Debates- Tuesday, 20th July, 2010

Printer Friendly and PDF


Tuesday, 20th July, 2010

The House met 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you will recall that arising from the inability by the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport to provide an answer to Question 543 asked by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central Parliamentary Constituency on the Order Paper for Friday, 16th July, 2010, the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House who is also the hon. Minister of Defence, Hon. Dr. Kalombo Mwansa, MP, sought the indulgence of the House for the Government to come up with a comprehensive ministerial statement on the subject of the question on Tuesday, 20th July, 2010.

I wish to inform the House that my office has received correspondence from the Office of His Honour, the Vice-President seeking further indulgence of the House for the Government to make the statement on Wednesday, 21st July, 2010 so as to allow for the finalisation of a comprehensive and informative statement.

In this regard, therefore, I wish to request the House to allow the Government to finalise the statement for presentation tomorrow, Wednesday, 21st July, 2010.

Thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




558. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a)    what measures the Government had taken to facilitate the extraction of oil and gas in the Western and North-Western provinces; and

(b)    what steps the Government had taken to facilitate an investor friendly environment for concession owners to start operating.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Namulambe): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government is in the process of granting exploration licences for oil and gas in eleven of the twenty-three demarcated blocks covering the Western, North-Western and Eastern provinces. The Government expects the companies that have been awarded the blocks to mobilise capital and technical expertise so that they can start their exploration activities as soon as they are issued licences. Extraction of oil and gas can only proceed after the companies discover commercial quantities of oil and gas.

Mr Speaker, the Government has already put in place an investor friendly environment, including generating and managing petroleum data, security of tenure and revising the law as evidenced by the several companies that applied for and were awarded petroleum blocks.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, in his response, the hon. Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development seemed not to have accommodated the importance of road infrastructure, electricity and air links. Does he recognise the importance of these factors knowing that no investor would come into an environment which is unfriendly?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the fact that this Government is going to award licences to the companies that are going to do the explorations means that it is concerned with the issues which the hon. Member has raised.

Mr Speaker, as you might be aware, this Government is very hard working.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Works and Supply will work in collaboration with my ministry to ensure that we facilitate the easy operations of the people that are going to do the explorations.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, since we are under a working Government, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the ministry still maintains the statement that oil and gas is still available in the North-Western Province.

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Mr Speaker, we have repeatedly said on the Floor of this House that the micro-bioprospecting technology which was employed when prospecting for the oil and gas has had a 99 percent success rate in the countries in which it has been used.

 The current results are indicative of oil and gas. However, for us to fully ascertain the presence of oil and gas, we have to graduate to drilling.

Mr Speaker, I also wish to inform the House that I will come to the House with a statement on the same issue.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


559. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Education what measures had been taken to enable schools, such as Chombwa in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency, have access to adequate clean water.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Musosha): Mr Speaker, the ministry in liaison with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing through the District Water and Sanitation Health Education (D-WASHE) Project drilled a borehole to serve the school and the surrounding community. Unfortunately, the borehole was vandalised. However, the ministry has requested the local council, where the hon. Member is a councillor, to drill a borehole at the school.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, how sure is the Government that we are going to get water through the borehole since it is a problem in the area? The area has no water.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, since the hon. Member who is also a councillor understands the water problem in the area, he should be resourceful enough in as far as providing information is concerned to help the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to come up with an area where the borehole should sit.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, boreholes under the D-WASHE Project have no maintenance programmes in all the schools where they were sunk. Could the hon. Minister inform the House when the ministry will have a programme to maintain the boreholes because nearly all of them are not functional.

The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, schools are the property of the community and the management of schools is done everyday by the parent-teacher association (PTA) meaning that teachers and the community, at large, are involved in the everyday operations of the schools.

Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that a number of schools do not have water provision. We are collaborating with the Ministry of Energy and Water Development to address this problem. However, I believe that our initiatives do not stop able leaders, who are hon. Members of Parliament, in particular constituencies to be resourceful, as the hon. Deputy Minister has stated, in finding ways of ensuring that the boreholes that were provided under the D-WASHE Project are maintained. It does not take much to maintain a borehole.

Mr Speaker, normally when the boreholes are sunk, somebody in the community is identified who is able to replace the pipes. I believe that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) can be put to good use to ensure that these boreholes are maintained.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I think we can learn a lot from the statement I heard yesterday by the British Prime Minister that, “It is time people stopped looking to the Government and to the local authorities all the time, but should instead look to themselves for solutions”.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, this is why the Government has never failed to provide for constituency development and for hon. Members to have offices in the constituencies where all these schools are located so that they can attend to such matters. If, up to today, hon. Members are saying the Government should sink a borehole and maintain it, I really shudder to think of our future.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, in the follow-up question, the hon. Member for Nangoma stated that there was no water in that area, meaning that the water table …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

What is your question?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, could the hon. Minister indicate how the CDF will assist to raise the water table which the hon. Member said is very low?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, unlike my colleague, Hon. Mutati, I thought I was using pedestrian english. There was a borehole sunk there meaning that there is water, but the borehole was vandalised. Now whether it needs pipes to be replaced, I believe that truly is a matter the community can deal with. Nevertheless, if the problem was really the water table, I am not so sure if anybody has the capacity to do something about it. 

Mr Speaker, I am certain that the question was about the vandalisation of this borehole. We did sink a borehole in that area and there was water. Since the borehole was vandalised, the community should have the capability to deal with that problem so that the Central Government can deal with the bigger problems affecting the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the ministry will release the annual work plan so that we know where wells and other infrastructure will be built throughout the country.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I am not sure the question is directed to the right ministry as it relates to the programme of digging wells.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I think the hon. Member wanted to ask about the infrastructure work plan for the Ministry of Education which is a totally different matter. He should, maybe, rephrase the question. Then we will provide an answer.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the annual work plan will be made available to the House. 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, currently the annual work plan is being printed and as soon as that process is over, I will bring it to Parliament with a ministerial statement. However, I would like to mention that the delay in the release of the annual work plan, as I have mentioned many times on the Floor of this House, is because we did not want to do things as we have always done them. We wanted to re-look at some of the problems we have been experiencing, particularly in Luapula Province where we have a lot of infrastructure which is not complete. There was no point in rushing the work plan by doing things the same way we have been doing them, thus leading to us to leaving incomplete work.

We needed to budget for everything. When the printing process is over, we will bring the annual work plan to the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I would like to know why the ministry builds schools without looking into the issue of water as one of the prerequisites.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the provision of education is a community exercise. 

Whenever, we are putting up a school, we always try to ensure as much as possible that all other services, other than water, such as electricity, health centres and so on and so forth are available. Obviously, in some cases, because Zambians are so hungry for education and value it, which is a good thing, so many communities have taken it upon themselves to construct community schools which are now being taken over by the Government. We are trying to make sure that all those other services that are missing are provided. So, we will continue to work with other ministries like the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Ministry of Health and other Government departments so that we can provide all the services needed in communities where schools are located.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichamba (Isoka West): Mr Speaker, the issue of boreholes in schools is very cardinal. Is the ministry considering incorporating the issue of boreholes in all the bill of quantities (BOQ) for the new schools before they are built in Nangoma and Isoka inclusive?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament may wish to know that, in most of these new schools being constructed by the Government, there is consideration of the provision of water and even electricity, particularly, in the forty-five high schools that are, currently, being constructed nationwide. However, obviously, there are still some existing schools that are being expanded that do not have water facilities and other requirements for a school to operate efficiently. As a Government, we will continue to address the issue of water and sanitation and we will also continue to call upon hon. Members of Parliament to provide leadership and put the CDF to good use …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Ms Siliya: … and provide boreholes.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, considering that the borehole at this particular school was vandalised, what plans does the ministry have to ensure that, in future, communities work with the ministry and take responsibility to ensure that such facilities are not vandalised?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, as I stated initially, these properties that are constructed at a huge cost using taxpayers’ money in this country do not belong to the Ministry of Education, but the community. So, it is incumbent upon the leadership in that community, including our District Education Board Secretaries (DEBs), the hon. Members of Parliament, churches, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), traditional leaders and everybody else in that area, to value these education institutions. This is because, at the end of the day, it is the people and children in that area who benefit from the use of this school with its services such as the water provision. I wish to take this opportunity to urge the hon. Members of Parliament to go back and provide leadership in our communities …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Ms Siliya: … and to ensure that people view Government property as their own. It should be instilled in them that if they do not look after property properly or vandalise it, it will be them to suffer.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given by the hon. Deputy Minister, since the borehole that was drilled was dry, is the ministry considering moving the school to another place since where it is placed, at the moment, is dry area?


Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, I am convinced that for anyone drilling a borehole to be paid, he must reach the water level.


Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, in all forms of construction, for a borehole to be installed, the water table must be found and that is when you can install a water pump. I am made to believe that this exercise was achieved only after reaching the water table. I am sure the one who was installing the pump was convinced that the water table was reached and that it was able to provide enough water. Therefore, the issue of saying it was a dry borehole cannot arise.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




   Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to acquaint the House with the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery, of the following hon. Members of the National Council Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security from the Parliament of the Republic of Namibia:

(i)    Hon. Jhonny H. Kakaye, MP (Chairperson and Leader of the Delegation):
(ii)    Hon. Henock Kankoshi, MP (Vice-Chairperson);
(iii)    Hon. Aram Martim, MP;
(iv)    Hon. Barakias Namwandi, MP; and 
(v)    Ms Amalia N. Lita, Committee Clerk.

I wish, on behalf of the National Assembly of Zambia, to receive our guests and warmly welcome them in our midst.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!



560. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a)    from which European countries Zambia had frequently borrowed since 2006; and

(b)    how much Zambia owed these countries.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Ms C. M. Kapwepwe): Mr Speaker, from 2006 to date, Zambia has not borrowed any money from European countries.

Mr Speaker, the only European countries that Zambia owes money are Russia and Bulgaria. Currently, Zambia owes Russia approximately US$110 million and Bulgaria approximately US$8 million. These debts were contracted before 2006 and are subject to treatment under the Highly Indebted Poor Counties (HIPC) initiative.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Deputy Minister confirm as to whether there is any timeframe set in which to pay the outstanding debt.

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe: Mr Speaker, the two outstanding debts are guided by Paris Club Guidelines which have stipulated that 90 per cent of the debt should be written off and the 10 per cent be rescheduled. In the case of Russia, this debt has been cancelled and we are in the process of discussing a debt swap agreement which will ensure that instead of paying back the debt, the money be used to fund identified projects. Therefore, these debts will be liquidated in that way.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, may the hon. Deputy Minister, please, state when this debt will be liquidated.

