Debates- Tuesday, 16th March, 2010

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Tuesday, 16th March, 2010

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that the National Assembly Library has organised an exhibition of new books in the library for Members of Parliament from 17th to 19th March, 2010.

Hon. Members may wish to know that through funding from the co-operating partners under the Parliamentary Reforms Programme (PRP) Phase III, the National Assembly Library has received about 500 new and high quality books worth US$32,000. The books, which are published in the United Kingdom and United States of America, cover global contemporary and topical issues such as climate change, accounting and auditing, industry and trade, economic development, globalisation, environmental sustainability, human rights and law. Others are international relations, politics, elections, public administration and public policy, poverty and HIV/AIDS and international trade. 

Hon. Members, these books provide a valuable and authentic source of information to Members, thereby promoting the quality of business in the House and during Committee meetings.

All hon. Members are invited to attend this important exhibition in the library, and I urge you to take advantage of this occasion to browse through the interesting and educative materials on display. I hope that this will inspire and encourage hon. Members to make use of the improved information resources the library has acquired.

The library staff will be on hand to answer questions pertaining to the exhibition and other available library services. Hon. Members will also be availed with copies of the list of new books. I am referring to this very thick document containing the new books which I have just referred to. I toured this exhibition this morning and I want to assure you that you will find the information contained in the books extremely rewarding. Therefore, I expect hon. Member to debate, not from common sense, but facts and figures that are available in the new and even already existing volumes. Please, attend. 

 Thank You.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




383. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Health when a dental clinic would be established in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Musonda): Mr Speaker, a dental therapist was posted to Nangoma Mission Hospital in 2009. Currently, the Ministry of Health is sourcing equipment for the dental clinic at Nangoma Mission Hospital to offer more services. Plans are underway and we are at an advanced stage in securing the equipment for use.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


384. Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    how many homicide cases took place from June, 2008 to December, 2009 in the following towns in the Eastern Province:

(i)    Katete;

(ii)    Petauke; and

(iii)    Chipata;

(b)    how many arrests were made in this regard in the same period; and

(c)    what the police/citizen ratio in the above towns was.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Phiri): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that there were eighty-nine homicide cases that took place from June, 2008 to December, 2009 in Katete, Petauke and Chipata in Eastern Province broken down as follows:

Town        Cases Reported

Katete        10

Petauke    20

Chipata         59

Total    89

Mr Speaker, fifty-five arrests were made in the same period broken down as follows:

    Town        Arrests Made

Katete    05

Petauke    08

Chipata    42

Total    55

Mr Speaker, the police/citizen ratio in the above towns is as follows:


Town        Number of Police        Projected     Population Ratio
            Officers            as at 2009

    Katete          60            256,591        1:4,277

    Petauke            52            344,858        1:6,632

    Chipata        176            488,917        1:2,788

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out why we had more homicides in Chipata than any other town.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mangani): Mr Speaker, as indicated, the major reason is that the population of Chipata is slightly higher than that of the other districts. The other reason is that Chipata is a provincial town and there are a lot of economic activities. Some of the cases are related to theft where people just kill because they want to get something from the victim.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Sikota, SC. (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister clarify whether the fifty-five refers to the number of cases or arrests made? Could he make that clearer for us?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, the fifty-five is in respect to the cases. I know you are worried that there are eighty-nine against fifty-five. The reason is that for some of the cases, the person who commits the murder is not identified. This is why there is this disparity.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister thinks that the ratio of one police officer to a population of six thousand is adequate.

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, definitely, the figure is inadequate and we feel that we have to recruit more officers in order to improve the policing of communities.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, going by what the hon. Minister has just said, the Government realises that we have very few police officers. When is the Government going to recruit more officers? If the Government does not have money, when are we going to get the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which they are always singing about, for us to use?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, the training programme is on and we have 1,500 recruits who are due to graduate in a month’s time. The training exercise has started and we are committed to continuing with it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, it is believed that most of the homicides which the hon. Minister referred to are perpetuated by prisoners who are left to roam about. What is the Government doing to control the situation?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, so far, we do not have that evidence so far. If the hon. Member has evidence that the murders are committed by prisoners, please, give it to us.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, the number of police officers in the three districts does not match with the population out there. Is the hon. Minister not considering transferring some police officers from the Kamfinsa Mobile Camp to the mentioned places in the Eastern Province where there is a lot of work to be done.

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, the problem of staffing in the police service is a serious one. Currently, we have a strength of about 13,000 police officers against a population of 12,000,000. Already, you can see that even if you made some transfers, these are by far inadequate. The solution is to train more officers rather than transferring them because even at Kamfinsa the number of officers does not reach the current expected establishment.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, out of the arrests that have been made, how many were convicted?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker that is a new question and it requires a special reply.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Order! 

I would like to guide that the presiding officers have always alerted the hon. Members of the Executive that when you have a question of this nature, you should be in a position to anticipate as many follow-up questions as possible and provide answers. The figure of fifty-five was given as that of those arrested so it was reasonable to expect a question such as how many were convicted or even how many were acquitted. It is very easy to expect a question such as that one. 

Since the hon. Minister is not ready to give that information, the House will move on.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that 1,500 recruits are being trained at the moment and that, in future, more will be recruited. Is the Government planning to recruit more police officers, especially that there will be elections next year and we need to have security at all polling districts?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, our training programme is designed to have, at least, 27,000 police officers by 2015. As such, we may not reach the 27,000 by next year, but will continue with the training programme so that we beef up the current strengths.

I thank you, Sir.


385. Mr Chitonge (Mwansabombwe) asked the Minister of Education:

(a)    when the construction of a high school in Mwansabombwe Parliamentary     Constituency would commence;

(b)    what the total cost of constructing the high school would be;

(c)    whether the high school would have boarding facilities.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, plans to construct a boarding high school in Mwansabombwe Constituency are very advanced and before the end of March, 2010, advertisements for this will be running in the print media. The actual cost of the works will be determined by the bids that will be received after the tendering process has been completed.

Mr Speaker, the high school to be constructed will have boarding facilities.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chitonge: Mr Speaker, I would like to know if the answer given by the hon. Minister could be taken as a Government assurance.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, the answer is yes, because that is in the Government’s plan.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.





The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to make the second reading statement on the Zambia Development Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2010, to this august House. Let me also pay tribute to your Committee for their report and the work they did regarding the amendments to the proposed Bill.

Mr Speaker, Zambia has experienced a significant increase in Government regulatory legislation on businesses since the 1990s. There are, currently, approximately eighty-six Acts of Parliament regulating businesses in Zambia in one way or another and the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Act is one of them. This is in addition to the numerous pieces of regulations, rules and by-laws that are used to regulate and control business activities.

Mr Speaker, a key challenge facing the Government has been the creation of an investment climate that would attract new investment which leads to accelerated economic growth. The business licensing and regulatory reform has been identified as a critical constraint to private sector development. The low quality and inefficient business licensing and regulatory reform presents a significant impediment to the country’s effort to improve the quality of the business environment, promote investment, employment and wealth creation.

Mr Speaker, most business licensing processes and procedures lack transparency. The processes are also time consuming and, in many cases unnecessary. In addition, the high regulatory costs, associated with corruption and inefficiency costs can and do inhibit investment and increase the cost of doing business. As a result, many entrepreneurs are pushed into the informal sector. Informality hurts both the Government and entrepreneurs. The State Treasury foregoes taxes and informal businesses find it difficult to obtain credit, use courts or access other public services.

Mr Speaker, in recognition of the challenges in the licensing and regulatory reform, the Government initiated the comprehensive licensing reform in 2008. The overall objective of the regulatory reform is to substantially reduce the number of unnecessary licensing requirements in Zambia and make the licensing and regulatory regimes better streamlined, transparent and focussed on legitimate regulatory purposes.

Mr Speaker, an inventory of all business licenses identified 517 licenses existing in Zambia. As part of the reform, an assessment of the licences was made to determine their regulatory purpose. Consequently, 170 licences across the various regulatory authorities were identified as serving no regulatory purpose and were thus recommended for elimination. The total compliance cost to businesses was quantified as K2.2 trillion.

Mr Speaker, there are only two main reasons for licensing:

(i)    to safeguard the public interest; and 

(ii)    to manage the limited natural resources.

Mr Speaker, certain activities must be regulated to guarantee the health, safety or security of consumers and protect the natural environment. Regulatory reforms are therefore not aimed at eliminating regulation, but at having a regulatory regime that is not hampered by administrative barriers which eases the doing of business. Regulatory streamlining targets the reduction to the greatest extent possible, the administrative burden of compliance in licensing processes and procedures, while maintaining a necessary level of regulation to protect the public and the environment.

