Debates- Thursday, 1st July, 2010

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Thursday, 1st July, 2010

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






459. Ms Limata (Luampa) asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security whether the ministry conducted random checks, especially in shops, to ascertain how much the workers were paid and how long they worked per day.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Kachimba): Mr Speaker, I wish to confirm that my ministry conducts random checks on establishments, including shops, through labour inspections. The purpose of the labour inspections is to check on compliance by employers in terms of minimum statutory requirements with regard to terms and conditions of employment. 

Under Section 6(2) (a) of the Employment Act Cap. 268 of the laws of Zambia, labour officers are empowered to enter freely at any reasonable time, whether day or night, any workplace or conveyance where they may have reasonable cause to believe that persons are being employed  and to inspect such a workplace or conveyance in order to enforce labour laws. The inspections are carried out by a team that comprises labour officers, factory inspectors and social security officers.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Limata: Mr Speaker, shop workers get very little in terms of salaries and so I would like to find out how much they get every month since they work over nine hours per day.

Mr Kachimba: Mr Speaker, the minimum wage is K268,000, but the basic pay is K268,000 plus K80,000 for transport, K70,000 for lunch and 30 per cent of the total is housing allowance. I would like to appeal to the House to follow and understand this. Normally, the minimum basic pay for every Zambian employee should be in the range of K486,000 or K500,000. So the workers in the shops where we have been conducting inspections are paid that much except shops which people like Hon. Muntanga run in his village that do not pay.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Muntanga: But I pay.


Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order! 

The Chair hereby protects the hon. Member for Kalomo Central. 


Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, I am aware that the inspections do take place, but we have also discovered that, in some instances, when some of the shop owners are summoned to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, they do not go there. 

Mr Speaker, in view of this, I would like to find out what measures the ministry has put in place to make sure that the people flouting our labour laws are rought to book so that they do not ignore calls to the labour office.

Mr Kachimba: Mr Speaker, there are some employers who do not want to come to our offices but now that we have sensitised them on the importance of working with the ministry, they oblige.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the last visits were conducted at Shoprite, for instance, and what the findings were.

Mr Kachimba: Mr Speaker, it is not only Shoprite where visits are conducted but all the shops. Shoprite should not be an issue because they have followed the labour laws and, as a ministry, we are satisfied.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, naturally, when the inspections are conducted, reports are sent back to the ministry. Are there any incidences where there have been reports that workers are locked up in shops, especially in bakeries?

Mr Kachimba: Mr Speaker, there were cases where bakeries, in particular, used to lock up employees. With the labour inspections that we have been carrying out in bakeries around Lusaka, they have started to follow labour laws.

I thank you, Sir.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, in the random checks that have been made by the ministry, especially in Lusaka, could the hon. Minister throw some light on how many convictions have been recorded in this respect?

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Mr Speaker, the work of the ministry, basically, is to create harmony where there are difficulties in the industry. It is not so much our job to undertake arrests or to take people in custody, but our major responsibility as a ministry is to promote harmony to enhance good conditions of service and issues of health and safety of workers at places of work. This is what we aim to achieve and this responsibility has been carried out very well so far. We shall continue to do likewise.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, I would like to appreciate the visits that have been conducted in my constituency by the hon. Deputy Minister, but I would like to find out what action has been taken because the areas that were visited such as, for example, Monarch, workers are still being abused. They have not been paid their salaries to date. What action has your ministry taken to try and address these concerns?

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, I think that after visits are conducted to any organisation, company or institution, we expect that, if there are difficulties, those who represent workers in those institutions will still bring those to the attention of our ministry so that maximum results are achieved. If there are any instances, where after visitations, workers still have problems, the only reason such a situation still exists is that it has not been brought to the attention of the ministry. So if the hon. Member has any information leading to the fact that at Monarch workers are still being abused, he is welcome to give us more facts but, even from this question, we will still make a follow up.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what punishment was meted against bakery owners who used to lock up their employees and whether the punishment was enough to change the course of things.

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, the fact that we do not have any cases that have been reported to our office in the recent past means that results are being achieved. 

Mr Speaker, the punishment is as stipulated in the law. Some culprits are given penalties in the form of fees and so on and so forth. So the punishment that must be meted is clearly stipulated in the labour laws.

I thank you, Sir.


460. Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the police post in Itimpi Township in Chimwemwe Parliamentary Constituency would be upgraded.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Taima): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the police post in Itimpi Township in Chimwemwe Parliamentary Constituency will be upgraded as soon as funds to build a police post and police houses are made available. Currently, officers manning the police post are drawn from Mindolo Police Station which is the main police station.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, since the police officers from Mindolo walk a long distance to get to the police station, are there any plans to buy them a vehicle?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Lungu): Mr Speaker, I think it will be safer to say that I have to establish what is happening presently. then we will be able to find the way forward.

I thank you, Sir.


461. Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    how many people died while serving prison sentences countrywide between 2006 and 2009; and 

(b)    what the causes of death were.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the house that 445 people died while serving prison sentences countrywide between 2006 and 2009 as follows:

Year        No. of Deaths Recorded

2006             147
2007        96
2008    86
2009             116
Total              445

Mr Speaker, the causes of death were as follows:

Cause of Death            No. of cases

Asthma                    02
Tuberculosis      139
Dehydration                 09
Gastroenteritis                 49
Pneumonia                 42
Natural causes                 08
Malaria      128
Meningitis                 24
Viral/encephalopathy             06
Dysentery                     13 
Chest pains                 15
Old age/stomach upset and swollen leg     01
Bleeding                     01
Enteritis                     01
Suspected cholera                 04
Piles                     01
DM and HTM                 01
Hypoglycemia                 01
Total      445

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chazangwe: Mr Speaker, from the figure that the hon. Deputy Minister has given, could he tell the House the number of those that died during the time when the officers were trying to execute their duties?

Mr Muyanda: Very good.

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, I hope the hon. Member appreciates the fact that that particular question requires proper information. So, I think that we have to go and research to find out how many people died.

I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, from the figures given, I realise that the main cause of death was tuberculosis. Even medical personnel know that people suffering from tuberculosis need to be isolated. Therefore, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what measures are taken for prisoners who are suffering from tuberculosis?

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, one of the measures is to sensitise our colleagues who are in prison on how to look after themselves because this is an airborne disease. So we have to ensure that they live in a clean environment.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs has confirmed that deaths are caused by airborne diseases. When will the Government come up with plans to make sure that prisons are expanded because they are congested at the moment?

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, the House should know that, currently, the Government has embarked on a programme to try and ensure that prisons are decongested. We are approaching this from different angles one of which is increasing the number of prisons. 

  I want to mention that, at the moment, works to add to the existing number of prison cells at Mwembeshi have reached a very advanced stage. We should be able to commission Mwembeshi Prison in two to three months. This will mean that prisons that are highly congested will be decongested somehow. We are also currently constructing a remand prison in Monze. That will also go a long way in trying to decongest other prisons. 

We have several other interventions that are aimed at decongesting prisons. The House might also appreciate the fact that the President has considered the use of the presidential general amnesty to help decongest prisons. Contrary to what has been the practice in the past, whereby only on Independence Day and Africa Freedom Day were prisoners released, now, as and when need arises, through the general Presidential amnesty, prisoners will be released, of course, through appropriate channels. We also have the parole system. The Government is aware of congestion in prisons and is taking every possible measure to try and ensure that prisons are decongested.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Sir, I would just like to find out how prisoners who die are buried. I just want some information on who buys the coffin, whether dead prisoners are buried by the prison or their remains are sent to their families.

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, the State bears the cost of burying dead prisoners.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, what are the natural causes of death in prisons?

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, I do not really know what …


Mr Lungu: … the hon. Member means by natural causes, because when a person dies of dysentery, arising from drinking bad water, that could be considered as an aspect of a natural cause. Therefore, I think there are many ways a person can die from natural causes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Bweengwa?

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, my question has been covered.

Mr Speaker: It has been overtaken by events.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, looking at our population growth, the crime rate and the rate at which the Government is trying to increase prison space, is the hon. Minister considering asking this House to approve more money towards building more prisons so as to accelerate the pace at which the works are being done and considering that a lot of people in this House are potential prisoners?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Before the hon. Minister of Home Affairs takes the Floor, I would like to remind the hon. Members to avoid debating themselves. Whether there are people in here with the potential of being prisoners should not arise in this House.


Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, obviously, we will make provisions in the coming budget for creating more prison space and we expect hon. Members of Parliament to approve our budget. Our intention is to increase the capacity of prisons but, to do so, we need adequate funds. I am sure hon. Members are aware that such funds can only be approved by this House. So, I hope that when that time comes, we will have the support of the whole House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Mazabuka Central may lean forward just a little. I will still be able to recognise him. 

Mr Nkombo stepped forward.

Mr Speaker: Yes, but lean forward a little as you indicate your desire to ask a supplementary question.


Mr Nkombo moved forward again.

Mr Speaker: Not like that.

Mr Nkombo moved a step back.

Mr Speaker: Yes.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I am grateful for your guidance. I am a little dissatisfied with the answer the hon. Minister gave regarding the symptomatic characteristics of somebody who dies of a natural cause because the hon. Deputy Minister placed natural death and dysentery in two different categories. 

Can he, please, explain the symptomatic characteristics of somebody who dies of a natural cause?


Mr Speaker: Well, I believe this question was asked already and the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, in his reply, said even dysentery was death by a natural cause. The understanding of the Chair is that there is a category known as other natural causes, but if there’s a specific category known as natural causes the hon. Minister could explain again.

