Debates- Thursday, 8th July, 2010

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Thursday, 8th July, 2010

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have authorised the holding of a sensitisation talk for hon. Members of Parliament and members of staff on the need to know their HIV status and how to take care of themselves. This is in commemoration of the Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) Day, which fell on Wednesday, 30th June, 2010. The theme for this year’s VCT Day is “Go for VCT to Access Treatment, Care and Support”.

The talk will be conducted by the National Assembly HIV/AIDS Workplace Committee in conjunction with the Society for Family Health, on Friday, 9th July, 2010, in the Auditorium, here at the Parliament Buildings, at 1430 hours. 

Although attendance is voluntary, I urge all hon. Members to set aside time for this important programme.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to address this august House on the status of Maamba Collieries Limited. 

The mining company, as you are all aware, was a parastatal that has now been privatised. My address, therefore, will highlight the current status of the operations of the company and the proposed construction of a thermal power plant.

Mr Speaker, may I remind the House that on 25th March, 2010, I gave an update on the status of the Maamba Coal Mine operations. In that statement, I informed the House that negotiations were concluded on 18th December, 2009 when the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines – Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) and Nava Bharat Pty Limited (NBS) of Singapore signed a share sale and purchase agreement. Nava Bharat Pty Limited acquired a 65 per cent equity stake in Maamba Collieries Limited while the remaining 35 per cent is held by ZCCM-IH Plc.

Mr Speaker, the total cash consideration for the sale of Maamba Collieries Limited was US$87 million. However, the liabilities for the company stood at US$98 million dollars. These liabilities included arrears to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), Scirocco Mining Limited, suppliers, contractors, environmental liabilities and workers’ dues. 

The acquisition and transfer of management control to Nava Bharat Pty Limited has been completed and a new board has been appointed. The board consists of a total of five members. Three are from Nava Bharat Pty Limited, one is from ZCCM-IH and the other is from the Government. One of the three Nava Bharat Pty Limited board members is a Zambian.

The 65 per cent shareholding by Nava Bharat Pty Limited includes some minor shareholding by a Zambian consortium.

Mr Speaker, currently, Maamba Collieries Limited is in the process of discharging its liabilities that have been on the balance sheet for a long time. The company paid four months’ salary arrears to 598 employees, amounting to K5 billion and is up to date with salary payments. Outstanding dues to forty-four retirees are being ascertained and paid off. 

The company will also pay off any other outstanding dues to trade creditors who are clearly and accurately being ascertained by independent consultants. I am happy to inform the House that from a total of fifty-seven creditors with outstanding liabilities amounting to US$4.4 million, thirty-six creditors have been paid the sum of US$474,061. The company is currently verifying its liabilities for twenty-one creditors with outstanding liabilities amounting to US$3.9 million. The most significant creditor is Scirocco Mining Limited who were contractor miners with an outstanding amount of US$2.6 million.

However, this matter is in the courts of law. Scirocco Mining Limited were not being paid promptly for the mining, processing and haulage of coal to Batoka as per the contract agreement. The amount being owed by the Maamba Collieries Limited accrued to US$2.6 million. This led to the termination of the contract by the contractor who later sued the company for non-payment.

Mr Speaker, currently, Maamba Collieries Limited is rehabilitating the main road leading to the mine and other support infrastructure such as refurbishment of offices. It is expected that these works will be completed by the end of July, 2010.

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that the company has already come up with a short to medium-term plan for mine development. Maamba Collieries Limited is expected to start production by mid October, 2010. The total reserves are 78.2 million tonnes of coal out of which 60.2 million tonnes is proven and 18 million tonnes is probable. The lifespan of the mine is more than seventy years at a projected rate of production of 1 million tonnes of run of mine coal per annum.

The company will procure and install one coal processing plant module of fifty tonnes per hour capacity and another of 150 to 200 tonnes per hour. The smaller module will be commissioned by mid October, 2010, in time for the scheduled coal production. The larger module will be completed by mid 2011. The total investment for the coal processing plant will be US$12 million. 

Maamba Collieries Limited intends to refurbish the rope way and this will be completed by mid October this year. It is envisaged that this will bring the rope way to its original design capacity of 272 tonnes per hour. The rope way is important because it serves as a link to the railway line at Batoka. In addition, the road infrastructure between Maamba and Batoka cannot accommodate a large number of coal road haulage trucks. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that Maamba Collieries Limited will construct a 270 megawatt thermal power plant in Maamba at an estimated cost of US$420 million. The thermal power plant project is expected to be commissioned by the year 2014. Nava Bharat Pty Limited is currently negotiating for a power purchase agreement with Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO). 

Currently, the company is undergoing rehabilitation in readiness for the resumption of operations. Recapitalisation of the mine is estimated at US$93 million. Once operational, Maamba Collieries Limited will produce 360,000 tonnes of run of mine coal in 2011 and revamp production to one million tonnes at peak production for both the market and the thermal power plant.

Maamba Collieries Limited will, at full production, employ a total of 750 employees from the current labour force of 598. The 750 employees will include 300 employees for the thermal power plant. All the employees have been taken on and there are no retrenchments. However, the managing director, who was on secondment from the ZCCM-IH, has since been recalled. 

Mr Speaker, Maamba Collieries Limited will continue with the following corporate social responsibility programmes:

(i)    township roads rehabilitation;

(ii)    mine pre-school and basic school;

(iii)    mine clinic;

(iv)    provision of clean drinking water;

(v)    provision of drugs to Maamba Hospital;

(vi)    ambulance service to the community; and

(vii)    sport facilities.

The company intends to expand the above programmes to its surrounding communities. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to state that this Government of President Rupiah Bwezani Banda will continue to support and ensure that this key company in the mining sector remains viable.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that the liabilities of the company were US$98 million and that the company had been sold for US$87 million. What was the true value of Maamba Collieries Limited for it to have been sold at a much lower amount than the value of its liabilities?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that Maamba Collieries Limited was limping for a very long time. Therefore, we ought to understand that there is no mining equipment. The assets we are talking about are the mineral resource that was available and infrastructure such as buildings. In terms of capital equipment, Maamba Collieries Limited was limping for a very long time.

Mr Speaker, as I have indicated in my ministerial statement, the liabilities such as payments that were due to the ZRA, NAPSA, suppliers and contractors were outstanding for a very long time. Apart from this, there were environmental considerations and forty-four retired employees.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota, SC. (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, with regard to the thermal power plant that will be commissioned, will excess power to supply to the surrounding communities be generated? How long will this situation be envisaged since we assume there will be expansion of Maamba Collieries Limited and its needs? For how long will that capacity be sufficient?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, as I indicated in my statement, the thermal power plant will be able to generate 270 megawatts. The hon. Member may also wish to know that ZESCO has a very wide distribution network. That is why the company is negotiating with it to see to it that ZESCO starts buying its power and makes it part of the national grid.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, were the trade creditors and contractors, who are yet to be paid by Maamba Collieries Limited, covered in the scheme of arrangement that was in place between 2008 and 2009?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. Member that there is nothing like double payment to creditors. As I have said, some of these creditors are Government or quasi-Government institutions. This is why they were not covered in that scheme of arrangement. These creditors are ZRA, NAPSA and the last contract miner who was at site.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned social responsibility in the statement. Is it mandatory for the new owners of Maamba Collieries Limited to espouse social responsibility? Is this stipulated in the agreement?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I would like to appeal to my brother that the company is engaged in the coal business and, in line with the modern trends, corporate social responsibility activities are voluntary. This is, basically, to provide service to the communities in which it operates.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for this statement. What mechanism has he put in place to ensure that what he has told this House will be implemented as we go along?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I would like to reassure this House that Maamba Collieries Limited is so dear to this Government that we are actively monitoring whatever is taking place there. 

Mr Speaker, Cabinet has agreed that the principle of use it or lose it will be activated. If we notice that Maamba Collieries Limited is not producing coal, as per programme, I assure the hon. Member that the Government will not hesitate to take serious action.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what measures the Government has taken to prevent the new investors from polluting Kanzinze River and the Kariba Dam that are the only sources of water for the people of the valley who were displaced from the banks of the Zambezi River.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I am sure the hon. Member would like to see that the operations taking place in his constituency are environmental friendly. I, therefore, would like to assure him that the Government has institutions such as the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) and the Mines Safety Department that will be monitoring the operations closely to see to it that pollution does not take place.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, according to the hon. Minister’s statement, Maamba Collieries Limited will hold two businesses by providing coal for the power station and other uses. What is the estimated lifespan of the mine?

Mr Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member did not listen because that question was answered. The hon. Minister said the lifespan of the mine is more than seventy years. Do you need to hear more?


Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister on this encouraging statement presented to the House.

I would like to know what attempts the Government is making to bring investors such as this one to the potential mines that are in the Luapula Province.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, verily, the ministerial statement was on Maamba Collieries Limited, but the hon. Member has cleverly put his question across. 

Mr Speaker, this Government is aware that the restricting factor in the development of mines in the Luapula Province, where there are vast manganese and copper resources, is power. This is why the Ministry of Energy and Water Development is seriously working to see to it that the power levels are increased to sustain mine development even in the Luapula Province.

I thank you, Sir.



488. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    whether the Government would consider abolishing the Police Public Complaints Authority;

(b)    what the establishment of the Police Public Complaints Authority was;

(c)    how many cases the Police Public Complaints Authority handled and concluded from 2001 to date.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Taima): Mr Speaker, the Government has no plans to consider abolishing the Police Public Complaints Authority (PPCA). The authority was established for purposes of checks and balances in the Zambia Police Force as a way of ensuring that police officers do not abuse their powers, but work within the confines of the law to promote good governance. Many other institutions such as the Permanent Human Rights Commission (PHRC), the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Judicial Complaints Authority (JCA) have been established as a result of Zambia practising good governance.

Mr Speaker, the PPCA has a board comprising five part-time members and one full-time secretary who is the administrator of the office. However, five support staff have been attached from within the ministry to the institution in the following positions:

    Position    Number

    Data Entry Clerk    1
Registry Clerk    1

    Typist    1

    Driver                1

    Hygiene Technician    1

    Total     5

The authority received 2,946 complaints, heard 953 and concluded 414 cases tabulated as follows:

Year    Complaints    Complaints    Complaints
    Received    Handled    Concluded

2003    369    117     90
2004    417    166     43
2005    380     49       8
2006    267    130      44
2007    250    120      40
2008    213      98      44
2009    289    205     88
2010    761     68     57
    Total    2,946    953    414

As for 2001, the authority was not yet established. The authority was operationalised by appointing members of the board and a secretary in 2002, but only acquired offices in 2003.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, I salute the hon. Deputy Minister for his elaborate answer. However, I would like to learn from him why the PPCA has lamentably failed to visit the countryside when it receives funding, annually, from the Government.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, from the outset, I admit that the PPCA had challenges in its initial stages but, over the years, it has settled and its operations have begun to improve. Therefore, I assure hon. Members that things will be different and I hasten to say that there is already a marked difference.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the ministry will consider creating offices for the PPCA at provincial or district centres so that they are more accessible.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, the current position is that the PPCA is operating with seconded staff. However, we have since moved a step further by proposing an establishment which we are going to implement very soon. 

On whether the PPCA should be decentralised further, that is a matter that will be considered in due course.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, out of that huge number of complaints, I would like to find out how many officers have been prosecuted.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, the cases concluded include those that have been successfully prosecuted. We said that, over the years, 414 cases had been concluded. Obviously, these include cases successfully prosecuted.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Kotombola): Mr Speaker, there are more cases that have not been concluded than those concluded. What is the ministry doing to speed up the conclusion of cases so that each year begins on a fresh note instead of piling up cases from one year to another?

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member had listened attentively, she could have noticed that the statistics show that, towards the end of the years under review, there was much progress regarding the number of cases that were handled. Clearly, this shows that in 2010 up to the period of reporting, seventy-six complaints were received. We looked at close to 200 cases. This means that we are not only dealing with current cases, but also the backlog.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.{mospagebreak}

Mr Speaker: Let me guide the House here. Sub questions (b) and (c) of Question 488 are proper in terms of the oversight functions of the House. Sub-question (a) is problematic for the House to deal with because the PPCA was a creation of this House through an Act of Parliament. The problem of calling for its abolition – please, I use the word ‘abolition’ not the new word I hear ‘abolishment’ – is, in fact, a vote of no confidence in what this House does in legislating. Of course, hon. Members are free to question the Executive, but this particular one is problematic. The hon. Members have to think twice before calling on the abolition of their own creations and civil legislation in this House.

Next Question. Hon. Member for Kanchibiya.

Hon. Members: He is not in the House.

Mr Speaker: Question 489 has lapsed and this was a very useful question for the people of his constituency and others.


490. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing how much land was available in Lusaka for the following:

(i)    residential houses;

(ii)    sports and recreation facilities; and

(iii)     cemeteries.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Muteteka): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform this august House that, currently, there is no land earmarked for large-scale residential development in the city of Lusaka. At the moment, it is difficult to indicate how much land is available for residential housing development because most of the land in Lusaka Province is either held on title or is in customary hands.

Lusaka already has several sporting and recreation facilities in the form of play parks, open spaces and stadia. The Government has also recently established the Olympic Youth and Child Development Centre (OYCDC) near the Independence Stadium. It is important to mention that the recently concluded comprehensive development plan for Lusaka has also provided for the development of green areas in a number of places.

Mr Speaker, Lusaka does not have land for putting up cemeteries. The two burial sites, that is, the Leopards Hill and Chingwere cemeteries are almost full. Currently, the council is trying to get land for use as burial sites from neighbouring councils to ease pressure on the two burial sites. It is worth mentioning that there are two private burial sites, that is, the Mutumbi Cemetery and Leopards Hill Memorial Site that have assisted in easing pressure on the two burial sites operated by the Lusaka City Council.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister whether the ministry has plans to repossess some land on title.

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, is it in order for the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to come with a suitcase kind of bag in the House?


Mr Muntanga: Is it in order for him to come in the house with a bag …

Hon. Opposition Members: With contents.

Mr Muntanga: … whose contents we are not sure of?


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kalomo Central, as usual, is very observant …


Mr Speaker: … about what people bring in here and what hon. Members wear. The Chair is much obliged to his power of observation. 

The ruling is that, as you will note in your Standing Orders, the male gender of the House are not allowed to bring in briefcases, suitcases, …


Mr Speaker: … wear hats and carry trunks …


Mr Speaker: … and such containers will normally be deposited, …


A messenger walked over to Mr Lungu’s seat.

Mr Speaker: … as I see is about to happen now.

The messenger took away Mr Lungu’s bag.


Mr Speaker: For the reasons based on the decision, this ruling does not apply to the female gender of the hon. Members of Parliament. This was your decision, not mine.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Of course, they will not bring trunks in here.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Mfuwe was about to ask his supplementary question.

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the Government had any plans to negotiate with people with land which is on title so that they can, maybe, get it and put it to good use. Are there plans for the Government to negotiate with land owners?

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, to be specific, the Government has always managed land through the Ministry of Lands. Issues concerning possession of land fall under an Act of Parliament and the ministry is responsible for that. However, I would like to mention that negotiations on this matter between the councils and the Government have been going on for some time. Some traditional leaders have been approached to secure some land in order to create space to bury our departed loved ones to rest in peace. This is an on-going programme, which the Government is seeing through, to ensure that a beautiful and decent burial site is found. Therefore, that question will be attended to by the Government because it is equally concerned.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, the answer given by the hon. Deputy Minister simply confirms that there is total confusion going on in Lusaka. We have seen mosques being constructed in residential areas. When will the ministry let the Lusaka City Council (LCC) be an agent, since they are the planners, so that this confusion is avoided?

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, under the Town and Country Planning Act, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is still in charge. It is still in charge of the exercise to ensure that no unplanned settlement is put up. Concerning the hon. Member of Parliament’s observation regarding the building of mosques in residential areas, I would like to mention that the City and Town Planning Unit has always done its best to ensure that buildings are only constructed in planned settlements. However, the message is very clear and we have taken note of the concerns of the hon. Member of Parliament. I hope the hon. Member can find time to discuss this issue with the City and Town Planning Unit in order to put things right where we may have gone wrong. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has just confirmed that Lusaka does not have enough land. That being the case, would it not be wise for the Government of the Republic of Zambia to review the boundaries of Lusaka and Chibombo districts so that, if deemed fit, in due course, part of Chibombo District can be forfeited to Lusaka?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, the Government is considering all the options that are possible. One of the options that we are considering is what the hon. Member of Parliament has just suggested. There are also other avenues that we are trying to use in order to look at the possible expansion of Lusaka City. We know the number of challenges that Lusaka City is facing in as far as boundaries are concerned. We are studying these issues and, at an appropriate time, appropriate action will be taken.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, what is the ministry doing to help councils get customary land from chiefs because they have been negotiating with the chiefs for years now, but to no avail? 

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, the Government has continued to encourage the councils to liaise and negotiate with the traditional leaders. Some of our traditional leaders have been able to release some portions of land so that township boundaries increase in size. In some cases, we are aware that there has been slight resistance. However, we are doing our best to ensure that we talk to the traditional leaders so that they can release some portions of land to the councils. Some of the traditional leaders have been raising concerns that, after releasing these potions of land, they do not see development. It is such issues that we have to address as we liaise with them.

I thank you, Sir.


491. Mrs Musokotwane asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    how many Zambian doctors worked in countries abroad from 2007 to date;

(b)    which countries the doctors relocated to;

(c)    how many foreign doctors were employed by the ministry in the same period; and

(d)    which countries the foreign doctors came from.

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, there were thirty-five Zambian medical doctors who were working in countries abroad from 2007 to date. These are as follows:

Country    Number

South Africa    14

United Kingdom    12

Zimbabwe    01

Australia    03

Tanzania    03

United States of America    01

Belgium    01

Total    35

Mr Speaker, we have, to date, 400 foreign doctors working in Government facilities. However, eighty-five doctors were recruited in the period under review. The foreign doctors employed in Zambia, in the period under review, are from the following countries:

Country    Number

Democratic Republic of the Congo    51

Ukraine    17

United Kingdom    02

Bangladesh    01

Burundi    01

China    03

Egypt    01

Holland    01

India    04

Sri-lanka    01

Nigeria    01

Uzbekistan    01

Zimbabwe    01

Total    85

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Lumba (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, I am worried about the figure of thirty-five the hon. Minister of Health gave as being the Zambian doctors who left the country during the period under review. I would like to know how he has arrived at that figure and what his source of information is.


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, to start with, I am the hon. Minister of Health. I have this information at my ministry. This question is simply asking how many Zambian medical doctors left the country from 2007 and not from 1964.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, we are all aware that most of our medical staff, including doctors, leave this country for greener pastures. Through you, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if there is a difference between the conditions of service for the doctors who are brought into the country and the local doctors. If there is, is the Government thinking of giving the local doctors the same conditions as the foreign doctors?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the decision of where one works is up to an individual. The people who have come to work in Zambia are happy with the conditions that Zambia gives. Taking advantage of this question, I would like to clear the notion that these are expatriates. They are not. These are doctors who are willing to work on local contract conditions. This means that even Zambians who opt to work on contract are given the same conditions of service. There is no difference.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.  

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, may the hon. Minister clarify his answer to part (a) of the question which seeks to find out how many Zambian doctors worked in countries abroad from 2007 to date. Is he sure it is only thirty-seven? 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, this is the second time you are being asked this question. You may answer. 

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, this question is only focusing on the period 2007 to date. We have, so far, trained 1,400 doctors. They are in various fields, even within the country, and not necessarily in the Ministry of Health. These records are from 1966 when we started producing doctors.

 In the Ministry of Health, there are a total of 400 Zambian doctors working in the country. There is an additional 400 from outside the country which brings the number to 800. 

I thank you, Sir. 


492. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Works and Supply what the total value of Chinese road equipment that was distributed by the Government to all provincial headquarters countrywide was.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Kalila): Mr Speaker, the total value of the road equipment from China that was distributed by the Government to all the provincial headquarters countrywide is US$39.1million. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, much as we appreciate the value of the equipment provided by the Government, we would like to find out why the usage of this equipment is not to the expectation of the people. For instance, in 2009, the equipment made a journey of 400 kilometres to and from Mongu to Lukulu, only to work a distance of five kilometres.  


The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, this information is very chilling. I would like to believe that the allocation of the equipment and planning was done with the involvement of the hon. Members of Parliament. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, this is what we expect if the hon. Members of Parliament are not participating in the work being carried out and not because they are excluded, but because they are not interested. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mulongoti: I do not think that we can be blamed. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament said that the equipment moved 400 kilometres to go and work on a road distance of 5 kilometres. There must be something wrong and it is up to the hon. Member to establish why there was so much abuse of equipment. The hon. Minister for the province is in the House. Therefore, I will find out what could have happened. 

I would like to appeal to the hon. Member to show interest as the equipment takes off from Mongu and find out why it is being moved. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. Mulenga (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, this equipment is not doing a good job in our constituencies. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government has intentions to procure more equipment for distribution to all the districts throughout the country. 

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I do not agree with the hon. Member who is generalising his statement. In some areas, this equipment has performed quite well. This is the reason we keep insisting that you pay attention to what is happening. 

Mr Speaker, most of the councils have this equipment. However, because of abuse, it has ended up either breaking down altogether or being auctioned by the bailiffs. This is because we failed to manage our councils properly. This is why, today, you are saying that there is something wrong. We hope that if, in future, equipment is made available to councils, hon. Members and councillors will pay attention to its usage. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: Order! May I guide the House. 

As matter of accuracy, is the hon. Minister saying that despite the Act being passed in this House to protect council property from being seized by creditors, this, in fact, still happens? This is merely for the record. 

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, this is the more reason the State Proceedings Act to help protect Government and council property was introduced. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, in view of what the hon. Minister has explained, I would like to find out why despite this equipment being in our provinces for almost two years now, we still have problems when it comes to rehabilitating roads in various districts. What is the problem?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the first time the equipment was distributed, the Treasury made a provision of K2 billion to assess its suitability and kick-start the programme. In the last financial year, we made a provision of another K5 billion. I do not think that it is up to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to follow up on the usage of the equipment. It is up to the hon. Members of Parliament to see how they apportion this money. 

Some roads are in good condition and therefore, it is not necessary that every constituency uses this equipment. The apportioning of money should be dependent on the needs and my continuous message is that hon. Members must participate in its apportioning. The hon. Provincial Ministers, who are responsible for this equipment, are in this House today. I hope that, at some point, they will stand up and tell you that what you are saying is not true. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, are there any records of …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Works and Supply in order to mislead the House that the equipment that was positioned in provincial centres was taken away by bailiffs, and yet it came after this House had already passed the law to protect council property? Is he in order to mislead the House and insist that the equipment was seized? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kalomo Central is himself not in order … 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: … because the Chair has already asked the hon. Minister of Works and Supply to clarify that issue. I do not know whether you had stepped out when this happened. 

The hon. Member may continue. 


Mr Mooya: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether there are any records of the equipment that is working and that which is not. 

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, although that is a new question, there is the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) at the headquarters that is supposed to keep an eye on what is happening around since we have a back-up team from the Chinese Company to ensure that all breakdowns are attended to as quickly as possible. Therefore, with time, we can provide this information, but these are not major breakdowns. As soon as all breakdowns are reported, they are expected to be attended to by a mobile maintenance unit from the company that supplied the equipment.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Munaile (Malole): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that his ministry acts promptly when defects are reported. However, it has taken more than three months to repair two graders in Mungwi District. What is his ministry doing about that, if it acts promptly?

Mr Speaker: Order! 

This is the last irrelevant follow-up question I will allow because Question 492 is specifically on the value of the equipment.


Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, it is very unfortunate that the hon. Member has waited for three months to report the breakdown. Next time, be prompt.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, in view of the value of the equipment in relation to the works that have, so far, been carried out since the equipment was brought into the country, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether, in his opinion, it will be better for the Government to consider buying more equipment for the provinces or continue to engage the private sector.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, what prompted the purchase of this equipment was the cost involved in hiring contractors. We are also mindful of the fact that some of the roads to be attended to have sentimental value to us. Some of the people who help us with funding would not appreciate that we cannot neglect a road that leads to a traditional ceremony. As far as they are concerned, they would want the rate of return like Hon. Lubinda was talking about. For us, that rate of return is not as important as servicing our people and that is the main reason we decided to buy our own equipment that we could quickly send to places where there were funerals, for instance, to make the roads passable. Thus, the decision was made in good faith. 

If the wish of the House is that the Government buys more equipment for councils, districts or constituencies, funds permitting and if they will be looked after well, I am sure nobody would fight that. However, what is important is that we utilise the current equipment very well. Please, pay attention. Do not complain when you see the grader going back to Mongu.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Mwape (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s response was apportioning blame to hon. Members of Parliament and this has become his norm, but I would like to find out from him what the job description of hon. Members is, given that in the Civil Service Establishment of his ministry, it is not stipulated that hon. Members would participate in the manner he is asserting?

Mrs Phiri: Sebele achilamo!

Mr Speaker: Order! Let me guide. Unless the hon. Minister wants to take on that responsibility, …


Mr Speaker: … it is not up to Cabinet Ministers to define the jobs that hon. Members of Parliament do or should do. Actually, you define your own job. Those are the things you say when you are campaigning to come to the House. You promise the people what you are going to do here. That is your job description.


Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, indeed, hon. Members of Parliament are supposed to liaise with hon. Provincial Ministers concerning graders or the equipment that has been bought through the Ministry of Works and Supply.

