Debates- Tuesday, 28th September, 2010

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Tuesday, 28th September, 2010

The House Met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





45. Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi) asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources:

    (a)    what the total funding to the Forestry Development Credit Facility (FDCF)         Programme was from 2006 to 2008; and 

    (b)    how many applicants successfully accessed the fund in the same period,         year by year.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Ms Tembo): Mr Speaker, the approved budget for the FDCF Programme between 2006 and 2007 was K6,050,000,000. During the same period, K3,333,333,333 was released to my ministry. There was no budgetary provision and releases in 2008 because the FDCF Programme was discontinued after the creation of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC).

    Year    Approved Budget    Releases
        (ZMK)    (ZMK)

    2006    3,050,000,000    333,333,333

    2007    3,000,000,000    3,000,000,000

    2008    Nil    Nil

    Total    6,050,000,000    3,333,333,333

Mr Speaker, following the creation of the CEEC and the consequent discontinuation of the FDCF Programme, the funds earlier released to my ministry for the credit facility were transferred to the commission. Therefore, there were no applicants who successfully accessed the funds in the period between 2006 to 2008.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Quality!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out when and why this facility was created.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, the credit facility was intended for local rural poor communities that wanted to obtain credit for projects such as bee-keeping, saw-milling and carpentry and joinery.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, can the His Honour the Vice-President explain why the K3 billion which was released in 2006 and 2007 was not given to the applicants when the CEEC was only created last year. Why was this money kept and not given to the intended beneficiaries?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I wish to clarify that the amount which was released in 2006 was K333,333,333. As you know, before funds are disbursed, there is a process of application which includes filling in of forms and assessment and analysis of the project proposals. Therefore, by the time this money was ready for release, the CEEC had been established in line with the Government’s change of policy. This is the reason the money could not be released and accessed by applicants. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how His Honour the Vice-President reconciles the FDCF, which was discontinued, and the poor performance of the CEEC, which was confirmed by the President in his address to this House.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, the CEEC was a creation of this House. It is a good programme but, of course, it needs to be made more efficient and that is what the President talked about. He directed the line ministry to look into all the challenges which the commission was facing to make it more efficient.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President how much money has been recovered from 2006 and 2008.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I think that hon. Members should pay attention when answers are being given. I said that no applicant accessed these funds. Therefore, what are you talking about when you talk about recoveries?

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, can His Honour the Vice-President confirm that the FDCF was meant to ensure that citizens appreciated forests and were able to make a living from there and thereby encourage reforestation as opposed to the intention of the Citizen’s Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF) whose main purpose was to advance credit to Zambians for commercial ventures.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Shakafuswa: Therefore, I would like to find out whether the FDCF cannot be treated as a separate line from the CEEC to help in the development of our forests.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, the CEEC is all- encompassing. It covers all areas of economic activity in which citizens can engage and the fact that we have put all funds into the CEEC is testimony of that. Any project proposal for any type of economic activity can be accommodated by this fund. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lumba (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, the Vice-President mentioned that no applicant accessed the fund. I would like to find out why the Government makes the application process tedious as can be seen from the CEEC where not many people are accessing that fund.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, the application forms are not tedious.

I thank you, Sir.


46. Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe) asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources why Collium Coal Mine in Sinazongwe District had been allowed to dump coal waste in Sikalamba River and Lake Kariba, resulting in water pollution.

Ms Tembo: Mr Speaker, I wish to state that the Collium Coal Mine has not been allowed to dump coal waste in Sikalamba River as the hon. Member has implied in his question. To the contrary, the ministry, through the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ), has been inspecting the mine for compliance with the licences for air and effluent discharge since 2008.

On 23rd August, 2010, during the inspection of the mine, it was found out that the mine was non-compliant. As a result, it was penalised and instructed to adhere to emission limits. The ECZ will go back to the mine after a month, since the last inspection, to check whether the mine has complied with the directive issued to it to comply during the last inspection. The following penalties were imposed on the mine.

    Shaft    Offense    Penalty

    1    Dumping of low grade coal     K4, 500,000
        outside the mine premises.
        Indiscriminate dumping of coal    
        within their premises.    

    2    Discharge of untreated effluent     The company was immediately
        from the coal washing plant    directed to put up necessary 
        was observed.    measures to abate pollution
            and this was complied with 
            while inspectors were at the 

    3    The company was dumping low     K4,500,000
        grade coal outside their premises    
        (one heap observed)
        Discharge of untreated effluent from    
        the coal washing plants.
        Ponds were completely filled up     
        with solids resulting in poor     
        settling efficiency of solids    

    4    Discharging effluent from underground    K3,000,000
        into the Sikalamba Stream.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, through his Honour the Vice-President, why the act of pollution, I am very sure that I am trying to be very moderate …

Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Speaker: Address the Chair.


Mr Muyanda: Sir, I thank you for your guidance.

Can the hon. Minister tell us why the water has turned black from downstream up to the entry point of Lake Kariba?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I can only take note of that, but as has already been stated in the answer, we went to the mine to check on the issues of pollution and further inspections will be undertaken so that what the hon. Member is talking about can be verified.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President if the ECZ has any plans of setting up offices in this area to continuously monitor the activities of these mines.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, we cannot set up offices at each and every mine. That is not possible because it is too costly. However, we have offices which visit these particular areas to undertake inspections and this is what is done in respect to all potential areas of pollution.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I would like His Honour the Vice-President to indicate to this House whether or not the people who live along the Sikalamba River have been sensitised about the effluent on that river. 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that is one of the reasons we have to conduct these inspections and sensitisation is part of the programme.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to know the effects of coal pollution to human life.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I am not a scientist …


The Vice-President: … to confirm that, but generally I can say that pollution is dangerous to human health.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, since the water is polluted, were any experts taken to examine it and declare it safe or unsafe for human consumption?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, the ECZ is composed of experts. I can, therefore, confirm that experts went to this particular mine to carry out the inspection and render a report so that people’s lives could be protected.

I thank you, Sir.


47. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry whether there were any disabled persons in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency who had benefited from the Citizen’s Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF) and if so, what the total number of the beneficiaries was?

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, the CEEC has not yet received applications from any disabled person in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency.

However, as at 30th June, 2010, our records indicated that the ministry had given out loans worth K2,167,496,610 to persons with disabilities in the Central, Lusaka and Southern provinces.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether communities in areas such as mine, where there are two farming blocks for the disabled who need to access the money, have been sensitised on this programme.

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, sensitisation is an on-going process and we are trying as much as possible to ensure that all the citizens are aware of this programme. I would urge the hon. Member of Parliament who has just asked the question, since he is aware that money is being given out, to support various projects countrywide under this programme, to ensure that he visits his area on our behalf and sensitises the people about the routine areas where to access the money. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the ministry intends to translate that form into braille so that it is user friendly to the blind.

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, we do not have immediate plans for that. However, if there are some blind people who are interested in applying for those funds, there are trained officers who can assist people who would like to apply for these funds in every province.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, it is generally believed that the CEEC has performed below par as confirmed in the President’s Address. I, therefore, would like the hon. Minister to tell this House where, according to his belief, the areas of need for this programme would be so as to make it helpful to the citizens? What does the CEEC need to do in order to improve its performance?

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, the ministry is trying to ensure that the complaints from across the country are taken care of and addressed. One area of complaint was the complicated form and collateral. These issues are being taken care of so that the conditions are made less stringent for those who are applying for less than K50 million. Therefore, we shall continue listening to the people and ensure that we service the community properly. I must also mention that as we get the complaints from the public, we should look at how much Parliament is allocating to this fund. So far, the records indicate clearly that over K111.5 billion has already been released to the general public. 

Mr Speaker, the other thing we need to look at is the politics of targeting. If we want to target individuals, sometimes, it can be very tricky. We need to revisit the method that we are using to target the people whom we give so that the distribution is given countrywide. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, braille is a means of communication which is recognised worldwide. Therefore, I would like to find out if this Government left it out deliberately because it believes that the people who do not have sight do not appreciate development.

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, in my earlier response, I indicated that if there are citizens who are using braille and are interested in this project, we are able to assist them through our various offices countrywide. We are able to take care of that problem. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, currently, …

Mr Lumba: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lumba: Mr Speaker, this is my first point of order since I came to this House. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry in order to say that the form is complicated, and yet His Honour the Vice-President has just said that it is not?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order! 

The Chair has not quite followed the point of order by the hon. Member for Solwezi Central. Since the hon. Minister may answer one more question in the pipeline, when he does so, may he touch on that point of order if he got it quite clearly. 

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, currently, the CEECs in provincial headquarters are holding on to applications that are as old as two years without informing the applicants on the way forward. What is the ministry doing to make sure that people are responded to while they reform the whole CEEC to address its problems?

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, complaints about projects have been received from all over the country. The CEEF staff have gone in the field to check on the applicants and they have been promised that they will be getting the money soon, but it has not been possible. We are looking at these issues. 

Mr Speaker, one issue that I have already mentioned is the availability of the funds that we allocate to the CEEC. When we run out of funds to give out, the people who are paying back create a pool of resources that is available to be given to the next applicant. These issues are being looked into and I hope that a better solution will be found as we go on. 

Mr Speaker, coming to the point of order, if I got it correctly, His Honour the Vice-President was talking about the Forest Credit Facility that existed before and whose cumbersome procedure did not prohibit people from accessing the money. This, according to what was mentioned, was not a complicated process except that it was overtaken by events by virtue of the establishment of the Citizenship Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF). This is different from the form that we are currently using as the CEEF. The complaint was mainly because most people, particularly the small-scale local investors, were not able to raise collateral. So, we had to make modifications so that we could assess the project and whether, without necessarily asking for too much, if these people including marketers, could access it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mukanga: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to raise this point of order. Is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order to remain quiet and compromise the security of the Zambians by not telling the people of Zambia, through this House, that he has added another type OF uniform to the Zambia Police Force? This morning, I was travelling from Kitwe and found a police check point with police officers in a strange blue uniform I have not seen before. Therefore, is he in order to remain quiet and not inform this House about this development? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member for Kantanshi has raised a point of order with regard to the uniform for the Zambia Police Force. My ruling or guidance is that there is no obligation on the part of the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to come to this House and announce what sort of new uniform the police are also wearing. There is no such obligation. All the members of the public should note that the person who is manning the roadblock is not a bogus police officer, but a genuine one. 


Mr Speaker: Order!

It is a fact that police officers are wearing a blue uniform and if that colour requires gazetting, officers would not wear it before it is gazetted. Therefore, open your eyes and learn the things that are going on around you. What I am saying also applies to uniforms of all the security agencies namely, the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force (ZAF), Zambia National Service (ZNS), Zambia Prisons Service and the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA). These agencies may change their uniforms, from time to time. So, try to catch up with these changes. 


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kwacha had a follow-up question. 

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry how regular the CEEC funding has been released. 

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, funds received by the CEEC are appropriated by this House. Those who received these funds earlier are already paying back as and when the payments are due. These are the funds that the CEEC is using to support other up-coming ventures. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 


48. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services:

(a)    when the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) would extend its television coverage to the Musonda Falls area in Luapula Province;

(b)    how much money was expected to be spent on the project; and

(c)    what had caused the delay in the introduction of television coverage to the area.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, funds for the purchase of television transmitters have been released and the ZNBC will soon start the procurement processes. In accordance with the ZNBC planning, provision of television (TV) service in the Musonda Falls area is planned for under the Rural TV Phase IV which comprises thirteen TV relay stations. The activity will commence this year and end sometime next year. However, the funds provided are not sufficient to cater for all the thirteen stations, in which case, some of the stations will be catered for under the Digital Migration Project. 

Mr Speaker, the average cost of the Phase IV Rural TV site is US$25,000 or K125 million according to the September 2010 rate, bringing the total cost of the phase to K1.625 billion. 

