Debates- Friday, 22nd October, 2010

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Friday, 22nd October, 2010

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The Minister of Finance and National Planning and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the business it will consider next week.

Sir, on 26th October, 2010, the Business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then the House will continue with the policy debate on the Motion of Supply.

On Wednesday, 27th October, 2010, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then consider Private Members Motions, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will conclude the policy debate on the Motion of Supply and resolve into Committee to begin consideration of the following individual Heads: Head 01 – Office of the President - State House; Head 02 – Office of the Vice-President; Head 03 – National Assembly; and Head 04 – Gender in Development Division.

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 28th October, 2010, the Business of the House will start with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Parliamentary Select Committee Report on the Presidential Appointment of Supreme Court and Puisne Judges. Then the House will resolve into Committee to consider the following Heads: 

Head 05 – Electoral Commission;
Head 06 – Public Service Commission - Office of the President;
Head 07 – Office of the Auditor-General;
Head 08 – Cabinet Office – Office of the President; and
Head 09 – Teaching Service Commission – Office of the President.

Sir, on Friday, 29th October, 2010, the Business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then resolve into Committee and consider the following Heads: 

Head 10 – Police and Prisons Service Commission - Office of the President;
Head 11 – Zambia Police – Ministry of Home Affairs;
Head 15 – Ministry of Home Affairs; and
Head 12 – Commission for Investigations – Office of the President.

The House may also deal with any other business have may have been presented before it earlier.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




119. Mr Chanda (Kankoyo) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning how much money, in taxes, had been collected from the following mobile phone service providers from 2008 to 2010:

(a)    ZAIN;

(b)    MTN; and

(c)    Cell Z.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr D. Phiri): Mr Speaker, the money collected in taxes from the three companies from 2008 to 2009 is as follows:

Company    Year    Total taxes collected
                                                                                                 (K ‘ billion)
ZAIN    2008           422.1 
2009             73.9 

MTN    2008             73.1 
2009             96.1 

ZAMTEL (Cell Z)    2008             20.1 
2009             34.3 

Sir, the taxes that have been collected from the above companies as of 21st September, 2010, is as follows:

Company    Total taxes collected

                                                                       (K’ billion)

ZAIN    K340.08 billion
MTN    K95.3 billion
ZAMTEL (Cell Z)    K602.5 billion

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, currently, some of the mobile phone service providers are shunning some rural areas. May I know what the Government is doing to encourage these mobile phone service providers to go to rural areas so that it can increase the tax it collects from them?

The Minister of Finance and National Planning and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to give a contrary view to what has been said that the mobile phone service providers are shunning the rural areas. If you consider the developments in the mobile phone service industry in this country, for the last ten years, I think all of us would agree that a lot has been done in terms of pushing the service throughout the country.

     In most places, there is some signal of one sort and this has been possible because of private investment. If we had to use our own resources, we would not have made so much progress. I do agree that phone coverage is not everywhere in this country because there are pockets where it does not exist. The way phone coverage has been expanding is a process and so I expect that the same process will continue to make it possible for phone coverage to expand in the country. In addition, the Government has some money for putting up masts in those extra remote places in the country for use by any mobile phone operators who would like to hang their equipment there so that we give the process a bigger push.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what the Government is doing to ensure that ZAIN and MTN plough back to the community as part of their corporate social responsibility like they are doing in other countries where they are erecting stadiums. 

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, anyone who is observant will agree that, indeed, these companies are playing the role the hon. Member has mentioned. In almost of all our traditional ceremonies, you will find the presence of these companies prominently clear. They support these ceremonies in terms of material, money as well as moral support. Those of you who have been reading the press should know that last week and the one before it, ZAIN was busy distributing desks to some schools in the country. I believe that they are playing these companies are playing their role. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how it was possible for Cell Z to pay K600 billion in a quarter.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, as the hon. Member has correctly noted, Cell Z which is under ZAMTEL has been trailing behind ZAIN and MTN in terms of its contribution to the tax net, but the situation changed dramatically in 2010 and this is explained by ZAMTEL paying off tax arrears, following the privatisation of the company.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, of the three service providers, I have noticed that MTN are the least in terms of paying tax. I would like to know the factors affecting MTN for it to be contributing the lowest in terms of taxes.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, first of all I would like to point out that MTN has not been the least. It is Cell Z which has been the least in terms of paying taxes because other than for 2010, it had been trailing behind the others. In 2010, out of the proceeds from the sell of ZAMTEL, Cell Z was able to clear its tax areas. It is true that ZAIN has been paying more than MTN and the explanation is that it is a much bigger company here in Zambia and with more coverage. It has about three times more customers than MTN and it follows from there that its ability to pay taxes is reflected by its profits and other consumption taxes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. Mulenga (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister give information to the House regarding the selling of ZAIN to Bharti of India. How far has the trasaction gone and why is the company being sold? Is it because the company is coming to the end of its tax holiday period?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, this question is out of line with what we are discussing. I would like to mention that the issue of a tax holiday should not come into the discussion because as I have indicated ZAIN has always been paying taxes. If the hon. Member wants a more detailed answer about the ZAIN transaction, he should ask a formal question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given pertaining to taxes being paid to the Government by ZAIN, MTN and Cell Z, can the hon. Minister confirm that these mobile phone service providers are paying more tax than the mines in Zambia despite the massive investment in the mining industry.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I have not done any comparisons, but the important point to make here is that every industry must be allowed to grow. It must be nursed so that it becomes strong and able to contribute to the tax net. ZAIN and MTN have been operating in Zambia for some time. Some of the mining companies are paying taxes while others are not for various reasons. Some are not yet in the tax net because they are still investing. However, I can confirm that in the next four to five years mining tax revenue, as it was in the seventies is going to be the biggest portion of whatever we collect in the form of tax in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, may I take advantage of what we are discussing to ask the hon. Minister that in terms of revenue collection and expenditure, there is a clear mismatch between…

Mr Speaker: Order! Ask a question!

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, why is it that whilst we are receiving a lot of money from these companies, we are not funding Government departments in the districts. I say so because there is a shortage of funds for Government departments in the districts. I can give examples later.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I thought the whole purpose of this session is to discuss the entire budget. I do not think it is appropriate for anyone of us to pick one source of revenue like this one and use it to talk about total revenues and expenditures in the economy. This is just one element of the tax revenues.

Mr Speaker, since we are still discussing the budget, the hon. Member is encouraged to analyse the entire budget in terms of revenues and expenditure.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to confirm that the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) overshot its target for the third quarter principally because of the Cell Z taxes which were paid.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I cannot confirm that because this is only one form of tax revenue that has been coming in. In any case, this tax was really the clearance of arrears of taxes that had been due for sometime and which ZAMTEL was not able to pay then.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, clearly, next year, the rate of taxation to these companies will increase as a result of the measures taken by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. Could he indicate whether or not the arguments presented by, particularly, ZAIN that the new tax is bound to affect tariffs is correct or not. If it is, what measures is he putting in place to ensure that there is further penetration of these services throughout the country.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, we certainly expect further penetration of our mobile phone operation to the country to continue even stronger. The reason is that this Government has provided a competitive environment in which each of the companies is free to express its creativity and aggression in terms of capturing the market. With this competition, I have no doubt in my mind that this industry is going to continue to develop.

Mr Speaker, further, this Government has continued to support the growth of this industry in several ways, including the recently taken decision to open the international gateway. As opposed to having it under the monopoly of ZAMTEL, it now a facility that any of the operators can invest in and operate. 

I believe, very strongly, that we still have to see a lot happening in this sector. I also believe that with the near completion of the optic fibre network that is running through our country, we should see more development and expansion. Already, the 3G service is being piloted by MTN and ZAIN. These are all indications that this industry is going to continue to grow.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, the major reason advanced by the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) Government throughout the period when ZAMTEL had the monopoly of the international gateway was that of national security. Would the hon. Minister indicate to this House what measures have been put in place to ensure continued national security in view of the liberalisation of the licence pertaining to the international gateway.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I think, once again, that the question is a little out of line with what we are discussing. Nevertheless, I will attempt to answer it. Issues of security pertaining to the gateway, in this modern era, are something that are always changing. We know that there are people who operate, for example, satellite phones. A satellite phone does not go through the international gateway, certainly not the Lusaka gateway. It moves directly from the sender to the caller or any one in this group.

Mr Speaker, further, the expansion in the telecom sector where people are able to make telephone calls via the internet has also circumvented the security aspects that were considered important for the international gateway. Now, there are measures that have taken place to ensure that the security elements that the hon. Member was talking about are taken care of. Zambia is not the only country that has opened the gateway, in fact, many countries have done so already and technology exists for ensuring that, even with the multiple international gateways, security concerns are addressed. 

Mr Speaker, the international gateway monopoly was not just about security. As I said before, it was also about a way of making ZAMTEL survive. ZAMTEL was struggling against the competition from the private companies and since it was not able to compete, the gateway guaranteed its revenues because it was a monopoly situation. However, as a result of that, ZAMTEL charged exorbitant fees for the use of the gateway and this is why we had our business people complaining about telephone charges, especially the international ones, being too expensive. 

However, now that we have a strong competitor, the strong company that has taken over ZAMTEL to enable it survive on its own, there is no longer any reason to maintain a monopoly status for the international gateway. This is why it has been opened and because it has been opened to competition, the international tariffs have come down dramatically and, in certain cases, by more than 70 per cent. So, this is benefiting all of us as consumers of telephone services.

I thank you, Sir.


120. Mr Lumba asked the Minister of Health when the Government would construct health centres in the following areas in Solwezi Central Parliamentary Constituency:

(i)    Mulenga;

(ii)    Sandang’ombe;

(iii)    Kisalala; and 

(iv)    Kivuku.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Chituwo) (on behalf of the Minister of Health (Mr Simbao)): Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to the attainment of the vision in the health sector which is to ensure that there is equity of access to affordable, cost-effective and quality health services as close to the Zambian families as possible. In this regard, the Government has embarked on the construction of health facilities countrywide, including those in the Solwezi district.

Mr Speaker, works on the construction of Mulenga Health Post and staff house have already started. The health post is at wall plate level and the staff house at slab level. All the materials for the project are on site and the contractor is progressing well. Completion is expected before the end of the year.

Mr Speaker, as regards Sandang’ombe, the Ministry of Health has been working closely with the provincial administration in the construction of Sandang’ombe Health Post. So far, the site for the health post has been cleared, setting, foundation, excavation and substructure have also been done. River sand, burnt bricks and stones are on site.

Mr Speaker, with regard to Kisalala, this project was approved under the 2010 Ministry of Health Infrastructure Operational Plan. Currently, community sensitisation has already been done and efforts to mobilise the 25 per cent community contributions are underway. Funds have been allocated in the 2010 Ministry of Health infrastructure operational plan.

Mr Speaker, the Kivuku Health Post Project is not included in the 2010 Ministry of Health infrastructure operational plan and the provincial health office has applied for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to fund this project.

I thank you, Sir.


