Debates- Friday, 5th March, 2010

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Friday, 5th March, 2010

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, in the continued absence of His Honour the Vice-President and learned Minister of Justice Mr George Kunda, SC who is attending to other national duties, hon. Dr K. T. Mwansa, MP, Minister of Defence will act as Leader of Government Business in the House today, Friday, 5th March, 2010.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Zambia Branch will join the rest of the Commonwealth countries in commemorating the Commonwealth Day on Tuesday, 9th March, 2010. The Zambia Branch has lined up activities involving youths drawn from the nine provinces of Zambia. These include a science competition in line with this year’s theme which is “Science, Technology and Society”. I invite all hon. Members of Parliament as Commonwealth Parliamentary Association branch members to attend the Commemoration of the Commonwealth Day on Tuesday, 9th March, 2010 at 0900 hours in the Auditorium here at Parliament Buildings. Please, give support to this important event on the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Calendar.

Thank you.



The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the business of the House it will consider next week.

Mr Speaker, on Tuesday, 9th March, 2010, the business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will deal with any other business that may have been presented before it.

On Wednesday, 10th March, 2010, the business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, there will be consideration of Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. The House will consider the Second Reading Stage of the following Bills:

(i)    The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2010;

(ii)    The Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Whistleblowers) Bill, 2010; and

(iii)    The Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

Then, the House will consider the Committee Stage of the Disaster Management Bill, 2010.

On Thursday, 11th March, 2010, the business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Second Reading Stage of the following Bills:

(i)    The Zambia Development Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2010;

(ii)    The Engineering Institution of Zambia Bill, 2010; and

(iii)    The Information and Communication Technologies (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

The House will then deal with any other business that may have been presented before it earlier in the week.

I thank you, Sir.




The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Daka): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to make a ministerial statement on the food security situation in the country.

Mr Speaker, I wish to make a statement to this august House on the food security situation and agricultural input distribution for 2009/2010 agricultural season. In terms of food security as at 17th February, 2010, the country still had a total of about 303,975 metric tonnes of good quality maize grain. The maize was held by players in the sector as follows:
(i)    the Food Reserve Agency (FRA)had 194,933 metric tonnes;

(ii)    millers who belong to the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) had 100,000 metric tonnes; and

(iii)    the Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ) had 9,042 metric tonnes 
of uncommitted stocks.

In addition to the above figures, the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) expects its members to harvest about 100,000 metric tonnes of early maize. The total maize available, therefore, is about 402,975 metric tonnes. This maize is enough to see us up to the next marketing season. My ministry will continue to monitor the situation to make sure that we always have enough stocks for the country.

Mr Speaker, as a result of the entry of the FRA into the market to sell some of its maize to both the millers and communities at the prevailing market price, the prices of mealie-meal have been stabilised and are expected to remain within the dictates of the market. The FRA will continue to play the role of strategic reserve and as a market stabiliser. It is important, therefore, that the FRA is given enough resources to play its roles on the market.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the crop production during the 2009/2010 agricultural season, I wish to inform the House that officers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the Central Statistics Office are currently in the field conducting training for officers to be involved in the crop forecasting exercising aimed at assessing crop production for the season under review. Once the exercise is completed, I will give a ministerial statement on the results to this august House.

Mr Speaker, in order to promote increased crop production, the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) has played a key role in Zambia’s food security since the 2002/2003 season and has impacted positively on the vulnerable, but viable farmers. However, the programme has increasingly been criticised on its implementation, effectiveness and efficiency. Subsequently, the programme was reviewed and a reform recommended.

Mr Speaker, reforms of the FSP commenced in 2009. The programme was renamed the 
Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the pack size reduced from eight 50 kilogramme of bags of fertiliser and 20 kilogramme of maize seed to four 50 kilogramme bags of fertiliser and 10 kilogrammes of maize seed. This was done in order to increase the efficiency of input use by the farmers and increase the number of beneficiaries.

Sir, changes were also made to the system of farmer targeting so that beneficiary farmers are now approved by Camp Agricultural Committees (CACs) as opposed to the District Agricultural Committees (DAC) which were used in the past. The CAC are made up of people living within camps including representatives of the local traditional leadership.

Mr Speaker, as a way of improving targeting, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has been working with cooperating partners on a voucher scheme for inputs. The ministry has in the last year been implementing the Conservation Agriculture Scaling up for increased Productivity and Production (CASPP) and the Farmer Input Support Response Initiative (FISRI) with support from the Norwegian Government, European Union and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The objectives of the programme are to increase uptake of conservation agriculture in order to increase production and productivity.

Sir, the two programmes have so far given support to about 8,120 beneficiaries though this voucher scheme. The support has been in the form of a voucher to support the purchase of fertiliser, seed and conservation agriculture inputs for one lima, that is quarter of a hectare. This programme will close by the end of next year. The ministry will continue monitoring the results of the voucher scheme and see how best these can be extended to the FISP. We are of the view that by 2012, we would have gained enough experience to make the FISP a voucher scheme as well.

Mr Speaker, despite calls for the ministry to immediately change the FISP to a voucher scheme, caution is being taken. The change will only be done after sufficient consultations have been made and beneficiaries have been sensitised. Some voucher scheme preparatory activities will, however, be undertaken in the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 seasons.  The activities will include a study of the existing agro-dealer networks and financial capacity in the identified districts with a view to creating an inventory of agro-dealers and banks. The study will be conducted in liaison with organisations which have implemented the voucher both within and outside the country. This will also require the revision of relevant pieces of legislation.

Sir, for the season under review the 2009/2010 agricultural season, the FISP had a budget of K435 billion. With this budget, my ministry increased procured quantities of inputs to 100,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser and 5,341 metric tonnes of maize seed and targeted 500,000 small-scale farmers.

Mr Speaker, the input distribution exercise under the reformed programme generally went on well although there were isolated cases of late supply of inputs to districts and slow distribution within districts. Reforms to the programme have been welcomed by the intended beneficiaries who have appreciated the involvement of CAC in beneficiary selection. 

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Daka: Farmers have also welcomed the requirement for farmer representatives to be present when inputs are collected from district depots and transported to the farmers. My ministry has taken not of the challenges experienced this season and is considering them as it plans for the next season, 2010/2011.

Sir, the FSP was designed to bring economic and institutional benefits to the Zambian Economy. It was intended to increase private sector capacity to participate in input supply and distribution in rural areas, through the expanded effective demand, reduced transaction costs and credit risks. The programme has continued to improve accessibility of farmers to improved inputs. 

Despite the programme having some limitations, it has produced some good results. Benefits that have been achieved by the programme included among others:

(i)    overall national food security;
(ii)    reduced food imports and saving on forex;
(iii)    increased private sector capacity; and 
(iv)    strengthened farmer organisations.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will continue making consultations with various stakeholders in an effort to improve the implementation, effectiveness and efficiency and increase the benefits from the programme to the various participating beneficiaries at the various levels.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: A man of five ministries.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members may now ask questions on points of clarification on the statement given by …

Hon. Opposition Members stoop up.