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe: Mr Speaker, as I said, we are in the process of finalising the liquidating of the two debts. From our discussion, so far, this process will not go beyond 2013.

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a)    how much money was released to the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) for road projects in 2009, countrywide;

(b)    how much money was contributed by co-operating partners in the same period; and

(c)    how much money had been pledged for road projects by co-operating partners in 2010.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Phiri): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the hon. Member of Parliament that a total of K1,336.27 billion was approved for the road sector in the 2009 Budget. Of the total allocation, funds from the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) accounted for K715.45 billion while the co-operating partners’ contribution was K620.82 billion. An amount of K882.34 billion, representing 66 per cent of the total allocation, was released by the Government to the NRFA as at 31st December, 2009.

Mr Speaker, the co-operating partners only contributed K105.75 billion in 2009. In the 2010 Budget, they have pledged to contribute K416.43 billion.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, for all the road projects for 2010, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how much has, so far, been received from co-operating partners.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, this year, there has been no money received from co-operating partners for roads.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given by the hon. Minister that no money has come from co-operating partners, would the hon. Minister indicate what the problem has been. Has it anything to do with the problems we have at the Road Development Agency (RDA) of over-procurement …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

Do not debate.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I think it is common knowledge, to anyone who reads newspapers and listens to various media, that there has been a problem in this sector because of an adverse audit report by the Auditor-General regarding financial management and the quality of work of the RDA. As a result of that audit report, co-operating partners decided to suspend, but not cancel, funding towards road works. 

However, I am pleased to say that we have been discussing with our co-operating partners and have agreed on a road map to address the issues that were raised in the report. I am quite confident that, in the very near future, we should, once again, be receiving funds from co-operating partners.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if there are any plans by the Government to cut down expenses on some national projects so that money can be saved to prioritise road maintenance and construction.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, indeed, this is precisely what is happening, as was stated in our earlier answer. As far as the Government is concerned, it actually released the entire amount of money that was budgeted for roads in 2009. That is an indication of the commitment that it has in prioritising works in the sector.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Chilubi? He is not around. What happened to him?

Mr Chisala rushed back to his seat.


Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, Question 563.

Hon. Members: No! Ask a supplementary question.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Lubinda: I wonder whether the hon. Minister is in a position to state how much of the K715 billion Government contribution was from fuel levy and how much was from the general taxation of the people.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, for the 2009 Budget, the Government had budgeted straight from the Treasury, K779 billion for roads, broken down as follows …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Some hon. Members are not listening, and yet the facts and figures are now being given. May the House pay attention.

The hon. Minister may continue, please.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I was saying that in 2009, the Government budgeted K779 billion for roads from its resources. Out of that amount, the actual amount released was K777 billion, representing 99.7 per cent of the budget. The money straight from other Treasury taxes was K299.3 billion and the whole amount was released. As from fuel levy and other road user charges, K416.14 billion was budgeted for and the whole amount was released, representing, of course, 100 per cent of the amount allocated.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I wish to find out from the hon. Minister, arising from his answer, whether the Government or his ministry agree, with the so-called ‘adverse report’ by the Auditor-General’s Office and what action the Government is taking.

Mr Speaker: It is not advisable, today, to allow such a question because a report on that particular audit is in the pipeline to be presented to this House. I suggest that hon. Members be patient enough and debate these issues at the appropriate time. I believe it will be some time on Thursday, this week. So, let us be patient.

Mr Msichili (Kabushi): Mr Speaker, road contracts were signed for in 2009, and yet only 67 per cent of the funding was released in this particular year. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if the Government will not suffer penalties from the contractors with whom contracts were signed, and yet money was not released?  

Mr Speaker: That also is contained in the report that we will debate on Thursday.


562. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a)    how much money the following Governments had invested in the operations of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) in 2008 and 2009:

(i)    Zambia;
(ii)    Tanzania; and
(iii)     China; and

(b)    why the Government of Zambia had obtained a loan from the Chinese Government on behalf of TAZARA.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that the Government of the Republic of Zambia together with the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania are joint equal shareholders of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA).

In 2008 and 2009, TAZARA did not receive any funds from the Government of the Republic of Zambia.

 TAZARA has, from the financial years 2006/07, 2007/08 and 2008/09, been receiving Tanzanian Government funding of Tsh100 million (about US$0.74 million) per year for the landslide rectification works between Mlimba and Makambako in the Tanzania region.

TAZARA did not receive any direct or indirect funding from the Government of the People’s Republic of China in 2008 and 2009.

The Government of the Republic of Zambia obtained a loan from the Chinese Government on behalf of TAZARA under the 14th Protocol which was signed by both Tanzania and Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that the Government has continued investing in this business. Therefore, I would like to find out whether this business is still viable.

Mr Mubika: Mr Speaker, the railway business is still viable. Both the hon. Ministers of Zambia and Tanzania have been meeting and travelled to China to look at ways of trying to recapitalise TAZARA so that it can reduce the overload by truckers on our roads.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how far the two Governments have gone in clearing the TAZARA liabilities which stand at US$60 million.

Mr Mubika: Mr Speaker, I cannot tell when we are going to clear the liabilities. However, as I stated earlier on, the two governments met the Government of the People’s Republic of China to see how they can revamp the operations of TAZARA. Therefore, I would request the hon. Member to be patient as the House and country will be notified on the developments in the near future.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister which operation appears to perform better between TAZARA and the Railway Systems of Zambia since they are run on two complete different models and, if he can explain that, I would like to know what the difference is.

Mr Mubika: Mr Speaker that is a new question. I was not asked to compare the operations and performance of the two railway companies.

I thank you, Sir.


563. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs how many foreign Ambassadors and High Commissioners were resident in Zambia as of 31st March, 2010.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Professor Phiri): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that there are currently twenty-three foreign ambassadors and nine high commissioners resident in Zambia, making a total of thirty-two. Apart from these, we have one European Head of Delegation, four charge d’affaires, six acting heads of missions and nineteen honourary consuls accredited to Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the following table shows the countries which ambassadors and high commissioners accredited to Zambia are from:

    Continent    Position
        AFRICA & Asia

    Libya    Ambassador
    Saudi Arabia    Ambassador
    Somalia    Ambassador
    Botswana    High Commissioner
    Palestine    Ambassador
    Mozambique    High Commissioner
    Namibia    High Commissioner
    Kenya    High Commissioner
    Zimbabwe    Ambassador
    Angola    Ambassador
    South Africa    High Commissioner
    Democratic Republic of Congo                  Ambassador 
    Ghana    High Commissioner
    Nigeria    High Commissioner
    Sudan    Ambassador
    Egypt    Ambassador
                         China                                                               Ambassador
    India    High Commissioner
    Japan    Ambassador



    Brazil    Ambassador
    Cuba    Ambassador



    Britain    High Commissioner
    Denmark    Ambassador
    France    Ambassador
    Germany    Ambassador
    Finland    Ambassador
    Holy See    Ambassador
    Ireland    Ambassador
    Norway    Ambassador
    Netherlands    Ambassador
    Russia    Ambassador
    Sweden    Ambassador

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether there are any foreign countries that have had closed their missions in this country from 2006 to date.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Pande): Mr Speaker, that question would definitely require us to look at the data at our ministry so that we can give a correct position.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the representation of countries must be done on a reciprocal basis. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how the figures of foreign ambassadors and high commissioners in Zambia compares with the Zambians who are representing us abroad.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, it is very favourable. We indicated that there are about thirty-two here and we have thirty-three missions.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, of late, the Government has been complaining that some high commissioners have been interfering in the sovereignty of Zambia. I would like to know if the Government has complained to any foreign countries and, if so, which those countries are.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we have not been complaining, but stating facts. As for the later part of the question, we have not complained to any country.   

I thank you, Sir.


564. Mr Hamusonde asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether there were any plans to widen roads in towns such as Lusaka to reduce congestion.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Muteteka): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the congestion on our roads is caused by many factors in addition to the fact that our roads are not wide enough to accommodate heavy traffic. One of these factors which causes congestion on our roads is the lack of by-pass roads and ring roads in our towns, especially in Lusaka. Lack of segregation of roads is another factor that causes congestion in the town, especially during the peak hours because of many roads that join the highway which passes right through the centre of the town.

Mr Speaker, it is for this reason that the Government, with the assistance from the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA), has facilitated the development of the Lusaka Integrated Comprehensive Development Master Plan. The master plan aims at improving the road network by improving the existing roads, introducing interconnections and constructing  ring and by-pass roads around the City of Lusaka.

Mr Speaker, it is envisaged that once this measure is implemented, it will help reduce the congestion in Lusaka.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, are there any plans to widen the Kamwala Ring Road that is too narrow and has very sharp bends?

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, the Government has, indeed, realised that there is congestion on our roads in Lusaka. This is the more reason the ministry, together with the co-operating partners, has come up with this master plan to see how best to widen these roads and build new roads to decongest the traffic in Lusaka. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Zulu (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, are there any plans to design and construct simple filter lanes for the vehicles which turn to the left to decongest the roads at every junction?

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, the master plan which has just been approved by the hon. Minister has taken into account a number of factors such as the drainage system as well as suggestions such as the one the hon. Member of Parliament has made so that the problems on our roads can be addressed holistically.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the implementation of the Lusaka Integrated Comprehensive Development Master Plan, which the hon. Minister referred to, is also being undertaken in conjunction with the Ministry of Works and Supply. Can I find out from the hon. Minister why one very important ring road that is included in the master plan and was supposed to have been constructed has currently stalled for more than three months? What is the reason?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Member for Kabwata for that supplementary question. Unfortunately, the hon. Member did not specify which road this is.

Mr Lubinda: Kasama.

Dr Kazonga: I think it was important, for his benefit, to have specified the road.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, does the master plan to decongest traffic in Lusaka, include widening of the Mumbwa Road from the Lumumba Road Junction into a dual carriage way up to the Nampundwe Turn Off?

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, the master plan that was recently approved has taken into account a number of roads in the town centre and the peripheral areas, including the expansion of the road he has asked about in addition to many others.

I thank you, Sir.


565. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Education:

(a)    whether the Government had issued a circular to authorise teachers who are signatories to school accounts to draw their subsistence allowance from school grants each time they travelled to withdraw money for school operations; and

(b)    whether the money paid as subsistence allowance at Kateshi and Fube schools would be reimbursed by the concerned teachers.

     The Deputy Minister of Education(Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, yes, a teacher who may be a signatory to school accounts may draw subsistence allowance from school grants each time he or she travels to withdraw money for school operations. 