121. Mr Lumba asked the Minister of Health when the Government would construct staff houses at Kakombe and Mapopo Rural Health Centres in Solwezi Central Parliamentary Constituency.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the Government has recognised the need for accommodation and has been constructing housing units for its staff in the health sector throughout the country. This is being done according to the needs of each level of health care. As regards staff accommodation at Kakombe Health Post, the ministry’s guidelines are that there should be one house at a health post, which Kakombe already has. 

Mr Speaker, the construction of Mapopo Health Post started this year and it has been completed and handed over by the contractor. However, work on the construction of a staff house and ventilated pit latrine has not started as the community has not mobilised the 25 per cent material contribution. It is hoped that work will commence once the community’s contribution is in place.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lumba: Sir, there are two workers at Kakombe Health Post, but the hon. Minister has just said that there is only provision of accommodation for one member of staff . I just want to find out from him where the health worker who has not been given accommodation is expected to live.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, it is true that there are two workers at the health post and this brings in the issue of establishment. We have clearly seen that there is a need for more staff at the health post and this is an issue that we have to look into in order for us to plan for the construction of a second house for as we revise the health care system.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, considering the fact that the ministry, by community mode, is building a number of health posts around the country, is it also going to build staff houses to go with these community health posts?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, we have set standards at each level of health care and the reason we have been engaging communities to contribute 25 per cent of the building materials is the issue of ownership. It has been discovered that, over the years, when this is done, the communities take ownership of these facilities in terms of looking after them and interacting with health staff.

Mr Speaker, regardless of that, the larger part of the contribution is from the Government and we, therefore, believe that even where we use a community mode of construction, the set standards have to be followed. This means that we not only have a facility for treatment and health education, but also staff houses.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what alternatives there are to provide health staff houses in a situation where the community is not in a position to make the 25 per cent contribution.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, it appears that the question is isolating health facilities from staff houses. When we are constructing a health post, it is a full package consisting of a staff house and the health facility itself. So, as long as the community is able to contribute 25 per cent of the entire project, that will suffice for a health facility to be constructed.

I thank you, Sir.

___________ {mospagebreak}



 the Chair]


Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 6 – (Authorised agencies) 

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Dr Kazonga): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 6, on page 12, in line 38 by the deletion, immediately after the words “authorised agency”, of the word “fourteen” and the substitution therefor of the words “twenty-one”.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 6, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 7 – (Board of Authority)

Dr Kazonga: Madam, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 7, on page 13:

(a)    in line 14 by the insertion, immediately after the words “of a”, of the words “small scale”;

(b)    after line 15 by the insertion of the following new paragraph:

(h)    one representative from the Zambia National Farmers’ Union; and

(c)    in lines 16 to 19 by the re-numbering of paragraphs (h), (i) and (j) as paragraphs (i) (j) and (k), respectively.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 7, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
   Clauses 8, 9, 10 and 11 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 12 – (Effect of fixed charge)

 Dr Kazonga: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 12, on page 18, in line 8 by the deletion immediately after the words “interval of”, of the word “fourteen” and the substitution therefor of the words “twenty-one”.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 12, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69,70, 71,72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93 and 94 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

First, Second, Third and Fourth Schedules, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Long Title agreed to.



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

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

The Agricultural Credits Bill, 2010

Report Stage on Tuesday, 26th October, 2010.


The following Bills were read the third time and passed:

The Lands Tribunal Bill, 2010

The Lands and Deeds Registry (Amendment) Bill, 2010

The Housing (Statutory and Improvement Areas) (Amendment) Bill, 2010

The Occupational Health and Safety Bill, 2010




(Debate resumed)

The hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Chipungu): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the 2011 Estimates of Expenditure whose theme is, “A People’s Budget, from a People’s Government” presented by Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, MP, Minister of Finance and National Planning on 8th October, 2010.

Mr Speaker, let me start by making comments on the sentiments expressed by hon. Members of Parliament, especially those on your left. I would like to begin by commenting on the picture of a child on the cover of the Budget Address. I want to commend the hon. Minister for using the picture of a child labelled, “Policy Creativity for Vision 2030”.

Sir, in fact, I would have liked the picture of the child to cover the whole page. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: Why have I said so? It is simply because this Government and, indeed, my ministry placed emphasis on the child in this budget. 

Mr Speaker, I have just come back from a summit and clearly we can see that the whole world is, in fact, moving towards putting the child at the centre stage. The child will become a leader tomorrow. I feel that it is unfortunate that my colleagues are criticising this picture.

Sir, you can see the bitterness in the manner our colleagues, especially on your left, are debating. This is unfortunate but, I think, these are the signs that the term of this Parliament is coming to an end and some of them, may have not done their homework.

Mr Mubika: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: They are scared because they do not know whether they will be re-elected in 2011 or not. Those who have not done their homework are showing signs of bitterness in the manner they debate.

Mr Mubika: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I would like to say that this Government has tried in terms of development. I have had an opportunity to visit many parts of this country and I have seen the development that is taking place in most of the constituencies. I do not think there is any constituency that can claim that it has not been allocated funds for development. Even my constituency, which is very close to Lusaka, has received its share of development. Certainly, I must confirm that there is equity in the distribution of resources for development. You cannot claim that a particular province has received more resources for development than others. Development is across the country. It is unfortunate that some hon. Members of Parliament can stand up and castigate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, insinuating that he has allocated more money to one province.

Mr Mwila: He has!

Hon. Government Members: Shame!

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I also want to comment on the issue of youth employment in this country. It is unfortunate that people have continued to cry that this Government is not doing much in creating employment for youths in particular. With the good policies that this Government has put in place, we have seen creation of employment. We have also seen a number of companies that have come into the country. These companies have engaged the youths and I am sure that most of these offices that you go to, be it in the Government, the people that you find working there are the youths. You can go anywhere, including the farming sector the people who are benefiting from the Fertiliser Support  and Input Programme are the youths. If you go to Kansanshi Mine, Lumwana and many others, the people who are working for these mines are youths. Therefore, it is unfortunate for anybody to stand in this House and say that the Government is not creating employment for youths.

Sir, I would like to urge my colleagues that it is important to spend a little time lobbying for projects for their constituencies when the House is in session. These hon. Ministers on your right are very understanding and I am aware that there are hon. Members of Parliament on your left who actually go round lobbying for developmental projects for their constituencies. Hon. Ministers do assist and I think I am one of those who have assisted in that regard. Therefore, if you do not lobby for your constituencies, it is unfortunate that you may be one of those who will be left behind crying. Then, definitely, it will be too late.

Mr Speaker, indeed, this theme would not have come at a better time than now when young people, comprising 68 per cent of the national population need to be adequately supported for them to realise their full potential and contribute to national development. I am glad to state that the 2011 Estimates of Expenditure is another milestone in our journey to develop our country. It is, certainly, inspiring and geared towards sustainable economic development. 

In this regard, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance and National Development for his thoughtfulness and also the manner in which he presented the budget. My contribution to the Motion is in four areas which are agriculture, roads, health, education and, lastly, my ministry. 

Children and youths in Zambia need education, health, good nutrition and road infrastructure for them to grow into responsible citizens.

Mr Speaker, agriculture and livestock is another important production factor in the growth of our economy. Production has been very good, especially in 2010. In the 2009/2010 agriculture season, the nation produced 2.8 million metric tonnes of maize. This is a great achievement for the nation and, as Government, we should be proud of this. It means that our policies are working and our people are responding positively to increased productivity. In other words, the bumper harvest has demonstrated the seriousness this Government attaches to agriculture productivity and food security. In this regard, it is worth appreciating the increase in the estimates for 2011 to about K1,231.6 billion in 2011 from about K1,139 billion in 2010. The increase has an effect on productivity at the national and household levels, thereby improving food security and the nutritional status of the children in our country.

Mr Speaker, roads are an important part of infrastructure development and form a network form efficient and effective delivery of goods and services to our people. In Zambia, high transportation costs have been identified as one of the contributing factors to the high cost of production, rendering some goods uncompetitive on the international market.

Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Minister of Works and Supply for a job well done, including the tarring of Mumpanshya Road in my constituency. Once again, I would like to thank the Government for the estimates for 2011 which have been doubled from about 1.4 billion in 2010 to over 3.98 billion in 2011. This will promote a lot of economic activities, especially in the rural areas where the majority of people depend on agriculture for their livelihood. 

Mr Speaker, good health is paramount to the development of the nation. With good health, life expectancy is longer and few man hours are lost. As a result, productivity increases. This translates to higher growth rates in the economy. 

In this regard, I would like to express my gratitude for the increased estimates from K1.365 billion in 2010 to K1,772.9 billion in 2011 in this sector. I also wish to commend the Ministry of Health for a job well done. It is very clear that almost every district has received a district hospital, including Chongwe. In my constituency, a nursing school has been constructed. What …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

I have said before that Cabinet and Deputy Ministers must refrain from making references to their constituencies when they debate. You speak for the Republic as a whole. Next time this happens, I shall curtail debate. 

You may continue.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for your guidance. I also noted from the hon. Minister’s Budget presentation that improved health infrastructure will provide for efficient and effective delivery of health services by bringing them close to our people. This will, in turn, lead to a healthy society and lower health costs. Furthermore, the construction of nurses’ flats and the engagement of medical personnel will address the problem of inadequate accommodation and personnel in the sector. All this will translate into improved health status in Zambia as we strive to attain the millennium development goals (MDGs) on infant and maternal mortality.

Mr Speaker, we are all aware that education is key to national development. A well educated and innovative workforce is able to steer the country to greater heights economically, socially and politically. In recent years, we have recorded significant successes in this sector. It is, therefore, pleasing to note that there has been a significant increase in the 2011 estimates of revenue and expenditure.  

Mr Speaker, I would like to see more vulnerable children having increased access to education and other services in order to complement what my ministry offers to young people. Allow me to mention some of the achievements my ministry has recorded in 2010. 

Mr Speaker, I am happy to inform this august House that on 22nd September, 2010, I officially opened the Kimasela Reading and Recreation Centre in Solwezi and I am yet to open another one in Chongwe. These centres are meant to give children an opportunity for recreation as well as to give them information on their rights. 

Mr Speaker, you will recall that His Excellency, Mr Rupiah Banda, President of the Republic of Zambia, officially opened the Olympic Youth Development Centre which cost over US$12 million. The Government contributed substantially to this. The centre is a showpiece of its kind in this region. It is, therefore, my sincere hope that this facility will contribute to the development of sport and also enhance our ability to become competitive on the international scene. 

Mr Speaker, in 2010, K5 billion was allocated to youth empowerment in order to promote youth entrepreneurship among the youths. K3 billion was set aside for grants and K1.7 billion was set aside as a revolving fund. K300 million was set aside to cater for administrative costs. I am, therefore, pleased to inform this august House that so far, K1.012 billion has been disbursed as grants to various youth clubs and also slightly over K1 billion has been disbursed as revolving fund. 

I, therefore, commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for increasing the amount in 2011 to K10 billion from K5 billion in 2010. The increase will enable many youths access the funds. I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to hon. Members of Parliament who have not yet accessed the money to facilitate the formation and registration of youth clubs or clubs in their constituencies. This will enable young people access the funds for viable projects. 
Mr Speaker, my ministry managed to complete the construction of two new resource centres in Mwinilunga and Mpongwe, respectively. These centres will be commissioned by 30th October, 2010. The centres will provide skills such as bricklaying, carpentry and Agriculture to state a few.