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, what happens is that when people die in prison, we seek advice from doctors on what the cause of death is. These are the experts who are able to determine the cause of death. So, if they tell us that an individual died of a natural cause, I think it is not for us to find out what this natural cause is. We accept their explanation.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, the diseases that have been read out by the hon. Deputy Minister are treatable. I would like to find from the hon. Minister of Home Affairs whether there are proper clinics and personnel to man the health facilities in prisons.

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, we do have health specialists in prisons but, sometimes, despite treatment being given, prisoners still die because when it is their time to die, nothing can be done. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, I hope you will excuse me for asking a question which has already been asked, but not answered. Every Zambian is a potential …

Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Speaker: Order! 

This Chair will defend every Zambian. Not every Zambian is a potential prisoner …


Mr Speaker: … and this Chair will see to it that nothing of that kind is asked in this House.

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, due to the many deaths occurring in prison cells, is the Government thinking of inviting private investors to build prisons so that we can rent from them and thus prevent the deaths of most Zambian prisoners?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, the Government would be very happy if some private individuals would assist in coming up with that kind of arrangement. Therefore, the hon. Member can make that suggestion to the Government and we will consider it.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, one of the causes of death is hypoglycemia. Would the hon. Minister indicate whether the prisoners are given enough food to ensure that those people who are diabetic do not suffer from hypoglycemia?

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, we do give them adequate food, but how it relates to the word the hon. Member used …


Mr Lungu: … is another issue. Like I said, if it is a disease to do with diet, there is no problem because we do give them enough food to be able to recover from the mentioned disease.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what plans the Government has to reduce the hours that inmates spend in cells since he said that some deaths are caused by tuberculosis?

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, I am not too sure whether the reduction of hours that inmates spend in cells would help reduce the problem of tuberculosis. However, I think that is a specialised area which the doctors in the Ministry of Health would be able to give an advisory answer on.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


463. Mr Lumba (Solwezi Central) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a)    how many private firms had responded to the invitation to participate in public-private partnership (PPP) on the Chingola/Solwezi Road project;

(b)    what the closing date was for consideration of the applications; and

(c)    when the works on the road would commence.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Phiri): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that eleven firms responded to the advertisement for the expressions of interest to participate on the Chingola/Solwezi Road and the proposed works have since been extended from Chingola to the Kasumbalesa Border Post.

The closing date for the consideration of the expression of interest was Friday, 29th January, 2010 at 1700 hours. The short listing of the preferred bidder is in progress and we expect to negotiate in August and finalise the concession agreement in October, 2010.

The rehabilitation and expansion works are expected to commence in April, 2011 immediately after the rains.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lumba: Mr Speaker, that road is very important to the economy of this country because the North-Western Province contributes immensely to the Treasury. Is this Government not considering doing the works before the stated time because the road is in a deplorable state?

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, it is, indeed, true that the North-Western Province is contributing significantly to the Treasury, but many other provinces have been and are still contributing. 

Regarding the works, I believe there will be efforts to make the road as passable as possible as an interim solution, but the ultimate solution that we are looking for is through the PPP which is going to greatly improve the quality of the road, as it is going to be a dual carriage road. Since there has been so much interest expressed by many companies to work on the road, we believe that the works are the ultimate solution in terms of making this road passable and to the highest standard.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, there have been a number of bad jobs done in this country and people have gone away with lots of money, especially on works regarding the Solwezi Road. What stringent measures have you put in tenders for contractors doing shoddy jobs so that, unlike in the past, such contractors do not go away without paying back?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, when a road is worked on through a PPP, it means that the contractors themselves are going to organise the finances to carry out the works. It is also envisaged that the contracts will provide for the same companies to maintain the roads as well as the period of the concession to the standard and quality that is going to be specified. That being the case, there are other measures the Government typically takes to correct contract defects in situations where the Government directly procures the contractors. In this particular case, because there is also a commercial motive on the part of the contractor, we believe it will go a long way in encouraging the contractor to take care of the interest of the public at large by providing quality passable roads.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether tollgates will be introduced on the road that he mentioned. If there will be any, will he give this House an idea of what the charges are likely to be?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, a road that is worked on under the PPP arrangement must have tollgates. I am sure many of us who have driven on South African roads have seen the tollgates on that country’s highways. The tollgates are not just there to collect fees, but they also enhance commerce and business because along the roads you will ideally find restaurants, good restrooms and shops. Therefore, in the middle of nowhere on the highway, business can emerge. The charges that will be levied will have to be negotiated with individual contractors on every given highway.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, there will be commercial considerations on the part of those the Government will be negotiating with. Is it not right that if the motivation is so strong the Government could put in money and return the profit on the investment? 

Are the PPPs an admission of lack of funds to invest from Government revenues and expenditure? I would like the hon. Minister to confirm this.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the introduction of PPPs is not necessarily an admission of lack of revenue, but rather a measure of innovation and creativity. This is because, utilising the resources of the private sector, the same objectives of providing for the services of the Zambian people can be achieved. In the end, there will be accelerated progress and this means that there will still be money taken out of the Treasury to work on roads. In addition, there will also be money coming from the private sector to also work on roads. 

This is not the first time that this sort of thing is being done in Zambia. The railway line, running from Livingstone to the Copperbelt and the Victoria Falls Bridge were built using private and not public funds for the benefit of all Zambians. I am sure that as we rode on those trains, we never used to ask whether the money that funded the construction of the railway line came from Pemba or Zambezi, but we were all very happy to ride on the trains.

Mr Speaker, this PPP arrangement is something that is not strange even in the modern world. Again, if you take, for example, South Africa, the highway running from Pretoria past Witbank, Nelspruit into Mozambique was constructed under PPP arrangements. Today, it is an excellent connecting point between the two countries. Indeed, there are many other examples of PPPs that can be cited such as the highway running from Singapore through Malaysia into Thailand. The Government has to be creative and innovative so that there is development in the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, we just approved the PPP Policy and are already taking on many projects. Do we not need to be cautious just in case we fail like we have many times before?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, listening to my colleagues in this House, one of the issues normally presented before the Treasury is about one piece roads. Now, when projects to work on roads are offered, we say we want to be cautious. Of course, we need to be cautious, but we want the roads at the same time. 

So the caution will come in at the point of determining how we define the works to be done; how we choose the contractors and what kind of terms we expect to get out of these contractors. If they meet those terms and we end up working on ten roads at once and are happy, that is precisely what this country wants. 

I take note of the comment made by my hon. Colleague, but I believe that the caution is to be seen in the processes that we undertake in getting these roads worked on.

Thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, indeed, PPPs are necessary and we know that, world over, this is what innovative governments are engaged in in trying to raise revenue for capital projects. We also know that it means the private sector invests part of the money into a particular project. In this case, the hon. Minister said that works on the Chingola/Solwezi Road would start in April, 2011 and, hopefully, finish before the end of the year. Since he said that the Government will have to renegotiate the tollgate fees, suppose, in this case, they will be too high for an ordinary person from Solwezi, does the Government have a plan of constructing an alternative route even if it will be gravel?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the tollgates are not to be renegotiated, but negotiated because we have not yet negotiated nor concluded. We still have to do that.  Regarding the issue of affordability, obviously, we are not going to reinvent the wheel. There is a lot to be learnt from countries that have done these things before. Indeed, affordability is normally one of the issues that must be considered and all types of models exist that we can borrow from to ensure that some of the locals, who cannot afford, are taken care of. So, there are many models that we are going to look at to ensure that a concern such as the one that has been raised is adequately addressed.

Thank you, Sir.

Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister, in his answer, said that the commencement of the works would probably be in April, 2011. There are a lot of accidents which have been recorded on this road. Therefore, has the ministry talked to the management of Kansanshi Copper Mines Plc, which regularly uses this road and has contributed to its damage, to establish what it can do about the state of the road while we wait for April, 2011?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, as I indicated, patching up of potholes on the highway is ongoing and, indeed, the mining companies are participating in providing the resources for this purpose. It is the Government’s hope that when construction of this highway is completed, it is going to be one of the show pieces in terms of road infrastructure in the country.

Thank you, Sir.


464. Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    how many individuals had been shot dead by unknown people between 2000 and 2009 in Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)    how many people had been wounded by gunshots by criminals in the same period;

(c)    how many arrests had been made; and

(d)    of the arrests made, how many had been prosecuted and convicted.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that one person was shot dead by unknown people between 2000 and 2009 in Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency. This incident occurred on 20th May, 2007. 

Mr Speaker, five people were wounded by gunshots by unknown people in the same period. No arrests were made and, because of this, no persons were prosecuted and convicted.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, Messers Dengeza and Benny in the Dongo area were shot dead. Another man in Nkandanzovu was also killed. Mr Silas Mungala’s life is under threat. Mr Sibulyobulyo has also been threatened ...

Mr Speaker: Order! 

You ought to be the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs.


Mr Speaker: If you had all those answers, why come here and ask questions? Do you have another question apart from the catalogue you are referring to?


Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, I do. I would like to know whether there are plans by the Government to construct a police post in Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency to arrest the situation.

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, plans could be there because it is the intention of the Government to build as many police posts as possible. However, the constraining factor is the resource basket. Therefore, as and when resources become available, the issue of a police post in Dundumwezi will be considered. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, registered fire arms are sometimes used in these killings. Will the Government consider continuing with the amnesty for people to hand over arms in order that crime can be reduced? 

Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, the amnesty is still in place and those who have guns are free to surrender them to the Government. In fact, the Government is now offering more money for the guns that are surrendered. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lumba: Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken.

Mr Shakafuswa: By what?

Mr Speaker: By events.



465. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Education which colleges in the country were earmarked for upgrading to university status.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, the ministry has plans to transform the Copperbelt and Nkrumah Colleges of Education into universities in order to offer degree programmes. 

Further, Mulakupikwa College in Chansali District is also earmarked for upgrading into a university which will offer mathematics, science and technology courses.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister state the time frame within which the transformation of the mentioned colleges into universities will take place?

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, the process of transforming the mentioned colleges into universities has already started.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether, once the colleges are fully transformed into universities and are operational, the charges will be as high as those pertaining at the newly-transformed Mulungushi University, which people are unable to afford.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, the Government is serious about producing teachers. As you may be aware, there is a shortage of mathematics and science teachers and the aim is to enable as many young people as possible to train in these universities so that they, in turn, can also teach in high schools.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! 

The question was whether the fees at the new universities would be as high as those obtaining at, for instance, the Mulungushi University.

The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, at the moment, it is difficult for us to ascertain the fees that will obtain in the future universities.

 The Mulungushi University is a new experience that is being tried out by the Ministry of Education to try and offer a high standard of university education without any disturbances in the calendar and enable those who are prepared to pay the fees for that kind of education, without bursary support from the Government, to acquire it.

Mr Speaker, currently, our teachers are trained for degrees at the University of Zambia (UNZA). However, with the growth in the population of Zambia, the demand for teachers with university education has increased. This is in order to maintain quality in the education sector and hence the response by the Government to transform some colleges into universities.

As regards the fees and the time plan to transform the colleges into universities, the decisions will be made at the appropriate time so that we take into consideration the views of all stakeholders.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, as the Ministry of Education is planning to turn the colleges into universities, is it equally planning to increase the number of bursaries for students from poor households to access these universities?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, many times, on the Floor of this House, we have, talked about the challenges that we face in terms of sustainably financing higher education in this country. The Ministry of Education is, therefore, looking for sustainable ways and various possible solutions to continuing to finance higher education. It takes a huge chunk of the budget, every year, for the ministry to support students at UNZA, the Copperbelt University (CBU) and even top up allowances for those who are on scholarships from various governments outside the country.

As a nation, we have to begin to address this issue and look at how it is done in other countries where families borrow from financial institutions and other quarters to pay for higher education because the needs of the Ministry of Education are many.

As for the Copperbelt Secondary School Teachers’ Training College (COSETCO) and Nkrumah College of Education, when we get to the point of total transformation, we will have to ascertain the kind of fees and what support can be given depending on what will be prevailing at that point.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, has the Government any immediate or long- term plans to establish a public university in each province, especially the ones that do not have any?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, when I read the resolutions of the meeting that took place in the Luapula Province, involving the hon. Members of Parliament and their royal highnesses, I saw that education and the provision of universities in particular, was one of their main interests.

I think that it is in the interest of the nation to have more universities, whether provided by the Government or the private sector, as close to the people as possible in various provinces so that people do not always have to travel to either the Copperbelt or Lusaka to access university education.

We would also like to see universities that offer specific programmes such as the one being opened in Livingstone which will specifically offer tourism-related courses. Therefore, as long as the economy keeps growing, the Government is committed to continuing to invest in education and higher education in particular.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just stated that Mulungushi University is an experiment to see whether expense and quality can be equated. That sounds quite elitist because, in a country such as ours, it becomes very difficult for the rich to be educated and the poor not be educated. Can the hon. Minister clarify that aspect because reform and transformation are two different things?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, from experience, it is very clear that, for a long time now, parents who can afford and do not want their children’s education calendars at the tertiary level to be disturbed, siphon foreign exchange out of the country to send their children abroad for school while the Government remains with the burden of ensuring that it continues to support the public universities and the students using a blanket approach. Therefore, whether their families can afford to pay the current fees at the university or not, the Government is using a blanket approach for students from poor families who are intelligent and children from families that can afford. 

Therefore, it is very clear that there is a challenge and something has to change. In other countries, for instance, in the United Kingdom that I am quite familiar with, universities are of different grades, fees and prestige. We have to begin to look at other ways of support and not offering a blanket approach to education for everyone. We should meet the various needs of society in different parts, at different times and in terms of their being able to afford the education. What is important is that everybody must be able to access the type of education that they want.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, it is a well-known fact that, by last year, both Nkrumah College of Education and the Copperbelt Secondary Teachers’ College (COSETCO) were seriously understaffed. Can the hon. Minister indicate whether this problem has been sorted out?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, obviously, as the two institutions go through the transformation process to become fully-fledged universities, they are facing teething problems responding to the increased demands that have been made on the colleges. They are already offering degree programmes and the Government responded by recruiting some more adequately qualified people to teach these programmes. We have not yet fully filled the establishment but, as we continue with the processes, through Cabinet Memoranda and legislation to truly transform these institutions, we shall also be able to meet the staffing demands at the universities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the ministry will reconsider its earlier position on the National In-Service Training College (NISTCOL) in Chalimbana, which is an old college. The Committee on Education, Science and Technology recommended that it be upgraded and the college also requested the ministry to upgrade it to a university.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I know the hon. Member for Chongwe has a lot of interest in NISTCOL. To clarify matters, historically, NISTCOL has always been used for in-service training, but we have decided that when we upgrade it to a university, we must limit its services to providing managerial courses for the Ministry of Education. We have realised that it is not enough to simply produce teachers, but also manage the delivery of education in the country. 

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Education is labour intensive because it has over 80,000 teachers and this, in itself, is a challenge. This means that we need excellent managerial skills, beginning from headteacher, in the schools.  Research has shown, world over, that when the headteacher is a good leader and has good managerial skills, the school always does well. For us in the Ministry of Education, that is the first port of call.  In future, as we consider turning NISTCOL into a university, we will bear in mind that it will be limited to offering training that is related to management.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, why is the Government dividing this country into two when it comes to the provision of university education? The Southern Province has been left in the hands of the private investors while the Government is building universities in the northern part of the country. When will the Government also build universities in the southern part of the country?

Mr Beene: Excellent!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, it is not true that the Government is not interested in constructing universities anywhere else except the Copperbelt, Lusaka or Central provinces. Our intention is to ensure that universities are constructed everywhere in Zambia, as close to the people as possible. I am aware that Zimbabwe has about twenty-four, both private and public universities, and these are in almost every province. I think we have to use the same approach. 

The private sector has gone ahead and thought about putting up a university in the Southern Province but, in future, when resources are available, the Government will consider constructing a university there. For now, what is important is that education of some sort, be it private or public, is made available to citizens. This is not only for education purposes, but also investment in education because this will be part of job and wealth creation for citizens. I know that in the Southern Province, the people who are interested in constructing a university are Zambians. We are used to always thinking that the people who invest in this country are foreigners, but that is not true because there are local citizens who are also interested in investing in education.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, on average, Zambians cannot manage to send their children to university apart from applying for bursaries that are not even adequate.  Political parties such as the United Party for National Development (UPND) and Patriotic Front (PF) are saying education will be free.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: When will this Government consider making education from Grade1 to Grade 12 free or do they not have such intentions?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I think it is very easy, when you are sitting on the other side of the House, to make statements without supporting facts just for the purpose of achieving an agenda.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: We know that this country has tried free education from Grade 1 to university before and it failed lamentably. This is why we introduced cost sharing. Even now, this Government is providing free education at the primary school level so that we can attain the millennium development goal (MDG) on education which is the universal primary education for all target.  However, we must face the reality. I think that when we debate, it is important that we reflect seriousness by truly taking the national interest into consideration. We should not only say things for the sake of it because, at the end of the day, when we consider the cost-sharing processes with the public, we have to look at the size of the economy. We know that this Government has been able to salvage the economy from the state it was in when it was almost collapsing in the United Independent Party (UNIP) days.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: As result, today, we are able to talk about investment in education once again. This includes the many constituencies for the hon. Members of Parliament in the Opposition. They might be talking about free education, but it can only become a reality if the economy grows to a certain level. However, in countries that have much bigger economies than ours, there is no free education. It is important, especially for the young hon. Member …

Mr Beene: Ha!

Ms Siliya: … or colleague, the Member of Parliament for Itezhi-tezhi, to stop thinking in reverse but forward.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


466. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Education:

(a)    how scholarships from the following sources had been of benefit to the country:

(i)    co-operating partners;

(ii)    private sector; and

(iii)    foundations; and

(b)    whether the ministry kept a record of privately-sponsored students outside Zambia.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, the scholarships from co-operating partners have been of benefit to the country in that they complement the three public universities. Further, they provide more opportunities to many Zambians to attain university education. The scholarships also help strengthen the relationship with co-operating partners through the promotion of cultural exchange.

Sir, the private sector and foundations benefit the country in the following ways:

(i)    provision of scholarships to Zambians to access high and tertiary education;

(ii)    provision of attachments to sponsored students, some of whom are employed after graduation; and

(iii)    the scholarships are an incentive to students, as they encourage them to work hard.

Sir, currently, the ministry has no record of privately-sponsored students outside Zambia because the students are not obliged to register with the Ministry of Education.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, much as we appreciate the efforts made by private sponsors, is the hon. Minister aware that the Government is failing to cope with the shortfall of graduates who are supposed to fill vacancies in the labour market?