Some constituencies and Munali, in particular, have liaised with the hon. Minister who promised to send the graders that, in fact, have not been to Munali which has bad roads. Through you, Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister advise this hon. Member on the step she should take should the graders not come to the constituency.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is so consistent in going to radio and television stations. 


Mr Mulongoti: I hope she can also find time to see the provincial administration and secure the graders.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Speaker: Order!


493. Mr Munaile asked the Minister of Community Development and Social Services:

(a)    when a vehicle would be provided to the Provincial Development Centre at Mungwi in Malole Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b)    when a vehicle was last provided by the ministry to the centre above.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Mufalali): Mr Speaker, my ministry has no immediate plan to provide a vehicle to Mungwi Provincial Community Development Centre in Malole Parliamentary Constituency. The reason for this is that the ministry has embarked on rehabilitation of these centres and procurement of training tool kits for students at the centres.

However, funds permitting, the ministry will provide motorised transport to the centre. 
At the moment, the focus for the ministry is to rehabilitate and equip the centres in order to provide adequate training services.

Mr Speaker, all the provincial community development training centres were provided with Suzuki vehicles in 1986.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, while it is appreciated that the ministry is rehabilitating the provincial community development centre that was in a deplorable state, how does it expect the provincial development centre of the Northern Province to go round supervising other centres in the province?

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, in 1990, the Government launched the Functional Literacy Programme. With this development, the Zambia Alliance for the Advancement of Literacy (ZAALIT) Unit was created and staff employed. However, the resources were inadequate. Nevertheless, the ministry mobilised resources for this unit for a nationwide research on the development of a curriculum for functional literacy, production of books and administrative costs.

Sir, this shift of focus meant that most resources were channelled to the running costs of ZAALIT. This further implied that other programme activities had to suffer and provision of vehicles to provincial training centres was one such activity.

However, the ministry procured vehicles for provincial community development officers under whom these centres fall. In the meantime, the said vehicles should, therefore, be used at the centres as well ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: … before vehicles for the centres are procured.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!



494. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Education when furniture would be provided to schools in rural areas such as Chisala School in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, the provision of desks in rural schools is an on-going exercise. However, in 2009, Chisala Basic School received twenty desks.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that some pupils at that school sit on the floor?


Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, as I have already pointed out, procurement of desks is an on-going exercise. At the moment, the ministry is aware that many schools do not have sufficient desks. That is why we have emphasised the point that we will be procuring some, every year, in order to meet the expectations of the people.

Currently, the Ministry of Education is in the process of procuring 134,727 desks and some of them will be distributed to rural schools.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Member: Liars!

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, what is the population of Chisala Basic School for the ministry to be comfortable about sending twenty desks there?

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, as I have already pointed out, procuring of desks is an on-going exercise and we will ensure that schools that need desks benefit from the ones that we procure every year.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, as much as I appreciate the use of the phrase “on-going programme” by the hon. Minister, could he help us, as hon. Members of Parliament coming from rural constituencies where this problem is acute, to understand the fact that the 134,000 desks that will be procured, this year, will be distributed to schools that are in dire need. May we also know what criteria will be used to distribute these desks so that, in future, we do not ask the same question.

The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, the current furniture deficit in schools, as far District Education Boards (DEBs) are concerned, is about 400,000 desks. To fill the deficit that is in schools at the moment, the procurement cost is about K200 billion. 

The criteria used in the distribution of desks are that we get requests from various school managements and DEBs at the provincial level. However, at the headquarters, as and when we see the need, we act accordingly because we know that pupils need desks everywhere. For example, here, in Lusaka, I have been to some schools in Matero where pupils sit on the floor. Therefore, the need is everywhere. It is not only in rural areas, but also in urban areas. The national deficit is 400,000 desks at a cost of K200 billion.

Mr Speaker, as Ministry of Education, we cannot continue to approach this challenge with a business-as-usual attitude and just wait for the budget. We have to be innovative, creative and find means and ways to bridge that gap of K200 billion so that we satisfy the furniture requirements in our schools.

However, we welcome any possible solutions to this problem. We will continue to allocate many resources from our education budget to ensure that there are desks in schools. However, we have to think outside the box if we are to bridge that gap.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


495. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    how many foreigners had been deported from Zambia from 2007 to date;

(b)    what offences had been committed by the foreigners at (a); and

(c)    which provinces had the highest number of deportees.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that 1,022 foreign nationals were deported from Zambia from 2007 to date, broken down as follows:

    Year    Number Deported

2007    199
2008    152
2009    116
January, 2010    
to 31st April, 2010    555
Total    1,022

Mr Speaker: Order! There is no such thing as 31st April. 


Mr Taima: Thank you for the correction, Mr Speaker. I meant January, 2010 to 30th April, 2010. 

The offences that were committed by the foreigners at (a) above include:

(i)    illegal stay and entry into the country;

(ii)    drug trafficking and abuse;

(iii)    forging and altering of permits and travel documents;

(iv)    flouting immigration laws such as engaging in activities not stipulated in their permits; and

(v)    becoming inimical and a danger to national security.

Mr Speaker, the Lusaka Province had the highest number of deportees.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given by the hon. Deputy Minister in reference to Lusaka having had the highest number of deportees, is he implying that Lusaka has more porous borders as opposed to other parts of the country?

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, by virtue of being the capital city, Lusaka is expected to have more activities, be it social, economic or, indeed, otherwise. Hence, most of the foreigners are apprehended, prosecuted and deported from here.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, what is the ministry doing to reduce the number of deportees in the Lusaka Province?

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that, for quite some time, Zambia was running without a specific Act to address some of these issues. For example, the Human Trafficking Act is now in place to deal with some of the major causes of foreign nationals’ deportation. 

Mr Speaker, now that this Act is in operation, there is a sudden rise of cases of deportation. This, therefore, means that the ministry is working very hard to ensure that all foreign nationals who commit offences are identified and deported. It is not our wish to reduce the numbers of foreigners per se, but as long as we have foreign nationals who are committing offences, we must apprehend and send them away.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, some of our friends, who are foreign nationals, have been deported unfairly because they are found in situations where they start businesses and marry Zambian women, but, once they become rich, the women report them falsely in the hope of inheriting what their husbands have acquired in this country. What is the ministry doing about cases such as these to ensure that people are not unfairly deported and to protect their investment?

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, there is no unfair deportation because one can only be deported for a very clear reason. However, what is important to state here is that Zambian laws provide for such people to appeal. Our system is such that whoever feels aggrieved can appeal and the hon. Minister will review their case and, if it so merits, then the decision can be reversed.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, out of the so many who have been deported, would he say how many are female and how many are male?

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, we do not have that categorisation because the question did not require it, but if the hon. Member insists, we can come back to the House and provide those details.

I thank you, Sir.


496. Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services whether there were any plans to start publishing local community newspapers in all the nine provinces.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, at the moment, the Government has no plans to establish community newspapers, but this could be established by interested people in various communities using their own initiative and resources. These should be registered by the National Archives. Once established, such community newspapers would use the services of the provincial printing presses at a negotiated fee.

However, the ministry already has in place six local language newspapers; namely, Intanda, a Tonga publication for circulation in the Southern Province, Tsopano, a Nyanja publication for the Eastern Province, Lukanga, a Lenje publication for the Central Province, Imbila, a Bemba publication for circulation in the Luapula and Northern provinces. The sixth newspaper is Ngoma which carries stories in Lunda, Luvale and Kaonde and is for circulation in the North-Western Province.

Currently, we are not producing the local language monthly newspapers due to lack of the printing staff at the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) Headquarters. Nevertheless, the ministry has sought authority from the Public Services Management Division (PSMD) to employ staff to operate the printing presses once they are installed at every provincial centre.

Procurement of printing presses is also underway. It is the Government’s intention to procure printing presses and store them at each provincial office. At the moment, we have a printing press installed at the ZANIS Headquarters, Mass Media Complex, in Lusaka. Another one for Chipata was procured and is currently awaiting installation once the printing house is completed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, local newspapers such as Imbila are very important in our community, especially for people who are not in a position to read English. I would like to know how soon the Government intends to employ printing staff at the ministry.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, in our response, we indicated that we have made our recommendations to the PSMD because they are the ones with the mandate to employ.

I thank you, Sir.


497. Mr Lumba (Solwezi Central) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a)    how many Zambian companies expressed interest in buying the 75 per cent  shares in ZAMTEL;

(b)    why the companies were not short listed;

(c)    how much money would be paid to RP Capital as full consideration at the end of the privatisation process; and

(d)    what measures had been taken to protect employees who may lose their jobs as a result of the privatisation.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Mr Speaker, only TATA Zambia expressed interest in buying the 75 per cent shares in ZAMTEL. TATA Zambia did not bid and was, therefore, not eligible for short listing.

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that RP Capital entered into a contract with the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) in order to provide transaction advisory services for the privatisation of ZAMTEL. The fees payable cannot, therefore, be determined, at the moment, as these will be dependent on the transaction that would be concluded with the successful bidder.

Mr Speaker, broadly, the ZAMTEL employees are in two categories; namely, unionised and non-unionised employees. The unionised employees’ terms and conditions of service are contained in the collective agreement signed with their union while the non-unionised employees have contracts that spell out their conditions and terms of employment. Those employees who will lose employment arising from the privatisation of ZAMTEL will be paid their terminal benefits in accordance with their respective terms and conditions of employment. The terminal benefits have been negotiated by the workers’ representatives, the Government and the investors.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lumba: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what was so special about RP Capital that it was given this contract in preference to a Zambian company, and yet they were using Zambians to help them do the job.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, this company had the requisite expertise that was deemed necessary to provide the required services.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if there is a deliberate policy from the Government to offload some of the shares to the public as the case was with the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO).

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker that is an aspect that is under consideration.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, the Government contracted RP Capital to carry out the valuation of the ZAMTEL assets. I would like to know the true value of the company that was used by the Government to arrive at the sale price and also when the valuation report will be made public.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, if we mentioned the value of ZAMTEL, it would prejudice the transaction that is still going on and, in the public interest, we do not do that.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister was very assiduous in avoiding any numbers when he was asked this question. The fact that it may be impossible to directly and accurately estimate, to the last ngwee, how much is being paid to RP Capital does not preclude the fact that there is a formula and also that it is possible to put limits on a figure that would be useful and serve the purpose of the question. Can we have the estimate of how much RP Capital will be paid and how much Zambian tax they will pay?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, that question is vague. We have stated that, at the moment, we are unable to give those estimates because there is no value on which we can calculate what he is talking about.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, my question is similar to what Hon. Dr Scott asked. I would like to find out what the contract stated as payment to RP Capital after they had done the work. 

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, it is 5 per cent of the net value that the Government would realise. At the moment, there is no such net value.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Second Report of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 29th June, 2010.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr C. Mulenga (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, your Committee considered three topical issues; namely, the pension system, causes of unemployment and diversification programme in Zambia. They also reviewed the Action-Taken Report on the first report of your previous Committee.

Mr Speaker, your Committee was concerned about reports that some pension schemes have been marred by many challenges that have led to the accumulation of huge actuarial deficits. They also had information that it was taking long for some retirees to get their benefits and that, where benefits had been paid, they did not keep pace with inflation. In order to ascertain the problems leading to the failure by the pension schemes to effectively meet the aspirations of the people, your Committee resolved to study this subject in detail.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is disappointed that despite the reforms to improve operations of pension schemes, the sector is still facing daunting challenges. It is aware that the reforms envisaged a three-tier system with the first pillar providing a basic compulsory scheme. The National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) was designed to be such a scheme. However, it observes that it is taking too long to fully operationalise NAPSA as a basic mandatory scheme.

For example, your Committee is aware that, under the development agreements, Mopani Copper Mine (MCM) and Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) were exempted from contributing to NAPSA. This is not right because workers in these mines need to be guaranteed a pension at retirement. While it is appreciated that these people belong to a private occupational scheme, your Committee is of the view that they also need to belong to a national scheme to avoid destitution in the event that the private pension scheme folds up.

Mr Speaker, there is a need, therefore, for the mining companies to be compelled to contribute to NAPSA, in addition to contributing to a private occupational scheme. In this regard, your Committee recommends that NAPSA be fully transformed into a basic mandatory pension scheme as was envisaged by the reforms. It also recommends that benefits under all the pension schemes be indexed to inflation to allow retirees earn a meaningful package at retirement even in depressed economic times.

Mr Speaker, the pension reforms also envisaged the second-tier schemes to supplement the mandatory pension scheme. This includes the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF), the Local Authority Superannuation Fund (LASF) and several other private occupational schemes provided by employers. However, your Committee is concerned that the PSPF and LASF are still operating as mandatory pension schemes. Some public service workers only contribute to LASF and the PSPF without contributing to NAPSA. The understanding of your Committee is that, while an institution may be contributing to an occupational scheme, it is still obliged to contribute to the national mandatory one.

