Debates- Thursday, 22nd July, 2010

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Thursday, 22nd July, 2010

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for according me an opportunity to give a ministerial statement on the status of petroleum exploration in Zambia.


Exploration for oil and gas in Zambia is being conducted based on the understanding that oil and gas have been discovered in countries with which we share the same geology. For instance, Uganda discovered oil along the East African Rift System that extends to the Lake Tanganyika, Mweru-Wantipa area, Luangwa, Luano-Lukusashi, Kafue and Zambezi valleys. Botswana, on the other hand, discovered coal-bed-methane in the Okavango Basin which stretches into the North-Western and Western provinces of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, investigations for oil and gas in Zambia’s sedimentary basins have been carried out by different organisations since the 1970s. In 1971, Romanian consultants assessed the potential for oil and gas of the Barotse Basin. In the same year, the Geological Survey Department in my ministry undertook a reconnaissance survey and drilled some shallow holes in the Barotse Plains to gather information on the underlying geology. A Canadian consultancy firm undertook a countrywide aero magnetic survey in 1979. Placid Oil and Mobil signed contracts for oil exploration in the Luangwa Valley in 1985 and 1987 respectively. The two companies acquired gravity and seismic data during the period and Placid Oil drilled two unsuccessful exploration wells.

Mr Speaker, as you may recall, the investigations for oil and gas potential were re-opened in 2004 at the request of the late President, His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. The request was made following his visit to the North-Western Province where it was reported that there were prolonged fires in Kabompo District suspected to be the result of oil seepage. A team of experts from the Geological Survey Department in my ministry and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training conducted preliminary investigations from 9th to 14th November, 2004. A follow-up survey was conducted from 15th to 27th August 2005 by officers from the Geological Survey Department and the Department of Energy.

The methodology applied in the investigations included geological, geophysical and soil sampling. A total of forty-two soil samples were collected from areas lying in the chiefdoms of Chief Chiyengele, Senior Chief Ishindi, Chieftainess Nyakulenga and Chief Chinyama Litapi and in the Nyatanda area.

Mr Speaker, the soil samples were sent to Micropro GMBH Microbiological Laboratories in Germany where they were analysed using the new technology for microbial prospecting for oil and gas. The results of the analyses showed that nineteen out of the forty-two samples were indicating positive results for oil accumulation in the sub-surface. The basis for microbial prospecting for oil and gas is that oil and gas fields emit a stream of hydrocarbon gases to the surface of the earth on which micro-organisms known as hydrocarbon oxidising bacteria depend. There is a significant population development of hydrocarbon oxidising bacteria in places where there have been traces of hydrocarbons over several years in the soil. The analytical study of these bacteria, according to the specialised microbial prospecting for oil and gas laboratories in Germany, has proved successful in oil and gas exploration world over. This company has been using this technique for the past thirty-five years, both onshore and offshore. The results from the microbial prospecting for oil and gas surveys showed positive indications for the presence of oil and gas in the districts.

Mr Speaker, encouraged by these results, the late President appointed a Petroleum Committee in line with the stipulated provisions of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act of 1985, Cap 440 of the Laws of Zambia. Under the Act, the committee was tasked to formulate policies, monitor and supervise petroleum operations in Zambia. The Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act of 1985 was repealed and replaced with the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act of 2008 which provides for the appointment of a Petroleum Technical Committee to assist and advise the Petroleum Committee on all technical matters.


Mr Speaker, to begin the process of licensing private companies to commence detailed exploration, areas with potential for oil and gas were demarcated into blocks and advertised in the local media, on the Global Partners Website, Geological Survey Department Website and in the international media; namely, the Time Magazine and Business Week of the United Kingdom..

The first bidding round was announced in June, 2009 and closed in November the same year. Twenty-three out of the total twenty-nine blocks were advertised in this round. The remaining six blocks were reserved for the Government. These are shown on the map that I will lay on the Table for the information of the hon. Members.

Mr Speaker, the blocks reserved for the Government have increased to seven with the inclusion of the block covering the Northern and Luapula provinces. These are equally shown on the map that I will also lay on the Table for the information of the House.

Mr Speaker, of the seven blocks held by the Government, four are in the North-Western Province, one is in the Western Province, one covers parts of the Luapula and Northern provinces and one is in the North Luangwa Valley. The distribution of the twenty-three blocks advertised in the first bidding round is as follows:
    Location    No. of Blocks

North-Western Province    12

Western Province    07
    North Luangwa Valley, Eastern Province    04
    Total    23

Mr Speaker, the bidding process involved the purchase of a data package at US$ 10,000 and bidding document at US$ 10,000 for each block. The blocks that each company could bid for was limited to three. The bids were opened at 14:30 hours on Friday, 6th November, 2009, on the 14th Floor, Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development Conference Room at the Government Complex in Kamwala, Lusaka. It should be noted that the bids were opened in the presence of the Director-General, Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA), members of the Petroleum Technical Committee, the press, representatives of the bidding companies and other interested parties.

Mr Speaker, a total of eight companies participated in the bidding process. Four of these companies were foreign whilst the other four were local Zambian companies.

The foreign companies who bid for six blocks are as follows:

(i)        Petrodel Resources of the United Kingdom (UK) bid for Block 17 in the Western Province;

(ii)        GB Petroleum of the UK bid for Block 22 in the Western Province;

(iii)    Glint Energy of the United States of America (USA) bid for blocks 2, 3    and 5 in the North-Western Province; and

(iv)        Exile Resources of the UK bid for Block 26 in the North-Luangwa Valley.

The local companies put in bids for nine blocks as flows:

(i)        Metroprosol bid for Block 17 in the Western Province;

(ii)        the Barotse Petroleum Company bid for blocks 17, 20 and 21 in the Western Province;

(iii)        Majetu bid for blocks 3 and 11 in the North-Western Province; and 

(iv)        Chat Milling Company Limited bid for blocks 5, 16 and 19 in the North-Western and Western provinces.

The bids were evaluated by the Petroleum Technical Committee which subsequently made recommendations to the Petroleum Committee that approved the awarding of eleven blocks to the following successful bidders:

(i)        Majetu was offered blocks 3 and 11;

(ii)        Barotse Petroleum Company was offered blocks 20 and 21;

(iii)    Chat Milling Company Limited was offered blocks 5, 16 and 19;

(iv)        Petrodel Resources of the UK was offered Block 17;

(v)        GB Petroleum of the UK was offered Block 22;

(vi)        Glint Energy of the USA was offered Block 2; and 

(vii)    Exile Resources of the UK was offered Block 26.

Mr Speaker, in accordance with the provisions of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act of 2008, these successful companies are now applying to my ministry for petroleum exploration licences for the blocks they have been offered by the Petroleum Committee. Seven have, so far, submitted their applications. The licences will only be issued once the statutory instrument prescribing licence fees is cleared by the Ministry of Justice.

Mr Speaker, as the House may be aware, the demarcation of oil and gas blocks was extended to other parts of the country and, therefore, twelve additional blocks were demarcated as follows:

(i)        Block 13 in the Northern Province;

(ii)        Block 31 in Luapula and Northern provinces;

(iii)        Block 32 in parts of Luapula, Central and Northern provinces; and 

(iv)        blocks 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41 in the Southern Province.

The location of these new blocks is shown on the map that I will equally lay on the Table for the information of the House.

The eleven new blocks and the twelve blocks that remained from the first bidding round were advertised in the second bidding round that started in January, 2010 and closed on 30th June, 2010. As was the case with the first bidding round, these blocks were advertised in the local print media and international journals, namely; Time Magazine, Business Week and Asia Miner and on the Geological Survey Department Website. Only two companies participated in the second bidding round and these are:

(i)    Majetu Limited for Block 13; and
(ii)    Metroprosol for blocks 34, 24 and 35.

Both bidders are Zambian companies. The bids are yet to be evaluated by the Petroleum Technical Committee.

Environmental and Socio-Economic Challenges

Mr Speaker, I now turn to equally important issues of environmental and socio-economic challenges in petroleum exploration and development.

The Government of the Republic of Zambia, recognising that, with the development of the petroleum industry come many environmental and socio-economic challenges, has taken a proactive stance. With the help of the Norwegian Government, the ministry has developed a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the petroleum sub-sector. The SEA is a systematic process for evaluating the environmental consequences of proposed petroleum activities in order to ensure that they are fully included and appropriately addressed at the earliest stage of decision-making on a par with economic and social considerations.

The Way Forward

Mr Speaker, the Petroleum Committee will, in the near future, undertake the following activities to take this important economic venture further:

(i)    license the companies that were awarded blocks for them to commence exploration before the end of the dry season this year;

(ii)    sensitise local authorities, chiefdoms and local communities about the impending petroleum exploration in their areas; and 

(iii)    finalise petroleum regulations for the effective monitoring and regulation of the sector.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to state that with regard to oil and gas exploration, Zambia is a frontier country. Generally, in a frontier country, it is difficult to attract investment in this sector. However, confidence is built once the exploration companies start getting positive petroleum results. The positive results trigger an influx of petroleum exploration companies and investment in the sector. Commencement of exploration may not immediately translate into tangible results as with exploration, the results may be either positive or negative and in the case of positive results, development takes some time. Therefore, as leaders, we have the responsibility to manage expectations.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister was to lay some papers on the Table.

Mr M. B. Mwale laid the papers on the Table.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement that has been delivered by the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, how come the people who found coal in Botswana went to the Western and North-Western provinces, by-passing Kazungula that is near Botswana?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I indicated that blocks 33 to 41 are in the Southern Province and Katombola Constituency is included therein.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the statement. I would also like to say that I am interested in bidding for some blocks. Therefore, I would like to find out the cost of drilling a hole in order to get to the level where the oil is.
Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, it is, indeed, pleasing to see that our womenfolk would like to be empowered in this economic activity. She is free to call my office so that she can be given some data thereon.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, following the statement by the hon. Minister that Placid Oil operated in Chama between 1985 and 1987, may he tell us what it found in Chama?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, if oil and gas were discovered, there would have been very serious economic activities taking place now. However, what is coming out is that the holes that Placid Oil drilled in Chama were far too short to get to the level where the oil is.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Sir, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if the Government has any intentions of building the capacity of the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) to enable it to handle the environmental issues that will arise during and after the exploration.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, indeed, environmental issues are of concern in Zambia and worldwide. This is why, in the statement, I referred to the Norwegian Government assisting us in preparing for any eventualities that may arise from petroleum exploration and development. The Government is already proactive in ensuring that our institutions’ capacity is built. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, of all the seven companies that have been granted licences to explore in the blocks mentioned in the hon. Minister’s statement, there is only one Zambian company, Chat Milling Company Limited. I would like to know why this is so.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member for Roan had listened intently, he would have heard that I mentioned Metroprosol, the Barotse Petroleum Company and Majetu Limited, which are all Zambian companies, apart from Chat Milling Company Limited, which he has referred to and all these Zambian companies have been awarded some blocks.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, during the exploration by Placid Oil in Chama, the company explored for quite some time despite not finding oil. Could it be that it was mining some other precious stones? If so, what measures is the ministry taking to ensure that this kind of thing whereby a company continues exploring despite not finding what it is looking for does not happen?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I am tempted to use a phrase from one person who says, “Ba Zambia ku concluda”.


Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

What does that mean?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, this means that we love to speculate rather than base issues on facts.

Hon. Opposition Members interrupted.

Mr M. B. Mwale: As regards Placid Oil in the Eastern Province, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development was very active in monitoring whatever was taking place in the Luangwa Valley at that time. I can confidently say so because I was in the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development at that time.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I wish the hon. Minister could to tell me the composition of the Petroleum Committee and why the ministry of Mines and Minerals Development has abdicated its role of licensing, sensitisation, among others, to a third party, which is this committee.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, the Petroleum Committee comprises a number of hon. Cabinet Ministers ,including the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development and other economic sector ministries. I would like to state that the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development is not abdicating its responsibility because it can delegate to a technical committee.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development aware that similar detailed findings were made in 1982 by the then Deputy Director of Geology, Mr Nick Manny, but all of his good work amounted to nothing? What measures is the Government now putting in place to ensure that an enabling environment is created so that in all these areas where oil deposits are found further work will be carried out?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, if I recall well, the hon. Member did, in some way, ask the same question a few days back. This is a very responsible Government.

Mr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: This is why even in the Western Province, we are embarking on working on roads to provide the infrastructure that is critical to the development of the petroleum sector. We are cognisant of the fact that we have to provide this infrastructure. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




578. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    how much money Government-sponsored students in each of the following categories paid per semester at Chainama College of Health Sciences:

(i)    clinical officers;

(ii)    environmental technicians;

(iii)    psychiatric nurses; and

(iv)    medical licentiates; and

(b)    how much self-sponsored students paid per semester in the same categories.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Dr Chituwo) (on behalf of the Minister of Health (Mr Simbao)): Mr Speaker, the following are the fees paid by Government-sponsored students in the following categories at Chainama College of Health Sciences per semester:

Category    Amount per Semester (K)

Clinical officers    1,830,000

Environmental health    1,830,000

Psychiatric nurses/mental    1,830,000
health nurses

Medical licentiates    3,595,000

Mr Speaker, the following are the fees paid by self-sponsored students in the same categories:

Category    Amount per Semester (K)

Clinical officers    3,830,000

Environmental health    3,830,000

Psychiatric nurses/mental    3,830,000
health nurses

Medical licentiates    4,770,000

Mr Speaker, it is important to note that pre-service training of clinical officers, environmental health technologists and psychiatric nurses is highly subsidised by the Government through grants. On the other hand, medical licentiate is a post-graduate course and the programme is highly dependent on part-time lecturers who have to pay their own costs of meals, accommodation and transport. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, the difference between the two categories of sponsorship sounds too big. Has the Government any serious plans of reducing the gap between the two groups so that, come next year, the situation will be normalised? 

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, as stated, this gap is evidenced by the fact that one category is subsidised by the Government. It is important to note that even the seemingly high fees paid by self-sponsored students are also subsidised. In fact, training of this kind costs much higher than what has been stated.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Mr Speaker, can I find out from the hon. Minister why the Government will not sponsor any students at Chainama College of Health Sciences for next year’s intake in January, especially environmental health science courses and those for clinical officers?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I am not aware of that decision.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister indicate whether both categories of students are in residential training or whether the self-sponsored students provide their own accommodation as is the case in other institutions of higher learning. If so, what is the name of the compound in which the students live?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the issue of student accommodation is institution-wide. Therefore, there is a mixture of residential and non-residential students. Where students stay is a matter of the student’s choice, taking into account both transport and accommodation costs.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


579. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to organise workshops for crime prevention units countrywide; and 

(b)    why the crime prevention unit members had not been equipped with the necessary tools to fight crime in various communities.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Taima): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government has plans to organise workshops for crime prevention units countrywide through the Community Service Division of the Zambia Police Service. I wish to inform the House that the Community Service Division of the Zambia Police Service runs an on-going training programme. So far, twenty-nine community liaison officers have been trained in Lusaka in the first quarter of 2010. A further thirty officers are to be trained in the Southern Province in the third quarter of 2010. The programme will roll out to other provinces in 2011 as the budget provision for 2010 was limited to training community liaison officers in only the provinces stated above.

Mr Speaker, crime prevention unit members have been equipped with basic tools such as handcuffs, whistles and long buttons to fight crime in the communities in all provinces.

In addition, crime prevention members have been equipped with the necessary skills for conducting basic investigations, court procedure and handling of suspects through workshops and meetings.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister indicate whether the volunteers are given any incentives for the important role they play regarding security matters?

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member was right to state that these are volunteers. Much as we appreciate the offer by these members of the community to work in collaboration with the police in trying to prevent crime in their communities, we do not pay them anything.