Lack of funds to expand and sustain the network stalled the programme of expanding the service to all parts of the country until 2005/2006 when the Government availed funds for the Rural TV Project. The Rural TV Project has, so far, seen the installation of fifty-two transmitters countrywide at a cost of K5 billion. The Rural TV Project was phased in such a way that district centres were serviced first before moving to other population centres in order of population size. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. {mospagebreak}

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the K125 million has been released in full.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, we have indicated that the money has been released and the disbursement is made according to the works going on. Even if the whole amount is released at once, it can only be used as the works go on.  

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Before we go too far from the ruling I just gave, I just would like to add that the word ‘bogus’ is actually unparliamentary.


Mr Speaker: I did not mean to allow that word for common use in this House. 


Mr Speaker: Allow me to explain. 

If that word is used in this House by one hon. Member to apply to another, it will be clearly unparliamentary. However, if used in the sense of someone posing to be a police officer when, in fact, they are not, the word will correctly apply. I used it in the sense of someone posing to be somebody they are not. This word, otherwise, continues to remain unparliamentary. 

Hon. Members: Long live the Chair!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the ZNBC has been collecting K3,000 per month as TV licence for many years now. Can the hon. Minister tell this House when he will come and explain the programme that has been put in place for outreach or coverage as well as improvement of quality of service countrywide? 

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, in the last session, we explained that the ZNBC was undergoing restructuring. One of the objectives of this restructuring is to improve coverage that is being rendered to Zambians at the moment. The money that it has been collecting will be used to make these improvements possible. 

Mr Speaker, the work schedule is an institutional arrangement. However, what is important is that it improves its services rendered to the general public. If, however, it pleases the hon. Member, a visit to the ZNBC can be arranged to find out precisely what it is doing in the quest of improving service delivery to the people of Zambia. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister assure this House that once this transmitter is installed at Mwense, people will not be required to switch off their television sets each time there is a power surge as is currently happening in Mwense? The transmitter in the area has not been working for two months because the Zambia Telecommunications Company (ZAMTEL) has no manpower to switch it on.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, the equipment put at transmitters has a protective mechanism that requires to be reset each time there is a power surge to keep it from being destroyed. Sooner than later, an engineer switches it back on when this happens. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services whether the money which has been budgeted for the installation of the transmitter is not a duplication of a similar fund which was given to a private local company to install transmitters in the Northern and Luapula provinces.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, there is no duplication. However, there is some outsourcing and out contracting to ensure that we move with the trend.

 I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to make it clear to us the extent to which the two funds, that is the immediate extension of television coverage and the other funding for digital migration, are harmonised or disharmonised so that Musonda Falls gets its analogue broadcaster and then digitised later. Could the hon. Minister explain the phasing of this work.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, analogue and digital are two worlds apart. Therefore, Zambia has been running on an analogue situation. The equipment that was bought in the past is analogue. For us to continue to provide the service to Musonda Falls where they are still using analogue televisions and radios, we need to put analogue equipment. In the meantime, we have a situation where we have to digitalise by 2015 and this is a process where new funds are required and are going to be extended in order to have digital migration by 2015.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to know the radius of coverage the relay transmitter will provide for the people of Musonda Falls.

Lieutenant–General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, first of all, we are at the district level and from the district, we will go to population centres. In certain cases, the district level is up to a radius of up to 100 kilometres and, thereafter, we can expand once we put in a new relay station.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, the issue under discussion in Question 48 affects nearly all parts of this country. I would like to know how many districts will benefit from the first allocation which the hon. Minister has mentioned.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, in our answer, we stated quite clearly that there shall be thirteen stations and this will include a number of districts that have not yet been put on line. So far, there are forty-three districts that have not yet been covered. Therefore, we are going to cover them when we get the funding.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm that people at Musonda Falls are not using analogue and, therefore, they will just install digital directly.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, the equipment that is being installed in all these areas is dual. In other words, when we go to analogue, we turn to analogue. When we go to digital, we flip the switch to digital.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


49. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    when the Government would construct additional houses for police officers at Gwembe Police Post;

(b)    how many houses were currently being occupied by police officers at the above police post; and

(c)    how many police officers were currently not accommodated at Gwembe Police Post.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Taima): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Ministry of Home Affairs will construct houses at Gwembe Police Post once funds are available. In fact, the police post has been upgraded to a police station with an establishment of thirty-three police officers. The Ministry of Home Affairs plans to construct corresponding structures in addition to officers’ houses in order to meet the status of the station when funds are available.

Currently, there are thirteen police officers operating at Gwembe Police Station and three officers are actually based at Chipepo Police Post. All the thirteen police officers live in rented houses. 

All the thirteen police officers based at Gwembe Police Station are not accommodated in institutional houses, but are receiving housing allowance.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, a point of correction. The question was supposed to read Gwembe Police Station and not police post.  

Sir, as a follow-up question, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that the answer that he has given is not correct …


Mr Ntundu: … in that the new officers who were recently deployed to Gwembe have nowhere to stay, and yet in his response, the Deputy Minister has said that all police officers live in rented houses. Could you tell this House the correct answer, hon. Minister.


Mr Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member has debated his question and argued against the answer given. The understanding of the Chair is that the hon. Member is more enlightened than the hon. Minister on this matter. Then, the hon. Member goes on to say that may the hon. Minister now give the correct answer. Hon Minister, may you give the correct answer.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Lungu): Mr Speaker, really, the correct answer is not different from what the hon. Deputy Minister has stated in his response. 

Mr Speaker, maybe, just to add on to what he may not have covered, I want to thank the hon. Member for Gwembe in the sense that in addition to what was said, he has also assisted us by accommodating some of the police officers. Maybe, that is what the hon. Member wanted to hear which is good.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for being that candid. Going by the answer from the hon. Deputy Minister that as and when funds are available, accommodation will be built for police officers. Does it not make sad reading that many years after independence, we cannot budget for just one house for the Chief Officer at Gwembe and build it/

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, the programme of building houses for police officers is on- going. This is not necessarily for Gwembe Police Station alone. We are carrying out this exercise for the rest of the country. As for Gwembe, I am sure that, as and when the funds become available, we will look at that.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, some police officers in Gwembe live in rented houses. May I find out whether the rentals are up to date. I know that the ministry is in arrears for years and not months in some places.

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, with regard to the rented accommodation for police officers in Gwembe, I wish to assure the House that we are managing and are up to date. So far, we have had no complaints that we are behind in paying for rentals for police officers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, construction of houses for police officers is concentrated along the line of rail. Why has the countryside been neglected in this area?

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, it is not true that construction of houses for police officers is concentrated along the line of rail. We are constructing houses even beyond the line of rail. For example, you may wish to know that Chipata, despite the construction of the njanji, is part of the rural area.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.



Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, in cases where police officers do not live in rented houses, but are given housing allowance, …

Mr L. J. Mulenga: How much?

Mr Mukanga: … is the housing allowance enough for them to get decent accommodation and how much is it?

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, at the moment, the housing allowance paid to police officers is adequate. However, if need be, there is a possibility of the allowance being increased. However, this will depend on the availability of resources.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, what is the Government’s policy on police accommodation arising from the escalating crime rate in compounds where police officers are mingling with residents and using Government guns to …

Mr Speaker: Order!

It is likely that the Chair is entirely in a different mood, today, by not warning hon. Members not to debate their questions. May you ask your question now and not debate.

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, what is the Government’s policy on accommodation for police officers?

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, the Government’s policy is to build as many houses as possible to accommodate police officers. However, you will understand that we cannot meet the demands of all police officers at one go. Our policy is to build as many houses as possible.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, is the ministry considering putting up houses for police officers, especially in rural areas where a lot of crime has been reported to his office and there are no police officers because of lack of accommodation?

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, we will construct houses for police officers as and when time permits or when finances become available. The Government is as concerned as we all are to make sure that there are houses for police officers. We are looking into that matter.

I thank you, Sir.




(Debate resumed)

Mr Sejani (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, when the House adjourned on Friday, I was actually concluding my debate by giving a list of things Zambian voters will do well to remember as they go to cast their vote next year.

Sir, I said that they must think of the privatisation of the Zambia Telecommunications Company (ZAMTEL) and ask themselves how transparent that process was. I also want them to think of the Auditor-General’s reports and ask themselves where this country would be if it were not for the rampant misuse of public resources as has been reported. I want Zambians to think of the administration of justice of this country and ask themselves whether we are still equal before the law or whether some of us are more equal than others.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: I want Zambians to remember that they spent countless nights at depots trying to sell their produce which they have not been paid for, for a very long time.

Mr Muyanda: Yes!

Mr Sejani: I want them to remember the uneasing poverty levels in spite of the so-called economic boom. They should also remember the many presidential trips where the President has gone out of this country with a multitude of delegations which cannot be justified.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: I want Zambians to remember the poor salaries and conditions of service for the Zambian Public Service workers. In addition, I want them to remember the windfall tax and the lost opportunities that went with its abolition. Let Zambians also remember that since 2008, the fight against corruption has actually lost momentum.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, this list is illustrative and I can go on and on. I know that each and every hon. Member of Parliament on this side of the House has a list of these items …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: … which Zambians must remember as they go to cast their vote.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Sir, I know that time is not with me. Finally, let me say that I run a consultancy on physical training and fitness.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: I realise that President Banda has employed a physical trainer to try and keep himself fit. In my consultancy, we have carried out a research and have come to a conclusion that if a person is unfit, he is unfit.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sejani: No matter what you do, whether you employ physical trainers or not, you are unfit.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: So, somebody has announced to the Zambians that they have no strength and fitness to run this country. Zambians must remember this as they go to cast their vote next year.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Speech delivered to the nation through this House on 17th September, 2010.

Mr Speaker, before I refer to the Speech by His Excellency the President, I want to talk a bit about leadership. As hon. Members or politicians, including presidents of political parties, we are leaders and the role of leaders all over the world is to organise, encourage, and motivate the people as well as to mobilise resources so that they can attain the goals that the nations desire to achieve.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: In so doing, leaders must give hope and optimism to the people they lead to ensure that the intended goals are attained.

Mr Speaker, let me say something about optimism. An optimist is a person who finds an opportunity in every difficulty. When you find a challenge, you also find an opportunity in that difficulty so that you can overcome it.

Mr Nyirenda: Like Rupiah Banda is doing.

Dr Machungwa: On the other hand, a pessimist is one who finds difficulties in every opportunity.

Mr Mukanga: Like Dr Machungwa.


Dr Machungwa: It is important to understand that point because what I have seen here, sometimes, is that when we say the light is shinning and we can see it, other people say that it is dark, even when there is light which can make it possible for them to even read.

Mr Mukanga: Nweniko amenshi so that mulande bwino.

Mr Nyirenda: Like Sejani.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, the President in his address referred to a lot of issues. One of the things that he tried to do was to give hope and also to be optimistic …

Mr Nyirenda’s cellular phone rang.

Mr Speaker: Order! 

Will the messengers, please, take care of that mobile phone which just rang.

Will the hon. Member for Luapula continue, please.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, while he was trying to give us hope, others told us that what he said was nothing and that everything that he has done and continues to do is negative. In other words, we see difficulties in all those opportunities, and yet as hon. Members we are elected to come and give hope and optimism to our people. If there are failures, we must take them as opportunities for us to improve upon the things we are doing so that the people of Zambia are better off than they currently are. However, some people think that everything that the Government does will lead to failure. I will give a few examples to support what I am saying.

Before I move on, allow me to quote from page 15 of the Presidents’ Speech:

   “Mr Speaker, the current fuel pricing system is unfair. The further one is from Ndola,  the more expensive fuel becomes. This is a problem for people and businesses in outlying areas. This will change.

“The Government has now worked out a  uniform pricing mechanism to ensure that fuel prices across the country are the same.”