Your Committee strongly recommends that employers providing occupational pensions be compelled to contribute to NAPSA as provided for in the NAPSA Act. In order to encourage these employers to contribute to NAPSA while, at the same time, maintaining occupational schemes, your Committee recommends that the average contributions to NAPSA be lowered.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that the PSPF and LASF have been resisting regulation by the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA). This is rightly so because the two pensions are established under an Act of Parliament and as such, remain accountable to Parliament.

The NAPSA Act also exempts NAPSA from being regulated by the PIA. This is obviously a problem that has led to non-adherence by pension schemes to good corporate governance. It has also, partly, contributed to the huge actuarial deficits being experienced by various public pensions. In order to correct this problem, your Committee recommends that the law be amended to provide for the regulation of all pension schemes by the PIA. This will enhance transparency and accountability and improve the performance of pension schemes in Zambia.

The accumulation of actuarial deficits by pension schemes continues to be a source of concern. Your Committee is of the view that, in addition to the non-adherence to good corporate governance by pension schemes, the level of appreciation of issues concerning pension schemes among the members of various boards is low.

In the light of this, your Committee recommends that persons appointed to the boards be well versed in issues of pensions. It also urges the Government to promote good corporate governance in pension schemes by ensuring, among others, timely auditing of the accounts.

Mr Speaker, your Committee bemoans the limited coverage of pension schemes to the formal sector only. This is despite the fact that the majority of Zambians are operating in the informal sector. The exclusion of these people will relegate them to destitution at retirement. In this regard, your Committee recommends that measures be put in place to extend coverage to the informal sector. This should include awareness campaigns on the importance of taking up pensions.

Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that Zambia does not have a policy on social security. This is a source of concern because the absence of this policy impedes the effective and co-ordinated development of social security in Zambia. Your Committee was informed that a draft policy was formulated, but had not been approved by Cabinet. Your Committee recommends that the policy on social security be approved to guide the development of social security in Zambia. In approving the policy, the Government should ensure that it takes care of the interest of old people who were previously not in employment. 

Mr Speaker, regarding the adequacy of retirement benefits, it came to the attention of your Committee that some retirees were getting extremely low benefits, making their life unbearable. Your Committee is cognisant of the fact that the low benefits are partly because of outdated pieces of legislation. It, therefore, recommends that these pieces of legislation be reviewed to align them with new developments and improve the benefits for retirees.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observed that there is an apparent fragmentation in the co-ordination and supervision of social security in Zambia, where pensions are regulated by various pieces of legislation and supervised by different ministries. For example, NAPSA is supervised by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, while LASF is supervised by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. The PSPF is supervised by Cabinet Office, while the PIA regulates all private and public pension schemes, but NAPSA is exempted from its regulation. This fragmentation, therefore, poses a big challenge to the development of pension schemes in Zambia. In this regard, your Committee recommends that these pieces of legislation be harmonised so that the pension system can operative effectively.

Mr Speaker, let me now highlight a few issues pertaining to the problem of unemployment in Zambia. Your Committee is aware that at the peak of the global financial crisis, the mining and tourism sectors suffered severe job losses. This was, partly, because some of the mining companies closed or were put on care and maintenance. It was also as a result of the reduction in the number of tourist arrivals in the country. With the economy beginning to look up, it is not clear how many jobs have been restored. In order to ascertain the unemployment situation in Zambia, your Committee resolved to study the subject in detail.

I now highlight the findings of your Committee on this subject. Your Committee was informed that the unemployment rate in Zambia was around 15 per cent and that close to three million youths were not in employment. Your Committee observed that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, in conjunction with the Central Statistical Office (CSO), had not been able to publish the statistics on the employment situation in Zambia since 2005 mainly because of inadequate funding to the ministry.

Your Committee urges the Government to seriously give priority to funding the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for it to conduct timely studies on the employment situation in Zambia. 

Your Committee is cognisant of the fact that, in certain jurisdictions, employment data constitutes a major economic indicator just like inflation levels, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and interest rates, to mention a few. Employment indicators will assist in providing information for policy formulation on which poverty reduction strategies should be undertaken by the Government.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is concerned about the high poverty levels obtaining in the country despite attracting considerable Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Your Committee is of the view that this mismatch is partly as a result of multi-national companies employing foreigners even where skills are available locally among Zambians. 

Your Committee appreciates the importance of attracting investment to the country, but would like the benefits to trickle down to ordinary Zambians. What is more worrying is that some of these investors have received generous incentives. 

Your Committee recommends that investment incentives be granted to companies that will employ Zambians. In addition, companies employing expatriates should demonstrate to have a policy on skills transfer. It also urges the Government to ensure that incentives do not only benefit foreign companies, but local ones as well.

Sir, your Committee is concerned about the apparent lack of skills relevant to industry in Zambia. It views this problem as emanating from the mismatch in skills training between industry and learning institutions. Your Committee urges the Government, through relevant ministries, to work closely with industry in developing skills.

In conclusion, your Committee wishes to express its gratitude to you, Mr Speaker, for the guidance rendered during the session. It also wishes to express its thanks to all the witnesses who made submissions and appeared before it. 

Lastly, may I extend your Committee’s appreciation to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to your Committee during the session.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Order!

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


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

Mr C. Mulenga: Now, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, in seconding the Motion that has been ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee, I would like to bring out a few issues which were not highlighted. As the Chairperson has indicated in his speech, your Committee considered the pension system in Zambia, among other things. In this regard, it was informed that the public pensions; namely, LASF and the PSPF, were heavily indebted. This debt is mainly attributed to the non-remittance of contributions by the Government. This is a source of concern that needs serious consideration because it might lead to the winding up of the pension schemes. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to make timely contributions to pensions. It is the contributions that the pension schemes use to invest and grow their asset base.

Madam Speaker, your Committee bemoans the limited availability of actuaries in Zambia. It also bemoans the fact that there are no training schools for actuarial sciences in Zambia. Your Committee is of the view that this is partly the cause of the various challenges being experienced by the pensions. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government promotes the establishment of actuaries. The Government should also work with training institutions in promoting actuarial sciences.

Madam Speaker, your Committee are aware that it is difficult for workers to transfer their benefits from one pension scheme to another. This is retrogressive because it limits one’s freedom to belong to the pension of his or her choice. Your Committee recommends that the law be amended to include the portability of benefits from one pension scheme to another.

Madam Speaker, your Committee is concerned that pension schemes have a high tax burden because contributions and investment returns are subject to tax. This practice is unfair because it subjects employees to double taxation.

In this regard, your Committee urges the Government to exempt contributions and returns on investment from taxation. This will increase investment funds and allow retirees to get meaningful benefits.

Madam, your Committee was privileged to tour the Northern Circuit that has been earmarked for tourism development. Your Committee was impressed with the tourism attractions in the Northern Circuit. However, it was disturbed that not much publicity had been done to sell the tourism attractions. The result of this is that very few tourists have been visiting the area, thereby denying the country revenue. Your Committee recommends that the Government scales up activities to promote the Northern Circuit as an important tourism destination.

Madam Speaker, your Committee notes that, in an effort to diversify the economy into tourism, the Government is developing an international airport at Kasaba Bay. In supporting this, your Committee recommends that corresponding infrastructure such as accommodation for staff at the airport, including education and health facilities be constructed. It also urges the Government to ensure that the expansion project at the Kasaba Bay Airport is completed on time through timely and adequate funding.

Madam Speaker, your Committee visited the Nansanga Farming Block which is one of the Government’s strategies in diversifying the economy through agriculture. Your Committee, however, observed that there was lack of co-ordination among various ministries in its development. As such, the quality of work on roads and bridges was poor. In some cases, the bridges were falling apart. Your Committee recommends that the roles of various ministries and other institutions such as the Road Development Agency (RDA) in the development of the Nansanga Farming Block be clearly spelt out.

Madam Speaker, your Committee appreciates efforts by the Government to develop the Nansanga Farming Block. Your Committee is confident that the opening up of the Nansanga Farming Block will attract investment in agriculture. However, your Committee is concerned that there are areas near the Nansanga Farming Block such as Lunte, Sasa and Luombwa where local farmers are already settled, and yet they lack the necessary infrastructure. 

Your Committee recommends that the Government extends the development of infrastructure in the Nansanga Farming Block to surrounding areas. This will spur economic activity, encourage local participation and uplift the wellbeing of the people.

Madam Speaker, your Committee also reviewed the Action-Taken Report for your previous Committee’s report. Your previous Committee had recommended that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning issues a statutory instrument compelling all business players to quote their prices in Kwacha. To date, this statutory instrument has not been issued. Your Committee urges the Government to ensure that the statutory instrument is issued to instill confidence in the local currency.

On the wholesome externalisation of sales revenue, your Committee reiterates its recommendation that the Bank of Zambia to comes up with a regulatory framework to curb the externalisation of all the earnings by investors. Your Committee is concerned that when copper prices were high, the benefits were not felt because much of the sales revenue was externalised.

Madam Speaker the previous Committee had further recommended that the Bank of Zambia reduces the lending rates. Your Committee is disappointed that the lending rates continue to be high, thereby discouraging investment. Your Committee recommends that measures be put in place to reduce the lending rates.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the members of your Committee for giving me an opportunity to second this important Motion. I also wish to join the Chairperson of your Committee in thanking you, Madam Speaker, for allowing us to serve on your Committee.

Madam Speaker, I beg to second.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Madam Speaker, allow me to thank the Chairperson of your Committee for the able manner in which he has moved this Motion and the seconder who ably seconded the Motion.

Madam Speaker, I would like to comment on the unemployment situation and poverty levels in Zambia. While we appreciate that our economy is small and has limitations in generating employment, as a country, we should look at ways in which we can stimulate growth that can bring employment and reduce poverty levels in our country.

Madam Speaker, today, I would like to put on record the fact that there are many Zambians who do not feel that they belong to this country. They do not see the economic strides the Government is making and are not aware of what is happening on the ground. At the moment, due to lack of employment, there are people who live without food and cannot afford the basic medical facilities. Therefore, I would like to urge the Government to come up with a deliberate plan such as opening up roads. 

I would like to commend the Ministry of Education for its massive investment in education infrastructure at the moment. Such programmes deliberately create employment in the areas where those projects are. These are projects that are implemented, maybe, over a period of one, two, three or four years. This will also bring monies into the rural dwellers’ pockets. Therefore, this should be commended. 

Regarding the issue of opening up roads in the rural areas, this also brings up economic benefits that lead to employment creation and up-scaling of markets in rural areas. Therefore, I would like to urge the Government to ensure that the programmes of road construction are on schedule. 

Madam Speaker, there have been instances where contracts are running and certificates are issued to contractors, but have stalled due to lack of funds. Sometimes, issuing of certificates is delayed. This reduces the flow of money into areas that could have growth. However, if we continue funding these projects in rural areas, it will help us a lot as, through these projects, the people on the ground will see the efforts being made by the Government and its presence in their areas.

Madam Speaker, the other issue we should also look at is on the economic activities in the country. To a large extent, it is determined by the Government’s participation. The Government is the biggest player with regard to employment and economic activities. We should have a deliberate policy to contract services to experienced and qualified local expertise.

Madam Speaker, my elder brother and beloved Vice-President and Minister of Justice said that the Government contracted R. P. Capital Limited because of its expertise, and yet the work it did can be done by people from the Copperbelt University who also have the knowledge. There are also Zambian accounting firms that could have done the job and the US$12 million would have remained in Zambia. That money would have added value to the service industry and reflected in the growth in our GDP. If you contract a foreign company, it is the GDP of that country where that money will be recorded as income that will increase ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: ... and not that of our country. I urge the Government to make sure that it contracts Zambian companies or individuals such as Mr Hakainde to undertake such jobs because there will be a multiplier effect. If, for example, a Zambian company or individual has a farm in Kalomo, he will employ people to work there. He will also build other infrastructure such as a shop or house for the mother.  This is what we call the poverty alleviation factor. We should not think that it is only foreigners who can do the job. If we think like that, we are making a mistake because even Zambians have the required expertise. Today, the hon. Minister of Health informed this House about Zambian doctors who are working in other countries. This is because we have the expertise. For example, there is Professor Chirwa who is one of the most outstanding Zambian engineers.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: The bottom line that should be looked at is the necessary expertise that we have. Let us not shun them. Who will promote the Zambians, if the Government is in the forefront of looking down on local expertise? Therefore, I suggest that the Government looks at the procurement process such that if there are Zambians who can do the job, let it be given to them so that the money remains in the country.

Madam Speaker, I also would like talk about the so-called diversification programme. Unfortunately, in Zambia, we think that maize should only be for consumption. The country’s diversification programme shall require the Government to put together a programme that will ensure the success of agriculture in this country. 