In the light of the above, my ministry has proposed amendments to the ZDA Act. As, Mr Speaker, is aware, one of the objectives of the ZDA Act is to streamline bureaucratic procedures and requirements faced by investors. The specific objectives of the amendments to the ZDA Act is to revise the licensing provisions, provide immunity from the execution of judgements against the assets of the agency and provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

Mr Speaker, in line with meeting the objectives of having a regulatory regime that eases doing business, the following specific amendments regarding the ZDA licences have been proposed:

(i)    the investment license serves no regulatory purpose and is being eliminated and replaced with the registration and issuance of a certificate of registration for an investor for purposes of accessing certain incentives  and obtaining statistics and data;

(ii)    the certificate of registration of a micro or small business, education, skills training or rural business enterprise should be eliminated and replaced with a certificate of registration for micro or small business enterprises;

(iii)    the permit to establish a business enterprise other than a micro/small business enterprise or rural business enterprise should be eliminated because enterprises are already registered with the Patents and Companies Registration Office (PACRO);

(iv)    the permit for the establishment of the multi-facility economic zones (MFEZ) should be reclassified as a licence since the core activity is the establishment of the MFEZ; and 

(v)    the permit to operate an MFEZ is being retained, but the number of steps and input information required is reduced.

Mr Speaker, all these proposed changes to the licensing will contribute to reducing costs to the business community in that there will be a reduction in the number of licences with the revision of the application procedures. There will be a reduction in the number of steps and input requirements.

Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of the need to have a comprehensive review of the ZDA Act and appreciates the concerns of your Committee. There are, indeed, challenges in the Act that need to be addressed and the Government will undertake a comprehensive review of the Act. Like I have stated earlier, the proposed amendments to the ZDA Act that are being considered relate to the business licensing reforms that the Government has embarked on.

Mr Speaker, the Government intends to bring, at least, forty-seven Bills to Parliament, all focussed on business licensing in the country. Fourteen of these Bills have been presented and these include the Registration of Business Names (Amendment) Bill, 2010, the Dairy Industry Development Bill, 2010, the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2010, the Dairy Produce Marketing and Levy (Repeal) Bill, 2010, the Patents (Amendment) Bill, 2010, the Dairy Produce Board (Establishment) Bill, 2010, and the Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill, 2010, among others. The amendments to the ZDA Act should, therefore, be seen within the broader reform efforts of the licensing regime in this country.

Mr Speaker, the Government is in agreement with the recommendation of your Committee not to increase the period of consideration of investment licences to thirty days from the current fourteen. We agree with their position on the granting of immunity to the ZDA. Furthermore, we share their concerns on the representation on the board of the agency and the need for the contents of all licences to be clearly spelt out in the Act. I wish to thank your Committee for their thorough and objective work in this regard.

Mr Speaker, as I have already indicated, the amendments to the proposed Bills are targeted at easing the cost of doing business in this country. Each one of us who has endeavoured to undertake a business of one sort or another can bear testimony to the fact that our licensing regime is cumbersome, lengthy and unfriendly. We are all aware of the challenges of constantly having to follow up on a business licence and the inconvenience of having to go to several offices. The situation is such that one just puts a date stamp, the other signs one section of the form, the other office just receives a payment and the frustration of being told that this form or that person is not available and asked to return on such and such a day. We are also aware of the explicit and implicit costs of the business registration processes. Most of us have probably had to use middle men at a cost just to forego the encumbrances of business registration processes. It is these issues that the Government wants to address by way of legislation. The proposed amendments to the ZDA Act should, therefore, be seen within the broader perspective as a beginning of comprehensive efforts to review the cost of doing business in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Sir, in presenting your Committee’s report on this Bill, let me hasten to point out that most of the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee acknowledged that there was an urgent need to amend the ZDA Act of 2006 following the realisation that in its current state, it had some serious shortcomings which prevented it from adequately meeting the needs of the business community, let alone effectively promoting the much-needed investment in our country.  In light of this, your Committee are unhappy with the current attempt at piecemeal amendments to the ZDA Act and call for a comprehensive review of the entire Act.  They recommend that the reformed Act should clearly provide for the need for foreign investors to partner with local business persons as one of the conditions to qualify for incentives under the Act.

Related to this, your Committee urge the Government to urgently finalise the licensing reform process so that business licensing is streamlined in order to reduce the cost of doing business in the country.  Your Committee wish to emphasise that these processes should be undertaken in consultation with all stakeholders in the various economic sectors.  They regretfully note that it is apparent that there is, currently, little, if any, consultation between ZDA and various actors in the local business community.

Regarding the concerns raised by stakeholders on the proposal to revise the period in which an investment certificate or licence should be approved from fourteen to thirty days, your Committee agree that such a revision is likely to encourage administrative inefficiency in the agency and also serve as an additional bottleneck in the already cumbersome and lengthy licensing process.

Mr Speaker, your Committee noted that the proposed new Section 69 (e) maintained the reference to “the possibility of technology transfer” which is in the principal act.  This provision was of concern to a number of stakeholders, and to your Committee, as it does not appear to take into account the need for investors to actually contribute to increased technology transfer, but merely the possibility of this happening.  Your Committee, therefore, propose that the provision be revised to refer to “the degree of technology transfer”.  In addition, Section 69, in its current form, makes no mention of the need for investors to take deliberate steps to transfer skills to local personnel. Your Committee feel that this is an important aspiration which should be provided for in Section 69 in order to ensure that any technology transferred to Zambia can be effectively exploited for national development.  This can only be possible once the country has the requisite skills to exploit such technology.

With regard to the proposal to provide immunity from the execution of judgements against the assets of the agency, stakeholders who appeared before your Committee overwhelmingly condemned this proposal.  They argued that such a move would not only unfairly disadvantage persons who had engaged or would seek to engage in business activities with the agency, but was also directly at variance with its status as a corporate body capable of suing and being sued in its own name.

Mr Speaker, however, your Committee also noted the spirited submission made by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry that immunity was being sought for the ZDA in order to create confidence among local and foreign investors.  This was in light of the fact that it was envisaged that the agency would hold title on behalf of the Government for strategic assets such as land, buildings and a trade and investment fund to be used to facilitate investment.  The Permanent Secretary explained that assets such as land and buildings would have to be set aside for the development of various initiatives, including MFEZ, incubator programmes for micro, small and medium-scale enterprises and farming blocks.  He emphasised that the proposed immunity was not in any way meant to insulate the agency from the consequences of poor management or inefficiency and that relevant laws would still be applicable where the agency or its management was found wanting in any way.  

In short, the protection against the execution of judgments was meant to assist the agency to provide the following among other things:

(i)    investor comfort to ensure that their sub-leases were safe; 

(ii)    security of tenure to operators in industrial parks and business incubators;

(iii)     stability in funding provided by the agency under the export development fund and the trade and investment fund; and 

(iv)    maintain confidentiality of information material by the agency such as business and trade secrets of investors which, if allowed to fall in the wrong hands, could jeopardise business interests.  

In light of this submission, your Committee are convinced that the immunity sought is justified in national interest and should be granted.  They, therefore, support the proposed amendment to the Act in this regard, but implore the Government to closely supervise the agency to ensure that its liabilities are kept within manageable limits.

Mr Speaker, your Committee have made various recommendations relating to the review of the composition of the ZDA Board which they feel should be taken into account by the ministry and the agency in order to strengthen the operations of the agency.  There are also concerns regarding the proposed amendments to Section 70 in that the contents of the licence or certificate are not specified.  Your Committee feel that this could lead to a situation where the Act confers wide discretionary power on the agency.  The proposal to remove Section 77(c) is also of serious concern to your Committee, as they are of the view that this is a necessary provision since investors should be held accountable for undertakings made at the time of applying for a licence.  Your Committee are happy to note that the Permanent Secretary indicated that the hon. Minister would move amendments to give effect to the Committee’s recommendations.

Sir, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Sir, I thank you very much for this opportunity to contribute to this debate. From the outset, I want to say that I am an hon. Member of this Committee and, therefore, would like to make one or two comments.

Mr Speaker, I would like to support the recommendations of your Committee as well as commend the hon. Minister and officials from his ministry for having been magnanimous in taking on board a number of your Committee’s recommendations. After consulting various stakeholders, your Committee made recommendations for some amendments and I have noticed that, in his policy statement, the hon. Minister has taken note of a number of the recommendations.

Mr Speaker, since councils have been delegated to issue licences, I feel that the ministry should harmonise functions of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. I also agree with the ministry that even at that level, there are a number of licences that are a hindrance to building investments in this country just for business to run effectively. However, as some of the licences are going to be cancelled, it is important to decentralise some of the functions of the ministry to the district level so that people do not have to travel from Shang’ombo to Lusaka to get a particular licence.

In the spirit of the Decentralisation Policy which is being implemented by the Government, it is important for the ministry to consider certain licences to be issued at the district level so that people do not have to travel long distances. I think it just makes economic sense.

On the issue of the composition of the board, which the hon. Minister has taken note of, it is necessary to capture some interest groups that have been left out of the ZDA Board so that their views are taken on board. The Government must come out very clearly in terms of policy on the issue of boards. There seems to be a new culture of some stakeholders believing that if a ministry is given the power to create an agency to discharge its functions, the hon. Minister should not appoint members of the board. In my view, this seems to be a new culture. As a country, we have to be clear and agree on how we are going to proceed. 

