some debaters is that, in Zambia’s case, the GNP is less than the GDP, which is true. The debaters who were less technically inclined expressed this fear more crudely by stating that there is no need for Zambia to be proud of realising mineral production because this output is largely due to the effort of foreigners. Let me demonstrate that this worry is misplaced.

Mr Speaker, this debate about the role of foreign capital in our development is misplaced and potentially retrogressive. It reminds me of the debate on the development that took place in the 1960s and 1970s. Two schools of thought emerged then. One saw foreign investment, especially by multi-national corporations, as extensions of colonial exploitation and that, therefore, this source of investment had to be discouraged. Zambia was sympathetic to this view. The decision to nationalise the mines and other foreign companies, then, was due to the view that these companies were exploiting Zambia of her resources. It was believed that nationalising the mines would leave all the wealth to us, as Zambians. Many African countries, with a few exceptions, followed this route.

On the other side of the development strategy was the view that it was necessary for a country to attract all the investment it could regardless of the source of the capital. Many South-East Asian countries such as Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and many others followed this route. They attracted, to themselves, many multi-national corporations by creating favourable investment climates in their countries. As a result, it was not long before many of these countries became leading producers of television sets, wrist watches, computers, textiles and many other labour intensive, but high-tech products. In the process, skills were built and technology was transferred. It was not long before locals in certain cases came up with their own brands of the same items to produce like the multi-national corporations.

Within about thirty years, these countries, some with high populations, put most of their citizens out of poverty, a world record then in the fight against poverty when compared to the Europeans who took centuries to achieve the same results.      

The remarkable experience with the Asian Tigers clearly demonstrates that attraction of investment, including the foreign ones, is vital for poverty reduction. Indeed, the GNP growth of these countries could have been lower than the growth of the GDP because of the foreign capital element. However, their GDPs were still growing fast and hence the reduction of poverty, In other words, the foreign investment was augmenting local investments by creating conditions for faster creation of wealth such that, even when the foreigners take out some wealth, what remains for the local economy still makes the country better off than would have been the case without the foreign investment.

This is what we are saying in present day Zambia. In trying to do everything by ourselves, we are saying there should be faster growth and a rising middle class as never seen before. I can explain this most simply as follows:

Imagine two individuals, one has a hunting gun, but no ammunition. The other is a good hunter, has ammunition, but does not own a gun. Neither of them can hunt and they could actually starve. If they co-operated, however, and agreed on how to share the spoils, they can hunt and both of them will have something to eat.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Many of the East Asian countries without natural resources developed fast by making themselves attractive to capital from anywhere on earth and used their labour, creativity and imported raw materials to produce large quantities for export. Some African countries on the other hand, many with natural resources, but lacking capital and entrepreneurship initially refused to co-operate with capital rich institutions. The results were growing poverty for most of the 1980s and 1990s.

Mr Speaker, many colleagues on your left often speak about the success of the East Asian countries. Unfortunately, even when they give the false impression that they read a lot, few of them take time to read and understand the real factors explaining the Asian success.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: This is how they can come up with ridiculous suggestions such as referring to investors as infesters. This is how, when a mine was facing closure, during the economic crisis, their solution was to incite demonstrations by miners as if that could be the source of re-opening the mine. They acted in that manner because they do not know better and cannot generate investor confidence.

Sir, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government fully understands the importance of investment in the fight against poverty and is busy and aggressively bringing investment into the country. The fruits are all there for everyone to see. Our mining industry, which had been run to the ground is now almost where it was nearly forty years ago and is still getting stronger. The construction sector which had been on loose knees is revived like never before and employing thousands of people. Farming is growing faster than ever before. This is just the beginning of the great economic boom for our country as it races ahead to middle-income category.

Mr Speaker, even as thousands of new jobs are being created by this industry, thousands more jobs are being created as we build new classroom blocks, hospitals, health posts all over the country and hundreds of thousands get cash out of their crop sales, many more of our people still need jobs. They can be assured that in the same manner that we have created new jobs and business opportunities, more is on the way. This Government has demonstrated, without any doubt, its capability for job creation and it will continue to focus on this objective.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Other parties have promised to give everyone a job and put money into peoples’ pockets, except that they have no track record for doing so because when jobs are threatened, they try to rescue them by organising demonstrations and inciting hostility towards those who create them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, let me now address the issue of aid. Indeed, Zambia has to be grateful for the generous aid that she has received and continues to receive from donors. This aid has done wonderful things for the country such as building hospitals, schools, roads and many other developmental projects.

The 2011 Budget indicates a small amount of grant support from some, though not all donors. While these external grants are expected to be 45 per cent lower in 2011, overall external support, including external concessional loans, is expected to be higher in 2011 compared to 2010. Zambia, therefore, still enjoys substantial support from outside and this support will be greater in nominal terms in 2011.

However, the share of external assistance in the total budgetary resources comes down because our own revenue and domestic growth has increased faster. It is these concessional loans that will assist us to accelerate the completion of long-outstanding infrastructure such as the Mutanda/Chavuma Road.

Mr Speaker, the roads were costing the country lots of money in penalties for standing time because they were not adequately funded from domestic resources. It, therefore, makes economic sense to take loans, complete them quickly because the country will now save on the penalties that the contractors were charging.

Sir, I listened to some friends who were debating in here as they talked as if a catastrophe had befallen Zambia when a share of external support in our Budget reduced. These friends must realise that the goal of this Government and the Zambian people, and indeed, that of the donors themselves, is to, one day, shake hands and move on to other forms of economic partnership and not that of beggar and donor. Like all of us who support less fortunate relatives are not happy to do so, donors cannot be happy to continue in that role forever. They need the money for their own use. Similarly, we should not be proud to be beggars forever and ever.

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: We should have the pride to end begging as soon as it is generally right to stop it.

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: The reduction in the share of donor support in the Budget should, therefore, inspire us to do more to reduce aid dependence.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, let me finally say something on taxes.

Mr Muntanga: On mining!

Dr Musokotwane: The Government acknowledges the observation made by a number of stakeholders that tax revenue for mining activities should increase as copper prices continue to increase on the international market. This is particularly the case because the mining sector forms a large part of the economy.

Currently, Sir, the contribution of the mining sector is relatively small compared to the size of the sector, given the obtaining metal prices on the international market. This is mainly due to the provisions on tax loss carry forward that the mining companies have been enjoying.

At the time the mining companies were being privatised, they were run down due to low or lack of reinvestment. In order to encourage investment and allow enough time for companies to recoup the investments and pay off debts with their financiers, the mining companies were given incentives to carry forward losses for ten years, and also experience the capital expenditure at 100 per cent. These are standard provisions in the Income Tax Law. These incentives have helped to revive the mining industry and companies have invested billions of United States Dollars over the past few years which have, in turn, resulted in increased production.

Mr Speaker, the carry forward of losses is an accounting tax under which companies are allowed to report their losses way after these have been incurred. For instance, if a mining company X was enjoying a ten-year period in which to carry forward losses and the company recorded losses say from first year to the sixth year of operation, the losses recorded for that period can be claimed against the profits made in the later years up to the tenth year, thereby reducing the amounts of taxable profits and ultimately taxes payable.

Mr Speaker, this is a standard arrangement the world over, except the period changes from country to country and the period applicable to Zambia is common. Therefore, in the light of the above explanation, although the prices of copper are high, the taxes being paid are lower because some mining companies have to offset losses incurred in prior years against the current taxable profits. However, given that most companies are recording increased revenues due to high copper prices, it means that the time over which the losses will be claimed will be shortened. As I have explained before in this House, one of the large mining companies in the country, First Quantum Minerals, is already in full tax paying position which has come about six years before the originally expected time because of high metal prices.

Mr Speaker, the loss carry forward position has ended much sooner. It is expected that most of the mining companies will be in tax paying position in the coming few years and the contribution of the mining industry to the Treasury will be significant. In fact, the mining industry will be the highest single source of revenue to the Treasury.

Mr Speaker, on the call for the re-introduction of windfall tax, the Government position is that this will not be done as the variable profit is already in place. The variable profit is an extra or windfall tax on mining profits. It is assessed on profits and not on revenue as was the case with windfall tax.

Similar arrangements exist in the country for banking and telecommunications profits as just proposed under the 2011 Budget. May I restate that the windfall tax was very bad in the first place because it was based on taxing sales revenue as opposed to taxing profit which is against the general principle of taxation. Let me also state here that the removal of the windfall tax was done in the best interest of Zambia and the review of its appropriateness came much earlier than this administration of President Banda.

Further, as I have stated before, there is no other country in the world that charges the windfall tax that was imposed in this country.

Mr Muntanga: It is there!

Dr Musokotwane: Therefore, we should really be careful, if no other country charges that tax, and ask where the wisdom is that such a tax can be introduced in our country.

Mr Speaker, the President of the Patriotic Front (PF), Mr Michael Sata, understands and fully supports the position of the Government on this matter ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: … as evidenced by two letters from him to the Government which have already been laid on the Table of this House.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: According to the second letter, Mr Sata is even against the variable income tax or extra tax on windfall profits from mining. He is very happy to have just ordinary income tax on mining.

Mr Speaker, the Vice-President of the PF, Hon. Dr Guy Scott, is also on record as having opposed the windfall taxes in this House. Unfortunately, the PF President and his vice president seem to have no control over the hon. Members of Parliament here who speak so passionately for the re-introduction of the windfall tax.

Hon. Members: Shame!

Dr Musokotwane: This, of course, just lends more credence to the widely-held view that the PF is a party without direction where anything can go, depending on the day and time …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: … because there are no hard-held policies and principles shift, depending on what is politically expedient at the time. Such a party can never advance the economy of this country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, let me quote from the famous book with the title From Third Word to First World by Lee Kuan Yew, the long-serving former Prime Minister of Singapore who transformed the City State from Third World to First World status in about three decades. It reads:

“If I have to choose one word to explain why Singapore succeeded, that word is confidence. This is what made foreign investors site their factories and refineries here.”

Clearly, with the two or four habits of the PF, no serious investor can risk their money in Zambia under their administration.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Under those circumstances, the slogan of money in people’s pockets will just remain wishful sloganeering.

Mr Speaker, we have to remember that mines have lives. As we open new mines, we have to think about when to open the next. We should not just continue to absorb the jobless, but also the current mining labour force even when the existing mines close.

Mr Speaker, with windfall tax which, in effect, was taking net effective taxes between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of profits for certain mines, Zambia could not think of attracting new mines to add on or replace the existing ones, but where are the new jobs to come from? I understand that the Government needs to raise a lot of resources for development programmes, through taxation, especially of the mining sector, but this does not need to be done at the expense of investment and future growth of the industry. We do not need to be short-sighted and think of today without considering the future of the country and the next generation.

Mr Speaker, the mining sector needs to be sustained now and for the future. Jobs need to be secured today and tomorrow and the country needs to continue attracting investments so that we do not deviate from the growth path we have set on.

Mr Speaker, I have just two brief comments to make as I conclude. There have been statements here about the share of PAYE in the total revenue of the country. As people have correctly indicated, for Zambia, 26 per cent of the tax revenue now is attributed to PAYE, but Zambia is not the highest country in this respect. The competitive figure is for South Africa, which is a much bigger economy than ours, at 32 per cent, in other words 32 per cent of all the taxes collected in South Africa comes from PAYE.