I thank you, Sir.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how widespread cyber crime is in the country and whether we have properly trained police officers to counteract it.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, good as that question may sound, it is totally new.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, curbing and fighting crime is an integral part of the police. However, nowadays, if you go to police to report any case, the police will say that they have no manpower, and yet we see many traffic police officers each two to three kilometres. I would like to know what this Government is doing to curb crime compared vis-à-vis traffic offences.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, the ministry has said, several times, on the Floor of this House, that the current strength of the police falls far short of what is supposed to be the ideal. We have said, several times, that if we are to have a full-strength police force, there should be 27,000 police officers. Currently, there are only close to 15,000 but, as a ministry, we try, as much as possible, within the current strength, to deploy the officers to different areas of need as the need arises.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, is it possible for the ministry to extend the crime prevention training to the neighbourhood watch in rural areas since they are the ones who help to curb crime in rural areas?

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, from the outset, I would like to mention that the neighbourhood watch groups operate under community crime prevention units that are provided for by law. The establishment and registration of community crime prevention units is supported by law. Therefore, neighbourhood watch groups operate under these community crime prevention units.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lumba (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, cyber crime is on the increase even in our country now. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the Government is doing to equip law enforcement agencies to fight it.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, that question has come again. Therefore, I will try to say something about it. It is obvious that in our continued training of the police, we are supposed to be as dynamic as possible because crimes are not static. Crimes are increasing with the sophistication and development world over. Therefore, I have no doubt that, in the curriculum for training police officers, we should be taking on board all the other latest crimes that are coming up world over.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if the members of the crime prevention units are screened before being engaged to prevent criminals taking over the show.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, it is true that before any community crime prevention unit is registered by the Registrar of Societies, such members are screened and their fingerprints taken. Only when we ascertain that they have no criminal record do we allow them to be members of the community crime prevention units.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


580. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Vice-President and Minister of Justice when the local court building in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mr Chilembo): Mr Speaker, the local court Building in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency is scheduled for rehabilitation this year.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!


581. Mr Hamusonde asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development what social responsibility activities Lwili Mine in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency was engaged in.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Namulambe): Mr Speaker, there is no mine called Lwili in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency. However, there is a mine called Luiri Gold Mine in the constituency. The company is at the exploration stage and, therefore, has not commenced production. Once the company commences production, it will engage in corporate social responsibility activities as will be detailed in their commitment plan to be submitted to the ministry at the time of application for a mining licence.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, is it an obligation for mining companies such as Luiri Gold Mine to engage in corporate social responsibility activities?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Mr Speaker, with the global trends and understanding that mining companies have corporate social responsibility in the areas where they operate, it is expected of them to do so. However, what should be understood is that it will not be equated to what was taking place in the pre-independence days because the investors in those days came to Zambia to stay, but  now there is a different picture.

I thank you, Sir.


582. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    what had been the annual death rate from 2005 to 2010 due to the following:

(i)    Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)-related diseases; and

(ii)    malaria; and

(b)    how much the donor support to the ministry was in comparison to Government support in the same period.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the following are the deaths that occurred in relationship to HIV/AIDS and malaria:

(i)    AIDS is not a notifiable disease and hence it is not easy to state how many people have died of AIDS. However, according to the HIV/AIDS mode of transmission analysis report, an estimated 23,554 women and 17,693 men were projected to die of AIDS related causes by the end of 2009. 

(ii)    As for malaria, the following are the statistics: 

Year    Incidence/1,000    No. of Deaths        Annual Death rate = Total
    Deaths/Total Population

 2005    373    7,738    6.6

2006    411    6,485    5.3

2007    359    6,183    4.9

2008    252    3,871    3.0

Mr Speaker, at the time of compiling this data, the statistics for 2009 were not available as they were still undergoing a validation process. It is worth noting that both the incidence and death rate have been declining since 2005 due to the various high impact malaria interventions that the Government is implementing.

Mr Speaker, the following was the Government and donor support to the Ministry of Health from 2005 to 2010:

    Year             GRZ    Percentage    Donor     Percentage    Total (billion    
           Contributions    Kwacha)    

2005    450.00    30    1,042.00    70    1,492.00

2006    599.00    37    1,018.00    73    1,617.00

2007    884.00    49    888.00    51    1,772.00

2008    973.00    60    654.00    40    1,627.00

2009    1,133.00    62    689.50    38    1,823.40

2010    1,362.50     100     -      -    1,362.50

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, the answer by the hon. Minister clearly shows that our dependence on donor funding in fighting the devastating effects is still high …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

You may ask your question.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, when will the Government desist from donor dependence in fighting the devastating effects of the two very serious diseases?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, as can be clearly seen from the answer, the Government has progressively increased its share of financing to these diseases.

Mr Speaker, it is also important for us all to realise that there are other measures that the Government is taking in order to grow the economy. One of these is the involvement of the private sector in investing in the country. When there are many companies in the country, they will pay corporate tax and our people will have jobs. They will also contribute to the Treasury. Once this is done, Government financing will invariably go up in most sectors. Contributing to the revenue of the Treasury is the responsibility of everyone.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, has the Government bothered to find out how Zimbabwe has managed to run the affairs of HIV/AIDS besides them facing sanctions from Great Britain? What is the Government going to do if faced with a similar situation because we saw how it behaved when donors threatened to withdraw their support? What is its next plan?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, Zambia is not doing anything different from what Zimbabwe is doing.

Mrs Phiri: Question!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, it is only a few days ago that a comprehensive report revealed that the incidence of HIV in Southern Africa had been reduced by 25 per cent. One must acknowledge the various population dynamics and factors that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS.

    Mr Speaker, we must be proud of the achievement. Each one of us, including the hon. Member of Parliament, has a role to play in the sensitisation programmes such as the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTC). The number of people who are on anti-retrovirals (ARVs), including children, is something that we can be proud of. There is work to do, admittedly so, but we must recognise and acknowledge that our efforts are paying dividends.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Health what measures have been put in place to avert the rampant chewing of our money by …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

The word ‘chewing’ is unparliamentary. You shall withdraw it and use a better word.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

You did not withdraw the word.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word ‘chewing’ and replace it with the phrase ‘the wanton misappropriation of our resources’ vis-à-vis the Penal Code of Zambia, by various civil servants in the Ministry of Health which has caused donors to begin channelling the much-needed resources through non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, there are two fronts in our effort to curb the so-called wanton misappropriation of funds from the Ministry of Health. The first step is through the laws that we make in this House that have made it possible for us to take all those who engage in these vices to the courts of law. 

Secondly, the ministry has formed a Joint Governance Committee in order to make procurement and auditing full proof to fraud. These are the major measures the Government has put in place. 

Mr Speaker, the other component has to do with the actual transformation of a human being. It concerns how we look at Government property from an individual level.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, with these measures, I will, in fact, be announcing tomorrow the receipt of 3 billion Euros into our system. We have also been allowed to use already approved millions of Euros by the end of this month. 

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has told us how the HIV/AIDS situation is improving. Can he give us some numbers to demonstrate this improvement? He has given us an estimated death rate for 2010 of 40,000, but has not told us how much this figure has been reduced from the peak where we were.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, from the last Zambia Demographic and Health Survey, the nation was informed about the reduction from 16 per cent to 14.3 per cent HIV incidence in the country. 

However, if I have to provide the statistics in terms of gender and age, I would have to come back to the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister did not answer the question that was posed by the hon. Member for Munali. The hon. Member of Munali wanted to find out what measures the Ministry of Health had put in place in case the donors, who are buying drugs for people living with HIV/AIDS, withdrew their funding.

Mrs Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr Chazangwe:  What will happen to the people on those drugs?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I answered the question.

Mr Shawa: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I am sure people can see that the Government is fully committed to these programmes. That is the answer, hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central. 

I thank you, Sir.


583. Mr Mwango (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a)    how much debt the Government contracted from China from 2008 to 2009; and

    (b)    what the conditionalities for the loans were.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Ms C. M. Kapwepwe): Mr Speaker, the Zambian Government contracted three loans from China, amounting to approximately US$ 76,100,000. Of these, two loans amounting to US$ 57,400,000 were contracted from the Export-Import Bank of China while one, amounting to US$ 18,700,000, was contracted from the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

The break down of the loans and their use is as follows:

(i)    US$ 11,600,000 was borrowed from the Export-Import Bank of China in May, 2009, to finance the construction of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) storage sheds in the country;

(ii)    US$ 45,800,000 was borrowed from the Export-Import Bank of China in December, 2009, to finance the procurement of non-intrusive container scanning equipment for the Zambia Revenue Authority(ZRA); and

(iii)    US $18,700,000 was borrowed from the Government of the People’s Republic of China in January, 2009, to recapitalise the Tanzania-Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) in a co-financing arrangement with the Government of Tanzania.

Mr Speaker, the terms of the loans I have mentioned fall into two categories:

    (i)    Export-Import Bank of China Loan Terms

    Interest Rate:    2.0 per cent per annum
    Grace Period:    5 years

    Repayment Period:    15 years

    Management Fee:    0.75 per cent flat

    Commitment Fee:    0.5 per cent on undrawn balance

    Goods and/or services must be of Chinese origin.

    (ii)    The Government of China Loan Terms

    Interest Rate:    0 per cent

    Grace Period:    10 years

    Repayment Period:    15 years

    Goods and/or services must be of Chinese origin.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, I would like to know the benefits of attaining the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative Completion Point if the Government will be accruing such amounts of debt from Chinese loans.

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe: Mr Speaker, the benefits of attaining HIPC and other debt relief mechanisms was to reduce the level of the national debt to sustainable levels. There was no intention in Zambia or other similarly placed countries to stop borrowing.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lumba: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the US$ 18.7 million TAZARA loan is being shared between Zambia and Tanzania or is Tanzania also getting an equivalent amount to pump into TAZARA.

Mr Speaker: If the hon. Minister may care, he can repeat his answer on that subject.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, the loan is to TAZARA, which is owned by both Zambia and Tanzania. Therefore, the loan is to both countries.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, why has the Government omitted the US$ 50 million loan from China that is meant for the construction of the Ndola Stadium?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, that loan was signed in 2010 and not 2009.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, could we learn from the hon. Minister why the operations of TAZARA are still below par despite having pumped in US$ 18.7 million.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the material for which this loan was acquired has not yet arrived because it is still being procured. Generally speaking, the Government is very committed to improving the services of TAZARA because it recognises that Zambia is a country with a small market. Economic success entails that there is a need to export and to export entails that there is an efficient and less costly way to transport materials meant for export. 

Therefore, it is important that the Government enhances the operations of TAZARA. At the moment, we are expecting a team of experts from China to review the whole business plan of TAZARA so that we can see what specific steps, apart from the spares that have just been mentioned, are required to improve it and that it meets the objective of ensuring that it is an efficient export line to the sea ports.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister categorically state that our debt burden, presently, is definitely sustainable and that we are not going backwards to the period when we had to ask for loan forgiveness.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I can categorically state that our debt level is sustainable. The last time the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission was here, it conducted a debt analysis, as it always does, and ascertained that, currently, the debt level is very favourable.

Sir, let me add that what matters is not the level of debt, but the capacity to service it. The most important aspect about the capacity to service is whether the economy is growing or not. A poor economy will find it extremely difficult to service a debt of US $500 million or US$ 1 billion, whereas a strong economy can service a loan of US$ 30 to US$ 50 billion quite easily. 

However, the most important thing that we must look at now is that, unlike in the 1970s or 1980s when our economy was contracting, this time around, the economy is expanding. Therefore, as it expands, its ability to service debt is also increasing.

I thank you, Sir.


584. Mr Imenda asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning whether the Government had any policy regarding the utilisation of donor funds and, if so, what the policy provided.

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe: Mr Speaker, I wish to submit that the Government of the Republic of Zambia has an aid policy and strategy that was approved by Cabinet in May, 2007, a copy of which I will lay on the Table. The policy and strategy outlines how the Government solicits, acquires, utilises and manages assistance from co-operating partners.

Sir, the official development assistance, which the Government receives from co-operating partners, is delivered in the following modes: 

(i)    budget support grants and loans;

(ii)    sector budget support to health, education, roads and Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability  (PEMFA);

(iii)    sector wide approaches (SWAPs), to the health and education sectors; and 

(iv)    project grants and loans to various sectors such as roads, water and sanitation.

Mr Speaker, project grants and loans account for the largest proportion of the official development assistance at 50.2 per cent in 2009, followed by budget support grants and loans at 29.5 per cent.

Sir, in respect of utilisation of these resources, the aid policy and strategy provides that the National Development Plan and National Budget defines the national priorities on which donor funds will be required. 

In this regard, the budget support is incorporated in the National Budget and used in line with budget priorities while the sector specific support such as SWAPs to the health and education sectors are also utilised in line with the agreed priorities in those sectors. Project support is also mostly directed to roads, water and sanitation that are the key priorities of the Government.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how contradictory actions to policies such as misapplication of donor funds have affected targeted development projects and the general relationship with the donor community.

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe: Mr Speaker, the relationship with the donors, as I said, is clearly stipulated in the policy. The formulation process of the policy was very long because it included wide stakeholder consultations. This included the private sector, NGOs, co-operating partners and Government at both technical and political levels. This was to ensure that there was harmonisation in aid policies, aid strategies, aid predictability, alignment of aid to national development plans, technical assistance and monitoring.

Mr Speaker, this means that there is a very clear guideline that guides the relationship between donors and the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe laid the paper on the Table.


585. Mr Chisala asked the Minister Finance and National Planning why funds allocated for various projects in the Northern Province were not released as at December, 2009.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr D. Phiri): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the hon. Member for Chilubi that it is practically impossible for the Government not to release any funds to the Northern Province for capital projects for the whole year. The true position is that K7,382.1 billion was allocated for various projects in 2009 and a total amount of K7,651.5 billion was released, representing 104 per cent of the budget allocation.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, this is a second time, in just over a week, that a fallacious question like this has been asked. I would like to call on all the hon. Members to do their research before they come up with questions such as this one, in short, questions whose substance is false. 


586. Mr Malama asked the Minister of Education whether there were any plans to introduce sign language in basic schools.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, there are no immediate plans to have sign language taught in basic schools.

However, the ministry has introduced sign language in all colleges of education to equip teachers with the skills to handle children with hearing impairment.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, does the Government have any plans to open centres in each district where people can go and learn sign language, especially those who have relatives who are deaf and dumb?

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the hon. Member that our policy, as Ministry of Education, is to provide education to every child. We have a policy of inclusive learning. This means that every child, whether physically challenged or not, must has an opportunity to go to school. 

Mr Speaker, the ministry has always impressed upon our seventy-two district education board secretaries (DEBS) to ensure that, as they construct classrooms and find it necessary to build rooms specifically for the physically challenged children in some areas, they should go ahead and do so. The headquarters, we will always support them thereon.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Order! 

May I guide the hon. Minister of Education for the benefit of the House. Is sign language also taught in vernacular languages?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, sign language is all-embracing and, therefore, embraces all the languages.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


587. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a)    how much money the Government had received from the European Union (EU) for the Poverty Reduction Programme in 2008 and 2009; and

(b)    how much money was expected from the European Union for the same programme in 2010.

Mr D. Phiri: Mr Speaker, the Government …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

I cannot follow what the hon. Member is saying because there is a very loud debate taking place in that corner. I shall pause until that debate is concluded. 


Mr Speaker: The debate has been concluded.


Mr D. Phiri: Mr Speaker, the Government received US$92.47 million in 2008 and US$124.55 million in 2009 from the EU. These amounts covered the following sectors: 

(i)    roads

(ii)    health,

(iii)    mining

(iv)    PEMFA.
Mr Speaker, the amounts were broken down as follows:

European Union        Actual        Actual
                    Disbursements  2008    Disbursements 2009
                    (US$’ Million)        (US$ ‘Million)

Direct Budget Support    33.9    90.19

Sector Budget Support

Roads    46.37    - -

PEMFA    12.2    6.0

Health    - -    16.59

Mining    - -     8.77

Total    92.47    124.55

Mr Speaker, in 2010, the Government is expecting to receive US$104.84 million from the EU, broken down as follows:

European Union    Projection for 2010

Direct Budget Support    45.94

Sector Budget Support

Roads    32.30

PEMFA    10.50

Health    16.10

Mining    - -

Total     104.84

Sir, the programme came to an end in 2009.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, donors have stopped funding the Ministry of Health. I would like to find out whether that has affected the 2010 Annual Budget.