Mr Speaker, personally, I do not believe that a ministry that has been mandated, on behalf of the President and the people of Zambia to perform a certain function, can create a board and have no control over it because, according to some stakeholders, this board is tilted towards the Government. Therefore, it must be tilted towards the entire private sector because it is becoming a general outcry. You will recall that, in the past, most legislation just had a clause which said the hon. Minister, ministry or President would appoint a board to discharge the functions on their behalf. However, since we have devolved, this has changed. Now, we normally specify, for example, that the hon. Minister is required to appoint several boards from this or that association, but must not be tilted towards the Government. 

Mr Speaker, speaking for myself, this is right because I believe that the mandate to govern is given to a particular group of people and should things go wrong, they will be answerable at the end of five years.

Hon. Members: Hear, Hear!

Mrs Masebo: Therefore, we must be very careful about this. If you recall, the Road Development Agency (RDA) was just a department of the Ministry of Works and Supply. It was changed into an agency because of its inefficiency poor salaries. However, this did not mean that the statutory functions given to that particular ministry were going to be abrogated because there was an agency and nobody elected it. It is the Government of the day that has been elected that shall be answerable. Today, when people are crying about roads, who do they shout at? They do not shout at RDA. They shout at the hon. Minister responsible and the Government of the day. Therefore, it is important that stakeholders appreciate that, at the end of the day, those who have been elected shall be answerable and, therefore, their policy, which was the basis of their election, must be seen not to be undermined by a section of society that may not have had the mandate.

This does not mean that we should not be consulting. I think it is very important, just like the Chairperson of your Committee stated, that there does not seem to have been a loud enough outcry regarding consultation with relevant stakeholders who could have assisted to come up with the right Bill, in this regard, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

I just wanted to talk about this issue of the powers of the hon. Minister in respect of creating an agency to perform his function for which he, himself, is acting on behalf of the President. This should not be abrogated and given to other people whereby, when there is a vote, they even say that the vote is going to tilt towards the ministry. Obviously, it must tilt towards the ministry because it is the ministry that is giving the vision and direction. At the end of five years, if you feel that the ministry and the Government did not do well, that is the time to vote that Government out of office, not midstream.

Lastly, Sir, I want to say that it was very interesting that the hon. Minister and his officials were very open and he appeared before your Committee. This is very rare because some hon. Ministers do not normally agree, but the hon. Minister agreed to appear before your Committee and he heard what was said. I would like to commend the hon. Minister and thank him for agreeing to bring the necessary amendments as he has articulated on the Floor of the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the Chairperson of your Committee. Obviously there can be no better person to chair such a committee than him. I also commend my friend on my right, here, and the lady who has just spoken for having been on your Committee. They have the salient experience to guide that hon. Minister, there.

As for the hon. Minister, in whom I am well pleased, he is a product, like many of us who are successful in this country, of ZIMCO and that is a fact.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Therefore, I cannot expect him to go to a committee where the Hachipukas are sitting and disagree with them.


Mr Matongo: I commend you, hon. Minister. That is the way you should go. However, I would like to state a few issues. I have been listening very quietly for sometime and now I must speak. 

Mr Speaker, once a President appoints somebody, he cedes his ostensible authority to that person and I do hope that all the many Presidents I have seen work accept that and I know they do. The ostensible authority of the hon. Minister exercises duty on an agency under that particular hon. Minister. If we are confused about that, then we are not very sure about what good governance is all about.

Now, I want to put it to you that once an hon. Minister is appointed or is in consultation - and that is the catch word - true and honest consultation, a board is established to elect their chairperson. I consider that appropriate for I do not think that if we were in Government, today, we would accept to be driven by a committee to decide what board and chairperson we should have. If that is your decision here, then you have lost me.

The decision here is to be able to exercise authority as per Constitution, Act and ostensible authority delegated to those we trust to run affairs on our behalf. This is what good management is all about and we have been there. I want to make it clear that anybody who thinks, under a ministry, so it be under any party under the same structure, there shall be other authorities other than that established by law, will not be acting according to the law.
I am grateful to the Chairperson and hon. Minister for recognising this fact. The hon. Minister has been humorous enough by showing that he will accept the amendments.

Mr Speaker, regulation per se is not an anathema or aberration, but good order and conduct to guide those who will want to ring His Excellency the President everyday when something comes up because he will simply refer them to the regulation that guides the ministry. Therefore, it does not require day-to-day decisions and regulation once promulgated. 

The problem in this country is that people are given responsibility but, instead of exercising these in accordance with the well-laid decisions and considerations, they consider another authority supreme to themselves. In fact, I will say this to you and, through you to them, that they are better seen at the airport shaking hands with the President instead of running the affairs of their ministries. 


Mr Matongo: I would prefer an hon. Minister who stays at home and deals with actual issues on the ground in the ministry that the President appointed him to without showing undimmed work and enthusiasm than to be seen doing what we used to call, at my school - I do not know whether at Munali Secondary School, you used to call it the same - tuchawa. 

After forty-five years of independence, if a President appoints an hon. Minister, he must know that the Minister is capable of doing the job without him saying, “Inde Bwana”. It is the Inde Bwana that is killing this country. 

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Let us get on with the job. So hon. Minister Mutati, ...

Mr Muntanga: Inde Bwana!

Mr Matongo: ... you have done extremely well. A little bit of perambulating between aircrafts ...


Mr Matongo: … I suppose, brings investments to this country, but I want you to do one thing now. We have ZDA which is a bureaucracy. In fact, you have even a more difficult bureaucracy around you because the people were not appointed by you. I know that you appoint the Chairman of the Board, but not the Permanent Secretary and directors. I believe in the Civil Service or Public Service. However, when the Public Service degenerates and Permanent Secretaries and directors become multi-Permanent Secretaries in your ministry, I have a difficulty. I want to say to you that, of course, there is nothing you can do about it. Actually, I believe that the civil servants in your Government are not members of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD). I believe they are our people both of us.


Mr Matongo: Having said that, I want to agree with you, hon. Minister, that intensive consultations between the bureaucracy you have and the ZDA bureaucracy you are creating is itself a skill of consultation. I want to advise you that all of them are useful to the establishment of good order and accountable, transparent administration. Do you hear me?


Mr Matongo: Having stated this, I urge you to consult and work with them, but I disagree with the hon. Minister who said that this bureaucracy is going to delay only one thing under this Act. When the principal Act came to this Chamber, I was here. I was sitting there (pointing to the seat). We demanded to have a One-stop Shop for investment. Eight or nine years after that, the hon. Minister admits that there is plethora of legislation and procedures to be dealt with. We were all here when we wanted a One-stop investment destination. I ask the hon. Minister, “What has happened? You were a Deputy Minister in the Government that time. Surely you remember. When are you bringing the One-stop Shop investment?”

Mr Matongo looked at the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

Mr Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member must address the Chair.

You may continue.

Mr Matongo: I am sorry, Sir. 


Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, I also want to repeat that, that was the agreed position and I would have expected the Executive to have taken that position. In fact, ZDA was meant - and I want somebody to deny this - to be a One-Stop Investment point. It is not theories we are talking about here but practical things. The former hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing admitted that there should be more co-ordination between local councils and the ministry. The hon. Minister admitted that there are so many things that can be done. When the hon. Minister comes to respond, I want a time scale when these things will come to fruition because they make sense.

The next point is about immunity. Immunity presupposes that there are other laws which are not intertwined with the feeling and general running of the Government. Immunity was given to councils for a very specific cause. Other legislations were weak. You are aware that in the parastatal organisations, and I was there, we used to get immunity overnight. That was incompetent in itself. Now, are you perpetuating these little holdups of authority by providing immunity to this agency and the Act? Then when will the courts come to explain when I am genuinely owed money and I need to take property from the council or ZDA. I ask that question through you, Mr Speaker, and I hope I will get an answer through you, Sir, and I am addressing this to you ...


Mr Matongo: ... so that the hon. Minister will come over and tell us. Immunisation is as it is defined. For example, when a baby is immunised, it is being prevented from a certain disease reoccurring in it in the process of growing. Do we need ZDA to be immunised from correct and legal non-payment of debt? Do you want all Zambians to protect an administration that is not able to pay its debt? That is the question I put, through you, Sir, to that Executive. I am very worried about immunities in a strong liberal economy. We are not a weak liberal economy. We are getting stronger by the day and so when the laws are applied equally for those protected and those who need protection in the normal way, then you are succeeding. I wonder if the ZDA Act is not succeeding. I am getting worried whether what you say everyday about our economy is correct. I have my serious reservations about this protection.

Mr Speaker, it is not my intention to speak any longer than I have. I think I have made basically three points and I am sure the hon. Minister will take care of them and when he brings appointments, he will restate Section 77(c) of the current Act.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate and support the amendment to the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Act. 

Sir, in supporting this amendment, I wish to state only three things. Firstly, I would like to say that every country that does not encourage its nationals to run their economy is not a good country at all. We have allowed a situation where almost all our industries are now in the hands of foreigners. This is extremely dangerous. 

I would like to support the hon. Minister in his quest to ensure that all those who would like to invest in Zambia partner with Zambians. It is extremely important that Zambians are empowered to play a part in the running of the economy. 