In Malawi, 31 per cent of all the taxes contributed come from PAYE. Therefore, Zambia is not the worst in this respect. Just to give a few other examples, in Namibia, the ratio is 22 per cent and in Kenya it is 21 per cent. Therefore, it is wrong to give people the false impression that Zambia is an outlier, in other words, exceptional in that at 26 per cent most of the tax revenue comes from PAYE. Thus, we are within the normal range. Obviously, as the mining sector comes into the tax-paying position, as I have indicated, what we will see is that company tax, especially from mining, will go up and, obviously, the share from PAYE will come down. I thought I should clarify that point because there have been misleading statements made about it.

Lastly, there was a statement to the effect that it is misleading to put the Government’s contribution to the Pension Fund as social protection because these are just arrears. The Government has no arrears of any significant amount to the Pension Fund. The contributions go to the Pension Fund every month, but the Pension Fund itself, due to some demographic factors, becomes unviable in the sense that there are more people who are retiring now compared to those who are getting into jobs. Pensions are funded by contributions from people who are in employment now plus, of course, other income from investments. The people in employment now are the ones who provide the cash to pay off those who have retired.

In the case of the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF), the number of people who are retiring, just by the demographic situation, is much bigger than that of people who are starting new jobs to create cash to pay off those who have retired. As far as the Government is concerned, we are on track, but the Pension Fund, itself, is the one that has financial problems. We cannot call such a grant debt dismantling because we have no debt with them. This is really a true grant and true support to the Pension Fund.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I thank you, once again, for the opportunity to wind up debate and for all the other useful recommendations that are contained in your report and also that which came on the Floor of the House. We will take note of the recommendations, study them further and see which ones we can implement.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.




The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


VOTE 01 – (Office of the President – State House – K30,592,656,790).

The Acting Leader of Government Business in the House and Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you most sincerely for according me this opportunity to present the 2011 Estimates of Recurrent and Capital Expenditure for Vote 01/01 – Office of the President – State House.

Madam Chairperson, from the outset, let me state that the institution of State House plays a critical overarching and supervisory role in providing national guidance and overall policy direction to our country. Hon. Members are well aware that it is here where Executive functions are directed, through Cabinet, as well as other high level consultations. It is also, indeed, here where the Head of State oversees operations of the Government and excises his Executive duties. Given this mandate, the policy objective and role of State House has been outlined in the mission statement as follows:

“To provide visionary and effective economic, social and political leadership to the nation in line with the Constitution in order to facilitate sustainable development, promote peace, stability, the rule of law and democratic governance.”

Madam Chairperson, in support of this mission statement and to give its specific focus and direction, State House is served by the following goal:

“To effectively guide the operations of the Government, promote unity, attain economic growth and reduce corruption and poverty in the country.”

Madam Chairperson, State House has a key role and strategic interest in ensuring that national development programmes are carried out timely and effectively for the benefit of the nation as a whole. However, the institution has faced financial challenges in undertaking this role due to the absence of the budget line in previous years’ budgets. It is for this reason that the institution has introduced a budget line for monitoring the implementation of national development policies and programmes in order to enhance the delivery of national development.

State House has further continued to pursue its role of providing overall national guidance by working closely with both local and international stakeholders in providing direction to the economy. Through this guidance, the Zambian economy has maintained stability necessary for further growth, hence the performance of planned programmes and activities. State House has largely remained on course and within the confines of available resources. The on-going activities will continue on the basis of the estimates before this august House.

Madam Chairperson, I now move on to the 2011 Budget Estimates for State House. For the information of hon. Members, State House functions are performed through three key departments, namely:

(a) Residential Secretariat – which is responsible for the efficient and effective execution of the Presidential day-to-day programmes;

(b) Advisory Services –  which comprises five distinct areas of specialisation with the critical role of providing professional and technical buck stopping to His Excellency the President on various divergent matters that are brought to the attention of the highest office in the land; and

(c) Administration – which is charged with the main roles of efficiently and effectively manning staff and the provision of logistics and material support services in order to facilitate the smooth operations of the institution. In addition, administration is responsible for the maintenance of State House surroundings and management of State lodges and the State Lodge Farm.

The budget estimates before the House will enable State House to carry out operations of these departments as well as attend to personal emoluments, maintenance and servicing of the VIP fleet and maintenance of State House buildings.

Let me also mention that being part and parcel of the world community, it is necessary for State House to engage the global community in pursuance of peaceful co-existence and international co-operation necessary for the growth of our economy and society. It is for all of these programmes that I wish to appeal to hon. Members to support the budget estimates of State House as presented.

Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the estimates of expenditure for State House.

First and foremost, I wish to put it on record that the party in power must stop regarding State House as a Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) institution. State House is an institution for all Zambians. When the late Mr Mwanawasa, SC. was President, he wrote a letter to all hon. Members of Parliament asking us to help in monitoring the projects in our respective constituencies.

I also would like to put it on record that when Mr Mwanawasa, SC. was President, I wrote a lot of letters to him concerning a number of issues in my constituency and he acknowledged and answered these letters. Today, we have a President in State House who does not respond to or acknowledge letters written by hon. Members of Parliament.

Mr Lubinda: Shame!

Mr Kambwili: I have written about fifteen letters since His Excellency the President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, became President. He has not even written one letter of acknowledgement. One wonders why he does not acknowledge or respond to our letters. However, it is clear knowledge to all Zambians that he is a tourist who is busy touring the nation instead of working at State House.

Mr Lubinda: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: These unnecessary movements by the Head of State must come to an end. How can a President, on a campaign tour, go to Mbala, fly to Blantyre and then come back the same day in unexplained circumstances? I think what Hon. Mwape said yesterday to our colleagues on your right was the correct thing. They need to advise the President correctly. The idea of telling the President that what he is doing is right even when they know that the President is going wrong will backfire one day.

The people of Zambia have complained about the President’s movements. We had the Presidential Challenger plane even when Mr Mwanawasa, SC. was alive, but we did not see it being used the way it is being used at the moment.


Mr Kambwili: Nowadays, this plane is out of the country twice or, sometimes, three times in a month.

Hon. Opposition Members: In a week.

Mr Kambwili: Our colleagues in the Executive must realise that a trip by the President is expensive. Therefore, for some of the meetings, he can delegate to hon. Ministers who travel with a small entourage. When the President travels, he takes a big entourage, which is a huge cost to the Treasury. The people of Zambia have complained about this, but hon. Ministers stand up in this House to defend the President’s trips. On one of the trips, the President carried the Amayenge musical band to Nigeria, and yet we were told that he had gone to woo investors.

Mr Chota: They are Zambians also.

Mr Kambwili: How can he woo investors with the Amayenge dancing half-naked?


Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: Let us be serious about the way we handle resources of this country. The money we are allocating to State House is taxpayers’ money, and yet we allow the President to be using it anyhow, regardless of whether it is benefiting the nation or not. One can only think that the Blantyre trip was for personal business. The President had probably gone shopping because considering the time he spent in Malawi that day, I do not think he even had a meeting with a District Commissioner in that country.

Therefore, we should be extremely serious in advising the President because when the President falls, it is actually the entire Cabinet that has fallen. I would like to appeal to our colleagues on the right to advise the President properly when people complain. Political leadership is not about being a boss. One needs to provide leadership instead of behaving like a boss. When people say that they do not want mobile hospitals, a leader must listen and act according to the will of the people.


Mr Kambwili: When people say that they want the reintroduction of windfall tax, it should not take the President to say that the Government is not going to reintroduce windfall tax. Just like Hon. Siliya said yesterday, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning today said that the president of the Patriotic Front (PF) has no control over his hon. Members of Parliament because they continue fighting for the reintroduction of windfall tax. We, in the PF, are not bootlickers. If Mr Michael Sata has made a mistake, we will tell him that he has made a mistake.

Madam Chairperson: Withdraw the word “bootlickers” and use the right word.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I withdraw that word.

We, in the PF, do not believe in allowing the president of our party to make wrong decisions and just watch. Therefore, I do not support the position that my president has taken, if at all he has, on the windfall tax. I still insist that windfall tax must be reintroduced. I do not mind what Mr Michael Sata thinks but, in my view, and on behalf of the people of Zambia, we must tell the PF President the truth. In the same vein, hon. Members on your right must also tell their President the truth. Let him stop gallivanting the whole world for no apparent reason at all.

Madam Speaker, this K1 billion budget line that the hon. Minister wants to introduce at State House for monitoring and implementation is just a way of stealing.

 Sorry, I withdraw the word ‘stealing’. It is just a way of abusing public funds. The monitoring and implementation of projects is supposed to be done by officers in the ministries.

After forty-six years of Independence, why should the President be the one to carry out this role? Why should we have a budget line for the President to do this? This has never happened before in the forty-six years of Zambia’s Independence. I, therefore, do not support this K1 billion introduction at State House for monitoring and implementation of projects because the MMD just wants to use this money for its campaigns. We are not going to allow the Ruling Party to use this House to introduce budget lines that are only going to benefit the MMD and its President because this is going against the wish of the Zambian people.

Please, look after State House. Surely, Madam Chairperson, through you, are hon. Ministers not ashamed of the state of State House when they drive along the Independence Avenue. Umwana ashenda, atasha nyina ukunaya. This  means if you do not travel, you cannot appreciate what other people do except what you do.


Mr Kambwili: Now, you people travel ...


The Chairperson: Order!

You may continue.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, I have been to the roads along which state houses are located such as the State House of Kenya, State House of South Africa, the White House of the United States of America and No. 10, Downing Street, London in England where the British Prime Minister lives and many other such places in the world. From, maybe, a distance of 500 metres or even 7 kilometres, you would see the cleanliness of the places. However, our State House, along Independence Avenue, is dirty, yet money is allocated to clean the surroundings. The dirtiness of the place can be seen ten metres away from the place. I urge the Government to be serious and find ways of making State House clean.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: Yes, both inside and outside.

Another place which is dirty is the State House Police Station which is just behind State House. If you cannot clean the police station behind State House, can you clean a police station in Shang’ombo?

Hon. Government Member: Where?

Mr Kambwili: Do not even ask where. State House is dirty because you have no political will, as a Government, to clean it.

One day, Madam Chairperson, through you, I will visit some of the houses of these hon. Members and hon. Ministers to see how they live because I have already seen the state of one hon. Minister’s house there by the corner of ...

Hon. Government Members: Where?

Mr Kambwili: ... Addis Ababa Drive. It is a pink two storey house. Whoever stays there should clean up that place. It is very dirty. You must be ashamed of yourselves.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: You are saying, “Aah” because even your homes are dirty. Clean your homes and State House. We want to have a State House that is clean.

The Chairperson: Order! Order!

Hon. Member, I think you should tone down. Use the right words. You may end up infringing on other people’s rights when you call them dirty. It is dangerous. Can you stick to your debate on State House.

You may continue.

Mr Kambwili: Thank you, Madam. All I am asking for is that when we allocate money for State House, it must be put to good use. It should be used to clean it so that when we have visitors from outside, they should, indeed, know that it is a house befitting that status. State House, at the moment, looks like nothing worth talking about.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to support the Vote for State House.