Mr Mukanga: That is not economics.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, that makes me happy because, for years or since 2002, I have been asking all hon. Ministers to make fuel pricing uniform and I know that other hon. Members have also tried to do that. We have tried, as a House, to pressure the Government to do that and now it has been done. However, some of the hon. Members in this House are saying that the initiative is meaningless unless the Government builds more filling stations in rural areas. We have to start from somewhere. Now, you can buy your fuel from Lusaka at the same price as in Livingstone, Samfya, Nakonde or Solwezi.

Mrs Phiri: Inga mwafililwe shani?

Dr Machungwa: Others in their debate have been saying that fuel prices have increased in the urban areas compared to the rural areas. The truth of the matter is that, for a very long time, the people in the rural areas have been short changed and we have been paying far much less than them. What we are saying is that let those who have enjoyed this benefit for a long time pay a little more so that all of us can be treated in the same manner.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, for transporters, what was happening is that they had to carry extra fuel. Even some hon. Members had to travel in a dangerous manner whereby they had to carry jerry cans in their vehicles because fuel was very expensive in outlying areas, for example, Chipata.

Mrs Phiri: Mokola style.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, this is dangerous because if you get into an accident, the vehicle would get burnt. 

Mrs Phiri: Mokola.

Dr Machungwa: We should commend the Government for introducing the uniform fuel pricing system. Perhaps, we should put in place more infrastructure by encouraging more people to build filling stations. Mr Speaker, at the moment, this is the right way forward.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: That is a poor debate.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, I choose to be an optimist. I believe that this system will make it easier for me and other people to travel.

Mr Speaker, let me now come to the issue of maize or should I say agriculture. The President said that we had a bumper harvest, but some people were disputing this. I would like to know what a bumper harvest is. 

Mr Mukanga: Londololeni bakalamba.

Dr Machungwa: I went and looked at the dictionary and it simply said that it is a word that refers to an unusually high production or that which is more than normal. Obviously, when we harvest 2.7 million metric tonnes of maize, that is higher than we normally get in this country. By definition, that is a bumper harvest. Previously, we had a fertiliser support programme which was giving benefits to a small number of people, but after it was redesigned, more people are benefiting and production has increased.

Mr Speaker, as hon. Members, we want more people to benefit from such programmes. What is wrong with that? When the President says that the Government will increase the number of beneficiaries to beyond 500,000, we should applaud that although others are saying it will not work. This is good for our people and politics.

Mr Speaker, we should look at infrastructure development. Admittedly, more classrooms have been built although we also have problems with teachers’ houses. The thing is that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one mile being taken.
 After building a school, we should labour to build a house for a teacher. If we do things that way, who is going to find fault in us? Our roads at present are getting clogged up by vehicles. I do not want to say it is a definitive sign that we are doing well but, obviously, a lot of our people are acquiring items which they could not afford and this is some kind of crude indication that we are moving in the right direction although, of course, some will say they are not seeing all that happening.

Mr Speaker, if you read widely and follow current affairs, you will notice that, only last week, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said that a lot of African countries, including Zambia, had done very well as regards the gross domestic product (GDP) rate of growth. It is the CIA of the United States of America and not someone from the Government that is saying that we are doing fine.


Hon. Opposition Members: Adoption.


Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, …


Dr Machungwa: … it is rare that we get accolades from such institutions. Even when the Government does something right, it does not mean that it does not have other issues to address. What I am saying is that if it is one metre let us say it is one metre, but if you want to say it is half an inch, I will refuse. 

Hon. Government Members: Yes.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, obviously, we are making progress with regards to developing this country, but I do not want to spend all my time talking about that. Let me emphasise my point on the importance of telling the truth. 

Last week, I was listening to a programme on radio where a certain leader of a political party was talking about the Choma/Namwala Road. 


Dr Machungwa: The former President Kaunda did some works on that road.

Mrs Phiri: His Excellency.

Dr Machungwa: President Chiluba did some works on that road.

Hon. Opposition Members: Dr Chiluba.

Dr Machungwa: The late President Mwanawasa, SC. also continued the works and then President Banda completed the works. Now, in 2000, Hon. V. J. Mwaanga, the late Hon. David Mpamba, who was Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industry and Member of Parliament for Nangoma  and I were sent to Maala in Namwala to the former house of the late Harry Nkumbula.

Mr Kambwili: With K2 billion.


Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, we were sent there to attend a memorial of the late Harry Nkumbula. So, we went to Maala in Namwala and then we travelled from there to the Memorial Golf Tournament in Choma on a tarred road that had just been completed for about 59 or 60 km all the way towards Chitongo Turn Off. Surprisingly, I heard somebody say …

Mrs Phiri: K2 billion.

Dr Machungwa: … that President Chiluba’s Government did not do any works on that road, and yet this is a man who is supposed to give hope and speak the truth. I begin to wonder what such people are up to. What we should do is to tell the truth.


Hon. Government Members: Yes.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, it is true that the road was started by the Second Republican President’s Government and then the Third Republican President continued. President Banda completed the works on the road. A lot of people say, like my brother Hon. Mpombo, who is not in the House today, were saying that most programmes were started by the late President. When you are part of a government or when you are in a team, you will continue working regardless of which member leaves. Even when you are playing football, the goalkeeper kicks the ball, the midfield passes it on to the striker who scores. You cannot say no, he did not score just because it was somebody else who started the move. That is not the way we play football.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, let us appreciate what our forefathers who fought for independence did. There are those who started the works, those who built certain parts and then those who continued and finished the works. That is the way it is.


Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, some people claim that nobody other than themselves did something. I have heard people say that it is only them who did a particular thing when at the Ministry of Home Affairs while others have not done anything.

When talking about the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) and heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative, people should bear in mind that the late Ronald Penza did a lot of work regarding both programmes. However, others claim that it is only them who worked on such programmes.


Dr Machungwa: That is not the way it is. We are part of a system of the Government. Even when you take over, that is if you ever will , …

Hon. Government Members: Never!

Dr Machungwa: … you will be taking over something that other people have worked on.

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

Dr Machungwa: Even the wealth that you have is as a result of the work that was done by your forefathers. So, that is the way it is. This business of trying to claim that it is only me who can do certain things cannot build a nation.

In concluding, …

Hon. Government Members: Continue.

Dr Machungwa:… my speech, I would like to say that when His Excellency the President talked about roads, I was a little unsettled when he did not refer to the Pedicle Road because in previous presidential speeches it was always there. So, I am expecting the hon. Minister of Works and Supply to come and fill in the gaps so that we know what is being done on that road. If we do not want the Chembe Bridge that we just built to be a white elephant, we need that road to be worked on. We have now completed the Choma/Namwala Road, we are now moving to the Zambezi …


Dr Machungwa: Yes, in Zambia.


Dr Machungwa: Who are you representing in Zambia? You are not representing yourself in this House, you are representing the people of Zambia. So, this is our Government.


Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Vuvuzela!

Dr Machungwa: Yes, I am vuvuzela for the people of Zambia and the people of my constituency. If you do not see and cannot speak for the people, I wonder what you are doing here.


Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, Nelson Mandela believes that as we go towards the elections, we are going to be looking to work together. In any case, to develop this country, we want to work together. 

Mr Speaker, the forming of alliances is not a bad thing, but let me say this and I am quoting Nelson Mandela, that illustrious son of Africa. He says:

           “No true alliances can be built on the shifting sands of evasions, illusions and 


Dr Machungwa: Those alliances that are built on evasions, illusions and whatever other things will not stand and will not help the people of Zambia. They will even crumble by themselves. They do not need a push.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, what we are seeing, sometimes, before us, is a perfect example of these kinds of things happening.

Mrs Phiri: Vuvuzelas.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, obviously, what we want to do as we debate issues is to point out to the Executive very forcefully where the Government has not delivered and take it to task. It is also incumbent on us to speak the truth and when we think something has been done right, we should say something has been done right because, as hon. Members of Parliament, we should ensure that we take care of the interests of the people we represent. We should not only concentrate on what we think is right for purely politically expedient reasons.



Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, sometimes, we seem to have some hooligans behind there.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Phiri: Adoption granted.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to add my debate to the Motion of Thanks to the Presidential Address. 

I want to be as succinct and straight forward as possible and start my debate on the Presidential Speech by stating that I join the President, wholeheartedly, in wishing the families of our dear departed hon. Members of Parliament good tidings and hope that they recover as quickly as possible from the loss of their loved ones.

Sir, to go straight into the President’s speech, I would like to say that I do acknowledge the fact that there has …


Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

Mr Nkombo: … been tremendous improvement regarding the Parliamentary reforms ever since I came to the House in 2006. I have been a major beneficiary of these Parliamentary reforms in the sense of taking Parliament closer to people. You may want to know that, ever since I came here, I have invited in excess of 1,500 pupils from my constituency who have sat in the public galleries to see how Parliament operates and, I think, that is something that is worth commending.

Mr Speaker, the President spoke about economic management and that Zambia had attained a single digit inflation of 9 per cent. He also spoke about how stable the exchange rate had been. However, I think the President, or his advisers, forgot to include the fact that these two matters normally go side by side with lending interest rates in banks. I think that the lending interest rates in banks have continued to hinder the growth of business in this country. It would have been better if the President had actually made a comment reminding the central bank to play its role in making sure that action be taken, of course, not by directing the market but, obviously, by trying to guide commercial banks to ensure that money lending is affordable. 

Mr Speaker, as the situation currently stands, we have seen that it is a very risky thing to borrow from commercial banks and this is why the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) has had its problems. People who are generally able to conduct business with financial institutions such as banks have run to the CEEC to further empower themselves. This has left the poor Zambian with the potential to build himself or herself relegated to the failure of borrowing money from the commission. I think that the lending rates in this country are totally prohibitive and it is something that President Banda required to have mentioned in his speech. If he had done this, I would have said the speech was well-meaning on the business front.

Mr Speaker, we also know, for a fact, that not so long ago, about a month or two ago, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) failed to meet its target. I would like the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, when he comes to speak, to explain the reason behind this. In my view, the answer lies in the fact that the tax regime, especially the mining and minerals tax, in this county is totally defective. The Government requires to rethink its position and, as quickly as possible, reintroduce the windfall tax because it does not mean any harm to anybody.

Mr Speaker, the President also indicated that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning was going to review the tax policy and administration and look for viable alternatives. I, therefore, think that the windfall tax is one such alternative that the Government requires to look at. There is no need to look far because, from past experience, we have seen and witnessed the fact that windfall tax actually did a lot of good than the variable tax the Government is currently using.

Mr Speaker, the President spoke about the close of the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) and the introduction of the Six National Development Plan (SNDP). He forgot, however, to update this House on the actual performance of the FNDP. It would have done some good for the President to have given some highlights on what the real achievements of the plan had been. He should have talked about the targets that had been set, what had been achieved, the work that was still in progress and what the Government had failed to do.

Mr Speaker, let me move quickly to agriculture. I think that the defective marketing system in the agriculture industry is something that many hon. Members have lamented on. I am glad to see that the Government has brought a Bill to deal with the warehouse receipt system, which I have been propounding on the Floor of this House. I have looked at the Bill and I am sure we will make contributions to the relevant Committee so that we can, at least, improve the marketing system for the betterment of the common Zambian, the farmer. The farmer from whom this Government brags to have support and whom it has failed to pay. However, hon. Members on your right keep saying that the President’s speech was wonderful and splendid. 

Mr Speaker, just yesterday, I learnt that the Government had failed to pay farmers in Mazabuka. I was informed that about K20.5 billion was owed to poor farmers in Mazabuka and only K2 billion had been paid out, leaving a balance of K18 billion. This is a splendid and wonderful performance on the part of this Government and it should continue.

Mr Speaker, the Government has also indicated that disease free zones have been set up in the northern part of the country. One can only equate this to taking a malaria drug out of the tropics to England in order to get rid of malaria. This is basically shooting a dead horse because there is no reason to take disease free zones to areas that are already free from disease. Another splendid performance from the Government of the day. Well done.