Mr Speaker, as things are, and the way we are going, one day, we shall be held to ransom by the investors. What will happen if one day, all the mining companies demand that if we do not give them a particular incentive, they will pull out? I think the whole economy will come to a standstill. However, if the mining companies partner with Zambians and give them a very good percentage of the shares, we will have a situation where the mines will continue running even without foreign investors. 

Sir, today, as it is, almost all the investors that come to invest through the Investment Act have 100 per cent shares in their companies. This is very dangerous and it must be looked into. We should make sure that all those who come to invest, partner with Zambians.  It is also true that Zambians have the expertise, but it is just the money they are lacking. In the name of equity, Zambians can contribute in form of land and infrastructure while foreigners can contribute in monetary terms. However, without empowering Zambians, we will, one day, find that we have sold the country and gotten back to neocolonialism. We need to make sure that Zambians are empowered and play a critical role in the investments in this country.

Secondly, it has been observed, under the current law, that a lot of investors come to feign investment in certain areas where they know that they will not need too much money to invest. At the end of the day, they leave those investments and start doing other things. I have observed that, on the Copperbelt, a lot of people come to Zambia pretending to invest in certain industries, but they start renting farmlands from indigenous Zambians who cannot afford to farm. These things are happening on the Copperbelt. We need a monitoring mechanism put in place to ensure that investors who are in the mining industry concentrate on mining. If that investor wants to go into farming, he must register another company in that respect and, of course, partnering with a Zambian. Otherwise, we will lose confidence in the Zambians and, indeed, in the whole process.

Sir, let me say a few things about the immunity that is being proposed in the Act. I do not support this immunity. When something is established as a corporate entity, it can sue and be sued. Therefore, these immunities will discourage institutions from honouring their obligations. I do not support this immunity and the hon. Minister must review it. Let these people be responsible enough not to accumulate debt that they are not going to repay. What is the purpose of taking a poor man, who sells sweet potatoes, and owes somebody K40,000 to court and have his property grabbed from him while protecting an entity such as ZDA from  being taken to court and being at the mercy of the bailiffs? This is a very segregated arrangement and it should not be encouraged. ZDA must meet its obligations as it is a corporate entity.

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

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Zambia Development Agency Amendment Bill, 2010.

Mr Speaker, I will be very brief because I have only one point to make. I will pick it up from where Hon. Matongo and Hon. Kambwili left. This is on the issue regarding the immunities that are being proposed to be granted to ZDA in the execution of judgment against them.

Sir, on page 4 of your Committee’s report, the witnesses who were called by your Committee to make submissions were against this provision. Under 6 (e), I quote:

“With regard to the proposal to provide immunity from execution of judgments against the assets of the agency, stakeholders who appeared before your Committee overwhelmingly condemned this proposal. They argued that such a move would  not only unfairly disadvantage person who had engaged or would seek to engage in business activities with  the agency, but was also directly at variance with its status as a body corporate, capable of suing and being sued in its own name …” 

Mr Speaker, I would like to agree with the stakeholders’ stance on their submissions to your Committee. At the same time, I would like to disagree with the recommendations of your Committee that, in national interest, immunity should be granted to the agency. 

Sir, there is a growing trend in our country now that Government institutions that find themselves in trouble with the law because of running into debt owing to inefficiency and incompetence, are running for protection under the law. This trend, if allowed to continue, will ruin business activities in the economy. We shall destroy confidence of business people who would like to do business with Government institutions because they know that if they conduct business with these institutions or give them money, they will never pay back and if you sue them, you cannot recover your money because they are protected by the law.

Sir, given the arguments with regard to this immunity that have been put forward that it is meant to protect, for example, trade and investment funds, buildings and subleases that the agency may hold, it is actually a double edged sword. This is because if the agency is going to undertake such important development programmes as developing a multi-facility economic zone (MFEZ), it has no money of its own to do that. It would like to go to lending institutions to borrow to develop MFEZs, buildings and other properties. Obviously, financial institutions such as banks are not going to lend their money to ZDA without any security. This is because the security that we may be proposing is not capable of being enforced in the courts of law because there is immunity against the execution of judgments.

Sir, this is going to discourage lending institutions from helping ZDA in any of its proposed programmes of work, especially in important industrial development programmes such as the development of MFEZs. 

Mr Speaker, we had a similar amendment Bill, if my memory serves me right, on the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA). When it sought immunity against the execution of judgments, the reasonable decision that this Parliament made was to strike a balance that some of the assets of TAZARA such as the railway line be given immunity because it is important public infrastructure. However, other assets of TAZARA could not be given blanket protection. For example, if somebody went with a judgment and his or her judgment sum can easily be claimed by selling furniture, surely, what can stop that claimant from executing that judgment? 

Mr Speaker, I feel that if we, as Parliament, went by our earlier decision to redefine what a strategic asset that should and not be protected in that institution, we would be moving in the right direction. If somebody who is owed money by ZDA went and obtained judgment against the agency and the bailiffs grabbed the vehicle of the Chief Executive of ZDA, there would be nothing strategic about that. It is because of his inefficiency that the personal-to-holder car has been grabbed from him and it should be sold so that the agency meets its obligations. Obviously, we can make exemptions. If there are funds that are held by the agency on behalf of the Republic such as the proposed trade and investment fund, those can be protected because we cannot have judgments executed against them. So this proposed immunity against the execution of judgments against ZDA is retrogressive and it should not be allowed. 

Mr Speaker, lastly, I want to say that I agree with the sentiments of the previous debaters that there is a need for ZDA to bring comprehensive legislation and amendments that will ensure that we create strong partnerships between local and foreign investors. As things stand, we are just creating wealth for foreign investors. Everything that belongs to us, including simple resources such as minerals, which are a gift from our good Lord, are exploited by foreign investors and Zambians are not gaining anything. 

Sir, in the past, we have seen that our resources have been exploited and are finished. I will give you an example of one mine in the North-Western Province in Mufumbwe District which is called Kalengwa Mine. That was a copper mine and we allowed it to be exploited by foreign investors and the copper is finished. At eth moment, there are just holes there and the Zambians have lost out. If we had local people partnering with investors, this time, we would have had rich local people in Mufumbwe. 

Mr M. B. Mwale: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member who is debating so well, in order to mislead this House and the nation at large that the copper is finished without providing any geological information in terms of mineral resources that are in Kalengwa?

Mr Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development is disputing the assertion by the hon. Member for Zambezi West that at Kalengwa, there are now only holes left in the ground. In other words, the hon. Minister is saying that there is, in fact, copper. Could you provide that evidence. 

You may continue.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, the evidence that I am going to provide is that, in a few weeks time, the people of Kalengwa will decide whether there are holes at Kalengwa or not.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! 

Those people are not members of this House. The hon. Member who is on the Floor is required, as challenged, to provide evidence that there is no copper underneath the mine called Kalengwa in Mufumbwe. Can you provide that information. If not, abandon that line of debate and move on.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your wise guidance. The evidence I have is that the mine was closed a long time ago and the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development knows that. What is happening now is that other people are just mining and some of them are doing it illegally.


Mr Kakoma: They are mining at a closed mine.


Mr Kakoma: Sir, the evidence is that the mine is officially closed.


Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, in this regard, as a Government, we must create a conducive environment and laws that will ensure that foreigners who come to this country partner with local people in the development of our country. 

The other issue is the exploitation of our mineral resources and this is what obtains in many countries that are progressive. For example, you cannot go to Japan and establish a business on your own without going into a venture with the Japanese. There is nothing wrong with that and it has not distorted the Japanese economy. In fact, it has helped to boost the Japanese economy. Other foreign investors are bringing capital and they are partnering with the local people in order to ensure that this benefits both the local people and the foreign investors. 

Sir, in conclusion, I would like to state that if this Bill is amended appropriately as proposed by your Committee and that we remove the immunities that we want to confer to ZDA, it will stand out to be a good Bill. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Members of Parliament who have supported the amendments to the ZDA Act and wish to assure them that:

(i)    we are, indeed, going to carry out a comprehensive review of the ZDA Act;

(ii)    we are going to align the activities of ZDA with the Decentralisation Policy; and

(iii)    we are now in the process of establishing a physical one-stop shop for ZDA along Cairo Road where we are going to have various agencies such as ZDA, Patents and Companies Registration Office  (PACRO), Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and a bank so that a customer does everything under one roof.

Mr Speaker, with regard to immunity, the principle persuasion for this provision, as agreed by the Committee, is a wider national interest. ZDA is going to hold tracts of land on behalf of the people of Zambia for the purpose of investment which will then be leased to investors. ZDA is going to hold farms on behalf of the Government for purposes of facilitating investment. This immunity being sought is to facilitate job creation and growth of the economy. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Pemba for his observations concerning perambulating. However, I would like to remind him that after his tour of Cuba, Venezuela, the United States of America and London, he stated that the mission had been quite successful. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.    

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Tuesday, 23rd March, 2010.{mospagebreak}    


The Minister of Communications and Transport (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read the second time.