In doing so, I would like to echo the sentiments which have been raised by the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House that State House is a very important institution. In that context, I would like to urge him, in his capacity as hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, to give more resources to that institution.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: State House must not be seen to be begging for resources. It is an institution that is above all of us and must be given the due respect that it deserves just like the situation is anywhere in the world. I am happy that some of those who have contributed to this debate have made reference to similar buildings outside our borders. State House must be respected.

Madam Chairperson, there have been sentiments by some people to the effect that the presidential tours ,whether locally or abroad, are a waste of time and drain on national resources. The State House allocation must be supported because the President is supposed to undertake trips locally and abroad.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: The question that we must ask ourselves should be, firstly, are these trips productive or not? Are these trips justified? In my view, the trips which are undertaken by the Head of State are very productive.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: They are also justified.

Mr Kambwili: Question.

Mr Kasongo: Madam Chairperson, even those who are shouting the word ‘question’ are beneficiaries. Despite the hon. Member from that town continuing to shout the word ‘question’ let me point out that the President had to undertake a tour to attract investors who came and reopened the Luanshya Mine.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Secondly, the President undertook trips to attract a lot of money to put up good roads. The funding for works on the Mongu/Kalabo Road, which will be one of our best roads, has been sourced through the same trips. This is a national project which all of us are proud of. Therefore, those of us who have been longer in this House can make reference to a number of debates which have been made by successive hon. Members of Parliament from that area and other areas who have emphasised the importance of that road.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Such road works have been made possible because the President had undertaken trips during which he was able to enter into agreements that made it possible for resources to come to this country. The Mazabuka Mine, which is just nearby, was closed. Right now, it is operating. The coal mine in the area where my neighbour and very hardworking hon. Member of Parliament, Mr Muyanda, comes from, is now operational. All these mines are now operational because of the trips that have been undertaken by the Head of State.


Mr Muyanda: On a point of order, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: A point of jealousy.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muyanda: Madam Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member for Bangweulu, who is my good neighbour and someone I congregate together with at a Roman Catholic Church, in order to say that the Government has facilitated the production of coal at Maamba Coal Mine when, in fact, Nava Bharat has not even produced a tonne of coal? Production at the mine is on standstill and the workers have been laid off. There is nothing on site which can help to justify the privatisation of the mine by the Government. Is he in order to mislead the nation that Maamba Coal Mine is still operational when my good neighbour has never been to Sinazongwe?

Recently, there was a disaster at the only coal mine which is operational in Sinazeze where Chinese nationals shot at eleven people with two people getting seriously wounded in the process. Is he in order to continue misleading the nation that there is order in Sinazongwe and yet there is organised chaos by this Executive? I need your serious ruling, Madam.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: The hon. Member for Sinazongwe, I think, has fully debated the point of order.

The hon. Member for Bangweulu may continue.

Mr Kasongo: Thank you so much, Madam. Before the point of order was raised, I was saying that the trips that have been undertaken by the Head of State, both within and outside the country, are very productive. I have given a catalogue of achievements that have been made as a result of these trips.

Madam, I am aware that some people, who talk about the presidential tours which he takes outside the country, cannot travel to other countries because they may end up embarrassing the nation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: This is because when they travel, they lose their passport mysteriously …


Mr Kasongo: ... and travel back home under unexplained circumstances. Maybe, that is the reason they cannot travel. The Head of State needs to travel to other countries because we have given him the mandate to market the country beyond our borders.

Madam Chairperson, there is a perception in some foreign countries that Zambia is at war because of the stories that are fabricated by some people. When you arrive in some foreign countries, and are asked where you come from, people get amazed when you say you come from Zambia, because they think that the country is at war. Then you tell them that the country is peaceful.

Therefore, the Head of State should be able to travel out of the country to correct such perceptions.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: The President is supposed to be the marketing manager of this country. He is supposed to market our country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: If he just sits at State House, drinking tea, we will be the same people who will complain that other Heads of State market their countries by wooing investors and attracting tourists when ours is just in one place.

Major Chizhyuka: Surely, he cannot even watch the World Cup.

Mr Kasongo: The President is also supposed to visit his constituency, which is the Republic of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: He is supposed to go to Keembe to see what is happening there. In my own culture, a mere handshake with the Head of State brings a lot of excitement on the part of the voter.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: It helps a lot in an election. People must know their Head of State in the same way they must know their hon. Member of Parliament.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: How can you have a Head of State who is just confined to State House and does not know what is happening in Shan’gombo or Samfya? What kind of a President is that? Those who are claiming that the President travels too much are aware that during the election period, some of their presidents travelled a lot to get money from a lot of different people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Some of it was even confiscated in South Africa. Therefore, what are they talking about?

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Madam.


Mr Kasongo: Madam Chairperson, the President must be seen to travel.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, I stand on very serious point of order. Is this man, who is debating, …


Mr Kambwili: … sorry, the hon. Member debating, who is using his anger of being fired from the Patriotic Front (PF), …


Mr Kambwili: … to attack the party president in order not to declare interest that he is praising the MMD in his debate so that it can adopt him seeing that we will not adopt him?


Mr Kambwili: Is he in order to bring the issues of Mr Michael Sata in his debate when we know that he has a bone to chew with him for being fired from the party? I need your serious ruling.


Mr V. Mwale: So it is Mr Sata? We did not know that.

Hon. Member: Kanshi ni Sata?

The Chairperson: Order!

I think that we all need to tone down in the manner that we are debating. However, the point of order raised by Hon. Kambwili, just like the previous one, has been fully debated.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Therefore, Mr Kasongo may continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hammer!

Mr Kasongo: I thank you very much, Madam Chairperson. Even in the previous administration, where I was the only Independent hon. Member of Parliament, I stood up in this House and defended presidential trips ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Independent? You adopted yourself?

Mr Kasongo: … because I was able to speak with authority. The trips are the only way …

Major Chizhyuka: This man is great.

The Chairperson: Order!


Mr Kasongo: … the previous administration was able to attract a lot of investment.


Mr Kasongo: At the moment, there is a record of successes by this Government ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: … simply because the President has been travelling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: He has been attracting a lot of investors and tourists. Once addressed in a foreign country, tourists begin to pouring into the country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: What is wrong with that? Do you want our economy to be stagnant so that you have an opportunity to blast the same Government about having done nothing? We shall not allow that. Shame on you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Kasongo: Madam, while debating State House, let me also say that politics is about choices. I emphasise that politics is about making choices.

Hon. Member: Very intelligent.

Mr Kasongo: If, for example, the parliamentarians from the Luapula Province and their Chiefs have decided to support the President in the forthcoming elections, they have made their choice.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: If, for example, as some of my colleagues have said that I have been fired, the question is: At what cost? When you fire an intellectual, you should know that certain consequences will come your way.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: That is what happens.


Mr Kasongo: You remain with those who cannot defend the system.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: If, for example, we have been fired, …

The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Kasongo: … you look at the credentials …

The Chairperson: Order!

 Mr Kasongo: …of those parliamentarians …

The Chairperson: Order, Mr Kasongo!


The Chairperson: Order, ladies and gentlemen!

When a point of order is raised and the Chair does not refer it to you, but provides guidance, it is better that the decision is left alone. Do not debate the same issues that were not referred to you. Therefore, Mr Kasongo, debate without going to what I ruled out.

You may continue.

Hon. Government Members: Sosa, ichalo chilekumfwa.

Mr Kasongo: In a nutshell, I am saying that the President and his Cabinet should be supported ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: … in order for them to continue attracting both local and foreign investments. That is the shortest route that we can use to develop our country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: We have been praising the current hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, who is complemented by the entire Cabinet, about his performance. He manages to do what he does because he is supported by the Head of State.

When the Head of State goes out of the country to countries such as Singapore, he tries to establish why they have achieved so much. He considers what he can also do, using a similar model, to achieve the same.

The President travelled to the North-Western Province and was able to see the bad state of the Mutanda/Chavuma Road …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: … which is usually talked about in this House. He gave instructions for the hon. Minister responsible for roads to find money to attend to that road and the money was found.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Who cannot support such a hardworking Head of State?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: Kambwili.

Mr Kasongo: I cannot believe that some people cannot support such a Head of State. Sometimes, we should try to put our political differences aside and acknowledge the high performance of an individual.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Within two years, the President has made a record for himself because of his achievements. He continued from where his late brother left …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: … and has left no gap.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: The only problem we have is that there are some people, who, from the very beginning, portrayed the current President as a non-performer …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: … and they want to justify their position, but he has embarrassed them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: He has put them to shame. He is a hardworker and high performer. Within a record of two years, he has strengthened the achievements of the MMD.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: For some of us, adoption is not an issue since we can adopt ourselves.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasongo: I adopted myself in 2001. I was the only one.


Mr Kasongo: There were twelve competitors and I beat all of them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Why did you come to the PF?

Mr Kasongo: Even now, let them come.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasongo: I am a political veteran …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: …and I will show them that I own that constituency.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: In complimenting the Head of State and the Cabinet, I would like to urge them to continue to be forward looking. You should know the intention of other people. They would like to bring a revolution backwards so that, in 2011, they will say, “We told you that these people are non-performers.” However, a signal has already been established in Mpulungu Constituency …

Ms Lundwe: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: … that people are going to respect this Cabinet and …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: … the Head of State.

Mr Kambwili: And in Chilanga!

Mr Kasongo: Finally, let me use this opportunity to, also, appeal to our brothers and sisters and our fathers and mothers, who have been anointed by God to preach the Word of God, to stop attacking State House. You are talking about the Presidency and not an individual. If, for example, they have a grudge against some policies that this Government has put in place, they are at liberty to walk into State House and compare notes with the Head of State.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: You cannot expect a man of God to attack the Head of State. For example, I am a Catholic and I know that when our priests pray, they always begin their prayers with these very important words, “Peace be with you.”


Mr Kasongo: However, they are so destructive.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: They are preaching hatred. They do not know that such words have the potential of inciting people to go to war.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Kasongo: They have to know that. One does not expect a priest, for example, to use vulgar language against the Head of State or any leader for that matter.

Mr Mushili: On a point of order, Madam


Mr Kasongo: Madam Chairperson, in this context, allow me, as a Catholic, to congratulate His Grace Medardo Mazombwe on having been elevated to the position of cardinal.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: He is a shining example.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Kasongo: He was able to preach peace when he was Archbishop of this country, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: … but for others, I do not know whether they are priests by accident or by design.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushili: On a point of order, Madam.

Mr Kasongo: I do not know.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you and I support this Motion. I also urge the members of the Cabinet to continue being focussed and support the Head of State so that they achieve a lot for this country because we need them.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the Vote on the Office of the President. I thought that it is appropriate to make a few comments on the presidential allocations because I am one of the very few people who are entitled to say something on this Vote.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer, hammer!{mospagebreak}

Mr Milupi: Madam Chairperson, there must be order in the nation and in our system of governance. That is why, sometimes, I get very worried. In 2006, the people of this land decided to present to the country a fairly balanced Parliament. If you look at the statistics for 2006, you will notice that the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) had more hon. Members of Parliament, although by a slight margin. The wish of the Zambian people was to have a balanced House so that issues could be debated on those lines. Clearly, as a result of mismanagement of political parties, today, we have a House that is not that balanced. It is a very clear indication that many, in the Opposition now, support the Ruling Party.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Therefore, we have a very unbalanced House …

Mr Munaile: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: … unlike what the House presented in 2006.