Madam Speaker, there will be a very big shortage of corn in the world because people are now moving away from fossil fuels to green gases. Currently, in Brazil, most of the corn is going into the generation of environmentally friendly fuels. We should have such a deliberate programme in Zambia. We understand Zambia is landlocked and it imports fossil fuels, but we can make this country a hub from which we can be exporting fuel to countries around us. I know that if we do this, people will say the price of mealie-meal will be expensive. Yes, let it be expensive for those in towns who only want it for consumption. However, the Government can put a special tax for those who wish to export the corn or give a premium price to those who want to process it into fuel. The money earned from this tax can be used to subsidise the price of mealie-meal. Therefore, let us promote the growing of corn.

Today, for example, Mozambique is making fuel out of cassava. There is a lot of cassava being grown in the Western Province of this country. In Nigeria and Mozambique, there is a bio-fuel plant where they produce fuel and the offshoots of this production process are used as fertiliser. That is what we need in this country. All these initiatives have to be deliberately promoted so that, at least, we create employment and go green in this country.

Madam Speaker, let me now look at the gemstone industry. We are losing a lot of money from the gemstone industry. Our gemstones are only equal to or surpassed by those from Colombia. Colombia has the biggest share of the market followed by Zambia. If you compare the income that is earned from the gemstones by South American countries and that of Zambia, you will notice that we are being ripped off. I do not know who is sharing the profits. I am not pointing an accusing finger at anyone, but simply saying that we need to wake up because our gemstones are going to waste, leaving holes in the ground behind. 

In Ndola rural, there is no development to show that the land is very rich. Let us ensure that the value of our gemstones is enhanced. Why are we scared of setting up a gemstone control board that will regulate and determine the price of all gemstones that are exported from this country? Our gemstones are really undervalued. As a result, some people live in Switzerland because their money is in that country. The money can come back to Zambia if we put measures in place. People have become very rich out of our resources and, at the end of the day, they refer to us as poverty stricken. No, we are very rich. We only need to take a bold step and say enough is enough and do it for the people of Zambia. Of course, not everybody will be happy with our measures, but it will be better for this country. We have capable Zambians who can regulate this industry. 

I urge the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry to come up with a way of asking the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) to deliberately give money to Zambians who want to mine emeralds. We also need to find ways of knowing the value of what is being exported. I know my elder brother, who is a very dynamic man, will consider this issue. I hope this will be looked at because we are tired of being called a poor nation, and yet we have the resources. 

Madam Speaker, Zimbabwe has only the Limpopo River, but it is able to produce more than us because of the incentives offered to the farmers. We have all the rivers, and yet we cry when we have blackouts. We also have droughts, and yet all the areas that experience them have rivers that pass through them. We simply say that we cannot do anything because we have no money. We can get money by taxing the mines. We can also make money by taxing the miners of gemstones when they give us the real value of their earnings. We can also get money from agriculture if we invest therein wholeheartedly and ensure that we reduce unemployment in the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to deal with one aspect of the report. This is the issue of unemployment.

Unemployment is a very tricky economic variable that has troubled many nations. Comparatively, in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), unemployment, basically, is everywhere. One of the success stories as regards the economy in SADC is Botswana. However, Botswana is faced with a serious problem of unemployment with over 40 per cent of its people unemployed. Namibia that is also a shining economy is also faced with a similar problem despite recording very impressive economic indicators. Therefore, unemployment is a very tricky economic variable that must be looked at very seriously and with a very good approach. 

In Zambia and South Africa, where I have been many times, the unemployment problem is very serious. Thus, unemployment must be looked at as a very serious problem for SADC. We can address unemployment, as a country and as a family of nations in SADC, because it is a common denominator in the region. In fact, I have statistics that I can produce off-the-cuff in case someone wants to differ with me.

Madam Speaker, our problem in Zambia is that not only are people unemployed, but that, sometimes, are unemployable due to the mismatch between acquired skills and available work. Over the years, we should have been realigning our skills training to our resource endowments.

Madam Speaker, the University of Zambia (UNZA) still offers the same programmes that were designed twenty years ago without taking into consideration the new economic dynamics. 

Madam Speaker, you cannot continue to produce so many public administrators and social workers when there is no employment in those areas. We need to attune programmes to the resource endowments.  

Madam Speaker, let me illustrate this point. If a graduate from the School of Agriculture gets a loan from the CEEC and buys ten cows to be used for milking, he will be making a bigger salary than a banker. That is better employment. 

Madam Speaker, we need a paradigm shift. I learnt this from the few privileges I have had in my life. White communities train their children to take over the family’s garage, but we think that employment is all about wearing a tie. This white collar approach is destroying the country because people are crying for wrong employment. 

In the little town of Monze, there are examples of young men who are in dairy farming. For example, one young man whose father died some time back took over his father’s dairy farm and is making about K100 million per month. Unfortunately, people think that when they finish university, they must be employed in town. 

Madam Speaker, employment must be looked at in a broader sense. We must train our people in this country to tap into our resource endowments, including agriculture. The graduates must go to the countryside to produce and make real money instead of the K2 million they earn in town and continue to complain about low salaries. There are no jobs, not even in the mines, that can give you more money than work that has to deal with natural resources. 

The Government must, therefore, open up projects such as the Nansanga Farming Block. That is a positive step. We need more farming blocks and the graduates must be linked from the university to the land. That is where the money is.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Not in these tarmacs and autorecs. Not at all. The money is in the God-given endowments.

Madam Speaker, our people must be trained to be investors. We must not mislead them into believing that real employment is in white collar jobs. I have seen it with the Afrikaners in South Africa and Botswana. They walk without shoes and wear shorts in town, but when they get into a bank, you have to leave the queue because they have too much money to bank. Some of us go there in a nice suit and tie to bank a one ‘pin’.


Mr Hamududu: This is reality. For me, the go back to the land policy is ideal. We must tell the people where the real money is. The real money is in the land.


Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF) must be linked to such programmes. There must be a segregated fund for graduates who want to go into production. Some of the CEEF is given to traders. We must discourage that. This money must go to production.

Madam Speaker, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry to ensure that the CEEF is engineered to tap into the natural resources and create new jobs. Therein lies the potential. For example, in the dairy industry, there is so much demand for milk in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that we are failing to meet. These are the jobs. 

Madam Speaker, people must leave town to go and work on the land instead of them living in poor sanitary conditions. We must tell our people that the real wealth that God gave us lies in the land.

 We have enough water to feed cattle and do gardening. All we need to do now is ensure that chain supermarkets such as Shoprite, Pick ‘n’ Pay and Spar sell fruits and vegetables that are grown in Zambia by Zambian farmers. 

We must not allow trade liberalisation to steal our jobs. Why should Spar sell pineapples grown in South Africa when they can be grown in Mwinilunga? We must facilitate the growing of these crops and vegetables in our country and supply them to the chain shops. Therein lies a lot of employment.

The pineapple industry in Mwinilunga can be made to come back to life. With the new technology, we can begin to produce juices that will lead to many jobs being created in Mwinilunga and elsewhere. The potential is there. 

The problem is that successive governments, over the last twenty years, including the current one, have had a wrong focus of where real jobs can be created. Real employment is in agriculture, tourism and other natural resource-based jobs and not in the theories that we read from the books that are irrelevant to our situation. 

Most of the economic books that we read and quote from are not relevant. We must engineer our ideas to address what God has given us.

Finally, Madam Speaker, let me, once again, talk about the chain shops that are coming into the country. South Africa is doing very well. It is expanding and recognising the SADC Region once again. Shoprite, Pick ‘n’ Pay and Spar have come into Zambia and are now crossing over into DRC, Congo Brazzaville and Angola. They are recapturing Africa. 

South Africans are beating us at this game. We must match them. Since we have a comparative advantage in relation to land and water, we must produce the fruits and let them buy from us. The excuse that the Zambian farmers cannot produce the right quality is not understandable. If the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has to deal with some conditions so that our products can reach the standards of these shops, let it do so. We must invest in research so that our agiculture produce can qualify to be sold in these shops. 

I get disappointed to walk in Spar to buy fruits from South Africa. It is unpatriotic. The fruits can be grown here and, therefore, we must re-engineer the way we are doing things so that we can produce our own fruits and vegetables that will grow our country.

Employment lies in what God has given us. We cannot ask for more than what he has given us. We must just be grateful.

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

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Madam Speaker, I will be very brief. Firstly, I would like to congratulate the members of your Committee, the Chairperson, the seconder and the mover of the Motion for a job well done.

Having said that, I would like to cite one of its recommendations on page five of the report and it reads:

“Your Committee recommends that all institutions be compelled to contribute to NAPSA since it is a basic mandatory scheme. Workers cannot only depend on occupational schemes because they are supplementary schemes.” 

They go further to say that the Committee is concerned that the PSPF and LASF are still operating as mandatory pension schemes.

Madam Speaker, I am not sure whether this recommendation will help LASF and the Public Pension Scheme because the current Labour Act gives powers to the hon. Minister to make special exemptions from contributing to NAPSA to specific institutions. That is the current law. LASF and the PSPF have been hoping that the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security will exercise his powers in accordance with the Labour Act so that these two institutions can be saved from collapse.

Madam Speaker, LASF is paying its pensioners very well as compared to NAPSA. I can safely say that LASF is, currently, doing very well even in paying its retirees. If the Government goes by the recommendation that the Committee has made on this issue, it will be destroying the institution. In the last five or eight years, both LASF and NAPSA have been saved from collapse. Therefore, if this recommendation is implemented, I fear that, in fact, the Government will be lumbered with a huge outstanding debt for which it will have to source funds. 

For now, it is important to urge the Government to pay what is due to these pension schemes in full. By 2008, the Government had assisted the local authorities, through the resources that were released by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, to be up to date with their contributions to LASF. The arrangements were that, by 2008, the local authorities should have cleared their outstanding arrears. Thereafter, the ministry was supposed to ensure that local authorities paid to LASF so that it did not fall back into debt like it incurred in the last ten years or so.

Madam Speaker, currently, I think that LASF has made progress and it is in a better standing than it was in 2002. However, if we go by the decision suggested by the Committee, I fear that we will not be helping these institutions. What is needed is for the hon. Minister to exercise his powers, that are vested in the Act, to allow people who are joining local authorities to contribute to LASF and those, who are in the mainline Civil Service, to the PSPF. 

Madam Speaker, these institutions are specialised. In the same manner the hon. Minister had allowed the mining companies to have their own pension scheme, LASF was preferred based on the understanding that workers of the local authorities, whose conditions of service were different from those who were in the mainline Public Service, were a specialised group. There is nothing unusual about having a three-tier system with a different institution although NAPSA should remain compulsory. 

Madam Speaker, it is not true that there are people who are enrolling with both the public and local authority pension schemes. Since 2000, all new employees of the local authority do not register themselves with LASF They go to NAPSA. The membership of LASF consists of those workers who were employed before 2000. Therefore, that assumption is not correct and I thought I should make that clarification.

Madam Speaker, the other point is about the actual deficits. The Committee reported that LASF was, in fact, the one that was heavily indebted compared to NAPSA. This is also not correct because my understanding is that by 2007 and 2008, LASF had recovered almost 80 per cent of what it was owed by the local authorities. If there are new debts, they have just been accumulated because, again, maybe, the local authorities are not able to make contributions to LASF.

Madam Speaker, the point that needs to be brought to the attention of the Government is the importance of fixing salaries that cannot be paid. There is no need to pretend. At the moment, people agree to pay a certain amount of money when they know that their institution is incapable of doing so. As a result, they pay a certain amount and only reflect in the books that the other percentage will go to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and the pension scheme when, in fact, it is not so. In my view, that is misconduct by the executives of these companies. One cannot pretend to pay an employee a full salary and reflect remittances in your books when one is not. 

Madam Speaker, this is an issue that the Government or the relevant ministries that are supervising these institutions must look into. We must be clear about these issues when negotiating with unions. This is why it is important that, when we negotiate salaries, we do not agree to figures merely to appease people and, at the end of the day, make them suffer or cause these pension schemes to collapse.

Madam Speaker, I thought I should make those few comments. 

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Motion. I will be very brief. Owing to the fact that what the hon. Member for Chongwe has said is quite correct, I take her words as my own. As such, I will not raise the issues that she debated, except to elucidate the following.

Madam Speaker, the responsibility of these Government-related pension schemes ends with the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning remitting to those institutions what is owed to them. Once that is done, the Government will have done its job. 

Madam Speaker, I have no idea how much is outstanding that these institutions should fail to operate well owing to the shortage of remittances. Secondly, these institutions do not need any further support. If I were on the side of the Government, I would not even listen to the plea for support. These institutions’ line of business is to invest the money that they get from their members.

Madam Speaker, on Page 2, there is a subheading which reads: 

“An Overview of the Current Pension System in Zambia”.