Mr Mabenga: Very good!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I imagine that if we were the ones sitting on your right side, we would have put up these disease-free zones in Kazungula District and the Western Province. We would have firstly quarantined the animals that are affected by diseases, treated them and then turned these areas into disease-free zones. That is the way to do it. However, for the moment, because the Executive on your right is very hungry for praises, I will say wonderful performance ladies and gentlemen. Well done.

Mr Syakalima and Mr Katuka laughed.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the President also indicated that:

“Forestry is important to our social and economic development and must be managed sustainably.”

Mr Speaker, he, however, forgot to state that the mainstay of the bulk of our people who live in the countryside depends on charcoal. He did not come out clearly to say what alternatives, in trying to preserve forests, this Government had come up with. For that failure, I want to repeat that this is a splendid and wonderful performance on the part of this Government and it deserves an A+.

Mr Speaker, as regards mines, in the document that the President read, he made reference to the opening of Albidon Mine. Opening this mine is one thing, but fulfilling the promises that were made before its opening is another. I would like to inform this House that Albidon Mine promised to build a school for Grades 1 to 4, a clinic and upgrade two bridges. However, according to what I know as the hon. Member of Parliament down there, none of the promises made were kept. Who must make follow-ups on these promises? I think it is Hon. Max Mwale and his staff. 

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: It is the area hon. Member of Parliament.

Mr Nkombo: There has been zero fulfillment of these promises. I could never be the one, as Hon. Shikapwasha may seem to insinuate, to follow up these agreements because they were signed by the Permanent Secretary and the hon. Minister then and I was none of the two designate officers. Performance on the part of the Government is zero and I would, again, say well done for this splendid performance.

The people in Mugoto, where the mine is, had their 1,000 hectares of land taken away and you know as much as I do that there was a terrible exchange of words at the time this land was being taken away from the traditional owners. We went to court and managed to get a judgment for 1,000 hectares to be given back to the traditional owners of the land three years ago.

The Government has not found it expedient to re-enter this land and that is why it has not been done. Yet, all it took was a stroke of a pen by one Hon. Machila, who was the Minister of Lands then, to put that land on title to the mine. The people of Mugoto want their land back. Give them title. The hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President, my uncle, knows that this is a battle that I fought vehemently. Therefore, my assessment result of the performance on this particular matter, again, is zero, well done. 

The CEEC has benefited only a few people who are already empowered. Again, the performance result is zero because those who need this facility have failed to access it due to the bureaucratic structure of obtaining loans. Whereas in one breath, the Vice-President says that the form to apply for this loan is not complicated, his hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry just confessed that it was very complicated. These are two different views from the same Government. Thus, the assessment result is zero. Well done. 

Mr Speaker, let me go to a subject which is dear to me and that is energy. The President indicated in his speech how the work on various projects that would see the country getting 1080 MW of power would be done and it was broken down as follows:

Power Station                     Megawatts

Kafue Gorge Lower                 750

Kariba North Bank Extension             180

Itezhi-tezhi                     120

Lunzuwa and Lusiwasi                 quite minimal

Mr Speaker, the President forgot to give us timeframes when these projects would be realised. It was on the Floor of this House that I challenged Hon. Kenneth Konga, who I do not see in here, to tell us, in no uncertain terms, whether TATA Africa, which is the equity partner with the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), had begun work at Itezhi-tezhi. It was the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development then and who still is today, who made an undertaking on the Floor of this House that as far as he was concerned, by the end of this year, 2010, there would have been some work going on there. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Itezhi-tezhi has been seated here and has confirmed that not a single piece of equipment has been taken to Itezhi-tezhi to start the works. Therefore, with no timeframe given in which these works will be completed, the assessment mark is zero. This is a wonderful performance on the part of the Government. 

Mr Speaker, the Government says that it has built the 24 km Mchinji Railway line from Chipata to Mchinji to connect to Beira. It would do well if it extended that railway line across to Serenje so that it can connect to the Tanzania Zambia Railway (TAZARA). At the moment, yes, I know a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, but there was no mention of where that railway line would terminate. If it terminates in Chipata, what happens after that? Therefore, the assessment result, according to Professor Nkombo, is zero and well done.

Mr Speaker, the President did not mention anything about the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) concession on which we have lamented time and again. I wish to indicate that there has been a complete default on the part of the RSZ, its infrastructure is in such a deplorable state. Some railway crossings signals had been placed at each railway crossing to alert pedestrians and vehicles of an oncoming train, but the signals are all malfunctioning. However, the President did not mention this. This means that he is satisfied with the pressure the load going on our road network is exerting, and yet we have complained about this. If the railway track can be rehabilitated, it would reduce the pressure on the road network. Thus, the assessment result is zero. This is, indeed, a wonderful performance on the part of this Government and it requires to be praised.

Mr Speaker, I heard that there had been a State invitation to Abuja in Nigeria. I also read that some fellows travelled there on a Zambezi Airline flight that was half empty. I think the Government must come out clearly on who paid and chartered that plane. It must not tell us that these businessmen and women paid for themselves unless they can show proof. 

Mr Speaker, as I speak, doctors are on strike. Therefore, I think, assessing what is important between going to see Good Luck Jonathan celebrating Uhuru, or dealing with the plight of doctors is a major test. Maybe, let me take advantage of this to beg President Banda − even if we have been told that Easterners like travelling − that, this time alone, he must deal with the striking doctors. Good Luck Jonathan must be left with his Economic Community for West African State (ECOWAS) friends to celebrate Uhuru. President Banda must deal with the issues of this country. 

Mr Speaker, let me put it this way, Behold …

Ms Cifire: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, is Hon. Nkombo in order to be tribal in this House by indicating that Easterners love to travel when we are all seated here?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Service is challenging a particular aspect of the debate by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central. When he rises to debate, he will comment on that, but let me say two things.

First of all, there is no Professor Nkombo that is officially known in this House. This reminds the House of what was said regarding the police officer in blue uniform.

Dr Musonda: Bogus Professor.

Mr Speaker: Order, I did not use that word.


Mr Speaker: Secondly, cynicism, and that is the word, is not allowed in this House. If you are a professor and then you give a student zero, assuming you are objective, you cannot say well done. That is cynicism and it is not allowed in this House.

May you continue, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, thank you very much. I was saying, behold, the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government is back through the back door.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Behold, this country is in trouble. I withdraw my professorship because it is only recognised in Nkombo Village where it was bestowed on me by my ancestors. I also withdraw ‘the splendid and wonderful performance’ and replace it with ‘poor performance on the part of the Government’.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Finally, I would like to say that behold, UNIP is here and is riding in a Movement for Multi party Democracy (MMD) vehicle. I need not say too much on this because it is plain to see that UNIP is, indeed, back. 

Since I have very little time, let me respond to the issue of housing for our civil servants. Mr Speaker, in Mazabuka, I have a group of nurses, the people in white uniforms who treat patients, These people have been living in housing units which are not only in a deplorable state, but were also condemned, about ten years ago, by the valuers of the Ministry of Works and Supply. 

Hon. Mulongoti, my dear brother and friend, knows my story and he also knows that these people have been charged housing allowance twice. At one point, they even said to me that, “Garry, probably, these people are taking our money in order for them to have an easy go at election time. We will not vote for them.” I said well done to those people.

Mr Speaker, the President talked about the gymnasium and how he was training. I can only wish him well and also quickly say that, please, those of you who think that we, from the United Party for National Development (UPND) and our colleagues from the Patriotic Front (PF) are going separate ways, are in for a rude shock.

Hon. UPND/PF: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: We should not go to the gymnasium for that purpose, but simply talk our differences over. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: We are not going to tear anyone’s jacket in that process, but simply talk and behold the Zambian people who will carry the day on that fateful day sometime in 2011, the year of the Lord, when the Government will change hands.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Motion. 

Mr Speaker, let me also bid my personal farewell to those who may not come back to Parliament next year. However, let us, in the meantime, enjoy a cordial relationship. Let us remember that people who hold positions such as we do, like Dr Machungwa. should say things that are truthful, including presidents and vice-presidents and not cause useless sensation to make people fight.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Munkombwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for affording me this opportunity to say a few remarks on this Motion.

Firstly, I would like to thank my replacement, Hon. Muchima, who has been transferred to the Southern Province as Deputy Minister. I wish him all the best. I would like him to continue to consult me whenever he encounters problems because I am in the system.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: Sir, I want to premise my speech this afternoon on three words, stability, peace and bad make. 

I think all of us in the House need stability. We need stability to run the administration of the Government smoothly. We also need stability to reorganise agriculture. Since we all believe that we need stability, I have this to say. 

Mr Speaker, hon. Members of the Backbench should not say that the Government has done nothing, and yet it is building schools. If you cannot see what the Government is doing for this country, then you are an irrelevant hon. Member of Parliament.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Question.

Mr Munkombwe: People say that the Government has done nothing, but a hospital which is glittering has been built in your constituency (Choma) just across where I come from. People will ask you why and whom you are speaking for.

Mr Speaker, at one time, I used to hold several meetings in the Southern Province and, at the end of each meeting, there would be question time. One or two people ...

Mr Kambwili: That is why you were removed.

Mr Munkombwe: I have not been removed from the Government. You must understand how the Government works. By the way, you have never been in the Government and there is no hope of you ever being in it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: Mr Speaker, at a meeting where ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I had just started contributing on the Motion.

Madam Speaker, the President’s Speech was full of confidence. The President demonstrated that he is a strong leader. A strong leader does not come from behind and follow those whom he leads. A strong leader must pave way for others to follow. 

Madam, the MMD has succeeded in achieving the targets that it set for itself. Of course, some errors have been made and need to be corrected. However, we must avoid the danger of allowing some people who do not have the requisites to run this Government. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: There is an English saying which says, “Nothing succeeds like success.” Who does not see the development that has taken place? 

At the beginning of my contribution, I said that, at one time, I addressed a meeting in one of the areas in the Southern Province. During question time, one or two people stood up and said the Government had done nothing. However, some people knew who these people were. They did not achieve anything. In fact, one of them said he had four vehicles, but that is because of the good policies that this Government has put in place. He also lives in a house which has solar system in a Government which he says is a bad one? 

Madam Speaker, at one time, I addressed a meeting in Namwala, Maala, in particular, where a person who owns one hundred animals is not regarded highly because people in that area own more than four thousand or six thousand heards of cattle. This is in a Government which other people refer to as having done nothing. 

Madam Speaker, I was disappointed with Hon. Hamududu’s speech in which he said his people in Bweengwa were suffering. Those who know the Southern Province will confirm that among the people of Bweengwa are some of the most comfortable people in that area. Although I usually agree with most of his debates, I do not agree with his previous one. 

Hon. Government Member: Listen, Bweengwa.

Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, when you are elected to Parliament, you are elected because you defeated other contenders, some of whom could have even been better …


Hon. Government Member: Hammer!

Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, the art of life in politics is that you be relevant to the community which you serve. If you think that you are too superior, do not help people to develop and all you do is preach weakness all the time, that weakness will boomerang on you and you will be considered  irrelevant.

Hon. Member: Nice suit.


Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, the President assured the country of development. I know what was said in 2001 and I have some of the speeches from the Opposition that were made on the Floor of this House warning and blackmailing the Government that it would be replaced after elections. Did they do so? 

Hon. Government Members: No!

Hon. Government Member: They became fewer.

Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, again, we are being blackmailed that if we do not work on certain roads or complete certain hospitals, we will be replaced. Hon. Muntanga said that if we did not complete the hospital in his area, we would be replaced, but if we completed it, he would claim that he was part of the success. That is alright. It is alright for an hon. Member to claim credit for the development that is done during the life of his tenure. However, what Hon. Muntanga said can be interpreted as blackmail. We are going ahead to complete hospitals and roads so that even if you claim that it was done during your time, you will have to have been backed by a powerful party such as the MMD. 