Mr Speaker: I am still speaking.


Mr Speaker: … the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just stated that the Government decided to reduce the number of the FSP bags to four in order to enhance efficiency. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether, in his considered view and opinion, the Government is assisting the farmers to graduate from subsistence to semi-commercial farmers considering that the average production of maize per hectare is thirty bags which we can equate to about K2 million per half hectare. Does he consider this programme prudent and in the interest of the farmers to ensure that they graduate from subsistence to commercial farmers?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, in answering that question, we must consider that we, as Government, were broadening the base of recipients. On the other hand, when small-scale farmers who did not have the capacity were given eight bags, they ended up selling some of it.

Mr Speaker, this programme has done very well. A lot of people have appreciated it and we expect a bumper harvest this year.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 


Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, in spite of the seemingly bright picture that the hon. Minister has painted on the food security in the country, at what stage is the ministry going to translate that into the availability of food on the table for most of our people because it is beyond their reach at the moment?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, we must realise that the 80 per cent of the food that we consume in this country, today, comes from the peasant farmer in rural areas. We must pay the peasant farmer who is the producer a good amount of money. This Government does not believe in subsidising consumption. This Government believes in subsidising production and that is what we are doing. If the food is unreachable for most people, it is important that we produce it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, there have been numerous reports from people who are well positioned to know these things that many public servants have entered into the stream of fertiliser being distributed in the rural areas following, perhaps, from the election promise that was made eighteen months ago that civil servants and military personnel would have access to this fertiliser. Can the hon. Minister state whether or not this is true and also make an explicit statement of the Government’s policy on this matter?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member, who is a former Agriculture Minister, for that question. If he heard me, in my statement, I stated that we have transferred the co-ordination of fertiliser distribution from civil servants to the camps. Those people who are in the camps are not civil servants. I am not aware about the election promise that he is talking about. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, why was there late delivery of inputs under the FISP against the presidential assurance of delivering inputs by August last year?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, we have said that we want private sector participation. I would like to acknowledge that some transporters let us down.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, despite the fact that the FRA is being taxed as emphasised by the hon. Minister in his statement, is he aware that most of the farmers shun selling their maize to the FRA due to delayed payments? What has the ministry put in place to ensure that farmers sell their produce to the FRA and that payments are made promptly?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, the ministry is ensuring that many more banks participate in financing the FRA and maize purchases. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister, in his ministerial statement, has said that the maize price is stable. Can the hon. Minister tell us what the exact price of a bag of mealie-meal in Zambia is?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, the price of mealie-meal ranges from area to area due to transport costs but the average price is K63,000,000.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, it is clear that the Farmer Input Support Programme is a food security programme. Is the ministry thinking of transferring that programme to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services so that the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, which has almost 50 per cent going to this FISP is not distorted?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is working hand in hand with my ministry and we support each other. The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services looks at the aged and the sick.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister indicated that the FRA was positioned on 194,933 metric tonnes of maize. I did not hear the hon. Minister speak about cassava, pumpkins, rice, beans, millet, sorghum and other foods in the country. Can he, therefore, confirm that, according to this Government, maize equals food and food equals maize. 

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, we do recognise that in other parts of Zambia, cassava, millet, sorghum and other foods are also important. Therefore, we are working on those modalities.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, the figures that were given by the hon. Minister…


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mukanga: …were just estimates. What mechanism is he going to use to ensure that those estimates are translated into reality and that the yield will be sustained?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, in the past, we had the Service Delivery Survey (SDS) which helped us translate the quality and quantity of food that we had. I think you heard me mention statistics officers who are in the field. Most of the stock that I have mentioned is actually at hand unless we are talking about expected production. For that, we cannot be certain but we are sure that we will have a bumper harvest this year.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, the easiest way of encouraging farmers to produce more is to assure farmers of a market for any excess produce. Would I know what measures the Government is taking to ensure that excess food or produce from the farmers has a market so that we do not have to worry about our food security since farmers will produce more?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, the FRA is there to reach the remotest areas to ensure that every maize is collected. Where our efforts have failed, as the FRA, there is also the Traders Association of Zambia and the Millers Association of Zambia which augment the efforts of Government.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Sejani (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out the basis of the hon. Minister’s optimism that we will have a bumper harvest. I want to know the basis of his claim that the new FISP has improved national food security when this is the first season that it is being implemented. His men are still in the filed. So, results have not come out yet. What is the basis of this claim?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, the size of a child is seen from birth.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, we have visited these farms to see what is sprouting. When a child is born prematurely, one can have doubts. However, when it looks strong and has a physiology of a good body, then you know that you have a good child. 

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order! The House will settle down after that philosophical reply. 


Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when fertiliser in Zambia will be a stock item to be bought when one walks into a shop as opposed to now when it comes in intervals. 

Mr Speaker: Before the hon. Minister replies, I would call on the cameraman not to block the line of vision between myself and the hon. Minister. Could he step aside for a moment because I cannot see the hon. Minister. 

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, at the moment, the Government has engaged the private sector to try and produce fertiliser locally. You may realise that a country like Senegal relies on phosphate, which is an important ingredient of fertiliser. At the moment, we are talking to a certain private sector organisation to come in and assist in the running of Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ). Apart from NCZ, we are also looking at other areas like Mumbwa where there is a lot of phosphate. Therefore, to answer this question in totality, the Government is encouraging private participation in fertiliser production. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, the FRA plays an important role in ensuring that mealie-meal prices are maintained countrywide. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if there are any plans to increase the allocation to the FRA.

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, there must come a time when the FRA graduates. When bringing up a child, you cannot continue breastfeeding that child after a certain period. Year in and year out, the Government supports the FRA. We are looking forward to a time when the FRA will stand on its own two feet and be a commercial organisation that will support farmers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister talked about price stabilisation. He said that the price of maize is between K62,000 and K80,000. Is the hon. Minister saying that every Zambia can afford maize at this amount?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, in any society, not everybody is equal. The Government is, however, trying to make an average assessment to ensure that food is affordable. We are paying a good price to the farmers in the rural areas to encourage them to continue producing maize. In turn, whoever wants to work in town must realise that he needs a good salary to sustain himself or go back to the land. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Sichamba (Isoka West): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the FRA should graduate. Would the hon. Minister confirm that exporting white maize to Zimbabwe and Kenya has proved to be very expensive for the FRA? Furthermore, if he is talking about the FRA graduating, are there any plans to ensure that the problem of landed cost in these two countries is addressed? 

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, we do not want to subsidise maize that is going into a foreign country. Maize that comes from South Africa into Zimbabwe is heavily subsidised. Our maize is US$305 per tonne while maize from South Africa is US$265 per tonne and the Government of South Africa subsidises this maize. They are dumping their maize into Zimbabwe. For us to match this, we will be paying our peasant farmers, who are producing our maize, peanuts. We would rather encourage production and the stimulus of production is giving somebody a good price for the maize.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that we are expecting a bumper harvest. Is the ministry considering increasing the number of buying points for maize so that farmers do not spend too much on transport to take maize to these points? 