The money paid as subsistence allowance at Kateshi and Fube schools can only be reimbursed if it was incorrectly paid.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, as per statement by the hon. Deputy Minister, this money was incorrectly ...

Mr Speaker: Order! 

What is your question?

Mr Chisala: Sir, my question is in case these teachers fail to pay back, what action is the ministry going to take against them?

Mr Speaker: Order! 

That is a speculative question. It is not a factual one. Since you asked the principal question, do you have another question?

Mr Chisala: No, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister help us understand what the guidelines are pertaining to the grants sent to Government schools?

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, the money that we send to schools is for school operations such as buying a few teaching and learning materials that are required by the schools. At the same time, you may know that these are Government workers who are entitled to subsistence allowance whenever they go out. Therefore, they draw money and the only time it is wrong to do so is when they draw it unlawfully or incorrectly.

I thank you, Sir.


566. Mr Malama asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security:

(a)    what the cause of the countrywide strike by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) unionised employees in May, 2010 was; and

(b)    what measures had been taken to avoid a recurrence of strikes by the employees.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Kachimba): Mr Speaker, according to the management of the ZRA, the Zambia Revenue Authority Workers Union sit-in did not amount to a nationwide strike, but rather a go-slow that was manifested mainly in Lusaka, Kitwe and Ndola. The sit-in was a product of unsuccessful negotiations between the union and the ZRA management. The ZRA management indicated that there was a breakdown in communication between the union and management which led to the union prematurely requesting for an adjustment and not returning to the negotiation table. The union requested for a 25 per cent increment whereas management only offered an 8 per cent increment which they claim the institution could afford. This offer was deemed inadequate by the union and, therefore, led to the union leaving the negotiations and urging its members to go on a go-slow to coerce the ZRA management to give in to their demands.

The matter was finally resolved on 3rd June, 2010 when both parties agreed to sign a collective agreement with the following adjustment of 8 per cent increment on the basic salary and 8 per cent increment on the housing allowance across the board. The collective agreement was signed and accepted by both parties. It has since been sent to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Labour Commission for approval. The current collective agreement has an annual provision for a salary increment and negotiations to avoid unprecedented conflicts over the conditions of service and salary negotiations. Therefore, both parties agreed to meet for negotiations next year and to communicate more effectively. The collective agreement comes up for renewal for the period of 2011 to 2012 so that any other matters surrounding the collective agreement can then be effectively considered.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there were any job losses as a result of the go-slow.

Mr Kachimba: Mr Speaker, the matter was settled amicably between management and the union. Therefore, no jobs were lost.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to know the losses in monetary terms which were incurred by the ZRA as a result of the go-slow.

Mr Kachimba: Mr Speaker, this is a new question that is dealing with finances. I could return with an answer at a later stage.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa: What plans does the ministry have to discourage people who are not relevant to the negotiations, for instance politicians, …

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Machungwa: … to jump into the fray and begin pushing for things?

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kachimba: I thank you for that important follow-up question.


Mr Kachimba: We had a lot of problems with the political union officials.


Mr Kachimba: The ministry has come up with measures to prevent such occurrences. The procedure of resolving disputes does not require politicians. According to Section 5 of the Industrial and Labour Relations Act, a collective dispute will exist when there is a dispute between an employer or organisation representing employers on one hand and an employee organisation representing employees on the other, relating to terms and conditions affecting the employment of employees and one other party to the dispute as presented in writing to the other party on its claims and demands.

The other party has fourteen days, from the date of the claims, to respond to the demands needless to emphasise that the law requires parties to have held, at least, one meeting with a view to negotiating and settling a dispute.

For employees, and not politicians, in non-essential services, they first appoint a conciliator and, if they do not agree within a period of seven days from the day of the declaration of the dispute, they shall report the matter to the Labour Commissioner and not a politician.

The Labour Commissioner shall, within seven days, appoint a conciliator or board of conciliators who shall, within seven days, summon the parties to a meeting and proceed to conciliate. When they fail to agree, they will then refer the matter to court, conduct a ballot, settle or declare a dispute, then a strike or lock-out.

The hon. Minister may intervene before the strike or lock-out. Employees in essential services will first take the matter to court when they have a dispute. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, in his answer, the hon. Minister referred to communication breakdown as the main problem. I would like to know whether the go-slow was caused by management, employees or politicians. 

Mr Kachimba: Mr Speaker, in my answer, I said that when negotiations were tabled, the union and management could not agree, then the union asked its members to go on a go-slow.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, when will the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security conduct a workshop to explain to hon. Members of Parliament the procedures of negotiations and industrial practice?

Hon. Government Member: Ema MP aya!

Mr Kachimba: Mr Speaker, yes, it is our duty to do what the hon. Member of Parliament has asked us to do. We shall look into it.

I thank you, Sir.


567. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Education:

(a)    how many desks were procured for schools in Mwinilunga Parliamentary Constituency from 2006 to 2010; and 

    (b)    which schools benefited from the desks. 

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, there were 138 desks procured in Mwinilunga East Parliamentary Constituency from 2006 to 2010.

Mr Speaker, the following schools benefited from the procurement of desks:

School                    No. of Desks

    Ngoma Basic            20

    Minyanya Basic            15

    Mumpulumba Basic            20

    Kanyikomboshi Basic            15

    Kalukundu Basic            20

    Muzhila Basic            15

    Mwanamutowa Basic            23

    Mapesho Community         10

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, it is clear from the hon. Minister’s answer that only 138 desks have been delivered to Mwinilunga East Parliamentary Constituency in the last four years. I would like to know when the Government will decentralise the procurement of desks so that we are able to monitor the exercise from the district.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, although the procurement of desks is still centrally done, we send the desks to provincial offices, which send them to districts and, eventually, to the schools. We, therefore, ask the hon. Members of Parliament to take a keen interest in this matter. 

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


568. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Health why the Government did not pay recruitment and retention allowances to medical personnel in Chilubi District as of 15th April, 2010.

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, according to the Public Service terms and conditions of service, recruitment and retention allowance is paid to officers holding a university degree or its equivalent. As at 15th April, 2010, there was no medical personnel who were eligible for payment of recruitment and retention allowance except for one medical doctor who was recently posted to the district. His documents for the allowance are currently being processed by the Public Service Management Division. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister state how soon he expects the medical doctor to be paid?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I hope the hon. Member heard me when I said that the allowances were being processed at the Public Service Management Division. This is not under the Ministry of Health. However, I can help by finding out how quickly the allowance will be paid.

I thank you, Sir.


569. Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development whether the Government was considering setting up another modern petroleum refinery plant capable of refining any type of crude oil.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Imasiku): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government, through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, has instituted a detailed study to determine the most cost-effective way of supplying petroleum products to the nation. 

Mr Speaker, the results of this study will assist the Government in deciding the best petroleum supply option to adopt which may include building a new refinery, modernising the current one or the direct importation of finished petroleum products.

Sir, the study is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, how far has the Government gone in making the price of petroleum products uniform throughout the country?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development may offer a bonus answer, if he has any.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Mr Speaker, there is no bonus answer.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, why has the Government allowed the importation of finished products that will make Indeni Oil Refinery irrelevant?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, currently, most petroleum products that the country uses are normally imported as crude oil, then refined at Indeni Oil Refinery in Ndola. However, because of the good policies of this Government, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: … all the various economic sectors like the mining, industry and agriculture have grown. Therefore, the capacity for Indeni Oil Refinery cannot sustain the current demand. As a result, the Government has to import finished products to supplement the products that are imported as crude through Indeni Oil Refinery.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister comment on the statement that was given on the Floor of this House in 2008, stating that the ministry was working on the establishment of uniform fuel pricing in this country. That question was asked by Hon. Dr Peter Machungwa, but I am surprised to hear that the hon. Minister has no bonus answer.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I said that there was no bonus answer because the question on the Order Paper has  nothing to do with the uniform pricing of pertroluem.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, currently, Indeni Oil Refinery is facing a lot of problems. Some of the failures are a result of the Government’s failure to maintain it so that it has the capacity of supplying adequate petroleum to the nation. What plans have been put in place to ensure that a new refinery, which is sustainable, is constructed?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the hon. Member that, in future, he should pay attention when answers are being read out.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: The hon. Deputy Minister indicated that the Government, through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, is carrying out a study to determine the best option of supplying petroleum products to the country. This could either be through construction of a new refinery, modernising the existing one or importing finished products. 

Mr Speaker, as I stand here, this afternoon, the refinery, like any other piece of equipment, is earmarked for closure in October. During that period, the Government is putting in place measures to ensure that the supply of petroleum products on the market is not disrupted.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Recently, the partial closure of Indeni Oil Refinery, two months ago, was because of the crude oil which had a low sulphur gas being imported into the country and stored at the Indeni tanks. This resulted in a situation where Indeni Oil Refinery was not able to produce …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

You are debating. Can you ask your question?

Mr Kambwili: What is the Government doing to ensure that the importation of finished low gas oil does not affect the operations of Indeni Oil Refinery?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, currently, the Government is rehabilitating tanks at the refinery to increase storage capacity. At the same time, it has authorised Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) to export heavy fuel oil, which is currently being stored in the tanks at TAZAMA, to create more space so that the refinery can now refine more products which can be stored.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Hamusonde asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether the Government had any plans to build palaces for all chiefs in the country, especially Chief Shakumbila whose palace was dilapidated.

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government has no plans to build palaces for chiefs, including that of His Royal Highness, Senior Chief Shakumbila.

Sir, this has been the practice from the time our colonial masters recognised the establishment of chiefdoms in this country. The construction of palaces is the responsibility of the subjects themselves.

Mr Speaker, in addition, the recognition of chiefs differs from clan to clan and some traditions and customs demand that when a chief dies, the palace is either burnt or demolished and a new palace is built for the new chief at his or her place of choice. These customs and traditions present difficulties for the Government to build palaces at a greater cost which may end up being demolished.

I thank you, Sir.


571. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning why the Government did not release funds to various ministries between 28th January and 28th February, 2010.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning ( Mr Phiri): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that during the period in question, the ministry released a total of K1,182.8 billion to ministries, provinces and spending agencies. Of the total releases, personal emoluments accounted for 38.5 per cent or K455.8 billion while the use of goods and services and non-financial assets accounted for 22.2 per cent or K262.5 billion and 16.4 per cent or K194.5 billion, respectively. The balance of 22.9 per cent or K267.9 billion went towards payments for interest, grants and other payments such as social benefits, liabilities, other expenses and financial assets.