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the construction works are on course for the new stadium in Ndola. The 30,000 sitter capacity structure will be completed next year, which will be in good time. I would also like to mention that some provincial stadia are being rehabilitated this year. 

Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to see that the funding for the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development has improved, although not to desired levels if the mandate of the ministry is to be achieved. 

Mr Speaker, allow me to also outline some of the programmes my ministry has planned to implement in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2011/2013 and within the Sixth National Development Plan. 

Infrastructure Development 

(i)    construction of three youth resource centres in Kazungula, Senanga and Chama Districts respectively; 

(ii)    construction and rehabilitation of the National Sports Development Centre in Lusaka; and

(iii)     rehabilitation of the Chishimba Zambia National Service Camp in Kasama and four reading and recreational centres in places to be identified. 

Regional and Continental Games 

Mr Speaker, the country will also be participating in regional and international games. In 2012, the country is mandated to host the Zone Six Under Twenty Games. 

Mr Speaker, lastly, in realising the importance of private-public partnerships in economic development, it is the intention of my ministry to work together with the private sector in promoting sport, youth and child affairs, especially with regard to infrastructure development. I know that already we have the established partners in some areas, but my ministry is determined to broaden and enhance the partnerships.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker,  I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the 2011 Budget Address by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

First and foremost, I would like to commend the hon. Minister for his statement. Clearly, there is a great attempt to make progress. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to start my debate by quoting from the hon. Minister’s statement. I think that this is important and very good. I quote: 

“Mr Speaker, for over a decade, the MMD Government has delivered robust growth for our economy. This is a fantastic achievement, but it is not enough.” 

The hon. Minister then goes further and says:

“Mr Speaker, our people have made great sacrifices over the last twenty years.   We are where we are today because of these sacrifices. The tangible benefits of our economic successes have started to be felt by all our people. But this is also not enough.” 

Mr Speaker, indeed the 2011 Budget attempts to deal with the many challenges that the Zambian people face. Clearly, however, that attempt alone is not enough.
Mr Speaker, let me now discuss the Ministry of Health because our Budget tends to try and address the millennium development goals (MDGs), especially those relating to health. You will note that although the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning says that he has increased the budget for health, in real terms, it is not true. The percentage of the budget for health has actually reduced to 8 per cent. In 2009, the budget was at 11.4 per cent and now it is 8.4 per cent of the overall Budget. This is against what the Heads of State agreed in the Abuja Declaration, that the health budget should be at least 15 per cent of the overall budget.  

Mr Speaker, when you look at the budget for procuring drugs, you will find that the amount we have which is around K117 billion is almost the same as last year’s and the year before last. This is despite many people complaining about the lack of drugs in hospitals. If there is an increase in the budget, but the amount for the procurement of drugs has not really increased, we will still have the same challenges in the health sector. 

Mr Speaker, I take note that even tough the donors will not be as supportive as before, the Government has made an effort to increase the allocation to the sector. However, there has been a decrease of the budget for health as a percentage of the overall Budget. I think that the hon. Minister of Health and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will need to re-look at some of these figures as go forward. 

Mr Speaker, we are all in agreement that the entry point for development starts at the local level. There is no increment in the local government budget. The figures that are there are the ones we have had for the last four years and yet the challenges faced at this level are huge. This is the only level where our people can really feel that their Government is working. When it comes to grants, allocations to the local government continue to be the same. I am mindful of the fact that in the 2010 budget for the ministry responsible local government, not all resources were released. Only 50 per cent in most cases was released and this included expenditure on water and sanitation.  

I am happy that the 2011 budget for the ministry, over K555 billion has been allocated towards water and sanitation. The issue here is not the allocation, but whether the whole amount will be released. Are we going to release the whole amount by the end of 2011? If we just put a figure on paper and not release the amount, it does not help. Improving water and sanitation is important, especially when it comes to achieving the MDGs related to health. Most of our children are dying because of diarrhea. 

Even at present, there people in certain areas who have no access to clean water. The issue of water is very important. When we allocate money in the budget, we should release it because if we do not we are just cheating ourselves. The hon. Minister said 2011 is a year of reckoning because people will judge us first as a Government and then as individual hon. Members of Parliament. 

Mr Speaker, this may be our last chance to ever debate a budget. When we go back to our constituencies, we may not be voted for. Only God knows who is coming back next year.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, when I hear people say that they are coming back to the House after the elections while others are not, I just laugh because I know that none of us here is sure of whether we are coming back or not.  

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: As much as a lot has been done, there are still people who are not drinking clean water. Yes, others may be drinking clean water, but many more others are drinking water from wells. How many people are drinking clean water and how many are drinking unsafe water? How many children are going to school and how many are not?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Even if many children are now in school, more schools need to be built.

Mr Speaker, I hear hon. Members say that we  enjoy more bumper harvests than we ever had in the United National Independence Party (UNIP) era. It could be true, but we still have children dying of malnutrition. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: The hon. Minister of Health can tell us that one of the biggest challenges we have in Zambia is children dying from malnutrition, …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … which is caused by lack of food and water. These are real issues which need to be addressed. 

Mr Speaker, it is therefore, not just a question of a good budget, but whether or not the budget is being executed. We seem to still have challenges in terms of executing the budget. Figures are put in the budget and sometimes monies are even released, but the way the money is used might not be in an efficient manner. It might lead us to incur more costs for the work to be done. Therefore, the point I am trying to say is that this is a good budget, but that alone is not enough.

Mr Speaker, I am sure you have noticed that a number of our colleagues in the Front Bench normally mention their constituencies when debating. This is because some of them concentrate more on their constituencies than the whole country.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: That is a fact. You would find that each one of them is just worrying about an individual constituency without looking at other constituencies. Many times we are told that hon. Members should be going to their offices to solicit for development for their areas. Is that the way we are going to work? How many people will be going to the hon. Minister’s office at a particular time to solicit for development for their constituencies? That is not the way we should be operating. I expect every ministry to have a programme which should be implemented. I do not need to move from one office to the other begging for money for my constituency. 

For example, if my brother Hon. Chipungu has some money for youths, as per the guidelines, my job as an hon. Member of Parliament is to go to my constituency to inform the youths about the funds, help them to fill in the forms and then send them to his office.  That is enough. I do not need to start going to his office every day for the youths in my constituency to be able to access funding for their projects. That is not correct.

Mr Speaker, we have equipment for working on the roads, but you would find this equipment is only in the constituencies of certain colleagues only. Instead of coming up with a programme which will ensure that entire provinces are covered, you would find that the equipment only works in constituencies of certain individuals. That is not fair. When it comes to elections, you think that you can win alone. You cannot. You have to win as a collective body.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Masebo: Mr Speaker, even though the CDF has been increased, it is still not enough. We all know that the CDF is one of the most important components of the budget which goes to our people.

Mr Speaker, I can recall that His Excellency, the President once said on the Floor of the House that he hoped that the CDF could  be increased to K1 billion. 

As for me, the time when we shall increase the CDF to K1 billion for each constituency is the time I will call the budget we shall have in place a people’s budget. The K720 million which translates into an increase of K60 million, is not enough. I am therefore, waiting for time when we shall increase the CDF to K1 billion so that we can see real development in our constituencies.


Mrs Masebo: I can hear a lot of people murmuring that I conclude my debate, but I will not do so just now.


Mrs Masebo: Why do you want me to say finally?

Mr Speaker, I take note that there are a lot of roads that have been earmarked to be worked on. I also see that a number of roads are going to be tarred. Three years ago, there was one road that we were promised was going to be tarred. To date, I have not even seen it in the budget and this is the leopards Hill road. This road is an economic road. If you looked at the road, I am sure you would agree with the people who have been complaining that it is in a bad state. As a representative of the people, I have also been complaining about the state of this road. My hope was that maybe I was going to hear it mentioned in the Budget Speech, but clearly, it is not there. I want to make an earnest appeal to the hon. Minister of Works and Supply, Hon. Mulongoti to see what can be done about the Leopards Hill Road because this road would be used by trucks coming into Lusaka as well as going to Chirundu, thus decongesting the Great East Road.  Marketeers use the same road for transporting vegetables from Chongwe to Soweto Market and yet, the road has been in a bad state for the last two years. 

Mr Speaker, we have seen that some roads are going to be tarred. Personally, I do not have problems with the Mongu/Kalabo Road being tarred because the people of Mongu also need good roads. 

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I also know that for many years, the Western Province has been neglected.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo:  My only plea is that as we decide to work on the Mongu/Kalabo Road, we also think about all the other roads as well including the Leopards Hill Road.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mrs Masebo: We heard that the Muyombe Road is going to be worked on. I do not mind Muyombe being done even if I am told that there are five vehicles that pass on that road, but the point is that the Leopards Hill Road has more vehicles passing on it than the Muyombe Road. So, as you are working on the Muyombe Road, you should also consider the Leopards Hill Road. That is all I am asking for.

Mr Speaker, lastly, let me just say that in truthfulness, I will admit that this is a good budget, but that alone is not enough.  The question of whether or not the budget will be executed is also cardinal. Ensuring that what is written in the budget is achieved is very important. Do not say that K555 billion is allocated for water, but by the end of the day, you only release K300 billion.

Mr Speaker, the issue of global partnerships is also important. Therefore, there is need for Government to ensure that we build good partnerships with donors and everybody because we cannot be an alien. We need them for our country to be developed. We also need the private sector as well as the civil society to develop our country. In short, there is need for us to build relationships and not to be antogonising each other. 


Mrs Masebo: There is no finally because my light is still on.

Mr Speaker, the issues of children which the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development articulated on are very important, but as I said earlier, issues of children are cross-cutting such that they are also dealt with by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Therefore, when the money is not given to such a ministry, you would find that some issues affecting our children will not be addressed.

Sir, I was also that there was no mention of monies for the implementation of some of the decisions that we have made in the budget. For example, I am aware that we agreed that the decentralisation implementation plan will be implemented and that one of the issues that we are going to look at are issues which involve capacity in these councils. In bid to enhance the capacity of personnel, we agreed that there was going to be the establishment of the Local Government Service Commission so that it could start employing qualified personnel to do the implementation of the decentralisation programme. Somehow, I have not seen any allocation for the establishment of the Local Government Service Commission. Therefore, it means that it will not be established and we shall still remain at the same level. Maybe, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing will tell me where that budget allocation is because I have not seen it. I have browsed through the whole document, but clearly, there is nothing for the establishment of the commission.

Mr Speaker, lastly, I just wanted to also state that I want to thank Government for the allocation it has given to hospitals. It is clear that this year, the Chongwe District Hospital will be opened. I also want to thank the outgoing hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operative and the incoming one for taking their time to help me with the issue of marketing of maize in my constituency. That is how hon. Members and hon. Ministers should be working. We should not be asking our colleagues to plead us to do our jobs. Instead, we should be working together as partners.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to say something on behalf of the humble people of Namwala regarding this very good Budget Speech.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, as you know, I am here because of the people of Namwala who have seen development with their own eyes. We can smell development through the paints on the walls of the classrooms and hospitals. We can see development by the sound of the car moving fast along the Choma/Namwala Road 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: It is quite clear that there are developmental projects going on in Namwala and, indeed, in the greater Namwala.