Mr Speaker, I am most grateful for this opportunity to present the Engineering Institution of Zambia Bill. In so doing, I wish to first acknowledge the positive comments of your Committee on this Bill. In its observations and recommendations, your Committee state, and I quote:

“The current Engineering Institution of Zambia Act No. 27 of 1992 has become inadequate in dealing with matters that are related to the engineering profession. Your Committee, therefore, welcome the enactment of a new law to provide up-to-date regulation and monitoring of the engineering profession”.
I wish to commend your Committee for this disposition and ripeness of professional judgment.  

Mr Speaker, allow me, from the outset, to present a few definitions that are important in understating the essence of the Bill. The term engineer means a person with a special knowledge of mathematics and physical sciences and the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, acquired by engineering education and practical engineering experience. Engineering means the application of scientific and mathematical principles with due reference to economics, society and environment to develop solutions to technical problems, creating products, facilities and structures that improve the quality of life. 

Mr Speaker, engineering organisation means a statutory corporation, a company, a partnership, an association or other body which is directly engaged in engineering activity or is professionally interested in engineering activity by providing a service through the application of scientific and/or mathematical laws and principles in the design, development, utilisation, maintenance and/or disposal of machines, materials, instruments, structures, processes and operational systems or an allied discipline. 

Mr Speaker, an engineering unit means an operational entity of a non-engineering organisation, providing engineering services internally in support of that organisation’s core operations or activities. 

Engineering professional means an engineer, technologist, technician or craft person and engineering professional construed accordingly. 

Mr Speaker, these definitions provide a broader understanding of the concept and practice of engineering. The definitions include engineers, technologists, technicians and craft persons. The breadth and depth of what constitutes engineering is enormous and, at the same time, complex. The training, practice and products of engineering have become a matter of serious concern in any modern society. This is the background and context of the Bill. 
Mr Speaker, the Engineering Institution of Zambia Act No. 27 of 1992 only caters for degree and diploma holders in the engineering profession, leaving out craft persons, technicians and technologists. Engineering organisations and units are also not catered for. To this effect, it is necessary to amend the Engineering Institution of Zambia Act No. 27 of 1992 in order to open the Engineering Institution of Zambia membership and registration to all those who are eligible in the profession, but are not covered under the current Act, for ease of monitoring, supervision and professional accountability. 

Mr Speaker, the proposed amendments will enable the Engineering Institution of Zambia to comprehensively extend its engineering membership and the practicing registration to all engineering professionals, organisations and units. The current Engineering Institution of Zambia Act No. 27 is inadequate in dealing with many issues related to membership and registration of all levels of the engineering profession, substandard services and products provided by unregulated engineering professionals, organisations, technological entrepreneurship training, innovation, research and development and practical demonstration, universal production, emergency and disaster protection for some sustainable technological wealth creation by public and private engineering organisations, engineering units and engineering professionals, including craft persons, technicians, technologists and engineers. 

Mr Speaker, the current legislation has only one council for engineering which only caters for degree and diploma holders. This has made it difficult to adequately regulate the other aspects of the engineering profession involving craft persons, technicians, technologists, organisations and units, thereby allowing the provision of substandard workmanship, services and products by those not regulated by the Act. This Bill is directed at correcting this situation. 

Mr Speaker, the benefits of the Bill are that it will: 

(i)    enhance holistic ad effective governance of the Engineering Institution of Zambia;
(ii)    provide effective regulation of engineering practice and provision of engineering goods and services;

(iii)    have a reference definition and categorisation of engineering practice and regulation;

(iv)    have protection of consumer rights as provided for in the Zambian Constitution Bill of Rights through the provision of engineering goods and services and promotion of engineering standards;

(v)    have an effective engineering, science and technology promotion through education, training, innovation, research and development and demonstration;

(vi)    provide effective engineering productivity, emergency and disaster and restoration response;

(vii)    provide development of new regulations and by-laws for the institution;

(viii)    safeguard the practice and provision of engineering services; and

(ix)    guarantee local and international investment and work partnerships.

Mr Speaker, the most important national benefit of the amended legislation is that it will cause all engineering professionals, engineering organisations and units nationwide to systematically plan, invent, build and maintain technological infrastructure for sustainable economic growth and wealth creation within the Vision 2030 of the Zambia National Development Plan Framework. That is, “To be a Prosperous Middle-income nation by the year, 2030”.

Mr Speaker, this is a non-controversial Bill. The Bill has enormous benefits for our country. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members of this august House to support it.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, the Bill whose second reading is being moved, today, was referred to your Committee by the House on 24th February, 2010. The objects of the Bill are, among other things, to:

(a)    continue the existence of the Engineering Institution of Zambia;

(b)    provide for the registration of engineering professionals, engineering units and engineering organisations and regulate their professional conduct; and

(c)    repeal the Engineering Institution of Zambia Act of 1992.

Sir, in scrutinising the Bill, your Committee requested written submissions from various stakeholders who then appeared before them and made oral submissions. While welcoming the Bill, stakeholders raised a number of pertinent issues which need to be addressed.

Mr Speaker, a major concern raised was the relationship between the Engineering Institution of Zambia, Engineering Council and Engineering Registration Board. The relationship and roles of those entities has not been made explicitly clear in the Bill. The apparent confusion relating to the hierarchy between the Engineering Council, in Part III and the Engineering Registration Board in Part IV of the Bill, stems from the use of the term ‘Board’ for the registration organ.

 Mr Speaker, your Committee recommend that the proposed Engineering Registration Board be called the Engineering Registration Committee under the general council. 

Mr Speaker, Clause 11 (4) of the Bill stipulates that for an inspector to enforce the Act, he/she may only enter any premises on the authority of a warrant. Your Committee’s understanding was that this warrant will have to be sought and given by the security wings such as the police.

Mr Speaker, your Committee are of the view that there is no need for a warrant as this will be an administrative hurdle which will delay inspectors in performing their duties. By virtue of being inspectors, these officers need to be empowered by the law to perform all duties, including conducting searches in restricted, private or prohibited areas, as long as they suspect that fraudulent engineering activities are taking place.

 In view of the foregoing, your Committee recommend that Clause 11 (4) be amended to remove the need for a warrant to ensure compliance and improve the safety of engineering goods, services and personnel at sites. Of course, the inspector will, at all times, be expected to present their official cards for identification.

Mr Speaker, arising from your Committee’s interaction with the stakeholders, your Committee are of the view that the current Engineering Institution of Zambia Act Number 27 of 1992 has, indeed, as the hon. Minister has already alluded to, become inadequate in dealing with matters related to the engineering profession. Your Committee, therefore, welcome the enactment of a new law to provide up-to-date regulation and monitoring of the engineering profession. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to express my gratitude to you for appointing us to serve on your Committee to scrutinise the Engineering Institution Bill Number 7 of 2010. May I also thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the services rendered to your Committee. Last, but not the least, your Committee extend their utmost appreciation to all stakeholders who interacted with them.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to commend the Committee and whole heartedly support their work.

Secondly, I would like to complain that we are five years behind schedule. This Bill was supposed to come to this House almost five years ago. Nevertheless, it is before us and is welcome.

Sir, looking at the era we are in, such Bills should be given priority. We should have approved this Bill a long time ago. Since 2005, we have come so near but, so far, I am happy that, finally, we are there.

 Mrs Masebo: Hear, hear! So?

Mr Mooya: Thirdly, let me react to the concerns made by the stakeholders on page 5. There is concern (b), which states, and I quote:

“Whereas it was clear the council would be elected, it was not clear whether the hon. Minister would appoint and disappoint the board. It was suggested that if that was the case, then, there was a need to state this clearly in the Bill”.

Mr Speaker, like the previous Bill that was discussed in this House, the hon. Minister still has authority. What happens is that at the annual general meeting (AGM), recommendations are made and forwarded to the hon. Minister for approval. Therefore, the hon. Minister has control of the board. If that is not very clear in the Bill, let it be made explicitly clear that the hon. Minister has a final say on those recommendations by the AGM.

Sir, the other issue is that key professional bodies such as the Zambia Institute of Purchasing and Supply should be considered for membership of the councils as they were critical partners in procuring and certifying projects for payments. I have no problem with that because they should be part of that. In the actual fact, they should come under the committee dealing with procurement. There is no problem with that. If anything, they should be accepted.

Mr Speaker, the other comment came from the National Council for Construction (NCC) regarding double registration. As things are now, it is NCC that deals with constructors, engineering and issues such bridges, roads and so forth. 

The NCC is wondering whether with the coming of this legislation, there will be double registration. I am saying let there be double registration and payment of registration fees because we want to control all the professionals as stipulated by the hon. Minister. Crafts person, technician, technologist, engineering unit and organisation are now one. If these belong to other institutions such as the NCC, there should be double registration because we want to control all the professionals when it comes to construction.

Mr Speaker, on page 6 of your Committee’s report, there is a comment from the NCC relating to definition of the word ‘design’. I am wondering why this should confuse people because it refers to engineers. Why should architects and surveyors come in when the Act is about engineers? Therefore, where it says, “In the design”, we could insert the words “engineering design”, just to make a difference. Otherwise, there should be no concern here because this Bill is for engineers.