Mr Speaker, with the above details, it is evident that the Government released some funds for projects considering the fact that 16.4 per cent of the total releases went towards non-financial assets or capital expenditure.

Mr Speaker, clearly, it is not true that the Government did not release any funds to ministries, provinces and spending agencies for projects. The funds were released for projects in accordance with the profiles which ministries submitted during the period, 28th January to 28th February, 2010.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwangala: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, if money was released as per the hon. Member’s statement, why were the contractors who were constructing schools in Chilubi not paid during the period under review?

Mr D. Phiri: Mr Speaker, that issue is administrative and I think it is a matter which we have since resolved.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


572. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:

(a)    when the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) would install an electricity transformer in Chief Mwenda’s area in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)    what had caused the delay in installing a transformer in the area; and

(c)    when Kanshimba Basic School would be electrified.

Mr Imasiku: Mr Speaker, the electricity transformer in Chief Mwenda’s area was installed on 20th May, 2010. The apparent delay in installing the electricity transformer in Chief Mwenda’s area was due to ZESCO not having transformers in stock at that time. 

Sir, Kanshimba Basic School will be electrified once its internal wiring has been completed to an acceptable standard.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, initially, two transformers blew off. I would like to find out how much money was lost because of that.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I am at a loss as to what he means by saying how much money was lost. Does he mean the cost of the transformer or is he referring to the how the economic activities were affected as a result of the loss of power? I think I need clarification on that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, why does it take so long for ZESCO to install power to a requesting client when, in fact, on its application form, it clearly states that when a client has paid to get connected, the company will assemble the required material within three months. Why is it that, in certain cases, it takes two years for a client to be connected? 

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, indeed, I totally agree with the hon. Member that there have been a lot of delays by ZESCO to undertake electrification projects after customers have paid. The Government is working towards ensuring that this delay is reduced as stipulated on the application form so that the customers can benefit from such an improvement.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 




Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Second Report of the Parliamentary Reforms and Modernisation Committee for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 13th July, 2010.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mrs Sinyangwe(Matero): Yes, Mr Speaker.

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, under its terms of reference, your Committee is charged with the responsibility of examining and proposing reforms to the powers, procedures, practices, organisation and facilities of the National Assembly provided that in proposing such reforms, the Committee shall bear in mind the balance of power between the Executive and Legislature. It shall also bear in mind the duties of other house-keeping committees of the National Assembly. 

Sir, allow me to highlight some of the activities that your Committee undertook during the year. 

Progress on the Capacity Building Component of PRP III

Mr Speaker, as the House is well aware, the National Assembly is currently implementing the capacity building component of the Parliamentary Reforms Programme, Phase III, generally known as PRP III with support from co-operating partners, namely:

(a)    the Department for International Development (DFID);

(b)    the European Commission (EC);

(c)    Irish Aid; and

(d)    the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Sir, the project is being implemented as a …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

I must warn the hon. Member over there (Mr D. Mwila discussing with some PF Members behind), who is creating difficulties for the House. If you do not wish to participate in this debate, please, you can take a few minutes to visit the lobbies, just outside the Chamber. This report, like any other report, is extremely important to the people of Zambia. 

The hon. Member for Pemba may continue, please.

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, the project is being implemented as a distinct component of PRP III and its goal is to increase the effectiveness of the National Assembly, as a representative agent of oversight and reform through capacity building. Implementation of the capacity building component officially commenced on 1st June, 2008. The first year of implementing the project ended on 31st May, 2009. The project then ran for six months, from June, 2009 to December, 2010. This is the period this particular report is referring to. 

Mr Speaker, in spite of the challenges that were encountered during this period, a number of achievements were scored. A number of training activities for hon. Members of Parliament and staff of the National Assembly were undertaken. This training was in the form of workshops and specialised training covering a variety of specialisations, including the sensitisation of hon. Members on Private Members’ Bills, effective management of constituency offices, use and maintenance of motor bikes for staff in constituencies which they have received. These activities have contributed to enhancing the capacity of both hon. Members of Parliament and staff to execute their roles better. 

Sir, may I mention here that the Bill drafting capacity of the National Assembly has been enhanced in the past few years with a number of staff in the Legal and Journals Department undergoing training. 

Further, under parliamentary reforms, the National Assembly now meets the cost associated with the process of introducing Private Members’ Bills before the House. However, it has been noted that hon. Members of Parliament have not taken advantage of this opportunity that has been provided. From the time these measures were introduced, only three Bills have been introduced in the House by a Private Member. In order to redress this situation, a workshop was conducted to sensitise hon. Members of Parliament on Private Members’ Bills. The objective was to raise awareness among hon. Members on the existence of the Bill drafting facilities and the procedures to follow in using them. It is hoped that this will lead to an increase in the demand from hon. Members for legislative drafting services. Sir, your Committee wishes to urge all hon. Members to take full advantage of these facilities that have been availed to them. 

Mr Speaker, the capacity of constituency offices was enhanced with the purchase of office equipment. 108 facsimile machines were purchased to improve communication between hon. Members of Parliament and their offices in their constituencies. 

Other initiatives to further improve communication at constituency offices are ongoing. One of these initiatives is the roll-out of internet connectivity which is expected to be completed in 2010. The other is the development of a communication strategy for parliamentary business. 

Sir, the success of constituency offices will be judged by the wide cross-section of people that call at the offices to interact with hon. Members of Parliament. It has been noticed that not all offices are visited by constituents. It is anticipated that the communication strategy, once implemented, will help increase public awareness on their existence and thereby increase the use of the constituency offices throughout the country. 

Mr Speaker, one of the critical roles of the National Assembly is that of oversight over the Executive.  In recognition of this, numerous interventions have been put in place over the years, under the parliamentary reforms, to enhance the capacity of the National Assembly and its hon. Members to undertake this role more effectively. Most of these interventions have been to the Committee system which is an area that is central to the National Assembly’s oversight activities.

Sir, a number of activities have been implemented in the period under review in this regard. Public address and recording systems for the five existing committee rooms were procured and installed. Further, furniture and equipment for the new committee rooms were procured. The process of procuring public address equipment for the new committee rooms has commenced and will be completed in 2010. 

Mr Speaker, in order to enhance the ability of the library to effectively service the information needs of the hon. Members of Parliament, 483 new titles were procured. These titles comprise books covering a variety of subjects, including democracy, globalisation and gender matters. In recognition of the need to have well-trained and professional staff at the National Assembly, a consulting firm was engaged to carry out a training needs assessment of National Assembly staff. This assessment has been completed and the implementation of the recommendations will commence soon. The assessment has provided a basis for more focused training which is appropriately prioritised. 

Work Plan and Budget for the Capacity Building Component of PRP III

Mr Speaker, I wish to report that the 2010 Work Plan for the capacity building component of PRP III was developed and approved by your Committee and is currently being implemented. Some of the activities of this work plan are as follows:

(i)    constituency staff workshops;

(ii)    procurement and installation of solar power equipment for offices that are far from the electricity grid;

(iii)    procurement of motorcycles;

(iv)    development of a communication strategy for parliamentary business;

(v)    training and promoting increased use of information communication technology (ICT) in constituency offices;

(vi)    training in legislative drafting;

(vii)    training of hon. Members of Parliament in policy analysis;

(viii)    training of hon. Members  and staff in performance, ICT and environmental audits as well as the scrutiny of audit reports;

(ix)    provision of technical assistance in budget analysis;

(x)    training members of staff in poverty reduction budget tracking methods and expenditure monitoring;

(xi)    development of budget monitoring tools and training in their use for hon. Members of Parliament and staff;

(xii)    consultative workshops between committees and civil society organisations (CSOs); and

(xiii)    training of staff as recommended by the training needs assessment; and 

(xiv)    digitisation of the library. 

Construction of Committee Rooms

 Sir, I wish to report that the construction of the new committee building, which commenced on 1st April, 2008, has been completed and the building was commissioned by the Hon. Mr Speaker on 14th July, 2010. The building was constructed by Hua Jiang Investments Limited of China and was funded by co-operating partners under the Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability (PEMFA) Programme. The new building comprises five new committee rooms, each with a capacity of up to fifty persons and thirty-two offices. This includes an office for chairpersons of committees.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, expanded capacity will enable more members of the public to participate in Committee hearings.

Construction of Constituency Offices

Sir, your Committee is happy to report that, in the period under review, four constituency offices were constructed. The offices were constructed at Chasefu, Masaiti, Mwembeshi and Rufunsa. The offices are well constructed, spacious and suitable for hon. Members of Parliament.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: The House is aware that constituency offices, currently, in use are rented and are not always ideal for use. In these new offices, there is room for a library and more constituents can make use of them to find valuable and informative Parliamentary literature. Initially, nine offices were to be built, one in each province. As a start, the Treasury released funds to construct only four offices. However, we are happy to report that funds have now been released for the remaining five offices to complete the nine in each province. These five offices will be at Katombola, Lukashya, Lukulu West, Pambashe and Zambezi East. The sites for the offices have already been inspected by the National Housing Authority(NHA) and works will commence in August, 2010. In accordance with the agreed policy, all the sites are close to Parliamentary nomination centres.

Visions and Expectations for 2010 and Beyond

Mr Speaker, allow me to give you your Committee’s vision and expectations for 2010 and beyond. The House will recall that one of the goals of the parliamentary reforms is to increase the independence of Parliament. To this end, the House approved the recommendation of the ad hoc committee on reforms that was constituted in 1999 that a Parliamentary Service Commission be created. The commission will ensure the autonomy of Parliament and make it more independent of the Executive and more in control of its own affairs. The creation of the Parliamentary Service Commission is awaiting the conclusion of the constitutional review process. Your Committee is glad to note that the National Assembly’s proposal regarding the commission has been adopted by the National Constitutional Conference (NCC).

Sir, the House will also recall that there are plans on the table for the construction of a visitors’/media centre. This centre is intended to provide a facility where visitors and members of the media can be received. This centre will distribute passes to the galleries, conduct tours of the facilities, control and limit public access to the library, distribute information and education materials about the National Assembly of Zambia and serve as an overall information centre for public inquiries. The presence of a visitors’/media centre will lead to an increase in public awareness on the proceedings at Parliament. Following assurances from the Government of the People’s Republic of China, your Committee is expectant that construction of the visitors/media centre will commence in 2010 after the completion of relevant inter-Governmental approval processes.

Sir, your Committee has reported, in previous years, that the largest part of the PRP III is in the area of infrastructure development. This has been identified as the area that requires urgent attention if the goals of parliamentary reforms are to be achieved. However, infrastructure development is inherently expensive. An example that has been given by your Committee, in the past, is the construction of constituency offices which will take an estimated thirty-eight years to complete at the current rate of funding.