Mr Speaker, I have perused through the Budget Speech and, in my opinion, it makes a lot of sense and the people of Namwala can easily relate to it. However, I would like to share some experiences with some of my colleagues about the tactics used on how to get development in their constituencies for the people.

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

Major Chizhyuka: Sir, we have been in this Parliament for four years now. When the people in our various constituencies elected us, they did not do so to just enable us come here to argue or complain.

Mr Shawa: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: However, what the people want in our various constituencies, no matter where they are, either in Shang’ombo or Chilubi, is an opportunity to have a share of the national cake from the Treasury 

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

Major Chizhyuka: That can only be achieved by constructive engagement.

Mr Shawa: Hear, hear! Constructive!

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, I was born on the Kafue Flats and the Ila people in that area are intelligent.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: When you stand to debate on the Floor of this House, they will hear you complain in the first, second and third year. However, while the fellows here in urban areas will think that you are speaking well, for as long as you do not take something to the centre of where the Ila people are, they will think that you are as good as rubbish. 


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

Major Chizhyuka: They will discard you and have nothing to do with you.

The reason the people of Namwala own a lot of cattle is because they know how to source wealth for the people.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: For four years, you cannot stand on the Floor of this House to complain in exactly the same manner as you did the first day when you first came to the National Assembly of Zambia.


Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

Major Chizhyuka: There should be a difference …


Mr Speaker: Order! Order! 

There is no hon. Member in here that can be said to be as good as rubbish. The hon. Member must withdraw that word.

Major Chizhyuka: Thank you, Madam Speaker …

Hon. Members: Mr Speaker!

Major Chizhyuka: Sorry, Mr Speaker, I was talking about the perception of the people of Namwala and not that of the people in this House.

Mr D. Mwila: Withdraw!

Mr Speaker: Withdraw the word ‘rubbish’.

Major Chizhyuka: I withdraw the word ‘rubbish’, Sir.

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, in 2008, as Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Information and Broadcasting, I led your Committee Members to the Western Province. After paying a courtesy call on the Litunga, your Committee travelled from Mongu to Kalabo.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, little did I know that the Mongu/Kalabo Road was a dire necessity to the people in the Western Province.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Major Chizhyuka: By the way, that road is not a regional one. It can serve as a trunk road …

Mr Mubika: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: … accessing the Republic of Zambia to the shortest route to the sea.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Yesterday, in the evening when the House adjourned, I browsed through the internet to see how much countries worldwide are charging a diesel pump price. Sir, I discovered that the pump price of diesel in Angola is at 0.39. For the sake of argument, I will put it at 0.4 per cent. Now, if we had the Mongu/Kalabo road constructed, it would give us access to the Angolan oil …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.

Major Chizhyuka: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I was beginning to say that I was the Chairperson of a Parliamentary Committee that went to the Western Province. I saw for myself the need for an all-weather road between Mongu and Kalabo. However, I also realised that, at that time, even if we gave the people of that area this road, it would not be a Western Province road. This is because it provides the shortest route to the sea and also access to Angolan oil. I explained that while the pump price of diesel in Zambia is about US$1.67 per litre, it is at US$0.39 or US$0.40 in Angola. This is on the basis of the investigation I did on the internet last night. At the time, these figures were twelve hours old. Just see the comparison.

Madam Speaker, at the height of Zimbabwe’s prosperity, the consumption of diesel in Harare town alone was equal to that of the entire country of Zambia. Do you know what? Zimbabwe does not have a refinery. So, even if you put all the economic imponderables in the equation and imported fuel from Angola and not from Kabinga, at the pump price of 0.40 and factored in all taxes that are associated with fuel pricing mechanism, it would still land here in Zambia at less than a dollar per litre.

Hon. Member: hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Member: Aah!

Major Chizhyuka: For whose benefit will that be?

Hon. Government Members: Zambians! Zambians!

Major Chizhyuka: That benefit will go to the people on the Copperbelt who have the largest mining infrastructure.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: The benefit will also go to the people in the Lusaka and Northern provinces.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: They will be the beneficiaries because in the fisheries and agricultural activities, they do not have to steal any more −what is the correct word to use? The word ‘steal’ is unparliamentary. They do not need to get …

Dr Scott: Changanya!

Major Chizhyuka: … changanya fuel. Thank you Hon. Dr Guy Scott …

Madam Deputy Speaker: What is “changanya”?

Major Chizhyuka: Changanya is smuggled fuel from other countries.

They will have very cheap fuel from Zambia as a result of that road. We do not need any refinery because there are problems associated with the sulphating of that fuel, therefore, it has to be refined there. 

At the end of the day, if we construct this K1.3 trillion road in addition to the railway transport and transport the fuel in bulk tankers and bring it to Zambia, the benefit will come to this Republic. Everyone will be well off because of that road’s construction. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: I have said, several times, that I am a pragmatist. When, at the time, I went to the Western Province and realised the need for a good road …

Mr Malama: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

 Hon. Members will not debate through points of order. The Chair has not heard anything unprocedural that warrants a point of order. You all have your freedom to debate and you are guided by the rules of the House.

Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Major Chizhyuka: Madam Speaker, it was important for me to raise the matter on the Mongu/Kalabo Road because when Mr Magande was Minister of Finance and National Planning, I asked him why the Government would not get large-scale loans for these roads because of the importance we, as hon. Members, attach to the road sector. 

Madam Speaker, I personally followed this matter up in Mr Magande’s office and I would like to mention here that I also mentioned this matter to the late President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., may his soul rest in peace. It was at that time that the decision was made that. It was agreed that, in fact, the way to go was to get large-scale loans so that we completed the works on some of the roads. So, for someone to think that this has been done because Hon. Musokotwane is from the Western Province is being narrow-minded.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: The matter about having to deal with the Mongu/Kalabo Road and the need to get a large-scale loan started much earlier. It is just that the matter has been implemented at a time when he is the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Madam Speaker, I am dealing with the budget and moneys coming into it. I have been attracted by an article in The Post newspaper of Monday, 18th October, 2010 which says, “Rupiah’s Trips reflect playboy culture.” It goes on to say, “The number of trips abroad - 270 days abroad and 170 days at State House.”

Madam Speaker, as you know, I have been raised on the Kafue Flats and there we say, “Chibuye tapi” and this means that if you stay at your home admiring your wife in what we describe as, “Tandabale hooyaya”…


Major Chizhyuka: This means if you sit there with your legs stretched out thinking that everything is alright, hunger will strike your home. An Ila girl will never be married to a “Tandabale hooyaya”.


Major Chizhyuka: An Ila girl will marry a man who lives his House regularly to search for the wealth of the family.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Madam Speaker, it is important for people to understand me because, at village level, we do this in search of wealth and development of the family. The President was able to travel out of the country at the time when there was an economic crunch the world over. There was a near shut down at the Luanshya Mines, but as a result of the presidential travels, jobs were served. I do not even know how many workers are working there now. There could be more than 3,000 workers and these are able to send their children to school and their mothers to hospitals. 

Madam Speaker, when the President travels, he is on duty…

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: …to access the K1.3 trillion from the Chinese, which is going to be used to work on the Mongu/Kalabo Road so that, after that, the entire country can benefit from low prices and there will be economic vibrancy in the country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: If a President sits at State House and continues admiring the cement …

Hon. Government Members: Loolola!


Major Chizhyuka: … this country will go in the doldrums because the President of the Republic is the best Ambassador for the country…

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: … and some nations would rather deal with the Republican President than with anybody else. Look at what is happening at Mugoto, a company called Jinchuan – it is a Chinese name – is responsible for bringing the Munali Nickel which had died down. Thanks to the presidential visit.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: On the Copperbelt, there is economic vibrancy which is reaching Ndola.


Major Chizhyuka: When you go to Chingola, there is economic vibrancy and thanks to the visits. The people of the Western Province are going to have a good road which is going to filter in this constituency – pointing at hon. Members …

Mr D Mwila: Where?


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Hon. Member, you are not allowed to point. Speak through the Chair.

Major Chizhyuka: Madam Speaker, I was saying that when those fuel prices come, everybody is going to benefit, thanks be to the presidential visit.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: “Chibuye tapi”, do not sit and relax and hope that the goodies of this world are going to come to your family by you just sitting at your house.
As an hon. Member, try to experiment this. Instead of lobbying for development in the offices of hon. Ministers, each time the House adjourns, you go to your constituency. You will see what will happen after five years. You will not have achieved anything and the people will throw you out.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Madam Speaker, as hon. Members, you should spend sometime visiting others to seek developmental support for your constituencies. That way you will be of value to your people and this is what the President is doing at national level.

Mr Munkombwe: Loolola!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Could the hon. Members on my right stop saying strange things.


Major Chizhyuka: Madam Speaker, lastly, I want to discuss something embedded in the Budget 2011 speech on page 24 and it says:

“A sector whose future is no longer only dependent on just the shine of our copper, but the allure of our gemstones, the lustre of our gold, the power of our uranium, the abundance of our manganese, and the promise of our oil.”

I hope I will have a chance to deal with this matter some other time. However, I would like the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to know that 3,500 people in Macha have been chased away from their land after accepting that church. The promise of their soil is not available for those people. In fact, it is that area where Edward Nyanga, who was the National Treasurer who kept £3,000 for the freedom struggle, came from. This is mentioned on page 41 of a book written by Mwakwe Nabulyato, the former Speaker. If Edward Nyanga rose today and found that the people whom he fought for have been chased by the same church people whom he welcomed together with his people, he would be very surprised. Alas, there is no promise of the soil and I hope that I will be able to deal with this matter when I talk about issues of land. Let us take care of our people. The Southern Province has had so many problems of Kariba, Sichifulo, Mwanachingwala, Mbeza Irrigation for too long and now it is Macha. 

The hon. Member’s time expired.

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor. This Budget, to me, does not address the key issues of development.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwamba: It is just business as usual for the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. Listening carefully to the debates by some of the hon. Ministers in response to the hon. Members on your left regarding our inability to visit their offices to solicit for developmental projects, one tends to think that theirs is just to sit in the offices and wait for us to tell them what to do. It is as if they do not have planners in their offices who are supposed to conduct needs assessments and give them reports. 

Madam Speaker, when most of us came here in 2006, especially those of us who were coming here for the first time, we were over zealous, moving from office to office as we were advised by those whom we found that ….

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwamba: … we had to visit hon. Ministers in different ministries and solicit for development. However, out of the many offices that I visited, very few have responded. Therefore, at some point, you think that these people are playing hide and seek because when they come here, they start saying if you do not do this for us you will not get what you want. So, we say okay, let them be, we will work within our own parameters using using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwamba: Madam Speaker, I would like to talk about three or four areas of the Budget Speech delivered by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. The first one is on roads. I would like to begin by talking about the Great North Road, especially the part from Serenje to Nakonde. It goes without saying that the Great North Road is of so much importance to the economy that patching it the way it is being done is not enough. That reduces the status of the road from an important one to a very simple road in the country. The wear and tear due to the frequent and constant usage of the road by the heavily loaded trucks calls for a complete rehabilitation or construction of this road between Serenje and Nakonde. Why does the Government not give priority to roads that are more important to the economy than those that are less so?

