Debates- Wednesday, 7th July, 2010

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Wednesday, 7th July, 2010 

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






478.    Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola) asked the Minister of Communications  and Transport:

(a)    when the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) would implement the US$30 million investment pledge; and

(b)    what the duration of the investment programme was.


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.) (on Behalf of the Minister of Communications and Transport (Professor Lungwangwa)): Mr Speaker, in May, 2008, the RSZ shareholders pledged to invest an additional US$30 million above its contractual obligation of US$15.2 million. This was after constructive dialogue with the Government considering the importance of the railway system to the economy and the need to urgently invest in railway infrastructure. The RSZ has, since 2008, invested an additional US$15 million into its operations. This investment has been driven by business demands. In total, US$30,354,844 has been invested in the railway system by the RSZ as at 31st December, 2009. The pledged amount of US$30 million is yet to be fulfilled. 

Mr Speaker, the RSZ shareholders are still committed to invest the balance in the next three years or before, starting this year.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, with all the investment that the Vice-President has read out, there has been no improvement in the services of the RSZ and we are still seeing loads of trucks on the roads. If railway services were improved, those loads of trucks …

Mr Speaker: Order! Ask your question.

Mrs Musokotwane: When is this investment going to be seen through a change in the economy of this country so that we use railway lines more than roads?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I think I have answered that question by stating that there is a pledge to invest more money in railway infrastructure within the next three years. Therefore, the RSZ is committed to addressing the problem which the hon. Member of Parliament has raised.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, just to add on to Hon. Musokotwane’s question, I would like to find out the correlation between the investment in the railway system and the damage caused on the roads because of the failure by the RSZ to meet contractual obligations.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, as has been stated, it is because of the condition of our railway lines that there has been this commitment to further invest in infrastructure. That is the answer I have given.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, during the late Dr Mwanawasa’s reign, may his soul rest in peace, the then Minister of Communications and Transport, Hon. Dora Siliya, indicated to this House that the Government would engage the RSZ with a view to review the contract and that the Government was most likely going to terminate the agreement. May I know how far the Government has gone regarding this issue and if the RSZ has since improved its services.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, the commitment by the company to further invest in infrastructure is as a result of the review which the hon. Member is talking about.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Sir, may I solicit an explanation from the Vice-President on the specific areas in which the first US$15.2 million contractual obligation and second US$15 million, as part of the US$30 million pledge, were invested because the hon. Members asking questions cannot see where this investment went. May the Vice-President please elaborate.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I do not have specific details of where, exactly, this work has been done. However, what I know is that the upgrading and rehabilitation of the railway line has been a continuous exercise. We have seen it on documentaries although I am not able to give the specific details of where this has been done.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, Hon. Lubinda has already asked a similar question.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I wonder if His Honour the Vice-President could enlighten us on the precise scope of this word ‘pledge’. Does it mean the contractual agreement, statement of intent, the press release, targets or reference? What is his actual legal status of a pledge?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: I do not have those exact details, but the pledge is to rehabilitate the railway line so that it is brought back to a state which is acceptable.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer His Honour the Vice-President has given to this House, can he deny that the concessions signed between the RSZ and Zambian Government heavily smell of corruption and may he state when it will be terminated?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, that question is totally irrelevant to what we are discussing. If the hon. Member has any evidence of corruption, the investigative agencies are there to deal with any complaint of that nature.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President what the Executive’s position is in relation to the current operations of the RSZ. Is it happy with the operations or not?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, all I can say is that, indeed, the railway line needs to be improved.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, the late President Mwanawasa, SC. at one time threatened to cancel the agreement with the RSZ, but then went quiet about it. Could we assume that the relationship between the RSZ and the Government has somewhat improved since then?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, as I explained earlier, there were some meetings held with a view to reviewing this very agreement as a result of which we have come up with this position of further investment into the railway line. That is the current position.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


480. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    what the prisoner accommodation capacity was for the following prisons in the country:

(i)    Mukobeko;
(ii)    Kamwala
(iii)    Mwembeshi; and
(iv)    Chimbokaila

(b)    what the current number of inmates was at the prisons above; and

(c)    when the Government would embark on the expansion of prisons countrywide.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Taima): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the prison accommodation capacity for the following prisons in the country is as follows:

Name of Prison                    No. of inmates

Mukobeko Maximum Security             400

Kamwala Remand                 120

Mwembeshi Prison Farm                 55

Chimbokaila (Lusaka Central)            260

Mr Speaker, the current number of inmates as at the prisons above is as follows:

Prison                            No. of inmates

Mukobeko Maximum Security                1,657

Kamwala Remand                      790

Mwembeshi Prison Farm                    418

Chimbokaila                         1,341

Mr Speaker, it is an ongoing programme for the Government to build, expand and renovate prisons countrywide. The notable programmes are the building of the Mwembeshi Maximum Prison, which is nearing completion, the building of a new prison in Monze, the building of a new cell and a kitchen at Mpima Remand Prison, the rehabilitation of Kamfinsa State Prison, where more bed space has been created, and the renovation of Livingstone Central Prison among others. Funds have also been allocated for the construction of new prisons in Luwingu and Kalabo respectively.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I have always guided that when questions are answered, the hon. Members of the House pay attention. I regret to inform you, hon. Minister, that a section of this House was not interested in what you were saying. They carried on talking, chatting and, sometimes, even giggling. So, it seems as if your effort in answering this question has not been rewarded.


481. Mr Kambwili asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    how many doctors were currently deployed at the following hospitals:

(i)    Kafue District; and
(ii)    Roan General;

(b)    who was responsible for the payment of salaries to the doctors at the Kafue District Hospital; and

(c)    when all the wards at the Roan General Hospital would be re-opened.

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, the two hospitals have a bed capacity of ninety-seven and 170 respectively.

Kafue District Hospital has six doctors with bed capacity of ninety-seven while Roan General Hospital has thirteen doctors with the capacity of 170 beds.

The Government of the Republic of Zambia is responsible for paying salaries to the doctors at Kafue District Hospital. All the wards at Roan General Hospital namely, female medical, male medical, pediatric, gynecology, high cost male and female, labour and male surgical are operational. The only ward which is closed is the female surgical ward which is undergoing some renovations. The female surgical ward will be re-opened by December, 2010 after the renovations have been completed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out where the hon. Minister is getting the information ...