 Mr Milupi: Madam Chairperson, let us talk about the Presidency itself. It is true that the Presidency is the Executive of this nation. The Presidency should stabilise the nation because it is upon that institution that all eyes in the land look up to. It is an institution that gives hope. In order for it to function well, he or she who holds that office must listen to the cries of the people on every subject. That person must pay attention and take into consideration the views of the people. That is why, if you look at the direction of debate on a number of issues such as metal prices, windfall tax, bank interest rates, the fight against corruption, abuse of public resources and even the mobile hospitals, I think, the general mood of the people is that something different ought to have been done rather than the general policy direction that this Government has taken.

Mr Kambwili: Ema presidents aya!

Mr Milupi: However, in order to focus on the will and wishes of the people, there needs to be stability. No one can seriously think that you can have a president of a nation who does not travel. Therefore, those who debate to make those who question the frequency of these travels appear as though they are saying that the President should not travel at all are deliberately misleading the nation. It is important for the President to travel, but what is being questioned is the frequency and duration of these travels.

Madam Chairperson, earlier on, we talked about a State Visit to China that lasted ten days. According to international diplomacy, that was abnormal because it does not happen anywhere. Therefore, it disappoints me when Cabinet Ministers and all those who support them stand on the Floor of this House to say that the President has to undertake these trips to bring investment to the country or ensure that projects move.

Madam, what is the function of this Cabinet? What is the function of our diplomats? Not long ago, this country came to the conclusion that, in fact, previous presidents had given directives that even hon. Ministers had to lessen their tours, but make better use of diplomats. That has been the direction in which this country has been moving in an effort to conserve resources.

Mr Lubinda: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: For me, it is not just about conserving resources, but also to ensure that there is proper concentration on the things that need to be done in this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: You cannot concentrate on the issues that we talk about here if you are not in this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: That is not to say that the hon. Government Members should not travel.

Madam Chairperson, if you look at the budget for State House, you will notice that there is a 30 per cent increase from K23 billion to K30.5 billion. What is accounting for this increase? Is it these frequent travels? This is a lot of money. The provincial allocations are also in the same ballpark area. I question whether funding this particular institution like we are funding entire provinces is spending money wisely. I would have thought that the people living in these provinces would have made far better use of these resources.

Madam Chairperson, listening to the debate of hon. Cabinet Ministers on the need for the President to travel, I would go further by saying that if, indeed, all the investment that is coming into this country is due to President Banda’s visits, why do we have the Cabinet? We can save money by firing the whole lot of them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Let the President do the job alone because we do not need them. We can save even more money by bringing all the diplomats back home to enable the funding of more Presidential trips so that the President can bring more development.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Madam Chairperson, when we raise issues such as the Monitoring and Evaluation line, it is for the sake of this nation. We are part and parcel of the Government. The Government has three arms and Parliament, which consists of the Ruling Party and the Opposition, is one of them. Therefore, when we speak, we are not enemies of the Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Madam Chairperson, please, listen to the cries of the people over this line, the Monitoring and Evaluation, that you are seeking to introduce because it is totally unnecessary. If you look at other lines such as Transport Management, which includes the challenger, it has gone up to K7,890,215,000. The Office Administration allocation has moved from K860,655,000 to K2,202,640,000. These are the issues that take presidential travel into account and this includes the so-called monitoring of projects. There is no chief executive officer of any corporation anywhere in the world whose prime responsibility is to monitor projects in his corporation. That is your role and that is why you, Cabinet Ministers, get paid. You are overloading the President and you are being unfair to him.

Madam, earlier on, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning talked about pensions. He said we have problems with our pension funds because of demographic issues. He made a statement which I found very interesting. He said that there were more people retiring than those getting jobs. He is right. These are the same issues that we are talking about. Even as the economy is growing, according to the Government’s statistics, the number of people getting employment is getting less to the extent that the hon. Minister is now accepting that those getting in employment are fewer than those retiring. We cannot run an economy like this. It is on issues like this that we need the concentration of a Head of State to give direction on these issues. The Cabinet is the one that should seek this investment and inspect these projects.

Madam Chairperson, this Yellow Book has been termed, ‘Activity Based Budget’ and to borrow the words of Hon. Hachipuka, as a manager, I fully understand what an activity based budget is all about. You look at what needs to be done and allocate resources.

On a final note, the animals at State House have reduced in number because of that naughty monkey. Therefore, there are fewer animals to look after. Therefore, why has the budget gone up from K80,880,000 to K100,940,000 on animals when the monkeys are no longer there? We, therefore, request that the Government looks into these issues.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to focus a little bit on the Secretarial, Advisory and Administration departments that the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House mentioned. I think they ought to do their work properly. They need to advise the President and if they are worth their salt, the President must listen to them so that a number of these issues are sorted out. Sometimes, I wonder even why a number of these activities are undertaken.

The MMD Government of today has a wonderful opportunity to do so much for this country. The economies in the Middle East, starting from the early 1970s, began to boom because the oil prices went up and that is how the high scrappers were constructed. That is how they invested in all parts of the world. You, too, have an opportunity to do the same for this country. God has given us this gift of booming copper prices and it is up to you, as Cabinet Ministers and the advisors at State House, to use this opportunity to develop the country. That is why we keep raising these issues. 

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

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to comment on the State House Vote which we are to approve this evening. Firstly, may I congratulate my dearest United Party for National Development (UPND) colleagues for a job well done. I congratulate them, once again, for flushing out the MMD by gaining the Chilanga seat.  It was a Cabinet position, but now this seat has gone to a UPND Backbencer.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: You are wonderful people. I also want to say …

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: You stole our votes!

Mr Muyanda: Listen to us. We are not like you. We also congratulate you for retaining your seat in Mpulungu. That is how fair play is done. Next time, you have to be very careful before you fire people. Do not dismiss useful people otherwise you will lose your seats. When you fire one of those hon. Ministers, you will regret.

Madam Chairperson, I want to come to a very important point. When I looked at this financial allocation to State House, I got a shock of my life. I thought something was seriously amiss. I went through the document nicely and carefully, but could not see the allocation for the golf course at State House. I have told you, time and again, that I was a sports administrator and I have a passionate desire to see fair play. Where is the allocation for the State House Golf Course? The golf course had equipment before both President Banda and the late President Mwanawasa, SC. came into power. There was a golf course at State House which was well cared for. It had manicured lawns and was wonderful, but it has disappeared into thin air. That means that something is wrong. I am talking about sports and this is not just from nowhere. Where is the allocation for the golf course? Tell the nation. What has happened to the greens and the flags that were there? I cannot see anything in this book for the golf course.

Madam Chairperson, on behalf of the people of Sinazongwe, I am very disappointed that an institution that once flourished and even had State House members is no longer there. It was a club on its own and generated money to give to the poor and the under privileged such as the children at Kasisi Orphanage. Where have you taken that golf course?


Mr Muyanda: Do not smile. You like bringing trivial issues to this august House and we raise issues which make sense. You think you are bright by bringing trivial issues. You should bring serious national matters.

Madam Chairperson, as regards caddies, those you see at Chainama, Chilanga and all over the world are into caddying as a source of livelihood. It is also a form of employment. The shining example ought to start from State House. The performance of good sports in the nation should start from State House.

Madam Chairperson, in this Budget, there should have been a specific Budget for the golf course. Some of our colleagues, the hon. Ministers, who are not fit, including His Excellency the President, would have been exercising by playing golf.

Mrs Musokotwane: A lot of them are sick.

Mr Muyanda: Madam Chairperson, playing golf promotes good health. It is a sport, but where is it at State House?


Mr Muyanda: Where is the golf course you promised the people of Zambia? It belongs to the Zambians. They would like to see junior golfers learn how to play golf at the State House Golf Club. In future, we should be able to produce a number of good golfers annually. Golf is a source of employment in most countries. In the United States of America (USA), they spend billions of dollars on this game. You are ignoring a fact. When we tell you constructively, you say …

The Chairperson: Order!

Tell them through the Chair.

Mr Muyanda: I thank you, Madam Chairperson. I am much obliged.

Madam Chairperson, this is (lifting the Yellow Book) a National Budget. Show me where the budget line for the new golf course is. There is nothing.


Mr Muyanda: This is not how we are supposed to run a nation.

Madam Chairperson, infrastructure for the golf course was established before His Excellency the President, Mr Rupiah Banda, moved into State House. This is pure mismanagement of sports at the highest level. 

Mr Muntanga: From the top!

Mr Milupi: Golf!

Mr Muyanda:   Golf.


Mr Muyanda: Hon. Kaingu used to be one of the best golfers in this country. I am happy that he is here. Hon. Minister, you know very well that you were a golfer and not a hacker. You used to play off five handicap.

Mr Chilembo: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Mr Chilembo: Madam Chairperson, is it in order for the hon. Member to continuously debate the same item, golf? Is that not tedious debate? I seek your serious ruling.


The Chairperson: Order!

The Chair takes that point of order very seriously. Mr Muyanda, you have made your point on golf. It really is tedious repetition. Can you now move onto something else apart from golf.

You may continue.

Mr Muyanda: Madam Chairperson, I am very much obliged. However, may I …

The Chairperson: Order!

No more golf.


Mr Muyanda: Madam Chairperson, I thank you very much for guiding me. There will be no more talk about golf. I am not qualifying your guidance.

Hon. Member: You were not prepared to debate.


Mr Muyanda: Madam Chairperson, I was very well prepared to debate. Sports ought to start from State House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: State House should give a shining example like Dr Kaunda did when he played some good sports.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: He used to play very good sports and jog as well. That was a shining example of good sportsmanship from the Head of State. This is where sports ought to start from. State House should set an example of producing good, young sportsmen ...

The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muyanda: … instead of them …

The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muyanda, you will not be clever.


The Chairperson: Can he move from sport and golf to something else. That point has been made very clear.


The Chairperson: I think that the House has heard your passion for sport, golf, in particular. Can you now bring in another point otherwise, it becomes tedious. It is one of the rules of the House that you do not debate the same matter over and over again. The point has been made, now move on.

Mr Muyanda: Madam Chairperson, seniority is a joy …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: … to be in this august House. When one comes to this House well disciplined and well behaved, he or she always respects the verdicts of the Chair.

Madam Chairperson, I am very humbled by your good guidance. However, may I proceed?


Mr Muyanda: Madam Chairperson, Programme 8 …


Mr Muyanda: Madam Chairperson, may I, please, be protected?


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muyanda, you know that you are fully protected, but you are responding to hecklers. What matters is that if you debate through the Chair, you will have full protection.

You may continue.

Mr Muyanda: Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Madam, in the Commonwealth common practice, filibustering is allowed. However, when it becomes outrageous, for a senior Member of Parliament, it is not acceptable.