Mr Speaker, I now come to the observations and recommendations made by your Committee. I am not happy with the recommendation on page 6 (i) that says, “Your Committee, therefore, recommend that the proposed engineering registration board be called the engineering registration committee”. I do not agree with this, as I would like it to remain a board.

Mr Speaker, it is a continuation of the old Act No. 27 of 1992. Why should there be doubt? A committee, from my understanding, is lower than a board and, as I explained earlier, the hon. Minister will have a final say when it comes to appointments. I doubt whether the hon. Minister would have any powers if it became a committee but, in short, what I am saying is that it should remain the way it is in the current Act. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mooya: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was advancing a point on the observations and recommendations of your Committee on page 6 of the report. 

Mr Speaker, number (ii) is talking about doing away with a warrant and number (iii) is on separation of penalties. I am in agreement with both recommendations. There should be a warrant when an inspector goes to inspect. 

On page 5, there is mention of inspectors and the same has been raised by the NCC. Just like the issue of double registration and payment of registration fees, we need inspectors from the Engineering Institute of Zambia. We should work in mutual harmony.

Mr Speaker, on page 5, (a) is talking about the relationship between the Engineering Institute of Zambia, the Engineering Council and the Engineering Registration Board and your Committee say they are not clear about this. There is a distinction there and so there should not be any confusion at all.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate this important Bill.

Mr Speaker, being a member of the Engineering Institute of Zambia, I would like to declare interest to that effect and state that engineers have always been there. If you look at the biblical times, we see a situation where engineers came together when they were building the temple of Solomon. We also saw engineers putting up great installations like the Great Wall of China, which most of our friends have had a chance to see. There is also a temple called Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It is a very big temple with a lot of proper engineering installations. There is also the Christ the Redeemer Tower in Brazil and Tajma Hal in India. These are works of engineers that are very important. Today, some of these installations are among the seven man-made wonders of the world. Therefore, we should also realise that even this building we are sitting in today, is the work of the engineers. Without engineers, there would be no Parliament Buildings. We should also appreciate that engineers should not be removed from society if we have to have sustainable development. They cannot be relegated either. 

Mr Speaker, the problems that we are experiencing in this country of sub-standard performance in road networks, bridges, buildings and even in the energy sector where we do not have enough electric energy, are problems of an engineering nature that can only be solved by engineers themselves because they requires engineering solutions. So engineers are cardinal to the development of the nation. However, if engineers are to work and develop this nation, they need to be empowered and utilised appropriately.

Mr Speaker, let EIZ take its position in the development of this country. It is for this reason that this Bill has been brought here to be passed. The Bill, definitely, will have a positive input in looking at the provision of engineering services and also the works produced by engineers.

Mr Speaker, the formation of a council is very important in the operations of the Engineering Institute of Zambia (EIZ) because the council will appoint inspectors and it is these inspectors who will be going to various places to ensure engineering practices are upheld and standards are followed. At the moment, for instance, when you are walking along Alick Nkhata Road, you will see a lot of welding and fabrication works going on, but when you draw closer, you will see that engineering standards and specifications have not been followed. It is for this reason that inspectors are given powers so that they can bring sanity to this country. Inspectors should ensure that people are working according to the acceptable engineering standards and that the people of Zambia are given proper engineering practices rather than what is obtaining currently. 

Therefore, even Clause 11, Sub-Section 4 which requires the inspector to have a warrant should be done away with because inspectors should conduct surprise visits so that they get the facts on the ground. If they give a warrant, then the contractors will prepare themselves before the inspectors go on site and they will not have a true picture of what is obtaining on the ground. 

Mr Speaker, this Engineering Institute of Zambia Bill will help matters because no one will call himself/herself an engineer if he/she is not an engineer. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, no one will call himself/herself a social engineer if he is not even a political engineer ...


Mr Mukanga: … because if he/she calls himself/herself an engineer while he/she is not, he/she is going to be charged a penalty fee. So we should not have political engineers here …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: … unless those who have studied engineering, have acquired skills and know what they are doing. Engineering is not simple and it is not for every one on the street. It is only for a few who have studied engineering. It is for this reason that political engineers can be picked from the street, and yet …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: … there are no political engineers in EIZ.


Mr Mukanga: Therefore, we want everything that the Bill stipulates to be followed. 

Mr Speaker, this is the reason I would like to fully support the Bill. I would also like to state that even the current practices on the mines where expatriates come in the name of engineers, and yet they are not engineers, should come to an end. When they discover that EIZ has introduced this Bill, they will start changing titles to that of co-ordinators. They, too, should be followed up …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: … because the inspector will not just be looking at the title, but what job a person is actually doing on the ground. So no one should be doing engineering jobs when he/she does not know the job. We need engineers and they should be supported. If we are to develop this country, this Bill should be supported fully. There is no confusion that I have seen in the Bill. We need to support it and ensure that engineers are given centre stage in the development of this country. However, we should also ensure that we work together with the engineers if Zambia has to develop. Without giving responsibility or laws to engineers, it will be difficult for them to perform and the Ministry of Works and Supply will not perform too. Of course, we want everyone who is doing engineering work to be an engineer. Even the hon. Minister of Works and Supply should know some engineering.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, it is for this reason that we have brought a Bill which is going to encompass every person involved in engineering at all levels; whether it is at the degree, technician, technologist or crafts level because we know that engineering cannot be performed by one person. It calls for concerted effort. We are going to work together and this needs to be regulated. It is for this reason that I fully support this Bill and it is my prayer and hope that once passed, it can be operationalised quickly so that things can change for the better.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for according me this chance to debate this Bill. I would like to thank your Committee and all the hon. Members of the House who have overwhelmingly supported this Bill. 

Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to the enhancement of professionalism for effective contribution to the sustainable development of our country in order to realise enhanced quality of life for all our people through wealth creation and employment generation. Clearly, to do this, we need to ensure that engineers, at all levels, are given the right environment for effective operation in our development, which is the object of this Bill. 

Mr Speaker, with regard to the issues raised, firstly, as the hon. Members for Moomba and Kantanshi have pointed out, the board is extremely important. It is actually the key professional arm of the engineers and it should remain as such, namely as a board.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: It is the unit that deals with registration and plays various professional roles. It is important that its status is not washed down.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the issues raised on the NCC, a number of consultations have taken place with NCC and all the issues have been resolved and there are no contentious issues as far as the NCC is concerned. It is extremely important that there is a warrant for the inspectors because clearly, inspectors will not just conduct inspections, but they may be a need to conduct a search. This requires that those that are affected are also protected from a legal point of view. I am sure the lawyers will not agree with the removal of a warrant. It is important that it be there.

Mr Speaker, a number of positive comments have been made and I would like to thank the contributors for their support.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! 

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Tuesday, 23rd March, 2010.


Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, I wish to express my profound gratitude for this opportunity to present the Information and Communication Technologies (Amendment) Bill, 2010. In doing so, I wish to acknowledge the caution that your Committee make in their report, namely that: 

“The Government should tread carefully in framing this Bill by clearly putting in words which would show that the Government is promoting the implementation of a regulatory framework that restricts regulation to the barest minimum.” 

Mr Speaker, this Bill is directed at enhancing more investment, innovation, creativity and greater liberalisation in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector. There is a need to amend the ICT Act of 2009 in order to first of all, better reflect the rapidly evolving dynamics of the ICT sector in Zambia and secondly to promote effective and efficient competition between licence holders so as to better serve the needs of consumers and enterprise customers.

Mr Speaker, the amendments are necessary because they will help to enhance the Government policy of a liberalised environment. Specifically, the proposed amendments include the following:

(a)    allowing for flexibility in the provisions relating to access agreements. The amendment seeks to protect the interests of investors while at the same time allowing infrastructure sharing. It should be noted that if the interests of investors are not protected, investment and growth of the ICT sector will be stifled. The ICT sector is recognised to be the catalyst of economic growth and the Government is committed to this process. It is through the ICT sector’s growth that the Government expects to see increased employment of our people, new opportunities for business, innovation and reduction in the cost of communication and doing business.

(b)    review of the provisions relating to setting of tariffs to bring it in line with the prevailing liberalised environment and the need to promote innovation and competition among operators. In a liberalised environment we should not have controls that impede competition. In a competitive environment, we expect that operators should have the latitude to quickly respond to the market. For instance, if one operator reduces tariffs, the other operators should be in a position to counteract by offering competitive tariffs without bureaucratic inconveniencies. 

Mr Speaker, the justification of the amendments is evidently clear and should, therefore, not pose any controversy. Allow me to elaborate further on the amendments. 

Section 43 of the Act prescribes the means by which licence holders can gain access to one another’s network facilities so as to allow for interconnection and network sharing. The existing wording of the Act is such that licence holders have no grounds for refusing (even for good reasons) a request for access from another licence holder. In other words, access is mandated. This is considered by the Government to be problematic because it infers that once a request for access has been made, access would have to be granted, if not by agreement between the licence holders then by instruction from the authority. In practice, access is not always possible due to compatibility problems, structural limitations as well as commercial reasons.

Mr Speaker, there is a need, therefore, to accommodate situations where access is not possible. The amendments seek to make provisions under access agreement consistent with provisions under co-locations (Section 44) which incorporates room for refusal. Co-location is actually a form of access agreement. 