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, every year, the FRA increases the number of buying points. We are considering many more points this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s statement that they will wean the FRA, is it correct to state that he has food reserved for two to three months? I want to know whether the Government has decided how much food they want to hold at any one time and for how long. 

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, to procure on time is good because you are not tying too much money in stock. The FRA procures the maize it borrows. Therefore, when it keeps too much maize than what is required, it ties the working capital in stock. The present consumption per month is 70,000 tonnes when we exclude breweries and stock feeds. Therefore, the total quantity we should have at each time is three times that much.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister talked about the cheap maize which is coming from South Africa. South African soils produce a maximum of about six tonnes per hectare while our soil has the capacity of producing up to about thirteen to fourteen tonnes per hectare. Has the hon. Minister looked at how we can capitalise on our good soils and given land to produce that much taking into consideration that fertilizer is not helping because even if it is added to acidic soils, it will not produce, but only increase the hectrage. Has the ministry considered reducing the acidity in the soil by subsiding lime to the farmers?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for that very good technical question. This Government is encouraging training by farmers. I agree that productivity is low per hectare, but we are trying to ensure that we treat these soils with lime and phosphate. The ministry is going out, through extension officers, to educate peasant and small-scale farmers.

 I thank you, Mr Spekaer.




333. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Works and Supply why civil servants were given priority over the general public in the purchase of used Government motor vehicles.

The Deputy Minister of Works ands Supply (Dr Kalila): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that civil servants are given priority over the general public in the purchase of used Government vehicles because the Government, as an employer, needs to motivate its members of staff by empowering them by way of acquiring cheaper used vehicles. Otherwise, civil servants would not be able to acquire vehicles, plant and other equipment through their humble salaries.

The civil servants use the vehicles and by giving them first priority, they are encouraged to care for them bearing in mind that they may be sold to them one day. Thus, giving them the opportunity to buy them. This also eases the problem of traveling to and from work, which encourages the smooth operations of Government activities.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister why the Government takes long to sell these vehicles after seeing that it has failed to maintain them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, well, you have to consider the issue of replacement. Therefore, if you are not able to replace the vehicle immediately, I do not think it makes sense for it to be sold. We should, therefore, allow civil servants to continue using it until such a time when it is able to be replaced. With regard to the availability of funds, it is not possible to buy motor vehicles on a yearly basis.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Spekaer, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there is a mechanism to ensure that the pricing of these vehicles does not encourage under valuation because the civil servants doing the valuation of the property are the prospective buyers.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, these are auctioned. Therefore, civil servants bid for them and the highest bidder wins.

 I thank you, Mr Spekaer.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the offer to purchase used Government vehicles is some kind of incentive. If that is the case and looking at the salary of civil servant, many of them that are offered these vehicles are unable to buy them. Are you working on any mechanism to assist the civil servants, especially those that cannot afford to buy the vehicles offered to them to able to do so?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, it is assumed that those who bid have got resources to buy those vehicles, but also, they are entitled to loans from the Government. Therefore, when they are ready, they are able to bid.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister not see a situation where since civil servants have the priority to buy, they will engage in activities of declaring these equipments redundant or unfit for use prematurely so that they can have the right to purchase?

 Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, all Government assets are expected to serve for a certain period and after they have served their time, a team of committee members goes around to ensure that they are ready for boarding. Upon declaring that, indeed, the machines have done their time, they are sold off.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}


334. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Heath how much money the Office of the Chilubi District Director of Health had spent in referring patients to both Lubwa Mission and Luwingu District Hospital.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Musonda): Mr Speaker, in 2008, Chilubi District Health Management Office spent a total of K72,880,500 on the referral of patients to both Lubwa Mission and Luwingu District hospitals. Of this amount, about K46,350,000 was spent on staff allowances while K26,530.500 was spent on fuels. A total of forty-six patients were referred to Lubwa and twenty-four were referred to Luwingu in 2008.

In 2009, from January to June, the district spent K55,894,685. K34, 100,000 was spent on staff allowances and K21,794,685 on fuels. As of 30th June, 2009, forty-three patients were referred to Lubwa Mission Hospital and twelve to Luwingu District Hospital. From these figures, it can be said that on average, the district could be spending about K72, million per year to refer patients to Lubwa and Luwingu Hospitals.

These referrals are necessary as, at the moment, Chilubi has no district hospital which can handle complicated cases such as those related to maternity which are in the majority of those referred to either Luwingu District or Lubwa Mission hospitals.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: For some reason, it sounds as if the PA system this morning is rather too low. May the hon. Member speak up or speak closer to the microphone.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, the referral cases in question are as a result of the non availability of a district hospital as the hon. Minister has confirmed. Now that the construction of Kaputa district hospital is over, when will the construction of the Chilubi district hospital commence?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the Government policy is to build a district hospital in each district. This year, we will commence construction of district hospitals in five districts. In 2011, we might construct district hospitals in the rest of the districts where this exercise has not yet commenced. We have to first look at the plan before we assure the hon. Member that construction will commence, next year, if Chilubi is not on this year’s programme.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given by the hon. Minister that there is an intention by the Government to construct district hospitals in all districts that do not have them by 2012 does the hon. Minister not think that it is better to finish the district hospitals that are already under construction before embarking on new projects? I have in mind the district hospital being constructed in Chongwe which has been on the programme for the past four years now and I do not see it finishing this year. I would like the hon. Minister to help me understand and appreciate that point.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, all the hospitals are being belt in phases I, II and III and Chongwe is now entering phase III. If the contractor works well, the district hospital in Chongwe will finish this year since money has been allocated to Chongwe as well as to other district hospitals that are being belt.

Mr Speaker, there should not be much worry or concern because we are making progress according to the phases.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


335. Ms Mwape (Mufulira) asked the Minister of Community Development and Social Services:

(a)    whether the social cash transfer scheme was being implemented for the intended beneficiaries;

(b)    what the criteria used to identify the beneficiaries of the scheme were; and

(c)    how many people had been benefiting from the social cash transfer scheme in Mufulira Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Malwa): Mr Speaker, the scheme is being implemented for the intended beneficiaries as there is a targeting criteria in place targeting the destitute and incapacitated households. Currently, the scheme targets the 10 per cent poorest households in a given community who fulfil the following eligibility criteria such as:

(i)    Destitute – the beneficiary household struggles to survive, adopts negative coping mechanism and has less than three meals a day, shelter is dilapidated, have limited access to education, health, and only receive irregular and insufficient external support.

(ii)    On the Incapacitated – the beneficiary household has either no household members who are fit for work and of a working age or does not have enough able-bodied household members who can take care of the dependents.

 Mr Speaker, targeting is done by the community welfare assistant committees (CWACs) which are the grassroot level structures of the public welfare assistance scheme. CWACs use a multi-stage participatory process to identify the 10 per cent most destitute and incapacitated households in their community involving the headmen, the community and the district welfare assistant committees (DWACs).