Mr D. Phiri: Mr Speaker, only the other day, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning clarified that point. He said that there were very good discussions going on between this Government and the donor community and that funding to the Ministry of Health had resumed. In my answer, I indicated that, in 2010, there will be US$16.10 million released to the Ministry of Health.

I thank you, Sir.


588. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources:

(a)    why the Government applied for the World Bank pilot programmes for climate resilience;

(b)    how much money the Government would receive for the above programme; and

(c)    what the economic benefits to the country would be.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Mwangala): Mr Speaker, I wish to remind this august House that climate change is a serious developmental challenge that is likely to adversely affect both developed and developing nations, Zambia inclusive. It is, therefore, important for any country to develop climate change flexibility. Climate change resilience …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: ...refers to the national capacity to anticipate and plan for prevention and consequences of climate change. Developing nations are less able to protect themselves and are, therefore, more vulnerable to adverse developmental effects than developed nations because of their weak financial standing. 

Zambia applied for this funding to enhance her ability to protect herself from the adverse effects of climate change, considering that, as a country, we do not have resources in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

Mr Speaker, this House may wish to note that the problem of climate change has essentially risen because of the historical emissions of the greenhouse gases from the industrialised world. Least developed countries (LDCs), Zambia included, have practically no contribution to this problem.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Mwangala: Therefore, part of their obligation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to which Zambia is a member, developed countries are supposed to provide financial assistance to developing countries to meet this challenge. 

Mr Speaker, in response to taking up this responsibility, the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) that is supported by the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF), a multi-donor trust fund within the World Bank’s Climate Investment Fund, was initiated. 

Mr Kambwili: Obama!

Mr V. Mwale: Yes, we can!

Mr Mwangala: The overall objective of the programme is to provide incentives to scaled-up actions and transformational change in integrating consideration of climate resilience in national development planning, consistent with poverty reduction and sustainable development goals. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Hon. MMD Member: Quality!

Mr Kambwili: Quantity!

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, as a requirement to access the funds, interested countries are required to tender in an official application. Zambia is one of the nineteen countries in the world and one of the three in Africa, including Niger and Mozambique, that has been selected for this pilot programme. 

Mr Speaker, under this programme, the following types of investments are supported:

(i)    funding for technical assistance to enable developing countries to build on the existing national work to integrate climate resilience into national and sectoral development plans; and

(ii)    funding public and private sector investments identified in the national or sectoral development plans or strategies addressing climate resilience.

Mr Speaker, in Phase I, Zambia will receive US$1.5 million. A grant agreement signed on 14th June, 2010 allows Zambia to access this money. These funds have not yet been disbursed. However, the disbursement will be done as soon as we put systems in place, including opening of a bank account and institutional implementation arrangements. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the Ministry Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources are discussing these issues. Phase I has an expected timeline of twelve months from June, 2010.

Mr Speaker, activities for Phase I include: 

(i)    mainstreaming climate resilience into national development planning;

(ii)    strengthening institutional co-ordination; 

(iii)    targeted awareness and communication; and 

(iv)    preparation for Phase II

Mr Speaker, in Phase II, Zambia will receive an amount of US$ 40-50 million in grants. These funds are expected to be utilised for infrastructure investments within the context of the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP). These may include constructing roads that are climate resilient. 

In addition, there is what is termed as Highly Concessional Loans that has made US$ 300 million available to all pilot countries. Each country qualifies for up to 20 per cent, that is, US$60 million. Of this amount, 75 per cent is a grant. The repayment period is forty years with a grace period of ten years …

Mr Kambwili: Ema Minister, aya!

Mr Mwangala: …at an annual interest of 2 per cent. No decision has been made on whether Zambia should apply for this loan or not. It is important to note that countries may choose to only access PPCR grant resources. 

Mr Kambwili: Kwapwa!

Mr Mwangala: Aah, wait, mwaiche!


Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, the Pilot Programme on Climate Resilience will be country-led and will build upon the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA).This means that, as a country, we will be able to prioritise economic sectors to benefit from this fund in line with our experiences with the adverse effects of climate change. For example, over the past few years, the country has experienced floods in different parts of the country. Such funds could, therefore, be used to come up with better designs of roads, drainage system and bridges that could withstand the adverse effects of climate change. 

Mr Speaker, lastly,…

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, other sectors that stand to benefit from this fund include agriculture, which could use these funds to develop agro-forestry and come up with climate change-resistant crop varieties. The energy sector can also benefit by using this fund to develop energy conservation and water management systems. The environment and natural resources sector can use this fund to develop sustainable natural resources management strategies.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister what programmes on climate change the Government has put in place after the Copenhagen Conference in Denmark.

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Ms Namugala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister explained what PPCR is. As a country, we have continued to prepare ourselves for the adverse impact of climate change.

Mr Speaker, for the benefit of the House and the nation, the country has what we call NAPA. In NAPA, there are ten identified projects that are supposed to assist the country to deal with the negative impact of climate change.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for such an elaborate response. 

Sir, I would like to find out why the hon. Deputy Minister did not speak about the desertification arising from deforestation as a particular area where they will apply these funds through activities such as replanting trees rather than telling us about public awareness and infrastructure such as roads that are resilient to climate change.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister explained that we are in Phase I of the PPCR. Phase I entails that we are preparing ourselves, as a country, to integrate climate change resilience programmes into national development plans.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the hon. Deputy Minister for his eloquence in answering the question. I would like to find out from him which provinces will directly benefit from these pilot projects.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, it is too early for us to mention which provinces will benefit. However, as the hon. Deputy Minister indicated, we are preparing ourselves to mainstream climate resilience in the SNDP. We will be able to inform the nation regarding which provinces and projects, both in the public and the private sector, will benefit.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lumba: Mr Speaker, if I got the hon. Deputy Minister correctly, he mentioned that they had not yet received the US$1.5 million, but the programme was to start in June and that it will run for twelve months. Will there be any extension because of the delay and when does Phase II start?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning signed the agreement for a grant of US$1.5 million on the 14th June, 2010. The period within which the disbursement will be made and preparatory work is to start is twelve months.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, just to make a follow up to the trail of the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, I think what he is asking is that is there not a danger that with all this talk about external climate change induced by the industrial countries and so forth, we will lose sight of the fact that our current environmental problems such as flooding are largely caused by deforestation, ill-planned settlements and land occupation and not by global warming?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, it is a fact that deforestation and land degradation contributes to global warming through the emissions of greenhouse gases. The hon. Member for Mazabuka Central was referring to a programme called Reduction of Emissions through Deforestation and Degradation.

 Mr Speaker, the international community is working very hard to find a mechanism that will help communities that depend on forests to have alternative livelihoods so that we can conserve our forests and regenerate those that have been depleted.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Third Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Road Development Agency (RDA) for the period January, 2006 to September, 2009, for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 20th July, 2010.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Sichamba (Isoka West): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, your Committee, in line with its terms of reference specified in Standing Order 153 (2), undertook a detailed study of the Auditor-General’s Report on the RDA for the period January, 2006 to September, 2009.
Sir, I wish to begin by agreeing with the sentiments expressed by a number of people that the Audit Report on the Road Development Agency (RDA) is an eye-opener in that it has given us an opportunity to understand how the RDA has been operating since commencing its operations, in earnest, in 2005.

I would like to believe that one of the main objectives of creating the RDA was to bring about efficiencies in the planning, maintenance and management of the core road network of Zambia, which is approximately 40,113 kilometres. The audit report is not about whether the RDA has achieved this objective during the period under review but rather, mainly, on whether:

(i)    procurement procedures were followed in the award of contracts;

(ii)    road projects were implemented in accordance with contract agreements; and

(iii)    expenditure was in conformity with the Laws of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, there are a number of areas that need attention at the RDA. On procurement procedures, Members of this House may have observed, in the report, that the RDA was partially fulfilling the requirement of the Public Procurement Act that requires that funds be availed before procurement is invited. This was partial fulfilment in the sense that with the monies appropriated by Parliament in a particular fiscal year, though inadequate, the RDA would proceed with the tenders of higher value in the hope of clearing the excessive amounts in the next one or two years. Besides, some road projects have a duration of more than twelve months, and that is quite normal, according to them.

However, Sir, this is contrary to the provisions of the Public Finance Act and, in particular, Section (7) (3) (i) which requires controlling officers not to commit the Government to expenditures in excess of money appropriated by Parliament. This situation gave rise to one major irregularity mentioned in the audit report; that of over commitment. In 2008, the RDA had overcommitted the Government to expenditure in excess of that appropriated by Parliament in the sum of K1,015 billion or K1.015 trillion annually as is referred to in our everyday vocabulary.

Mr Speaker, I wish to make it clear that this over commitment is only on local resources and does not include donor funds.

Sir, my appeal to the House is that we debate how to resolve this over commitment and ensure that it does not recur.

The easier part is taking disciplinary action against the officers involved. This has, to a large extent, been done as the RDA Board was dissolved. Your Committee has also recommended disciplinary action against officers who will be found wanting. Unfortunately, the over commitment will not go away.

One complication that your Committee has brought out in its report is the acrimonious relationship that exists between the RDA and its sister agency, the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA). These two institutions are ideally supposed to complement each other’s roles in that one does the funding and the other is an implementer. However, they are currently engaged in a war of words or, as the saying goes, “washing dirty linen is public”. This should not be allowed.

The Leader of Government Business in the House, His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice, should address this matter.

Mr Speaker, resolving the problem of over commitment will not be achieved without the involvement of the NRFA. It is, therefore, important that the acrimonious relationship between the two agencies be attended to, otherwise the situation is bound to get worse. The Committee of Ministers and the Committee of Chairpersons of the road agencies, that is, the RDA, NRFA and Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) should immediately start addressing this issue.

Another matter requiring immediate ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, my last presentation was at a good stop and so, I will start with a new paragraph.

Sir, another matter requiring immediate attention, in order to avoid over commitment in future, is the need to harmonise the provisions of the Public Finance Act and the Public Procurement Act on multi-year procurements. The Public Procurement Act acknowledges multi-year procurements, but the Public Finance Act does not. Although procurement plans, to some extent, may address the problem, the low compliance reported by the ZPPA seems to suggest that this is not an ideal solution. For example, by June 2010, only five Government institutions had submitted their procurement plans to the ZPPA. Unfortunately, the RDA is one of the defaulting institutions.

Mr Speaker, there is also a need for members of the agency or RDA Board to be involved in the preparation and award of road contracts as is specified in the National Roads Act, No. 12 of 2002. Your Committee recognises that issues of tendering are technical matters and are supposed to be legally handled by the RDA Tender Committee. However, at the end of the process, the board of the agency should approve the contract documents. The House may be interested in knowing that the RDA has a threshold of K30 billion and this cannot be left entirely to the RDA management.

An important decision that the Government has to make, to deal with over commitment, is to scale down on new road projects until after the backlog of uncompleted projects is cleared. Unless a proposed new project is funded in full, or is an emergency, it should not be undertaken.

It is not a hidden fact that, on an annual basis, Zambia is unable to raise enough resources to pay for all road rehabilitation works. It is, therefore, just wise that all outstanding projects are cleared. To do so would avoid paying interest and other penalties on delayed payments.

The RDA argues that it needs approximately K3,000 billion or K3 trillion annually, but what is made available is about K1,500 billion or K1.5 trillion. The RDA should learn to work within what is available while at the same time manage the projects successfully.

Sir, it is true that a number of projects were not prudently managed by the RDA in the period under review. Your Committee observed that this was partly due to the absence of extensive work procedures. Some of the issues linked to the poor project management were:

(i)    delayed engagement of consultants on projects;

(ii)    questionable road designs;

(iii)    non-submission of performance bonds;

(iv)    lack of capacity by some supervising agents such as local authorities;

(v)    questionable dealings between the RDA and contractors such as servicing the RDA vehicles using project funds and payment of supervision fees; and 

(vi)    failure to observe contract provisions.

Your committee, however, is comforted by the assurance that a procedures manual is being developed and is intended to address most of the above-mentioned weaknesses. Therefore, the controlling officer is urged to expedite this process.

Mr Speaker, let me end by making a few comments on the quality of works. As the House will observe from the report, your Committee had interactions with one contractor and an engineering consulting firm to appreciate the reasons that led to some of the queries on the poor quality of works.

The deliberations on these matters were not conclusive mainly due to the disagreements on the methods that were used to test the works. Your Committee resolved that the queries would remain as reported by the Auditor-General. However, fresh tests will be conducted using agreed methods in the presence of all parties.

Mr Speaker, the RDA is an institution whose creation this House supported by passing the National Roads Act No. 12 of 2002. We, therefore, have an obligation to ensure that the highlighted deficiencies are urgently dealt with and the RDA is put back on track.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you and the Office of the Clerk for the support you provided to your Committee during the deliberations on the audit report that drew a lot of attention and was widely debated by the public. The time available was limited and was a challenge but, due to its national importance, your Committee rose to the occasion and deliberated on it, hence the report before the House. I further wish to thank all the witnesses who made submissions to your Committee and later appeared before it for the oral presentations and in-depth discussions.

Finally, Sir, I wish to express your Committee’s gratitude for the invaluable input from the Office of the Auditor-General and that of the Accountant-General during the considerations of the submissions from the witnesses.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mr Sichamba (Isoka East): Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, the Chairperson of your Committee has given a detailed account of the deliberations of your Committee on the report. Therefore, in seconding the Motion, I will confine myself to issues of quality on road works.

Mr Speaker, before I get into the meat of my discussion, allow me to comment on the over commitments on road projects. It was reassuring to read in the press on Monday, 12th July, 2010 that the Government had secured a US$ 350 million loan from the Development Bank of Africa to complete five road projects. I wish to believe that the five roads form part of the road projects on which there was over commitment.

I, however, wish to advise that Zambia needs to be cautious on financing road projects using loans. The effects of the debt trap are still fresh in the minds of Zambians and the country would be better off avoiding contracting loans unless the future repayments are guaranteed. I am sure that hon. Members, after going through your Committee’s report, have observed some queries relating to the quality of works and these include the following:

Late Engagement of Consultants

Mr Speaker, on a number of projects, consultants to supervise road works were engaged when the construction works had already commenced. Although the RDA argues that only minimal works were being undertaken and, in the interim period, the RDA engineers were supervising the works, this is not in line with best practice. Consulting engineers should be recruited before the works commence and, if possible, be also involved in the design of the roads.

Differences of Opinion on Works

Mr Speaker, on some projects, the sizes of aggregates used in constructing the roads were considered not appropriate by contractors and consulting engineers. For example, the use of 19.5 and 13.5MM aggregates instead of 19.5 and 9.5MM was generally accepted as appropriate. The quality of gravel on some of the road projects was also considered poor. Whilst contractors on some road projects had to apply fog spray to protect the road during construction, the RDA does not include this aspect in the contracts.

Mr Speaker, all the above issues have an effect on the quality of the roads that are constructed. There is a need for the RDA to ensure that no matter how meagre the resources on a project may be, the quality is not compromised. It is better to construct a ten-kilometre quality road than a fifty-kilometre cheap quality road for purposes of making a road passable. I mentioned earlier financing of road works through loans. If the RDA is not particular on quality, we will end up with loan liabilities, but with no roads.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to talk about vandalism. The levels of vandalism on our roads are appalling. Culverts, road signs, barriers on bridges and dangerous road spots signs are all prone to vandalism. This problem goes beyond the RDA. I wish to appeal to the hon. Members of this House to intensify anti-vandalism campaigns in constituencies. Poverty should not be used as an excuse for someone to vandalise public property. It is the same good roads that can reduce poverty.

Mr Speaker, I join the Chairperson of your Committee in thanking you and the Office of the Clerk for all the support you provided to your Committee when considering the audit report. I also wish to thank all hon. Members of your Committee for their dedication to duty.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, this is a matter of importance to the nation and trivialities, I suppose, will be taken to the hind side.