Mr Malama: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for allowing me to raise a point of order. It is a pity that one question did not have a follow-up question. However, is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, including the whole Government, in order to allow a situation where prisoners are failing to sleep due to lack of space in prisons ...

Mr Speaker: Order! There is no back door here.


Mr Speaker: You must enter by the front door.

The hon. Member for Roan may continue.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that some doctors at Kafue District Hospital are finding it difficult to get salaries because they are being paid by the board and not the Ministry of Health?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for raising that question. I do not have that information. I have to find out.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, in responding to Question 481(a), the hon. Minister made reference to doctors in relation to the number of beds and the statistics show that there are thirteen and sixteen beds per doctor in Roan and Kafue respectively. May the hon. Minister indicate to us whether that is now the measure that the ministry is using in allocating doctors to hospitals.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, this might not be the measure. The hon. Member knows that we are very short of medical doctors, at the moment, and we may or may not fill the establishment in some cases. 

I thank you, Sir.


482. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the following roads in Zambezi District would be rehabilitated:

(i)    Chilenga/Nyakulenga/Katonto; and

(ii)    Mushona/Chitokoloki/Mpidi.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Kalila): Mr Speaker, regarding the Chilenga/Nyakulenga/Katonto Road, the prioritisation of the feeder roads to be maintained, each year, in Zambezi District is the responsibility of the Zambezi District Council, which is the appointed road authority for feeder roads in the district. The Zambezi District Council has already carried out the maintenance grading of the 79-kilometre Chilanga/Chipalata/Nyakulenga/Katonto Road. There are now plans to carry out spot regravelling of the road in 2010 utilising the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). There are, however, no immediate plans to rehabilitate the road because of lack of funds.

With regard to the Zambezi/Chitokoloki/Mpidi Road, the Zambezi District Council intends to carry out the formation and gravelling of the 98-kilometre  Zambezi/Chitokoloki/Mpidi Road in 2010 utilising the CDF. There are, however, no immediate plans to rehabilitate the project road because of insufficient funds.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, it is three years since the Chinese equipment was moved to the provinces and the idea was to waive off the responsibility from the ministry, but the Zambezi District Council has not done anything. Does the ministry really monitor how this equipment is working in the provinces?

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, the provincial administrations are in charge of the equipment and it is expected that hon. Members of Parliament, who sit with these administrations, will choose priority roads to be worked on and, thereafter, follow-up the projects. I do not think we will be encouraging the process of decentralisation if, when we send equipment to provinces, where we expect your participation, you have no interest and want to come back to us, who gave you equipment, to supervise for you. I think the hon. Member should show interest in the projects. In fact, the hon. Deputy Minister for the province sits in this House. He can see him when business is suspended.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, why has the Government not provided the funding to complete the rehabilitation of the Nyakulenga Road when it quickly moved in to start the rehabilitation, last year, during a ward by-election and has since abandoned it and is now asking us to use the CDF to complete it?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I have no knowledge of that abandoned project. However, if at a time there was some intention to rehabilitate the road and they ran out of funds, there is nothing we can do until funds are made available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, it appears that the CDF is doing a lot in as far as road rehabilitation is concerned. Is the hon. Minister thinking of engaging the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to increase it?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the CDF is part of Government funding and it is not up to the Ministry of Works and Supply to prevail on the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to increase it. The CDF is allocated by this House and I do hope that if they are persuasive enough and there is merit in their persuasion, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning could consider that.

I thank you, Sir.


483. Mr Lumba (Solwezi Central) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    how much money was spent on the specialist treatment of Zambians who were evacuated for medical attention abroad in 2009; and

(b)    what the major health complications of the patients which prompted the evacuations were.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, in 2009, a total of K12,782,534,634.80 was spent on the specialist treatment of Zambians who were evacuated abroad for medical attention.

The major health complications of the patients that prompted the evacuations were as follows:

(a)    twenty-nine patients went for heart surgery conditions and underwent the following treatment:

 (i)    cardiac catheterisation;
 (ii)    bilateral hydronephrosis;
(iii)    laser surgery – tracheal stenosis;
(iv)    laser photocoagulation;
(v)    MRI-cervical tumor;
(vi)    MRI-angiography (subaracjmpod haemorrage);
(vii)    MRI-pituitary macroadenoma; 
(viii)    neurological conditions; and 
(ix)    opthamology; and

(b)    nine patients went for larynegeal stenosis, bone marrow transplant, fractured femur, post cataract operation and renal transplant.

Mr Simbao laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Lumba: Mr Speaker, I know the terms were difficult to follow. However, I would like to know whether the ministry has made a cost-benefit analysis in terms of  monetary mortality and morbidity of the K12 billion and if so, does it justify the expenditure of K12 billion for 2009?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, while I appreciate the question by the hon. Member for Solwezi Central, he must understand, first of all, that there are certain instruments that we do not have in this country such as the angiography. It follows, therefore, that anyone who needs checking using this equipment cannot be helped in this country.  It is one item that we need to buy for us to be able to give that kind of service.

Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member followed my answer, there were three cases of MRIs. We did not have the MRI in this country. Now, we have bought it and cases that require its use will have to be attended to in this country. It is not just a question of the cost-benefit analysis, but the ability to treat people locally. If we cannot treat them, they must be given the opportunity to be treated elsewhere.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that life is priceless and if we are in a position to save it, we should?

Mr Simbao: I thank you, Mr Speaker. I confirm that life is priceless and if we have the capacity and the means, we should go to all lengths to save it.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister indicate the countries to which patients were evacuated.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, most of our patients are taken to South Africa and, now, India.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}


484. Mr Malama asked the Minister of Works and Supply whether there were any plans to extend the Chipata/Mambwe Road to Mpika through Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, the Government is desirous of linking the Eastern Province to the Northern Province through the extension of the Chipata/Mambwe Road through Nabwalya. However, the Government has found it difficult to immediately implement the project due to the two following reasons.

    (i)    the amount of money required to carry out the project; and

(ii)    the Government is, currently, committed to completing the ongoing major road projects in the country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chongo: On a point of order Sir,

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, I would like to …

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chongo: Mr Speaker, I rise on a serious point of order. I am compelled to do so because the matter is very serious.