Furthermore, the amendment seeks to protect the investment interests of infrastructure investors where the request for access agreement undermines the investment interest of the infrastructure investor to avoid abuse by other licensed operators.

As an example, a small internet service provider could, theoretically, use the access provisions prescribed under the original wording of the Act to gain access to any element of a large mobile operator’s network, thus allowing the provider to avoid having to invest in capital equipment and exploit another operator’s investments. This may not be in the interest of investment that leads to growth of the sector and consequently wealth creation and employment generation.

Mr Speaker, three key changes have, therefore, been proposed to Section 43 as follows:

(a)    all licence holders are offered reasonable grounds on which to refuse requests for access;

(b)    the authority still retains the power to enforce an access solution in any circumstance (which is deemed critically important with regard to essential facilities such as those relating to interconnectivity); and

(c)    categories are referred to and are being set out in detail in regulations and guidelines. Access between holders of the same category of licence is encouraged and access between holders of different categories of licences is not mandated (though can nonetheless be enforced where appropriate).

Mr Speaker, the primary purpose of these amendments is to preserve the integrity of the investment case of those who have invested the most in the Zambian ICT sector, namely mobile operators. The Government believes that it would be wholly counterproductive to create a situation in which smaller licence holders could make parasitic use of larger licence holders’ network infrastructure in a manner that undermines the investment case of the largest investors in the sector. This amendment is, therefore, directed at encouraging investment in the ICT sector.

Mr Speaker, it must be understood that there are circumstances where the provision of access is not possible, such as in the case of a tower, when the loading of the tower is such that it cannot support additional structures (putting additional structure would result in the collapse of the tower) then there should be a provision for refusal.

Additionally, in situations where an applicant requests to install equipment at a height where the owner of the infrastructure plans to install other equipment which at the time of application would not have been installed, there should be room for refusal. If there are no such provisions, no one will be willing to invest. They will all be waiting for someone else to put up the infrastructure and then demand access.

Additionally, in terms of licensing categories, we would like to avoid a situation where a smaller internet service provider comes with demands to interconnect its server to a mobile service provider so that they can provide internet service through the mobile operator who is providing internet services. In other words, the mobile operator would have no means by which to defend the integrity of their assets. They would be obliged to allow any licensed operator to make use of any element of their network. Clearly, this profoundly undermines the mobile operator’s willingness to invest in any further network infrastructure.

Mr Speaker, the proposed changes mean that the wireless internet service provider can still request access to the mobile operators network and the mobile operator can provide access if he/she feels that there is a commercial logic in doing so, but he/she can also refuse, on reasonable grounds, if he/she feels that the request for access is likely to be materially harmful to his/her business. However, the regulator, Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), will retain the power to enforce access if the mobile operator is not behaving properly or if the access request relates to essential facilities such as those required for interconnecting the two networks.

Mr Speaker, section 47 of the Act, as currently enacted, requires all licence holders to submit new tariffs for services to the public to request for pre-authorisation from the authority. Given the increased dynamism of the sector, and in particular the mobile phone market, the need for pre-authorisation is no longer considered valid. The position of the Government is to remove the need for pre-authorisation of retail tariffs because such a requirement is not in line with a liberalised market.

Mr Speaker, the proposed amendments are, therefore, designed to soften the requirements for pre-authorisation and require the licence holders to inform the authority in advance of the launch of a tariff and its main elements/charging structures. Under the amended wording, the authority has fourteen days within which to reject the proposed tariff and may only do so if the tariff is deemed to be discriminatory, non-transparent or based on costs that are higher than the cost of providing the service in question.

Mr Speaker, the cost of providing a service embraces the elements of providing that service with reasonable profit consistent with the industry’s best practices. This principle is considered by the Government to be more than sufficient. It should allow the authority to scrutinise the evolution of tariffs in detail, without creating an unnecessary administrative burden on licence holders.

Mr Speaker, the trajectory of tariffs for ITC services to the public is resolutely downwards, and the Government believes that the Act should impose an absolute minimum administrative and bureaucratic burden with regard to tariffs to allow innovation and competitiveness. The more a licence holder has to justify the tariffs to the authority, the less often a licence holder is likely to be reminded to refresh and reduce tariffs.

Mr Speaker, the reason for the proposed amendments to section 47 is to remove an impediment to tariff changes and innovations. Under the current wording of the Act, the need to gain pre-authorisation for tariffs effectively acts as an impediment to tariff changes. If for example, a mobile operator wanted to drop its prices in order to encourage greater usage, it would have to first gain formal authorisation from the regulator and the regulator has, according to the Act, a full month in which to deliberate. This situation is unlikely to inspire rapid reductions.

Mr Speaker, under the amended wording, the need for pre-authorisation is removed,  thus allowing all licence holders to launch and refresh their tariffs as frequently as they want. What we want to see in this market is dynamic price competition between operators for the benefit of consumers without any bureaucratic hurdles.

Mr Speaker, the amendments to section 47 are designed to remove such bureaucratic hurdles  whilst at the same time empowering the regulator to step in should it consider any given tariff to be unfair, discriminatory or otherwise inconsistent with the provisions of the ICT Act.

Mr Speaker, under the proposed amendments, the mobile phone operator would be able to launch or revise tariffs at will and can reduce prices as it sees fit, but the regulator will still be able to intervene if, for example, the operator launched a tariff with hidden charges or artificially inflated costs. In terms of discriminatory tariffs, the pricing has to be such that it is not anti-competitive. That is to say that an operator cannot be allowed to reduce prices to such a level that it does not make business sense. This is necessary to avoid a situation where one operator reduces prices so that the other operators go under. 

Mr Speaker, the motivation for these amendments to the Act is simply to ensure that the ITC sector can evolve in a manner that is uninhibited by the legislative environment. It is important to note that the Act currently in force was drawn up during a period in which competition appeared limited and wholly dominated by a single player. The situation, today, is different and the evolution of the market is such that amendments to the Act are deemed essential so as to remove obstacles to growth and competition.

Mr Speaker, this is a progressive Bill directed at the growth of the ICT sector. It is non- controversial and I request hon. Members to support it.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

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

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, the Bill that has just been moved was referred to your Committee on 24th February, 2010. It seeks to amend the Information and Communication Technologies Act, 2009, so as to, among other things, revise the provision relating to the negotiation of access agreements by providers of electronic communication services in a bid to ensure equity in the process and also the efficiency of the framework for entering into such agreements.

Mr Speaker, in scruitinising the Bill, your Committee received inputs from various stakeholders. Most stakeholders submitted that while they agreed that there was a need to amend some of the provisions of the Information and Technologies Act, 2009, the proposed amendments in the current Bill will not address the shortcomings of that Act.

Mr Speaker, a major concern raised by the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee was that if clauses 3 and 4 are left as they appear in the Bill, they will take the telecommunication industry backwards and reduce investor confidence as they are tantamount to an introduction of price controls. They stated that allowing the market to regulate tariffs is common practice in the telecommunications industry and it is the best means for achieving competitive tariffs in the market. They, therefore, reiterated that regulation should not replace competition.

Mr Speaker, the Bill, as presented, is treating telecommunication service such as those provided by ZAIN, MTN and Cell Zambia (Cell Z) in the same way as paying for television services such as those provided by Digital Satellite Television (DSTV), Muvi Television and My Television (MyTV). There are, indeed, many technical terms in the current Bill whose definitions could not be agreed to by the stakeholders. Lack of consensus on these definitions will cause difficulties in the management of the Act.

Mr Speaker, as already alluded to, Vision 2030 is anchored on the mass development of technology. The hon. Minster just defined engineering and as we heard, most of the hon. Members, if not all, who spoke in this House and in fact even the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee did agree to the definitions in the Engineering Institution of Zambia Bill. Your Committee hopes that there will be agreement on ICT terminology as well. Your Committee, therefore, urge the Government to ensure that they look at the stakeholders’ concerns.

Mr Speaker, your Committee urge the Government to ensure that, in future, there is only one regulator for both the sub-sectors as technologies are converging at a fast rate. This is premised on the fact that some service providers are in both telecommunications and broadcasting. Further, Mr Speaker, Sections 47 and 48 could have the unintended consequences of stifling innovations, competition and fair play in the telecommunications industry. 

Arising from the foregoing, Mr Speaker, your Committee recommend that the Government should tread carefully and show that it is promoting the implementation of a regulatory framework that restricts regulation to the barest minimum. There appears to be a lack of consensus among various stakeholders in the ICT sector as regards the provisions of the Information and Communication Technologies Act No. 15 of 2009 and the current proposed amendments in the Information and Communication Technologies Bill. Your Committee urge that more consultations be carried out before the proposed amendments are enacted so as to achieve more consensus and clarity among the various stakeholders.

Mr Speaker, listening to the explanations by the hon. Minister, if it were possible, the hon. Minister’s speech would, indeed, be in the Bill as it is his speech which has the language which is easy to understand by all that want to embrace technology and that is what the stakeholders said. 