Madam Speaker, I must admit that I was very shocked the other day when I heard the former Deputy Minister for Southern Province, Hon. Munkombwe, whose office today I do not know, saying that it is an honour for one to drive …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

It is important that you know the hon. Minister and the portfolio. If you do not know the portfolio how do you call him a Minister in the Office of the Vice-President.

Mrs Mwamba: Madam Speaker, thank you for your guidance. 

I was very disappointed the other day when the Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President said it is an honour to drive on the road between Serenje and Mpika. I could not understand what he meant because I drive on that road almost everyday and I know that road is a hazard to my life and the many other motorists.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwamba: Madam Speaker, I was thinking that maybe, what he meant was that it is an honour when you drive on such a terrible road and you come out alive. Maybe, that is what he meant.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwamba: Madam Speaker, the Mpika/Kasama Road has developed so any potholes and the Government must look at that road and start patching the potholes now. This is the time to do it. I hope the Government is not waiting for the time the potholes will turn into trenches and become a hazard to our lives.

Madam Speaker, I would like to also talk about the Kasama/Mporokoso/Kaputa Road. The Member of Parliament for Mfuwe the other day made a summation of this Government’s attitude towards this road. This road is completely neglected. The hon. Member of Parliament for Chimbamilonga, who debates so passionately about the tourism potential of these districts and the Northern Circuit, did not bring out the connection between that sector and the need for a very good road between Kasama/Mporokoso/Kaputa Road. It is soon to be a very important to the economy and that calls for the Government’s investment to make it a very good road. In terms of marketing the tourism potential of that area, the Government must market this area, bearing in mind the influx of people who will be using this road. Therefore, the Government must also invest in the road network between Kasama and Kaputa to support the economic potential of this region or the economic boom which is foreseeable in this region. 

Madam Speaker, the Kasama/Luwingu Road, every year, since we came here in 2006 and I think even before we came, everyone has been bemoaning the Government’s inability to fund this road adequately so that the road can be completed. I beg to differ here with the hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala, who is saying you cannot cry for the same things from the first day up to now.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwamba: In the case of the Luwingu/Kasama Road, what do you do because the Kasama/Luwingu Road has always been inadequately funded. As a result, there have been stoppages of work. What are you supposed to do? Should I pretend that because I spoke about this in 2006, therefore, everything is fine, I will not talk about it again? This road must be given a lot of attention. The Government is also incurring a lot of penalties from contractors for failing to fund this road adequately and for failing to comply with contractual obligations. Therefore, a lot of money is being wasted not only because of not completing the works on this road, but also because penalties have to be paid to the contractors. This road was started by the MMD shortly after its advent but, sadly, it seems that this road will not be completed even as it leaves because it is very clear that it is leaving the reigns of power next year …

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwamba: … and this road is not even near completion. What is very sad is that I think it is earlier this year when the hon. Minister of Works and Supply, Hon. Mulongoti, appeared before the Public Accounts Committee and said the road would be completed before the end of this year. 

   In his Budget Speech, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning said construction of this road would be completed before the end of this year. I wonder whether Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane has travelled on that road to see how much work has been done. I wonder whether he knows the deficit on the work done on that road so far. The answer is that he does not know. He is saying things without knowing what he is talking about. The rehabilitation of that road has not even gone half way, but we are already towards the end of October. The rainy season is about to start and in that part of the country, the rains are very heavy and militate against all road works.

Madam Speaker, I would like to talk about the grading of feeder roads in my constituency and rural areas in general. I will talk about feeder roads in connection with the agricultural industry. In dealing with challenges in the agricultural industry, the Government has, for sometime now, been toying with the idea of putting in place a marketing system. Since the defunct National Marketing Board (NAMBOARD) was destroyed by this Government, the marketing of crops in this country has been in disarray. Farmers whose crops are purchased by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) are not paid on time.

Madam Speaker, for instance, when I visited my constituency last month, the people of Lukashya told me that they sold their maize to the FRA in July. They were hoping that they would be paid on time before schools opened in September but, up to now, most of them have not been paid. This means that most of the children of people who sold maize to the FRA may have been chased from school and have, therefore, been inconvenienced.

Madam Speaker, the other challenge which should cause us all sleepless nights is the storage of crops in the face of the onset of rains. The much-talked about bumper harvest has come as a surprise to the Government. This is why the Government seems unprepared in terms of storage. If the Government had a good agriculture policy, it would have provided adequate storage in anticipation of a huge harvest of crops. In any case, distribution of fertiliser to small-scale farmers, in the past, has not matched crop output. Research has been done on this and since I was an hon. Member of the Committee on Agriculture and Lands in the past, I know this for a fact.

Madam Speaker, the Government must allocate adequate funds towards crop marketing so that for once, ‘we walk the talk’. A related challenge to marketing of crops is that of feeder roads. For over four years now, we have not seen any efforts by the Government to grade, construct or reconstruct feeder roads in Lukashya and other rural areas. There is a lot of agricultural produce in Lukashya and Kasama District as a whole. Apart from Mbala and Isoka that were believed to be traditional agriculture districts, agriculture production has greatly improved in the Northern Province. There is, therefore, a need to put in place proper agricultural infrastructure to encourage productivity in the area.

Madam Speaker, with regard to livestock, the Government must quickly establish a vaccine centre to produce corridor disease vaccines. It will be cheaper in the long run for us. It is not enough to just establish disease free zones. We need to double our efforts in this area so that we rid our country of all corridor diseases, are able to compete favourably and export beef on the international market.

Madam Speaker, the education infrastructure that has been put up by the Government, especially in Lukashya Constituency, does not match the population of children in the area. This is why most hon. Members of Parliament from rural areas have taken it upon themselves to improve the rural and community schools to supplement the efforts of rural communities. There are many volunteer teachers in rural areas who are providing unpaid service to many children in areas where the Government cannot provide education. I would like to urge the Government to give support to such teachers so that they can be encouraged to carry on in the face of shortages of teachers and inadequate education infrastructure.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.{mospagebreak}

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Chituwo): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor that was occasioned by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning’s Budget Speech delivered to this House on 8th October, 2010.

Madam Speaker, I have listened very attentively to various contributions by hon. Members of this House. Indeed, some of the suggestions and contributions are very good and relate to issues that we, in the Executive, have been discussing and considering. I have also listened to commentaries from other stakeholders in the country, notably the Economic Association of Zambia, Bankers Association of Zambia and some farming associations. Clearly the message from them has been that of appreciation of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning’s Budget Speech. They have acknowledged that this was a speech which was properly thought throught and brilliantly delivered. Therefore, the theme of “A people’s Budget from a People’ Government” suits it.

Madam Speaker, I recall the inability of the majority of hon. Members of Parliament to debate the first Tuesday after we started this session. We had to adjourn early and my interpretation was that perhaps, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning’s speech was so brilliant that, in fact, it had shocked them and therefore, there was nothing that could be debated upon earlier. Perhaps, hon. Members were mesmerized by the hon. Minister’s brilliant presentation. However, I can see that hon. Members have eventually made contributions and given their thoughts on this Motion. That is how it is supposed to be.

Madam Speaker, I therefore commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for moving us away from having a greater contribution from donors to our Budget. That 82.7 per cent of the Budget will come from our own resources is certainly commendable. As we might all be aware, the form of aid is under discussion in order to make it much more effective.

Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing truly appreciates the proposal to allocate it K179.3 billion. We are grateful for this because every year, we have to contend with cholera outbreaks in the rainy season in major towns such as Lusaka and Mpulungu in the Northern Province 

    This is why the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has specifically allocated funds for the operationalisation of the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme because it is concerned with the outbreaks of disease. The majority of the hon. Members are rural based and I am sure they appreciate this budget because it will enable the Executive sink boreholes in rural areas. 

Madam Speaker, our Head of State and Government committed themselves to the millennium development goals in 2000. In this sector, the Government will target people to access safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. We note, with satisfaction and appreciation, the K555 billion allocated in this budget towards this area which represents a 28 per cent increase over the 2010 Budget.

Madam Speaker, I believe that dialogue and interaction is important, but I do not believe that interaction in our offices has not yielded any results. Perhaps, in that interaction we ask for everything, but it is not possible to deal with and implement everything. 

We also appreciate this gesture because our womenfolk in rural areas walk long distances with various colours of plastic containers to fetch water. This Government is concerned about those that are least heard and is determined to improve water supply. This will free women from the daily chores of drawing water and devote their time to other issues such as health education or nutrition discussions.

Madam Speaker, the urban and peri-urban areas have posed a challenge to many governments in Africa in the provision of clean drinking water and sanitation. We appreciate the amount of K166.3 billion that has been allocated towards this area. Once these issues are effectively tackled, we will contribute to the health of this nation by reducing on the drug bill in the Ministry of Health.  This is all our desire.

We have also heard of the need to improve the infrastructure. Because of this, we can see not only light at the end of the tunnel, but a possibility of abolishing inherited structures, particularly in Kitwe on the Copperbelt  where we still have communal water  facilities and ablution blocks.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: The hon. Minister has allocated K110 billion to support utility companies such as the Nkana Water Sewerage Company in Kitwe, Chambishi and Kalulushi to get rid of the colonial relics. 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Madam, our concerns with regard to environmental health are real. This is why we have the Inter-sector National Epidemic Preparedness Committee that is inter-sectoral. In this regard, we exchange experts in the Ministries of Health, Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources and the Lusaka City Council because when cholera or any other disease breaks out, it does not discriminate.

Madam Speaker, I have not known, in the many years I have been in this House, of a single budget that has solved all the problems in our country. However, the 2011 Budget, like previous budgets, has brought out plans such as the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF); a roadmap that is articulated every year. In fact, this was also articulated by His Excellency the President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, in his address to the Fifth Session of the Tenth Assembly. 

I think we should now focus on the welfare of our people in order to improve the standards of living. It is not feasible to solve all the problems in one budget, but we are guided by the plans in terms of our economic thrust of roads which will bring the most benefit to our people and which infrastructure will bring relief from pain or suffering. This is a people’s budget from a people’s Government crafted after having listened to the people yesterday. The Government is listening now and has acted in a manner that addresses most of the concerns of our people in a consistent manner. 

Madam Speaker, the Decentralisation Implementation Plan in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is certainly on course. This is a major revelation in our governance. With your permission, I will issue a ministerial statement on the Decentralisation Implementation Plan during the course of this session.

Madam Speaker, as hon. Members of Parliament, our standing in the eyes of the people is clearly dictated by how we conduct ourselves, what we say and how we dress. I would like to believe that the principles that we exhibit and the values that we have of honesty, integrity and hard work must be a reflection of those that we are privileged to lead.