Mr Speaker, at present, there are no people benefiting from the social cash transfer scheme in Mufulira district because scaling up of the social cash transfer scheme in districts as well as parliamentary constituencies is an ongoing exercise.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Mwape: Mr Speaker, I am wondering at what stage the Government intends to involve the area hon. Members of Parliament for the purposes of effectively playing the oversight role on the Executive as well as staying in line and keeping the good faith initiated by the then President through a presidential instruction in a letter copied to all hon. Members of Parliament in 2007. This letter stated that area hon. Members of Parliament must be involved in all Government programmes of development.

At what stage is this Government intending to involve us, as hon. Members, in the implementation of the social cash transfers?

Mr Malwa: Mr Speaker, if you recall, under the social cash transfer scheme, we had involved some hon. Members of Parliament by calling for a workshop at Pamodzi Hotel where we invited them to explain how the social cash transfer scheme would work in their districts and constituencies. Others turned up, but others did not. Therefore, we doing we responded to the call by the President of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, I had an opportunity to attend that seminar and I also travelled to the Southern Province to see what was happening on the ground regarding the cash transfer scheme. In the Southern Province, this scheme started in 2003. My question is: When is this programme going to be extended to the Lusaka Province so that the vulnerable people in the constituencies there can also benefit?

Mr Malwa: Mr Speaker, currently, this programme is being implemented in Monze, Kalomo and Kazungula of the Southern Province. It is also active in Katete and Chipata  and the Eastern Province.


Mr Malwa: The programme will be scaled up to ten additional districts, namely, Kalabo, Shangombo, Kaputa, Chilubi Island, Milenge, Senanga, Zambezi, Serenje, Luwingu and Chienge districts. The selection of the districts is based on the statistics of high poverty levels and Lusaka has not been captured to have high poverty levels.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, it is a fact that poverty levels are much greater in the rural areas, especially those areas that are remote from the urban centres or even the districts that administer those rural areas. Why is it that your ministry has not taken that fact into account so that you target certain areas that are prone to high levels of poverty rather than rely on global data that comes from the, I do not know if it is the Central Statistical Office (CSO) or whoever does this survey for you.

Mr Malwa: Mr Speaker, in my answer, I indicated that when selecting the poverty levels, we involve the headmen and all those who are at the grassroots level because they are the ones who live with the people with high poverty levels. Therefore, the information that we get on the high poverty levels is actually factual and is based on current statistics. As I indicated earlier on in my answer, this exercise is on-going and is being scaled up as we go on with the scheme. Thus, even those areas that are not captured will be captured in due course.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I wish to find out from the hon. Minister when the Members of Parliament are going to be involved in the implementation of this programme because the workshop which was conducted was only on awareness. I wish to find out from the hon. Minister when are we going to be involved in the implementation.

Mr Malwa: Mr Speaker, we intend to conduct another workshop of a similar nature, therefore, I will ask the hon. Member who has just posed that question to also come and attend the workshop when we send invitation letters.

I thank you, Sir.


336. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    Which civil engineering company had been supervising:

(i)    the renovations of Mansa Municipal Council office block and civic centre; and 

(ii)    the construction of the new market at Down Market in Bahati Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)    who the designers of the office block and new market were and what the cost of the designs was;

(c)    what the total cost of the new building at the civic centre and the market was; and

(d)    when all the works above would be completed.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Muteteka): Mr Speaker, the renovation of the Mansa Municipal Council office block is not being supervised by any civil engineering company, but by the council engineer. It should be noted here that the council is using its own resources to renovate the office block and to have a civil engineering company supervise the works could have been costly to the council, hence the use of the experts in the council.

Mr Speaker, there is no market called down market being constructed in Bahati Constituency.

Mr Speaker, the design of the office block was made by a local person who was later employed by the council as a town planner. The design did not cost the council anything, but the drawings cost the council K3 million.

Mr Speaker, the total cost for the renovation of the office block is estimated to be K697,000,000. As indicated above, there is no such market as a Down Market in Bahati Constituency.

Mr Speaker, funds permitting, the renovation of the office block is expected to be completed by mid-2010.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Bahati.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, I have no follow-up question.


337. Dr Chishya (Pambashe) asked the Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training:

(a)    what the total workforce at the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) was as of December, 2009;

(b)    of the total workforce, what was the number of scientific personnel holding:

(i)    Bachelor’s degrees;
(ii)    Master’s degrees; and 
(iii)    Doctor of philosophy degrees;

(c)     what the benefits of the institution had been to justify the Government subventions.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, as at 2009 the total work force at NISIR stood at 181.

Mr Speaker, of the total workforce, the number of scientific personnel holding Bachelor’s Degrees, Master’s Degrees and Doctor of Philosophy degrees is currently thirty-four and it is distributed as follows:

(i)    Bachelor’s Degrees             –     17
(ii)    Master’s Degrees             –     13
(iii)    Doctor of Philosophy Degrees     –     04

Mr Speaker, currently, NISIR has the following programmes running:

The Biotechnology

This programme aims to contribute to the sustainable development of the country through prudent use and application of biotechnology. This programme is being run by personnel with the following qualification levels involved at different stages and in various aspects of GMO detection.

(i)    One head of programme with a PhD;
(ii)    Researchers at Master’s degree level; and 
(iii)    Three researchers at Bachelor’s degree level.

The process of detecting Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) include sampling, sample processing and instrumental analysis which are performed by specific individuals. The group also offers an analytical service to various stakeholders.

Livestock Productivity and Disease Control

The programme seeks to provide quality and effective research and development (R and D) services to the livestock sector for improved productivity in order to improve food security and alleviate poverty.

This programme is being run by personnel with the following qualification levels involved at various stages and is tasked with different responsibilities within the programme.

(i)    two researchers with Doctor of Philosophy degrees;
(ii)    one researcher with Master of Philosophy degree; and 
(iii)    four researchers with Master of Science degrees.

Sustainable Use of Underutilised Genetic Resources

The programme aims to conduct research in the sustainable use of underutilised genetic resources and promote conservation of biodiversity. The programme is run by personnel with the following qualifications:

(i)    one Master of Science degree holder; and 
(ii)    three researchers with Bachelor of Science degrees.

Post Harvest Food Processing and Nutrition

This programme aims at the development of post harvest food processing technologies and provides services for the food industry and the community, thus improving the quality of life. 

This programme is being run by personnel with the following qualification levels: one Master of Science degree; one Bachelor of Science degree (Chemical Engineering); and three Bachelor of Science degrees (food science) holders.

Water, Energy and Environment

The programme aims at undertaking research and development activities in water, energy and the environment in order to ensure their sustainable use. The programme is run by two officers; one with a Master of Science degree and the other with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Nuclear Energy Applications and Analytical Services

This programme aims at undertaking research and development activities through peaceful applications of nuclear energy and other analytical techniques for sustainable socio-economic development. The programme is supervised by two officers; one with a Master of Science degree and the other with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Materials, Engineering and Technical Services

The programme aims at developing new materials, applications, technologies and products for industry and provides engineering services to clients. This programme is supervised by the head of programme who has a Bachelor of Engineering degree. He is assisted by an officer with an Electronics and Telecoms degree.