 Mr Speaker, is it in order for an hon. Member of Parliament to make derogatory remarks against the Vice-President, who is Leader of Government Business in the House, and insult him in the press on issues that were raised in this House? I have raised this point of order in reference to an article in The Post newspaper of Monday, 5th July, 2010, headlined “Kunda is the Most Stupid Vice-President – Mpombo”.

Mr Speaker, I am baffled and seek your ruling over this issue.


Mr Speaker: Order! Unless you read an excerpt from the story and not the headline, that paper will not be accepted.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. Let me read an excerpt from the article, and I quote:

    “Vice-President George Kunda is a turncoat,” MMD Kafulafuta Member of Parliament George Mpombo charged yesterday. 

“And Mpombo has warned that changing laws to remove the abuse of office offence from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act will not protect Vice-President Kunda and his colleagues from prosecution for their wrong deeds when they leave office.

“Commenting on Vice-President Kunda’s threats against Katuba MMD Member of Parliament, Jonas Shakafuswa, with imprisonment when the latter questioned the Government’s motive for removing the offence of abuse of office from the revised Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act during the Friday Vice-President’s Oral Question and Answer Session in Parliament, Mpombo said Vice-President Kunda must be told in no uncertain terms that he could not be allowed to threaten people with impunity.”

Mr Speaker, I would like to lay this paper on the Table.

Mr Chongo laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Speaker: I shall study the point of order raised by the hon. Member for Mwense and if I find merit in it, I shall refer the matter to the relevant Committee of the House which deals with the privileges of the House, in general, and the privileges of hon. Members, in particular, for consideration and recommendation as to what course of action should be taken. 

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the Government is doing to open up the Nabwalya Chiefdom since there are no immediate plans to extend the Chipata/Mambwe Road, through Nabwalya in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency, to Mpika.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, in the first place, the opening up of Nabwalya is the responsibility of the respective councils who, in their planning, will solicit for support from not only the Government, but also any other source that would help them develop Nabwalya.

 We, as a Government, would not want to make a commitment to work on the road because we do not have the resources, but, when they are available, the hon. Member will be in this House to participate in the allocation of funds for the project. As for now, we have no resources to carry out the project, but we have in mind the intention that, one day, funds permitting, we should link the Eastern and Northern provinces because it is the quickest way people can connect between the two places.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, besides being the quickest route that people can use to travel from the Eastern to the Northern Province, this road will also save individuals as well as the country colossal amounts of money. Could I find out from the hon. Minister what the internal rate of return would be for investing on that road. In short, how many years would it take to recover the investment on that road from the savings that would accrue as a result of reduced costs of delivering people from the Eastern Province through the Lusaka Province to the Northern Province and vice versa.

Mr Mulongoti:  Mr Speaker, the hon. Member wants to sound very knowledgeable …


Mr Lubinda: Of course, I am better than you.

Mr Mulongoti: … on matters like that.


Mr Mulongoti: I would like to inform him that the internal rate of return is not the only measure we use. We are the Government and, therefore, we provide services even where there are no economic interests.


Mr Mulongoti: Therefore, if in your time of governance, one day, if ever, …


Mr Mulongoti: … you will only be considering the rate of return, it will be difficult for you to provide services to the people. 

Mr Speaker, first of all, we are concerned with the project to provide services to our people and those economic rates of return will be calculated later.

I thank you, Sir.



Mr Speaker: Order! 

I think you will deal with that intellectual …


Mr Speaker: … discussion at tea time.


Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just stated that it is the responsibility of Mpika District Council to work on the roads …

Mr Sing’ombe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, last week, during the Questions for Oral Answer, I asked the hon. Minister of Home Affairs a question regarding the people who had been shot dead in Dundumwezi. I, further, mentioned a few names of those who had been killed and those whose lives were under threat. Among the names I mentioned was Mr Sibulyobulyo.

Mr Sibulyobulyo was shot dead by unknown people on Monday night. Is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and, indeed, the Government, in order to keep quiet about that without making any arrests while the people of Dundumwezi are being killed by unknown people? Sir, I need your serious ruling on this matter.

Mr Speaker: My serious ruling on the point of order that has been raised by the hon. Member for Dundumwezi is that where deaths have been occasioned by a criminal act, the police, if that criminal act is reported, always get into action.

Therefore, my expectation is that the police in the area or, indeed, outside the area must be in action to investigate and locate the persons who have caused the death that the hon. Member is referring to. Obviously, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs is listening to this ruling and I have no doubt that he will follow-up this matter. This does not only apply to the deaths in Dundumwezi, but also all deaths occasioned by criminal activity anywhere in the Republic.

Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply stated that it was the responsibility of Mpika District Council to work on the Nabwalya Road. However, we equally know that it is also the responsibility of Chipata and Mambwe districts to work on the roads and they have been funded. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the programme of repairing the road in Nabwalya will be extended because people are suffering and are always cut off during the rainy season.

Mr Malama: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, roads are attended to when they are a priority of councils and Chipata and Mambwe districts have taken the works on the road leading to their areas as a priority. I do not think that it, necessarily, follows that the road leading to Nabwalya should be set as a priority. The council under which it falls has its own priorities and I am sure that there are provisions for Nabwalya in the budget arrangements as well. Nabwalya is a big place with various feeder roads. At the same time, Nabwalya falls under a province and, at provincial level, there are plans to grade and rehabilitate roads using either our equipment or contractors. Therefore, I do not think that there is any neglect of Nabwalya as such. I think, in Nabwalya’s area, there must be roads that are being attended to as well.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that Mpika District Council even fails to raise millions of kwacha to pay salaries to its workers. How then does he expect the council to raise billions of kwacha to open up the Nabwalya area?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I did not expect such a statement from the hon. Member of Parliament who is also a councillor. This is why councils cannot tick.


Mr Mulongoti: You are the planners for the councils. Dependency on the Central Government is what is causing councils to have difficulties. I would have expected the hon. Member of Parliament, who is a councillor, …


Mr Mulongoti: … to have been in the forefront of identifying projects that can raise funds for the council. 