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, our policy is that every child has the right to education. If parents are able to sponsor students to attain university education, we encourage them to do so. We feel that it is the right of every young person to acquire higher education.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


467. Mrs Musokotwane asked the Minister of Works and Supply how much money was spent on road rehabilitation in Kazungula District in 2009.


Mr Speaker: Order! 

It appears some Members of this House are not interested in what is being discussed on the Floor of this Chamber. If you are not, I would suggest that you and your friend go into the foyer and have your discussion there so that the rest of the House can continue with their serious business.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Kalila): Mr Speaker, in 2009, the Rural Roads Unit carried out maintenance on some roads in Kazungula District at a total cost of K54,393,180.00. This expenditure was for operational costs and nine roads were attended to as follows:

    Road    Length (km)

    Katombola Reformatory    9.5

    Mambova    12.2

    Mambova/Livingstone/Sesheke    10.0

    Namapanda    10.0

    T1 to Chief Musokotwane    15.0

    Zimba to Chief Nyawa    22.5

    Songwe Road    22.0

    T1 to Makamba Farm Block    1.9

    T1 to Mukuni    6.0

    Total    109.1

Sir, in addition to the above list of roads, the Road Development Agency (RDA) carried out the maintenance, rehabilitation and construction of the roads named below that cut across other districts in the Southern Province, including Kazungula District.

    Project Name    Length     Contract Sum    Amount Spent
        (km)        (ZMK)            2009 (ZMK)

    Zimba/Livingstone    30        121,774,988,445.40    73,084,866,802.89
    Phase 1

    Zimba/Livingstone    43        (₤35,520,248.58)    (₤13,147,235.77)
    Phase II                248,641,740,606.00    92,030,650,390.00

Routine Maintenance    72        91,781,056.00        59,615,756.39
of M10 Livingstone/

Routine Maintenance     34        297,616,792.00    117,329,887.77
of M10 Kazungula

Routine Maintenance    34        215,262,850.49    81,018,736.39
Of M10 Sikaunzwe

Kazungula Bridge            14,604,942,000.00    5,111,729,700.00

    Total            213        385,626,331,749.89    170,485,211,273.44

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, some of the roads the hon. Deputy Minister has mentioned were not rehabilitated last year, but I will not go into those details. Now that the bigger roads in town have been worked on under PPP, is it possible for the Government to put more money in rural areas so that the feeder roads are worked on as quickly as possible? 

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, the allocation of money for projects is done by this House. Therefore, if it is the wish of this House that all the money goes to rural areas, we will be most obliged.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, the workmanship for the RRU is very poor and I am not happy about it at all. I would like to know if the hon. Minister of Works and Supply is happy with it. 

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Works and Supply will also explain what RRU means.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, RRU stands for Rural Roads Unit. The supervision of the RRU is in the hands of the provincial administration, including the hon. Members of Parliament.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: The projects that are being undertaken are your projects. If you are going to fold your arms and wait until they say they have completed the works and then you come and ask us in this House, it will be too late. We want you to participate, supervise and work hand in hand with the provincial administration. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 




Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Second Report of the Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on Friday, 25th June, 2010.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Yes, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, in accordance with its terms of reference, your Committee considered the topical issue of mandatory migration from analogue to digital television broadcasting by 2015. How ready is Zambia?

Mr Speaker, as the House may be aware, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has set 15th June, 2015 as the date by which broadcasters and other players in the industry should migrate from analogue to digital television broadcasting in order to avail the spectrum to many players in the industry. In the analogue mode, we are told that one frequency can only carry one television channel, whereas in the digital mode, it is possible to carry up to six or eight standard channels in one frequency. 

Mr Speaker, it is this limitation in analogue broadcasting that has made it difficult for the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), for instance, to broadcast live parliamentary debates, without having to create a different channel for the purpose. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee interacted with a number of stakeholders in a bid to get an insight into how the Zambian Government and its people are preparing for this phenomenon and its ramifications. Your Committee also undertook a local tour of the Eastern Province to ascertain to what extent the information about the migration was being disseminated and appreciated by the community. The Eastern Province is one of the provinces which the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) visited to disseminate information about the migration. 

Sir, it is my hope that the hon. Members have had an opportunity to read your Committee’s report. I will, therefore, only highlight a few salient issues that came to the attention of your Committee during the interaction with stakeholders. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that four years since the announcement of the migration and five years before the deadline, the Zambian Government has not embarked on any serious information dissemination exercise on the subject. To this end, very few Zambians know about the migration and how it will affect them economically, socially and culturally. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to embark on awareness campaigns and, in order to cater for rural communities, the information regarding the migration should be translated into the seven major local languages.
Mr Speaker, what is even more worrying is that five years to the deadline, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has not made a provision for this exercise in the National Budget. Your Committee, therefore, would like to urge the Government to start putting this activity in the National Budget and in the Sixth National Development Plan. 

Mr Speaker, your, Committee also learnt that for people to continue using analogue television sets during and after the migration, there will be a need for them to buy what are known as set-top-boxes (STBS). These are gadgets or decoders that will be able to receive the digital signal and convert it to analogue so that it can be received by an ordinary analogue television set. The set-top-boxes will cost money and are only meant to be used as a stop-gap measure, while people prepare to buy digital ready television sets. The implications are that many people, especially in rural areas, will not be able to afford the set-top-boxes, and will therefore, be deprived of even the little information that they are able to access now through television. 

In this regard, your Committee urges the Government to consider introducing a subsidy or waive import duty on digital related equipment, as the case was with the public transport sector in the 1990s so that people can access them affordably. However, your Committee would like to caution against unscrupulous businessmen who would want to cash-in on the import waiver by not passing the benefits on to the consumers. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee and stakeholders are also worried at the fact that Zambia may be used as a dumping ground for obsolete television technology and equipment by countries that might have already started the migration process. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to put measures in place that will ensure that the television sets and related equipment that are imported into the country are actually digital ready when the migration concluded. This is to ensure that consumers are not hoodwinked into believing that what they are buying is digital ready when in fact it is not. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee was told that the migration will be taking place in the absence of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) which should be dealing with issues of content. It will, therefore, be difficult for the Government to effectively monitor and regulate content which will be varied and probably harmful to society as a result of the digital platform. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government should consider implementing the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act immediately.  

Coupled with the absence of the Independence Broadcasting Authority to regulate content, is the non-existence of a national task force on migration. The task force on migration is just on paper and without it there can be no national direction on the matter. In this regard, your Committee urges the Government to quickly launch the national task force on migration and give it the necessary resources to carry out its mandate. 

Mr Speaker, may I conclude by thanking you for the valuable guidance and counsel during your Committee’s deliberations and the session in general. May I also take this opportunity to thank my colleagues who served on your Committee with due diligence and hard work.

Further, Mr Speaker, I wish to express your Committees’ gratitude to all witnesses and stakeholders who made both oral and written submissions to your Committee and the people of Eastern Province for hosting them and attending the public sittings. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: Without them, the public sittings would have yielded nothing.

Sir, lastly but not the least, allow me to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to your Committee during the session.

 Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mr Beene: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, in seconding this Motion, which the Chairperson has so ably moved,  allow me to add a few points of concern to the stakeholders and your Committee, as they considered the issue of mandatory migration from analogue to digital television broadcasting by 2015.

Mr Speaker, the lack of capacity on the part of the Zambia Bureau of Standards and the Consumer Association of Zambia to protect Zambian consumers from sub-standard electronic equipment, which has flooded the market in the recent years, is of grave concern to your Committee. 

Mr Speaker, the worry is if the two institutions cannot protect consumers now when there is not as much pressure, what will happen when countries that will have already migrated begin to offload their unwanted television sets to Zambia?

Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that countries such as the United States of America have over a billion obsolete television sets and these have to be dumped somewhere. Therefore, your Committee urges the Government to ensure that the Zambia Bureau of Standards and the Consumer Association of Zambia work with the Zambia Revenue Authority at all entry points to monitor electronic imports.

Mr Speaker, connected to this matter of obsolete television sets is their disposal. Your Committee heard that apart from the threat of Zambia being a dumping ground, there is also the danger of electronic environmental pollution resulting from locally discarded television sets.

Mr Muntanga laughed.

 Mr Beene: Your Committee, therefore, urges the Environmental Council of Zambia to begin to think of how they are going to handle all electronic waste that will result from everyone throwing away their analogue television set to acquire a digital one.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to extend my thanks to the Chairperson of your Committee for the able manner in which he presided over the business of your Committee.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to also add my voice to the debate on this important Motion. I would like to thank the mover and the seconder of the Motion. I will try to be very brief as I look at this Motion.

Mr Speaker, people do not understand what digital and analogue exactly are. It is for this reason that I would like to ask this Government to try by all means to ensure that there is serious sensitisation of the people because people who own television sets are not only those who live along the line of rail, but also those in the rural part of Zambia such as Luapula, Kasama, Luangeni, including Mwinilunga and other parts of this country. Therefore, people need to be sensitised thoroughly. We need to explain what digital means to them in simple language so that they understand. If migration is going to take place, people need to know of what benefit it will be to them.

Mr Speaker, as stated in your report, I would like to ask the Government to go ahead and utilise video vehicles, which were procured for public address, to go to the entire Zambia and ensure that they explain to the people what this means. By so doing, people will know that the television sets they are buying have already been configured or whether they will need the set-up-boxes so that it will be easy for them to configure the televisions to digital. It is important to do that because most of the times you talk about issues that are beyond the level of the average Zambian. Therefore, I would like to ask the Government to go round and ensure that they do just that.