Mr Speaker, our roads are in a deplorable state and some of the contracts, whose money has been suspended, have affected our people. I wish to commend the mover of the Motion, Hon. Hachipuka, and the seconder, Hon. Sichamba, and the entire Committee for doing a commendable job.

Mr Speaker, you could not have assigned a better team to deal with this matter than the two and the other members of the Committee. I will start by discussing prudential management in the aspect of contracting. 

With regard to the technicalities, there are engineers who will deal with that. Firstly, I find it extremely difficult to understand that, in fact, there was over commitment of over K1 trillion on local materials. Now, as a former long-standing chief executive, I understand that to overspend is normal. Over spending can be normal, but because of the level of concern that this matter has raised, one wonders whether the budget cycle of the RDA was for one, two or three years. 

Secondly, I believe there is an amount of about K417 billion that is now being held back by the donors and that has made the Government suffer. Maybe, let me put it this way, if it were a mere act of overspending, there is treatment for that in this House and the treatment is the supplementary budget. It is through the supplementary budget that we appropriate sums of money every year end to supplement the already budgeted for funds. 

According to my calculation, based on my knowledge of expenditure on roads for the past three years, the Permanent Secretary, hon. Minister, Cabinet or President cannot, in fact, sign an agreement for a new road to be repaired. I find that debilitating. Over spending means that you have in place a totally ineffective executive. Where can you get the money to do anything when the donors have withheld their funding? Somebody over spent because of some ministerial arrangements in the last three years the late President was in power. These are issues that must be looked into very critically. What prudence was there? That is the question. 

Mr Speaker, through you, I would like to ask why a contract is signed when the source of funding is not known. To tell me that there is over expenditure because these contracts take longer than the one year budgetary arrangement could be a reasonable excuse for over expenditure of small amounts than is the case here. That will be my argument. I would have been very happy to see smaller amounts being spent over a period of eighteen months. If the issue was that they had to operate in order to ensure that they finished their works, without the approval of the board, then, under which authority did they operate? The way I understand your report, it is saying, in fact, if there was a board, it was not consulted on the works, but then who provided the authority? The Road Development Agency Act that we passed in this House is very clear. The authorisation should come from not even the Executive, but the board.

I would like to ask, through you, Mr Speaker, not to agree with me if I am being ignorant. How do we award a contract without a technical advisor in the form of a consultant who understands road engineering? This is what you are saying in your report. How is it possible to do that when we have so many engineers and experienced road contractors who can be consulted? These are very honest questions that I am posing to you. Let us find amicable solutions to these problems in the road sector so that we are able to attract the donors. However, we must also ensure that our people accept that the issues of this nature will not recur. 

Mr Sichilima was talking.

Mr Matongo: I realise the hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President is not interested in what I am saying as he is chatting with two hon. Deputy Ministers instead of listening to these important issues.

Mr Sichilima stood to raise a point of order.

Hon. Opposition Member: Are you the only one?

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, I would like to state very clearly that we are talking about important matters. If the hon. Members on your right cannot listen, how are we going to co-operate to ensure that we carry the burden together? I challenge them to be more serious than they currently are.

Hon. Government Member: On your left, correct.

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, why should the RDA include in a contract a management fee which the contractor pays back to the RDA? Now, the word corruption is not a bad word per se because it is a description of some action. Therefore, do not give the word a bad name. How else would you describe the existing contracting arrangement in normal parlance? As I understand, these days, the board chairpersons for these institutions are not on full time, but, in my time, they were. How do you pay for internet services for a chairperson who is not on full time, when the Act is very clear thereon? How possible is that? This, again, is just giving the word corruption a bad name. Is that what you are attempting to do? Corruption is just a word to describe a situation. Why should you have various inappropriate arrangements for clear and simple administrative processes? If we have a serious executive, why have these things reached this far? Let me now move to my last point. 

Here is a chief executive who has been suspended and, during that period he is on suspension, he draws fuel for which he later pays back. What is the reason for paying back if he was waiting to be reinstated? Surely, His Honour the Vice-President should look at these things. They …

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mr Matongo: He is the head of the Government here. Through you, Mr Speaker, we want to help the Government. How do you suspend an hon. Member of Parliament for an aberration and Parliament continues to pay for his services? Manda Hill has done better than Independence Avenue in this regard.

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, finally, and, please, I am not making personal attacks on an hon. Minister, as somebody was shouting. In fact, that wonderful professional whom you sent away on suspension has been brought back. He paid for the fuel that he drew when he was on suspension. He must be a good civil servant and I commend him for that, but was it appropriate to take the action which you took? Where is the prudence? I demand to know why such a person could be re-engaged without proper investigations. I am not being personal, I am just being righteous. We need honest answers so that, at the end of the debate on this report, we can walk out of this Chamber united in support of the Zambian people’s wishes and without any political machinations. We need to move forward and have our roads worked on before the rains come.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I will try to be brief in my submissions pertaining to this very well-prepared report laid on the Table by my elder brother, Hon. Hachipuka, and seconded by Hon. Sichamba.

The tragedy we have found ourselves in is premised on the ZPPA Act. As you are aware, this House passed a very unfortunate law that allows the Executive to be the sole authority to determine and award contracts. I say that is unfortunate because of very obvious reasons. As you may have noted, of late, we have seen …

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I am sorry as it is not my wish to interrupt the deliberations of my colleague, the learned lawyer and hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central. However, is he in order, especially that he is a lawyer, to question the law that he, himself, was part of as an hon. Member of Parliament in this House? I need your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member debating will have to take into account that serious point of order because it underlies the fact that when we pass laws, they are ours and, therefore, there are procedures to follow if there is a need for an amendment.

You may continue.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance and I shall religiously follow your instructions. I wish to state that, as I stand here, I would like to propose that this House revisits that law because we have a right and duty to repeal a law if we realise that it is inflicting …

Mr Matongo: And abating corruption.

Mr Mwiimbu: … and abating corruption in the country.

Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: That is what I am suggesting.

Mr Speaker, you may have noted that public pronouncements made at public podiums are deemed to be instructions to subordinates in the Civil Service. If the President makes an announcement that he is going to tar the road to Shang’ombo within the next three months, it is taken as an instruction by hon. Ministers to ensure that the President’s announcement is fulfilled, even without any budgetary allocation. Unfortunately, that is what has been happening. 

Mr Speaker, you and all of us have noted that during the various by-elections that we have held in this country, pronouncements have been made with a view to wooing voters to the Movement for Multi-party Democracy’s (MMD) side.

Mr Kambwili: Marketing manager strategy.

Mr Mwiimbu: As a result of that, the unfortunate civil servants and workers at the RDA are under obligation to carry out these instructions. A presidential pronouncement is a decree in this country. I do not see anyone, even those colleagues of mine on your right side, who will stand up, stop this from happening and find a solution to this problem. The only way those on your right have been finding a solution to this is to constitute a ministerial committee under the ZPPA Act to award contracts even when the money is not available. That is what has been happening.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

I have been following your debate, but I am wondering where, in the report, it is stated that the President gives orders to the RDA to take the action it takes. Could you clarify that as you speak.

Mr Mwiimbu: I am much obliged, Mr Speaker. 

I have been arguing and urging the House to listen to the fact that, when we have had by-elections, pronouncements have been made. We heard pronouncements pertaining to roads made in the North-Western Province …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Member! 

Please, answer my question as you debate, otherwise go back to debating the report.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I do agree that the arguments of an hon. Member of Parliament are never reflected in a report. Therefore, I am bringing up this argument to supplement the report of the Committee as it has indicated that the RDA Board has no authority, currently, to award contracts even if the same is provided for in the National Roads Act. Thus, if the RDA Board does not have the mandate to award contracts, then there must be a superior body that is doing that.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Unfortunately, you are going into speculation. Please, debate the report.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I know that there is somebody who is saying, “Hear, hear” who has no party in this country.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to quote the recommendation of the Committee on page 133 unless I am not reading the report correctly even when I am on the right page. Under general observations and recommendations, your Committee states:

“i)    the Road Development Agency Board of Directors, which is defined as the Agency, has not been performing all its functions as specified in the National Roads Act No. 12 of 2002, specifically on the preparation and awarding of contracts which partly led to some of the issues raised in the audit report such as over commitment on road projects; Section 4(2)(1) of the National Roads Acts provides that the Agency shall prepare and award contracts and certify works for public roads.”

Mr Speaker, it is my considered view that this is what I am debating. I am saying, and I am relying on the report unless the Committee is wrong, that the RDA Board has not been awarding contracts. If this board has not been awarding contracts, then who has been doing so? I have been arguing and tend to think that I am on firm ground that there must be some other authority that has been directing the awarding of these contracts. I was making the point that we have heard pronouncements to this effect and they have been well documented. I would like this House to take judicial notice that pronouncements have been made particularly on roads …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

If the hon. Member will not veer away from that kind of debate, I am sorry, but I will have to curtail his debate.

Mr Mwiimbu: I will honourably sit down, Mr Speaker.

Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to make my maiden speech in this august House.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr W. Banda: I am, indeed, humbled to stand before you. Firstly, may I express my sincere gratitude to the Republican President for the fatherly support he exhibited during my campaigns. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr W. Banda: Allow me, at this juncture, to thank the MMD’s National Executive Committee (NEC) for having confidence in me and eventually adopting me.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr W. Banda: Mr Speaker, may I extend my word of thanks to the provincial, district and constituency committees within our party, the MMD, for their collective effort in supporting my candidature and my being here is evidence enough that they really reaped from what they sowed. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr W. Banda: Mr Speaker, I am representing Milanzi Constituency in Katete District of the Eastern Province. Milanzi Constituency has an estimated population of 50,000 people, of which more than half are women. Just like some other constituencies of the country, Milanzi is among the least developed constituencies. However, it has shown some radical improvements in many areas though more has to be done.

Mr Speaker, may I take this opportunity to thank the Government for the good work it has done in the following sectors:

(i)    Water and Sanitation

This was a critical problem as it used to affect many people. However, the Government has put up boreholes in some villages in Milanzi Constituency. The rehabilitation of a dam in Kapangulula Ward is another example of the good works by the Government;

(ii)    Roads and Bridges

The road network in Milanzi is really poor. Thanks to the Government for engaging a Chinese company to work on some of the roads. It is my hope that roads that are impassible and bridges that were washed away by the heavy rains will be maintained through this effort from the Government, through the RDA;

(iii)    Agriculture

Being the main economic activity for the people in Milanzi Constituency, 95 per cent of the population depends mainly on agriculture for its livelihood. The introduction of new farming methods such as conservation farming by the Government, through the Conservation Farming Unit (CFU), has continued to improve the soil fertility in the area. The agriculture sector has also been revamped through the introduction of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). However, the late distribution of farming inputs and lack of markets for agriculture produce, in some parts of the constituency, is the general outcry, but I am sure the Government will look into this problem urgently;

(iv)    Health

It is no secret that the Government, through the Ministry of Health, has really done well in the sector of health delivery in the constituency. The issue of drug shortages is a bygone story. The number of rural health centres has increased, making it easier for people to access medical attention. The shortage of medical personnel in some centres is a major setback. However, it is gratifying to note that this problem has already been brought to the attention of the Government, through the Ministry of Health, and I am sure that my working MMD Government will adequately address the issue;

(v)    The Aged and Orphans

The introduction of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, only benefits two out of the ten wards in the constituency, but has been helpful. If this service is extended to all the ten wards, the aged will appreciate it as they are the ones who are looking after the orphans in their families; and

(vi)    Education

In the education sector, there have been a good number of achievements made by the Government. Many primary and basic schools have been built in the constituency and the high illiteracy levels previously recorded will be reduced. The Government responded to the people’s cry for a high school by constructing Kafumbwe Boarding High School. Many basic schools have continued to be renovated despite some of them having a shortage of desks and teachers. It is my belief that the Government will continue listening and responding to such problems.

In conclusion, may I take this opportunity to thank the people of Milanzi for giving me their vote. I will endeavour to work entirely for them and continue delivering developmental programmes from the Government of this Republic.

Allow me, Sir, to hasten to state here that these developmental programmes are meant for all members of Milanzi Constituency whether they voted for me or not.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to make a small contribution to this report. May I take this opportunity to also congratulate the mover and the seconder of the Motion. 

Sir, I do not plan to prolong my debate, but there are a few points I would like to add to the debate on this report.

Sir, this report gave me a small window to peep into the operations of the RDA and I have been wondering what is going on there. First and foremost, it seems to me that the genesis of the over commitment starts with the conflict, misunderstanding or lack of co-ordination between the NRFA and the RDA. It is sad to read in the report that there is no proper relationship between these two important agencies, the funding agency and the implementing agency. It seems to me that this problem has been compounded, I may be wrong, by the fact that there has been a lack of supervision by the board and parent ministry of the RDA.

Mr Speaker, this problem of over commitment of a trillion plus Kwacha is something that would have been avoided had there been co-ordination, regular meetings and a good relationship between the two agencies.

Mr Speaker, apart from that, in my peeping into the RDA, through this report, it gives me the impression that there is a problem of corporate governance at the agency. For instance, an issue has been mentioned, in the report, where the chairperson has been drawing certain benefits like a full-time employee of the RDA would and this is a problem because he is not. This kind of problem would have been avoided had there been an adherence to corporate governance. Therefore, I would suggest that the parent ministry looks into the issues of corporate governance at the RDA. 

Sir, another concern that I took note of as I went through the report was the issue of financial management such as over expenditure and giving certain benefits to people who did not qualify for them. I wondered if at all there was some kind of budgeting, which is a key component in financial management. If there was, was there any variance analysis or monthly reports within the RDA set up to enable the top management to look at its affairs, for example, how benefits were being accrued and managed. Was it like a free-for-all and just an open-ended set up where anyone could just draw whatever benefit they thought they had accrued from the RDA?

Sir, when I look at the over commitment, it seems that, again, within the RDA, there is no co-ordination between the Finance Department, Technical Department or, indeed, any other department. As I read through this report, I was groping for what was going on in the departments of the RDA. Was there a relationship between the Finance and Technical departments or was it that the problem which is between the RDA and the funding agency had also filtered through the set up of the RDA itself? If there had been a relationship between the Finance and the Technical departments, they could have liaised on the funding that was trickling in. They could also have agreed on what the agency could commit to and specified the timeframes within which these commitments would have been achieved. However, from what we are seeing in the report, this relationship was non-existent.

Mr Speaker, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister that his ministry, being the parent ministry of the RDA, should take this matter seriously and look at the set up of the RDA. The other point, if I may repeat, is that the corporate governance aspect at the RDA should be looked into.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

We do not repeat, but emphasise.

Mr Lumba: Thank you, Sir. I am new to this House. With your guidance, I emphasise that point.

Mr Speaker, having peeped through the report, in these few words, that is my contribution.

I thank you, Sir.  

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the report on the Floor of the House.

Let me take this opportunity to congratulate you, Mr Speaker, as this is the first time, since your election to that position that I am speaking on the Floor of this House. I want to add my voice to that of those who are passing congratulatory messages to you on your ascendance to that very lofty position which is important for the administration of parliamentary affairs in Zambia. 

The topic regarding the RDA is one that is very close to my heart. One of the things that I advocated for, on my coming to Manda Hill, was the tarring of the Choma/Namwala Road. I am on record as having stated that if the Choma/Namwala Road was not tarred, the people of Namwala should not re-elect me in 2011. In that light, let me report to the House that K167 billion has been released to be used on the tarring and completion of the Choma/Namwala Road. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: I also want to say that I have advocated for the improvement of the Monze/Nico Road. I must mention these issues because, when we want to come back, in 2011, as hon. Members of Parliament, we must be able to say with pride what we have been involved in. The RDA, through the insistence of the late President of this country, upgraded the Monze/Nico Road at a cost of K37 billion. This report is close to my heart because, again, K7 billion has been allocated to uplift the Namusonde/Maala Road.

Mr Muyanda: On a point of order, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Muyanda: You shut up.

The Deputy Chairperson: May the hon. Member for Sinazongwe withdraw that statement?

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the statement. 