Mr Speaker, it is not enough to wait for the Central Government to give you money. The Government would like to see your innovativeness and entrepreneurship. If the council is such that it cannot even pay salaries, there are measures that should be taken. You cannot keep people you do not pay. You must streamline or reduce the number of staff. If you want to be a charity, I do not think the council will survive. Hon. Member, do a job evaluation to reduce the number of staff to a level that you can manage to maintain. If you are going to wait for the Central Government to give you money to pay your over employed council, you will have strikes all the time. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


485. Mr Imenda asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources:

(a)    when the development of the Okavango Tourism Triangle would commence; and
(b)    whether the triangle would include the Southern Circuit and Kafue National Park.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Mwangala): Mr Speaker, although there were several attempts by countries in the Southern Region to open up their common areas and develop tourism, the most successful one is the ongoing Kavango Zambezi Trans- frontier Conservation Area (KAZA-TFCA).

Sir, this august House will note that there is no Okavango Tourism Triangle in Zambia. However, Zambia is a party to KAZA-TFCA with four other countries, namely Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The five countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2006 to develop KAZA-TFCA. The main objective of KAZA-TFCA is to develop a premier tourist destination in their adjacent bordering areas and this is built on the principles of sustainable use of natural resources, biodiversity conservation and equitable socio-economic benefits for the impoverished rural communities.

Mr Speaker, currently, KAZA-TFCA member countries are making consultations on the draft treaty which will be signed by their Heads of State, this year, in Namibia. Zambia has already submitted the draft treaty to the Ministry of Justice for consideration. The recent KAZA-TFCA Technical Committee Meeting was hosted by Zambia in Livingstone in April, 2010, where progress and implementation of KAZA-TFCA programmes were discussed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, as mentioned before, Okavango Tourism Triangle is not in existence, hence cannot possibly include the Southern Circuit and the Kafue National Park. However, the KAZA-TFCA component in Zambia includes the Livingstone area, Kafue and Sioma Ngwezi national parks, Mulobezi, Sichifulo, the West Zambezi game management areas (GMAs) and surrounding community areas.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, KAZA-TFCA referred to is the same as the Okavango Tourism Triangle. The other countries that are in this triangle have taken drastic measures to ensure that tourism in their countries is operational. Why have we been waiting for over ten years now to take up this programme which is benefiting other countries?

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Ms Namugala): Mr Speaker, Zambia has not been waiting to take up this programme, but has been making developmental plans internally while at the same time taking part in the regional initiatives. KAZA-TFCA is a regional initiative that is meant to help the countries in the region market their common areas. In addition, hon. Members may wish to know that wildlife management in the common areas is one such focus that, as countries, we want to ensure that we conserve our wildlife. As the hon. Members will know, wildlife does not use passports to cross from one country to another. So, it is very important for us to develop common initiatives to manage wildlife apart from other natural resources.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the States that have been mentioned as members of KAZA-TFCA are all riparian States of the Zambezi River. I want to know what the relationship between KAZA-TFCA and the ZAC Plan is and how far the implementation of the ZAC Plan has gone with regard to implementing the riparian State programmes such as this one.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the ZAC Plan is a different initiative from KAZA-TFCA. KAZA-TFCA involves countries that share the Okavango and Zambezi River basins.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Order!


486. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:

(a)    how many boreholes had been sunk in Mumbwa District from January, 2009 to date; and

(b)    how many boreholes were expected to be sank in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency in 2010. 

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Akakandelwa): Mr Speaker, my ministry drilled three boreholes in three parliamentary constituencies of Mumbwa District from 2009 to-date. However, out of the three boreholes, one was unsuccessful. These boreholes were located in the following areas:

Location                          Constituency            State of Borehole

Kakumbi Village              Mumbwa Central             Drilled and equipped

Kantengwa Community          Nangoma              Drilled and equipped)
Mukulaikwa Basic School         Mwembeshi             Dry borehole)

Mr Speaker, concerning the number of boreholes expected to be drilled in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency in 2010, there is no budgetary provision this year. However, the Government has put in place a programme for the construction of boreholes in many parts of the country. The water demand for Nangoma Constituency will be addressed in due course. 

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out why Mumbwa District has only had three boreholes sunk when other constituencies have had 300.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Mr Speaker, I am not aware of any constituency where 300 boreholes have been drilled. I would be most grateful if the hon. Member could provide us with this information so that we can make a follow-up. 

Mr Speaker, having said this, there are different programmes for the drilling of boreholes in the country. Some programmes come through the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and others are done through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Therefore, based on the needs assessment, there might be instances where, in one area, a certain number of boreholes need to be drilled. This could have given rise to the number of boreholes in some areas. However, I am not aware of any constituency where such a number of boreholes was drilled. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, what is the Government doing about the dry borehole that was drilled at Mukulaikwa Basic School in Mwembeshi because the people there still need safe and clean water?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, it is correct that the borehole that was drilled in Mwembeshi in 2009 turned out to be dry. However, efforts are being made, as indicated in our response, to drill other boreholes in the same area so that the people can be provided with water. 

Thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


487. Ms Limata (Luampa) asked the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development when the Government would construct youth skills resource centres in all the districts of the Western Province.

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Ndalamei): Mr Speaker, my ministry has one operational youth skills resource centre in the Western Province called the Kaoma Youth Resource Centre situated in Kaoma District. 

The ministry is, currently, constructing another youth resource centre in Senanga District called the Mooyo Youth Resource Centre. All things being equal, it is envisaged that the centre shall be completed in readiness for use in the second quarter of 2011.

Mr Speaker, under the Sixth National Development Plan of 2011 to 2015, my ministry plans to construct youth resource centres in Kalabo and Mongu districts. The strategic vision of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), through my ministry, is to construct, at least, one youth skills resource centre in all the seventy-three districts of the Republic of Zambia by 2030. This will depend on the availability of resources to my ministry.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Ms Limata: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister knows very well that the Western Province is very big. He talked about building the other skills resource centres by 2030. I would like to found out from him whether the Government is trying to cut some corners because it sings about these centres all the time. When will the construction of these resource centres start? 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order! 

It is a rule, based on the etiquette of the House, that when the presiding officer is speaking, the rest must be quiet. This rule enables the presiding officer to communicate with the hon. Members who are directly concerned about the issues that are before the House.

 The hon. Minister may continue. 

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, this Government has been working very hard to build youth skills resource centres all over the country. At the moment, it has got sixteen resource centres which are operational throughout the country. 