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.{mospagebreak}

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Matongo: Therefore, the challenge is for the National Assembly of Zambia to mobilise the required resources to implement the infrastructure development necessary to meet the goal of the parliamentary reforms. There is a need for the Government to increase support to the parliamentary reforms, particularly in the area of infrastructure development.

Your Committee, once again, appeals to co-operating partners and other well wishers to come forward and lend their support to the parliamentary reforms by participating in infrastructure development.

Further, it is the view of your Committee that the constituency office should play a central role in the administration of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). This would be in line with the Government’s decentralisation programme as it would ensure that the funds are administered at constituency rather than district level. The role of the district would then be to audit the constituency office in relation to the CDF to ensure transparency. Kenya, for example, has dedicated 2.5 per cent of its national budget to the CDF and the constituency office controls it while the district gives oversight. Your Committee recommends that the Kenyan model be seriously considered by the Government.

Your Committee wishes to urge the Government to seriously consider its earlier recommendation to direct part of the CDF, in future budgets, to the construction of constituency offices to avoid a thirty-eight year wait. This would facilitate a one-off exercise to construct offices in all constituencies and do away with the costly exercise of having to rent offices. The alternative is to wait for thirty-eight years before offices are constructed in the current 150 constituencies, which may be an unfavourable approach in meeting this reform target. I hope this Executive will take note of that as part of the decentralisation development.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to take this opportunity to, once again, express my gratitude to all our co-operating partners for their invaluable support and contributions to the PRP, in particular, the DFID, the EC, Irish Aid and the UNDP.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for the inspiration and wise guidance you gave to your Committee throughout the year and also for the opportunity to serve on it.

Mr Speaker, last, but not the least, may I also express my gratitude to the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the invaluable assistance rendered to your Committee and for the constant contact between her office, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the co-operating partners.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mrs Sinyangwe: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to second the Motion to adopt the Second Report of the Parliamentary Reforms and Modernisation Committee.

I want to start by commending the mover of the Motion who has ably articulated issues. Sir, a lot has been achieved under the capacity building component of the PRP III during this period as reported by the mover of the Motion. This was in spite of the challenges encountered. The activities undertaken during the period included:

(i)    training of constituency office staff in effective management of constituency offices. This has helped greatly in the running of these offices even in the absence of the hon. Members; and

(ii)    training in the use and maintenance of motorcycles for staff in offices that received them will greatly improve the mobility of the staff and also assist in getting to the people who need help through the parliamentary offices.

Mr Speaker, a communication strategy for parliamentary business is also being developed to further improve communication at constituency offices. It is anticipated that the communication strategy, once implemented, will help increase public awareness on the existence of constituency offices and, therefore, increase the use of the office. This will help to take Parliament closer to the people.

Mr Speaker, the visitors’/media centre to be constructed will also lead to an increase in public awareness on the proceedings at Parliament. Information is power and I would like to echo how grateful the hon. Members are for the titles that have been procured in the library. I am sure they will effectively use the service for the information needs of the hon. Members.

Mr Speaker, the construction of constituency offices has been received with a lot of happiness from the members of the communities. As reported in previous years, infrastructure development, which is critical to meeting the goal of parliamentary reforms, requires huge amounts of funds and these are, currently, unavailable, therefore, I would like to emphasise the need to have funds to make our reforms work. The constituency office should play a pivotal role in the administration of the CDF and also to help the people to understand how these funds are used. In addition, these funds should be monitored.

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

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion.

Mr Speaker, first of all I wish to state that I support the report and in doing so I wish to urge the Government to quickly look at the budgets that are given through Parliament to constituency offices. The establishment of the constituency offices is a well-thought-out idea but, on the other hand, it has created a lot of problems for hon. Members of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, 90 per cent of the people who come to interact with the hon. Members come for financial assistance such as school fees, money for coffins, expenses for burying the dead and many more. The constituency office is given very little money in terms of petty cash and so hon. Members end up dipping in their pockets to support the social problems of people in their communities. For instance, at my office, last year, we used K60 million of the CDF to pay school fees, user fees and examination fees for the orphans and vulnerable children.

Mrs Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, instead of directing this money to projects that will benefit a lot of people, we had to use this money for that purpose. The offices must be well funded, since it is only true that the job now of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services has been transferred to the offices of Members of Parliament. Very few people visit the District Community Development and Welfare officers. Instead, they come to the office of the hon. Member of Parliament to ask for social assistance. It is on this premise that I urge the Government to seriously increase the amount of money that is given to the constituency offices so that your Members of Parliament are not scared of visiting their offices when they do not have money to give the people.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, you may be aware, I do not know if I am allowed to say this, that our constituency …

Hon. Opposition Members: Say it.

Mr Kambwili: … allowance is only about K1 million …

Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Speaker: You are not allowed to say that!

Mr Kambwili: Thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Those things are said elsewhere, not on the Floor of the House.


Mr Kambwili: Through you, Mr Speaker, I urge the Government to consider increasing the constituency allowance so that your hon. Members of Parliament can help the poor people in society. 

With these few words, Mr Speaker, I support the report and thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, in supporting the Committee’s report, I wish to mention a few things that I felt were very important. Modernisation of Parliament has become a very important thing. It has made the people of Zambia know more about Parliament. Our people now know when we are debating. Our people also go to our constituency offices. It is true that the funding of constituency offices is very important.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, for example, those of us who have made our offices so popular, have people coming to our offices to use the phones to a point where we even fail to pay the bill and our phones are now disconnected. This is because we cannot pay the bill of about K3 million or K4 million. They believe that, once they go to the office of the hon. Member of Parliament, they are free to use that particular phone. Thus, we urge that there be proper funding to these offices.

Mr Speaker, a number of your hon. Members of Parliament here are scared to go to their offices for obvious reasons. You will find people waiting at the offices for the hon. Member of Parliament to come. Therefore, some Members of Parliament just go to areas far from their offices to avoid those people who wait for them at the office because they expect the hon. Member to support them materially.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: The office of the hon. Member of Parliament, which we have institutionalised now, indicates that all ministries are at constituency level. I propose that we should follow what Kenya has done. That is exactly what we require in Zambia. We started the CDF which Kenya came to copy and they went and improved it. Now, we are envying them. We have reached a stage where, because of what we are being exposed to, we are being forced to talk about things which we normally do not need to talk about. We begin to feel compelled to debate ourselves.

Mr Kasongo: What are those things?

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we do not want to have hunger creeping into our homes. It is this support we need.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we need that support so that your hon. Members of Parliament do not die easily …

Major Chizhyuka: Of failing to provide those things.

Mr Muntanga: … because of failing to provide these things.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we have our constituency officials and workers who need to travel. We were very expectant when we were told that motor cycles were going to come to our constituencies, but the pace at which they are being distributed is slow. Some of the motorcycles are still outside here. If the problem is transport, I want to offer to pick up my allocation myself ,,,


Mr Muntanga: … without having to wait for this long bureaucracy of sending the motor cycles to the constituencies.

Mr Muyanda: Shame!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, if are willing to allow anyone who has transport to get his or her allocation of motorcycles, I am ready. I have my van waiting outside.


Mr Muntanga: I need my constituency’s professional assistant to move to around my area when I am here. Such officers are supposed to go out to know whether things like this registration are being conducted properly or not. Now, we are seeing a good thing not actually reaching the offices. Therefore, we are asking humbly, through you, Sir, to assist us because we know you understand these things …


Mr Muntanga: … although we are failing to say them. We know you understand them.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we really need these things.


Mr Muntanga: We do not want to begin envying Kenyans who came to learn from us. We are not saying let us be like Kenyans, but let us be somewhere near ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: … so that our performance will be appreciated and you will be very happy to have Members of Parliament performing to the level that people want them to perform.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the other thing that I want to appeal for concerns the new offices. I am one person who goes in to see what is happening at the office. The offices you have created have chairpersons, but the people who have arranged them have put a hall for your Members of Parliament to sit in. They are calling these halls, offices. Let us do it in a better way. These chairpersons need good working places and, not one big office for all chairpersons which is more like a waiting room, though I was told this morning the big office will be partitioned. Perhaps, that will bring some decency so that people can know that the chairpersons are in these offices. 

Mr Speaker, further. since your hon. Members of Parliament spend more time here, they should have offices in Parliament so that …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: … they can also work and not merely sit in those cubicles at the motel. It is not very conducive to work from there. When you sit in those bed sitters reading, you become tempted to sleep. 

Hon. Opposition Member: Hammer!

Mr Muntanga: Therefore, we need to have offices here as it is in Botswana and, possibly, Kenya. I know they have offices there.

Mrs Musokotwane: Yes.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I do not doubt your knowledge of other parliaments that are doing extremely well looking at what you have started. Since it is you we are debating and you are the one who is starting these things, we want you to complete them in total …


Mr Muntanga: … so that you leave a legacy of having provided the support that we needed.

I thank you very much, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I support the Motion on the Floor and, in doing so, I have only two issues to comment on. The first one is the request that the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) considers the Kenyan Model of operating the CDF.

     I have no obsessions with adopting the Kenyan Model, but I think we need to study it in detail so that we see what aspects are applicable to the Zambian scenario. For example, the model of our friends is centralised. There is a board based in Nairobi that administers the CDF in Kenya. All the applications from the 210 constituencies in that country are sent to this board whereas, in our case, everything is done at the district level. So, while I am not totally against the Kenyan Model, I think we need to study it in detail and bring whatever is applicable to Zambia. Furthermore, I think the CDF in Kenya is, at least, US$800,000 per year for every constituency, which is about K4 billion. This is seven times more than what we are getting here, hence the way their system is moulded as it is. In our case, we are handling small projects worth only K600 million. On the other hand, I think our Kenyan counterparts are handling projects worth billions of Kwacha.

Secondly, I would like to comment on the construction of constituency offices. I have looked at the two options mentioned in the report. The first one is that at the current rate, which is the construction of four offices per year, it would take us thirty-eight years to complete 150 offices. I think this will not always be so because as we go on, the rate will increase and we will be able to build more offices annually. Last year, four constituency offices were constructed and this year it will be five. Maybe, next year, ten offices will be built. 