Mr Muyanda: I would like to move on to Programme 8, Activity 04 –Landscaping and Gardening – K200,945,000. Gardening at State House is very important. The grass at State House must be trimmed and smooth like a carpet as it is in America. We are no different from America and, therefore, it should not be any different. After all, we have the best weather. Water at State House must be abundant.

Madam Chairperson, some time back, we went to State House for the Sichifulo case. It was disappointing to find a disastrous situation. The grass was withering because of the heat. There must be properly qualified horticulturists to trim and manicure the grass. It should be a scenic, picturesque place with wonderful topography, appearing like …


The Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Member is not to be guided by other hon. Members. Speak freely.


Mr Muyanda: Madam Speaker, the scenic and beautiful topography of any public institution such as State House should be fit. The appearance itself must give an indication that there is an Executive in place.

Hon. UPND Member: Not just travelling!

Mr Muyanda: Madam Chairperson, running or governing a State in an airplane, shuttling between one capital and the next is what the members of the general public are complaining about. Should we be governed from a DC10 or a Challenger? No.

The people of Zambia are saying that you have the ambassadors and commercial attachés who are specialised in undertaking negotiations and luring investors. It is not the job of the Head of State to do this. In 2002, President Mwanawasa, SC., in this House, was very emphatic in making the point that Zambia would have career diplomats. Where is the career diplomacy? A career diplomat will facilitate any negotiations of any magnitude because he has the capacity. Should it take the whole Head of State to bring investors from China? I give an emphatic no to that question. Zambia should not be governed from aeroplanes.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Lands (Mr Mabenga): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the estimates of expenditure for State House.

Madam Chairperson, the party in Government has a total of about 1.3 million committed members in the country. In 2001, these members made the decision to let the late President stand, and consequently, he won. In 2006, they made the same decision. In 2008, we lost our President and the same members made a decision to adopt President Rupiah Banda as their Presidential candidate and he won.

Madam Chairperson, when a person is given leadership, even those at the village level, like headmen, know what it means to be given a leadership role. They must be able to lead in every way. They must be able to get the things that the people want in their village. In this case, we are talking of a country which is a larger village, State House and Zambia itself. Therefore, when President Banda is doing what he is doing, he is doing it on behalf of the Zambian people because they are the ones who elected him.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Madam Chairperson, unfortunately, we cannot help those who do not see and hear from this House. They should get their eyes scrapped so that they can see well.


Mr Mabenga: Madam Chairperson, it is true that any country belongs to a certain grouping. In this region, there is the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and all these groupings where you cannot send a minister. You cannot send a minister to talk to other Presidents at the AU. You are refusing because you do not know this. There are certain decisions that have to be made by Heads of State and therefore, Heads of State must attend them. President Rupiah Bwezani is a Head of State whether you like it or not. He is the President whether you are going to look for medicine in Kalikiliki the whole night or not. Even if you wake up tomorrow, President Banda will still be there and you will still be just a Member of Parliament or somewhere craving for power which you will not get.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: I am emphasising that the President belongs to a group of other Presidents and, so, when the President is invited to go for a SADC Meeting, what should we do? For example, the discussion will be on the committee he chairs in SADC. What is he going to do? Is he going to get a Minister who does not know what they discussed in their earlier meetings? He will not. He has to go himself. Yes, there are certain times he delegates to trips ministers. We know that Hon. Dr. Mwansa has just come back. We also know that, currently, His Honour, the Vice-President is in China. These people have been delegated with his responsibilities. The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs always travels to represent His Excellency, the President. I was trying to emphasise that there is no butterflying that you are talking about. You should understand that he has to work and represent this country. He should also be able to speak the views of the people of this country because he belongs to these groupings that I have just talked about here.

Madam Chairperson, indeed, State House is a national institution. How many political leaders have accepted to attend national functions at State House?  Let them tell us now.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hon. Milupi!

Mr Mabenga: Hon. Milupi, we forgot that you are a President.


Mr Mabenga: We will put you on the list of Presidents so that you are invited.

Madam Chairperson, it is a fact that is known by everybody in this nation that the minute the late President, Dr Mwanawasa, SC. was adopted as President, some person did not have very good nights. Some person spent all his time going round to the media to write about the late President just over his adoption.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ulula, mudala!

Mr Mabenga: That person spent all his time and energies seething about this adoption. He even lost weight and did everything he could to become a presidential candidate, as the MMD, we said no …

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: … because we had a person whom we knew was going to develop this in the name of the late President, Dr Mwanawasa, SC. First and foremost, the other person could not be adopted because we did not allow people who smoke too much into State House. We did not like that.


Mr Mabenga: Madam Chairperson, State House is an organised institution. In State House, we do not want papers to be burnt by stubs of cigarettes.


The Chairperson: Order!

Could the hon. Deputy Minister come back to the debate. Do not debate in a manner that will make people start imagining who this ‘some person’ is. The entire House should get back to real issues as we debate. If there are no sincere points that will be raised on State House, we may as well move on. I think all of you are debating issues that are just related, but not ones that can make an impact on what we are doing now.

The hon. Minister may continue.

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

Madam, at State House, there is a system of operations. The President has special assistants who deal with particular areas. For example, there is an aide who deals with project implementation. He must be able to move around the country to see what is happening. He has to do that so that he does the on-the-spot check and inform His Excellency the President about his findings. There is an aide who deals with agriculture. This person must go and inspect projects and come back and report thereon. There is an aide who deals with economic affairs. There is one who deals with legal affairs. We have quite a number of these people. First and foremost, it is important for these aides to be mobile so that they can go round to check on what is obtaining on the ground and come back to report because the President cannot be all over the country at one time. These people should go and get facts for him so that he knows what is happening in the country.

Madam Chairperson, I am emphasising the fact that what is allocated in the Yellow Book for monitoring …


The Chairperson: Order!

Continue debating through the Chair. Do not listen to hecklers.

Mr Mabenga: Madam Chairperson, there is someone who is opening the mouth too wide and so, I was wondering whether he wants ....

The Chairperson: Order!

Look at the Chair, then, you will not see the mouths.

Mr Mabenga: Madam Chairperson, indeed, it is true that hon. Members of Parliament should have an opportunity, especially those who are well-meaning to see the President. The President has never refused to see anyone. Therefore, if you stand here and begin to make noise and ridicule him, how will he look at you when you go there?


Mr Mabenga: How can some hon. Members, with their behaviour in this House, go and stand before the President? How will the President relate with such a person?

 Hon. Government Members: Kambwili!

Mr Mabenga: Well, I do not want to mention people because they have taken and inherited the strong cigarettes that their people have been smoking. Therefore, I am not going into that. I am talking about the stronger cigarettes.

 Hon. Government Members: Tujilijili!

Mr Mabenga: Tujilijili and all that kind of stuff.


Mr Mabenga: Madam Chairperson, it is a pity that we have hecklers who do not want to listen to what we are saying. It is important that they understand that, as President Banda goes round the country, he is doing his job. There is nothing wrong with a president going round the country to see what is happening. There is also nothing wrong with the President being invited by a fellow president. For example, Professor Mbingu wa Mutharika invited him to Malawi. Should he have turned down that invitation? He was also invited to Nigeria. Should he have refused to go? Recently, he was invited to Botswana. Should he have turned down that invitation? Obviously, the answer is no. Therefore, it is important that he responds to these invitations because that is the international way of doing things.

The problem with people who have never been managers in any office is that they cannot understand these issues because they do not know what management is all about. Maybe, they have never sat down with two or three people to have organised Monday meetings. Hon. Kasongo was my Permanent Secretary at the time I was Minister of Tourism Environment and Natural Resources. Ask him how he used to organise programmes in the ministry.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Therefore, if he stands to speak, he knows what he is talking about. However, if someone deals in scrap metal, he or she cannot meet and talk to the scrap metals.


Mr Mabenga: You cannot talk to scrap metal, but people, and people will be able to respond. Probably, it is the kwekelekwekele sound that would be coming from the scrap metal.


Mr Kambwili Interjected.


Mr Mabenga: Madam Chairperson, my emphasis …

Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Madam.

Mr Mabenga: Hey you! I will disown you. Sit down! Sit down! Sit down!


The Chairperson: Order! Order!

I think that the hon. Members are now regulating themselves.


The Chairperson: The hon. Deputy Minister cannot tell another Member to sit down.


The Chairperson: He should wait for the Chair to do that. However, I do not know how the other hon. Member responded.


The Chairperson: You may continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Mabenga: I am sorry, Madam Chairperson, I did that because he is my nephew.

The Chairperson: There are no nephews in here.


Mr Mabenga: Otherwise, I do not know why he behaves in that manner.


Mr Mabenga: Furthermore, I am his National Chairperson and he knows that.


Mr Mabenga: He is just on the other side for convenience’s sake.


Mr Mabenga: Madam, I wish to emphasise that the estimates of expenditure for State House must be supported to assist that institution. This institution is important to all of us and we should understand that whatever moneys we give to this institution is for the good of that institution. Whoever is doing work is doing it for the benefit of the people of this country and all of us gathered here.

Therefore, Madam Chairperson, I would like to urge my hon. Colleagues to take serious consideration, as we debate this Vote, to support the estimates of expenditure for State House.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam Chairperson, allow me to adopt the debate by Hon. Milupi and I would like to buttress a number of very important issues that he raised.
Madam, I would also like to reiterate some statements that were made by my colleague, Hon. Chishimba Kambwili, …

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Lubinda: … and some statements made by my good friend, senior Member of Parliament for Sinazongwe, …

Major Chizhyuka: Oh, finish!

Mr Lubinda: … Hon. Muyanda.

Madam, I also agree with the sentiments of Hon. Kasongo and the National Chairperson of the MMD, who, however, mentioned a word I did not understand, the “kwekelekwekele”.


Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, the Office of the President is extremely important and that is why it appears under Head 01 in the Budget. This is intended to show the significance of that office.

Madam, all of us in this House agree that this office deserves respect. All of us ought to respect the office of presidency and its occupant. The boss deserves the respect, first of all, of this House, and secondly, the people out there.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Unless we, who are gathered here, show respect to the Office of the President, we should not expect the people out there to respect it.

However, I would like to say that those who are closest to the fire, feel the heat first and they are the ones who should lead by example. They are the ones who should show everybody else that that office deserves to be respected. If they do not respect that office, they should not expect others, who are distant from the office, to respect it.

Over and above that, even from the debate in this House, those who are closest to that office must not dare others to say bad words about that office. That is the reason we should not trivialise the debate on State House or the Office of the President. We ought to handle the debate and give it the decorum that the office deserves.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Lubinda: It is totally unnecessary and trivial to bring in people who are not here while debating the Office of the President and its allocation, and talk about cigarettes, beer and women. It does not add to the decorum of this office. We ought to debate it with a sober mind. I hope that those who will speak after me will try and be sober about it. It is not an office that should be used to engage into little inter-party quarrels and fights. No. We should handle it as office number one of the land.

In saying so, I would like to propose that those who sit with His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, for whom taxpayers pay tax to run that office, must be assisted a lot. I am sure that the National Chairperson of the Ruling Party knows this too well. The Office of President has been declared by many presidents before as a very lonely office and it is the duty of those he chose to work with him in Cabinet to make sure they protect the office and advise it adequately.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: It is not good to watch the President become emotional and make statements that attract abuse. It is surely less than presidential, and my colleague ought to know this very well. For example, saying “Mwa viona vimasilu” about other citizens …

Ms Lundwe: Te fyakale ifyo!