Mr Speaker, with those few works, I would like to support the report.

I thank you, Sir.  

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for affording me an opportunity to debate the report of your Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services.

Mr Speaker, I want to thank your Committee for the report which, in my view, is quite concise and elaborate. I want to say a few things specifically on restrictions on the radius of coverage for private commercial broadcasters and the way forward.

Mr Speaker, it is a very-well known fact that information is key in human and national development and that when the population is misinformed, the result will be underdevelopment of human beings and the society in which they exist. 

Surely, the Government has put in place measures to liberalise information dissemination, but usage of these tools of information dissemination is what is of concern to many Zambians and to me in particular.

Mr Speaker, migration is one thing, but the most important thing is the product of the migration which is the content and quality of information Zambians are going to receive through this media.

Mr Speaker, today, in this country, a lot of information that is required to develop Zambia is either distorted or misrepresented by some media houses. I wonder how we are going to develop Zambia. I think liberalisation means that people must be given the chance to broadcast either through television or radio, but what is it that they should broadcast? It is the information which is required by people to develop themselves and the country as Zambia.

Mr Speaker, as a teacher, I understand the importance of economic news. I equally understand the importance of education news and so do I understand the importance of political news. 

  It is rare for people to distinguish between news and information in our country. The reason could probably be lack of understanding of what information or news is. This is why, today, the public and private media waste time and resources talking about handshakes. The question is: What does a handshake have to do with national development?

Mrs Phiri: Aah! Question!


Mr Chimbaka: That is irrelevant to me! It is irrelevant to human and national development.

Mr Mwenya: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: The information that Zambians desire is that which will elevate and emancipate them economically and politically in order to attain the millennium development goals (MDGs) and realise the Vision 2030. That is the most important thing to the Zambians, including myself.

Therefore, it is imperative that the Government implements policies, and I know the process is in progress, which will ensure that the right human resource is engaged in the media. We should ensure that the migration takes its course effectively. I want to appeal to the Government to go a little further after putting policies in place because I am talking from experience. Today, some religious groups have dominated the so-called local radio stayions. What is being disseminated …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Could the hon. Member of Parliament for Bahati debate the report before the House? If you have not studied it then, please, allow those who have something to say on this report to do so.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, I am trying to say that restricting the registration of those who want to broadcast or open television stations is not the right thing to do under a liberalised economy. I agree with what is in the report that what matters most is the information that these radio and television stations give to the people so that they appreciate their existence in Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, I also agree with the report that it is imperative that the quality of information is regulated. In this case, it does not mean curbing the freedom of the media institutions. A limitation on coverage in itself is also a limitation on the development of the people and Zambia as a country. 

My emphasis, therefore, is on the Government going a step further and allowing as many media houses as possible to operate in the country. However, the content provision must be controlled. I am sure that Zambians are ready to change as soon as the migration is launched. Zambians are able to adjust economically and socially when new policies and programmes are put in place. The people are ready to adjust accordingly.

Mr Speaker, with these very few, but very important remarks, I thank you.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, there is very little to say about this report because it is futuristic and out of our control because of being slightly backward in terms of technology. Whatever new technology these developed countries will make in this transition is what will be sold here.

In fact we should not spend money educating people on this new technology because, today, people in my village have cellular phones and no Government money was spent to educate them on how to use them. I wonder whether it is worth spending money on broadcasting migration. We have no choice in the matter.


Mr Matongo: It is coming and we should just move along.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, sadly, there is this unrealistic false start in Zambia and Africa that makes us believe that we can stop technological involvement using some mechanism of some government whose national budget is 30 per cent western driven. What choice do you have?

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: What are you defending?

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Let us float along ...


Mr Matongo: … and get on with what is principally important.

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: I congratulate you, Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson because you have been very clear in your report. Let us achieve what is supposed to be achieved by 2015. At what cost? We do not know. Who will meet the cost? We do not know. Your budget is, as you are yawning, …


Mr Matongo: … supported by western donors …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: … which we have accepted.

Mr Speaker, what is topical in this country is the quality of production from the print media and the quality of production for television or and any other form of communication …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Matongo: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that we cannot stop technology, but we have to go along with what is coming. There is no point spending money to educate anybody on how to operate this migratory equipment that is coming to replace the current machinery. However, I wanted to emphasise three things.

Mr Speaker, it is time the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services hit the ground running by bringing to the House the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act. Please, bring it to this House so that it is dealt with. I assume this Act has never been brought before us. If it is already with us then, I implore the Chairperson to revise it. 

Secondly, we need a full time and acceptable board at the Zambia National Broadcasting Services (ZNBC). I understand there is a board, but it is not in line with what this House had suggested.

Thirdly, I want to persuade my sister and brother heading the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to accept what the majority of the informed people are telling us to do. If self regulation was good at the beginning of 2008, what has changed about it in 2010?

  After all, the people who were there then and now are the same. Why should we insist on some authority which is Government controlled to control them? In any case, what is Government? The Government is the people. Fundamentally, I believe that no respected journalist would like to talk like Hon. Mulongoti about the status of one’s body. I do not think a respectable journalist would write about how many quarrels some hon. Minister has had with his mistress.


Mr Matongo: They are not interested in that but, instead, would go for what is important to the nation.


Mr Matongo: Madam Speaker, the more we try to hide, the more these journalists will seek our indiscretion. I would like to persuade hon. Lieutenant-General, Reverend and soon, maybe, to be honoured Grand Master of the First Division to see that his legacy which, some of us cherish so much, swims above minor considerations of personalities. You are a distinguished person …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Speak through the Chair.

Mr Matongo: Madam Speaker, he is such a distinguished person and very respected in our circles but is surprisingly arguing about the regulation of some inappropriate and appropriate behaviour by journalists. I feel that is the debate he should have done in the military school. I persuade him passionately to tug along with those who are progressive in this House who know what to control and not to control. His duty is to just bring the Bill. I do not want him to be attacked personally (Facing Hon. Shikapwasha) …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Here, here!

Face the Chair, hon. Member.


Mr Matongo: … for a decision that we ought to take. I persuade you and passionately would like to tell you that we shall do the needful when that Bill comes here.

With those few words, I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Madam Speaker, in supporting your Committee’s report, I would like to agree with the hon. Member for Pemba that we have no choice regarding the migration. We are migrating because of the new technology. What I would have wanted to hear are our reasons for agreeing to this migration.

Madam Speaker, what has happened to the analogue system? At present, there is no television signal in Kalomo. The hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services are charging Zambians K3,000 for owning a television set which we cannot use to view the ZNBC. I would have liked to hear why you are failing to deliver in the rural areas. Why is it that in places like Kalomo, even under the analogue system, we do not have radio reception? What guarantee is there that when we migrate to a new system, the reception will improve?

What problems are you facing? We need to hear them. It does not help to be talking about the ZNBC when the majority of the country cannot benefit from it. In fact, MUVI television is doing much better with its small decoders. In villages, people are buying small decoders and are able to watch MUVI television. What is the ZNBC doing? Is the analogue system a problem?

Hon. Member: Yes.

Mr Muntanga: If it is, what do you promise will happen when you go digital? Is the digital system going to solve your problems?

Madam Speaker, we were asked to pay K3,000 for owning a television set so that the service is rendered. Unfortunately, the service is not being rendered even after paying. When I am confronted by people in the villages on why they pay K3,000 when they do not have access to television services, I feel totally guilty for being one of those hon. Members who were involved in passing that law. We made a law to charge Zambians for owning a television set, but now we hear that when we migrate, the television sets might be useless and the people may have to acquire new ones.

Madam Speaker, when this happens, will we come here to revisit the law of paying K3,000 for owning a television set? This is what I was hoping your Committee would look at. I want the Committee to tell us why the ZNBC is failing to repair the transmitters at Senkobo? All the time we are told that they are broken down. If it is not the transmitters at Senkobo, then it is the ones at Pemba. All this is happening when we are using the analogue system. When we go digital, we will even be more lost. You have lost the satellite signals for sometime now and so you are not just supposed to agree to something that you do not know.

Madam Speaker, it seems we are just following because someone developed something new. You have a choice. If the analogue system was better, you should have refused to go digital. We should ensure that Zambians benefit from this migration. That is the bottom line. I feel happy that during by-elections when you advertise, no one sees your advertisements in certain areas because television reception in Zambia is unevenly distributed.


Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, whether we use the analogue or digital system, the bottom line should be the benefits of all Zambians. Further, when we acquired vans for the ZNBC, we were told that they would go into the villages to be used as cinemas. 

Hon. Mwaanga said at that time that the vans would be used as cinemas, but nothing has happened because the vans are used to drive people to bars. Some of these vans have even been bashed. The only time I saw one of the vans used as a cinema was when it was used to show the gravel road which had been repaired to the electorate in the by-election in Mufumbwe.

Madam Speaker, we want to benefit from these things. They must work through and through. People at the ZNBC should work freely. They should not work in a biased manner. The ZNBC should show programmes that are of a developmental nature.

Mr Muyanda: Yah!

Mr Muntanga: Let us see programmes that are of a developmental nature televised. Let us see documentaries depicting development being shown now when there is no by-election so that the people can see that, in fact, as we saw the donation of blankets in Keembe, …


Mr Muntanga: … this is the best we can see of the hon. Minister.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

 I think the Chair has guided before that it is important to read the report and debate it. Hon. Members, there is a tendency to start saying things that are related to the title, but not the content. Can the hon. Member come back to the report which has nothing to do with Keembe. 