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

Mr Munkombwe: No individual in a political party can claim to be too strong except if one leads a weak party.

Mr Kambwili: You will not stand in the Southern Province.

Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, the man who has been here for four years cannot instruct me on what to do …


Mr Munkombwe: … because, to me, he is an amateur.


Mr Munkombwe: This is my twenty-fourth year in Parliament and I will continue ...

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: … because I am a useful tool.


Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Munkombwe: Hon. Musokotwane said that I was admiring what she was saying, and I was, until she started to distort figures of products. I do, however, agree with some of her analysis. When a man has spoken sense from which our side can benefit, I, for one, will agree with him or her.

Madam Speaker, some people are saying that we were carrying on programmes which were left over by previous governments. If you take over, as you claim you will, are you going to destroy this Parliament so that you can claim that you have not taken over what Kaunda left in order for you to start your own?


Mr Munkombwe: That makes no sense to me.

Hon. Government Member: Ema Ministers, aya!

Mr Munkombwe: We have a Government …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

The Chair will not allow these persistent running commentaries. Let us listen to each other.

 You may continue.

Mr Munkombwe:  I rarely make running commentaries.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Speak through the Chair.

Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, those who are fond of making running commentaries …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Are you now the Chair? 

Continue with the debate.

Mr Munkombwe: I am sorry, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, we have passed errors which we must continue to correct. We have unfinished works such as the Bottom Road, but I must go and be seen to move on that road. 

Madam Speaker, you will recall that I coined the phrases ‘Cantamanias’ and ‘Fusomanias’ to refer to the people who are in the Chikanta area and some people thought that I would be booed if I went there. They are very proud of that. 

Madam Speaker, I was also proud to address the meetings with Hon. Sing’ombe who is a very progressive young man. Most of the people in that area are also progressive because they did not hinder my work. I appeal to the hon. Minister to continue working with them. When people make a choice, it does not matter whether the choice seems wrong in your opinion. What is important is that people made their choice and you are duty bound to use their choice to deliver. I think that is what I tried to do.

Madam Speaker, the analysis that the agricultural sector is not developing is not true. The sector is developing. Granted, a lot of animals in the Southern Province were decimated by disease. However, we are recovering under the leadership of the MMD.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: There is no individual achiever. The President achieves on behalf of his party.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: Therefore, credit is given to him through the MMD. If you use fantasy and say we are – where are you? Let me use the analysis of Hon. Jack Mwiimbu who referred to Luena. He said that in 2006, they got so little but, in 2010, they got over one thousand votes. However, what did the MMD get? The MMD got the second position and the UPND came out a poor third.


Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, if you went to the Southern Province, which is a traditional stronghold of the UPND, where we previously got seven votes, we multiplied that by ten in the subsequent election and got seventy. That is an achievement.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: There is nothing static in politics. If you are a political novice, you will end up …

Hon. Government Members: Complete the sentence.

Mr Munkombwe laughed.

Mr Munkombwe: If you have a broad experience like I do, over fifty years, you will know how to deal with these issues. Yes, the MMD is not strong in the Southern Province, but it did not come out with nothing from the election results like the other party did somewhere.


Mr Munkombwe: It was getting zero votes in some constituencies.


Hon. Government Members: PF, just mention them.

Mr Munkombwe:  It is the party on the other side.


Mr Munkombwe: It had zero votes in some areas. 

Now, what is going to happen in 2011? We are not static. So, the more you warn us, the more we run away from you …


Mr Munkombwe: Therefore, continue warning us for our benefit. 

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Munkombwe: We are not static, but we analyse issues. 

Madam Speaker, if you want to continue being irrelevant, continue to be irrelevant. You should understand the interpretation of the map of Zambia and not the map of one district.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: Know the map of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: Draw that map and admit that you are in the Opposition and that the MMD Government is all over the country. Admit that the Opposition is not everywhere. If you do not do that, you are irrelevant.


Mr Munkombwe: You can boast about securing seats. 

There is one hon. Member who recently won an election in Luena Parliamentary Constituency.


Mr Milupi: On a point of order, Madam.


Mr Munkombwe: He is full of hope.


Mr Munkombwe: Full of hope.


Mr Munkombwe: I am not demeaning you, sit down.


Mr Munkombwe: Oh, I am sorry, Madam Speaker.


Mr Munkombwe: Sorry, sorry.


Mr Munkombwe: I have always admired him.


Mr Munkombwe: You can have courage which can lead to self-destruction.


Mr Munkombwe: Courage can lead one to self-destruction.

Hon. Members: Like Mpombo.

Mr Munkombwe: That one is my younger brother, but he is misguided.


Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, we are going ahead and will win the 2011 elections. There is no way these fantasies of people who want to eat your money …


Mr Munkombwe: Oh, sorry. 

Stay in the Opposition and become comfortable, but an Opposition which does not represent the whole country, is a burden to the people it represents. We must be part of Zambia and …

Hon. Government Members: Tell them to join us.

Mr Munkombwe: … since the MMD is part of Zambia, I can assure you that the shortest way to State House is through this side of the House (Government side).

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member’s time has elapsed.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to join my colleagues who have already spoken their minds on the Speech that was delivered to this House by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, let me begin by saying that there is one thing that came out very clearly from the President’s Address. That is that the President has no competitor …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: … and that he is firmly governing this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: However, I would like to appeal to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia to take note of the fact that the systems that are responsible for implementing Government policies and programmes have let him down.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: He can achieve a lot because he is a strong leader and we admire him and I have no doubt in my mind that, come 2011, he is going to win the elections.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: However, he should be seen to be reconstructing the systems that are responsible for implementing Government policies and programmes. Otherwise, the vision that he has set for this country may be derailed.

Madam, I will begin by giving examples with emphasis on the Luapula Province where I come from.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Madam Speaker, the systems for implementing Government policies and programmes in Luapula are very weak or have collapsed. They must be reconstructed for the President to deliver the goods and services to the people of the Luapula Province of Zambia, as a whole, within a short period of time. I am referring to the weaknesses of the same systems.

Madam, on 14th April, 2010, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning released to the province K2.8 billion to maintain feeder roads. From April until August, the money that was released was just being kept at the province. No feeder road was maintained. Can somebody tell me whether these structures are working or have collapsed?

Hon. Opposition Members: They have collapsed.

Mr Kasongo: They have completely collapsed and I have no apology to make for saying so …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: … because we have to assist this Government to deliver.

Madam Speaker, on 10th April, 2010, money was released to maintain feeder roads. I have documentations here, but nothing has been done.

Again, on 16th August, 2010, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning released K2.1 billion to maintain feeder roads. As I am talking, not even a single feeder road has been maintained in my constituency.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Kasongo: The competent hon. Minister of Finance of National Planning was kind enough to release the money as quickly as possible, but nothing has been done, …


Mr Kasongo: … and yet when the President tours the same province, he is given a long speech about what has been done. This is a practical example of failure by the administration to assist the Head of State to govern this country in a manner that can be appreciated by all of us. The President has provided strong leadership and there is no doubt about it, but the administrative machinery is weak as far as the province is concerned.

Madam Speaker, you may wish to know that, as hon. Members of Parliamen from the Luapula Province, we express concern about this laxity on the part of the administration. In June or July, 2010, we met the hon. Provincial Minister and expressed sadness and dismay at the failure by administration to maintain feeder roads.

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

Mr Kasongo: I am referring to a total amount of about K5 billion which has been released by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to maintain feeder roads, but nothing is taking place. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kasongo: For instance, I have spent a lot of money on talk time to make follow ups on whether the equipment has been delivered to all these areas to work on the feeder roads.

I have spent millions of kwacha on talk time to phone the provincial administration, but they are unperturbed. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Madam Speaker, I cannot believe that a person who is being paid through my own money as a taxpayer can relax and fail to perform to the expectations of the people of the Luapula Province.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Kasongo: Madam Speaker, it is unbelievable. K5 billion has already been disbursed by that hon. Minister, but nothing is taking place. For example, in my constituency, there are three feeder roads which are supposed to be maintained. I toured my constituency for fifteen consecutive days and that is what I do every year. On the sixteenth day, I went to see the provincial administration with the same information. I said, “What is happening? Funds have been disbursed and what are we waiting for?” They could not even explain. They gave me all sorts of excuses. I said, “Please, can you assure me that you will begin maintaining these roads as quickly as possible?” They said, “Yes, within seven days, we will reorganise ourselves and we can assure you that, by the end of this week, the equipment will begin working on Twingi Road.” This was in the course of the week that I went to see them. 

Yesterday, I phoned the professional responsible for this activity under the Ministry of Works and Supply, the Rural Roads Unit (RRU). I asked, “Has the equipment moved to Samfya to begin maintaining the roads?” He said, “No, funds have not been released by the provincial accountants.” This is unbelievable and very painful. We have a President who is visionary and would like to deliver, but he is not being supported by the administration. 


Mr Kasongo: Madam Speaker, it is unbelievable. These are facts. I am not reporting anybody. I have seen the provincial leadership and I have talked to them personally. If they cannot perform, what else can I do apart from speak the language of the people I am representing? 

Madam Speaker, to add insult to injury, last year, …


Mr Kasongo: … the National Roads Fund Agency (NRFA), headed by the Chief Executive, Mr Mabenga, released K320 million to undertake the Mabokonda Road Project in my constituency. Due to heavy rains, work was suspended in December and money is still there. When I spoke to the road engineer in the province, he told me that, in fact, they had bought fuel and culverts a long time ago, but they had not been given the equipment to begin the actual work. Fuel has already been paid for and culverts bought. This is the end of September. Come next month or early November, we will have another heavy downpour. One year down the line, no activity is taking place.

 When we supported the change in the Budget Cycle, our conviction was that managers would now be given a full year to implement Government policies and programmes, but we are not achieving anything. We supported the change of the Budget Cycle on the understanding that the system would now be more efficient in delivering goods and services to the people. What is happening is the opposite. The money is being kept without any explanation. Can somebody, please, take action on what is happening in the province?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: You have to take action as quickly as possible. You do not have to be onlookers. Enough is enough. 

Secondly, the Ministry of Education has a lot of challenges. I have respect for the hon. Minister, but I can assure you that the systems at the provincial and district levels have collapsed completely.


Mr Kasongo: They have to be restructured. You may wish to know that in July, this year, all the teachers in Samfya District were not on the payroll. They phoned me and I had to make a follow up. I went to Cabinet Office and was told by the Director responsible for the payroll system that, in fact, the payroll system was physically delivered to the province. He picked up the phone and spoke to the Provincial Education Officer who admitted that the problem was internal. I was listening. It was between the District Education Board Secretary’s (DEBS) office and his office. I had to intervene myself. 

Madam Speaker, you can imagine that most of the teachers in rural places travel 200 km to get their money from Finance Bank only to be told that there is no money. How do you expect them to go back when they have borrowed money enable them collect their money? They spend another week in Samfya waiting to be paid. When the payroll system was rectified, I was positive that, come next month, the situation was going to change. I was in my constituency this month and fifty-one teachers did not appear on the payroll. I would like to appeal …

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

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Malama: Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order. I did not wish to disturb the hon. Member who is speaking so well, especially that I debated last week, but is he in order not to include in his debate that, in fact, this Government has even started deducting housing allowance from teachers who are not accommodated in Government houses? Is he in order not to include that important part? I need your serious ruling.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

This will be, indeed, a very serious ruling. Hon. Members may not wish to debate through points of order. That is a matter of decision by the hon. Member on the Floor. Therefore, organise your points so that you can debate when you have been given an opportunity, but not to raise points of order asking whether the hon. Member is in order not to include that because you have your own mind and the other hon. Member has his own mind.

The hon. Member for Bangweulu may continue.