Mr Lubinda: … is not presidential. It is not fair for the President to be watched while he is saying “Chioneni kuipa kumanso”.


Mr Lubinda: That is not presidential.

As I said, Madam Chairperson, the Office of President is a very lonely office. It is, therefore, the duty of my colleagues in Cabinet to adequately advise His Excellency the President. When he says about others, “Mwaviona vimasilu”, what does he expect of those he has called “vimasilu” except for them to ask? If, we, the ones you are governing over, are the “vimasilu”, then who are you? That is not respectful at all.

Madam, I would like to suggest to my colleagues in the Ruling Party, such as my good friend, Hon. Mulongoti, not to make it difficult for us to respect the Presidency. Make it easy for us to respect that office in the manner that you conduct yourselves and defend that office. When we see you appear to be defending blindly, then we will go back to the fable that was given by Hon. Mwape yesterday. That is totally uncalled for. We do not want that.

Now, going straight to the Budget, Madam Chairperson, let me suggest to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that he should take cognisance of the fact that while the total Budget has grown by 23 per cent, only State House’ has increased by more than 23 per cent. Why is it so? Why has the budget allocation to State House grown not by 23 per cent, but by 30 per cent? This is being called “A People’s Budget from a People’s Government”, and yet you are giving more money to yourselves than you are giving the people? That does not make sense. There is a 30 per cent increase, and yet, in 2006/2007, those who were there will remember that when I asked why the Government had increased the allocation to State Lodge, the then Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning, standing there, eloquently said, “Do not worry, after this allocation, we will have invested enough in State Lodge and will not require more support for it.” Why is it that this year, we have doubled the allocation to State Lodge? What is the rationale behind that? When are we going to stop investing in the State Lodge because it is supposed to be a stand alone institution which is supposed to generate profit?

How come you are asking the poor taxpayers to continue to finance investments at State Lodge?

Hon. Milupi asked a pertinent question whether forty-six years after Independence is when we have realised that the President has to monitor projects.

Mr Mubika: All Presidents have done that.

Mr Lubinda: Can you explain where the late President Levy Mwanawasa, SC. was getting the money for inspecting projects? Where were Presidents Dr Kaunda and Dr Chiluba getting the money from?

Hon. Member: It was from the Zamtrop Account and the Slush Fund.

Mr Lubinda: Why is it that this has become an issue now? While you are asking us to approve a K1 billion allocation for Monitoring and Evaluation, you are, at the same time, asking us to approve a K3 billion increase to the General Administration line. What is the administration for if it does not include monitoring of projects? I would like to state that, from this side of the House, we say that the K1 billion is a very suspicious inclusion in the budget because we have always known that the President has monitored and supervised projects without having a specific line called Monitoring and Evaluation.


Mr Lubinda: After all, when has a President ever become a project monitor? A Head of State cannot be a project monitor. I want to state that I, for one, and my colleagues on your left will oppose the K1 billion allocation to this strange animal called monitoring.


Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, my colleagues have commented on the matter of trips and I agree with the National Chairman (Mr Mabenga) and Hon. Kasongo that it is important for the President to undertake trips. I also agree entirely that a Head of State cannot delegate to a Minister to attend a meeting of Heads of State and that is where our worry is.

Madam Chairperson, not too long ago, there was a UN General Assembly taking place in New York. Who went? I wish the National Chairman were here because I would like to respond to him by saying that had the President gone to the General Assembly, we would not have complained. He sent the hon. Minister of Defence and instead went to celebrate the Independence of Nigeria. Does that make sense? When we complain and say that the priorities are wrong, and Hon. Major Chizhyuka has always said that we should put our priorities right, we are saying that instead of him going to the UN General Assembly where presidents were discussing important international matters, he went to dance chikokoshi in Nigeria.


The Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Lubinda will withdraw the statement of ‘dancing chikokoshi’.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw that statement, however, let me remind my colleagues …

The Chairperson: Order!

And replace it because it will not complete the sentence.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I have withdrawn the whole sentence. Maybe, I should replace it by saying, he chose to go and enjoy caviar and champagne whilst celebrating the Independence Day of Nigeria.

Mr Malwa: That is hearsay. Have respect.

Mr Lubinda: He carried the Amayenge who went and played very nice music to which I danced chikokoshi.


Mr Mukuma: You should give respect to the Head of State.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I have tried to analyse the trips of the President over the last few months, from January to date. He is our President and we expect him to be in the country with us to share our successes, miseries and sorrows, and yet from January to end of September, in a period of 272 days, the President has been out of this country 39 per cent of the time. 103 days and of these, 58 per cent of the time, he has been out of Africa and that is the reason Hon. Muyanda was asking the question, “Do we want to be governed from the air?”

Madam Chairperson, we know that State House is a very busy office, how come Mr Rupiah Banda manages to govern this country when he is airborne 58 per cent of the time?

The Chairperson: Order!

Address him by the right title.

Mr Lubinda: How does His Excellency the President manage to govern such a big country when he is spending 58 per cent of his time airborne? This is what is worrying us. I will lay a document on the Table for my colleagues to see and if they want to dispute what I have said, let them study it, then dispute. The document will clearly show you that not all these trips are the ones which the National Chairperson of the Ruling Party was talking about. They were not trips to meet with other Presidents. Some of the trips here are simply State visits whose mission is not known by the Zambians. When he goes to China, we do not know what he goes to do there. We saw him go to Turkey, who appended a signature to the agreements. It was not the President and the negotiations were made beforehand. All he did was hold a glass of champagne. That is what we are describing as imprudent management of our resources.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to refer to another important matter and that is on how State House is being used. We want to respect State House and, therefore, it should be above board. It is not correct and it disheartens us to hear that such an important House, the Presidency, is being used for cutting deals. It injures and hurts us to hear that contracts are being discussed at State House.

Mr Mukuma: Can you substantiate that?

The Chairperson: Order!

What do you mean by cutting deals?

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I am talking about Government business projects being entered into at State House and negotiations starting from State House. When we hear this, we get worried and would like to suggest to our colleagues in Cabinet that all Government contracts be handled in a prudent manner or in a manner that is in keeping with the regulations of the State. This way, we will not bring the presidency into ridicule. It is their duty to ensure that it is easy for us to respect the presidency. If the occupant of State House and his colleagues do not make it easy for us, I am afraid, they should not cry when the people criticise that House and, indeed, its occupant.

Madam Chairperson, I rest my case with an appeal to my colleagues to make it easy for everybody to respect the Presidency. If not, the ball lies squarely in their lap.

I thank you.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Madam Chairperson, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Vote.

Mr Lubinda laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, I have taken time to look at the budget for State House and noticed that there has been an increase. I am one of the hon. Members who advocated for an increase in the allocation to State House because it was too low. I remember that there have been concerns to the effect that the salary of the President was too low, but now this increase of about K7 billion to the State House Budget will help because it includes salaries. I think it is good that you will pay the members of staff well and this should also be extended to every employee of the Government. If you are going to increase the salaries of those at State House by 30 per cent, I hope that as we go through this Budget, we shall find out that you have also taken care of the emoluments for other Public Service workers. If that has been done, then you have done a good job.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, I am not going to talk about the trips of the President because I cannot see its allocation here. What worries me with this budget is that it does not show the plane expenses clearly. Are the plane expenses under the budget line for Cabinet Office? If not, where are they in the Budget? These trips we talk about are taken using, as we all know, a hired plane, thus we need to show where exactly the plane expenses are in the budget before people begin to query why we have allocated K30,592,656,790 to State House which they may think is too much. Have we finally bought our own plane?  Where exactly are the expenses for the plane?

Mr Matongo: Yes.

Mr Muntanga: I can only see salaries being indicated in the budget. I have even made my own calculations, but can still not establish where the plane expenses are. However, since this is a campaign Budget, it is good that you have been open by showing us that you are going to spend K950,000,000 on your campaigns.

Madam Chairperson, it is unfortunate that we are approving this budget without being shown how money was spent in last year’s budget and on what. The supplementary estimates have not been indicated in this budget. It seems as though we gave State House K23 billion and expended all of it. That is not correct. When you look at the figures that we approved, it shows as if we have not used so much money because we have not funded certain projects. It is a problem to pass a budget when you have been provided us with very little information. We may be saying the money is too much, and yet it is not enough. We are made to give comments with no proper supportive statements.

Madam Chairperson, K950,000,000 for inspections translates into K6.3 million per constituency. I would suppose that the President wants to tour all the constituencies, meaning that he will only spend K6.3 million to fly in a chopper to each constituency. That is why I am saying that there must be some money somewhere for plane expenses. Since we are now indicating that the President will conduct monitoring and evaluation exercises, we also want to see allocations for such activities included in the expenses for hon. Ministers and hon. Members of Parliament …

Mr Matongo: Yes.

Mr Muntanga: … so that we can work around those figures. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has come up with something nice through this monitoring and evaluation initiative. We hope that, in this Yellow Book, we shall see where the monitoring and evaluation component has been included in the allocations to all the hon. Ministers so that we know how much money they are qualified to use.

Madam Chairperson, in my view, the President has decided to tie himself in a knot by giving an exact figure that he will spend on monitoring and evaluation. If we were strict with our rules and found that the President had used more than K950,000,000 without asking Parliament, we would label it as misuse of funds. However, since we are not strict with our rules, we will not know whether what is indicated was spent on this activity or not. To make matters worse, next year, especially after the elections, no one will query whether the President’s Office spent K950,000,000 or K4 or K5 billion on this activity.

Madam Chairperson, I am afraid that, perhaps, we are creating something close to a Slush Fund. There was a Slush Fund and the real budget for it was K1, but the money which was used was in billions of Kwachas. Things should be different now, unlike during the days of the One-Party State where the President used to use any money from any allocation on whatever he wanted to do, including the money which was budgeted for the Choma/Namwala Road. This budget, as it is, makes me a bit worried.

Mr Matongo: Not a bit worried. You are very worried.

Mr Muntanga: I am quite uncomfortable with the way certain allocations have been reflected in the budget. Despite comments having already been made about the animals at State House, I still want to know what happens at the State Lodge Farm since we always allocate money to it. Since running the State Lodge Farm costs us money, we should be privy to the information about what happens there. Is the farm growing? Is it just a farm that produces food for consumption at State House? Why are we allocating so much money to it? Why does the allocation keep increasing and how is the farm doing? The hon. Minister was right when he said that the farm should be able to generate funds because we spend money on it. To what extent is the farm generating money? We are being told to approve the budget for State Lodge Farm, and yet we have not been given enough information for us to know what happens there. It is very good that we have increased the ‘eating’ at State House from K1,306,558,949 to K1,878,204,928.

Mr Matongo: For the Mabengas.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, I think now party cadres who go to State House will not be restricted because we have increased the allocation from K1,306,558,949 to K1,878,204,928. However, even if the allocation for catering has been increased, we beg that, please, it be controlled.

Mr Matongo: Yes.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, they should not take advantage of the fact that when a few of our members want to excite themselves, they flock to State House to go and eat and drink and dine and spend excessively. That is what has, partly, caused the increase.