I indicated earlier in my response that the Government has one in the Western Province and are building one more in Senanga. Next year, two more will be built in Kalomo and Mongu districts. If funds will be made available, the Government will be constructing a resource centre, every year, in all the districts. By 2030, all the districts will have youth skills resource centres. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Phiri: This House is aware that there is some money which has been reserved for youth empowerment. Through you, Sir, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if this Government can use part of this money to construct these youth skills resource centres so that our youths can acquire skills as opposed to receiving handouts like what is happening at the moment. 

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, that money was budgeted for youth empowerment and we shall use it for that purpose. At the moment, we are constructing about five more resource centres in Mwinilunga, Samfya, Luwingu, Mongu and Kamwilimwa. When funds are available, the construction of these centres will be continued.

Thank you, Sir. 

Mr Ntundu (pointing at Hon. Ndalamei): Mr Speaker, there has been a shift in the hon. Minister’s response. He has shifted posts from the previous position taken by the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development …

Mr Ndalamei looked away from Hon. Ntundu.

Hon. Ntundu: You are now looking elsewhere. 


Mr Speaker: Order! 

What is your question? 

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister tell this House when the Government will put money aside specifically for the construction of youth skills resource centres in the Western and other provinces as well? 

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, I cannot see any shifting of positions. I have already stated that the construction of youth skills resource centres is an ongoing exercise. Currently, we have five youth skills resource centres under construction.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the question by the hon. Member for Luampa is very clear. The hon. Member wants to find out when the Government would construct youth skills resource centres in all the districts of the Western Province. In responding to that very clear question, the hon. Minister told us how his Government intends to construct youth skills training centres in the seventy-three districts of Zambia without making specific reference to the Western Province. Borrowing from his answer where he says his Government hopes that every district will have youth skills training by 2030, is he telling us that youths skills training centres will be constructed in all the five districts that do not have such a facility in the Western Province from 2025 to 2030, one per year as planned? Is that his answer? Could he be more specific on that matter?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, I think I was clear when I said that we have got one in Kaoma. We are constructing one at Mooyo which is in Senenga District. Again, next year, we are going to construct two in Kalabo and Mongu.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister stated that this Government is working very hard towards building these skills centres. 

Sir, when someone is working very hard, he or she must score above average. Since sixteen out of seventy-three is below average, may I know what the hon. Deputy Minister meant when he said they are working very hard.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, we are working very with the little resources that we have.


Mr Ndalamei: We have managed to build sixteen centres and we are building five more this year.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central):  Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Second Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Lands 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 Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, your Committee carried out its mandate pursuant to the terms of reference set out in the standing orders of the National Assembly.

Sir, in accordance with the said terms of reference, your Committee resolved to undertake a comprehensive study of the status of customary land and how it affects the rights of the local indigenous communities. In addition, your Committee considered the action-taken report of your Committee’s first report for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly.

Furthermore, your Committee toured selected districts where it held meetings with the relevant heads of departments form some local authorities and Government departments. Your Committee also held meetings with selected traditional leaders, their headmen and councils of elders in the various locations. In particular, your Committee toured Solwezi, Mwinilunga and Kalomo districts.

It is therefore, my hope that hon. Members have taken time to read the report. My role will be to highlight only those issues that caught the attention of your Committee during their deliberations.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is worried by the way traditional land is being alienated from both Zambians and non-Zambians and converted to statutory leasehold without due regard to the levels of land pressure that currently exist.

There is a common belief that land is abundant in Zambia and yet, there is a lot of land pressure. According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), 94 per cent of Zambia’s land falls under customary tenure while 6 per cent is held under leasehold tenure. However, these statistics have been overtaken by events as customary land does not cover such a large portion of land as official figures purport to indicate.

In fact, latest research by stakeholders indicates that much of the land regarded to be under the customary land tenure system already falls outside customary land administration. For instance, 40 per cent of the so-called customary land is administered by the wildlife and forestry authorities as national parks, game management areas (GMAs) and forest reserves. This leaves a balance of only 43 per cent. The remaining 43 per cent also includes land covered by marshes, mountain rangers and that which is permanently under water.

In addition, customary land has continued to decrease in size owing to the conversion of customary land to State land. There is also land considered to be public land where there are Government facilities such as schools and hospitals which does not fall under customary tenure. Above all, your Committee noted that of all the land mass in Zambia, only 58 per cent is arable land. All this demonstrates how much customary land has reduced in size over the decades. It further indicates the need for Zambia to be more cautious when converting customary land to leasehold.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Despite the fact that land is slowly being taken away from our traditional rulers and converted into 100 years leaseholds, the Zambian legislation on land administration continues to promote the conversion of customary land into State land. It is a well-known fact that the most vulnerable and marginalised Zambians live in the rural areas on customary land and their livelihood is mainly dependent on the customary land that they farm on. Thus, these people need special protection by the Government to curb the indiscriminate conversion of their customary land.

Your Committee thus, proposed that a ceiling be placed on the extent of land that a traditional leader may alienate for conversion into State land.

Mr Speaker, your Committee noted from its review of the status of customary land in Zambia that the 1995 Lands Act attaches value to virgin land. This provision has led to speculators attaching high values to bare land. Therefore, your Committee recommends that speculation on land in Zambia be curbed through the creation of legal provisions that will mandate vendors of land to carry out a valuation of the land prior to selling it.

Mr Speaker, your Committee learnt that the Lands Act provides for the creation of the Lands Tribunal. However, the jurisdiction of the Lands Tribunal is very limited in its operations. The Supreme Court has made clear the limited jurisdiction of the Lands Tribunal in its interpretation of the mandate of the tribunal in various cases that have come before it. According to the Supreme Court interpretation, the Lands Tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear matters in cases where title deeds have already been issued.

As a result of this interpretation, the functions of the Lands Tribunal have been watered down as there are very few cases that it can now arbitrate over. This limited jurisdiction arises, mainly, from the conflicting provisions in the Lands Act and the Lands and Deeds Registry Act.

Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to speedily reconcile the two pieces of legislation so that efficacy is given to the Lands Tribunal as it can be used as an important tool for decongesting the courts. Further, your Committee urges the hon. Minister responsible for Lands to appoint commissioners who will arbitrate over matters that will come before the Lands Tribunal since it, currently, does not have commissioners.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is happy to note that the 1995 Lands Act offers sufficient protection to the local people in the event where one intends to convert customary land into State land by consulting all that would be affected by the conversion. However, your Committee notes, with deep concern, that there is so much ignorance of the legal provisions of the Lands Act. As a result of this ignorance, the local people are suffering at the hands of some traditional leaders who are selling traditional land to developers and speculators indiscriminately and without following the laid-down procedures. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to conduct awareness programmes for the local people.