Mr Kasongo: Madam Speaker, fifty-one teachers in my constituency were not on the payroll. This is another sad situation, and yet I had reported the matter to the managers. It is unbelievable. How do we expect these people to survive? I would like the powers that be to restore the confidence of the teachers in the payroll system. When you are told that your money is not available in the bank and you have travelled 200 km, you know the implications. Sometimes, when we suggest that internal changes could be made, we always get all sorts of excuses about financial implications. 

Madam Speaker, a politician is not supposed to be worried about financial implications. He is supposed to be concerned about political implications regarding the failure to take action. That is what it is. What will be the consequences on your part if you fail to take action?


Mr Kasongo: I acknowledge a cardinal programme to construct teachers’ houses. We are all very excited about this. However, how long will it take? In Samfya, and I will give you a practical example of Bangweulu Constituency, it took two years to construct a single house.  


Mr Kasongo: Madam Speaker, if it can take two years to construct one standard house, how long would it take to accommodate all the teachers? The managers of these construction firms take only three to six months to complete their own houses.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Madam Speaker, apart from all the above, record management is chaotic. Teachers in council houses pay rentals. The situation at the DEBS is so chaotic. They do not even know what they are doing. A junior officer in the Human Resources Department threatened to fire a teacher because he complained over the rural hardship allowance. As an hon. Member of Parliament, I had to intervene and tell him that he did not have the power to fire anyone. This is what is obtaining on the ground. 

Madam Speaker, I would like to invite the hon. Minister to send a team of specialists to go and see what is happening in the province and district. I do not have a problem with headquarters because we have competent managers. The situation in the province and district is implausible. If what is happening in Bangweulu Constituency is happening elsewhere, then the hon. Minister has a lot of challenges. You have to take action immediately. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Madam Speaker, briefly, I would like to talk about the Voters’ Registration Exercise. As far as Bangweulu Constituency is concerned, you have not achieved anything. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Zero. 

Mr Kasongo: Even the extension to November is a sheer waste of time and resources. I found a lot of voter registration officers sleeping. Some of them were even found playing nsolo. When I asked them what was happening, I was told that people had not been issued with national registration cards (NRCs). At some polling stations, the numbers being recorded were ten or fifteen. 

As Government, you should have done an analysis to find out how many people had been captured before making an extension. 

Hon. Opposition Member: Quality!

Mr Kasongo: There is no way you can just make a blanket extension. There must be an analysis of the exercise so far. We are giving you this information free of charge. You must have political analysts who must be able to tell you that if the whole of Bangweulu Constituency, with its forty-three polling stations, can record 25,000 voters and one polling station on the Copperbelt records 50,000, you are going to lose a lot of seats. These are implications that you should be able to analyse. There was no need for you to extend this programme. 


Mr Kasongo: You have not achieved anything in my constituency. Officers are just sleeping. If you want this exercise to succeed between now and November, give money to the National Registration Department so that it issues NRCs concurrently with the registration exercise. Otherwise, you will be paying people for doing literally nothing for a month.

Finally, I wish to pay tribute to my voters who have always mandated me to speak on their behalf. I will continue doing so. I hope that this listening Government will take note of its weaknesses because they may injure it sooner than later. 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to put a vote of thanks to the President’s Speech. I would like to pay tribute to the President for the very inspiring speech that he gave to this House.  

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Madam Speaker, in Bemba, we say “Uwakwensha ubushiku bamutasha ilyo bwaca.” 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Madam Speaker, the implication is that when the President is taking us through development and we have challenges that we have to overcome, people complain. However, at the end of the day, all of us can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 


Mrs Sinyangwe: Madam Speaker, it has been eight months since the last time the President was here. He has outlined quite a number of developmental projects. Whether we say that these projects are there or not, we know that they are because we can see them. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Madam Speaker, allow me to refer to one particular leader who said that when the current President ascended to presidency, he said he was happy and walking tall because he was walking on the successes of his predecessors. I have heard it said in some circles that the President wants glory for a job that he did not do. The fact is that any leader who comes along must develop on what the other person left behind. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Madam Speaker, if a leader wants to start from scratch and forget about what people have said because he wants to be seen to be doing something, he will fail even before he starts.  

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Madam Speaker, development is not a one-man show. When development comes to the nation, we know that we have a President and his Cabinet. It takes all of us to bring development to a nation. If we are going to talk about other people not having done anything, then who shall we say has done something? 

Madam Speaker, a vindictive person cannot appreciate anything that another person has done. The same mouth that says that there is no legacy is the same mouth that says the only development the incumbent President has done is what somebody else left unfinished. I start to wonder what we are talking about. Will our people really believe that we are principled and can lead them? 

Madam Speaker, one of us said that the Opposition is full of praises for the Government. As an hon. Member of Parliament for Matero, I am obliged to give praise to the Government for the things that it has done in my constituency.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: I say so because I remember when the late President, Dr Mwanawasa, SC. came to launch the water project in Matero, the people of Matero told me that they were carrying water on their heads for nineteen years. Would I not praise the Government for the water project? Should I stand here and demonise the people in the Government? Unless there is something wrong with me, I cannot do that.

 Hon. Government: Hear, hear!

 Mrs Sinyangwe: My clinic has a theatre. Apart from that, the Government is building surgical, gynecological and out-patient wards, a kitchen and laundry. Would I not say thank you and well done to the Government?

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: I think the Government deserves to be thanked. When I say that the Government has done well, I am not saying that everything in the constituency has been done. Since there are other things that need be done, we should tell those in the Government and praise the Government, but still urge it to improve on certain things.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Three days ago, the grader was in my constituency grading a road which was said not to have been in use for nineteen years. I would like to thank the provincial leadership for sending the rural roads unit (RRU) machinery to my constituency. When I went to inspect the works on this road, people were lying down thanking the hon. Member of Parliament and the Government for what it had done. So, what would we say?

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: What I am saying is that since we have already worked on some roads, we need to just continue the job and do more jobs because infrastructure in any development is cardinal, especially if you have to connect different areas. I am so happy that there is Mfuwe Road which is connecting my cousins from the Eastern Province to my home. Currently, we can easily get to Nakonde and to the border. That is a good development.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Whoever may come into power cannot achieve everything at one go. I believe that we should help the Government by bringing out the areas on which it is not working well so that it can see that it needs to do more. However, at the same time, we need to praise the Government when it does a good job.

Madam Speaker, this Government has done very well in education. I worked for the Ministry of Education for thirty-three years and I was one of the directors who travelled to many places. When I travel now, I can see a significant change. The Government has done well.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: The issues of access have been addressed. In education, we have to address three things; access, equity and quality. We are getting there because, now, we can even boast of having a fifty to fifty ratio in schools, that is fifty boys and girls in a classroom. However, we still need to improve access issues because we need more schools which are as near to the community as possible so that our children can stop travelling long distances. We need to motivate our teachers in terms of quality because we need them to be in schools so that they can teach our children. We also need learning materials. We need to have a pupil/book ratio of one to one because we want to our children to take the books at home to read.

Madam Speaker, we need nurses in our hospitals. In my constituency, we have a clinic in George Compound. The population of that compound is just too much. The nurses at this clinic are few. As a result, they cannot provide the services that the people need. I know that we can complain to the Government when we are not happy with the services we are receiving. Some women have come to me complaining that the nurses at the health centre are not kind. They even beat up the women in the maternity ward. When I go there and see the numbers, I can see that we have two problems. The first one is that the nurses are few and are over worked. When somebody is tired, they can react. Therefore, I am urging the Ministry of Health to train more nurses so that we have more nurses in our clinics.

Madam Speaker, the roads in this country, especially in the compounds and Lusaka, in particular, are bad. When the rains come, we shall have floods. These floods are as a result of unplanned settlements. Where there is a drainage, at the end of if all, there is a house and a wall fence. I think local authorities must look into this and be able to control the allocation of plots because it is not taking us anywhere. Putting up other developmental infrastructure is becoming very difficult because most places are already occupied. Development is not about residential houses only. We need to do other things as well. If Lusaka is over populated, please, let the people go to the villages and build houses. We should encourage our people to go to the villages.

Madam Speaker, I am one of those who has enjoyed part of the K5 billion meant for women empowerment.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: I have more than sixty clubs in my constituency and we are still giving out this money. I have invited the hon. Minister to come and help me divide the money that the women are going to get on 6th October, 2010.

 Hon. Government Members: hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: I have discovered that women are now becoming more assertive. They can manage their businesses and their money. I would, therefore, like to urge the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission to design the forms in a simpler way so that our women get loans easily. This programme has made our women empowered and they are looking after their money well. Those who we have not yet given money are still contributing to the businesses of those that have been given. I would also like to thank the First Lady for coming to support me when I was initially starting the clubs.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: That is how a mother is supposed to be. I am now asking for a deliberate programme for our women so that they can be trained in skills of entrepreneurship so that we can see more fruits coming out of this empowerment programme because if we just give them money and leave them, we will not see any meaningful results. To those who want to see what my women are doing, I am inviting them, on 6th October, 2010, to come to the Matero Community Hall so that they can see how we have advanced and how my women are working. I am proud of them.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: There are a lot of things that we can say thank you for. I would like to urge my friends, the politicians, that whenever they are saying something, they should make sure that they say the truth because if I stand up and say a certain road has not been worked on just for the sake of finding something negative to talk about, we are not going to move forward. Our friends in the developed countries move forward because they rally behind the leadership in place and help it to move forward and not to pull it down.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Lastly, His Excellency, the President reminded us that next year is a year of reckoning. We are going to face our constituencies squarely one by one.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Others are what we call in Bemba ‘Ninsombo, shililila mubwingi.’ We shall see when we get there.

 Hon. Government Members:  Hear, hear!

I and my people are ready. I can tell you that I am coming back to this House next year.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me this chance to contribute to the Speech by his Excellency the President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda.

Madam, I am going to be very brief and to the point so that my colleagues on your right can understand and, maybe, take advice from what I am going to say.

Madam Speaker, I will start by quoting the President on Page 11 of his Speech where he said:

“I am pleased to report that due to the positive performance of our mining sector, copper production is still increasing.”

On the same page, he went on to say that:

    “This was vital as copper remains the foundation of our economy.”

Madam Speaker, on page 12, he added that:

    “The revised Act focuses on value addition industries for all minerals.”

Madam Speaker, in my last quotation, the President further added that: 

    “In 2011, we will focus on increased production.”

Madam Speaker, I failed to follow what the President was saying.


Ms Cifire: Ni chizungu icho.


Mr Chota: His ideas were scattered.


Mr Chota: What he is talking about is very important.

Mr Malama: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota: However, he says one thing at one moment and jumps onto another the next moment. Therefore, I am lost.


Mr V. Mwale: You are the one who is scattered.


Mr Chota: Madam Speaker, …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, there is a lot of consultation and too many running commentaries going on. Can you listen, please, and allow the hon. Member to speak so that the Chair can follow his debate.

Can you continue, please.

Mr Chota: Madam Speaker, what is the President trying to say? Where are the statistics of the value addition industries? If value is to be added to copper or cobalt and industries are to be put up everywhere, it is important that we have these statistics. Where are the statistics to show our starting point when, in fact, infrastructure such as the Ndola Precious Metal Plant has been vandalised?

Mrs Phiri: Hummer!

Mr Chota: Where are we going?

Mr Mukanga: Nowhere.

Mr V. Mwale: You are scattered.

Mr Mukanga: Ee baume aba.

Mr Chota: Madam Speaker, how is copper building the foundation of our economy? Is it through the power the Government acquires out of it or through the miners who are paying tax?

Madam, at the moment, we have stopped talking about minerals such as cobalt, selenium and gold. Nobody mentions these minerals. We often talk about copper in whose form it is sold we do not know. It is not known whether copper is sold as copper anodes, wire bars, cathodes or moulds because if one stood by the roadside, they would see copper moulds and concentrates being transported.