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muyanda: I am seriously getting concerned. The hon. Mr Speaker has seriously guided this House to debate matters that are on the Floor of the House. The Motion on the Floor of the House, at the moment, is the Third Report of the Public Accounts Committee and not the Choma/Namwala Road.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Mr Muyanda: Is the hon. Member ...


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muyanda: ... for Namwala in order to depart from the report, which is expressly stated herein, and debate issues outside it? Sir, I need your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member for Sinazongwe has raised a point of order on the speech of the hon. Member for Namwala. He wants to know whether the hon. Member has not veered from the report. I am of the view that he can do that for a start, but he should not take too long before getting back to the issues involved therein. The hon. Member’s debate, at the moment, is on course as he is talking about the RDA providing roads in the country. However, if he continues talking about Namwala Constituency for too long, he may raise concerns from others who may not be happy about his talking about his constituency. 

The hon. Member for Namwala may continue, please.

Major Chizhyuka: This is why it is important to go to school in order to come to Manda Hill.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

The hon. Member for Namwala must avoid statements that may undermine the peace and etiquette of this House.

You may continue, please.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, thank you. The Choma/Namwala Road is a subject of this report. Anybody who cares to read the report will find that the Choma/Namwala Road is, in fact, an important component of this report because the Auditor-General tested the authenticity of the material and the thickness of the tarmac. This is why I urge hon. Members to read the report before rising to debate with malice.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Will the hon. Member for Namwala withdraw the word ‘malice’ because it is unparliamentary. 

You may continue, please.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word. 

Mr Speaker, as we debate this very highly emotive matter, it is important that we understand the framework within which the RDA operates. There are three things that exist. There are two Acts of Parliament; namely, the Zambia Public Procurement Authority Act and the Public Finance Act. We also have the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). I am a pragmatist and pragmatism is my core value. Therefore, I tend to look at issues that evolve from a realistic point of view.

The majority of the roads and contracts entered into by the RDA are not one-year projects, but two, three, four and five years and, maybe, more. This is a fact. This is why it was important for me to introduce this grand road whose works are worth K167 billion so that people can understand that I understand that the RDA enters into contracts that are longer than one year. 

Hon. Opposition Member: Meaning?


Major Chizhyuka: The Public Procurement Act allows the RDA to contract beyond the financing arrangement which Parliament allows. The Public Finance Act prescribes a one-year threshold. However, the House knows that the MTEF dictates the funds available within a three-year period. The MTEF is produced by the Secretary to the Treasury. These are the various instruments under which the RDA operates. 

Mr Speaker, let us ask ourselves some questions. Should the RDA, a creation of this House, enter into simple and small value contracts and pay mobilisation fees on the contracts every year? The hon. Members of Parliament who are conversant with the roads business will understand that, sometimes, mobilisation fees are in billions of Kwacha.

Hon. Government Member: Yes.

Major Chizhyuka: What is the efficiency of the MTEF? Why should we have it if this framework cannot be the basis around which the RDA can access development planning for the next two to three years? 

Mr Speaker, I think this topic has been exaggerated. As Parliamentarians, we should be harmonising the three sets of instruments because there is no country that can spend taxpayers’ money for mobilisation year after year. 

I think that the RDA was prudent to ensure it dealt with this matter using the two advantageous instruments; namely, the MTEF and Public Procurement Act. In that sense, the RDA was right in what it had done. If I were in the Government, …

Mr Kambwili: Question. 

Major Chizhyuka: I would commend the RDA and urge it to proceed along those lines.


Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, I have the Floor.

The Deputy Chairperson: You have the Floor. Please, proceed.

Major Chizhyuka:  I can hear some screaming …


Major Chizhyuka: …in this direction.

Major Chizhyuka indicated to his left.

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member should ignore the hecklers who may just disturb him. He may proceed.

Major Chizhyuka:  I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Member: Nweni namenshi.

Major Chizhyuka: I am a pragmatist who looks at issues realistically. There is an issue I want to introduce.

Major Chizhyuka drank some water.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: It is associated with the Auditor-General’s Report on this matter and the acrimony that has been created thereon. 

Mr Speaker, the Auditor-General went to the Choma/Namwala Road and used some testing methods that are not accepted internationally. This is why I was telling someone to read. After conducting this test, they claimed that the thickness on that road was less than 100 mm that was far below the basic minimum required. The RDA also dug a hole right next to the one dug by the Auditor-General’s Office and found that, in fact, the thickness was beyond 150 mm, far beyond the prescribed requirement. That disclosure was from the Auditor-General. 


Major Chizhyuka: One wants to know why the Auditor-General would send falsehood to the nation.


Major Chizhyuka: You have to ask yourself where the money to publicise this audit report on the RDA came from. Did it come from the donors? He who pays the piper, calls the what?

Hon. Government Members: The tune!

Major Chizhyuka: I did not hear that.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The hon. Member should remember that he is not at a rally, …


The Deputy Chairperson: … but in Parliament. He may continue.

Major Chizhyuka: I appreciate the report that has been produced by Hon. Hachipuka and his Committee because his experience in the corporate world speaks volumes.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: When he was Managing Director of Zambia Railways, it performed better than the current Railway Systems of Zambia.

Ms Lundwe: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka:  There was efficiency written all the way.

Hon. Member: Well respected.

Major Chizhyuka: Yes, well respected, thank you. Therefore, given that background, I appreciate this report and I am not attacking it from the point of view of issues, but I am speaking to the report on the aspect of pragmatism. As accountants, they will talk about figures, but I look at the pragmatic approach. The pragmatic approach to this report tells me that there is nothing wrong that the RDA did. If there is any department we should be looking at, it is the NRFA.

I have said before that we do not need the NRFA because it is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Mr Munaile: Bwekeshapo apo, mudala. 

Major Chizhyuka: We have said this before on the Floor of this House that as soon as we get rid of the NRFA, we shall streamline a lot of activities. 

Mr Speaker, when I looked at the figures, I thought that the money that is paid to the officers at the NRFA could be used on some of the roads we are dealing with.

Mr Speaker, one of the reasons for the problems the Executive has with the donors in such matters is that of grouping them. There was a time the Government would enter into bilateral agreements on particular roads with a specific donor such as the World Bank, the Nordic countries or any other country. There was a bilateral relationship. If you check now, all the donors dealing with the road sector have been lumped together. When one donor with influence on the others is aggrieved, everything else turns sour. If the donors were dealt with bilaterally, not as a group, the euphoria around the RDA would not be there.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: I, therefore, urge the Government to go back to dealing with bilateral relationships. They are more profitable and will enhance the development of this country. I, further, urge the Government to continue to support the RDA and go ahead to complete the Kasama/Luwingu Road, …

Mr Munaile: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: …  Mutanda/Chavuma Road, …

Dr Machungwa: The Pedicle Road.

Major Chizhyuka: … yes, the Pedicle Road, Hon. Dr Machungwa, …

Mr V. Mwale: The Chipata/Lundazi Road.

Major Chizhyuka: … and many other roads. 

These things speak for themselves and it is time we started looking at these issues from a pragmatic approach. 

Finally, I would like to say that, at times, when we, as hon. Members of Parliament, push very hard for some of our roads to be attended to, we compel the agency to make such decisions. It is unfortunate that Hon. Mwiimbu is not in the House, but I am sure that he is listening from the radio wherever he is because he made a contribution on this matter.

Mr Speaker, thank you very much. I have those political …


Major Chizhyuka: I would like to end my debate there.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute on this Motion. 

Sir, may I pay special tribute to my dear neighbour, the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, Hon. Hachipuka, his colleagues and, indeed, the seconder of the Motion.

Mr Speaker, this is an august House. We do not, in this august House, support larcenous thinking and actions.


Mr Muyanda: Larceny is an offence that is punishable by the State. Before I move to Page 133 of the report, may I introduce my debate by clearly stating that when I was a young student in Germany, the professor asked my colleagues and I what the distinction between an educated mind and a fool was.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Will the hon. Member withdraw the word ‘fool’. It is unparliamentary. May I add, hon. Members, particularly those of you who have been in the House for a long time to, please, give guidance to those who have recently joined us. 

May you continue, please.

Mr Muyanda: I thank you very much for your guidance and I am much obliged.

Hon. Government Members: Withdraw it!

The Deputy Chairperson: Please, withdraw that word.

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, the word ‘fool’ is withdrawn without reservations. I am much obliged, Sir.

However, I was able to deduce the distinction between an educated mind and an unschooled one. The distinction is very simple. It starts with discipline. The moment you do not have discipline in any profession or career, you will not succeed.


Hon. Opposition Members: Ni zoona!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, as I move to your Committee’s report, I would like, once again, to remind this august House that I cherish and enjoy my seniority …

Hon. Government Members: Where?

Mr Muyanda:  … in this august House.


Mr Muyanda: My record is without blemish and I am proud of it.

The Deputy Chairperson: Debate the Motion.

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I thank you for that guidance.

Sir, I wish to say that I do not believe in larceny. I will read the observations and recommendations made by your Committee so that the pretenders …


Mr Muyanda: I did not write this report. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! It is Mr Speaker’s report.

Mr Muyanda: I am much obliged, Sir.

Mr Speaker, this is your report and it reads: 

“The Road Development Agency Board of Directors, which is defined as the Agency, has not been performing all its functions as specified in the National Roads Act No. 12 of 2002, specifically on preparation and awarding of contracts which, partly, led to some of the issues raised in the audit report.” 

Mr Speaker, may I pause.

Hon. Government Members: You are taking too long.

Mr Muyanda: Yes, that is how the seniors debate.


Mr Muyanda: They are not emotional.

Sir, this is a law that was passed by this august House. It is not about chanting and ranting. This is contained in your report. There is a law that has been abrogated by the Executive. There is a danger here, Mr Speaker, that in a fused constitutional system, the Executive members are legislators and, at the same time, come into the august House and defend the inimical actions that are detrimental to the interest of the people of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Now, you tell us who is not an educated person and who is a person who just rants.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, what is contained in this report is that the law has been broken. There is a breach of the National Roads Act of 2002. 

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Muyanda: You were not there when the law was passed, but you are bound by it.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Please, address the Chair.

Mr D. Mwila: Landa, mudala!

Mr Muyanda: I thank you, Sir.

I am now addressing the Chair.


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, when the law is broken, be it is civil or not, a litigation process has to be started. If it is a criminal offence, the people must look for the perpetrator of the offence and that offender has to be put on trial through the due process of the law  and, if found guilty, go to prison. That is the process followed when the law is broken.

Sir, why do we make the laws in this august House? We make them so that they can be enforced. If you bring in people who come here to enact laws and pretend that there are no laws in the country, then, we are heading for doomsday. The problems of the RDA arise from failure to enforce the law. 

Sir, for example, the Bottom Road in Sinazongwe, which is one of the principal roads and that one hon. Member talked about, was washed away by the heavy rains. A contract for that road was awarded to the NCC.

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Muyanda: I am citing a case in point. 

Mr Speaker, in this august House, we debate with authority and cite cases. You do not just speak from without and I am citing a case of the Bottom Road. After the heavy rains, not even His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice visited the washed-away bridges. It was a disaster. To date, the road has not been repaired.

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Ikala panshi, aka na ko.

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, the NCC, a contractor from Namibia, was chosen and it dismounted all the bridges on the Bottom Road. To date, the bridges on the Bottom Road in Sinazongwe have not been repaired. Can this not be cited as a salient example or evidence of corruption?


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, if you come from where you have failed, do not come to this House and exhibit that failure.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Hon. Member, please, lead by example. Tame your language and let us debate the Motion. 

You may continue.

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, as senior debaters of this august House, …


Mr Muyanda: … and to those who are keen to learn from their seniors, this is the process of debate. If you come without …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Hon. Member, please, debate the Motion.

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I am much obliged. 

Sir, page 48 of the report states:

“Some instances which may affect the quality of completed road works, for example, is the use of 19 and 13.2 mm-sized aggregates as opposed to 19.5 and 9.5 mm which is viewed as appropriate.”

Sir, the conflicts of technical differences or variances in the roads arise from corrupt contractors who are single sourced and who have not gone through the process of selection through tender. The moment a contractor gets a contract without passing through a tender process, he is at liberty to do anything he wants to a point where he does not care about the consequences of a substandard construction of a road. I cited a case in point. When will be the Bottom Road between Sinazeze and Batoka be worked on? This is where a single sourced contractor knocked out all the bridges first. How can that contractor knock out the bridges without firstly getting a contract through the tender process? Hence, after the NCC of Namibia walked away with billions of dollars, …

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

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chilembo: Speaker, is the debater in order to say that single sourcing is illegal?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

I hope that it is not the intention of the hon. Member to mislead the country that single sourcing is illegal. Could I request the hon. Member to take that issue into account and explain himself. 

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I do not intend to mislead this House. I am not forgetting that we passed a law in this House on single sourcing and I am very respectful of our laws. I am a senior Member of Parliament. Seniority means to obey and respect the laws we make in this august House. That is why I am insisting that the National Roads Act, No. 12 of 2002 has been abrogated. In view of this, what will be done to the perpetrators in this report? The Act has been violated. Will the culprits go scot-free or they have to be punished? Offenders in any given situation have to be punished.


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I may state that when I was working in one of these offices, I was told that you cannot argue with a person whose mind is mentally deranged because people will not see the difference.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

I think I have taken enough from the hon. Member. I will curtail his debate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I stand with a very heavy heart because this report and the circumstances surrounding it require sober minds. While we are talking here, there are some people who cannot reach their destinations. As leaders, we must rise to the occasion and learn to build and not destroy. These are the principles that I will defend at whatever price.

Mr Speaker, the people in Government must also listen and not gloss over these issues. Of course, even we, in the Opposition, must make meaningful contributions. This is not a debating club. We have been to better debating clubs than this. Some of us can debate even in the House of Commons and people will say, “Hear, hear!” Even if it is my first year in the House, I can debate. I do not need to be in the House for ten years to do so. What is required is to be serious about the issues that one is talking about.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, when the people in the Executive and those in the Opposition stand up, I hope they will also be as serious as the report. These are serious matters. The report involves officers and the people we have invested in. Therefore, let us be thorough. Parliament is not a joke. If it is, then I would not be a part of it. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, let me now deliberate serious issues. I will briefly talk about the recommendations and problems that were raised in this report. I hope this report will go through. At the end of this debate, I would like to urge all hon. Members to support the report so that progress is made. We cannot continue arguing because this is not a bar. This is a Parliament, sitting at the expense of the poor people, some of whom do not even vote but pay tax. They want development to take place. There are mistakes and there must be solutions. No one must talk like an angel who has never sinned. Let such a one throw the first stone. I challenge you. Do not kill the child if you are the real owner. These issues are of development and the people are listening. They want a way forward. Yes, mistakes are there, but let us come up with solutions. 

Mr Speaker, all of us here, as hon. Members of Parliament, are part of the political pressure. We debate here that we want this and that, but are not putting the money where our mouths are. Put the money where your mouth is. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: This is about over procurement. Over procurement means lack of supply of resources. Where the demand exceeds, there should be supply. If you do not put money thereon, you will be at risk of creating an environment of over procurement. I am not excusing the mistake. The hon. Members of Parliament and leaders are busy wailing for their roads to be repaired, but they do not realise that we must make resolutions, in this House, to allocate money to roads. For twenty years, we have not put meaningful funds in the roads sector. The issue of road works is overwhelming and it is a serious problem to which we must find solutions.  Therefore, I would like people to be very sober whether they are on the right or left. I do not care. Let us be sober and come up with solutions. I was donated to politics by my family and I do not want to be part of the jokers. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I will talk about two issues relating to the relationship between the RDA and NRFA. These two agencies were a creation of this House when we realised that the mainstream Government was a little inefficient. Some of these initiatives have worked. For instance, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is performing better than the former Department of Income Tax. We have an obligation to make them work. 

You must not come to this House and think that everything in the RDA is wrong. There are mistakes, yes, but they must be pointed out and corrected and not glossed over. I would like to specify the problems that are there. The relationship between the RDA and NRFA must be resolved and it is the job of the Executive to do that. You have not provided adequate leadership over this matter. 