You may continue, but come back to the report.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, the point is that we should deliver information to the majority of Zambians.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

Mr Muntanga: When we look at migration, we should talk about the benefit of how we are going to take information to the people. It is all premised on how information must reach the people and what benefit there is for us. It is true that we have been told about migration and what we are going to lose, but my main concern is the overall benefit which has not been mentioned although promises of improvement have been made.

 Madam Speaker, my other concern is what has failed about the analogue system. If the problem is really the analogue system, should it be that we can only have the ZNBC broadcasting in Lusaka, Copperbelt and other towns? Is that the benefit we want? Why do we not take the ZNBC to rural areas like Mwandi, Mulobezi, Kaputa, Luena and other places because our interest is to see all Zambians viewing television? They should see what hon. Ministers are doing at all times and not only when an hon. Minister is dishing out cheques for women’s clubs  …


Mr Muntanga: … should we watch television. 

Madam Speaker, if analogue system is the problem and it is what inhibits us from watching television, …

Mr Kakoma: And the cheques are bouncing.


Mr Muntanga: … then we will go along with migration for the benefit of the system.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members will seriously debate the report. Otherwise, we will have nothing more to debate.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this report. I intend to be quite brief. I wish to begin by commending your Committee for this report.

Madam Speaker, the bottom line is that, whether we like it or not, we have to go digital because the whole world is moving in that direction. If we remain behind, it is at our own peril and there will be sanctions against us. So, we must move in that direction. On page 12, item (a), it says:

 “ as the Task Force is not yet operational to spearhead the process, there is no deliberate national agenda to enable the Government gather the necessary information to make informed decisions on matters of how, when and how much the migration will cost.”

 It goes on to say, again, on page 13, item (ix):

 “the National Task Force on migration, is just on paper, …” 

Now, that is a little worrying. I would encourage the Government to take this matter very seriously because, if does not, we risk remaining behind. I would hope that, in the budget that is coming and the one after it, there will be something to help us move because we cannot afford to be left behind.

Madam Speaker, for the people in the rural areas and in my constituency, it really does not matter whether we have gone digital or analogue. It does not make any difference at all.

Mr Muntanga: Yes!

Dr Machungwa: What we want is to be able to get the television and radio signal so that we get the news. Unfortunately, at the moment, we are unable to do that. I was talking to the hon. Minister, in fact, yesterday and reported that since about November, last year, when some short wave transmitters broke down, people in my constituency have since been complaining about the failure to get the Zambian radio signal and, instead, are listening to Tanzanian radio. We do not even talk about the television signal at all.

So, to me, hon. Minister, my interest is that, as we go digital, – In fact, if it was my choice, I would have preferred to forget about going digital …

Mr Muntanga: Yes!

Dr Machungwa: … and just fix the analogue, but I think we cannot do that because the world is moving and we cannot be left behind. So, this is why I would like to plead with the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Service, and, also, urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, who is here, to try and support his colleague so that we put up measures to try and plan for this migration. We do not want to be left behind because there are penalties to be faced for failure to go digital. Therefore, let us try to be deliberate and plan. 

Madam Speaker, in the meantime, let us remove these small irregularities so that people can feel that they are a part of Zambia. Dissemination of information and news, what the Executive is doing and what is happening in the country is important for national cohesion and development.

Madam Speaker, the bottom line is that the larger part of our country in the rural areas does not get the television signal because of the economic situation of the country. However, I would like to urge our colleagues on the need to try and push towards curbing that problem. That is why, when I go into my constituency and talk, I am the authority unless I take an hon. Minister. This is because nobody is able to listen to the news because they are listening to, maybe, Christian Voice  or foreign station, but we need the national broadcaster. We want television and radio especially. 

So, I commend your Committee for the work done and I want to urge the Government to put in place committees that will seriously begin working towards that. Perhaps, what we should consider in that task force, or whatever it will be called, is the cost of these set-top-boxes. At the moment, people can buy a television set or radio and receive information, but now there are these set-top-boxes to come. Obviously, for the bourgeoisie …

Mr Muntanga: For the rich ones.

Dr Machungwa: … or most hon. Members of Parliament like Hon. Muntanga, hon. Member of Parliament for Pemba …

Mr Muntanga stood.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member will desist from involving other hon. Members. Otherwise, he will create an atmosphere that will not be conducive for the very serious work that we are doing. The hon. Member for Kalomo  Central has been very popular this afternoon.

Mr Muntanga: Yes!

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Can he be left alone. 

The hon. Member may conclude his debate.


Dr Machungwa: Thank you, Madam Speaker. In fact, he is my brother-in-law and that is why I referred to him in that manner.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!


Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, what I am saying is that those who are well-off can afford these set-top-boxes and at the moment, some people are buying decoders that produce high definition pictures while others are not. However, really, my concern is for the rest of our people. So your Committee can, as it begins to plan, take into consideration the needs of our people so that we move together as a country because we are one country and must have a sense of national cohesion.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I will be very brief, but allow me to recognise the new colleagues who have come to this House, my fellow young hon. Members of Parliament − since we are the future − the Member of Parliament for Milanzi, Hon. Banda, and Member of Parliament for Mufumbwe, Hon. Kamondo. Secondly, I wish them all the best in this House and that, God willing, we will be given the opportunity to stay in this House a little longer ...


Mr Hamududu: … by the older folk since we are the future. Thirdly, may I also recognise the elevation of one of our colleagues, Hon. Mwansa, to that position (pointing in the direction of the Deputy Chairperson of Committees).

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: I would like to state that I know Hon. Mwansa very well. We have been very close as a family of late and I think there could have been no better person than him to occupy that position.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Is he Seventh Day Adventist (SDA)?

Mr Hamududu: I also want to recognise the elevation of Hon. Mkhondo Lungu, a very collected person, to the position of hon. Minister of Home Affairs.

Mr Muntanga: Although UNIP.


Mr Hamududu: What I have learnt from these appointments and elevations is that it is time, Madam Speaker, …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member is taking too long talking about elevations of hon. Members to positions. Can you debate the report.

Mr Hamududu: Madam, the moral of what I am saying before I debate this report is that it is high time we began to recognise skills among ourselves. That is the only way the country can move forward. We must, sometimes, forget about our political differences and just become united as Zambians because we are and will always be one nation. Our political divisions are temporary and anyone who stands up to argue with me will be proven wrong by time.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Debate the Motion. You are going off the subject.

Mr Hamududu: Madam, I thank you for your guidance. 

As regards the report of your Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services, I specifically want to comment on page 22 and I will be very brief. On this page, your Committee recommends that the Government should reduce its shareholding or completely privatise the Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and even the ZNBC. I think privatisation of State institutions is progressive but, of course, do not agree with the suggestion by your Committee that we should completely privatise State media institutions. Complete privatisation of the public media makes the country vulnerable to the few people that would own the media. If they do not like an individual, they can easily tarnish that person’s reputation and promote somebody they like.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: So, that is very dangerous and we will not subscribe to that.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: I think what is required, at the moment, is for the Government to still have significant shareholding in these institutions, but infuse private initiatives. I agree that the Government must partially privatise State institutions whilst remaining with the majority shareholding so that national interest is safeguarded and, therefore, a little fellow like Hon. Hamududu cannot be marginalised but continue to be heard whether he is liked by the owners of the newspapers or not. As a taxpayer, I have every right to seek coverage from a Government-owned institution unlike in the private media. The private media can get away with maligning me and finishing my political career despite being an upright citizen.  This is why we, currently, need a strong hand of the State in media so as to protect the interest of the people at large. This is the truth and when hon. Members on the right find themselves on the other side of the coin, they will believe what I am saying.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: For now, they think things are okay because they are enjoying a lot of coverage from the public media, but when a few people turn against them, they will realise that what I am saying is the truth. So, I want to look at both sides of the coin. 

Madam, I, therefore, want to strongly urge the Government that partial privatisation is the way forward so that we can infuse private initiative and innovation and improve the conditions of service for our staff in parastatal institutions, as has been the case with the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO). ZANACO is performing better now. The truth of the matter is that sole ownership of the media by the Government does not fully serve public interest because the Government is not qualified to run business. Therefore, private sector participation brings in progressive concepts of running these institutions.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear! 

That has been the case with the Zambia Telecommunications Company Limited (Zamtel).

Mr Hamududu: Yes, including Zamtel. The only problem with Zamtel is that the Government gave away too much shareholding. Otherwise, privatisation is the way to go. It is the in-thing now, but …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: … the only problem is that the Government gives away too much shareholding to private hands and that I do not agree with. So, partial privatisation of the ZNBC, Times of Zambia and Zambia Daily Mail will, of course, mean better services for our citizens. Even digital migration will be much easier because private initiative and innovation will be infused into the public media allowing for new technology to come in. 

Innovation lies in the private sector and not the Government. The world over, governments are not qualified to run business and, therefore, we must begin to make progress through partial privatisation of public companies. That is the only way we can develop this country and, I think, the example of ZANACO has proved this and we should learn from it. With a private hand involved, the Government cannot abuse this bank. If the bank is wholly owned by the Government, it becomes a conduit of theft by the people in the Government. Therefore, partial privatisation is the route we should go to make these companies viable.

I am, therefore, looking forward to seeing how the Government will proceed on this matter. If things remain the way they are, we will not receive the full benefit of running public institutions and even workers will be demoralised because of poor conditions of service. So, I think, progress must be reported as quickly as possible on this issue. 