Madam Speaker, copper and other mineral prices have been very steady. In fact, we can say that we have had the highest prices in history.


Mr Chota: In North America, cobalt, in December, was fetching US$ 41 per pound weight. At the moment, it is fetching nearly US$ 20 per pound weight on the London Metal Exchange. If sold at US$ 6 per pound weight, we would be talking about making super profit.

Madam Speaker, countries like Chile, today, face problems of natural disasters such as earthquakes and this affects their cobalt production.

Madam Speaker, even the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) faces problems that affect its cobalt production. However, there is a very powerful governor who dictates to the mining companies what tax they are supposed to pay and they risk being closed if found wanting. Recently, he had a mine closed down. As a result, there are people in Mufulira who are unemployed because of this. The closure of this mine also saw electricity supply being cut off from Katanga and the border town of Kasumbalesa. The residents there approached us for help to have the electricity restored, but their plea went unheard.  

Now if the governor, who dictated to the mining companies on how much tax they were to pay learnt about the processing of tax from here and South Africa, why is it that, in our case, here in Zambia we allow these investors to take our minerals out of our country and just watch them?

Mr Mukanga: Free of charge.

Mr Chota: At US$ 41 per pound weight.

Some time back, we had a cobalt selling office in the United States of America (USA) in Cleveland, but it is not there anymore. How many tonnages of cobalt have we produced since 1997 because, at the moment, we are the highest producers of cobalt since Chile and the DRC have problems? We are producing plenty of cobalt.

Madam Speaker, the Government often talks about corporate social responsibility. Now, if someone bought a Tata Bus for a football team to be used on a road in a deplorable state such that it cannot even be used, do you call that taking up a corporate social responsibility? It is unfortunate that the people taking up such corporate social responsibilities are building some of the best universities in India.

Mr Mukanga: Yes, they have built.

Mr Chota: Maybe, if they have built a university somewhere, someone should tell me. Despite this, we still remain the highest cobalt producers.

Madam Speaker, what I am trying to say is that to get the true value of our minerals, we must reintroduce the windfall tax. If copper is selling at US$ 4 per pound weight, then people are swimming in money. However, what are we getting out of that? Should we be satisfied by the fact that 2,000 workers have been employed and that they are paying tax?

Dr Katema: It is the labourers that are paying tax.

Mr Chota: Minerals are being taken away from our country and we are just watching.


Mr Chota: Do we need to put the President’s portrait all over the Copperbelt on developmental projects like what happened in Chawama where the President’s portrait was stuck all over when he was commissioning a clinic that had been upgraded to hospital status? If one went to Chawama, the first thing they would see would be the portrait of the President which is even more expensive than the clinic itself.


Mr Chota: Madam Speaker, I urge this Government to re-look at the windfall tax. The Australian Government is looking at this and it is going to increase the taxes.

Ms Siliya: Aah! No.

Mr Chota: That is what is being done. People can refute that, but that is only because they do not know what they are talking about.

Madam Speaker, I now come to health. His Excellency the President, on page 21, of his speech, said:

 “Provide the people of Zambia with equity of access to cost-effective, quality health care as close to the family as possible.” 

This is good because clinics are being upgraded to hospitals. However, I would like to advise the Government to see to it that all the equipment to be installed in an upgraded clinic be new. Vandalising the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) will not assist us because the equipment being taken from there to Chawama will break down within weeks. What the Government is doing is cannibalising the UTH machinery and it will not assist in any way.

Madam Speaker, in Lubansenshi Constituency, we have the Luwingu Rural District Hospital which was built as a rural health centre sometime back and has structures here and there. This health centre has no X-ray machine. We would not mind being given the X-ray machine that was used in the Second World War …


Mr Chota: … as it would make us very happy.

Madam Speaker, the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment, which came into use in the 1980s, is being commissioned, today, but people are happy about that.

Madam Speaker, in Luwingu, there are no abdominal scanners, laundry machines, mattresses and blankets. I am debating on facts since somebody advised us to do so. This is what is obtaining in Luwingu.

Madam Speaker, on employment, we were advised to employ physical trainers. 

Mr Munaile: I am here.

Mr Chota: Madam Speaker, I will consider my good friend, Hon. Munaile, on this one. However, instead of spending a lot of money on physical trainers, we should provide the necessities required by our people. For example, the authorised cadre of registered nurses is ten, however, in Luwingu, we only have six and instead of having thirty-one Zambian enrolled nurses, we only have eight. So, these are some of the things the Government should look into instead of employing physical trainers.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Madam Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the speech writers, idea scatterers and frustrated novelists, whoever they are, for preparing this speech. It is not a bad speech with which to open an election campaign − that is if you are not a Zambian who knows Zambia quite well.

One of the symptoms, I am afraid, of speech writing in this country is an endless ability to recycle concepts and words. I often see the phrase ‘bread basket’ in reference to Zambia being the bread basket of Africa. That phrase is, at least, fifty years old. We used to stand on the edge of the Barotse flood plain saying, “Ah! The bread basket of Africa,” but now we give it relief food.

Madam Speaker, I am sure that if I went through my Alick Nkhata collection, I would find a song about the bread basket. There should be a law to prevent recycling.


Dr Scott: However, it should not apply to politicians because it is nice to have Hon. Daniel Munkombwe and Hon. Vernon Mwaangwa here to add a bit of class and maturity to our deliberations, but ideas, images and visions of bread baskets should be banned.

Madam Speaker, the other thing I note about this speech is its campaign character. This must be the first Presidential Speech to the Opening of Parliament, in the written version, to contain the name of a member of the Opposition in a derogatory context. I have no objection to that because, afterall, Mr Sata can look after himself since he knows how to answer to these things. 

However, Mr Speaker, if we are all going to have a culture of political rough and tambles where presidents are even involved, then we should update our legal system or laws so that some of these anachronistic colonial legislation such as that which makes defaming the President an imprisonable crime, under the Penal Code, is removed. It has been removed in virtually every country of the world except this one. In Britain, it was removed in the time of Henry the Eighth and in some places it is kept for hereditary Kings and Queens. However, as regards politicians, we are one of the few countries who have retained it.

Madam Speaker, I doubt that it shall be removed in the Fifth Session of the Tenth National Assembly, but we shall certainly remove it in the First Session of the Eleventh National Assembly when the UPND and PF are on that side of the House.


Dr Scott: Do not get your hopes high just because there is some family squabbling going on. In this regard, I support the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central (Mr Nkombo) on that point. We are all family and although we bad-mouth each other as much as we like, at the end of the day, there is more important business.

Madam Speaker, I will leave out many of the things that have already been talked about, but there are two areas which I can honestly say, I experience a sense of alarm. I am alarmed about the whole situation surrounding tax formulae, the collection of taxes, and the declining tax revenues. It is a good idea to reduce taxes to encourage investment, but a good idea can be taken to extremes and become a potential disaster. 

Mr Speaker, just because you want to give capital allowances to people who want to come and invest in multi-facility economic zones (MFEZs) does not mean that they have to be given a ten year tax holiday from this and that and, in the end, just create a few jobs for us. The number of jobs mentioned in this report for the MFEZ case is 3,500 and this compared to a population of  twelve million of which, let us say, 40 per cent are adults who want jobs, would give us five million people looking for jobs. This excludes those who are prepared to be housewives or househusbands.

Madam Speaker, five million people are looking for jobs and we are prepared to give away our natural resources, our right to taxation and everything else for 3,500 jobs. It does not make any kind of sense nor square up and this is similar to the situation of mine taxation. 

Madam Speaker, I am reliably informed by tax accountants, because I consult people before I discuss things like these, that the problem in Zambia is not just the tax formula or system as it is written down in black and white, but the capacity of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to overcome the cheating that goes on in mining companies and foreign investment generally.

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

Dr Scott: We used to have the Minister of Finance and you may, perhaps, even remember him as one of the cleaners there. Many years ago, there used to be two nasty old men who sat in an office in the Ministry of Finance. Their job was to spot all the tricks and leakages in the accounts of the Anglo-American Corporation and the Roan Selection Trust (RST). These old cantankerous men used to catch every trick in the book they played. At least, they caught some of them because they were, themselves, former poachers turned game keepers and were paid especially for that. If I were on that side (right), I would worry very much about whether we are collecting what we think we are entitled to, which is considerably less than what we ought to be collecting. 

Madam Speaker, I would strongly urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, whom I think is the right person to do this, to conduct a detailed social cost-benefit analysis of the taxation system of every dollar made on the copper that leaves this country or every dollar that comes into this country from the sale of copper. He needs to do this for our benefit, the benefit of the people of Zambia and in particular we, their representatives. We need to know how many ngwees or cents of that money is expended on the Zambian infrastructure, Zambian education system and the Government’s general revenue. What is our share of our own wealth as it goes out of the country, not in vague terms of a few thousand jobs here and there, but what are we actually getting as a country? 

Are we going to run our country, as we have learned to do, on the dangerous basis that it is the British, Americans, Germans and Japanese who will pay tax to their Governments that, in turn, will pass on that tax revenue to us to fix roads to Mongu and other places? I think that is a very unstable arrangement. I am sure the hon. Minister knows very well that that arrangement could disappear overnight. If there was a scandal in Britain or Denmark about the way their money is being used in Zambia, in these times of recession, the whole aid industry could be very severely politically impacted by the people who are funding it. After all, many of them are unemployed and are having their own benefits slashed. 

Therefore, we should not depend upon foreign aid as an essential ingredient. If the aid is there, well and good. However, it has to be properly controlled. We should accept the responsibility of raising our own taxation revenue so that, at least, we are immunised against the events in the world as a whole. Besides, I think it is very shameful, after forty-six years of independence, to be still depending on the British taxpayer for a bit of medicine or road building.

Madam Speaker, this taxation issue frightens me because it could turn into an unsustainable situation. It can result into a budget deficit which cannot be covered and has to be slashed. Unfortunately, it will, of course, be the essential sectors that will take that slashing.

Madam Speaker, the other area which alarms and frightens me, because we have been there and done that, is the area of maize marketing. Let us declare maize as Zambia’s national initial achievement because the local production of maize, at about the time of independence or more accurately, the time of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) was an amazing achievement. We were threatened by Ian Smith and his bullies south of the river. Even as we were planning sanctions against the UDI Rhodesian Government, they were planning sanctions against us in retaliation. This is why the hell run and others had to be constructed.

 One of the commodities with which we were most concerned was self-sufficiency with regard to maize. This was because not only had we been traditionally feeding off the Southern Rhodesian crop, but also many of the white farmers who were on this side of Rhodesia had left and gone south. It was an amazing achievement to turn into the school of the Lima programme in a very short time. We turned round using the green revolution technology by getting the villagers to grow maize with modern methods and did so in sufficient quantities to make Zambia food secure. 

The trouble is that though it was a good idea and an amazing achievement, it was taken to extremes and started to become a vote-buying arrangement. It started to become a substitute for all the services that were supposed to be provided to the rural population. The substitute was some free fertiliser and a guaranteed price for maize. It grew and got out of control and brought down the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government. More than any other single factor for this turn of events was the subsidies.

 By the time this great mass of complicated subsidies such as subsidies for exports, each provincial transport, fertiliser, storage, milling and retail, on which people were cheating left, right and centre with the free Boma money that was running around were given, as the then Minister of Finance and National Planning knows very well, without the super profits of copper, we were on the verge of collapse. That is why the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decided to come and insist on the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) to be adopted by Zambia to start cutting subsidies and so forth. 

Madam Speaker, this, in turn, led to the doctor of the multi-party elections. I know some of us here were also part of the pressure. This pressure was made easy by the direct state of the national finances in the light of the amount of money that was going out to try and cope with this tricky inefficient maize growing and marketing system. 