The NRFA is under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning while the RDA is under the Ministry of Works and Supply, each having its own supporters. There is a tug of war that must be resolved and the onus is on this Government to do so. These institutions must not behave like they are independent. The Government’s failure to resolve this matter is what has caused this problem. I read papers everyday and I observed that this problem was reported some three or four years ago. I have the newspaper articles on this matter. I am a scholar, therefore, I have a serious institutional memory.

This fighting has been there for sometime and someone said we do something about it and we have to. There is no need to be melodramatic. Sometimes, we want to damage the image of our country. If you do this and the next day, you come into power, you will find that the country is ruined. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Some of the people who read these reports will never come to Zambia. When you visit their country and say you are from Zambia, they will have no interest in you at all. Therefore, we must be very strong, engage ourselves here …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: … and find solutions. The Executive must do this today. 

Mr Speaker, the people on your right have not been serious. They have greater responsibility than us in the Opposition. We, in the Opposition, even if we shout, do not have the same responsibility. The Executive, however, are the ones in possession of the purse for this country. Therefore, you must be more responsible than the people on this side. Do not gloss over issues. Even the, “Hear, hear!” must be lowered … 


Mr Hamududu: …so that we can listen properly. I do not need to hear, “Hear, hear!” from anybody. 


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, one interesting factor is that the Chief Executive Officer of the NRFA sits on the board of the RDA. How could over expenditure reach K1 trillion without co-ordination? Such issues are supposed to be discussed in board meetings. Even if the item was not tabled in the meeting, they could have indicated that it was at their expense. This alarm bell should have rung a long time ago. Someone did not have to go on an ant hill and shout that it was their procurement. These issues should be dealt with in board meetings.

Sir, the arrangement was good because these two agencies sit on each other’s boards. They must, therefore, discuss in-house and not out-do each other’s expenditure. However, it should be borne in mind that the RDA has more responsibility. All hon. Members of Parliament go to the RDA when they want roads to be constructed. Some of them do not know where the NRFA offices are. The real pressure must be put on the institution funding these projects. It is the money that comes first. The pressure, however, has been on the RDA when it is not even the one controlling the purse. 

It is just the same as when you want to build a house. The first thing to consider is the money. You cannot build a house simply by dreaming. The pressure for these roads has been on one institution more than the other. If these two institutions were housed under one ministry, it was going to be better than being supported by different ministries. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning supports its own agency and so does the Ministry of Works and Supply thereby causing this acrimony. It is very embarrassing for the country. I am a proud Zambian, but I am embarrassed right now.

When I went to South Africa, my colleagues were asking what was happening in the roads sector and I felt embarrassed. Resolve these issues. Hon. Ministers should not behave like they own these ministries. This country is for all Zambians. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Therefore, the relationship between the RDA and the NRFA must be tabled in Cabinet at the highest level. 

Mr Speaker, the issue of multi-year projects is a fact. There is a conflict between the Public Finance Act that the auditors use and the Zambia Public Procurement Authority Act with respect to multi-year contracts. Construction of roads is multi-year. However, the Public Finance Act states that we cannot commit money for a particular year only. We also have the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) where we need to have legal reforms to harmonise and accommodate the issues of multi-year projects. 

You want roads, but you do not want to provide solutions. All you do is accuse the RDA of being corrupt. If I were a manager at the RDA, I would simply resign, get a job elsewhere and remain quiet. 


Mr Hamududu: Make laws that are enabling. In audit, you follow the law. For instance, they will say that you should have only spent a certain amount even if only 1 km of a road was done. Multi-year projects, therefore, must be synchronised with the demand because according to the Public Finance Act, procurement should be for one year. 

As someone mentioned, mobilisation costs must be taken into account. You cannot be going to and from the site without spending money. It is very costly. If, for instance, you want works on the Kasama/Luwingu Road to take two years, the commitment should be for two years. We must harmonise the law to be in line with this. 

Mr Speaker, laws must be enabling. You cannot alienate yourself from the laws you make. We are here to make laws and change them so that they address issues of development. Otherwise, you will be crucifying your people because you have made laws that make them not work properly. Harmonise the Public Finance Act and the Zambia Public Procurement Authority Act. 

Officers from the ZPPA, which is independent, said there is this conflict. Address this issue so that we can address issues of multi-year contracts. We need to put enough money in the budget for road works. The current requirement is about US$500 million per year. What we are putting is a paltry US$150 million. This money is not enough and the backlog is huge. As leaders, let us put our money where our mouths are. 

My final point is that the mismatch of the one year provided for in the Public Finance Act and ZPPA Act must be resolved. As you address this report, there should be some legal reforms to address this issue so that it is practical to carry out serious road works. I do not need to re-emphasise the first issue. The Government must own up on this matter. 

Finally, Sir, I would like to appeal to the people in the Executive that Parliament is not about parliamentary debates or who will be given the highest points for debating well. We debate issues that affect the people of Zambia. There is no need for you to stand up and be defensive. Take advice. We are not in power, here, but just giving advice. You must do what is right and I hope that when you stand up, you will not just rubbish the debate from this side. Take these issues very seriously and adopt this report. I would like to state that we must learn to protect the institutions that we have created. Let us stop attacking institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Nobody is an angel. When you come into power, who will you put to be in-charge?


Mr Hamududu: These are Zambians. They are our brothers and sisters. When they are wrong, they must be punished, but when they are right, they need our protection.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, these officers we have trained at a high cost must be protected. You must provide leadership so that they are not tempted to do wrong things. I am not saying that you should execute someone. I am saying learn to protect your institutions because no one else will. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ), ZRA, RDA and Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) must be protected. People heading these institutions are Zambians and voters. They should be strengthened and given the autonomy without any undue influence. This over expenditure was also due to influence. All institutions must be given all the capacity and protection that they need. They must be protected. There should be no interference in their professional work. These people are more professional than us who are debating here. Sometimes, we even ask them to explain in less technical language because they know a lot. You should empower them and not interfere with their work so that they do their very best. There is no qualification to come to Parliament because even a Grade 1 can come here.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor.

Sir, from the outset, I would like to state that I support the report. However, I would like to say that if what I have seen today continues, this country will not go anywhere. When a mistake is made, we must admit it. There is absolutely no need for people to protect institutions that abrogate the law. If a mistake is made, whether by individual Zambians or our own institutions, we must acknowledge it. A mistake is a mistake. 

Sir, I totally disagree with the previous speaker who said we must protect our institutions.

 Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: We can only protect them if they are within the law.  The report clearly states …

 Hon. Government Members:  Aah!

Mr Kambwili: Keep quiet there and listen. That is why you steal.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!     

Hon. Member, please, do not get emotional. Can you address the Chair and also withdraw the phrase ‘That is why you steal’.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I withdraw it.

Sir, when people do not want to listen, the end result is a report such as this one. The Government must not be seen to be defensive. Those people who are in bad books with their political parties must not be defensive all because they want to get at their political parties. We are discussing matters that are important to the nation. People must believe in calling a spade a spade, and not call a spade a pick for the sake of creating impressions. The RDA has failed in this matter and we must tell the people who work there so. We are not going to come and waste time in Parliament to defend the RDA.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Hon. Member, you are not wasting time. You are talking for the people. Please, keep your cool and only debate the Motion.

 Mr Lubinda: Drink some water, mwana.

Mr Kambwili drank some water.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the report tells us that Act No. 12 of 2002 has been abrogated by the RDA. What is the purpose for defending the wrongs of the RDA? Like the previous speaker said, the wrong doings at the RDA are embarrassing the Zambians. The fact that donors have withheld their funding to the road sector is a serious matter. The donors want to know what Parliamentarians are saying about this anomaly and all you can do is stand up and say that those at the RDA have not made any mistakes. All you have said is that the anomalies at the RDA are as a result of not giving it enough funding and that overspending by K1 trillion is alright. Shame on you.

Mr Kasongo: On appoint of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!  

A point of order is raised.

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, I need your guidance. 


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

I will be forced to name someone if this continues. You will debate when your time comes. Give those on the Floor an opportunity to debate the Motion. 

Mr Kasongo: Is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to suggest that hon. Members of Parliament are answerable to donors? I need your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

I was following the hon. Member’s debate. Let me give him an opportunity to respond to that point of order so that he can clarify his assertion. 

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, what I was saying …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

I would like the hon. Member, before he continues, to withdraw the phrase ‘Shame on you’.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I withdraw it.

Mr Speaker, what I am trying to say is that as we are debating, the Parliament Radio is on and the donors are listening to what we are saying. They know that on the Order Paper today …

Hon. Government Members: So what?

Mr Kambwili: So that they give you money.


Mr Kambwili: That is why they are important. Do not say, “so what?” You must know that they give you money so that you work on your roads and run your hospitals. They are an important partner in the development of this country. If you do not respect them, as the MMD, bear in mind that we respect them as the Opposition.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, they are listening and they want to find out what our response is to the audit report. Why should we come here and start defending the RDA?

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: No!

Mr Kambwili: Ikaleni, imwe, ba MMD.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!  

Hon. Members, if you are not going to maintain order in this House, I will suspend it. We can debate with decorum and make our points without emotion so that they are heard by everyone who wants to listen to the debate. 

Hon. Members know that they are talking to the country. It will not help us much if acrimony is what we promote instead of the development of the country. I, therefore, ask hon. Members to bear in mind that they have been brought to this House at a cost. They should, therefore, debate with decorum and make their points heard.

The hon. Member may continue. 

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, we must be responsive to the queries by our donors because they help us in the development of the country.

Sir, it is extremely disturbing to learn that some people do not take the queries by the donors seriously. You must make sure that wherever you are putting your money, it is being put to good use. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the donors querying on issues where we have gone wrong. An over expenditure of K1 trillion when our budget is about K13 trillion is a serious matter.

Hon. Government Member: Over commitment.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, in the contracting circles, there is a lot of corruption and it must be fought. I am sure that whenever there is a commitment to be made, somebody always expects a kickback. If we continue with this in this country, we are not going to get anywhere. We must make sure that when we are given the responsibility to serve the people of Zambia, we serve them with integrity, dignity and truthfulness. Do not get into positions to serve the people of Zambia simply to make deals for yourself. This is the end result of doing so. 

Sir, people must learn to accept the state of affairs when there is no money. They should work only up to the point the budgeted-for funds can allow. You are not going to come here to justify your actions by saying that you worked on an extra metre that was not budgeted for. Why do we come to approve the budget as hon. Members of Parliament? Why should we approve a budget that the Government ministries and departments are not going to follow? 

Mr Speaker, this mistake by the RDA must not be repeated whether there is a problem between the RDA and NRFA. If they are not working together, dissolve both of them and bring in new people who can do the job. There shall be no excuse, whatsoever, in over committing this country to monies that are not appropriated in the budget. It is unfortunate if you feel comforted that a road was constructed in your constituency. I would like to warn you to do the right thing.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Hon. Kambwili, you can use better words than that. You know very well that the word you have used is unparliamentary. It will not be good to name you again. Please, debate the Motion and withdraw the word ‘warn’.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, is the word ‘warn’ unparliamentary? 


Mr Kambwili: I withdraw it, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Sir, I would like to advise you not to come here to defend wrong doing simply because you have been given a project in your constituency. Such behaviour is not going to help anybody. We must speak beyond …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours. 


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members, you will have to bear in mind, as you debate, that the action-taken report will assist in making the Government respond to the issues raised in the report by the Committee. Let us, please, bear that in mind as we debate. Hopefully, we will be able to assist the Government make a good response to the report.

May the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that the problem that this Government is finding in dealing with the issues at the RDA is caused by the over committing of the RDA. What happens is that people go to a rally and announce that, “I am instructing the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to find money to repair this road” despite knowing that the road was not budgeted for.

Mr Simuusa: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: When the RDA makes a mistake and we, in the Opposition, tell the people who work there not to make mistakes, the Government becomes defensive because it is behind the mistakes.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Now, I would like to tell those in Government to stop misleading the RDA if they want us not to attack it. As long as a report such as this one comes out, we will be on the RDA. Through you, Sir, I wish to advise the RDA to be professional and not do things under pressure.

Mr Speaker, I heard one hon. Member of Parliament say that they want to be dealing with donors one by one. In 1978, Zambia was one of the countries that advocated for dealing with the donors collectively and putting their direct budget support in one basket.

Mr Lubinda: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Therefore, if you feel that we can go backwards and start dealing with donors the way we were dealing with them in the early 1970s, you are mistaken and must know that those were the days when you were Majors in the army.

I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Aah!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Could you, please, not direct that on the hon. Member. Withdraw it before you sit down.

Mr Kambwili: I withdraw it. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Zulu (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, the issue of roads in this country is very important and I do not think it is political.

Sir, from the outset, I wish to support the report. Allow me to get some few extracts from your own report.

Dr Katema: Ati from your own report?

Mr D. Mwila: Yes, Mr Speaker’s report.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, allow me to read what the report says on Page 32. It says:

“The absence of designs/drawings led to the preparation of inaccurate bill of quantities (BOQs) which, in turn, led to variations in the contract, re-scoping of the works and extensions of time, thereby delaying the completion of projects.”

It continues to say:

“It was observed that there were sixteen contracts with a total sum of K644,062,439,475 for which designs/drawings were not prepared at the time of tendering the works.”

Sir, I am aware that before a BOQ is prepared, there should be detailed drawings. It is only from the drawings that you prepare very good BOQs. Sometimes, I sit here and wonder how possible it is that the engineers at the RDA can prepare detailed BOQs.

Mr Speaker, a BOQ is very important because it will tell you what you are supposed to do and how much it will cost you to do the project. It is surprising that BOQs were not prepared before the tendering stage.

The other day, I was amazed when I learnt that even the University of Zambia had no drawings. This is the same problem the RDA has. How can you do a job without drawings? Where in the world? For any contract entered into, drawings are supposed to be there.

Sir, the way a BOQ works can be likened to the process of preparing chicken. If you want to prepare chicken, it does not matter where you start the process from. You can start from the legs and go to the head, but you will still get the same quantity. You know that a chicken has one head. If you do not know, you can start counting the parts starting with the legs. That is how a BOQ works.


Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, the other most important point in any construction project are the materials used. If you use wrong materials, you will never get good quality. Allow me, again, to quote from your report on Page 37. It reads:

“The overall quality of gravel used on the State Lodge Road was poor as it contained big particles and the binding effect was missing.”

Sir, before moving on site, a contractor is supposed to tell the RDA where his source of gravel is and that gravel is supposed to be tested. However, what happened in this case is that the gravel was not tested. Apart from that, as the job progresses, the materials must be tested but, in this case, they were not tested. I still ask what happened. Someone should be answerable. The quality of any work primarily depends on the quality of materials used.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, if the little money we budget for in this House is properly utilised, we will have good roads in the country.

Mr D. Mwila: Quality!

Mr Zulu: The results will be seen if the little money budgeted for in this House is properly utilised.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to also add my voice to the debate on this important Motion.

Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to thank the Chairperson of your Committee for ably moving this Motion and for also highlighting issues that are salient to the operations of the RDA. I also wish to thank the seconder and the entire Committee for a job well done as it has brought out very important issues.

Mr Speaker, for the RDA to have committed this Government in excess of K1 trillion speaks volumes of the backlog of work it has. The backlog of work this country’s road works as far as the road network is concerned is big. One does not need to be an engineer to know that there is a huge backlog. Unless the Government deliberately makes an effort to ensure that, in the Budget, there is an increase in the amount of money meant for road operations, the problem of the backlog will not be curbed.

However, Mr Speaker, this is not to say that the RDA was in order to have over committed itself to some contracts. It was not supposed to have done that. However, it is important that the agency is helped by a deliberate policy that will ensure an increase to its allocation. Without an increased allocation, it will be difficult to solve the problems being faced in the road network sector.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, why can the RDA and NRFA not be merged if their separate existence is a source of conflict of interests? That way, as an entity, their operations will be more effective. It is important that this matter is looked into rather than having a situation where the RDA receives no funding for proposed works.