Madam Speaker, for once, we must be nationalistic and have consensus as a nation as was the case in the past. Like Mr Mandela once said, “For the fight for freedom, I am ready, if need be, to even pay with my own life.” Therefore, I will stand for what is right and I think nationalism is what is right. I think real men must stand up no matter what the price is. Become nationalistic and have consensus on key issues because the Zambian people out there want solutions now. Some do not even belong to any political party, but we are all in this House at their expense and, therefore, we need to begin to make progress and become united as Zambians for once.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this debate and I will just take about two to three minutes. First of all, I think what is important to appreciate is that we, on this side of the House, as a Government, are not expected to provide miracles, but hope to the people, especially the future generation. Therefore, I believe that the collective global decision to migrate from analogue to digital technology is to provide an opportunity for the future generation to benefit from the use of this technology not only in terms of jobs, but wealth creation as well. 

As leaders of today, I think the challenge for us, as we ensure that there is availability of this technology to the future generation, is it to see to it that it must be used for building the nation. Therefore, we are challenged, in making the decisions today, to ensure that the future generation that will have the ability to use this technology, as others have stated, will be professional. We must ensure that there will be standards to avoid abuse. Training and innovation and ethics and much more patriotism for nation building will be encouraged. 

Madam Speaker, just as we saw with the mobile phone industry, twenty years ago, we never even dreamed of the jobs that are available for young people, today. In the same way, we must envisage a future where there will be new jobs we have not even begun to think of for our children because of this migration from analogue to digital technology. Our responsibility remains to ensure that we will have in place the legal framework and all other requirements so that this technology is used to the benefit of our nation.

I thank you, Madam.  

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this very important Motion.

Madam Speaker, digital migration is not an event, but a process and Zambia has been engaged in the process of digital migration for some time now. First of all, we are a member of the International Telecommunications Union, the African Telecommunications Union and other regional telecommunication organisations such as those in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). At all these fora, we are engaged, as a country, in debating the whole question of challenge of digital migration.

In January/February this year, at the African Union (AU) meeting of Heads of State in Ethiopia, the issue of digital migration came up in the discussions in which Zambia participated actively.

 In May, this year, the SADC member States met in Rwanda and one of the issues that came up was the challenge of digital migration and what we can do as SADC member countries to co-operate in this challenge, especially at the level of technology harmonisation because this is very important.

As a nation, we have put up a number of measures and one of them has been to establish a policy on Information Communication Technology (ICT). Our policy on ICT is responsive to technological changes. From a policy point of view, we are, indeed, as a country, ready to accommodate changes in ICT.

Last year, this House approved the legal framework for technological changes in ICT by approving the information technology law which is now in force. At the same time, as a country, arising from the laws that we have established, we have enhanced the Communications Authority of Zambia to broaden its functions to look into issues of ICT under the Zambia Information Communication Technology Agency (ZICTA). This is a much broader agency to look into all the various challenges, including the challenges of the evolving technology in this particular sector. 

As a nation and Government, we are already looking into issues of constructing the infrastructure backbone through the optic fibre that we are laying in the country. This is intended to connect us to the sub optic fibre cables that will enable us, as a country, for example, to access internet television. Already, the metropolitan optic fibre cable has been laid around Lusaka and on the Copperbelt. This is a very important milestone in our readiness for digital migration as a country. At the same time, the liberalisation of the International Gateway will enable us access technology that can help the country prepare for digital migration. Very soon, we shall be accessing Third Generation Technology (3G Tech.) whose licence has already been given to our mobile operators. This means that on our 3G cell phones, we shall be able to access digital television. We are already benefiting from the International Gateway Reforms which were undertaken last year by a slash in international tariffs on our mobile connectivity. We have already seen the advertisements in the papers and what our mobile providers are doing in that area.

Therefore, as a nation, we are increasingly becoming digital television ready. In most of our homes, we have digital satellite television (DStv) transmissions. We are watching the World Cup through DStv transmission, which means, to a large extent, migration is not an event, but a process and it is happening in our country through all these various activities and measures that we, as a country, are taking.

Madam Speaker, I thought I should add my voice to inform your Committee in particular, that digital migration in our country is already happening and now we expect to intensify it so that its benefits can go far and wide.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Madam Speaker, first of all, I wish to thank your Committee for this report that has been tabled before this august House.

In commenting on the report, I am cognisant of the work undertaken by your Committee and observations contained therein.

In dealing with the issue of the migration, my colleague the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport, whom my ministry is working very closely with, has ably elaborated the need for your Committee to have appreciated that this digital migration in the country started a long time ago and that it is not good to alarm the nation on issues that are already being addressed. For example, your Committee was invited by my ministry to visit Television Two (Tv2) which is 100 per cent digital in order to help them understand what digital is all about. That invitation was not taken up and so for your Committee to come up with a report to alarm the nation that this is not happening when Tv2 is wholly digital is not correct.

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

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: In the same vein, with regard to the migration process, I wish to inform this House that the Government has put in place a framework for a National Task Force on Digital Migration whose mandate will be to oversee the transition process before migration from analogue to digital television and broadcasting by 2015, as prescribed by the International Telecommunications Union.

The terms of reference for the National Task Force on Digital Migration are as follows:

(i)    formulate an appropriate switchover strategy;

(ii)    oversee the switchover programme within a specified timetable;

(iii)    identify likely tailbacks to the uptake of digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcast;

(iv)    make the necessary recommendations relating to the financing of the set- top-boxes that have been mentioned;

(v)    formulate appropriate consumer awareness strategies;

(vi)    address consumer complaints during and after the switchover;

(vii)    formulate and adopt standards for set-top-boxes; and

(viii)    recommend a licensing policy regime relating to network and licensing.

Madam Speaker, in undertaking its work, the National Task Force on Digital Migration will focus its work on five thematic areas, namely:

(a)    policy and regulation;

(b)    technical;

(c)    finance;

(d)    publicity; and

(e)    content.

It is through these thematic areas, Madam Speaker, that the National Task Force on Digital Migration will develop guidelines to facilitate the upgrade or replacement of analogue television and protect the Zambian market from dumping obsolete technology. 

I know that the hon. Member of Parliament for Itezhi-tezhi said that there were one billion analogue television sets that were in the United States of America (USA) which will be dumped in Zambia. I would like to assure the nation that this is an alarming statement because the one billion television sets in the USA are non-Zambian compatible. 

Their third function is to harmonise the regulatory framework for broadcasters and new technology. 

As a Government, Madam Speaker, we consider this digital migration process to be cardinal, hence the commencement of the sensitisation programmes for various stakeholders, as acknowledged by your Committee in its report. 

Regulation of the Broadcasting Industry

With regard to the broadcasting industry, the Government will, during this current sitting of Parliament, table the Independent Broadcasting Authority Bill whose objectives, amongst other things, will be to align it to the regulatory framework contained in the Information and Communication Technologies Act. With the rapid advancement of technology, there is also a need to ensure that the new technologies are taken on board and ensure that certain barriers regarding the use of certain technologies are addressed by the Independent Broadcasting Authority. The Independent Broadcasting Authority will become fully operational once this House passes the Bill to harmonise the law in accordance with the Business Licensing Reforms initiated by the Government.

Madam Speaker, I also wish to inform the House that the budget for the migration process is ongoing. An example of this is the introduction of Tv2. A budget was laid down for it to become digital and this is a process that is continuing. Therefore, various meetings have been held with co-operating partners in order to ensure that digital migration is complete by 2015. 

Madam, evidence of expenditure borne on digital migration includes the equipment at the ZNBC for the new Tv2 Channel and the recent acquisition of XVD technology for satellite broadcasting. Your Committee should have paid attention to a number of developments that are going on. Recently, we acquired the XVD equipment that is totally digital in order to help us pick satellite signals to ensure that our people view clearly.

Mr Muntanga: No.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Even in Kalomo. 

Madam, I am confident that when the comprehensive budget is brought before this House, hon. Members of this august House will fully support this process so that the country matches international standards. 

With regard to the tour undertaken to the Eastern Province by your Committee, its observations regarding awareness on digital migration are noted and the Government will, indeed, do everything possible to make sure that the areas of concern raised by your Committee are addressed.

Let me now deal with some of the concerns raised by your Committee. I wish to say that your Committee should not have rushed to table this report, but watch Tv2. This would have helped a great deal. On the issue of the National Task Force on Digital Migration, like I said, it is in place. 

Madam, on the issue raised by the hon. Member for Kantanshi on public video vehicles used by the Zambia National Information Services (ZANIS), I wish to say that these vehicles are being used to disseminate Government policies so that people can understand them. It is the duty of hon. Members to report the officers abusing these vehicles to the relevant authorities to ensure that these vehicles are used properly. This concern was also raised by the hon. Member for Kalomo.

Madam Speaker, the issue of floating along in this process is not possible because the rest of the world will have gone digital by 2015 and so it will be difficult to communicate otherwise. If we do this, as was said by one of the hon. Members regarding telephones, it means we may not have seen the amount of advancement made in the country.

I also would like to thank the hon. Member for Pemba who talked about legislation of the media. I will not comment on this issue because he demanded for the Bill to come before this House.

I would also like to urge the hon. Member for Kalomo to read the report because on page 5, it talks about the benefits of digital migration. This is going to help him understand so that he, in turn, can go and explain the benefits of digital migration to the people in Kalomo.

On the issue of the radio signal, we have had a number of challenges. Many of the people in the rural areas have not had the television signal because the satellite signal is lost. However, the Government is in the process of releasing both Tv2 and Tv1 to be on satellite simultaneously with Radios 1 and 2. 