Information Services

This programme is aimed at provision, management and dissemination of scientific and technical information for effective implementation of R and D activities. Personnel in charge of this programme deal with nuclear information system management, library management, and documentation services. They are supervised by a Bachelor of Information degree holder.

Mr Speaker, the National Council for Scientific Research (NCSR), now called National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) was created to ensure that national development was buttressed by scientific and technological research and development. NISIR contributed to the national focus of localisation of industrial production through import substitution. Some of the industries created as a result include:

(a)    Zambia Horticultural Products (ZAMHORT);

(b)    Mwinilunga Pineapple Cannery;

(c)    Zambia Ceramics Limited; and

(d)    Mongu Mango Processing Plant (under RUCOM Industries).

Many local industries depend on NISIR technical advice for many of their operations. A number of companies, in the recent past, have also benefited greatly from NISIR’s technical expertise and continue to utilise their technology. Among such industries are:

(a)    National Milling Company;

(b)    Zambian Breweries;

(c)    National Breweries;

(d)    Chilanga Cement (Lafarge);

(e)    Zambia Sugar Company Limited;

(f)    Trade Kings (Maheu); and

(g)    Manzi Natural Valley Limited.

The institution was also the architect in the information and provision of technical expertise and advice to several national institutions. Some of these include:

(a)    Zambian Bureau of Standards;

(b)    Radiation Protection Authority;

(c)    Environmental Council of Zambia; and

(d)    Chest Diseases Laboratory.

Mr Speaker, the institute also initiated start up and support to several international organisations such as International Centre for Agro Forestry (ICRAF) which started at NCSR premises before moving to Chipata in the Eastern Province. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Gene Bank (SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre) also received support from NCSR during its formative years and was housed within its premises before moving out to the current location on the Great East Road.

Mr Speaker, the current research programmes being undertaken by NISIR are very beneficial to the community and the nation at large. The micro-propagation protocols for cassava, banana and sugarcane and the development of the pre-basic disease-free potato seed ensures a sustainable source of nutritious and reasonably priced food that guarantees food security for the nation. This, however, is only possible if adequate investment is directed at these programmes. The development of baby-weaning foods from Bambara nuts and cow peas also means that there is a nutritious source of food for children that cannot be breastfed for various reasons, including prevention of HIV infection from the mother to the baby.

Mr Speaker, today, NISIR remains at the forefront of scientific, technological and innovative research for development in Zambia. The country’s Vision 2030 may not be fully realised without input from NISIR. A national research and development institution must have facilities as it is a provider for new processes and technologies. Formulation of new products for micro, small and medium enterprises as well as improvement of old ones requires support from an institution such as NISIR. This is more so with Zambia’s industrial base which is largely based on food processing. NISIR is the lead institution in agro-based product development research. However, the funding levels remain a challenge and research activities are affected.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Dr Chishya: Mr Speaker, from what has been put forward by the hon. Minister, it shows that scientific research plays a big role in the development of this country. However, the skeleton staff at NISIR, at present, is something that leaves a lot to be desired. Can he confirm that because of the shortage of staff, the institution went into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a foreign investor from Lebanon and gave up research on energy?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, we are aware that any research activity requires skilled and knowledgeable research personnel. Over the years, the staff at NISIR has aged. In fact, I think the House is benefiting from the retirement of Dr Chishya, who has come into politics, from science. I indicated on the Floor of this House, last week, that in order to improve on the staffing levels, we have advertised to offer scholarships to thirty female applicants. Quite a number of these will be at the Phd level and the majority at the Master’s level.

Mr Speaker, as regards the singing of an MoU, I wish to inform the nation, through the House, that, in fact, this MoU was reviewed and it has since been cancelled. Therefore, there is no loss in as far as NISIR is concerned.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}

Mr Syakalima (Siavonga): Sir, it is quite clear from the hon. Minister’s answer that NISIR has a mammoth task in scientific research in Zambia. However, what is the full scientific staff establishment of NISIR against this backdrop of thirty-four degree holders? 

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, we do not have that establishment yet because in the past, it was dependent upon the programmes that were planned for over a period.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister confirm that part of the problems the institution has is that of not being able to attract the best researchers this country can produce due to poor conditions. If he confirms that, what plans has his ministry put in place to assist the institution attract and retain even those that it trains?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I cannot confirm that the reason for attrition of staff is solely the poor conditions. I did indicate that over the years, it was due to the aging population of staff; and secondly, the need for development, for instance, in terms of personal development in acquisition of higher degrees which the NISR was not able to provide, hence, the inability to retain staff.

Currently, the conditions at the NISR have been looked at and I am sure that for young people who want to have a career in research, the NISR is one of the best institutions that can employ them in this country. This is as a result of the collaboration with other institutions in the region that have been strengthened and therefore, the prospect of further advancement is assured.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, from the hon. Minister’s answer that they have advertised thirty positions in the categories of bachelors degrees and masters degrees to enhance the establishment. Are there any specific staff development programmes at the institution?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, as I alluded to earlier on, there was a time in the recent past when funding was not enough to support the internal staff development. This is why, having realised that, we need to boost the number of researchers, hence this advertisement and it is for PhD and masters. With these young people coming, we are assured of continued research programmes in our country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister confirm that the problem at the institute is not the conditions of service, but poor management; and if so, what is the Government doing about it?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, like many other countries in Africa, when we have other pressing problems, the investment in research is not considered as priority. Therefore, that really was one of the major contributing factors to the attrition of staff at my institution. 

As regards management, in any institution, management is an evolving issue and challenges continue to emerge that might not have been there before. It is true that NISR has had some challenges regarding management issues and we are confident that with the new board that has been put in place, these issues are being tackled effectively so that with this investment in staff development, we can manage resources much more prudently.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, clearly from what the hon. Minister said, the importance of this institution cannot be over emphasised. In the interim while the ministry is training new personal, has the ministry considered calling upon those who have served in that institution to hold the fort before new personal are trained?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, NISR being considered as one of the premier research institutions has got very close collaboration with the University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University. Therefore, when specific programmes are identified and there are shortages of staff, it is very easy to draw on the staff from these institutions. There are areas where, in fact, collaboration does take place. However, there is room and as I mentioned Hon. Mwansa, if you can give us some time, I do not see any reason why any properly qualified person cannot undertake a research programme and study to bring up in that research the young people that would assist.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, part (b) of the hon. Minister’s answer was about livestock production. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether NISR is not being challenged by the fast disappearance of indigenous cattle breeds as a result of cross-breeding with European breeds, which are considered more prolific, but less disease resistant to the Zambian situation. Working together with the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Development, are you planning to create a reservoir of original indigenous genetic breeds for this country so that there may never arise a time when we may lose our cattle due to rampant disease as a result of cross-breeding with European breeds?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker that is a very important question. We know that our indigenous cattle are resistant to most of the diseases and that is an attribute that we want to preserve. However, we also know that in terms of marketing, quite sizeable numbers of these indigenous cattle do not have enough needs. They are small and hence, the research which is going on. How do we improve on retaining the ability to resist disease in our indigenous cattle and at the same time, at least, improve on beef production as well as the dairy aspect.