Mr Speaker, there have been instances when the RDA advertised for tenders for roads, like they did for the six roads in Kantanshi Constituency but, at the end of the day, nothing happened because there was no money. This is a problem that we cannot run away from. We cannot behave like the ostrich by hiding our heads in the sand while issues remain unresolved.

Mr Speaker, the other day, somebody told me that people go drinking to create an artificial environment that seems devoid of problems and, hence, affecting their mood. However, once they sober up, they find their problems unresolved. In the same vein, there is a need for the problems in the road sector to be faced squarely if they are to be solved. If we merged the two organisations, we would move a step forward in trying to resolve the problems they are faced with.

Mr Speaker, the problems of quality, lack of supervision and citing the late engagement of consulting engineers, as portrayed, cannot be the only problems. All these reasons are not good enough. Quality was compromised because there are specifications given to contractors. Every engineering contract has specifications and when these are given, the contractor should be under obligation to follow them. 

Mr Speaker, the problem in this whole process is that the contractor compromises quality and fails to follow specifications. Therefore, the problem starts with the type and quality of contractors we have in Zambia. They would rather make a lot of money out of a small contract without following the actual specifications.

Mr Speaker, many times, we have been told that the amount of money required to work on a kilometre is K8 billion, but after making inquiries, the figure is reduced to K2 billion. The question which arises, therefore, is what happens to the K6 billion difference per kilometre? The reason behind this is that, in this country, we have contractors who want to reap where they did not sow. 

Mr Speaker, it is important that when contracts are drawn up, contractors follow what is outlined so that there is a reduction of the malpractices highlighted in the report. There is a need for contractors and all Zambians to change their attitude towards work. Failure to that, we will talk many times, but still continue to have problems. 

Still on quality, I do not understand how we can have contractors who behave as those clearly described on pages 68 and 69 of the report. For the interest of the House, I will quote from page 68. It reads:

 “Late recruitment of supervising consultants”.

Why should we recruit the consultants late when we know, from the contract, that a consultant is supposed to be recruited on time?

Mr Speaker, under “Late submission of performance bond by the contractor,” the contractor compromises so much, but what action do we take against those found wanting?

Mr Speaker, on “Absence of an assistant resident engineer,” even if you recruited the contractors on time, some engineers are not committed on site. What action is taken against them? 

On substandard road signs, I would like to quote on page 69 that reads: 

“A physical verification of the road site conducted on 20th September, 2009, revealed that more than five road signs installed by the contractor were supported on thin metal pipe posts of 4.5 cm outer diameter while others were supported on posts of 5.5 cm outer diameter.”

 I see a problem. When we talk about standards, we should set them and the RDA is there to do just that. The standards that it sets are what will benefit the Government and the people of Zambia. If the standards are not set, we will have a big problem.

Mr Speaker, when a contractor is given specifications that they fail to follow, why should we continue giving them jobs? People out there and even hon. Members in this House have been and are still complaining about the state of roads. For example, someone does not need to be engineer to notice that the asphalt that was put on the Luanshya/Kafulafuta Road, about two years ago, was thin. I was wondering why a road would get damaged after one year, but do all of us need to hire consulting engineers to be checking the works of contractors? 

Mr Speaker, it is important that when you make specifications, every contractor who is doing the job follows them to the letter. However, if we are going to have a situation where we say, “Unless I am supervised, I will not do a good job,” we are not going anywhere. There is a need to change the attitude towards work so that work is done properly the first time. No number of re-works can correct work that is badly done and, in addition, they are expensive. Thus, they should be avoided.

Mr Speaker, when contractors are given materials to use, they must do just that to avoid the many re-works we have seen on the roads in the country. 

Mr Speaker, hon. Members, especially those from the Copperbelt and Mufulira, in particular, have complained on the Floor of this House about the state of roads. The state of the Mufulira/Sabina Road is so bad that the mending of potholes has to be done many times. One wonders what type of contractors we are developing in this country.

Mr Speaker, this is why I am saying that the issues highlighted in this report are important and need to be addressed. The Executive needs to take a keen interest in them by going through the report step-by-step and ensuring that solutions are found. Glossing over them will not serve us. If we think the RDA will do a decent job with the current levels of funding, we are mistaken because nothing is going to happen. 

Mr Speaker, it is important that we increase the funding and that issues that have been highlighted are resolved in order for us to move forward. The people are looking for a Zambia with better and quality roads. The people at the RDA are our eyes who are supposed to be supervising the construction of roads in the country, but that does not seem to be the case. For example, during the works on the Sabina/Mufulira Road, the RDA took a number of asphalt bags to Mufulira so that the council could work on the road. At the time the bags were delivered, they were 900, but when the works began, the number of bags reduced to 500. Where the other bags went, we do not know. This goes to show the type of contractors we have.

Mr Speaker, that is why the issues that have been highlighted in the report need to be addressed and no one should politicise them. They should be resolved. If somebody does not follow the law, let it take its course. It is important that no one over commits this Government and that when the Executive prepares the budget, it ensures that it allocates enough funds to the RDA. If this is not done, no serious projects will be undertaken and what will be worked on will be of a compromised standard. At the end of the day, there will be nothing to offer the people of Zambia.

With these few words, Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to those who have supported this report. This report raises a number of issues that are worrying and which we must address, as a country, but particularly our colleagues in the Executive. 

Mr Speaker, when issues of this nature arise, we have to look at them soberly. Some of the debates in this Chamber, today, were extremely heated and emotional. I agree that we must be passionate about the issues affecting the people we represent, but we must do it in an honourable manner befitting the title of hon. Membersof Parliament.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: I thought we were losing some of that earlier on in this debate. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to go to pages 58 and 59 of the report and refer to a number of issues raised thereon. On page 58, under the title, “Upgrading of the Luansobe/Mpongwe Road (50 km) - Contract No. TB/CE/043/08,” the Committee observed that poor quality materials were being used. On the same page, under the title, “Periodic Maintenance of T3 Kemuz-Teka Farm-Silangwa,” your Committee observed that the contractor was allowed to proceed with the works for a period of about twelve months without submitting performance bonds. This is an indication of poor supervision. The controlling officer is urged to ensure that the responsible RDA officers account for their action. 

Mr Speaker, on page 58, it reads:

“In addition, to the recommendation in (i) above, your Committee resolves that if it established that there were no extenuating circumstances that led to officers allowing the contractor to carry on with the project without submitting the performance bonds, ...” 

Furthermore, on page 59, it is stated that a certain letter revealed that, during site inspections, the consultant’s inspectors were not found on site. In particular, the consultant’s inspectors were not on site during the critical activities such as laying of the sub-base, road-base and asphalt concrete as well as on culvert construction, thus raising concerns of quality. 

Given that there are a number of issues that have been mentioned in this regard, this shows that there is a problem, obviously, at the RDA, an institution that we, ourselves, created. The issue here is how do we fix it? We are talking about quarrels or lack of harmony between the RDA and the NRFA, but the question is why this should be so. These are serious issues that have to be addressed because, if  they are not, we will keep running into the same problems. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to believe that the hon. Ministers on that side have seen that there is a problem. However, as this problem is addressed, let it be done through the people of Zambia. We are elected to come here by our constituents. We, therefore, speak on behalf of the people of Zambia in our constituencies and across the entire country. That is why we have what is called legislative sovereignty. We cannot come here and begin speaking for those who lent us money, if we got a loan, or those who offer to help us.

Hon. Government Member: Vuvuzela.

Dr Machungwa: Somebody was telling me that we run the risk of becoming vuvuzelas for donors.


Dr Machungwa: We cannot do that. I would like to plead with hon. Members that we must fix these problems so that people are made accountable for their actions. Those who abuse funds or make mistakes should be made to answer for them because this is the proper way of managing these affairs. We should not debate for the sake of pleasing the people who are listening to us on the radio. If we are looking for funding for 2011, that is not the way to do it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, this House must be here to speak for the people of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: I agree with several of my colleagues who have debated, for instance, Hon. Hamududu, who admitted that there was a problem which needs to be fixed. We want to be proud Zambians and when we make mistakes, we must admit that there is a mistake. Obviously, there is something that is not going very well at those two institutions that must be attended to, but let us not play to others. Otherwise, we will have a situation like that seen in England where hon. Members were asking questions …

Hon. Opposition Members: Where?

Dr Machungwa: Westminster. 

… in Parliament because they had been paid, but had used the money for other purposes. We know that these people can support us and, obviously, we want to do what is right and they also want to do what is right. Most of the people who have spoken here have agreed that something ought to be done about the way this matter has been managed. Therefore, I would like to commend my colleagues who worked on this report.

Mr Speaker, we must work together, as a country. As one of our colleagues said, those who are in the Executive have more responsibility because, on this side of the House, we can merely criticise and make suggestions of what we think should be done and, thereafter, go home. Thus, those in the Executive are in the forefront now since they carry more responsibility and, therefore, must ensure that, next time around, these issues do not arise. 

The issue that was raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala about some projects running over a year is also important. What system do we have to allocate funding to projects that last longer than anticipated? Is this what is causing these officers to over commit? Let us talk about the Kasama/Mansa Road, for instance. The works on that road have been going on for a long time. It has been included in various projects. If the works were carried out to reach Luwingu and continue to Mansa, it would take more than one year. Therefore, when funds for a certain period are allocated, what instructions are given to the RDA to apportion the money so that problems are not run into? There are many problems that may arise such as system problems, the design of institutions and all sorts of problems that must be looked into in answering and dealing with this issue. Otherwise, let this House remain a medium through which the people of Zambia will be worked for and let us debate accordingly. 

Mr Speaker, there are people who come here wanting the rest of us to know that they are experts who know so much, but we are all hon. Members of Parliament.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: There are people here like Hon. Munkombwe and Hon. V. J. Mwaanga who have been here for a very long time and a few others, including me, but we do not talk about how long we have been here. Therefore, hon. Members should just debate and make their points. That is the way we should be debating.

I thank you, Sir.

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

The Deputy Minister for Southern Province (Mr Munkombwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor. I will continue my crusade to acquire all the qualities that make up a good hon. Member of Parliament as I am not tired yet. In my parliamentary life, I have seen people who found me here and, after five years, they went back as empty-handed as they came …


Mr Munkombwe: … because their language was that they would fix, box and wah, wah those on the opposing side. Therefore, they went back …


Mr Munkombwe: … as empty-handed as they came in. This report …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! What is ‘wah, wah’?


Mr Munkombwe: Sir, I am talking about those former hon. Members who came into this House with instincts or ideas to pounce on others. As I was saying, they came here with spite and went back as empty-handed as they came in.

Mr Speaker, this is a professionally produced report by a Committee chaired by one of the most distinguished financial administrators, Hon. Emmanuel Hachipuka. He is not a failure in life. 

Furthermore, in responding to the comments of those who have debated before me, I would like to start with the hon. Member for Solwezi Central. I think he was very distinctive. He was able to say that the Government should look into this and that and that. I think that shows maturity.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: As for Hon. Major Chizhyuka, I think an hon. Member of Parliament should look at his or her lifetime as a representative of the people and see what he has been able to achieve for them. There must be something tied to an hon. Member’s five-year term. Otherwise, he or she will go back empty-handed and end up fighting to death like a freedom fighter.


Mr Munkombwe: Mr Speaker, sometimes, I laugh at the contributions of this hon. Member, as I do not agree with what he says in most cases. I am talking about Hon. Lubinda.


Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Munkombwe: However, you do not see him fighting, shouting and so on. He will say this and that and ‘sting’ for us to react. That is how a person must debate. As for Hon. Hamududu, …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order! Hon. Lubinda, do you want to raise a point of order?

Mr Munkombwe: No.


Mr Lubinda remained seated.

Mr Munkombwe: I can assure you that he cannot do that to me.


Mr Munkombwe: Mr Speaker, I agree with Hon. Hamududu that, indeed, we are all Zambians, whether on this or that side. Therefore, the Opposition should tell us what to do and we will do it. 

As for the irregularities in the report, I would like to point out that nobody likes carelessness. The issues raised in the report are that of over commitment, which is different from over spending. This was as a result of overzealous people in an over anxious Government led by His Excellency the President, Hon. Rupiah Banda. We were overzealous because we wanted to get results as quickly as possible. What is wrong with that? Those who dream most, achieve most. 

If I had to evaluate some hon. Members of Parliament and see what they are worth, I am afraid, some would not fare favourably. I, however, respect everybody whether they differ with me or not. In this vein, I hope that those of us who are antagonistic will learn from Dr Machungwa. He said we are all Zambians and that the Opposition must ask those in power to attend to national issues, and this is what we are doing. The Government does not take pride in carelessness such as what has been revealed in this report. At present, Hon. Rupiah Banda is the Head of State but, as I have said before, those who have hope of being in power one day should not say things that are unreasonable, otherwise they will be in the Opposition forever. 


Mr Munkombwe: Therefore, there is a need for all of us, politicians, to moderate our language. I think history will prove that this has always been the case with me. When I lost an election for the first time, it was not because I did not perform. I lost elections because, out of principle, I stuck with Dr Kenneth Kaunda when people wanted change. I still do not regret this decision. When I stood for elections the next time, people were moving away from my party to another party, but I still had no regrets.

Mr Matongo: Where is the responsibility?

Mr Munkombwe: However, I am here today.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Will the hon. Minister, please, get back to debating the report.

Mr Munkombwe: Yes, I am using this one (waving the report).


Mr Munkombwe:  Mr Speaker, we are aware that the people are listening to us, but we should not be afraid of this if we pursue the truth. This report talks about roads. Hon. Members who claim that the roads in their areas are not being worked on, should know that development can only be achieved through the Government and, at the moment, it is headed by His Excellency, Rupiah Banda. This is the only Government for now.

Mr Ntundu: On what page is that?


Mr Munkombwe: Mr Speaker, the people in the Government are also human beings and therefore, we can completely ignore the hon. Members of the Opposition who are unco-operative.


Mr Munkombwe: When they call my office, I will just tell my secretary to say that I am in a meeting and that will be the end. 


Mr Munkombwe: Sir, there is a page in the report which talks about irregular awarding of contracts. I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the fallacy that there is always corruption whenever a contractor or consultant is engaged. As Zambians, whenever we have evidence of some corrupt official, we should report it. I am looking at page …


Mr Munkombwe: … page 15. 

I would like to inform my overzealous brothers that when I left the United Party for National Development (UPND), Hon. Hachipuka almost collapsed in my house, crying …


Mr Munkombwe: … that he wanted to be like me, but now I had left him.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Minister, debate the report, please.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Munkombwe: Now, let me now come back to this beautifully …


Mr Munkombwe: … prepared report by a professional trained in London, Hon. Hachipuka, an authority in these matters. I would like to say that a person’s character is known by his or her fruits. Anybody who speaks like a tingling symbol offers no value at all. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker, I promise to be brief because most of my colleagues who have spoken have touched on a number of issues.

Mr Speaker, I will not be very technical because I am neither a civil engineer nor have I studied highway construction. All I have been associated with is earth-moving equipment for road works as outlined in the report.

From the outset, I would like to join those who have commended the Chairperson of your Committee and his team for the job well done and, indeed, those from this side who have acknowledged that we should implement the recommendations in the report. Cardinal among all that has been said is that we are all Zambians and must protect our institutions although someone said we should not.

Mr Speaker, these institutions we are talking about were created in this House. For the benefit of those who could be new in this House, Bills were brought to this House and we all agreed, as hon. Members of Parliament, that this was the direction that we would take. Now we have new hon. Members in the House who are behaving like a husband who has not left enough money for relish and when he goes back home and finds the wife has cooked some katapa, starts beating her up.

The Deputy Chairperson: What is katapa?

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, katapa is a delicacy where I come from in the Northern Province. It is cassava leaves.

The institution being debated is our own child. I also would like to say that over commitment is different from over spending.


Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, some of the hecklers were the ones who were speaking the loudest. 

Mr Speaker, as hon. Members of Parliament, we are the ones who have been speaking but, today, the Executive is accused of having made the institution over commit. However, when debating, each one of the hecklers, if not all, has been asking for roads in their respective constituencies. As a Government, we responded to their requests and some of the requests for roads have been considered and contracts awarded while others are still in the pipeline.