Madam, I was astounded to hear, in spite of our freedom of speech, that the MMD Government must not be thanked for the developments in this country because it is not its money. Of course, everyone knows that the Executive acts on behalf of the people. The mandate given to the MMD Government in this case is to deliver those promises which were made. It is pat of our culture and custom to thank anyone who fulfills ones need. Even in a family setting, when parents give a child something, they expect that child to thank them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Madam, how then can hon. Members not show appreciation for  anything good that is done? 

Madam, finally, the Motion on the Floor of this august House needs the support of all hon. Members because each one of us promised to deliver to the people and I do not believe that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is the answer. The CDF is complementary to the line ministry budgets. Our people in Zambia, especially those in the rural areas, look forward to the implementation of this budget. They look forward to interacting with us. Therefore, my appeal to hon. Members is to appreciate and support the budget.

Madam, we on this side are ready to work and if there are people who do not want to march with us, then they will clearly be left behind. Our focus is on our people.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC. (Livingstone): Madam Speaker, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to join in this debate.

Madam Speaker, last year, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning presented his Budget Speech, it came from a cold and impersonal television monitor. However, this year, it would appear that his speech came from the warmth and depth of his heart.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: Madam Speaker, this speech has been described differently by various people, both during their contributions to debate in this House and outside. One of the main themes that seem to have come out is whether or not one should thank the Government when it has done things for the people.

Madam Speaker, some of my friends on your right, in fact, stated that utalumbi mubwa.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: There was a variation to that theme by the hon. Member for Sinazongwe …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

As long you say something that is not in the official language, you have to tell us what it means.

Mr Sikota, SC.: I am most obliged, Madam. It means that he who does not show gratitude is a dog.


Dr Musonda: Not a dog, but just likened to a dog.

Mr Sikota, SC.: In fact, the hon. Member for Sinazongwe went further and put a variation to it and said utalumbi munkala meaning a mongrel. I would like to put my own variation to it and say that utalumbi Chihuahua. As you know, a Chihuahua is the smallest dog you can ever get.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

This Parliament has language which is acceptable and that which is not acceptable. You do realise, hon. Members, that this House tolerates our traditional sayings, but not variations. The variations that you are making can become very personal and, therefore, are not acceptable. 

If you will say anything, it has to be that which is acceptable in our own community. The hon. Member may stick to the accepted phrase.

Mr Sikota, SC.: Madam Speaker, the issue of being thankful when something is done is something which is within our culture and is accepted. When a father does something for the children, they should be thankful. The greatest father that we all have is God almighty …

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: … and he provides for all of us. We all accept that God almighty is responsible for all of us, and yet those of us who are Christian will thank God for providing and will not say that it is his duty. That is the attitude that we should all have.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Bwekeshapo apopene.

Mr Sikota, SC.: Madam Speaker, speaking for myself and the people of Livingstone, …
Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: …we would like to thank the Government for certain developments that have been given to us amongst which are the early completion of the Livingstone/Zimba Road, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: … the mortuary at the Livingstone Central Hospital, …

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: … the houses for the police that have been built so that the police in Livingstone are properly housed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Sikota, SC.: This is just outside the Maramba Stadium.

Hon. Member: Yes, we have seen that.

Mr Sikota, SC.: Madam Speaker, Livingstone is a border town where there are at least 20,000 people who rely on cross border trade. These people cross the border on a daily basis to buy small amounts of goods for trade. They used to face a lot of bureaucratic hindrances in their work in that for any goods over US$500, they were required to get clearing agents to assist them. I am grateful that this Government has seen it fit to increase the amount to US$2,000 without having to resort to clearing agents. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: This greatly helps 20,000 of my constituents who rely on this type of business on a daily basis.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: Madam Speaker, some people have stated that this Budget speech was an empty promissory note. It was reported that one hon. Member described it as such. I took the opportunity to look up the meaning of promissory in a dictionary. I noted that amongst those described as promissory notes is a post dated cheque. If a post dated cheque is given to someone and it bounces, then that cheque can properly be called an empty promissory note.

I do not think that one can declare the budget an empty promissory note before one sees whether or not there is delivery. One cannot predict into the future. Having looked at the rate of delivery, I think that we all should give the Government the benefit of doubt.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: One of the things that have been stated is that this Government is completing programmes and projects which were started by previous governments.

Hon. Member: Yes.

Mr Sikota, SC.: I think that should be cause for praise …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: … rather than seeing it as a negative. If previous governments have failed to complete projects such as the Choma/Namwala Road, but this particular Government comes and completes it, …

Mr Chizhyuka: To the happiness of the people.

Mr Sikota, SC.: … we should praise them …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: … and not say that they should not do so. It would not be right for this Government to abandon developmental projects merely because they were started by previous administrations. In fact, some people have tried to ridicule the Government by saying that you cannot claim somebody’s pregnancy. However, it shows that a person truly loves to accept somebody else’s pregnancy and raise the child. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: It shows somebody who has a great heart.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: Such a person should, in fact, be praised.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: As the hon. Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Offices states, we have the example of Joseph in the Bible …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: … who raised Jesus as his own and taught him the trade of carpentry.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota, SC.: That is what a loving father does. He does not throw away anybody. In fact, the Bible tells us to look after widows and orphans.

Madam Speaker, I would like to turn to an issue which the Government should, perhaps, revisit and take very seriously. It is, extremely, worrying that our mainstream economy remains dominated by foreign interests who have, in the immediate past, shown that their loyalties are not with this country, but with their pockets and countries of origin. Some mining companies have even constructed universities in their countries of origin, but have not done the same in Zambia. They have not shown the same kind of commitment as they have done towards their countries of origin. They show, absolutely, no social responsibility. 

Madam Speaker, the weakness in our economy is not that we are not making progress. The weakness is that, the sectors that are driving the growth of our economy, that is, mining, agriculture, tourism and construction, are largely controlled by foreigners. During the colonisation era, all our mineral wealth went towards the building of London. If you go to the House of Commons, you will notice that the wood that is there is the Zambian brand and it is found in many houses of parliament. 

Madam, our copper wealth went to help build London. Again, during the federation days, we did not see the benefit of our copper wealth. It went to build Salisbury. That is what happened during the days of the federation. It was not until there was a nationalisation that some bits of benefit started to come towards Zambia. From then, we saw a large amount of growth happening in the Zambian economy. Today, it seems we are back to the colonial or federal days. Our wealth is not building Zambia. We are not getting the benefit from even the high copper prices which are there at this time.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Why should we go back after many years to the situation we were in during the federal era? I sincerely appeal to this Government to re-look and re-think about our tax regime so as to ensure that we get proper benefits from our resources.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Madam Speaker, it is not only in terms of copper, but we are also the largest emerald producer in the world.

Mr Mwenya: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: However, when we look at the benefits that we are getting from the emeralds, I am sure the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will agree that they are not reflected in our economy. If they are, perhaps, when the hon. Minister stands up to respond to some of our concerns, he can give us figures to show how we are benefiting from the emeralds that we have.

Madam, the people who own these emerald mines are not paying the taxes that they should be paying, and yet we understand that in various African capitals there are edifices which are being built from our emerald wealth. This is the same problem that we had with our copper during the federal days whereby the Zambians were not benefiting from their mineral wealth.

Madam Speaker, what will it hurt our economy if this Government decided to nationalise all of the emerald mines?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Yes, the mining companies would be entitled to compensation. That is true, but how would we work out the compensation? The compensation would be worked out according to what they have declared they are making from these mines.

Mr Mwenya: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: It should be according to what they have been paying us up to-date, which is nothing. So, we would be able to grab our mines at very little cost. If notice is given to these emerald miners, that this is what we intend to do, I am absolutely confident that, at the next declaration of tax returns, we would see these emerald miners greatly increasing what they declare for fear of losing their mines at no cost.

Mr Mwenya: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Why are we letting all our wealth slip through our fingers? We need to tap this hemorrhaging of our wealth. We need to use our laws in order to catch those who may want to filter away our wealth without giving us our just dues on it. There is nobody who would say that we are doing something wrong if we were to get these emerald mines back and pay the owners according to what they are declaring to us. The courts would be in our favour. 

Madam Speaker, again, I, very sincerely, beseech the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and the Government to look at this possibility. We will soon be mining oil and diamonds. If the regime we have in terms of taxing these people is going to be the same as we have with regards to our copper and emeralds, we may as well leave those diamonds and oil in the ground.

Mr Mwenya: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: This is something that requires urgent action before we wake up one day to find that we no longer have any resources.

Madam Speaker, I would like to leave my debate on that sober note.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Nyirenda (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to debate on the Motion on the Floor of this House which was presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on 8th October, 2010.

Madam Speaker, according to my assessment, the speech is very impressive and indicative of the Government’s commitment to developing this nation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nyirenda: It is gratifying to note that we are reducing the syndrome of donor dependency which we have not done for quite some time. The 2011 Budget has focused on the infrastructural development which is cardinal because our country is an underdeveloped country. If we concentrate on infrastructural things, we are going to create incentives which will create employment and reduce the poverty levels in our midst. 
Madam Speaker, when you study this Budget well, you will find that it is better than the capital focused Budget and its platform is for the future development and economic growth of our country. Growth is what we are all looking towards to achieve and it cannot come overnight. It takes time to come about. I think we are in the right direction because we have achieved this increment in our 2011 Budget. The 23 per cent increment in the Budget has not just come about by accident. It has come through the commitment of the Government and the Executive, in particular, to see to it that the status of the country is improved. 

Madam Speaker, I would also like to commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for having given our colleagues in the low income band of K1, 000,000 to K1,735,000 per month a tax rate of 25 per cent on Pay As You Earn (PAYE). This will mean, therefore, that they will have a million which will be tax free. I also noticed that we are denying ourselves an opportunity to get more tax based revenue. As my colleagues have said, in Zambia, we have got a lot of mangoes and things that can raise our income, but because of our situation and the status, we are unable to do so. Hence, I call upon the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to look into the means and ways of trying to make the tax regime more viable than it is at the moment. 

Madam Speaker, if all these measures are put in place, we can, at least, achieve what we had attained in the 1970s, which is being a middle income country. We cannot face any hurdles or difficulties if we work together as a team and look into ways that will help us create wealth in our country. The issue of critising and politicising matters of our economy will not take us anywhere. The issue of calling each other names here and there will never do us any good. Therefore, it is imperative that we sit down and put our heads together to devise how we can make our country forge ahead. 

Madam Speaker, it is makes sad reading to read about issues that demean our own leaders and the Executive for the sake of politicising matters all the time. 

Madam, I commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for increasing the Budget from K16 trillion to K20 trillion in 2011. I also commend him for the projects which have been mentioned. I, therefore, declare this Budget pro-poor. In fact, we should commend the Government for having coming up with this initiative soon after undergoing the global economic crunch.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.  

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity as well to add my voice to the debate on the Motion on the Floor. First and foremost, I would like to agree with the debate of Hon. Sikota, SC. on the mines. We have actually noted that there has been very little that this country has been benefiting from the mining industry and, of course, including the gemstone mining.