Therefore, we have at NISR a herd numbering about 500 cattle where we have been cross-breeding to isolate those genetic identities, which we want to propagate, and one of which is disease resistant and the other one is drought resistant. 

   These animals have been released to the farmers and the response we have had is very encouraging. The farmers have seen that the animals are bigger and indeed disease resistant. I think this is the line that we will assist the small-scale farmer using the scientific exploitation and knowledge we have.

Mr Speaker, there is also need for us to know that as we research, we should not have the fear of indigenous breed disappearing because this is very unlikely. We have a huge reservoir of indigenous animals.

I thank you, Sir.


338. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a)    how much money the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investments Holdings (ZCCM-IH) has remitted to the ZCCM Trust Fund from 1994 to-date so as to pay former ZCCM employees;

(b)    what the total number of employees who were paid from the fund was as of 30th September, 2009; and

(c)    what the other sources of funding for paying former employees have been.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Ms C. M. Kapwepwe): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that ZCCM-IH has remitted to ZCCM Trust Fund a total amount of US$16.2 million or K74.253 million from the year 2000 to-date  as payment to qualifying beneficiaries.

As regards part (b), Mr Speaker, a total of 3,640 ex-ZCCM Limited employees have been paid from the ZCCM Trust Fund as of 30th September, 2009. 

As for part (c) of the question, the other sources of funding for paying former employees are loans from the Government which ZCCM-IH contracted between 2001 and 2002.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has just informed the House that the ZCCM-IH was getting loans from the Government. I want to find out if ZCCM-IH has paid the loans.

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe: Mr Speaker, the very fact that they needed some loans to pay this particular liability, I think it would be unreasonable to expect that they could pay them back so quickly because the agreement initially was that the Government would provide money of up to US$10 million and so far only US$4 million has been provided and, so, it still has to fund this particular exercise. Therefore, I think it would be unreasonable to expect repayment before we even finish our commitment. Suffice to say that we have made provision to give some more funding for this particular purpose in this year’s budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, ex-ZCCM employees who are currently in employment or employed by one of the mining companies access this money upon dismissal. At the value that was calculated sometime in 1998, what is the Government doing to ensure that the money that has been in the trust fund gains interest so that the miners benefit?

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe: Mr Speaker, the ZCCM Trust Fund as mentioned by the hon. Member was set up specifically for miners who had been taken over by Mopani Copper Mines Plc and Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). The ZCCM Trust Fund which was set up as you know would have a trust deed which stipulates the conditions and terms under which that trust deed would be executed and as far as possible, there maybe challenges with funding, but as far as possible the terms and conditions of that trust deed are followed.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, why did the Government allow the ZCCM-IH to issue a letter to all miners giving them rights to this trust fund in 1998 when the Government did not pay the miners who did not crossover in 2000, and yet they received letters, but they were not allowed to access money from the trust fund. I wish to fund out from this Government why they allowed that change of position because these miners are currently languishing and fighting for their money from the trust fund.

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. As I said, the trust fund is governed by a trust deed and the conditionality of payment for this liability arises upon dismissal and resignation. I have stated that by and large, we have been meeting these commitments except in cases where we have had challenges with funding. I have also stated that we have provided more funding in this year’s budget and, so, we are committed to meeting that liability.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, since the number of former ZCCM employees whose money are held in the ZCCM Trust Fund is small, would the Government consider now to pay all the workers so that they can benefit because the money being held risks suffering from the dollar fluctuation?

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. Again at a risk of repeating myself, the very reason why this trust fund was set up was that the liabilities actualise on the event of dismissal and resignation. We still have a liability which is running until the youngest member who I believe will only reach retirement in 2035 and, so, this is an ongoing liability set up. We are following what was agreed. The very reason that we did not pay it all at once was because we had challenges with funding and realising that we have staggered the funding over a period of time. However, we are meeting it as and when the beneficiaries actualise the access to this funding. As I have said before, we are committed to making sure that this liability is met.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


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

(a)    how much money the Government is going to spend on rural electrification in 2010 countrywide;

(b)    which areas had been identified for electrification in Luapula Province in 2010;

(c)    how much money donors would contribute towards the project; and

(d)    when the project to be undertaken in 2010 in Luapula Province would be completed.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Imasiku): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that these projects include:

(i)    electrification of Mano Basic School and rural health centre;
(ii)     Lubunda Market; and 
(iii)    Mukamba Basic School. 

These projects are being implemented by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA). 

Sir, Kanshimba Basic School and Mwenda Fishing Camp projects will be implemented by the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO). The projects being implemented by the REA are scheduled to be completed by May, 2010 while Kashimba Basic School and Mwenda Fishing Camp projects will be completed by March, 2010.

Mr Speaker, with regard to part (b) of the question, the 2010 Budget of K234.7 billion for rural electrification projects is financed by both the Government and co-operating partners. The partners are contributing a total of K179.8 billion while the Government of the Republic of Zambia is providing K54.9 billion.

Sir, the three projects in Luapula Province which are a carryover from 2009 will be completed by May, 2010. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I notice that donors are contributing more money than the Government. The hon. Minister has stated that the donors have contributed K179.8 billion while the Government has contributed K54.9 billion. Can the hon. Minister indicate to the House whether the Government intends to increase funding for the electrification programme?

Mr Imasiku: Mr Speaker, it is the intention of the Government to reach out to most of our rural areas. Yes, we have plans to increase funds for the rural electrification programme when funds are available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether or not this Government believes that the success of this programme depends on the increase in generation capacity of power in this country. If they do, at what stage has the development of the Lunzuwa and Itezhi-tezhi power stations reached?

Mr Imasiku: Mr Speaker, that is a new question, but I would like to inform the House that the Government has reached an advanced stage and projects for places like Kafue Gorge Lower have already been advertised. For Itezhi-tezhi, our partners in development are already pledging something. If he has been paying attention, the Government of India has given us some money which will go towards the Itezhi-tezhi project. As for Lunzuwa, it is one of those projects which we are undertaking and if the hon. Member cares, he can visit the area and see that we have reached an advanced stage.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. Minister that a few years ago, all hon. Members were asked to submit information from the constituencies where the Rural Electrification Programme was to be implemented.

I have noticed that in the answer you have given regarding Luapula, you have only mentioned a few places. You have not even touched on any of the projects that we proposed in the various constituencies, particularly in Luapula Constituency. What is happening to that programme where we gave information regarding areas that should benefit from the Rural Electrification Programme?

Mr Imasiku: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform this House …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.


Mr Imasiku: Mr Speaker, before break, I was just about to respond to the question that was raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Luapula who is not around at the moment …

Dr Machungwa: I am a here!


Mr Imasiku: … but wanted know whether there were some projects being implemented under the REA.

Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the Rural Electrification Programme Master Plan has not yet been launched by the President. We are just waiting for that. After the launch, we will unveil most of the projects that will be done. The hon. Member should be assured that when the programme starts, some of his programmes will be included.