Sir, your Committee is shocked, during its study, to discover that the Government is not aware of the extent of land that is, currently, held under each of the two land tenure systems. Further, the Ministry of Lands and, indeed, all the local councils that your Committee visited during its tour expressed ignorance over the amount of land that is available for development and that which is already allotted to people for various uses. The Government officials that appeared before your Committee acknowledged that a land audit must be undertaken urgently, but lamented lack of resources to undertake this activity.

Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government, in liaison with the local authorities countrywide, to, as a matter of urgency, undertake a comprehensive land audit.

Mr Speaker, your Committee learnt that traditional leaders and the local people of Solwezi, Ikelenge and Kalomo districts, desired to have a clause inserted in the Lands Act which would provide for the reconversion of State land to customary land. It was argued that with the prevailing land pressure, the absence of a provision for reconversion greatly affects local people as they are slowly being squeezed. The current legal regime does not enable a traditional leader to re-enter and resettle his or her subjects on State land even if it is just lying idle. Traditional leaders would, thus, prefer that there is a provision which would allow them to re-enter pieces of land that are not being developed in a similar manner that the Commissioner of Lands does.

Sir, your Committee, in this regard, urges Government to consider reviewing the Lands Act so that traditional leaders, in liaison with the Commissioner of Lands, can identify for reconversion to customary land some of the state land that has been lying idle for some time.

Mr Speaker, your Committee learnt, during its study, that most of the local people consulted would like to use the land they are occupying as collateral for borrowing from the banks as well as to guarantee their security of tenure on their respective pieces of land. In the areas that your Committee toured, local people echoed the need for some of form of title deeds to be issued to them so that they can use it as collateral.

Your Committee, thus, urges the Government to devise a mechanism of giving powers to chiefs to issue legal instruments that will be used by locals as collateral for borrowing against the traditional land that they hold.

Mr Speaker, in 1984, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, as President of Zambia, appointed the Sakala Commission of Inquiry to inquire into the status of land in the Southern Province. The Sakala Commission made an in-depth study of the various land challenges in the province and provided recommendations for the resolution of the said problems. This commission made very productive recommendations that would have resolved most land disputes in the province. In Kalomo District, for instance, which your Committee toured, the Sakala Commission, after receiving submissions from local people on both State and customary land, proposed, among other things, a thorough redistribution of land. It recommended various pieces of land that it thought needed to be reconverted into customary land and given to the local people to ease land pressure in the district. Your Committee, during its tour of Kalomo District, was alerted about the fact that the Government had not implemented any of the recommendations of the Sakala Commission.

Your Committee, during its tour, learnt that Kalomo Town is wholly surrounded by State land that has been alienated to individuals and as such the council has no land at all remaining to facilitate the expansion of the town. Further, the said State land is situated in Chief Sipatunyana’s Chiefdom which, too, has had almost all of its land converted into State land. As a result, the local people of Chief Sipatunyana have been denied access to productive land. This situation has led to the local people and their traditional leaders demanding that portions of State land and protected forest lands be reconverted to customary land for use by the local people.

Your Committee urges the Government to revisit the Sakala Commission Report in order for it to address the land problem in Kalomo District.

Lastly, Mr Speaker, your Committees notes, with dismay, that the Government started drafting a land policy as far back as 1996 but, to-date, has failed to adopt and implement it. This policy should have, by now, addressed some of the concerns raised in your Committee’s report. Many of the challenges that are being faced by local Zambians in acquiring customary land and enjoying quiet possession thereof would be dealt with if an all encompassing land policy was developed and adopted. This policy, once adopted and implemented, will pave way for a more comprehensive review of the current land laws in Zambia.

Your Committee, therefore, implores the Government to undertake the process of adopting and implementing the land policy.

In conclusion, Sir, your Committee is very grateful to you for the valuable guidance you provided during the year. It is also indebted to all the witnesses that appeared before it for their co-operation in providing the necessary memoranda and briefs.

Mr Speaker, I wish to register my appreciation to all the Members of the Committee for their co-operation and dedication to the work of the Committee. Allow me to also thank the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the advice and services rendered during the session.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Hamusonde: Now, Mr Speaker. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me an opportunity to second the Motion which has been ably moved by the Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Lands.

Mr Chazangwe: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamusonde: Sir, allow me to highlight and re-emphasise a few issues which affect the administration of customary land in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, during the study of the Committee, it became evident that there was land pressure on both traditional and State land. However, the situation as regards traditional land is more acute as the rural people are not as knowledgeable on the land rights as the urban people. These people, thus, need more protection from developers who are converting most of the traditional land into State land. As such, the local people in most areas that your Committee toured are demanding for the degazetting of protected forest areas so that they can have access to land for cultivation.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Lands and other local authorities expressed ignorance on the amount of land held under both tenure systems when they appeared before your Committee. It is, thus, important for the ministry to urgently undertake a land audit. Further, your Committee found, during its tour, that most Government and council officials in the toured areas did not have knowledge of the procedure that must be employed when converting land from customary to State land. 

Mr Speaker, in Mwinilunga, for instance, the council was found trying to open up the surrounding areas of the district by displacing local people living on that traditional land without consulting them. This is in direct conflict with laid down procedures. Your Committee, thus, urges the Government to build capacities in the officials at district and provincial levels so that they are knowledgeable about the procedures for acquiring and converting traditional land.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, delays by the Government to develop land surrendered to it by the traditional rulers is being viewed as lack of interest in the land by traditional leaders. In Solwezi District, your Committee learnt that traditional leaders were demanding for various pieces of land that were hitherto surrendered to the Government for development to be given back to the traditional leaders since no development had taken place on it.

Mr Speaker, your Committee was shocked to learn that the Government had not implemented any of the recommendations made by the Sakala Commission of inquiry into the status of land in the Southern Province. The current situation in Kalomo District is very desperate as people have started squatting on State land and thereby chasing away surveyors who wanted to demarcate some portions of former State ranches and rural reconstruction farms. This is as a result of an acute shortage of land for the local people to settle as most of the land in the district is State land leaving the local people with no or little access to it.