Suddenly, in the space of two years, we had to have the first doubling and very good bumper harvest. However, if you cannot sell the bumper harvest, it becomes a liability and because if it has to be subsidised to be sold, it is no longer an asset. If you want to double it, again, you would start to get into delay and incur even more problems because, as the hon. Minister told us the other day, 890,000 people, if I am not mistaken, are now targeted for the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). That is more maize growers than we have in this country. It means you are starting to give fertiliser to cassava and sorghum growers. You are turning people who are not in a good position to grow maize because of arid conditions, horrible wet conditions, acidic soil conditions and poor soil conditions into dependents on a crop that is very unreliable under those circumstances and switching them off. 

One of the most wonderful crops we have in this country is cassava. When you are a Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, you do not worry about it because it sits in the ground. When there is a drought, they dig it up and eat it. They do not even come and complain and will not even try to fool you. Maize, of course, is a big tank and if we continue this topsy-turvy expansion of something which we know can bring the country down, as evidenced from experience, then we are possibly heading into a very large disaster. This disaster will need food relief everywhere and not only in the Southern, Eastern or Central parts of the country, but also in Luapula. I think it will be a big shame to take areas that have been traditionally feed self-sufficient and turn them into areas to grow a crop which they are not suited to grow simply because it is the only crop we can imagine. 

Why do we not give the same subsidies to maize, tobacco and cotton growers because they can make money? They can buy the maize that is lying in surplus in the next village for consumption. This way, we can have a balanced agriculture. However, if you do not want a balanced agriculture because you have one big idea and you want to take it and blow it up like a balloon, it will pop like a balloon and that will be it. It sounds and looks to me like an election gimmick. I will, therefore, just plead with this Government not to use the livelihoods of people as a cynical method of buying votes.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: It does too much damage in the long run. I am a person who would rather lose an election than see the whole agriculture of this country collapse. I think the same standards should be applied on that side of the House as well.

Madam Speaker, there are a few points that I have to make. It is rather disconcerting that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has targeted to register 2.5 million new voters, but has only managed to register 380,000. That is a very big shortfall from the target. I was under the impression that the registration was continuous, but when I dial, 22011 or whatever the number is, on my mobile phone to check where the registration is taking place in Lusaka Central, I receive a message saying that there are no registration centres operating in Lusaka Central on that particular day. I did this in Mongu Central the other day and I was given exactly the same message as for Lusaka Central Constituency.

Madam Speaker, I am very concerned about these developments because while some of us got awards for it and others did not, many of us fought and suffered for a one man, one vote principle. We want to see that this is the case or as close to it as possible when it comes to elections in this country. 

Madam Speaker, I think it was the hon. Member for Chasefu who talked about parties led by people over the age of sixty being prone to violence in this Chamber. I agree with him and I think all parties led by people over sixty years, sporting militias, crack squads or whatever they are called …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Speak through the microphone.

Dr Scott turned towards his microphone.

Dr Scott: … and attend funeral services with screwdrivers which they proceed to stick into people, should change their ways and become more peaceable as their leaders grow older. Likewise, the parties with young leaders should also follow suit as their leaders grow older. Basically, if the way in moving away from old vigilantes to a modern participatory democracy is led by the party that I am talking about, all of us will comply. There will be no Mapatzya or Lusaka Central formulae needed if the way is led by these parties led by the septuagenarians of this country.

Madam, with those few words, I thank you so much.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor. I will be very brief as I would like to centre on only one or two items. 

My fellow hon. Members of Parliament on this side have debated passionately on the bumper harvest and how the hardworking Zambians are suffering because of the failure by the Government to pay the farmers on time. My only question on the bumper harvest that has excited our Republican President is whether it is able to put food on the tables of the vulnerable majority in the country. I believe that when we have a bumper harvest, the prices of maize should drop so that people can afford to buy mealie-meal. In my constituency, despite the bumper harvest we are talking about, I have not seen any change at all. Families are still wallowing in poverty and struggling to have a single meal a day. Therefore, to me, this bumper harvest has not brought any hope at all.


Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, we have also been told that the maize being produced in Zambia is to be sold to our neighbouring countries at a subsidised price. I have a problem with this because it does not make any business sense nor does it really contribute to the growth of the economy. Maybe, that is how the economy in this country is grown. It is not logical to spend so much money on producing goods that are sold at less than the cost of production.

Madam, therefore, …

Mr Chimbaka: Finally.

Mr Mwenya: … it was quite interesting, for me, to listen to the President’s Speech. I compared it to the Zain Zambia’s Talkamo advertisement that is being promoted in the country. The President spoke so much, but the issues that were being put across were not convincing at all. For example, he spoke about the same roads that he has been mentioning for the past two years. Are we saying that these are the only roads that we have in this country? I have stood on the Floor of this House, on several occasions, to speak about this and, at one time, Mr Speaker told me that the Government had heard. I have spoken on roads so passionately and I was sure that something was going to be done about them.

Madam Speaker, unfortunately, to date, the roads I have been talking about, which are Chibuluma, Mine and Central Street, have not been worked on. These roads are a threat to the lives of the people who reside in the mining area. I have failed to understand why this Government has not allowed the Indeni Refinery to produce bitumen, which is the major component in tar road construction. We are importing bitumen which is just a by-product of oil. Why can we not allow Indeni Refinery to produce bitumen so that we are able to control the cost of constructing roads in the country?

Madam Speaker, the President also talked about mining. I believe that mining is the mainstay of the economy in Zambia. Unfortunately, we have given the mining industry away to investors through privatisation. When the industry was being privatised, the Zambian people were assured that, once this was done, they would see a change in their livelihoods by way of new hospitals, roads and a lot of infrastructure development in the country. Alas, today, there is nothing to talk about. The Zambian people are still crying on a daily basis. The late President came to this House and brought in a new tax regime so that the country could benefit from its God-given mineral resources. Unfortunately, when the incumbent came into office, he decided to do away with the windfall tax.

The Mines and Minerals Development (Amendment) Bill was brought to the Floor of this House and we all supported the Government for introducing it. It was agreed that the money was going to be shared. Unfortunately, when the money started being collected and the Government saw how bulky it was, it decided to channel it elsewhere. It could not even come back to the Zambian people to tell them how much money was collected and how it was utilised. Despite what the law stipulated, the Government simply put it aside. Therefore, what is the essence of enacting laws in this House which cannot be honoured by the Government?

Madam Speaker, I expected the President to have said something about the extractive industry because that is what the world is talking about at the moment. We want to know what is being extracted, how much money is being realised from it and also where this money is going. We also want to know how much the Government is realising from it and how is it being spent. To be told that roads have been worked on using that money is not enough and I think that is what is happening. We have what is now being called the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Programme and this country is a signatory to it. We would like that to be brought in the open and I would have expected my President to have said a lot on this.

Madam Speaker, over the weekend, I visited Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a place I visit frequently. When I visited Congo twelve years ago, you would agree that it was a war-torn country. The roads were very bad, shops were in a pathetic state and you could not find banks as they were all closed. 

When I visited Lubumbashi over the weekend from Kasumbalesa, I found that all the major roads had been worked on up to Kenya Township in less than twelve years. Our colleagues have started working on the township roads and when I spoke to a few people in Lubumbashi, they said that they were impressed with what Mr Moses Katumbi was doing. That is what we expect in this country. People should be praising you for the work you are doing.

We expect the people to be praising our Republican President for the works that he is doing, works that we can point at.

I have been an hon. Member of Parliament for Nkana for five years now, but there is nothing that I can point at in Kitwe as what the Government is doing.


Mr Mwenya: I am speaking on behalf of the people of Nkana. Although you are talking of job creation in the mining industry, I do not know the people that have been employed. I do not see the 2,000 jobs that you are talking about because I meet my colleagues in bars on a daily basis. People who were retrenched are still loafers to date. Now, which people have you employed?

You have a lot of work to do and we need a lot of Bills to be brought on the Floor of this House. For example, there has been an issue of corporate social responsibility which the President spoke about. It is not enough to simply make a sweeping statement by saying that the mining industries should see to it that most of the resources are channeled towards schools, hospitals and sport through co-operate social responsibility. We have been so good at talking to our colleagues and expecting them to reciprocate through corporate social responsibility, but they have not done anything. The best thing we need to do is come up with laws that will compel the mining companies to provide their corporate social responsibility.

Madam Speaker, for example, our colleagues from Mopani Copper Mines have been mentioning large figures of money that they have been spending in terms of corporate social responsibility, but when you go there to see where this money has been spent, it is very difficult to appreciate it. Therefore, what we are saying that it is important that we try and come up with laws that shall compel the mining companies to provide corporate social responsibility.

Our colleagues in the DRC have constructed schools through corporate social responsibility from the mining companies. These same Chinese who have come to Zambia are also there in the DRC and have built schools and hospitals. So, why can they not do the same here since there are mines also here?

Mr Munaile: If they did it there, why can they not ‘did’ it also here?

Mr Mwenya: If they did it there, why can they not ‘did’ it also here?


Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, another issue that is dear to my heart has to do with contractors and suppliers. Again, the President did mention that the mining companies should be offering contracts to Zambian contractors and suppliers. That alone is not enough. We need to compel the mining companies to work with local suppliers and contractors. The manufacturing industry in the country has collapsed because we, as a country, have created a window for these mining companies to import everything, including very small items that can be manufactured locally. How do you intend to rejuvenate the manufacturing industry in this country? The only way you can to do that is by coming up with policies and laws that will protect the manufacturing industry.

Mr Msichili: And more policies.

Mr Mwenya: We need to protect our people because most of the works that are done by the Chinese can be done by the local people. Therefore, if we protect these suppliers and contractors, this will have a multiplier effect in that they will be able to employ the many locals who are roaming the streets. Therefore, it is important to come up with significant laws to compel the mining companies in ensuring that the local contractors and suppliers are protected.

Madam Speaker, I would also like to talk about the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ). The President, again, did mention something about the environment and it is very unfortunate that the ECZ is not doing enough. It has a tendency of approving environmental impact assessment reports even in areas where it knows that there is a conflict between the residents and the mining activities that are taking place. I say so because in my constituency, the ECZ approved the opening of an open pit mine by Mopani Copper Mines very close to a residential area.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Mwenya: When business was suspended, I was talking about the ECZ.

Mr Chimbaka: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, I rarely rise on points of order ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Chimbaka: ... except on serious matters. Is the hon. Member for Nkana in order to come to this House and blame the Government for his failures in Nkana Constituency? The National Secretary of the Patriotic Front (PF) mentioned in one of the newspapers that all hon. PF Members of Parliament who had done literally nothing were going to be slaughtered. Is he in order to shift blame on the Government? I need your serious ruling, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member may have wanted to raise issues but, unfortunately, he has already debated this Motion. The issues that have to do with how the parties perceive the hon. Members outside are not issues for this Chair to rule on. 

The hon. Member for Nkana may continue.

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, thank you for your guidance. Before the point of order was raised, I was talking about the ECZ. It has not protected the Zambians, especially those working in the mining industry. For example, it has allowed Mopani Copper Mines to open open pits very close to the residential areas. The ECZ assured us that there was going to be no pollution, noise and, of course, interference with the residents. However, after the mines started their operations, we have noticed that whatever they said is not the case. Our people now live in dust. Children have been exposed to dust which is detrimental to their health. So, I appeal to the ECZ to take a very serious step and see to it that something is done about this. It should realise that it is there to work on behalf of Zambians and not investors.

Madam Speaker, let me also mention here that there is segregation between the Chinese and Zambians because Zambians who work for the Chambishi Mine are not allowed to use the mine’s buses ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: ... forcing them to find their own way to Chambishi Mine, which is very unfortunate.

Madam, finally, I also want to mention that the freedom of speech and information is being suppressed in this country and something has to be done about this.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Is there any further debate? The hon. Members who have not debated must keep count of time. When the Executive starts responding, that is not the time for you to start trying to squeeze in. So, you have the time now.


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1837 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 29th September, 2010.