Much as I commend my dear friend and Chairperson of this Committee, Hon. Charles Kakoma, and the seconder, Hon. C. Mulenga, the man from the top soil, Chinsali, … 

Mr C. Mulenga: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: … I felt that, perhaps, it was not an overview, but an under view of the pension schemes in this country. The purpose of this Parliament is not to simply look at these institutions in which the Government has shares. There are big private institutions to also be considered and the only quarrel I have with them is that they do not keep their money in this country. They send it outside. For instance, Saturnia Regina, a huge Anglo- investment institution that has now invested in a block of offices on Nasser Road. As much as it has done that, it should invest more of its money in this country and this is what this Committee should have demanded in this report. They should not be worrying about supporting LASF and NAPSA because there is a lot of money in this field. 

Madam Speaker, we only seem to be looking at failed institutions and the only reason this is so is the insatiable desire of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government to give support to institutions that do not need it. We did away with mealie-meal coupons, but trying to defend these two institutions is just as good as giving mealie-meal coupons to their employees and this must be discouraged. 

Madam Speaker, on the issue of composition of boards, again, the Parliamentary Committee should not worry about how the boards are constituted. When we are in Government, we will put more of our people on those boards. There is nothing wrong with that. You put the people you know to run institutions. 


Mr Matongo: Madam Speaker, because of the manner in which we have complained in this report, I would not send it to the people in the pact because they would think that we will not be able to give them jobs when we come into power.


Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, I would also like to talk about the actuarial deficits. An actuary is, purely, a mathematician. I do not see any reason the Government should invest in a lawyer beyond ‘ZIEA’ (the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE)).

Mrs Musokotwane: ZIALE!

Mr Matongo: Oh! ZIALE or ‘ZIEA’.

Well, the Speaker prefers to call you Regyna, but I prefer to call you Regina. 


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Continue your debate on the report.


Mr Matongo: So, please, let me pronounce words as I know them. 

Madam Speaker, I do not see the reason insurance companies, many as they are in this country now, should expect my income tax to train an actuary. When a young person has passed his or her mathematics at university and qualifies to study actuarial studies, it is the responsibility of the insurance companies to see to it that this is done. In fact, in my three to four years at the Zambia State Insurance Corporation (ZSIC), I trained the first four Zambians in that course and they did it in three years. Unfortunately, they have been recalled by their creator. From that time, I have not heard of any other person who has been trained. 

Madam Speaker, this Committee should demand that all the insurance companies and pension funds train their own actuarial personnel. They should not ask the Government nor I, who considers himself part of the Government through the income tax I pay, to train people to specialise and, thereafter, work for a private institution. 

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I further wish to state that you may be satisfied by your reports, but they tend to pick minor issues that rarely worry the ordinary Zambian person. The people who are covered here are few. I would like to see private insurance demand to cover the areas my brother, behind me, here, raised. If all the markets, including the Common Market for East and Central Africa (COMESA) market, today, bought into these institutions, we would not worry about where they would get money from. This is where the private insurance companies and service providers are going.

Madam Speaker, the other point I would like to raise is that none of the players in the banking sector, where we, from Parliament, are saving our money, remit their workers’ money to the institutions under discussion. This is because they do it elsewhere where the return on their investment is good. With easy movement of money, there is no more need to invest, as a service provider in this line, into buildings. One could buy shares. In fact, the return on the investment of the retiree will be more beneficial than is the case now. 

Madam Speaker, we need a complete change of mindset and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should start driving these institutions. The PIA is in place, and yet all it does is scrutinise who qualifies to the position of Managing Director when the board can employ anybody it wants as long as that person delivers. The PIA should, instead, delve more into ensuring that the private sector providers and other Government institutions, including ZISC, meet the dictates of the law. This way, they will meet the demand of the Zambian people by providing the services that are required at a cheaper rate. There is enough money except that we do not know how to engineer it.

With those few words, I support the report, but I would like to see some improvements in the future.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Deputy Minister for Southern Province (Mr Munkombwe): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to support this report. Zambians, in general, have developed or are developing a tendency of standing on top of the Muchinga Escarpment, looking to a country eastwards and thinking that if they were there, they would be better placed than they are in Zambia. They are also looking southwards of the escarpment hoping that, in that particular country, there are no problems. I would like to say, here, that the question of unemployment, sometimes, is self-created.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, in some parts of the Southern Province, particularly in Dundumwezi, I am very popular there …

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

Mr Munkombwe: … because I created the Cantermania and Fusomania attitude. People own vehicles and are very comfortable. What they want are roads and facilities to develop their agriculture and, consequently, employ more people. I would like to see a day when hon. Members, particularly those from our province, will stand up and say that many people are getting employed because with the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), this year’s production is more to the embarrassment of the people who wish us ill.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: They are embarrassed because we have produced more maize. There is a bumper harvest in the Southern Province. 

Mr Sing’ombe: Hammer Munkombwe!

Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, the other area that I would like to comment on is the trader mentality syndrome where people are becoming traders and not producers. I think we, in the Government, must shift our emphasis and help people to be producers. Since we have produced more maize, mealie-meal prices will reduce. 

Madam Speaker, I am a small-scale employer. I employ almost over 100 families. I run my farms on the basis of co-operatives where people have cattle on my farm and are able to farm, but, in return, offer me very honest services. Why cry and waste a lot of your time? Why preach weakness instead of strength? Our people here are more inclined to exposing minor weaknesses. Anywhere they detect a weakness, they feast on it and that is extremely dangerous. 

Hon. Government Member: Handshake, handshake!

Mr Munkombwe: We want this country to develop. Therefore, let us not preach weakness, but strength.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, this report has talked about unemployment. Who will create this employment? 

In 1955, I was employed in the Meteorological Department. However, I was only employed for one and a half days. 


Mr Munkombwe: The morning I reported for work, a white civil servant greeted me and said “Good morning, my boy.” I told him that he did not know my age and so he could not talk to me in that manner. He told me that if that was my attitude, I would not last in the Civil Service.  The following morning, he said the same thing to me. I was so upset that I threw away the file I had in my hands. This left me with a permanent abhorrence to being employed in my life. 


Mr Munkombwe: If politics were employment, I would not have joined it. 


Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, I taught myself how to stump trees and I sleep in a better house than some people who are professors. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: I sleep on a better bed than some people who are lecturers because I am a self-made man. I make my own laws and my own systems. 

Hon. MMD Member: Hammer!

Madam Speaker, we cannot be crying to the Government everyday, and yet we are able to employ people with our farming programmes. I know the young man that the hon. Member for Bweengwa referred to in his debate. This man started by working at his father’s farm. He built some accommodation in Monze for his useless elder brothers and they are now being paid comfortably by him. Who do you think can demand that the Government one day prepares food and drops it into our mouths? 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: We are making more and more demands on the Government. It is taboo to talk about countries where there is no peace. People sleep in bushes in those countries. They are being killed every day, and yet we would rather live there. Perhaps, Zambians have not seen real problems. We want to get into problems. We are yearning to get into problems. 

Madam Speaker, I do not want to call this report anything else other than defective. I am extremely sorry this is your report, but I think that some parts are showing some …


Mr Munkombwe: … inefficiencies.    

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, because I have never been employed, I do not know much about pensions. I have never been entitled to it. 


Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, one hon. Member referred to Botswana. In Botswana, a school-going boy can have 100 animals and hon. Ministers drive to their farms as soon as the week ends.  

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. MMD Member: And MPs!

Mr Munkombwe: As a result, even though there is unemployment, the begging and demanding mentality is very unpronounced in that country.

In this country, I find people walking around begging. When I ask them to come and work for me, they refuse. They run away. They run away because they have been taught by us, politicians, that the Government has done nothing and will continue to do nothing unless they vote for certain parties. 


Hon. MMD Members: More money in the pocket!

Mr Munkombwe: We should be able to say that the Government is not doing well in a particular area and call for improvement. When you promise the moon, more so when you do not have a programme for getting into Government, you will be permanently on the other side. I do not know which side. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Munkombwe: Madam Speaker, let us avoid the trader mentality. Let us be development orientated and this country will survive. 

Madam Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Ms C. M.  Kapwepwe): Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor. 

Madam Speaker, allow me to commend the work undertaken by the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour in producing its second report under the able leadership of its Chairperson. 

Madam Speaker, this report presents an important validation of this Government’s steadfast effort to move the Zambian economy forward and bring prosperity and growth to its citizens. This Government has been relentless in its intent to diversify the economy and dismantle barriers to doing business, thereby improving Zambia’s international competitiveness and creating jobs and prosperity for our people. As usual, the Government will, carefully, review your recommendations and ensure that, where necessary, action is taken in an expedient and efficient manner. However, it is important to comment on certain specific findings of the Committee. 

Firstly, on the issue of pension regulation, the Committee’s various recommendations pertaining to improvement of the operating and supervisory structure of pensions are welcome. The Government will review these recommendations carefully and examine how the sector can be further improved. 

Madam Speaker, with regard to the issue of increasing coverage of pensions to the informal sector, while this would be a desirable outcome for all, the very nature of the informal sector presents the biggest challenge to extending pension benefits to those who are informally employed. Informal employment is unregulated, unrecorded and cannot be tangibly measured. This poses a challenge, not only in the Treasury for tax collection, but also on those informally employed as they have no security net to protect them in their old age. 

Currently, informal sector employees can voluntarily make contributions to NAPSA although such voluntary contributions are limited in number. The recommendation of the Committee to scale up awareness of activities in the informal sector is welcome and the Government will examine how best to undertake this initiative. 

Madam Speaker, with regard to the unemployment situation in Zambia, the Government has made significant strides in bringing jobs and prosperity to Zambia. When the mining sector was facing challenges in the midst of the crushing copper prices, during the global financial and economic crisis, the Government moved swiftly to take measures to ensure that job losses were minimised. While jobs were lost, the Government moved to find new investment that brought the jobs back. 

At the same time, the Government has also moved to implement a number of multi-facility economic zones (MFEZs) and industrial parks that are creating thousands of jobs for our hardworking citizens simultaneously. One of the most important governing factors for the provision of investment incentives is the creation of local jobs. It is important to mention that this Government will not rest knowing that its citizens, who are willing and able to work, are not able to find opportunities to do so. In this regard, the Government remains committed to creating more jobs through various diversification initiatives and through the improvement of Zambia’s international competitiveness. 

Madam Speaker, with regard to the Government’s diversification programme, the Government continues to be steadfast in its commitment to diversifying the Zambian economy away from copper dependency and seeks to do so as rapidly as possible. It is pleasing to note that the Committee undertook study tours of some of the initiatives that this able Government has launched, including the Nansanga Farming Block and the Northern Tourism Circuit. 

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to, once again, commend the members of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour for their hard work. The recommendations of the Committee have been noted and Government action will be taken where necessary.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Ms Namugala): Madam Speaker, I would also like to contribute to the Motion on the Floor of the House and wish to thank the Committee for taking time to tour the Northern Tourism Circuit.

Madam Speaker, indeed, I note that the Committee has appreciated the beauty of this part of the country.

 Mr Sikazwe: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Madam Speaker, we all agree that there is a need to diversify the economy of Zambia and ensure more contribution to the GDP by non-traditional sectors such as tourism.

Madam Speaker, tourism, in particular, is one of the key pathways to poverty reduction because of its capacity to create employment in outlying areas where most of our tourist attractions lie.

Madam Speaker, as a Government, we are aware of the need to improve infrastructure leading to our tourist attractions. I take note that your report clearly states the need for infrastructure development for tourism to grow.  Key to this is the need for road and air transport. The need for us to create accessibility to tourist attractions cannot be over emphasised

Madam Speaker, as a Government, we are extremely committed to ensuring that tourism, as a sector, performs better. In doing so, in the Northern Tourism Circuit, in particular, and within the available resources, we are improving accessibility by improving the Kasaba Bay Airport and upgrading it to an international airport so that it can handle bigger aircraft. As a Government, we are also ensuring that we have an all-weather road between Kasaba Bay and Mbala Airport. These efforts by the Government must be commended because we know that this focus will, indeed, create more jobs for the people and wealth for poverty reduction.

 Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Madam Speaker, on the issue of marketing, the Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) has been restructured in line with the provision of the Tourism and Hospitality Act of 2007. The major focus of the ZTB will be to market Zambia as a tourist destination of choice. We are very happy that a strategic plan is now in place to guide the marketing of Zambia as a tourist destination of choice in line with the Vision 2030.

Madam Speaker, the issue of effective participation of the Zambian people in the economic activities of our country raised by hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa is very true. It is, therefore, very saddening to note that our people have to transition from an economy where they wait for the Government to create jobs and provide for them. They have not realised or transitioned to a liberalised economy that creates opportunities for everybody, local people and foreigners who come to settle in Zambia alike. The people need to realise that there are opportunities out there. Therefore, they must stop complaining and expecting the Government to continue to create jobs because that is not possible. 

Madam Speaker, we all know of the capacity of the private sector to create jobs and thereby reduce poverty. Therefore, I would like to agree with the hon. Member that, as hon. Members of Parliament, we all need to assist the people to understand, as Hon. Munkombwe as said, that no one will drop food in our mouths even if we opened them for twenty years.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: We have to create the wealth and jobs. Indeed, when people graduate from colleges or universities, they must not seek to get employed because they can create employment for themselves and for others, thereby contributing more to the wealth of the country.