The other suggestion is that we could probably increase the CDF allocations so that we can construct all the 150 offices at once. I am not for this idea because, at the moment, the contractor is the NHA and I think it is doing a very good job. I think the rate at which the offices are being built should be determined by the work load that the NHA can handle. If we asked the NHA to, maybe, start building thirty offices annually, it would take five years to complete 150 offices. If it is sixty offices per annum, it would take two and half years to finish all the offices in the 150 constituencies. So, my main concern is that if we built so many offices at once, we would compromise the quality of the structures to be built. Imagine constructing 150 constituency offices throughout Zambia in one year. I think the quality of these offices would leave much to be desired. So, these are the issues I wanted to bring to the attention of the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, having been here for a few years, if I was asked the best thing that happened to the Zambian Parliament in the last four decades, my finger would not hesitate to point at the Parliamentary Reform Programme (PRP). I think the records have been set and legacies have been built and left and I am not, therefore, ashamed to associate myself with this programme. Allow me to say that if at all there will be one thing that Speaker Amusaa Mwanamwambwa will be remembered for in the country for centuries and all eternity, it is this programme because it is very good. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Mr Speaker, I remember that when I came here, about eight years ago, it was a custom for hon. Members of Parliament to operate from their bedrooms. However, this is now a thing of the past. I have no phobia whatsoever to visit my constituency office. Unlike some hon. Members have claimed, people in my constituency do not always ask for money from me whenever I visit them and, therefore, I am not afraid to go there. I think it all depends on how an hon. Member of Parliament relates to his or her constituents. People are very understanding.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: There is a very strong negative notion that whenever an hon. Member visits his or her constituency, even if he or she means well, people always ask for money. This is not true. People are just yearning for development and to see their hon. Member of Parliament every now and then.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: There are places I have visited where people are happy because projects are taking place in their area. So, the issue of people asking for money is, at times, perpetuated by us, hon. Members of Parliament, because we want to be hon. Members forever. 

Mr Speaker, …

Mr Hamududu: Hammer!

Mr Ngoma: … the report talks about the issue of the CDF. I want to support the proposal to adopt the Kenyan Model. Zambia is moving towards decentralisation and, therefore, training of professional administrative assistants will entail building capacity at constituency level. I read that in Kenya, officers at constituency offices are degree holders and, therefore, able to proficiently and transparently administer the CDF. So, we should change our current system of the CDF being administered at the district level. I read that my fellow hon. Member of Parliament from some constituency in the Luapula Province had complained bitterly about some council secretary withholding his signature thereby hindering development in the area. If our system is changed and the CDF is administered by constituency offices, such things would become a thing of the past. Why are we scared? 

Mr Speaker, I think we are all aware that Parliament is part of the Government. When people in constituencies see hon. Members of Parliament, they see a Government representative. When they see me, it is just as good as seeing the President or Chief Justice. All arms of Government are interconnected. I am part of the Government and, therefore, I think there is no need in delaying the institutionalisation of the CDF. It should be administered by constituency offices. If there are fears that some people have long arms, let it be known that the law will deal with them. So, we want these monies to be based at constituency offices so that development can be seen. If this happened, development would take place easily and quickly in this country. 

Mr Speaker, currently, I can safely speak on behalf of all hon. Members of Parliament and say that there is no single hon. Member of Parliament with a constituency who has done literally nothing with the CDF. Believe you me, if the amount were increased to K1 billion or K2 billion per year, issues such as the grading of feeder roads in rural areas, which are in a deplorable state, would become a thing of the past.

Mr Ntundu: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: All the roads in the country would be repaired. It would just be like a miracle happening in this country. Therefore, I do not know why we cannot be practical in moving in that direction because not until we do so, are we going to see the fruits of these reforms.

Mr Speaker, as regards parliamentary committees, I want to submit that following some visits to other countries, there is need for parliamentary committees to become effective as far as the budgetary oversight role is concerned.The Government has passed the Budget Act which we expect to give proper guidelines on the budget formulation from the bottom to the top so that hon. Members of Parliament can also participate in the formulation of the budget.

Mr Speaker, in other countries, before the budget is presented before the august House, it passes through various portfolio committees. For instance, the budget on education is scrutinised by the Committee on Education so that by the time the entire budget comes before the Floor of the House, not much time is spent on the budget as most of the debate and scrutinisation would have occurred at the committee level where a lot of amendments and discussions would have occurred. However, here, the situation is different. We have an hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning coming here with his copper platted briefcase and then he just ambushes us and expects us to just approve things. I think there is a need for us to reform and it is very import that we move in that direction.

Mr Speaker, otherwise, reforms are the best thing to have happened to this country and I have enjoyed them. Before I had an office, it was very difficult for me to operate as an hon.  Member of Parliament, but now I have information at my finger tips. While I am here, it is just like I am in Sinda everyday. 

Finally, the proposal that the constituency offices be built is very welcome. However, my heart bleeds to hear that they are talking of probably thirty-eight or twenty years for this project to be completed. Twenty years is too long a time. If they said that the programme to build constituency offices is going to take ten years, this too would be a long time for somebody who has seen the benefits of these offices to wait. I would like to suggest, probably, that it finishes in the next two years. Therefore, it would be ideal to say a portion of the CDF of probably, K200 million, will be set aside for next year with proper guidelines. 

Since there are many good constructing firms in this country, the quality of work would be good if there are proper guidelines and audits. If we can have these offices across the country, then we are going to have a proper legislature.

With those few words, Sir, may God richly bless you now and forever more.

I thank you, Sir

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! 

While the Chair is appreciative, the House must know that this is your legacy. It does not belong to any individual here.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the Chairperson and your Committee for a very good report presented to this House. Let me start by saying, I support your report.

Mr Speaker, we are all aware that there is a difference between the Executive and the Government. The Executive is the people on this side (Right) while the Government is all of us. 

Mr Speaker, I think, in this House, we have had numerous occasions where the Executive, when asked questions pertaining to our constituencies, says, “As hon. Members of Parliament, you should use your CDF to work on your roads and many other infrastructure.” I think the Executive has also noticed that hon. Members of Parliament can actually play a very critical role in the development of this country. Development in a country does not come with a team of people. It does not belong to a team of people, because the team is just an administrative wing. 

Mr Speaker, we can liken a country called Zambia to a company where you have the shareholders who are the people of Zambia who, in turn, bring in directors to work on their behalf. Therefore, development for the people of Zambia does not come with the group of people because they do not use their monies. They use national resources, which belong to the people of Zambia and are administered on behalf of Zambia for the people of Zambia. Which is the most effective way for us to take development to our people? The most effective way of taking development to our people is through the people who are nearer to our people. Involving people who are nearer to these projects will also help the Executive in monitoring their projects. This reduces leakages. 

Mr Speaker, most people have talked about the Kenyan CDF budget this year which is US$230 million, and, yet, they learnt from us only a few years ago. When they went back to their country, they discovered that when you use people that are nearer to the people, development is done at a quicker pace and there are less expenses. The Kenyans gave an example of a CDF-funded project which did cost five times less than a government centrally-funded project. This, in essence, means that if we use local resources monitored by experts, leakages will be reduced. I think my cousin, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, is looking forward to a time when he can make savings so that he can take the funds to other areas of need.

Mr Speaker, we have been talking about decentralisation, but I know that it also needs political will where you have people who do not just want power for the sake of it. All that people who have authority want is power and, instead of using that authority, they want to be seen to be powerful. No one can have more powers than the others because we were all born the same. However, the authority that we want is effective deliverance of goods and services to our masters who are the people in the constituencies.

Mr Speaker, I do not know of any hon. Member of Parliament here who can say that he has done a good job in terms of road infrastructure and many other things because he or she will be cheating him or herself. A Member of Parliament cannot construct a road, hospital or school. It is the Central Government that is supposed to bring those developments to our people. If monies are shared among constituencies, we will have development happening at a uniform scale.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: You will have a proud government if you have US$800,000 worth of projects happening in a constituency; a government which will know that now the people are able to touch our product. The people of Katuba, which is very near town, are not in touch with the Government because the roads are in a pathetic state. Come to Katuba, you will find that there is no secondary school. I cannot say that the previous hon. Members of Parliament have failed because of this, no. It is the failure by the Government to deliver services to the masses, the people on the ground.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Therefore, this is the fastest way for the Government to reach the people. It does not make the hon. Member of Parliament popular, but if the hon. Member of Parliament and the Government become popular because of taking development to the people, I would be the happiest President if I ever became one. I would be the happiest President to see that person who just has one meal a day smiles because I brought development to them. They have a smile because their children can go to school so that they work against the poverty which is giving them one meal a day. They will have a smile because if they produce, they are able to take their goods to the market on better roads. I think, we should emphasise the hon. Members of Parliament are an extension of the Government. The good governance tag will be accredited to the Government and people will say say, “Yes now, we have a Government which is thinking on behalf of the people not the hon. Members of Parliament.” What the hon. Members of Parliament want is to see that smile of hope on our people’s faces.

    When hon. Members of Parliament come here crying, they do so on behalf of the people. I can stand here, give arrogant answers and the people who look up to us will ask, “What kind of institutions or Executive do we have?”

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: The bottom line is that no hon. Member of Parliament here comes to ask a question just to ridicule the Government or to see how sharp an hon. Minister is.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Shakafuswa: They want the people to hear that the Government is concerned about their welfare. When hon. Ministers become arrogant, it does not help. So, let us bridge the gap. 

When you talk about decentralisation, in the case of Kenya, for example, they did not use the councils. In fact, in the disbursement of CDF, the biggest obstacle is the council itself. 

Mr Speaker, as hon. Members, we come up with projects and identify groups which are supposed to help. When these people go to the council, they are told there is this and that missing and they have to go back 150 km. Those people have no money in their communities and you hear people say the CDF is being disbursed. To who? As Member of Parliament, if you make a mistake of following up the CDF and start giving people money, you will be caught in a web. You are better off leaving the money to the end users to use.

Instead of the district councils assisting the people so that the projects are implemented as quickly as possible, they become a stumbling block. In the Kenyan example, there are constituency offices which have a direct link with Parliament. At Parliament, there is a committee which has been brought into effect by an Act of Parliament, not through delegated powers or a statutory instrument. Parliament in Kenya passed a law to develop the country so that the money is with the people themselves. They created an institution at Parliament which is a CDF board that meets every month to approve projects, sometimes, worth as big as K500 billion for the betterment of the people. Is this not having the Government nearer to the people? It is the Government going nearer to the people.

Mr Speaker, I know some hon. Members who are scared to be near their constituencies. What the hon. Member for Sinda talked about works well in his case. In other people’s cases, it does not work well, but I will say, I am also an example of what the hon. Member for Sinda talked about. I have a constituency office, but before I had a constituency office, I turned my house into a constituency office. Even today, you will still find people coming to my house as if it is a constituency office. The important thing is not to be scared of our people. Let us show them what the Government is and that the role of an hon. Member of Parliament and the Executive is to ensure that our people get development. Once we get close to the people, even the detractors or competitors who come will find it very difficult to penetrate. Our concern is holding on to our seats. You hold on to your seats if you are able to liaise with your people, talk to them and tell them the truth.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I think what we should emphasise here, as we modernise, is to take Parliament to the people. I know it has been very difficult for the Government to decentralise, but we can be used as tools. 