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, allow me to express my profound gratitude to you for according your Committee the opportunity to scrutinise the Information and Communication Technologies (Amendment) Bill No. 8 of 2010. May I also thank all the stakeholders who submitted written memoranda and, subsequently, appeared before your Committee to give oral evidence. My appreciation also goes to the Clerk and her cadre of staff for the able manner they rendered their services to your Committee.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will be brief. 

Sir, I would like to compliment your Committee for a job well done. I have taken note of their observations, but their observations, in this case, on behalf of those I represent in the Chamber, may not be the beginning and end of a decision-making process as before or as today.

I am persuaded, Mr Speaker, by the argument that the question of pricing in this technology may not necessarily be brought down by vigorous regulation. Nonetheless, there must be some department of the Government that should look at the standards of these institutions. Firstly, I am persuaded that more and more service providers, in this regard, in a normal economic scenario where the rule of demand and supply operates, would, probably, be the ones with minimum standard regulations that would bring about equitable pricing in this industry. Although the statement may sound to the Chairman of your Committee and the hon. Minister as coming between a cliff and hard rock, the fact of the matter is that real life demands that there is no ultimate control situation in any scenario even in a country such as ours. 

Secondly, pricing must be determined rationally but we have chosen freely, in this country, to be market driven. What we should do is encourage more investments and more Zambian investors in this area so that when there are more and more competitors, we shall see the prices going down. In any event, for as long as a new investor is going to borrow money and for as long as that money is going to be repaid at a certain percentage and as long as the numbers are not growing with money from outside, the crisis will not come down. That is a fact and I can argue now until tomorrow over this subject, but I do not intend to do so. 

I support this Bill because it is a step forward in a Government that is slowly moving progressively. My plea to all hon. Members is to encourage and accept this so that they can come up with more amendments in due course. That is how you carry along conservatives as you may learn.

As for your Committee, they have really raised very serious concerns which, as legislators, we should be remembering. In future amendments, they should be incorporated.

With these few remarks, I wish to support this Bill with amendments as suggested by your Committee.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lumba (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Bill. 

I must say, on the onset, Mr Speaker, that the Bill is appreciated but, in my view, with a little concern. Allow me, first of all, to talk about the regulatory theory which I understand. In the ICT sector, we have the regulator and the regulated. In this case, we have the regulator which is ZICTA with so many players. According to the regulatory theory, the regulator is supposed to protect the consumer and, also, try and promote investments in the sector. My understanding of this Bill is one sided. The Bill is not inclined to the regulated and does not think of the consumer. As I debate, I am going to demonstrate this. 

Mr Speaker, regulation is a very important theory. Regulation works more where there are monopolistic tendencies and opportunities to make cartels. I see the opportunities to make cartels in the ICT Sector which, in my view, this Bill is quiet about. There is an opportunity for the regulated to form cartels at a cost to the consumers …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: … and that is a great concern, but this Bill is quiet about that.

Mr Speaker, the important tool in regulation is a tariff. According to the regulation theory, there are many ways of setting up a tariff. There are three important methods of setting up a tariff. Allow me to mention them. 

Firstly, we have what we call the Price Cap Theory. The Price Cap Theory is used to set up a tariff in a hyper inflation situation where inflation is taken into consideration. Secondly, there is a return on investment. This is a situation where we try to help the investor to have a return on his investment in the sector. The last one is what is being proposed in this Bill where we are basing our tariff on the cost.

Sir, I am worried about what is being proposed in this Bill because we are not defining the cost. For example, during the course of the week, I said that Zain was investing K5 billion in the promotion of their product. Could that be considered as a cost which will be passed on to the consumer because that is not part of the cost which is involved in the process of doing business? It is a marketing strategy.

Mr Speaker, I am worried that if this Bill is not revised, consumers will be made to pay more and a cartel can be formed between the players.

Mr Beene: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: That is my concern.

Mr Speaker, in promoting regulation, we need to consider the social aspects as well as the poor in accessing this service. Like I said, this Bill is one sided. It is looking at the interests of investment and not those of the consumers.

Mr Speaker, if we go by what is being proposed in this Bill as a basis for setting up a tariff, it will be based on the cost and I have already said that we have not defined the cost. If anything, for anyone to come and invest in this sector, it is because they want to make profit. Now, profit is beyond the costs. How are we going to determine what profit is? According to the hon. Minister, if I heard him correctly, he said it is based on what is reasonable in the sector.

Mr Speaker, who is going to define what is reasonable in that sector? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Mr Speaker, I am worried about that.

In my view, it is easier for us to have a return on investment because we can easily determine the return because we have banks which are giving loans, interest rates and other things that can be considered. When there is inflation, we can consider the Price Cap Theory, but we cannot just estimate the expenditure. We cannot do things like what Zain is doing by spending K5 billion. They are making T-shirts which are included in the cost of conducting their promotion, but if we do that, we are going to deny the Zambians access to ICTs because pricing cartels may be formed.

Mr Speaker, I am worried about this Bill. It is a good and progressive Bill, but there are concerns which need to be addressed. We need to shorten the timeframe for setting up a tariff. When you look at the process of setting up a tariff, fourteen days is too short a time. The regulator needs to look at what is involved. Unfortunately, in this Bill, it is said if the regulator goes back to the regulated, at the end of fourteen days, and there is extra information required, then, again, there will be fourteen days, and then, again, if the regulated are not concerned and they want more information, there will be fourteen days. This can go on for along time and can delay the process of setting up a tariff. In this day and age, time is money. 

Mr Speaker, I propose that the process should be strictly thirty days - and not fourteen days - where all information should be collected and the regulator should give a final answer to the regulated or the service provider for them to know the way forward with regard to the tariff.

Mr Speaker, in supporting this Bill, my concern should be taken into account. The consumer should be protected. The pricing method should be looked at. It does not work in the interest of the investor because it based on the cost. There is nothing on the investment which is returned and we cannot leave it open to say the profits will be determined by the sector. I would like to repeat that question, “Who determines the profit in that sector?” This Bill should be withdrawn so that both the regulated and regulator can look at it again.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank those who have commented on the Bill. First of all, the hon. Member for Solwezi, who has just spoken, appears not to be clear …


Professor Lungwangwa: … as to what he wants to say.


Professor Lungwangwa: Clearly, on the one hand, he is supporting the Bill and on the other, he is saying he wants this or that.


Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, both the hon. Member for Pemba and hon. Member for Solwezi have supported the Bill, taking full cognisance of the fact that this Bill is there to encourage investment, protect the consumer, ensure that there is minimum regulation by ZICTA, create innovation and creativity in the sector and allow for the growth of the sector.

These are very important principles in the formative stage of ICT Sector development in our country. Clearly, we should all be supportive of that process of growth. The issues of cartels being raised by the hon. Member for Solwezi Central are a development which ZICTA will, of course, rise up to. 

Mr Speaker, we should distinguish between those elements which should go into the regulations and administrative process of the ICT sector and those which can go in the Bill. What we have put in the Bill, are those elements which are essential to the development of the ICT sector in our country.

Mr Speaker, I do not think that matters of terminology should be given that kind of attention. These are matters which can be put in regulations so that it is clear what the terms mean. This Bill, as I have pointed out, is very progressive and in the interest of the development of the ITC sector. I would like to thank the Chairperson of your Committee for acknowledging that the policy statement which has been made has clarified the concerns that were there when the hon. Members read the Bill.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Tuesday, 23rd March, 2010.


The Disaster Management Bill, 2010

Report adopted.

Third Reading on Wednesday, 17th March, 2010.


The following Bill was read the third time and passed:

The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2010




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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1725 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 17th March, 2010.



386. Mr Kambwili (Roan) asked the Vice President and Minister of Justice:

(a)    how much money the Government spent on the Chitambo by-            election; and

(b)    what the breakdown of the costs at (a) was.

The Vice President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, the total amount spent on the Chitambo By-election was as follows:

Activity                        Amount (K’million)

Headquarters:    Printing of ballot papers;
        Voter education;
        Conflict management;
        Delivery and return of materials; and
    Monitoring of nominations and polls     2,340,505,000

Training of returning officers    191,240,000
Nominations        109,955,000
Inspection of polling stations                              69,400,000
Training of polling officials    774,825,000
Poll day activities    641,940,000
Verification of ballot paper account      32,425,000
Total         4,160,290,000


387. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security:

(a)    whether Chibuluma Copper Mines Plc Management dismissed the five branch union officials in October, 2009 in accordance with the recognition agreement; and

(b)    what the ministry was doing to harmonise the situation.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Mr Speaker, the ministry assigned the principal labour officer at the Kitwe labour office to deal with this matter. The local branch union officials were initially dismissed for inciting industrial unrest at the plant which culminated into an illegal strike. Management wrote to the mine workers union of Zambia (MUZ) requesting the union to take disciplinary action against its local branch officials. Disciplinary action was eventually taken against the union branch officials.

Mr Speaker, upon receipt of information about the disciplinary action taken against the branch union officials, the ministry intervened in the matter and all the affected branch union officials have since been re-instated together with other employees. The ministry has also warned the employees against flouting the regulations governing good conduct in the workplace.

I thank you, Sir.