Madam Chairperson, I got so worried, as I sat there listening to what other hon. Members were saying about certain things not being clean at State House. They talked about the lawn being dirty and we are on air. We are talking about how unclean our State House is but, perhaps, this budget may clean up the State House. If we are able to talk about how embarrassed we feel about our State House, perhaps, we should budget for it. We should justify the activity of cleaning it up. However, how many times are we going to clean it up? Are we sure that we are going to do the correct thing?

Madam Chairperson, we have been to other countries where you wonder at the way they do things. It makes you wonder whether they even have budgets because the expenses there are exorbitant, even by their standards of rich countries. However, for Zambia, the 30 per cent increase is not even for development or for keeping State House clean, but is all for salaries and emoluments. This is the trend everywhere. When are we going to stop this?

Madam Chairperson, I am a Government employee here and I am also fairly paid. This is why we end up begging you, hon. Minister, to, please, expand your revenue base so that if you can do so, we will be able to talk freely. This increment, considering their salaries, is not enough.


Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, it is not enough.

Mrs Musokotwane: Kwaamba.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, this is because it starts from there and then comes here. I would like all of you, hon. Members, to realise that it starts from this Office of the President to you. If what comes from there is not correct, just know that what will come to you is not correct.

Hon. Opposition Members: Kwaamba!

Mr Muntanga: This is the problem I have. However, hon. Minister, where are you hiding your figures? Is it in your Ministry of Finance and National Planning? Tell us so that we can be comforted that actually all the figures are there.


Mr Munaile: Kokolapo apopene.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, we need to see these things so that we are free to debate. That is why we are now reacting to the flying of the President and wherever he goes. To me, in the Opposition, I like going out of the country so that I can talk good about him. I do not mind, but these salary increments …


Mr Matongo: When you are kept hungry.

Mr Muntanga: … and I want the hon. Minister to know that this K950,000,000, if given to the constituencies it is only K6 million per constituency. We want …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              



The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, just before business was suspended, I was saying that, in my assessment, increments on Public Service workers’ salaries are usually not adequate. We have heard stories about senior management officers being accused of embezzlement. There is an area in Lusaka called Chalala where they have built huge buildings. One wonders where they get the money to build such structures when their salaries are so meagre.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: We should not forget that these are the people who handle Government contracts. Therefore, to ensure that they are not enticed to engage in corruption when handling these contracts, we should pay them well so that we can properly question them when they acquire wealth in unexplainable circumstances. Senior management officers at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning handle huge sums of money that come from donor countries. Hence, if their salaries are poor, they get enticed to engage in malpractices because corruption occurs when workers have meagre salaries. Therefore, in order to fight corruption in the Public Service, we must adequately increase the salaries of civil servants. The increments should start at State House and spread to all Government ministries.

When I heard that the National Budget had increased from K16 trillion this year to K20 trillion for next year, I thought that the difference was to be used to take care of workers. However, the hon. Minister has maintained the high income taxes on workers. Unlike the mining companies, workers are taxed before they even get their money. The mining companies are first allowed to spend their revenue and then what they leave as profit is what the Government taxes. The Government should now turn things around. Employees should first be given their money and after they remove what they need for their homes, what is left is what the Government should tax …


Mr Muntanga: … because that is what it is doing with mining companies. We have told our colleagues to change the mining tax regime because mining companies are making a lot of money, but they have insisted on only taxing the profits from the mines.  The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should know that companies maintain two separate sets of books of accounts. One is meant for them to know the truth about their business and the other is for the Government for them to evade tax. 

We have, on several occasions, told our colleagues that we need more money to be able to properly fund Government projects and programmes. We do not need to come here and quarrel over K30 billion for State House. We are all aware that most of this money is for staff emoluments. This allocation is not enough. The inadequate allocations have led to State House being very dirty and its golf course being dilapidated. If the Government insists that it is getting enough money from mining companies, where is this money?


Mr Muntanga: The truth is that there is not enough money being collected. We have a lot of problems because the resource envelope is not adequate. Even though we approve this Budget, we will find that the expenses we are set to encounter will exceed the available resources. This is why the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is forced to fly from one place to another to source funds for projects such as the Bottom Road, which are not even budgeted for.

I know that at one time, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning worked for the World Bank and he was well paid. Similarly, the senior officials at the ministries should be well remunerated.

Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to see to it that a proper budget is brought on the Floor of the House.

Madam, I thank you.

The Minister for Presidential Affairs (Mr Mukuma): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor. I will be brief.

Madam, I am the most disappointed person in this House because of the amount of disrespect and ungratefulness being displayed. We know very well that the President makes trips from which we are the beneficiaries.


Mr Mukuma: However, at the end of the day, we pass negative remarks. This culture of disrespect and ungratefulness, which is developing in this country, is regrettable. It must come to an end. We cannot continue like this. We know that we are in a democracy, but that does not mean being disrespectful and ungrateful.

One thing that I must make very clear to everyone here is that it is not first time that the President has used a plane. This is the picture that is being painted. People think that he is excited to be in a plane because he is the President.

Hon. Government Members: No.

Mr Mukuma: No. If you have followed his profile properly, you must know that, actually, he used to travel to various countries when he was even younger than I am. This was the time when he was excited. This time, ...


The Chairperson: Order! Order!

It is just important that when one hon. Member is debating, you listen. If you are just going to continuously almost be jeering, then what are you going to hear? When you are making your point, it is not like others agree with you, but they must listen. In the same way, when another person has an opportunity to take the Floor, you must listen. That is what makes you honourable. Even in this Committee, you are still honourable. Therefore, you should listen to each other.

You do not have to agree with what is being said. I do not have to go through what you are saying if I do not agree with what is being said. You already know this. When you agree with what is being said, you say, ‘Hear, hear’ and not ‘yaya’. When you do not agree, you say, ‘Question’, but not screaming it. No.

Hon. Members should remember this because, sometimes, we tend to forget that what is said in this House is not just heard within the confinements of these walls. Unfortunately, it is heard all over the place. Therefore, what you debate is attached to your name and your name in particular.

Can we allow the hon. Minister to debate. You may not like his points and he may not have liked yours either, but listen to him now.

The hon. Minister may continue.

Mr Mukuma: Thank you, Madam. What encourages him to travel is duty or assignment. He wants to deliver to the people whom he so promised. There is nothing like excitement or going to drink champagne as some people said. I think that is being disrespectful ...

The Chairperson: Order!

It is some of them. Speak through the Chair.

You may continue.

Mr Mukuma: I am surprised, Madam Chairperson, that instead of actually encouraging the hardworking President and hon. Ministers, we are discouraging them. The world is becoming a global village. It is survival of the fittest. You cannot have an armchair hon. Minister and President and, at the same time, have development taking place in your country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Changwe: Tell them!

Mr Mukuma: You need people to move and bring development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: I have heard views that questioned why the President travels when there are diplomats. However, these have their own meetings to attend. If you went to Addis Ababa, you would be told that the diplomats there are always busy attending meetings.


Mr Mukuma: There are meetings that are meant for presidents and those that are meant for ministers. You know that the duties of a president, today, are not the same as they were twenty years ago. Current presidents are involved in economic development.

Ms Siliya: Yes!

Mr Mukuma: They are involved in almost everything and set targets for continents, regions and nations.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Mukuma: After setting the targets, they have to follow them up to ensure that they are being met. We have meetings at regional, continental and inter-continental levels. These are all expanded functions of the presidents and are what compel them to travel up and down. It is not only our President who attends these meetings.


Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, there are meetings where, if you sent somebody other than the President, that person would only be a spectator there. He or she would not participate. Who would want to go to a meeting and just be a spectator?

Hon. Government Member: Sibaziba.

Mr Mukuma: We should know that the duties have now changed and been expanded. We must appreciate the efforts the President is making, especially when we know that we are the recipients of the outcomes of these trips.

I have heard people condemn the President’s attendance of a meeting in Malawi. One fact we should know is that Zambia is a landlocked country and, as such, requires to maintain good relations with its neighbours. This country does not have a port and those who were around during Uhuru understand the importance of keeping good relations with our neighbours.

When the President went to attend the opening of the dry port − maybe, we do not know what a dry port is.

Hon. Government Member: Tell them!

Mr Mukuma: That is the port that will handle most of our goods to Nacara. As a landlocked country, why should we shun such an important meeting?

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

Hon. Member: Teach them!

Mr Mukuma: Unless we do not know, it is not right to condemn such a trip.


Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, the provision for Monitoring and Evaluation is very important for State House. We have said, in this House, that the President is misinformed and does not know what happens on the ground. The reason for this is that he gets second-hand information from third parties. It is, therefore, high time that we increased the utilisation of his officers.

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

Mr Mukuma: He has special assistants who do not go into the field to gather the information that he wants. We have condemned the state of affairs in this House, but when we make a provision, we start to question whether the President, himself, is the one who will conduct the monitoring and evaluation exercises. That is not the reason for putting this line in place. We want him to be more informed about what is going on in the field. That is what this provision is for. However, you are calling it all sorts of names and, I think, that is not fair.


Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, I know that the President has hon. Ministers. There are times when we say that the President should not travel because there is a disaster in Kanyama. We must know that the ministries are divided into portfolios, according to what happens in the country. If there is a disaster and the President has a meeting to attend, your view is that he should not travel, but what is the hon. Minister there for? He has an hon. Minister who will attend to these problems. Okay.


Mr Mukuma: We should not hear about the President not being able to travel because there are problems in the country. He has hon. Ministers to attend to those issues. The point is, if the hon. Minister …

Mr Matongo: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

I hope that the point of order will be purely procedural, if not, it is not allowed.

Mr Matongo: Madam Chairperson, I would like to be very sympathetic with my best friend who is debating. However, I would like to say we would handle some of the things he is saying better if he left them to us who would make the management of the Budget easier.

Madam, is the hon. Minister, who is debating in a very angry manner, in order to continue that way, and yet the issue he is raising makes the job of the House difficult?


The Chairperson: I think that whatever the hon. Member is thinking would have made the Budget easier may not have been captured in the mind of the hon. Member debating and, therefore, he is in order to debate in the manner that he is.

The hon. Minister may continue, except without the anger which I cannot see.


Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

I wish to also comment on what Hon. Muyanda said about the golf course. Having been a captain of a golf club somewhere, he knows how expensive it is to maintain a golf course. There is already a cry about the little money that has been allocated. Therefore, if we added money for maintenance of the golf course, it would have been more than this. Therefore, as a matter of priority, we have left out the golf course and opted for other activities. This does not mean that State House does not respect sport. In fact, we have other sporting activities such as football which is doing very well.

Madam Chairperson, as regards the State Lodge, this allocation is not only meant for the lodge, but also the State Farm. There is an urgent need to replace a lot of equipment at the State Farm and that is why the budget allocation for the State Lodge has increased. I think that should be clearly understood.

Madam, I also would like to state, clearly, that there are no deals that are entered into at State House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Are you sure?

Mr Mukuma: If you know how the Government is run, then you should know that it is not possible to make deals at State House. You cannot make a deal there. All the needs and requirements of projects and programmes are always handled by respective ministries. There are no experts to prepare agreements at State House and, in any case, there is no personnel to handle them. Please, do not mislead the nation that deals are made at State House.