Mr Speaker, some roads that have been mentioned will be worked on. Somebody has said that, at rallies during elections, we promise to work on roads, and yet we do not fulfill what we promise. There is no road that can be upgraded in one week, two weeks or the three months of election campaigns that has been mentioned. When hon. Members of Parliament ask questions regarding development in their constituencies, it is up to the Executive to sit down and plan and later reflect them in the budget. 

Mr Speaker, if we are not careful, we will find ourselves, again, accusing the same institution, the RDA, of not spending the money approved by this House because we are inducing fear into the institution and that will inhibit it from operating freely. Admittedly, there could be mistakes here and there, but I want to echo somebody’s sentiments that we need to be moderate.

 Money could be awarded to a particular road, for argument’s sake, say K1 billion, but there are other technical factors at play such as variations in the gravel not being of the right quality needed for that particular road or, indeed, drainages. If I become too technical, some of my colleagues may not understand what I am trying to say.


Mr Sichilima: The engineers can decide on a type of road to construct, but before the works are completed, if they realise that the road will be carrying heavy loads, they have to change its design.

Therefore, as hon. Members of Parliament who are also councillors, especially those in towns, we should pass by-laws in our councils to ban heavy haulage on our roads once the RDA has worked on them. This is so because if a driver of a truck who lives in Matero or Chazanga, for instance, decides to pass through home on his way to South Africa or the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the damage to the road is more than one would expect. Therefore, we should be mindful of trucks that use our roads en route to South Africa or the DRC.

Unfortunately, I have not heard anybody talking about all this, and yet it should start from our councils. When there is a problem, we turn round and start saying it was a shoddy job. There is a difference in the way township roads, highway roads and any other roads are constructed. I am sure Hon. Mooya will agree with me.

Mr Speaker let me give an example of why bridges are washed away.

Mr Ntundu: You said you were not an expert!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Sichilima: The Maamba Road was designed to take about 100 tonnes per given day, for instance. However, today, due to the big demand for coal, as a result of this progressive Government, economic indicators are showing that there is more traffic on that road. This, again, boils down to us, hon. Members, because we do not educate our people on the dangers of farming near the roads. We have allowed farming and cutting of trees and when the rains come, the roads are washed away because there is no storm drain at all. In other areas, people farm near the roads and when the RDA engineers say they want to construct drains, the people start blocking the drains from going into their fields. 

Mr Speaker, water is very destructive to roads. If water runs 2 km from uphill to the lower stream, the damage it does in terms of erosion is more than one can expect. Therefore, hon. Members of Parliament must help the RDA to sensitise the people against cutting trees and blocking drains. These are issues we need to take very seriously.

Mr Speaker, I am glad that all hon. Members of Parliament are saying we must be united as Zambians. Sometimes, I am perturbed when something of this nature happens. A mistake can be made, but I do not know how many hon. Members of Parliament bothered to go to the hon. Minister’s office when this issue was brought to light.

Hon. Opposition Members: When you switch off your phones?

Mr Sichilima: When such issues come to light, we first think of telling the press that the RDA has done this and that. In the debate, some hon. Members mentioned names of individuals who have served either as chairpersons or in other positions. Those people who served in those portfolios are Zambians.

Mr Mukanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of the Floor in order to insinuate that when the report was produced, no hon. Member of Parliament went to any hon. Minister to find out what the contents of the report were, considering that hon. Members of Parliament have just been told that when they telephone some of the hon. Ministers, they instruct their secretaries to tell them that they are not in their office, and yet they are there? Is he in order to debate in that manner?


The Deputy Chairperson: I would like to ask the hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President to take the point of order raised by the hon. Member for Kantanshi into account. 

May he continue?

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I think that was said on a lighter note because he is my in-law. I did not say when the report was released. I said when some of these things were happening.

Mr Speaker, I would request our colleagues to feel free to walk into any of our offices when a mistake is noticed. As Hon. Hamududu said, this is one Government and we are all Zambians. Therefore, hon. Members should be free to approach us. 

Mr Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice should not be brought into the issues that we are discussing. As a senior hon. Member of this House, I know now how the Government operates ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Sichilima: When hon. Ministers write a report, it will be the same as having His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice go to every corner of the country to look at the works on roads such as the Bottom Road. We know where culverts have been stolen and what causes that.  I am not talking about the Bottom Road only, but also other roads such as those in the Luapula Province. We know what makes these roads to be washed away. The RDA is doing a good job.

I thank you very much, Sir.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Let me begin by congratulating you on being elevated to that good and important position. I know your history. We have been together in this Parliament from 1995. It is a long time ago.

Mr Speaker, let me thank the Chairman of the Third Report of the Public Accounts Committee and his colleagues for producing a very balanced report, intended to produce results as opposed to mere speculation leading to inconclusive ends. Professionalism and passion have been shown in the preparation of this report. Your Committee has provided an anchor for future study and implementation. I am confident that with their submissions, we shall proceed to rectify and build capacity in the road sector. We acknowledge the various players in the industry such as contractors, consultants and administrators and, above all, the general public who are the owners of these projects.

Mr Speaker, the RDA audit has generated a lot of interest due to various reasons which, for future harmony, must be avoided. These are the following:

(i)    publishing issues in the audit reports in the press before affording management and authorities an opportunity to react. That is not a good practice because there is a lot of speculation that is involved. We must avoid that in future. This engenders speculation and malicious attacks on innocent people before authoritative conclusions are made;

(ii)    exorcising operatives and all those in the industry without cogent evidence;

(iii)    approaching the audit in a manner that is antagonistic, hence standing in the way of beneficial dialogue. An audit is not intended to be a war, but to rectify problems that are in the institution; and

(iv)    inviting public debate with little information for the public on which to base their judgements. These debates go straight onto radio stations and make people start calling for our necks without knowing what the true issues are. We should avoid that because we are inciting the public against people unfairly.

Mr Speaker, I issued a ministerial statement in this House to try and help hon. Members and the public understand what issues were at stake. At that particular time, I also made a commitment to the House that we shall leave no stone unturned in sorting out the problems at hand. All the mistakes that were made will be brought to our attention so that they can be attended to. We acknowledge that there are no angels in the RDA and ministry. However, we should not throw the baby away with the water because the purpose of the RDA, at the end of the day, is to provide a service which is to build roads for the people. 

Sir, the RDA was created a few years ago. The people who were recruited had to settle down and then begin to understand the magnitude of the problems in the road sector. The systems and manuals needed to be provided. Therefore, at no time have we said we will not rectify the mistakes. I listened to the debates and the impression created by some is that there has been resistance to rectify the problems.

The reason I gave the ministerial statement was to prepare the hon. Members for whatever would come out of the audit report. We started looking at the interim report of the Auditor-General around November last year. Therefore, for some of us, we are even beginning to develop fatigue simply by looking at the findings of how much the people have lost. It is, indeed, very unfortunate.

I was not at the ministry during the years that are quoted in the audit report, but I am a responsible hon. Minister. I have had to defend my Government because it is a responsible one.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: One hon. Member who stood to debate defended the dog and bicycle levies. He also talked about hatred between people. I support him.


Mr Mulongoti: Maybe, out of dislike for some of us, you want to push this agenda to limitless ends without looking back at its history. The intention of this Government is to try and rectify the problems in the road sector. 

The issue of over commitment is beginning to worry me. Over commitment is not overspending. You cannot sign a contract without the approval of the Treasury. Once approval is given, it means that there is money for the works. Nothing stops the RDA from selecting contractors in readiness for that approval. Some people, out of deliberately trying to malign us and call us names, have wanted to mix overspending with over commitment. 

If I select you as a contractor, but do not sign a contract until the accountant says I have the money, what are you going to punish me for? The facts are that the money that was allocated by this House to the RDA was not being utilised because the money used to be released around April and May. By the time the RDA advertised and selected contractors, it was already November and the onset of the rainy season. 

Additionally, regulations stated that if the money was not spent by December, it was to go back to the Treasury. There was very little time to award contracts. In trying to overcome this problem of absorption capacity the donors talked about, a decision was made to start identifying contractors so that by the time the money is allocated by Parliament and the Treasury releases it, we would have already selected the contractors. 

  I would like this House and the public to understand that you can never sign a contract without the approval of the Treasury because you are only given a go-ahead to sign contracts when funds are available. 

Those of you who were gunning with swords and …

Mr Kambwili: Aah, wacilalanda fye bwino; watampa ukulufyanya futi. 

Mr Mulongoti: … emotionally trying to make us look bad, rethink your objectives and look at this document in a positive way. We have acknowledged that we need your support and so does the RDA because it was created by you. I do not know whether the mistakes are so grave to a point where the people involved must be hanged. Like I have said, over commitment involved no cash at all and there is no single contractor who has taken the RDA or the Government to court for not paying them because they knew that no contracts were signed until the Treasury said so.

Mr Kambwili: Why did you fire the board?

Mr Mulongoti: Please, understand, Hon. Kambwili, that I am a responsible hon. Minister. I did not dissolve the RDA Board. There is a law that governs its existence. The board had served its term. Its dissolution coincided with the problems at the RDA. Therefore, we saw it as a God-sent opportunity.


Mr Mulongoti: Although the law says they should serve two terms of three years each, there was the issue of restructuring and we provided a solution within the law. 

Mr Lubinda: What about the Permanent Secretary?

Mr Mulongoti: Please, understand this. We have also said that we will look at the management at the RDA. However, that is not my responsibility as an hon. Minister, but the board’s. Should we punish those professional engineers as Hon. Hamududu said, commensurate to the wrongs they did? If they have not done anything wrong, let us not use our heart, as opposed to our heads, because we may live to regret it. This country does not have many engineers and I will give you an example thereof. We had an engineer who was specialised in data management. Unfortunately for us, the African Development Bank (ADB) poached that person. We have a problem finding another highly qualified engineer in data management. Therefore, let us treat them with fairness. I acknowledge that we all make mistakes, but the issue is for us to move on. 

Sir, we receive requests on the Floor of this House. Some people write while others, personally, come to our offices. The RDA cannot tell you, hon. Members, not to ask for roads from it. When you make requests, we advise that you to go back to your councils and come up with priority roads that will, in the end, be part of the annual work plan. If this House allocates money and it is not released, it causes problems for us because we have to explain why we have not worked on particular roads. We stand on the Floor of this House to explain why we have not attended to your roads. We expect all of you to acknowledge that our envelope is thin. Let us grow the economy and then we can all have our roads worked on.

Mr Speaker through you, I must thank the Chairperson of the Committee for being objective. I appeared before his Committee and enjoyed the questions that were asked because they were very relevant to rectifying the issues at hand. I am grateful for that.

Mr Speaker, your Committee was very objective. It comforted us as it interviewed us because it knew that there was a problem to be resolved. I can assure you, hon. Members, including those who were angry and emotional, that we have taken note of what you said. We will take what you have said and discard your anger …


Mr Mulongoti: … because we see no value in your emotions.

Hon. Government Members: Hammer!

Mr Mulongoti: This House is a law maker. We are aware that there could be defects in the law, but we will endeavour to amend them. We are grateful for that advice. Do not think that we will take what you have said lightly because these are serious matters that affect all of us, all of you and all the people of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, let me also say that, at no time did we say we disrespect our donors. We have expressed our disquiet at times when the relationship has not been alright. To express disquiet when the relationship is not alright does not mean that you do not respect the other person. They must accord us the respect that we accord them because the partnership of today is different from that of yesterday. We are now partners and not horse and rider. We are two partners, working together in the development of the world.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: The consequences of them not helping us to develop are that they shall see God’s people going to their shores. What are they going to do? Please, those who think that we are at war with our donors should understand that there is nothing like that. We are talking, except that when we are talking, there comes a time when you disagree. Of course, in the interim, we will fight each other so that they see our position. Therefore, do not misunderstand us. 

Those of you who are fond of talking to the media to give stories, after this, please, realise that we are all hon. Members of Parliament and should respect ourselves. You are not reporters because reporters are in the Press Gallery.


Mr Mulongoti: We expect them to take notes. On Monday, there was an opinion about me in one newspaper where they addressed the fact that I now look smart because I am now at the Ministry of Works and Supply. It is very unfortunate and petty.


Mr Mulogoti: Even messengers, in this House, wear suits.


Mr Mulongoti: How can I, an hon. Minister, …


Mr Mulongoti: … be expected to wear rags?


Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I was Chief Government Spokesperson for the Republic of Zambia. Was I expected to uphold the image of Zambia in rags? I had to buy suits so that I represent you effectively.

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

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Minister in order, first of all, to refer to strangers in the House and secondly, to refer to ushers of this dignified House in such a derogatory term as to say, “Even messengers in this House wear suits” as though they do not deserve to? Is he in order to make such imputation?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 I will let the hon. Minister of Works and Supply clarify that point.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I was only referring to the fact that, in respecting their services, they have been accorded decent wear. 


Mr Mulongoti: Sir, I was saying that, as an hon. Minister, I also deserve decent wear. I am saying this because it is associated with the report of the RDA. It was quoted in the paper and statements with an underlying meaning of portraying us as thieves were made. 

Mr Speaker, I have been in the Government since 1996 and I came to Parliament in 1995. Let anybody stand up and say I have done things outside integrity. I respect the people of Zambia and all of you in this House. In fact, I would like to tell those who shout the loudest about us being criminals that we are all human.


Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I would like to appeal to the press that it has the responsibility of uniting the nation. If it thinks it is achieving anything by ostracising and calling us names, it is very unfortunate. The press says we are arrogant. However, when one is considered to be contemptuous, it is a mark of arrogance. Therefore, I do not know whether the press can claim that others are more arrogant than it is.


Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, this has been a very emotional debate. We sat as the Executive to listen. At times I say to myself, I wish we had talked to each other. We would have known more and we would have been a little helpful to each other. 

Thank you for the emotion and anger that came from some hon. Members. This report is for both of us. It has provided valuable information for all of us. We have learnt lessons from them and, at the end of the day, His Honour the Vice-President and the Leader of Government Business in the House and I have been taking notes. We shall respond very positively. We hope that, next time, we will get a better report because we have learnt in one way or the other. 

Mr Speaker, our role is to provide leadership and I am sure we have done that. We will continue to provide that leadership. Those of you who want to avoid us are only denying yourselves the opportunity to share your expectations and ours. Therefore, Hon. Member for Kabwata, …


Mr Mulongoti: … I would like you to come to my office so that we can talk about roads and not only here.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I would like to start by thanking those who have debated the Motion on our report, but allow me to refer to my tradition. In my tradition, there was a time that if one had two sons, and one of them got married, but was not able to father a child, it was permitted to have a baby by arrangement.


Mr Hachipuka: Hon. Munkombwe can confirm this. We never went out to talk about it for the rest of our lives.

Mr Speaker, I am raising this issue because I have found that Zambians have an increased desire to politicise matters that are for the bedroom. I am glad that the hon. Minister of Works and Supply has alluded to this fact. There are a lot of things in which Zambians find solace by talking about them even when they are shooting themselves in the foot. We will not be able to govern this country if we continue to discuss certain matters the way we do in the press. Not everything is for the press. You cannot run a country that way. I would like to appeal to the hon. Members of this House not to destroy this country as they wrestle and quarrel for power after the 2011 Elections. They should find other issues to talk about. 

Mr Speaker, I would also like to appeal to the Executive to regard an audit as just that. We set up systems to make sure that there are checks and balances. Get used to the fact that audit reports will come from time to time. 

Many years ago, when I was still at school, I went out of bounds and found a teacher copulating with someone else’s wife. I became a victim for witnessing that act. 


Mr Hachipuka: Why should I be victimised for seeing someone do something wrong? You should be the one to be ashamed for doing that which is wrong.  

My appeal to the House is that we work together and work for our country. I wish to thank the hon. Minister for his words and for promising that he will work on the action-taken report. It is in the interest of our people. 

My Speaker, I thank you.  

Question put and agreed to.

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

Question put and agreed to. 

The House adjourned at 1944 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 23rd July, 2010.