Mr Speaker, I wish to reiterate the need for the Government to look into these matters urgently in order to prevent the escalation of land disputes arising in the country due to land pressure.

With these few words, I beg to second the Motion.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to add the voice of Katuba to this very important debate.

Mr Speaker, as a subject of this great nation, Zambia, I think that, we, as Zambians, have put a lot of pressure on our traditional rulers concerning land. Traditionally, some people were moved from Lilayi to present day Lusaka. This trend has continued because, in my constituency, we still have people being moved to other places.

Mr Speaker, land has great value and when the Chairperson was moving the Motion, he talked about us giving land to Zambians and non-Zambians, but I would like us to take into consideration the rate at which foreigners are getting our land. I am aware that a lot of people are coming to Zambia not to develop the country, but to look for investment capital and equity. I know of cases where people have got tracts of land and go to local and international banks using it as collateral when getting money which they do not intend to pay back. At the end of the day, we wake up to find our land taken.

Mr Speaker, I have in mind a deal in Mpongwe District in which 60,000 hectares of land was used as collateral and banks eventually moved onto the land. I do not know how far this issue has gone, but this just goes to show how people are acquiring our land for nothing and making the most out of it. As a country, we should come up with policies which will ensure that these people who come after our land know that we have use for it. We, as a country, still own this important resource which can be used to develop this country. 

Mr Speaker, it can be discovered that somebody uses our land as collateral to get US$5 million, over which they make no effort to pay back, causing banks to move onto the land. I think that is speculative and speculation by people whose umbilical cords cannot be traced to this country makes sad reading. Therefore, the Government should come up with measures which will ensure that the people of Zambia have control over of their land. 

Mr Speaker, a lot of people say that traditional or customary land does not have value or that those who own it have no use for it. It is a lie because they have use for it, but do not just have the resources to develop it. So, the Government should come up with a measure where it holds such land in trust on behalf of the people. When land use is converted from traditional to State use, it should not take away everything. The people to who that land belongs should still be empowered by having a return on it to enable them have the capacity to develop it. 

Mr Speaker, I have observed that when land use is converted to State tenure, the rent and all forms of benefit go directly to the State and the people who own it get nothing out of it, not even in a developmental sense. 

Mr Speaker, land in Zambia is running out. For example, land for those of us in Chibombo District has run out although we are proud, that even though we were moved, we paved way for the development of Lusaka. 

Mr Speaker, it is disheartening to note that it takes over ten years for a Zambian to get a certificate of title for the conversion of land into State land. However, large tracts of land are given to developers for almost nothing at all. We are giving out tracts of land as if it has no value. Land has value and we should use it to raise capital from the so-called investors coming in the country. This way, they will invest their money and enable the locals to use this money obtained as investment capital. For example, this can be the case with the tracts of land that are going to be opened up in Mkushi.

Mr Speaker, you cannot find any place in the world where land is just given away for the sake of it just to be used as collateral. Everywhere you go, you have to buy land through the nose. However, here, in Zambia, we are fast in giving away tracts of it to the so-called investors, including game management areas (GMAs) where we are giving title deeds to businesspeople. What will happen to the indigenous people in those areas? Once you give title deeds to the so-called investors, it becomes their land and this will mean that our people will be pushed further away from development into areas where there will be nothing. As such, we, as a country, will continue being a highly indebted poor country, something which we seem to be very proud of, and yet we live in a country of plenty.

Mr Speaker, I want to urge the House to come up with policies which will desist from portraying land as a commodity of no value. Our land has value because a lot of people are looking up to Africa to feed Europe, the United States of America (USA) and other developed countries. However, Africa should not get into raw deals of giving out land or mines and get nothing in return because that is its wealth. We, as Africans, are not going to develop if we continue singing the song of the so-called investors. Those are greedy people who come here to make profits …

Mrs Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: … and when they go away, they will leave nothing behind for the Zambians. There is talk about the many investors, and yet the gross national income (GDI) is still marginal. This just goes to show that we are not rich and nothing is happening in Zambia, and yet it is our wealth that is shining in Europe and the Tiger nations. After they make profits, they come back to us offering donations. 

Mr Speaker, it is evident that, maybe, as a country, we have not matured enough to realise that ours is a rich country that must not be begging. We have to make policies that are hard-hitting so that the people who do not want to invest in this country leave and if we do not have the brains, as it seemingly is, at the moment, to create wealth in this country, then it is better we leave it for our children who have attained higher levels of education than us. They will be able to think at the rate of the so-called investors and create wealth for themselves.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Phiri: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I wish to heartily endorse this report. I would like to underline and add detail to one or two points made by the Chairperson in his admirable presentation. 

Mr Speaker, in this House, I have consistently warned that there is the Zimbabwean type of situation arising in this country. By that, I mean a system of unbearable conflict over the ownership and utilisation of land which leads, ultimately, to chaos or something close to it. I would say that the problem does not easily divide itself. Unlike Zimbabwe which was once characterised by racial division, it is not the case here. There are many people of all colours using their influence and connections to acquire customary land, turn it into leasehold land and become instant millionaires. This is the speculation that the Chairperson was referring to. This refers not just to customary land, but also forest reserves. It is people with influence who are making the money and that means that the difficulty that any Government has is to fight the in-built privileges of the elite. 

Mr Speaker, even the foreign investors take Zambians as partners. That is how they make the connections that they meet with chiefs, councils and senior political figures in order to achieve this wondrous turning of lead into gold where a piece of land, which has no value, is taken, some fast footwork and paper work is done, a couple of bottles of brandy change hands and the next thing you know, one is a millionaire, a dollar millionaire. I could name specific examples, but I do not want to. I am restricted by the traditions of this House. Anyhow, the situation is extremely lax. 

Mr Speaker, if you look at many of these areas that were alienated some decades ago as resettlement schemes and, recently, the former Government farms owned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, the level of under utilisation is difficult to believe. At some of these areas, you will find nothing and at some, you will find the first and second wife of the owner plus two cows and that is on 5,000 hectares. 