Madam Speaker, as a Government, we are aware that one of the ways to create opportunities for our people is to have a destination for investment that is friendly and warm. As a Government, we do our best to create that confidence in the private sector from outside the country so that they can come and invest here. 

Madam Speaker, unfortunately and to our sadness, we note that some sections of the society of Zambia continue to create an impression that Zambia is not a stable environment. When you open up some media pages on the internet, what you read creates the impression that Zambia is not a safe investment destination. This is not good for us. It is not true that there is tension in this country. There is nothing like that. This is one of the safest investment destinations. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: On this point, both the hon. Members of Parliament on your left and on your right, need to agree. After all, the people we intend to serve, whether we are in Government or not, need jobs and these jobs can only be created if we are perceived as a safe, warm and friendly investment destination by the international community.

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

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this very important Motion.

Madam, let me start by joining my colleagues who have spoken before me in thanking the Chairperson of your Committee and his members for the good job and the time spent in producing this report.

Madam Speaker, let me begin by agreeing with them on several points. I, obviously, agree with them on NAPSA being the monetary pension scheme as envisaged by our reforms.

Madam Speaker, I also agree with the Committee on creating benefits under all pension schemes that are indexed to inflation. This will enable us to give meaningful returns to our members or beneficiaries even under the depressed economic circumstances.

Madam Speaker, I would also like to agree with the Committee on extending coverage to the informal sector. In fact, this is the way to go and this is compelling in the social security protection world over.

Madam Speaker, the Committee touched on several important issues. Let me just touch on one of the issues that appears pertinent in the report regarding how NAPSA functions as a monetary pension scheme whilst taking on board pension schemes such as NAPSA, LASF and the PSPF.

Madam Speaker, without going into detail, I would like to agree with the sentiments given on this Floor by Hon. Masebo and Hon. David Matongo. To sum up, I wish to inform this House that a National Social Security Policy is already underway. This policy will be tabled before Cabinet soon. It has already been worked on by my ministry. When it is passed by Cabinet, I can assure you that it will answer all the concerns that have been raised and all your concerns. Soon, we will be going in that direction because what has been suggested as policy in this House has already been taken into account.

Madam, before I sit down, I would like to touch on one issue regarding employment. Employment, as portrayed in this report, gives a very gloomy picture. The report seems to paint a picture that, added to the difficulties of unemployment in the country, when we had the global economic crisis, the situation worsened because we do not have clear statistical information pointing to our recovery. To be more specific, I wish to inform the House that during the difficult times of the global economic crisis, the companies that were directly affected were the mines. The other areas of our economy were affected, but the mines were affected the most.

Madam, the hon. Members of this House may recall and agree with me that the only company that went down during that time was the Luanshya Copper Mines. However, the report does not put this fact very clearly. It puts it very hazily and seems to indicate that many mining companies closed down. The mining companies on the Copperbelt remained functioning largely due to the intervention of the economic measures this Government put in place that ensured the survival of the companies during that very difficult time.

Luanshya Copper Mines closed down but, as you all know, when the economy began to unfold again, Luanshya Copper Mines found a new investor. In fact, it has not just found a new investor, but job opportunities have also doubled. There are more jobs now than at the time of the closure of the mines.

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: Therefore, we have recorded an increase in the number of formal jobs in the mining sector on the Copperbelt, starting with Luanshya, itself, which had closed down. We have created new job opportunities in the new mines such as Lumwana that began to function at the end of the global economic crisis and began to employ last year in January. Employment was created at the Chambeshi Copper Smelter. Again, there are more than 1,000 jobs created in the mining institutions.

However, I would like to retreat from the issue of jobs created in the mining sector since these are jobs that can easily be recorded and whose records are available. The only point on which I agree with your Committee is that we seem to have limitations due to unavailable statistical data due to limitations of funds. The CSO in collaboration with our office have the delayed reports which come late due to limitation of funds. Therefore, information which should otherwise have been very helpful to this House, sometimes, comes in a little late.

Madam Speaker, other than employment, which has been created in the formal sector, whose data can easily be assembled, there is also a substantial percentage of employment this Government has created through programmes such as the FISP. This programme has created a lot of employment opportunities for the people in the rural areas. People rely on agriculture for their survival. The bumper harvest, itself, means that many people were involved in agricultural activities in the past agricultural season. For this reason, there are more jobs that will be created in the agriculture sector as well as the tourism sector. There are more jobs in the informal sector in various categories of the informal sector that have been created.

I want to agree with my cousin, the hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa, who made a very important contribution today, on the need to shift from this syndrome of thinking that the only jobs that this country can record are the jobs in the formal sector. Employment is employment whether in the formal or informal sector. We must make Zambians realise that when a government creates an environment in which business can be conducted, even at the private sector level, it creates jobs for the people.

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: Therefore, we have created many jobs and this report has not captured that. I would have wanted this report to also capture the jobs that have been created in the informal sector.

Madam Speaker, these are the comments I wanted to make on this report.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kakoma: Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to wind up debate on this important Motion.

Firstly, I would like to thank all the eight hon. Members who have contributed to the debate on this Motion, but I also noticed that many more were indicating to debate. Thank you very much for your support.

Obviously, the issue of pensions and unemployment is very complex and specialised. Therefore, it is understandable that some have difficulties understanding the recommendations of your Committee. Nonetheless, it is agreeable that there are problems in the pensions sector and the employment sector. We would like to give an opportunity to the Government to act on the report of your Committee so that the recommendations and solutions proposed can be acted on.

I would like to urge this House to support the report of your Committee and beg that this House do adopt the Second Report of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Question put and agreed to.{mospagebreak}


Mr Chongo (Mwense)(on behalf of Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Third Report of the Committee on Government Assurances, for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 7th July, 2010.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Kasoko (Mwembeshi): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Chongo: Madam Speaker, in accordance with the established Parliamentary Procedure enshrined in Standing Order No. 155(2), your Committee scrutinised and considered a number of Government assurances made on the Floor of the House by the Executive. Your Committee also toured selected Government projects and institutions in order to assess the extent to which some of the assurances or undertakings have been implemented.

Madam Speaker, in the period under review, your Committee considered sixty-nine assurances, forty-three of which were outstanding from previous years and twenty-six were being considered for the first time. I am sad to report that most of the outstanding assurances have been pending for a long time now with no prospect of being addressed by the Government in the foreseeable future.

Madam Speaker, the reason that is usually advanced by the Government for failure to address these assurances is that of inadequate funds or unavailability of finances. The question that begs an answer is: why give assurances when there are insufficient funds to implement them? For instance, on 31st July, 2003, the Government, through the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, assured the House that the Government would build an immigration office at Nsumbu Border Post as soon as funds were available. Seven years have gone by since this assurance was made but, nothing has been done by the Government to meet its own undertaking.

Madam Speaker, as your Committee, we urge the Executive to endeavour to stick to their promises by fulfilling what is assured on the Floor of the House in a reasonable period of time. It does not augur well to have assurances outstanding for over five years without any meaningful progress being made to bring them to fruition.

Madam Speaker, your Committee has also noted, with respect to one of the recent assurances that what were made on the Floor of the House, that it was at variance with what was submitted to your Committee by the permanent secretaries and the Government technocrats when they appeared before your Committee. To illustrate this, let me refer to some assurances in your Committee’s report. On 23rd September, 2009, the hon. Minister of Education made the following assurance on the Floor of the House:

“Mr Speaker, currently, we are working on plans to provide, in each province, a centre of excellence. This centre will be a school for special education needs and will cater for various disabilities.”

Madam Speaker, contrary to the foregoing assurance, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, in her submission to your Committee, said that the ministry would construct nine resource centres for the disabled and not centres of excellence. A centre of excellence for pupils with special education needs would be constructed only at Munali Girls’ High School once funds were available.

Similarly, on 20th September, 2008, the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development assured this House that the Government would develop the Shiwang’andu Mini Hydro Project and Kaputa Biomass Gasification Project and they were to be completed before 2009. In submitting to your Committee, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Water Development indicated that works for both projects would only start in the first quarter of 2010.

As a matter of fact, your Committee undertook a tour of the Shiwang’andu Mini Hydro Project site where the technocrats from ZESCO and the Ministry of Energy and Water Development confirmed that actual construction works would only start in the course of 2010. Your Committee’s tour confirmed that only site clearing had been done by 12th April, 2010.

Madam Speaker, these are some of the assurances that illustrate the variances I earlier referred to. In view of this, your Committee urges our colleagues in the Executive to carry out wide consultations with the experts in their respective ministries before they come to the House to give assurances. They should ensure that their pronouncements and undertakings, made in this august House, are factual and backed by available financial resources required for the implementation of the assurances.

Madam Speaker, in line with the Government’s assurance to expand and decongest prisons, your Committee undertook a tour of the Mukobeko Maximum Prison, Mpima Remand Prison in Kabwe and Kamfinsa State Prison situated in Kitwe. Firstly, I would like to state that all the prisons your Committee visited are heavily congested and not receiving any attention from the Government with regard to infrastructure expansion apart from one cell that has been constructed at Mpima Remand Prison. At the Mukobeko Maximum Prison, your Committee discovered that since its construction in the 1960’s, with an initial capacity of about 400 inmates, the prison has not had any infrastructural expansion. By 7th April, 2010, when your Committee toured the prison, there were 1,276 prisoners over and above the established 400 capacity.

Mr Speaker, your Committee’s visit of the Condemned Section of the prison revealed that this was the worst area of the whole prison. This section is ideally supposed to house only forty prisoners but, currently, 285 prisoners are held there. Each cell, which is ideally meant for, at least, two prisoners, takes up to seven prisoners who share a bucket to answer the call of nature.

Madam Speaker, these conditions are inhuman and an abuse of the rights of the prisoners. We appeal to the Government to urgently improve the sanitary conditions in prisons. Otherwise, the country’s human rights record will continue to be dented in the eyes of the international community. At the Female Section of the Mukobeko Maximum Prison, your Committee was moved by the plight of infants who are confined there on account of their mothers’ incarceration. Some of the children have never known the comfort of a home because they were born during their mothers’ prison term.

The importance of the rights of these children cannot be over emphasised. The children cannot continue to be subjected to prison conditions simply because their mothers have been convicted. We cannot ignore the fact that the mental and psychological development of those children will be distorted for life if we do not intervene urgently. 

In this regard, your Committee urge the Government to find ways and means of removing those children from the prison and have them placed in an environment where they will develop normally.

Madam Speaker, the conditions at Kamfinsa Prison, in terms of congestion, are pretty much the same as those at the Mukobeko Maximum Prison. Suffice to say that there are juveniles at Kamfinsa State Prison, who being kept at the Penal Block, because the cells meant for them have been converted into the Female Section of the prison.

Madam Speaker, your Committee learnt that both Mukobeko and Kamfinsa prisons have sufficient space for expansion. We, therefore, call upon the Government to quickly begin implementing this assurance on infrastructure development so that our fellow citizens, who are in prison, can live in a clean and habitable environment. 

In the course of the tours, your Committee toured two key industries on the Copperbelt to ascertain the extent of implementation of Government assurances. Your Committee visited Indeni Oil Refinery in line with an assurance made by the hon. Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development on the Floor of the House on 6th August, 2008, to the effect that the Government would implement a five-year US$65 million recapitalisation programme at the refinery.

I am glad to report that the recapitalisation programme of Indeni Oil Refinery has commenced except that the financing of the project requires more Government involvement since it is now the sole shareholder following the withdrawal of Total Outré Mer.

Madam Speaker, your Committee undertook a tour of Ndola Lime Company in view of an outstanding assurance that was made on the Floor of this august House, on 15th November, 2007, by the hon. Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development that the company’s old rotary kiln would be replaced to increase production capacity.

This assurance presents another classic example of the assurances that are made without due consultation with the experts or technocrats in the respective ministries.

Madam Speaker, your Committee interacted with the Ndola Lime Company management, who informed them that the company could have been in a much better position today had it not been for the prohibition to undertake any substantial capital re-investment from 1997 to 2007 due to the Government’s indecision to privatise the company during that period.

Your Committee ultimately found out that Ndola Lime Company is on course towards full recapitalisation and the Government, therefore, needs to fully support the company which is already endowed with a competent management team, a monopoly as the sole producer of limestone products in Zambia and has vast lime production experience spanning over seventy-eight years.

Your Committee also toured a number of Government projects and institutions in the Northern Province of Zambia. Allow me to highlight two of them.

Your Committee visited Kasama General Hospital to carry an on-the-spot check of the hospital infrastructure in general and provision of ambulances in particular. The tour was necessitated by a Government assurance made by the hon. Deputy Minister of Health on 22nd November, 2007, to the effect that the Government would procure and deliver ambulances to hospitals and health centres countrywide.