Already I have a K27 billion school project in my area. If that came through the CDF, it would be the same thing as that done under the Ministry of Education. I have clinics being constructed. For instance, I have raised K400 million for a high school in Muchenje, but I am not supervising that project. The Ministry of Education is the one supervising the project and it came up with the plans. The building officers and engineers are designing everything. 

So, taking something nearer to the people does not mean loss of power. It just shows leadership qualities. I urge the Government to review this. I know we have already started looking at the budget for next year. I will urge the Government to give power to the people because it will not lose anything by doing so. You want to cling to power so that you say, “No, it is me who did this”. We are using the Zambian people’s money to give them back what they deserve. We are not getting money from anyone’s farm, factory or company. We are using the money which belongs to our people. All that we are asking for is the way we are going to administer these funds so that our people can benefit from their money.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to put the thoughts of the people of Namwala to this debate. 

Sir, I have listened to the debate of the hon. Member for Kalomo Central and the hon. Member for Roan and I have understood that those are issues that are discussed elsewhere. I take that debate as my own.

Mr Speaker, the CDF and the efficiency of constituencies have been mentioned in this report. I have often wondered just how it is possible that a constituency, which has four wards, will also receive the same amount of CDF as that constituency which has fourteen, sixteen or seventeen wards. By the game of numbers, the hon. Member with four wards will divide the lump sum, if it is K600 million, by four and the hon. Member who has fourteen, sixteen or seventeen wards will have to divide by fourteen, sixteen or seventeen. It follows, therefore, that there is going to be more development in the constituency that has four wards because that amount of money is distributed over a small area. 

For me, I think your Committee should have been thinking seriously about an equalisation principle so that there is no need for a bigger constituency to share the smaller amount and have a small constituency share a big amount since this matter has been raised in the report. I think we should have an equalisation principle. There are big constituencies which I know. For instance, in the Southern Province, there are Siavonga, Katombola, Itezhi-tezhi and Namwala constituencies. I know of other bigger constituencies, but I am not so sure of the wards. 

Hon. Opposition Member: Mwinilunga.

Major Chizhyuka: I am told, Mwinilunga as well. So, I think this is something that we can look at more positively next time we are distributing Government resources.

Having talked about that principle, I would like to say that an inherent problem exists in the management of the constituencies in ensuring that development is delivered to our people. I do not believe in the saying that an hon. Member of Parliament cannot contribute to the construction of a road, hospital or, indeed, any project. When Hon. Hamududu and myself were meeting the late President Mwanamwasa, SC., and putting the issue of our roads in perspective in a manner, probably, that has never been done before, we were touching a raw nerve and what has happened is a result of working well, applying tactics and principles that get you to have an interface with the Government.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: You cannot insult the Government every time and hope to access development for your constituency. Ultimately, you will not get re-elected. You need to create a meeting point with the Government. You need to create rapport with the Government in order for you to seek development support for your constituency.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Hon. Hamududu is in the House today and can testify to these principles of working well with the Government in order to get what one wants for his or her people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, allow me to talk about the issue of scarcity of resources. To take thirty-eight years to build constituency offices in all the 150 constituencies means that there is an inherent problem in the allocation of our scarce resources to many Government projects.

Mr Speaker, I come from a military background and we are taught that if you want to push through a certain objective, you always have several options before you. However, the least option to be taken is the widening of your frontage when you have scarce resources because you become too thin and can only concentrate less. Thus, you will not be able to win a single battle.

Now, what am I saying? With 150 constituencies, we are bound to take thirty-eight years to build constituency offices. What will happen when we have 300 constituencies? Are we sure that the Zambian resources can afford to deliver that huge preponderant number of  offices to hon. Members of Parliament. Three hundred!


Hon. Member: Its 280.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, 280 and 300 are just about the same.


Major Chizhyuka: The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning would then have to bother himself with 300 constituencies. To start with, he does not even know how the walls of this beautifully built structure will be broken down to adjust its size. Are we sure that we will deliver development to Mwinilunga, Chinyamalitapi in Zambezi and Milomboi by introducing another hon. Member of Parliament, who will have less resources at his or her disposal? Is that the way to go?

Mr Speaker, we need to be prudent in the manner that we manage our resources. It is important that we find ways of harnessing the existing resources. Parliamentary constituencies now have offices that are manned by staff from the National Assembly who can draw graphs on how efficiency can be achieved. We can discover various formulae which we can use to ensure that even a constituency as far and as big as Siavonga can receive development aid without necessarily having to introduce another hon. Member. 

Sir, the efficiency of hon. Members of Parliament can go a long way in helping us to utilise the scarce resources from taxpayers in a manner that will make us manage our constituencies well. 

Mr Speaker, let us not extend the frontage because if we do, we will not win a single battle. Let us concentrate on the existing frontage and make the troops, who are the hon. Members of Parliament, become more efficient in reaching their constituencies.

Mr Speaker, a little while ago, I asked the hon. Member for Mwinilunga, how much he spends on fuel to get to Mwinilunga East and back to Lusaka. He said that he spends a minimum of K3 million. Now, let us ask ourselves a question. How many times will the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga East travel to his constituency on that budget to settle different problems that occur at different times? If the hon. Member can manage to make thirty trips in a year, then he is either a genius or has some ways of dealing with things without necessarily using the usual arrangement.

Mr Chazangwe: Unless he is a thief.

Major Chizhyuka: Nonetheless, it is possible that the system can make the hon. Member more efficient in order for him to deliver development. The solution is not to bring another hon. Member of Parliament in Mwinilunga East.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Exactly, but you do not want to say those things.


Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, this is my contribution and the humble voice of Namwala.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to add the word of the people of Mazabuka regarding the Second Report of the Parliamentary Reforms and Modernisation Committee.

 I would like to begin by reminding all of us that this is where the representatives of the public assemble from the different corners of this country with different political and economic agendas. This is because our constituencies are not the same.

Mr Speaker, in agreeing with the report, I would like to indicate that the reformation and modernisation of Parliament is also embedded in the current political dispensation of multipartism. We changed the law in 1991 to provide for multiparty politics. It is absolutely unnecessary for me to interact with the Executive in a way which makes me appear as if I am begging for development for my constituency. We need to be cordial to one another.

 Regarding the CDF, I support the Kenyan Model save for the fact that it also has bureaucracies such as the establishment of a national board that has to look at each and every project that is proposed for development in the 210 constituencies. 

Mr Speaker, the difference is that whereas in Kenya US$230 million is budgeted for the CDF, we only have a paltry K600 million. In Kenya, the hon. Members of Parliament are able to undertake capital projects. For instance, because of the rapid development of infrastructure in Kenya, as a result of the size of the CDF in that country, they have more classroom space than they have teachers. That is a fact. 

Mr Speaker, they have done very well because they are left with the lesser burden of training teachers which only takes two years at diploma level. 

Mr Speaker, in this country, we have to grapple with this K600 million to come up with a bit of money to make a slab for a school this year, then develop this same school to window level in the second year and wait for window panes in the third year. By the time we finish a 1 x 3 classroom block, five years would have passed. We are now back to a test because of the forthcoming elections. As things are at the moment, it is very difficult for people to actually see what meaningful development has come to their constituency.

In our situation, the CDF is approved by a full council after it has gone through the district development co-ordinating committee (DDCC) which receives applications from various sections in the particular constituency. This is the reason we have found ourselves financing chicken-rearing projects in most of our constituencies. I do not do that in my constituency, but I have seen that many hon. Members have been financing women’s clubs to engage in that venture. This was talked about earlier by one hon. Member of Parliament when he spoke about the hon. Member of Parliament’s office taking over the role of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. In future, our children will laugh at us because we duplicate small projects within our constituencies.

Mr Speaker, probably, through these reforms and modernisation, we should pass a law that will enable all the non-governmental organisations (NGOs), that operate in this country, to feed into the hon. Member of Parliament’s office so that they do not build a clinic at a particular place without the hon. Member of Parliament’s notice. Many times, we have found a situation where different clinics are being constructed within a radius of, maybe, 1 or 2 - kilometres. Plan International may be building a clinic in an area and the CDF may also be struggling to build another clinic in the same area. When you want to combine forces, Plan International will say that its funds are exclusively used for the work of the organisation. It does not want its funds to be mixed with our small trickles of money because it wants to finish their project quickly. Most of these NGOs that have come to help our people do not have proper channels of communication not only with the hon. Member of Parliament, but also with the Central Government. 

Mr Speaker, that said, I would like us to also find ways of how we can harmonise the relationships between all the players beginning with the Central Government, local government, donors and private institutions. The hon. Member of Parliament must be given the power to control the CDF. In our Zambian case, normally, as an hon. Member of Parliament, I can go to the Zambia Sugar Plc and say, “Gentlemen, I would like you to help me reconstruct a Government road,” and they would agree. I will tell them that I will find a paltry amount of money from the CDF, about K20 million, to buy diesel for the equipment which we will use to clear the land.  However, this is not the case with many constituencies in this country. It is a bonus for me who has an investor who can co-operate and allow us to use their equipment. They just tell us to put diesel in their equipment. Now, that is an innovation of  an hon. Member of Parliament. It does not exist in many hon. Members of Parliament’s constituencies especially those who are in the rural areas. 

Mr Speaker, in future, should the hon. Minister of Finance and National Development and the Executive decide to increase the CDF, the hon. Member of Parliament must be given a rope long enough to hang himself so that he or she can be the driver of the economic development in his or her constituency. The hon. Member of Parliament can be answerable because he is chosen from among many people and is entrusted with their confidence to drive these processes. The hon. Members of Parliament must be allowed to drive these processes and accept responsibility for mistakes made. They must be given credit for whatever they do which is beneficial to the people they represent.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, the Reforms and Modernisation Committee requires to look at the well-being of hon. Members of Parliament in terms of health. I have always been an advocate of good living practices, save for a few times when I go to have a beer or two. There must be a deliberate plan for Parliament to provide a health and fitness facility.

Sir, without seeming to flatter you, you are lean, but look at me. I am young, but with a pot-belly. You try and find it within yourself to guide the Committee further to establish a well-furnished gymnasium for people to go and shed off some undesired calories. If we cannot do that, momentarily, Mr Speaker, please consider a plan for all hon. Members, in here, to be affiliated to one of the social clubs within their reach so that you can promote good health among your hon. Members of Parliament. 