Mr Speaker, I think there is an urgent need to rationalise this situation. Therefore, I particularly commend the Committee for its appeal for a reversible status provision in the new Lands Act or its amendment. If the land is not utilised for the purpose for which it was originally granted, then it should be reverted, automatically, to customary status so that the people who were getting the benefit of that land, which they gave up to see development − they believed− brought to their area and employment opportunities created, should once more have access thereto.

Mr Speaker, in a country where formal employment is not even 20 per cent of the adult population, the ultimate safety net is customary land. The ultimate safety net is the way that people have lived for hundreds of years unless somebody comes up with a better cash flow work scheme or something like that where people can beg from. I think we have lost sight of what is happening in our own country. 

I think the Chairperson alluded to the shock and surprise of his Committee, when he asked for official information on how much land was owned by leaseholders, how much of it was available for further distribution and so forth. There is a cloud of ignorance surrounding this issue and it is very worrying indeed. I think the specific issue of speculation is made very easy by the fact that if you have the influence and ability and, perhaps, the ethics required to acquire a large chunk of land, it comes to you from customary usage minus any serious financial consideration. This is because, as I said, there is this myth that it is without value. 

Mr Speaker, the community, the chief and everybody gets very little in return for this land because they are not helped to sell, but rather in granting change of status in order to bring development. However, within minutes of that status change, the land becomes a commercial commodity and you cannot stop Arab princes from coming and running hunting reserves in Zambia. You cannot stop them by merely putting prices up or tying millions of dollars, as in one case I know, to middlemen who acquired land for virtually nothing. The middlemen are marketers in the middle of the process. They are not the community that used to own that land, hunt there and benefit, generally, in many ways from the produce of that land. 

With those few words, Mr Speaker, I beg to support the adoption of this report.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


The Deputy Minister of Lands (Mr Mabenga): Madam Speaker, let me firstly thank the Chairperson, mover and seconder for the good report that they have presented to this House. 

Madam Speaker, I have read through their report and I find the information in it very progressive and helpful. Therefore, we, as a Government, will take this information to help us effect things as proposed by the Committee. While I appreciate and thank our colleagues for this job that they have done so well, I would like to comment a little on customary land.

Madam Speaker, this country, as we know, is democratic and in a democracy, people are given the opportunity to make decisions that befit their well-being in the localities where they live. This is exactly what happens when it comes to customary land administration.

Madam Speaker, in some customary jurisdictions, we have found that our traditional leaders have done a very good job with the use of the resources that they get after giving pieces of land to foreign or local investors. I know of an area where the traditional leadership has actually put in place what they call an Investment Fund from the money they get from investors in their area. This money is in an account and is used to finance small local projects. These are some of the benefits of democracy which allows traditional leaders to participate in the governance of this country. Chiefs are allowed to make good decisions in order to look after the people in their areas. 

Madam Speaker, it is a pity that, sometimes, our traditional leaders are misled by certain people who get land and do not seem to use it properly to the benefit of the people in these areas. Unfortunately, traditional leaders find out that they have been duped when it is too late. It is important to understand that traditional leaders have a major role to play in the administering of traditional land, as per current Constitution. 

Nonetheless, as the Constitution is being revised, we are positive that the concerns on customary land administration will be addressed adequately so that people in various communities where land is administered by traditional leaders benefit from it. I am certain that traditional leaders will be allowed to do what they think is best for the people in their various localities. So, the people of Kalomo should not worry much about this matter. I am actually surprised by the emphasis on Kalomo. Could it be owed to the fact that the Chairperson of the Committee comes from Kalomo? I do not know.


Mr Mabenga: Madam, I would have wished the Chairperson to have talked about other areas as well so as to enrich the findings of your Committee. As I have said, this is very important educative information and it is for the good of the country. Nevertheless, I personally want to thank the Chairperson, Hon. Muntanga, and the other hon. Members of your Committee for a very good report. I hope that as we move on with the drafting of a new Constitution, your Committee’s concerns will be taken into consideration.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Minister of Lands (Ms Lundwe): Madam Speaker, I wish to thank the Committee for a well-articulated report. I also wish to thank all the hon. Members who have debated on it. The Government shares a number of concerns raised by your Committee in its report. 

Madam Speaker, the implementation of the Land Policy has been delayed because the Government has been waiting for the supreme law of the land, which is the Constitution, to be finalised. There are provisions in the draft Constitution that affect matters that are in the Draft Land Policy. My ministry is, currently, looking at both the draft Constitution and the draft Land Policy. Therefore, it will study the concerns raised in the report.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, I am grateful for all the comments that have been made and the support to the Committee. Notwithstanding the hon. Deputy Minister’s attempt to portray an uncontroversial report as one which might have been influenced by my being Chairperson of your Committee, I want to mention that we undertook tours to many places, including Mwinilunga, Solwezi and Kalomo. The recommendations of the Committee are, basically, from the information we got from these places. On the whole, I am grateful for the support of the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1641 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 8th July, 2010.



479. Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the following compounds in Lusaka would be upgraded to townships:

(i)    Chibolya;

(ii)    Misisi;

(iii)    Kabanana;

(iv)    Mazyopa; and

(v)    New and Old Kanyama

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, in response to the question raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central, I wish to inform this august House that the process of upgrading squatter settlements starts with the declaration of improvement area by my ministry. This follows recommendation by the concerned council to my office clearly indicating the age of the area, facilities found there and the population density. Therefore, an area cannot be upgraded until it is declared an improvement area by the ministry. The status of the following compounds in Lusaka is as indicated below:

(a)    Chibolya Compound

this compound was already declared an improvement area and has been selected as a pilot project on the improvement of the urban environment through the upgrading project under the just completed comprehensive urban development plan for Lusaka;
(b)    Misisi Compound

the Lusaka City Council (LCC) has already passed a resolution to declare Misisi Compound an improvement area (except for the land within 300 metres from Kafue Road). 

Mr Speaker, the council is currently in the process of submitting documents to my office for consideration and possible declaration;

(c)    Kabanana Compound

this compound has already been declared an improvement area and upgraded;

(d)    Mazyopa Compound

this compound has not yet been declared an improvement area because it is located in a privately owned area. The Government has already initiated a programme to relocate the Mazyopa residents to some area in Chongwe District Council; and

(e)    New and Old Kanyama Compound

Kanyama compounds have already been declared improvement areas as well as upgraded.

I thank you, Sir.