We have also had a number of difficulties regarding the shortwave transmission in the rural areas. The shortwave equipment that is in Zambia is analogue and outdated. Spare parts are no longer available on the shelves. In order to have spare parts, we have to pay for them to be manufactured and then sent to us because they are no longer produced. This is the problem we have had with the shortwave. However, spares have been ordered and soon we are going to have signals. 

Madam Speaker, lastly, there was also an issue raised by the hon. Member for Luapula to go digital by 2015. I would like to thank him for his contribution. 

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the concerns raised by all the hon. Members who debated the Motion and those who debated silently in their seats by agreeing in totality and from the bottom of their hearts with the contents of this report. 

However, I am saddened to learn from the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, having contradicted the submissions made by his own institution, ZNBC. The Committee did not dream the contents in the report. This is what they gathered from the witnesses who appeared before them. I repeat, I am saddened with the hon. Minister’s statement that we were not aware of the happenings in Lusaka. Yes, Tv2 is a Lusaka-based station and it is not in Chipata where your Committee went. Maybe, the hon. Minister wanted us to ask the people in Chipata to come to Lusaka and see what is happening on Tv2.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Second Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 25th June, 2010.

Madam  Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Silavwe (Nakonde): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Madam Speaker: Order!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Madam Speaker, let me begin by expressing gratitude to members of your Committee for the dedication and commitment which they exhibited towards their work during this session which has culminated into the production of this report.

Madam, your Committee considered a total of fifty-six statutory instruments during the period under review and was, to a great extent, satisfied and noted their issuance. This is an indication that the terms of reference for the issuance of subsidiary legislation are, by and large, being adhered to by persons and institutions to whom such authority is delegated.

It has, however, been your Committee’s worry over the years that various authorities are unable to avail statutory instruments to this House and your Committee for scrutiny. In other instances, your Committee may have the statutory instruments without necessary explanatory memoranda.

Madam Speaker, the Chairperson of your Committee, in his private capacity, receives copies of all delegated legislation from the Government Printers as and when the same are published. What is surprising is that the same are not always availed to this House and your Committee in good time or not at all. This practice is unacceptable since the power to issue delegated legislation is only allowed to authorities outside this House on condition that such delegated legislation is scrutinised by your Committee in order to ensure that such delegation of powers is being properly exercised.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: This is important, especially with regard to the protection of personal rights and liberties of citizens of this country.

Hon. Member: That is right.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: I, therefore, wish to urge all persons and authorities who issue various pieces of legislation to always ensure the timely submission of relevant memoranda and statutory instruments to this House for your Committee’s scrutiny.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC: Madam Speaker, please, allow me to comment briefly on tours undertaken by your Committee. Your Committee undertook local tours to Nyimba, Siavonga, Livingstone and within Lusaka to ascertain the effects of some statutory instruments on the local communities in the areas visited.

In Nyimba, your Committee visited West Mvuvye Local Forrest No. P54. The forest was downgraded from national forest status in order to allow for joint forest management. Your Committee found that the objective of instituting a management structure for the forest had not been achieved years after the forest was declared a local forest.  

Your Committee urge regulations to be adhered to and, in this regard, a joint forest management committee must be constituted forthwith. 

Your Committee also toured the Lusaka Limestone National Monument in Lusaka which is a potential tourist attraction. It is your Committee’s hope that the site will be developed as a tourist attraction so that it can add to the number of sites to be visited within Lusaka.

Finally, Madam Speaker, I wish to express your Committee’s gratitude to you for your guidance and counsel during the period under review. Your Committee also wishes to thank all the witnesses who made submissions to it and for facilitating the local tour.

I also wish to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the services rendered to your Committee during the period under review.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Silavwe: Now, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion to adopt the Second Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly which has been ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee.

In seconding the Motion, I wish to fully endorse and support the speech of the Chairperson, as it reflected the views and conclusions of your Committee. 

Madam Speaker, as stated by the Chairperson, your Committee was satisfied with the majority of the statutory instruments which were considered during the period under review.

Allow me, therefore, to make brief comments on Statutory Instruments Nos. 20 and 21 which concerned Mvuvye Local Forest No. P54 in Nyimba District. Your Committee undertook a tour of Nyimba in order to ascertain whether the implementation of the statutory instruments had not impacted negatively on the local community.

In this regard, your Committee wished to specifically ascertain that the implementation of the two statutory instruments did not impinge on the rights of the local community.

Your Committee interacted with the district administration and the investor who was supposed to partner with the community in the management of the forest. There were a few discrepancies concerning the formation of a joint management structure for the forest and the total area of the same forest. 

Madam Speaker, during the tour, your Committee observed that the local investor had done a lot for the local community through the construction of bridges, rehabilitation of schools, sinking of boreholes and employment of fifty people among other activities. However, there were just a few minor issues.

Your Committee made recommendations in this regard and hope that the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources will move quickly to resolve the minor hiccups.

With these few words, I beg to second the Motion and urge the House to support your Committee’s report.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, I wish to support the report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation. 

Madam, there is no statutory instrument that is controversial. All of them are straightforward. 

I stand to emphasise what the Chairperson stated with regard to ensuring that the powers that be also ensure that the statutory instruments are sent to hon. Members of Parliament. There are cases where statutory instruments are not availed and hon. Members of Parliament hear about them from people outside Parliament.

Madam Speaker, delegated legislation means legislating on behalf of the National Assembly. Sometimes, when we are confronted with situations where there was a statutory instrument and we do not know about it, we are forced to look for the statutory instrument. 

There was a particular case at the Ministry of Lands. I am happy that it was withdrawn. It is important that when statutory instruments are issued, the hon. Members of Parliament are not caught unaware. This is an important point which the Chairperson has emphasised. It is equally important for the hon. Ministers who issue statutory instruments to take this seriously. Otherwise, there are no disputes on the instruments reviewed.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Tembo (Nyimba): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Motion. From the outset, let me state that I will be very brief in my contribution on this report which has been well presented to this august House.

Madam Speaker, my concern is on part two of the report on page 15 where the District Commissioner for Nyimba submitted to your Committee that the investor had promised to build a school which he did not finish. He also said that the investor had promised to give desks and build a classroom block at Chieftainess Mwape’s palace, but not for the community.

Madam, I wish to correct the impression which was given by the District Commissioner for Nyimba that the school he is talking about in this report is not a single classroom, but a one by three classroom block. As hon. Member of Parliament for Nyimba, I visited the area in question and I found that all these projects were implemented in consultation with the local community in Chieftainess Mwape’s area.

Madam Speaker, it is not only these two projects which I have mentioned that have been implemented in the area, but the investor has also invested a lot in the area. So far, he has constructed about six dams and about fifty local people have been employed in the same area. He has also constructed Chifukuzi Bridge in the same area. In 2005, about four boreholes were sunk in the same area. He has just completed sinking about three boreholes. All these developments are being done in conjunction with the local community.

Madam Speaker, I do not want to waste much of your time, but to congratulate the entire Committee on doing a wonderful job.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Madam Speaker, I went through this very wonderful report which has acknowledged that most of the statutory instruments were validly drafted and printed in accordance with the rules. Of course, what is missing from this speech is praising the hon. Minister of Justice …


Hon. Member: Hear, hear! 

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … for a job well done …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … because there are no substantive issues here apart from the issue of the forest which has been clarified. I think we should give credit where it is due.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: We can only take note of issues to do with submission of memoranda, distribution of gazettes and statutory instruments because they are constructive. Next time, we hope to live to the expectations of hon. Members.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Madam Speaker, may I simply thank the hon. Members of the House for overwhelmingly supporting the report. Of course, we acknowledge the good job that is being done by the Ministry of Justice through the noting of all the statutory instruments that came for consideration before your Committee. May I, therefore, end by thanking you once again.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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 1741 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 2nd July, 2010.



458. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:

(a)    how much money was raised, in the form of electricity bills by the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco) in 2008 and 2009, countrywide;

(b)    how much money was owed to Zesco in electricity bills as of December, 2009, countrywide; and

(c)    what the total debt incurred by Zesco was as of December, 2009.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Mr Speaker, the total amount collected from January to December 2008 is broken down as follows:

        Description        Amount (K)
        Retail         636,679,215.01
    Mining         593,843,856.95
Export        13,751,286.14
Total         1,244,274,358.10

Total Amount collected from January 2009- December 2009

Description        Amount (K)

Retail     791,923,357.51
Mining     913,420,181.86
Export    19,958,812.73
Total    1,725,302,352.10

Total Amount owed as at December 2009

Description    Amount (K) 

Retail     332,079,961.00
Mining     227,559,328.16
Export    52,075,112.42
Total     611,714,401.58

Total Retail debt owed to ZESCO categorised by GRZ and Non GRZ is as follows:

Institution    Debt Owed (K)      Percentage

GRZ Debt    106,664,929    32
Non-GRZ Debt    225,415,032        68
Total     332,079,961

Breakdown of Outstanding retail debt December 2009 is as follows:

Institution    Amount (K)    Debt Age (months)

Central GRZ     49,228,280    14
Water utilities     47,708,297    11
Municipalities    3,262,004    19
Parastatals    6,466,348    15
Others retail    225,415,032    3
Total    332,079,961

Debt outstanding by ZESCO as at December 2009 is as follows:

Description        Amount (K)

Employee Provisions        540,582
Other Payables & Accruals        138,483
Trade payables        202,525
Total        881,591

Mr Speaker, I thank you.