I thank you, Sir.


340. Mr Mwango (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    how many CD4 count machines were operating in medical institutions countrywide as at 31st December, 2009; and

(b)    how much money would be spent by the Government to purchase more CD4 count machines in 2010.

Dr Musonda: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that there were 156 CD4 count machines operating in the country as at 31st December, 2009. These machines were distributed across the country in all hospitals and some bigger health centres. These include public and mission hospitals.

Sir, the CD4 count machines are an expensive investment and machine placement depends, among others, on the cost effectiveness of having the machine at a particular institution, availability of uninterrupted power supply, and availability of trained laboratory personnel to operate it to perform tests. Therefore, all facilities without a CD4 count machine have an effective referral system for blood specimens to ensure that all clients requiring a CD4 count or test have access to the service.

With regard to part (b) of the question, I would like to inform the House that the Government has not planned to procure any CD4 count machines in 2010. This is so because there has been a lot of support from co-operating partners in the purchase of CD4 count machines. Therefore, the Government funding will, in 2010, be directed at other needy areas such as procurement of reagents and consumables needed for the CD4 count machines to perform tests, and procurement of other pieces of laboratory equipment and commodities that are key in the monitoring of patients or clients on antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Sir, there is commitment from several partners to procure CD4 count machines worth approximately US$930, which is about K4.2 billion, in 2010 for various health institutions in the country. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, Kanchibiya Constituency is a rural constituency where blood samples are taken to Ndola for CD4 count. May I know when that trend will stop because it takes long for patients to get results and, at the end of the day, you find that the patients’ health deteriorates in the process of waiting for the results?
Dr Musonda: If I heard the hon. Member’s question clearly, he said that blood samples for patients from Kanchibiya Constituency are taken to Ndola. I think that is not true. There is mix up there.
  What we were referring from most rural health centres countrywide to Ndola for diagnosis of HIV in children less than eighteen months are the dry blood spots. We only have two machines which are able to do DNA tests. One is in Ndola at Arthur Davison Hospital. In Lusaka, we have one at University Teaching Hospital and the other one is at Kalingalinga Clinic. CD4 count machines are found in almost 75 per cent of the district hospitals. I think Kanchibiya is doing quite fine with the mobile health services. Mpika District Hospital actually reaches Kanchibiya and most of these health centres do try and put people living with HIV on ART programme.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the answer given by the hon. Deputy Minister of Health. One of the millennium development goals (MDGs), which is called the MDG 6, talks about combating HIV and other diseases such as malaria. Therefore, has the Government got any plan to procure more CD4 count machines so that in almost all areas where anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs are accessed, these machines can be put in there?

Dr Musonda: Mr Speaker, I thought it was very categorical in the answer I gave that we have procured a lot. This time, we want to concentrate on making sure that we buy the consumables and everything. The hon. Member must learn that we have actually tried to reduce sending of these dry blood spots for diagnosis. We have actually bought about four viral load machines which will be coupled to DNA and these machines are already in the country. These machines will be distributed to about four provinces which have the greatest need so that we avoid sending samples for diagnosis to Ndola and Lusaka. As at now, I think what we have in terms of CD4 count machines in health institutions, for monitoring and commencement of people on ART, is quite enough.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}


341. Mr Mwango asked the Minister of Defence:

(a)    when the Zambia-China Mulungushi Textiles in Kabwe would re-open;

(b)    how much money would be injected in the re-opening of the company;

(c)    how much share capital contribution is expected from the Zambian Government; and

(d)    how many people would be employed by the company when it was fully operational.

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Mr Mulyata): Mr Speaker, the Zambia-China Mulungushi Textile is earmarked to be opened before the end of 2010. The amount of money to be injected in the re-opening of the company has not yet been determined. However, both the Chinese Government and the Zambian Government are making serious consideration on how much is to be put there. 

Sir, the share capital contribution has not yet been discussed as the Government, through the Zambia Development Agency, is still looking for a partner and it is hoped that the company will employ about 1,000 employees as was the case before its closure.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, it is always worrying because this Government is being reactive all the time. Last time, we heard that Njanji Commuter was vandalised for them to sell it. This time, they do not know how much they are going to pump in the business for them open this factory. Why do you have to wait for something to be vandalised for you to re-open it?

The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, let me begin by commending Hon. Mwango for asking this question so that we can throw some light on this very important asset. Indeed, we are all desirous to open this facility so that they can bring back employment in Kabwe and benefits to Zambia as a whole. There are certain things we have to do. The first one is that we have to assess the working capital requirements. The Zambia Development Agency is dealing with that matter. We also want to look at the structure of ownership because, currently, the Zambian Government holds 34 per cent of shareholding and 66 per cent of shareholding is held by the Chinese Government. It is our desire to look at that so that the Zambian Government can have a bit more shareholding and have some control over the operation of the asset. 

Sir, we also want to modernise the equipment so that we can be more efficient and also break into the export market, which is not the case now. All these things must be planned. It is also important to look at the documents of the joint venture so that the joint venture becomes compliant to the various legislation governing joint venture ownership.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, this is a commercial venture. It appears that there has been a lot of resistance for it to be moved from the Ministry of Defence so that it can run as a commercial entity. Is the Government not willing to take a new look at this so that it can be run as a commercial venture in which case, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry would be the parent ministry?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, certainly, that would be the desired way to go about it and that is why the Zambia Development Agency is looking for another partner so that we could have three partners and, maybe, reduce on Government ownership. Certainly, that is one of the things we are looking at.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, assuming that Mulungushi Textiles is re-opened and considering that we have over liberalised our market, what guarantee is there that this textile industry will not close again?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Chairperson, we will make sure that it does not close by ensuring that we get credible partners who will introduce new technology to the existing infrastructure and also ensure that they concentrate more on the export market because there is no export market for the produce now. In all this, we are working with the Zambia Development Agency to ensure that everything is taken into account when we make a decision.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister tell us the reasons behind the pull-out of the Chinese from this textile?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the reason for the pull-out was mainly because the company became unprofitable because of lack of investment. The machinery became old and outdated. Therefore, there was need to inject new capital in the company. That is why it closed. Everything is being done to ensure that the new investor brings in new capital and rehabilitates the existing equipment and, also, employs sound management skills so that the facility becomes much more viable again.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, I want to learn from the hon. Minister what the correct status of the company as it stands now is. Is it under liquidation? 

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the status of the company is that it is closed. During the closure, we have thirty-two members of staff under care and maintenance. They are being paid from cash left after closure and sale of some items. It is, therefore, a closure, but as we said earlier, the company will be re-opened before the end of the year. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mwamba (Kasama): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what assurance he can give this House that when the new investors come in or join hands with the Government, they will not pull out like the Chinese have done. 

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, to ensure that they do not pull out, we have to commit them in certain agreements. This is why we are looking at the current agreement to see whether it conforms to other legislation governing joint ventures. We will ensure that they do not pull out by making them compliant to what they will agree upon. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, we know that the Chinese are leaders in the textile industry all over the world. How come they are failing in this country? Are they doing it deliberately so that they continue to supply us with finished products from China?  