Madam Speaker, last week, I had the privilege of visiting Mopani Copper Mines through one of your Committees that was sent to Mufulira. I learnt that, on a daily basis, Mopani Copper Mines produces about 800 tonnes of copper. Such production, over 365 days, is a lot of copper being exported out of this country. I learnt further that the mining industry in this country is contributing about 10 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP). However, what the Government is realising from that is only 0.7 per cent. What we are saying is that the bulk of this is externalised.

Madam Speaker, I do not have any problems with the Budget because I do believe that a budget is prepared based on the revenue that the country has or intends to realise so that that money is pumped back into developing the country. However, the problem that I have had for the past four years, in fact this my fifth year, that I have been in this House is that, despite coming up with projects, there has never been any tangible development that I can attribute to any of the four or five Budgets that I have been a part of.

Madam Speaker, I want to concentrate on my constituency because I represent the people of Nkana. They sent me here to bring up issues that are affecting them with the hope that the Government will consider and address them.

Madam Speaker, I find it very difficult because the mining industry on the Copperbelt is also complaining that despite planning for them in terms of Resident Development Committees (RDCs), the money that is allocated to them is rarely released. For example, last year, out of what was apportioned to the Mine Safety Department, I think, only two installments were released to the sector. How do you expect the department to carry out inspections to make sure that everything is done according to the mine safety regulations in the mining sector? These are some of the challenges that ought to be talked about. 

Madam Speaker, we are saying that there is improvement in the provision of health services to the Zambian people. I do not agree with that because the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) has been failing to import or stock implants for patients for a long period now. There are patients who have been kept at the UTH for over three months without being attended to because of failure to provide implants. 

There is a patient from Hon. Nyirenda’s Constituency at the UTH. I even invited the hon. Member to go with me to see his voter but, unfortunately, he refused to accompany me. This patient has been in the hospital for close to three months now. He has been asked to buy this implant on his own. These implants are costing close to about K6 million. How do you expect a poor person to raise that money to buy these implants? If a person fails to buy these implants, it means he or she will continue languishing in the ward like is the case with this particular patient by the name of Joseph Kingupengu. This is unfortunate. 

Madam Speaker, the Government should fund health institutions adequately so that they are able to provide the services that are required by the vulnerable. We should not claim that our people are able to access health care based on those of you who are able to pay for service at very expensive institutions. We want you to ensure that the vulnerable people in society are able to access health care. We will only acknowledge that there is growth in this country when we see the poor going to and accessing health care. Only then will we acknowledge that there is growth in the country. 

Madam Speaker, on page 24 Paragraph 185 of the Budget Speech, the hon. Minister concluded by saying that the cost of running Government had been cut so as to spend more than half the Budget investing in the people. What I know is that when you talk about cutting the cost of running Government, you are talking about reducing the Cabinet and the number of ministries. I do not know if anyone has heard of the Cabinet or the number of ministries being reduced. We have the same bloated Cabinet. 

Hon. MMD Member: Finally!

Mr Mwenya: It is, therefore, not true that the cost of running Government has been cut. It is not fair to mislead the nation.  

Madam Speaker, the following paragraph talks about doubling resources for roads and bridges. For the past four years, we have been hearing about the same roads. On the Copperbelt, the only roads that we hear about are the ones in Lufwanyama and Mpongwe. Likewise, a hospital is only being constructed in Lufwanyama. There is literally nothing that we can point to that is being done in Kitwe, Ndola, Chililabombwe, Mufulira, Kalulushi and Chingola towns. Our humble Provincial Minister will agree with me on this point. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, the issue at hand is equity resource sharing.  The resources might not be enough, but the little we have should be shared equitably. Each one of us must have a share. There are 150 hon. Members of Parliament. Why can you not call each one of us and ask us what is required in our constituencies so that we are able to give you the priorities of the people? If we can tell you what the people want, and you include it in the Budget, it will help. This is the essence of having representatives from constituencies. They are supposed to help the Government so that we develop the country at the same level and time. 

Madam Speaker, in Kitwe, there is one important road, the Chibuluma/Mine Road and Central Street, which I have been talking about. It was comforting to chat with the hon. Minister of Works and Supply about it. He assured me that it is being taken care of and that before the end of 2010, we should expect some works to be carried out on this road. This road, which transports all the copper produced in the country, is a very important road for economic development. It connects Zambia to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and all the mining places in the North-Western Province, Mufulira, Kitwe, Chingola and Chililabombwe. 

Madam Speaker, this Government is spending about K60 billion per kilometer to construct the Kalabo Road which is about 70 kilometers long. We realise that this road is as important to the people of the Western Province as the road I am talking about is. If you are spending K60 billion per kilometer to construct the Kalabo Road, you will agree with me that the amount of money you intend to spend over 70 kilometers is colossal. This is not the first time we are spending money on this road. I remember that there was a time we engaged the Kuwait Constructors to work on this road and colossal sums of money went to waste on that road. 

We need to balance the way we spend the resources.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: To work on the Chibuluma/Mine Road, you will need only about K80 billion. Once this road is done, you are going to accelerate transportation of copper for export and more money will be raised for more developmental projects. I am failing to understand what the problem with this Government is. Why do they have problems in identifying priorities …

Mr Imasiku: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Imasiku: Madam Speaker, I stand on a very serious point of order. Yesterday, a Member of the pact was opposed to the rehabilitation of the Kalabo Road. Today, a Member of the pact is, again, speaking against this road. Is the hon. Member in order to say that the Government is wasting a lot of money on this road? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: One point must be made very clear. I think yesterday will be referred to briefly. It is known which political parties hon. Members belong to and that must not be confused. The danger of the kind of thinking that seems to be setting in is divisive. Zambia is a unitary State and wherever development is taking place, it development should be appreciated by all. 

However, one realises that in each area, there are priority projects which should be brought to the Floor of the House without necessarily looking at others as being less important. I think that hon. Members can debate by bringing out what is important in their own areas to the Executive so that those considered important are captured without necessarily making a comparison that sounds divisive to the people out there. We need unity as we are a unitary State and we need it wherever we are in this House. 

The hon. Member can continue, taking into consideration the point of order and the guidance and bring out what he sees as important.

The hon. Member for Nkana may continue. 

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, in Kitwe, there is only one central hospital; namely, Kitwe Central Hospital. The population of Kitwe has grown. There are a number of clinics, but only one hospital. On the Copperbelt Province, there is not a single clinic that has been upgraded to a mini-hospital. We do not have a single clinic where a theatre is being constructed. All this is only happening in Lusaka, maybe, because it is cosmopolitan. Why is it like that? I do agree that this country is one Zambia and one nation. Obviously, what makes some of us lament is that we can see that we have been left behind in terms of development. 

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!
Hon. Member, from your debate, you are trying to qualify the guidance. Continue to debate on the lines as guided. Debate on Kitwe and other places that you know about. What do you need there? I think that is the way you want to go.

You may continue.

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, the people in Kitwe are lamenting that they would want to see …

Mr Nyirenda: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

The Chair was speaking, therefore, I do not know whether the point of order is on the Chair or not. 


Mr Nyirenda: Madam Speaker, the point of order is on Hon. Mwenya.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

You can only raise a point of order on the issue as the person is speaking. No point of order is given.

The hon. Member for Nkana may continue.

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, there are a lot of challenges in my constituency.

Mr Nyirenda: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Nyirenda: Madam Speaker, is it in order for Hon. Mwenya to state that there is no hospital which has been upgraded in Kitwe when there is one in Ndeke Village which has been upgraded to a district hospital. I need your serious ruling.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Hon. Members, based on that point of order, it is important that we debate factual issues as we debate. No matter how political your debate maybe, which is seemingly so in the House, you should state facts. Do not say one when there are two or two when there is one. Therefore, if that point of order is on facts, then the hon. Member for Nkana must put that into consideration and correct the statement that there is only one hospital in Kitwe.

The hon. Member for Nkana may continue.

Mr   Mwenya: Madam Speaker, there is only one Member of Parliament in Kitwe and that is me.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

That is a dangerous and misleading statement. Kitwe does not have only one Member of Parliament. There are several hon. Members of Parliament. There is yourself as Member for Nkana. There is also Wusakile. All that is in Kitwe and I believe many others. The hon. Member will not mislead the House. Withdraw and make an apology for that serious misleading statement.

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, I withdraw that. 

Madam Deputy Speaker: And apologise.

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, I would like to withdraw that statement and I apologise. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, there is only Kitwe Central Hospital in Kitwe. There is no district hospital in Kitwe. I, therefore, stand to be challenged over that. There could be initiatives to try and build one, but that has never taken off. We only have a few clinics. I know of a clinic that was built in ZAMTAN. There is another clinic or rather a mini-hospital in Ndeke.


Mr Mwenya: This hospital has never opened yet as the projects requires more funds.

What I am trying to say is that we have seen a number of hospitals in Lusaka. If you go to Matero or Chawama, you will find mini-hospitals. Wherever you go in Lusaka, there are mini-hospitals. Since the Government has failed to construct another hospital in Kitwe like the one in Chawama, why do we not upgrade the existing ones?

Mr Chella: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Another point of order is raised.

Mr Chella: Madam Speaker, I am very surprised by the debate of Hon. Mwenya for alleging that there is no other hospital in Kitwe when there is Wusakile and Nkana hospitals. Are those not hospitals? Is he in order to mislead the nation? I need your serious ruling.

 Hon. Government Members:  Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker:  The Chair has guided enough. Therefore, the statements coming from the hon. Member simply mean that whatever the hon. Member grades a hospital is his own opinion. If there are other hospitals as the other hon. Members are saying, it means that there are hospitals. You can qualify whether they are small hospitals or big hospitals. That is a different matter, but hospitals are hospitals. Therefore, the hon. Member will debate accordingly. He is, therefore, not in order to say that there is only one hospital. You may say what kind of hospital this is, but there is not only one hospital in Kitwe.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Mwenya:  Madam Speaker, I would want to insist that the two hospitals that are being mentioned are Wusakile which belongs to Mopani Copper Mine and …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

I think the hon. Member is not interested in the debate. Can I remind the House that nobody challenges the Chair in that manner? We know how to challenge the ruling of the Chair as this is the fifth year in the House and this will not be allowed. 

Any further debate?

Mr Lumba (Solwezi Central): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to also contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor on this important document which is the budget.

Madam, let me also begin by commending the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for presenting a K20.5 trillion budget which is very ambitious and for saying that we are going to finance this budget domestically by over 80 per cent.  If this can be achieved, we will be talking about raising over K61 trillion locally.

Madam Speaker, it was interesting to note from the hon. Minister’s speech that that we are reducing donor dependency. We must desist from begging. I hate begging. This reminds me of my former British pastor at the Lusaka Baptist Church who was shocked by the level of begging in this country. He would say that we are not ashamed to be begging everyday.

Madam Speaker, as the hon. Minister moves on to finance our budget domestically, it excites me that we will be own our own and, therefore, people will respect us if we are going to be financing our activities with our own money.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Madam Speaker, in doing so, I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to broaden the tax base. I know that he mentioned about putting some VAT bank charges and called it broadening the tax base. The same people who are being taxed are the ones who put the money in the banks, and yet these are the ones VAT will be applied on. I do not see that doing much in broadening the tax base.