Madam Chairperson, lastly, but not the least, State House is not for the MMD only, it is for everybody. I know of a lot of Opposition hon. Members of Parliament who have gone to State House for discussions. Indeed, when you come to discuss in a friendly manner, the doors are wide open, and …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: … when you come in a militant way, then the State House doors will be closed to you.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Mukuma: That is the most important point that you should realise because, at State House, we only accommodate people who can help us to solve problems and not those who add onto them. It is not true for one to say that State House is only for MMD members.

I think the most important issue we should address is disrespect for our President. All of us ought to appreciate the efforts that he is putting in. You feel guilty at the back of your minds, when you stand to criticise him because he is working hard for us. Those who travel know that travelling is not a pleasure. It is a risk to one’s life.


Mr Mukuma: The President is risking his life because he has to deliver to the people. As far as we are concerned, he is doing a good job and we will continue to encourage him. We know that the job he is doing is appreciated by the majority of Zambians will make us win the elections, next year. Therefore, let us accept that he is a high performer. If you enumerate what he has done in two years, you will appreciate that a lot of projects that had stalled now have funding and will soon be completed. If the President was just seated at State House, he would not be able to raise the required money for those projects. I thought I should correct this wrong impression among Members of the House and also state that the growing culture of insults must stop.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, I will be extremely brief. I think a lot of things have been said. I would like to make a clarification on this budget line of the presidential travel that has so much been talked about on the Floor of this House. Those of us who have been in this House for some time know that this is not the money that the President uses for travel. That money is under the Cabinet Office Vote. This money is truly for nothing else, but monitoring projects. The late President Mwanawasa, SC., appointed a team of people after realising that monitoring and implementation was weak. The current President has simply carried forward that idea and strengthened it. Those of us who, sometimes, travel with Mr Kapita, a man who is so brave and moving on crutches for the love of his country to see that projects are being implemented, think the minimum that we can do is to honour him and allow this funding to go through so that he continues to do the excellent work for this country.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 01/01 – (Office of the President – State House – Headquarters – K30,592,656,790).

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3, Activity 01 – State Lodge Farm – K285,422,000. What is it that has necessitated the doubling of the allocation to State Lodge Farm, and yet there is also an increase under Programme 2, Activity 04 – Maintenance of State House − K501, 631,000? Can he indicate to us how much is being generated from the State Lodge Farm?

Secondly, Madam Chairperson, …


Hon. MMD Members: One question only!

Mr Lubinda: Madam, if my colleagues on your right wish to know, I am not making a follow-up question.

The Chairperson: Go on. Do not listen to them. Listen to the Chair.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Madam Chairperson, my second question emanates from Programme 9, Activity 01 – Monitoring and Evaluation, K950,000,000. Given the clarification that the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House gave that this activity was taking place even before this money was allocated to State House, can he kindly indicate to this House where this money was budgeted for in 2010 so that we can make a comparison and see whether the increase that he is proposing is justifiable?

The Chairperson: Order!

Just to guide the hon. Members, please, ask questions of clarification. Try to minimise your preamble because the time for debate has gone.

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, regarding the State Lodge, the increase is to cover the cost of replacing obsolete hand tools and equipment, procurement of protective wear, farm inputs, livestock drugs and veterinary services, and agricultural supplies. In any case, this is a very small amount of money that we are talking about.

On the Monitoring and Evaluation of development projects, this was previously undertaken through the administrative budget, but now that we feel that the work needs to be done more systematically, it has been found necessary to have a separate budget line. As I said earlier, I have listened to many colleagues in this House talking about how weak monitoring and evaluation in the country is and this is the response to that call.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 2, Activity 01 – Office Administration, K2,202,640,000. There is an increase of about K1.4 billion. What has prompted this increase? Is there a change in system? What are you trying to achieve? This amount is too much for that activity.

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, the provision is required to meet the cost of carrying out the office administration function. The increase is mainly attributable to the allocation of senior officers’ allowances which were previously budgeted for under emoluments, but paid from recurrent departmental charges.

The other increase is partly due to the scaling-up of underlying activities such as the Africa Public Service Day, World AIDS Day, Secretaries Day, Labour Day, Shows and Exhibitions and partly due to the rise in costs of goods and services.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 8, Activity 06 – Kitwe Presidential Lodge, K84,000,000.

Madam Chairperson, the Kitwe Presidential Lodge is dilapidated and has not been used for some time now. Why has it been allocated K84 million only? This money cannot even repair the dilapidation that is there. It is not …

The Chairperson: You are debating. Just ask your question.

Mr Kambwili: I would like to know why only K84 million has been provided for this lodge. 

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, the provision is required to meet the cost of house keeping and the maintenance of the Kitwe Presidential Lodge. Indeed, it would have been nice to have more money to put into this, but this is what is manageable at the moment.

 I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, if that is the case, I would like to find out where we were getting the money for house-keeping previously because we have not been budgeting for this house-keeping. Have the Housekeepers just been employed?

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, this has just been introduced. Therefore, it means that it was not there. It has been realised that it must be there. This is why it is being provided for.

 I thank you, Madam.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, obviously, the hon. Minister did not provide an answer to the second question I asked. If, indeed, the activities to be financed by Programme 9, Activity 01 – Monitoring and Evaluation – K950,000,000,  were always provided for elsewhere and not under Head 01, can the hon. Minister indicate to this House where that provision was made in 2010 Budget?

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, I answered very clearly that this was being expended under administration. There should be nothing strange about introducing a new budget line. This is something that happens all the time when we feel that, perhaps, an activity requires scaling up and, therefore, a budget line is created for that. Thus, there is absolutely nothing strange about that.

 I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

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

VOTE 02/01 – (Office of the Vice-President – Headquarters – K269,576,976,493).

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, I would like to start by thanking you for giving me this opportunity to present the Estimates of Expenditure for the Office of the Vice-President for the period 1st January, 2011 to 31st December, 2011.

Madam Chairperson, allow me to remind the hon. Members of this august House that the Office of the Vice-President derives its mandate from Article 45 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia.

The Vice-President is the principal assistant to the President in the discharge of Executive functions and is responsible for advising the President with respect to the policy of the Government and with respect to any other such matters as may be assigned to him by the President.

Arising from this mandate, the portfolio functions of the Office of the Vice-President include:

(i) Leader of Government Business in the House;

(ii) Disaster management and mitigation;

(iii) Resettlement ; and

(iv) Investiture ceremonies.

The Office of the Vice-President also performs important cross-cutting functions on issues referred to it by line ministries and other institutions on matters such as:

(i) social welfare, poverty alleviation and HIV/AIDS;

 (ii) chiefs’ affairs and traditional ceremonies;

(ii) religious affairs;

 (iv) governance; and

 (v) labour and public relations to mention but a few.

The office has started an extensive consultative process with stakeholders to review its performance under the 2006 to 2010 Strategic Plan so that it can put in place a new plan which is a key component in its operations. It is the hope of the office, Madam Chairperson, that, as strategic stakeholders, hon. Members of Parliament will offer valuable suggestions and constructive criticisms when called upon to ensure that this important document is reflective of its mandate.

Madam, during the 2010 financial year, the office was allocated K20,327,752,748. I wish to report that this figure fell far short of meeting the operational needs of the office. In 2011, the office had been allocated K73,529,733,613, broken down as follows:

(a) Human Resource and Administration – K8,021,765,272;

(b) Parliamentary Business Division – K2,621,660,308

(c) Department of Resettlement –K3,439,655,182; and

(d) Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) – K59,447,246,851.

Hon. Members may wish to know that the DMMU’s Budget will be presented at a later stage under Head 19.

Madam Chairperson, the office houses the Department of Resettlement which is responsible for implementing the Land Resettlement Programme. For a number of years now, the country has experienced natural disasters such as flooding that caused displacements of communities in flood-prone areas. In order to mitigate the negative impact of floods on human life and property, the department is implementing the human settlement programmes for displaced persons through which communities are moved to safer grounds.

Madam Speaker, the office also houses the Parliamentary Business Division. As you are aware, this is the division which co-ordinates the parliamentary duties of all line ministries, statutory bodies, Government departments and provinces. It also processes questions for oral and written answers, action-taken reports, ministerial statements and various other information memoranda to enable hon. Members to make informed decisions. The office will continue co-ordinating the business in the House, more so that next year, being an election year, there is a need for efficiency to enable timely decision making regarding the on-going parliamentary reforms.

Madam Chairperson, the Government and all well-meaning Zambians understand and appreciate the importance of the DMMU. In order to consolidate the successes that the country has made in the area of disaster management, the Government enacted the National Disaster Management Act, which now gives legal support to the operations of the department and the entire disaster management regime. Therefore, I can only appeal to hon. Members of Parliament to support the department as it embarks on the agenda of implementing the provisions of the Act.

Madam Chairperson, let me also take this opportunity to inform this august House that the Government has put in place a disaster management cadre nationwide that stands ready to respond to all forms of vulnerability emanating from disasters.

The office will continue to lay emphasis on disaster risk reduction programmes and intensify awareness campaigns that disaster management and mitigation is for all of us.

Madam Chairperson, the importance of activities that this office, through various departments, has outlined is clear. Therefore, I can only urge all hon. Members of this august House to support the estimates of expenditure for the office to ensure that we meet full expectation of the people.

I thank you.

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Floor of this House. I just have an interest in the Government House because I was supposed to be its first occupant.


Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, this is not the first time I am going to talk about that House and I will continue talking about it until somebody hears me.

Madam Chairperson, that House is on a very busy road, but if you look at the landscaping, can we say that we are serious about where His Honour the Vice-President lives? I would like somebody to do something about the cleanliness of that House. We can do better than that. International visitors and ambassadors pass by it and if one went to an ambassador’s house, they would think that is, actually, the State House or where, maybe, the Vice-President lives.

Madam Chairperson, does the K960,000,000 that has been allocated to the management and operations of the Government House include landscaping because I have looked for it and have not seen it? Yet, State House has been allocated some money for landscaping and gardening. Why is this not so for the Government House because this also needs to be undertaken there?

Madam Chairperson, I hope the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will look around to find some money to allocate to the landscaping of the Government House. The outside of that house is an eyesore and something has to be done about it because that is where the Vice-President of the Republic stays. It is not a personal house. Even if he was living in his personal house, the State would still have looked after it. Therefore, it ought to do so more now that it is a Government House.

Madam Chairperson, if houses were to be lined up and you asked me to look for an hon. Minister’s house, I would quickly find it just by looking at the landscape. Houses belonging to an individual have well-looked after landscape while that which is Government-owned looks like a refugee camp from outside.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: However, we cannot afford to do that for the Government House because His Honour the Vice-President receives a lot of international visitors and you cannot keep his house like that. I, once again, urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to look for money to change that place. It cannot be kept like that.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me a chance to contribute to the debate on the Vote.

Madam Chairperson, I just have one item to discuss and this is that I do not seem to follow the hon. Minister regarding his decision to create Head 19 and make provisions for disaster management as a stand-alone budget, and yet this is not a ministry or division. The disaster management …

The Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)




The Minister of Finance and National Planning and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1916 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 28th October, 2010.