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I want to thank you, most sincerely.

Mr Beene: Hear, hear!

The Minister for Southern Province (Mr Munkombwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to comment on this report. 

Sir, it is true that you have made efforts to reform this Parliament, but while we are so anxious about this reformation, I think we should also be reforming our attitudes towards each other. Reforms can be meaningless if I, as a representative of my constituents, do not co-operate with the people I work with. The best period of my political career was when I spent ten years in the Back Bench. I debated so lively that I was a darling of the Government at that time. The best thing that those in the Opposition can do is to debate in a manner that is not resented by those in the Government. 

During my ten years in the Back Bench, I was a darling of the Government and that is why I was able to influence General Chinkuli to send the second biggest maize shed in the country to Choma. I was also able to find land from the council and then influenced the late Remmy Chisupa to construct the best milling company in Choma. I achieved all this because I was a darling of the Government. 

Mr Speaker, there are talks about increasing the number of hon. Members of Parliament to 200 or more. While I agree with that suggestion, I still think it is not the answer to the problems we are facing today. The answer in the reforms is to improve the way in which hon. Members of Parliament get to places such as Mwinilunga East, Mwinilunga West …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: … or Kalabo. You can have ten hon. Members of Parliament going to Kalabo, but they will go there once or twice in a year because it is expensive to travel there. You will merely be multiplying the problems. 

Hon. Opposition Members: The problems

Mr Munkombwe: I agree with the analysis that was made by Major Chizhyuka. We have financial problems in this country. If you went to Kenya and saw what those people are doing, without considering our financial constraints, you would recommend that we adopt their style.

Mr Speaker, in my long political career, I was privileged to have attended the Canadian House when Joe Clark was Prime Minister and when the man who called himself, “politics of my own” Pierre Trudeau, was there. Upon entering that Parliament, you would see how well the hon. Members of Parliament talked about their reforms. This system of shadowboxing with everybody is not right. We want something we can emulate. Even if it comes from a man who belongs to the other side (left), there should be something to learn even when you are in the Government. I do not want to embarrass a few people. When Hon. Muntanga is speaking about agriculture and his cattle, I get some words and adopt them in my vocabulary. That is what is needed. Nobody should be regarded as an enemy in this House. When he who insults me makes a request, I will close my eyes. 


Mr Munkombwe: Why should one be in power? Politics is power because you belong to a political party, particularly, that political party that is in the Government. You can pick up a phone and speak to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. That is what a hon. Member of Parliament must strive for. You should be able to speak to the President because you have political power, which an ordinary councillor does not have. In this House, you have an immunity which cannot be abused. I am in politics because of power. You are not in politics just to shout at people. You are in politics because you want power. When people ask me why I am sticking to politics, I should be able to tell them that I want power.


Mr Munkombwe: There is nothing else. I can speak to His Honour the Vice-President and he will know that a man who is likable is speaking to him and he will pay attention.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: Mr Speaker, we are a special group of people in this House and we mimic outsiders. I want to plead with you. We are a like co-operative in this House. Whether we are on this bench or that bench, we must love each other … 

Mr Sichilima: Tell them!

Mr Munkombwe: …and speak in a manner which is attractive. When you are outside, yes, you can do otherwise because you want those fanatical leaders of yours to have confidence in you, but not in here.


Mr Munkombwe: Mr Speaker, I like your guidance because you are a lovable Speaker. You are a Speaker of substance. You have brought discipline in this House. Let me say that, really, the country’s will is to go through with these reforms. However, I would rather avoid the numerical increase of the constituencies to maybe, 200 because it will increase our costs. Yes, we have wider constituencies which may not be reachable, but if you have resources, a better vehicle and better allowances, why can you not access these areas? I am speaking to the report. I am not speaking because I do not know the Government’s reaction.


Mr Munkombwe: I am speaking to the report. I want to take comfort and find refuge by repeating what Hon. Muntanga, Hon. Chizhyuka and Hon. Shakafuswa have said. I think they made useful contributions. Therefore, let us reform our hearts and our language so that we are not uncouth in our debates.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Chipungu): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this rare opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. I want to beg that I speak as a beneficiary of a parliamentary office in Rufunsa Constituency. 

Sir, let me begin by thanking the Chairperson of the Committee and the entire staff for the job well done. From the onset, I am supporting the report. Let me go further to thank this Government and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for releasing the funds to complete the parliamentary office in my constituency. We have been informed by the Chairperson that, besides the office in my constituency, there are three other offices that have been constructed. This, indeed, is commendable. 

Sir, the office in my constituency was completed in good time and is now operational. It was officially opened by the Hon. Mr Speaker and, for the first time, Rufunsa Constituency played host to hon. Mr Speaker, members of staff from the National Assembly of Zambia, headed by the able Clerk of the National Assembly, and a number of hon. Members of Parliament, mainly those from the Committee. The people in Rufunsa had never seen that kind of occasion before and they really appreciated what happened on that particular day.

Mr Speaker, the parliamentary office is well equipped. It is already connected to the solar system. In fact, when you are inside that office, you will think that you are in Lusaka. It is only when you are outside that you are able to tell that you are, after all, in Rufunsa, a rural setting for that matter.

Mr Speaker, this office has certainly improved the service delivery in my constituency. More people visit the office for various reasons. Some of them just to come to admire the office and, obviously, see me and assure me that, “Come 2011, Hon. Chipungu, you are coming back.”

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, all I can assure you is that the people of Rufunsa Constituency will guard this property jealously and, certainly, put it to good use. Obviously, the Chairperson has indicated that if we go by this rate, it will take us almost thirty-eight years to complete the offices. 

Mr Speaker, my suggestion to hon. Members of Parliament is that they should consider using the CDF to construct these offices. The construction of a constituency office would only cost about K300 million. Therefore, the K600 million given as CDF can be utilised to construct these offices. I am sure that if we went that route, these offices would be completed in good time and enable hon. Members to be voted back into this honourable House.

Mr Speaker, the NHA is ready to complete the remaining 146 constituency offices if money is available.

Sir, with these few remarks, I beg to move.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to say a few remarks on the report that has been presented before the House. 

From the outset, I would like to join the others in expressing gratitude for the reforms which you have led in the past couple of years. We commend you for this effort and we also commend ourselves, as hon. Members of Parliament, for embracing these reforms and moving forward. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to echo Hon. Munkombwe words who said that we should not see the reform process by way of new buildings or new gadgets at Parliament. A very important part of these reforms should be our minds so that, at all times, we are more responsive to the needs of the people of Zambia. It is not just enough to have infrastructure and gadgets. Our way of thinking must also transform. 

Mr Speaker, when I look at present day Zambia, the issue of reform has become paramount. Sometimes, I look back and reflect on the economy in the 1980s when we queued for cooking oil, bread and foreign exchange. All this has ended and many other positive things have come up because of the willingness to undertake reform. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Reform means change. We must examine ourselves and be able to tell what is right and what is wrong. There must be courage to address the wrongs and make corrections. 

Hon. MMD Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Reform must be part and parcel of our everyday lives. 

Mr Speaker, I worry, sometimes, that in our society the courage and willingness to reform seems to be declining. For instance, when a public company is going under and, as a Government, we want to do something about it so that jobs can be saved, people go up in arms and refuse reform. Any society that refuses to adopt reforms is bound to perish. Social development, existence of human beings as well as wildlife is all based on reform. Those who do not reform, even wild animals, are bound to perish. Therefore, reforms must be on our lips everyday. 

As we travel, many of us have seen how people have made changes in their lives. We must always emulate what is good and positive. Sir, I would like to commend you for leading us through this reform process and I hope that, in the years to come, reform will continue to be part of the life of this Parliament. 

Mr Speaker, I would also like to say a few words about the CDF. This is something that has been very positive to this Parliament and country. Over the years, the Treasury has been increasing the amount of CDF to be availed to constituencies. As the resources continue to increase, the CDF will also continue to increase because this is what the hon. Members of Parliament and society want. 

However, I must caution the people who have taken the simplistic view that with the CDF, all problems of development will be solved. I was listening to the debates and most people were saying that with the CDF, most of the roads and hospitals would be worked on. I think that we need to be very careful. We must put things into perspective. The most important thing is that we deliver water and sanitation, roads and health services to society. The instruments that we use to deliver these services can vary from time to time. 

Mr Speaker, we have certainly heard that Kenya is making progress with the use of the CDF. We cannot deny and say that we have not benefited from the CDF as well. We have benefited. However, the point I would like to emphasise is that we should not mislead ourselves into thinking that if we adopt the Kenyan model, we will make faster progress. If that was the case, we would then conclude that, in Kenya, they have sorted out more problems than we have when, in fact, they have not. Non-delivery of education, health, water and sanitation acquaint us with the fact that Kenya has not done better than us in all respects. Let us not mislead ourselves into thinking that all the problems will be solved by the CDF. 

Mr Speaker, the most important thing about development is the generation of resources. We need to generate resources. When we generate resources, the ability of the Treasury to fund development, whether through the CDF or other mechanisms like councils or decentralisation, will increase. 

Mr Speaker, we were told that the amount of the CDF that has been available to our Kenyan counterparts is US$800,000. This is a good thing and I hope that we can get there as soon as possible. However, the other important prerequisite is that the Kenyan economy is much bigger than ours. Therefore, its ability to generate these resources and give them out is bigger. This means that, as a country, we have to focus a lot on taking actions to generate these resources. 

     I get surprised that some people oppose the Government when it decides to privatise a certain parastatal for losing money and subtracting from the Treasury instead of delivering taxes. Therefore, when the Government takes those critical steps to end the problem so that it can generate taxes, …

Hon. Opposition Member: Like ZAMTEL!

 Dr Musokotwane: … some colleagues reject the initiative. What do they want? Do they want more CDF or less? Therefore, my advice is that when the Government takes positive steps to increases the cake, let us not indulge in cheap politics and say the Government is corrupt and this and that. We are just doing the thing that is correct for the country of Zambia and for your own constituencies.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I want to welcome this report, but the main message that I want to deliver this evening is that having resources is not just about wishing to have more resources, but taking practical steps to encourage investment to come to this country. Therefore, to start pointing fingers and say I do not want a Chinese and that one when they actually bring investment and taxes to the country is shooting ourselves in the feet.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, for me, my portion remains to thank the ten hon. Members who have debated this afternoon and, also, to thank those who did not have the opportunity to debate, but are in support of this report.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1808 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 21st April, 2010.