Madam Speaker, another issue I would like to talk about in this budget is the tax administration. When I debated the Presidential Speech, I gave an example of Mauritius, how its tax is low and easier to administer. The hon. Deputy Minister was quick to answer back and said that I was implying that we should adopt what Mauritius is doing.   

   Madam Speaker, I was saying that the tax must be made easier to administer and less expensive to pay so that people can appreciate the value of paying it. People pay too much tax without them understanding why they are doing so. We can look around and borrow good things from others. We should not just copy everything being implemented in other countries. 

Madam, as I listened to the Budget Address, I heard that jobs have been created in the informal sector. Now, if jobs have been created in the informal sector, why have these people not been included in the tax base so that they can contribute to the revenue which the hon. Minister of Finance is in need of?

Madam Speaker, on page 1 of his speech, the hon. Minister recognises the fact that the people of Zambia have made great sacrifices and I agree with him. The scars of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) and the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative are still visible in our nation. Many of our nationals died during the period of the SAP and during time when we were working towards reaching the HIPC Completion Point. So far, we have not seen the fruits of what we were suffering for. It is high time the Zambian people started seeing the fruits of SAP and HIPC. I am happy to note that the hon. Minister recognised this fact.

Madam Speaker, it is interesting to note that our economic growth at 6 per cent has been above the global and sub-Saharan growth rate as the hon. Minister stated. However, the growth does not mean anything to most of our people. The poverty is visible in both rural and peri-urban areas. Most of our people live on a dollar a day or even less. I sat here attentively listening to the budget hoping that it would bring hope to the people by giving them more money to take to their homes. 

Madam Speaker, the figures which are being thrown at us, like the 6 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) rate do not mean anything to an average Zambian on the street. The Zambians on the street want to see real things. They want to see money in their pockets.

Madam Speaker, this reminds me of what the hon. Minister said. I heard him say on one hand that through this Budget, he is giving back to the people around K200 billion, but when you critically analyse the situation, you will find out that he will get this money back through the taxes that will be paid by the banks. There is no bank that will not pass its tax costs to the customers. All of them do that. There are also other areas through which the hon. Minister will take back the money in question through measures that he has put in place. I may discuss those measures later, if time will allow me. 

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister recognises the fact that copper remains our major source of national income and I agree with him. However, let me point out the fact that there has never been a better time for copper producing countries than now. The hon. Minister stated that copper production this year will exceed 720,000 metric tonnes. A little bit of mathematics here will reveal that at an average price of $7,000 per tonne, the mining companies are going to have a combined turnover of US$5 billion.

However, it is sad to note that this Government did away with windfall tax and in its place, introduced variable tax. I was expecting the hon. Minister to explain to us how much money he is going to get from variable tax to finance the activities he has mentioned. 

Madam, considering the levels of production that we are talking about, we could have realised over US $500 million, if the windfall tax was still in place. The hon. Minister could have used this money to finance some of the activities that he talked about in his speech. 

Madam Speaker, when the hon. Minister comes to respond to the concerns that have been raised by the many hon. Members, I would like him to explain to us at what rate copper is being sold, the production levels and how much he anticipates to collect from the industry through variable tax. I am interested to know all these things. I am begging him to explain to us how much we will get from through variable tax after selling our copper. This is because the mining companies are externalising not only the profits, but also the entire turnover. They sell the copper out there and bring to this country just a bit of money only to pay salaries for the Zambian nationals as well as a few tax obligations.

  I will be surprised if we get 60 per cent of the K5 billion plus which the mining companies are going to realise from the copper sales.

Madam Speaker, this Budget does not give hope to those of us coming from mining towns. This because we see the degradation of the mines, everyday, and yet very little is coming back to the community. The Government should stop fearing these investors. If at any given time there came about a movement which would be negative to the operation of the mines, the owners of the mine would quickly come to the hon. Minister to negotiate. The miners are enjoying a good time and it is now our time to go to them to ask for the sharing of the cake equally. 

Madam Speaker, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister to go to the mine owners to get what is due to us because he would listen to them if it were them asking.

Madam Speaker, I now come to the Budget itself. I can only say that a budget is good when I have a share of it. In the same way, I can only say that a cake is good after I taste it. I cannot talk about a cake which I have not tasted. Therefore, what is in the Budget for the people of Solwezi?

Before I dwell much on Solwezi, let me say something on the bumper harvest. The hon. Minister talked about a bumper harvest and, next year, I am sure he will get more than 2.8 million metric tonnes of maize, if the measures he has put in place will work out. However, I thought that the hon. Minister would come up with measures on how to improve on the maize marketing. It is sad to note that we are always talking about the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) when it is not a marketing body or authority. Its only obligation is to store our food reserves. I expected the hon. Minister to come up with marketing measures to deal with the bumper harvest we are expecting, which is in excess of 3 million metric tonnes of maize, should the set measures work. I thought the hon. Minister would come up with the creation of a grain marketing board or authority which would help in the marketing of maize. 

Madam Speaker, on tourism, I do not know if it is a mistake, but on page 17 of the Budget Speech, Kasaba Bay has been allocated K38.6 billion for the road and terminal building. However, again, it has been mentioned to benefit from the K28.4 billion together with other airports and airstrips and this is indicated on page 18. Even if we want to improve tourism, why should Kasaba Bay get K38.6 billion and also get a share from the other airports when the airstrips in Solwezi have not been mentioned anywhere? I am concerned about this development. This Budget will only be good to me if I will benefit from it, as it is, the people of Solwezi are not benefiting. Solwezi has two planes landing and taking off in a day, but has not been mentioned in the Budget.

Madam Speaker, I now come to the road sector. Amongst the major roads that have been mentioned, there is no road that connects to Solwezi that has been mentioned to be worked on. We have a very important road connecting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Solwezi, which needs to be worked on because we have a lot of trucks coming from as far as Dar-es-salaam through this road to Lusaka, Copperbelt then to the DRC through Kipushi. This is an economic road which needs attention, but the hon. Minister has said nothing about it in the Budget. The hon. Minister should re-look at the roads by including the Kipushi/Solwezi Road because it will help to bring more money to the Treasury.

On health, Madam Speaker, Solwezi Central, which is the hub of the North-Western Province, has no district hospital. Someone may raise a point of order to say there is a district hospital, but there is none. 

 Can I say that I am participating in the cake despite contributing through the Kansanshi and Lumwana mines to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), if there is nothing for the people of Solwezi to be excited about?

Madam Speaker, let me talk about water supply. I have no problem with Nkana Water and Sewerage Company being given K110 billion because they need it. However, at the moment, the North-Western Water and Sewerage Company has a problem and cannot supply water to people who are building, and yet one company has been given K110 billion out of the K555 billion. Besides that, Nkana Water and Sewerage Company has also a loan from African Development Bank (ADB) which I know it is still servicing. Therefore, there is also a need to give some money to this company because we also need to taste something from this Budget as the people of Solwezi Central.

Madam Speaker, let me talk about construction. A number of houses for the police and prisons have been constructed in different areas which are equally important to Zambia, but there is nothing for Solwezi which is part of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, yes, the Budget is good, but I have not tasted that of cake. I have not had a piece of it. I have looked in the Budget to see what the hon. Minister has allocated for Solwezi and found that where there is Solwezi, it is written nurses’ flats. I said this is what we are going to benefit, particularly as people of Solwezi Central. I see that this piece of document from the hon. Minister does not have anything for us, the people of Solwezi.

Madam Speaker, the Chingola/Solwezi Road, which is our major road, will be worked on under Private-Public Partnership (PPP) even though the hon. Minister has not mentioned it here. When is that going to be done? That road is being destroyed everyday by trucks which pass there everyday, and yet the hon. Minister has not even mentioned it, maybe, some simple works will be done before the PPP comes in. I am just wondering, what we have done to this Government to be treated like this. When King Muswati came here, the President went to Solwezi and boasted that he had got 100 per cent votes from that province. That is what we read he said, but when it comes to sharing of the cake, he deliberately ignores the people of Solwezi. 

Madam Speaker, I came out of the Budget presentation by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on 8th October, 2010, a sad man. I complained to some hon. Ministers that there was nothing in it for the people of Solwezi. These people are suffering the degradation caused by Kansanshi Mine everyday because of copper and gold which is being extracted. I am sad and the hon. Minister should think about it.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mbewe): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate this Motion on the Floor. I would like to most sincerely thank the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for a well written and focussed Budget.

Madam Speaker, the Budget is well focussed and has taken into account the interest of the people across the country. I would like to disagree with some of the Members of Parliament who were against the Miyombe Road. This is one of the roads which are as important to this nation as any other road in Zambia.

Mr Shakafuswa: Aba Bantu bophunzilila chizungu mu Parliament.

Mr Mbewe: Madam Speaker, it is not possible that all the roads in Zambia can be tarred at one time. However, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for taking up the challenge to tar all roads in Zambia. 

    The road to Muyombe is very important because there is a lot of maize production in that area. At the moment there are many accidents taking placing on the route between Isoka and Muyombe. I, therefore, want to commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for a job well done in allocating funds towards the tarring of this road.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Madam Speaker, the Mongu/Kalabo Road is also an important road and we are therefore looking forward to seeing it tarred. This is because there is high production of rice in Kalabo which requires good transportation to take to places where it can be polished and sold. I commend the hon. Minister for having thought of tarring the Mongu/ Kalabo Road.

Madam Speaker, there is also a lot of tourism activities in Kalabo. I, therefore, have a strong feeling that having a tarred road will attract more tourists to the Liuwa National Park. 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Madam Speaker, I was very surprised when the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was being bombarded by accusations that he has been biased in his allocation of funds for major road works. I think he has been fair because places like Northern and Western provinces have all been allocated money for road works.  I wonder what the reaction would be like if I stood here and said the Government should provide funds for the construction of the Chipata/Chadiza Road. We need to give each other chances in terms of road works. The economy of this country is growing and, therefore, the tarring of some roads is more of a priority than that of rehabilitating others. It is not possible that all important roads can be tarred at once.

Madam Speaker, I, therefore, want hon. Members on your left, especially those who are disgruntled, to know that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has started making progress with the tarring of roads in Muyombe and Kalabo. We will next move on to other areas where we feel roads are supposed to be tarred.

Madam Speaker, let me move on to agriculture. I want to assure the House that the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government under President Rupiah Banda shall never allow a situation where Zambia goes back to begging other countries for food for its people. This Government’s agricultural policies are very good for our people and we are very sure that we will never import food if these policies remain in place.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Madam Speaker, it is very surprising to see that some leaders of opposition parties do not even have backyard gardens, but President Rupiah Banda has a farm.


Mr Mbewe: That already shows a distinction because President Rupiah Banda knows exactly what farmers need, but what about those who do not even have a tomato garden at the back of their yards?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: This is why I say the agricultural policies of the MMD Government are very good for our farmers and the nation at large. The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has put programmes in place to make sure that the production of small-scale farmers increases from two tonnes per hectare to above seven tonnes. The essence of this is to promote food security in every household.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Nobody should go to another home to beg for food because the policies of the Government of Zambia …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


The House adjourned at 1255 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 26th October, 2010.