Madam Speaker, your Committee learnt that Kasama General Hospital was the largest referral hospital in the Northern Province. It is administered by fifteen doctors, eight clinical officers and seventy-nine nurses. These numbers, however, are not sufficient to adequately meet the medical needs of the hospital. Your Committee also learnt with shock that the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is dysfunctional and not equipped with specialised ICU equipment. These matters need to be looked into by the Government as soon as possible.

Madam Speaker, in terms of ambulances, your Committee discovered that the hospital only has one ambulance that caters for Kasama District and other distant areas within reach of the district. However, the ambulance is not fully equipped with life support facilities and at the time of your Committee’s visit, it witnessed it being pushed due to a dysfunctional battery.

Mr Munaile: Bwekeshapo!

Mr Chongo: Madam Speaker, in light of these revelations, your Committee is greatly concerned that three years after the assurance was made, Kasama General Hospital is still not adequately supplied with ambulances. It is common knowledge, that the catchment area of the hospital is vast. Therefore, the need to provide more ambulances to the district is extremely urgent.

Madam Speaker, your Committee learnt from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health that the Government’s policy for access to ambulances is that ambulances be stationed at major hospitals only. The smaller health centres in the remote areas are only equipped with radio communication used to call for an ambulance as and when the need arises.

Hon. Opposition interjected.

Mr Chongo: Madam Speaker, as a matter of policy, also, your Committee learnt from Kasama General Hospital management that communication via cell-phones is not a recognised mode of communication to call out an ambulance. This means that in the event that radio communication fails to work, communication via a cell-phone may not be responded to.

Mr Munaile: Aaah! Ninshi bafwa abantu.

Mr Chongo: Madam Speaker, as a Committee, we were shocked to learn of such restrictive policies. This means that the patients at rural health centres have to wait for hours on end before an ambulance can come and evacuate them to a referral hospital and if the radio fails to work, then the hope of an ambulance reaching them diminishes.

Madam Speaker, our earnest appeal to the Government is that once ambulances are procured, they should be stationed at the health centres so that the journey to a referral hospital is shortened in the hope that patients will get medical attention at the earliest possible time. Your Committee also appeals for the abolition of the policy against the use of cell-phones as modes of communication to summon an ambulance.

Madam Speaker, on 7th March, 2002, the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport informed the House that it was just a matter of time before the Government moved in and started working on the Kasama Airport.

In line with that assurance, your Committee undertook a tour of Kasama Airport to assess the extent to which the assurance had been implemented.

Madam Speaker, your Committee is glad to report that the terminal buildings at the airport have been completed and they meet international standards. However, other infrastructure such as the control tower and the runway do not meet any minimum standards.

The Committee urges the Government to seriously consider investing in tarring the runway at the airport, building a state of the art control tower and installing fuel pumps so that aircraft can refuel from the airport, rather than go to the Kasaba Bay Airport, as is the case now.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to reiterate your Committee’s appeal to the Executive to ensure that before assurances are made on the Floor of the House, there should be thorough consultations with the experts in the ministries to avoid committing the Government to projects that are not in its immediate plans.

Madam Speaker, your Committee would like to thank you for the support and guidance you rendered throughout the year. Thanks also go to the witnesses who appeared before your Committee for providing valuable information that has tremendously helped your Committee.

Madam Speaker, I would also like to thank the members of your Committee for their dedication and support. Finally, I cannot forget to thank the Clerk and her officers for the services rendered to your Committee throughout the period under review.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later.

Mr Kasoko: Now, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, I rise to second the Motion that has been ably moved by the Chairperson of the Committee on Government Assurances. I am aware that hon. Members have read your Committee’s report and will make meaningful contributions to the debate.

Madam Speaker, let me also appeal to the Executive that, in the future, assurances should not be made before funds are secured to implement them. Currently, there are too many outstanding assurances competing for funding from the already strained national resource envelope.

Madam Speaker, as a nation, we should learn to pursue projects according to our budget and complete them with perfection rather than have too many assurances which fail to see the light of day on account of insufficient funds.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, with these few words, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Thank you. Madam Speaker, I am …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 until 1830 hours.


Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I had just begun to make my contribution. I would like to thank the Committee for this good report. I will start with page 6 that talks about the building of two juvenile centres. This assurance was made in 1999. Eleven years down the line, we still cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel regarding this matter. Meanwhile, the number of our juvenile detainees is increasing. We only have one reformatory school, which is Katombola Reformatory, and it is getting congested. According to the assurance that the Government gave in 1999, a girls’ reformatory centre was supposed to be constructed, but after eleven years, nothing has happened.

Madam Speaker, this is not being serious. I know that the funds for the construction of these centres were supposed to be sourced from the Access to Justice Project, but in eleven years, the Government should have realised that this money was not going to come and hence looked for funds elsewhere. I hope this is not an assurance that the Government will be making every year. If these two centres are not built, I would like to urge the future hon. Members of this Committee to continue bringing up this issue until the Government fulfills its assurance. 

Madam Speaker, page 33 talks about uniform prices of fuel countrywide. This is an issue we have talked about, time and again, in this House. Despite the hon. Minister making this assurance in August, 2008, and having talked about this issue in the previous Assembly, to date, about eight years down the line, we still have different fuel prices in various parts of the country. Fuel is especially expensive for those of us in the Southern Province. We are also Zambians and, therefore, urge the Government to do something about this matter.

Madam Speaker, page 40 discusses the dispute between Chief Moomba and Senior Chief Inyambo. The reason that has been given for this dispute not being resolved is the death of the late hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing. However, even before Hon. Tetamashimba became hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, this dispute was there. Therefore, his death cannot be used as an excuse. In any case, before Hon. Tetamashimba, somebody else was hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing. After Hon. Tetamashimba died, somebody succeeded him and, therefore, his death should not be used as an excuse for the ministry’s failure to take care of this matter. 

I want to believe that the current hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing is looking into this issue. Hon. Tetamashimba found this problem when he became hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing. Maybe the Government enjoys squabbles among our chiefs because if it did not, something was going to be done about this. It is not only Chief Moomba and Senior Chief Inyambo who are quarrelling. Many of our chiefs are quarrelling and the Government seems indifferent to the situation.

Madam Speaker, I now move to page 49 and this is where I will end because I think Hon. Kasongo wants to go home.


Mrs Musokotwane: The issue of the Mulobezi Railway Line is one we have talked about time and again. We all know that if this railway line went as far as Caprivi, it would be viable, but why are we not extending it? All we hear is that we are making progress and that this Government is committed to development and so on and so forth. These are projects that would bring development to our people, but the Government does not want to undertake them. The hon. Members on your right prefer the Chinese to bring development to this country. We can do it ourselves. Such projects can create employment for the people of Livingstone, Kazungula, Mulobezi, Sesheke up to Namibia, but the Government pretends that they are not viable. This is unacceptable. Again, this is an issue that has been talked about in previous assemblies, but to date, nothing has happened, and yet the Ruling Party wants us to vote for it. I am sorry, that will not happen.

Madam Speaker, lastly, can I request hon. Members of this House, when they write notes to Dr Musokotwane, to, please, indicate ‘Hon. Dr Musokotwane’ because most of them just write ‘Hon. Musokotwane’. These notes come to me and, sometimes, I have to read them to know that they are not mine.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Order!


Madam Deputy Speaker: That is a personal appeal that has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Madam Speaker, I stand to support your Committee’s report. This is a Committee that is envied by hon. Members of Parliament in our neighbouring countries. When the Kenyan hon. Members of Parliament visited, they were so impressed that we had a Committee on Government Assurances. This Committee reminds hon. Members what hon. Ministers and hon. Deputy Ministers have said in the past. Hon. Members from other parliaments have been coming to see how they can hastily form similar committees. The Ugandan Parliamentarians came here with the specific purpose of studying what we do in the Committee on Government Assurances. I am grateful that they are able to see how useful this Committee has been to us. 

Madam Speaker, however, my concern is that we have assurances going back as far as 2003. We need to get things serious. I know some hon. Ministers here are so experienced in avoiding making Government assurances. However, we still have some hon. Ministers or hon. Deputy Ministers in this House who think it is a very good thing to easily commit the Government to doing certain things. There are instances where someone stands up and says that since they are the ones in power, they are going to do this and that. This actually means that they are committing the Government to something that is not planned for.

Madam Speaker, I also would like to appeal to the Government to ensure that there is continuity in ministries and that information is passed on to successors. We have here an issue of creating a flying wing in the Zambia Police Service. According to this report, the Government said that there was need to train pilots for this. I was on this Committee prior to this Tenth Assembly. The Zambia Police Service had trained pilots and choppers. However, the service could not manage them and handed these choppers to the Zambia Air Force (ZAF). When the Air Wing was to be recreated in the Zambia Police Service, there were no pilots. When the pilots were trained, it was said that the planes that were there were not in good condition and, therefore, the trained pilots were sent to ZAF. All of this information is in the previous Committee reports. However, some hon. Members on your right simply give answers without reading what has been said in the past on certain issues. 

Madam Speaker, I think this is a very good Committee. Not until one of the hon. Ministers or hon. Deputy Ministers is held accountable for telling lies and misleading the House will they be serious. As a House, we should show seriousness.   

We get happy when the Government fulfils its promises. We talked about police houses and we are seeing them being built in areas that were promised. Looking at the photographs taken, we see that there is some seriousness.

Madam Speaker, each time attention is drawn to what the Government needs to do, the response is that it will look into the matters raised, but we do not want answers to be given just for the sake of it. When there is a change of a Permanent Secretary, he or she must be told to read a little and understand the background of given information so that follow-ups are made.

In spite of talking about the construction of juvenile centres several times, it is only now that we have been promised that one for girls will be built and that the building of the rest will depend on the availability of resources. The Government wants to make it a habit of saying that projects will only be taken up when funds are sourced. When an assurance is made and, later on, there is a shift of policy or thinking, please, come back and inform us about it. At one time, the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources changed its policy and we pointed it out.

 As regards livestock disease-free zones, we talked about the erecting fences, but, in between, we have changed. We do not want fences anymore because we have seen a province that we think is clear. However, the report says that the putting up of fences has begun. Why can we not get serious because it is very important that we do so? If we are going to have a good Committee that acts as a watchdog and holds the Executive accountable to what it says in here and we do not make a follow up, this is going to be a useless document.

There is a need to realise that once a promise about something is made, it has to be fulfilled. I was looking for a recent assurance in here, but I did not find it. I think the people following up assurances are not yet up to date. I asked a question with reference to when the Kalomo Hospital would be completed and opened. I was told that it would be opened at the end of June, 2010, but we are in July, 2010. However, it was not captured. I will still hold the hon. Minister answerable because it was said in this House, when answering a question I posed and he clearly stated that, by the end of June, 2010, the hospital will have been completed.

Madam Speaker, all I am saying is that let us fulfill what we say because once you have answered, you only need remind yourself about questions.

Madam Speaker, to avoid saying a lot of things, I would like my brothers and sisters on the other side to realise that we appreciate it when they respond positively and it is not that we want to attack them for the sake of it. Moreover, I am a member of the Opposition and as such it is not my duty to praise them. I just have to remind them to work hard although, secretly, somewhere, I will say, at least, you are doing well. For now, you better respond to the assurances you have given this House and that way, we will work better.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Madam Speaker, I would like to make a few comments and respond to those who have debated. The Government’s position is that, at least, every assurance be captured in its Action-Taken Report. Likewise, the assurances cited in this report.

Out of the pending assurances, it is known that some have been implemented. Unfortunately, there is no acknowledgement, as usual. This happens whenever we have fulfilled what we have promised. There is also a tendency to under play the issue of lack of funds, which is responsible for non-implementation of some of the assurances. Hon. Members of Parliament are party to the formulation of the Budget and know the total revenue that we collect in this country. They are also known for making demands relating to development and we must, of course, honour them. What I am emphasising here is that we know the limitations in terms of resources and, as a Government, we are trying our best to honour these assurances within the limited resources that are available.

Madam Speaker, I agree that efforts should be made to fulfill these assurances. However, hon. Members should also acknowledge that, in some cases that have been included, work is already being carried out. For example, although we have not concluded the Kasama Airport Project, we must acknowledge that we are doing some work there and it is even budgeted for in the 2010 Budget. However, that has not been acknowledged because they want everything to be done within a year, which is, sometimes, not possible as we have to budget progressively for some of these things.

Madam Speaker, local courts are also an example of pending assurances, but we have included some of them in the 2010 Budget, including one of the local courts on which we made an assurance. Therefore, some of these things are being attended to on a continuous basis. Nevertheless, we acknowledge and take note of the shortcomings that have been alluded to.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo: Madam Speaker, I wish to thank all the people who have debated and emphasise the need to have these assurances adhered to and implemented. I, therefore, recommend that this report be adopted.

I thank you, Madam.

Question put and agreed to.


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1749 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 9th July, 2010.