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, they are not deliberately failing. I mentioned the reasons that led to the closure, which are being addressed. We are aware that the Chinese are a leader in the textile industry and everything is being done to ensure that they modernise the facility. I must say that most of the infrastructure at this company is in working order. All it needs is a bit of rehabilitation. For instance, the spinning and weaving sections of the factory are still in very good order. It is only the fuel and cooler boilers that need replacement. The new investor will ensure that they improve on technology.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, now that the only investors this Government has in mind are the Chinese, who have failed, which other countries are they able to send a delegation to so that they can solicit some other investors?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the Chinese have not failed. In fact, they are the biggest investor in the mining industry and their investment portfolio is growing. It is, therefore, not entirely true to say that they have failed. The hon. Member for Chimwemwe is fully aware that they have not failed. His constituency is on the Copperbelt and I have seen a lot of investment by the Chinese in that area. This is just one particular problem concerning one particular industry and everything is being done to revive it as we have already said.  

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the history of the textile industry is such that when we opened this country to salaula, all textile industries went under. Is there any guarantee that when we have new investors, the market will be better than the one already saturated by salaula to guarantee that this textile company survives?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the survival of the company will depend on breaking into the export market. This is why we are insisting that the new investors must invest in new technology and become more competitive to sell their product at the international market. I think that this is the only way forward. 

I thank you, Sir.

342. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a)    what plans the Government had for the Mununga Quarries in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b)    how many machines were functional at the quarry as of 31st December,2009

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Nkhata): Mr Speaker, the Mununga Quarry is operated by the Tanzania-Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) and not by the Government. The Government will, however, continue to support mining operations at Mununga Quarry in the same way it supports all mining operations across the country. 

Mr Speaker, a total of seven machines were functional as of 31st December, 2009, namely wheel loader L 120, two dump trucks, compressor, drill rig, bull dozer and a scania truck. In addition, the crushing plant is also operational.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, at the moment, the quarry is not functioning because machines are not working. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government has any plans to fund the quarry. 

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Mr Speaker, we indicated in our response that seven pieces of equipment are operational, including the crushing plant. I want to repeat that this plant is being operated by TAZARA as a business to produce a stone for their roll truck. As a Government, we can only continue to provide an enabling environment. 

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, leaving aside all those pretences about TAZARA being an independent company, would the hon. Minister tell us when the Government will concession the operations of TAZARA so that its various aspects, including Mununga Quarry can be reactivated?

 Mr Speaker, at the moment, it is in a comma. It is defunct. However much complaints we might hear about the Zambia Railway Systems, the fact is that, at least, it is transporting copper, fuel and other goods to different areas whereas TAZARA is dead. When are you going to concession it and re-energise it?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has intelligently put in a new question which should be directed towards the Ministry of Communications and Transport.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the Chinese are a major stakeholder in TAZARA. I would like to find out who this Government will consult to ensure that we revamp Mununga Quarries to make certain that TAZARA performs properly.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, when we refer to a quarry, we are talk about blasting, crushing and screening. There are no further processes. It is, therefore, up to TAZARA management to operate this as a business and supply stone even to the construction industry if it so wishes. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


343. Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West) (on behalf of Mr Katuka) (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the Government would rehabilitate the National Registration Office in Mwinilunga District which collapsed a few years ago and was subsequently abandoned by staff.

The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa) (on behalf of the Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mangani): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the rehabilitation of Mwinilunga National Registration Office is scheduled to commence this year. A preliminary assessment of works to be under taken has been done. An amount of K455,274,694 for the maintenance of the building has been allocated in this year’s budget under the National Registration, Passport and Citizenship Office Headquarters and Mwinilunga will benefit from this allocation.

Sir, I further wish to state that staff at Mwinilunga National Registration Office relocated to the Office of the District Commissioner where they are currently operating until their offices are fully renovated.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


344. Mr C. K B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    when Sinda in the Eastern Province would be accorded district status; and

(b)    when Lusuntha in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency and Lumezi in Lumezi Parliamentary Constituency would be made sub-district centres.

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that there are no immediate plans to grant Sinda area in the Eastern Province district status.

Mr Speaker, the Government has no problems in making Lusuntha in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency and Lumezi in Lumezi Parliamentary Constituency as a sub-district centers provided the Lundazi District Council makes a resolution to that effect and a recommendation is made to the hon. Minister for consideration. The House may wish to note that it is the intention of the Government to take development at the right time with matching resources to the lowest level of a district. However, the Government will first have to satisfy itself that the earlier created districts are self sufficient in terms of human resources, infrastructure and revenue resource base before embarking on upgrading sub- districts into new districts. 

Mr Speaker, sub-administrative centers are established by councils themselves for administrative convenience only and the ministry only endorses the council’s decision when a recommendation is made. In this way, the Government will ensure proper transformation of sub-administration centers into well organised districts.

Mr Spekaer, the House may further wish to know that in addition to what is mentioned above, the Government takes into account the following considerations before granting district status to an area:

(i)    population of that area;

(ii)    availability of infrastructure to house personnel for local authority, Government and other institutions;

(iii)    availability of social and hospitality infrastructure such as hotels, schools hospital; and

(iv)    availability of revenue base.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing why the Government has no plans to turn Sinda into a district since the council already resolved and forwarded the resolution to the ministry. Besides that, the population is big and the infrastructure in question is already in existence. 

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is currently developing specific criteria that will be used for upgrading from sub-center to district, from district to municipal council and from municipal council to city council. Once these are concluded, since we are also liasing other various stakeholders in the development of these criteria, consideration will be given to those that have already applied. We shall also be able to check whether all those who criteria will be met and if there will be any problem, the ones that applied will be responded to accordingly.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, when are those criteria going to be established for Sinda to become a district? Is the hon. Minister aware that the issue of Sinda becoming a district had almost reached a conclusion?

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, indeed, I am aware of the developments at Sinda. With these continued developments, I’m sure when the criteria which we want to conclude as soon as possible, we should be able to make that consideration.

Mr Speaker, additionally, having had a chance of seeing the developments in Sinda, if that trend continues, most of these criteria that are being developed will be met. We just need to encourage Sinda to continue development in the way it is developing particularly, that Katete District Council is closely supervising the development in that area.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


345 Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    whether the Government intended to legalise street vending following the global recession which had affected many families; and

(b)    how many marketeers had applied to Lusaka City council for stands at the New Soweto Market?

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, the Government has no intention of allowing illegal Street vending as doing so would create anarchy in our local authorities. Legal street vending such as Saturday and Sunday markets is allowed by some local authorities in the country in designated areas at specific times. This arrangement allows venders to trade freely in those designated areas.

 Mr Speaker, 11,000 Marketeers applied for stands at the New Soweto Market.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker could the hon. Minister state the amount of money each successful applicant is required to pay once Soweto Market is completed.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I do not have the exact figure with me. Since the hon. Member for Chilubi has requested for the exact figure, I needed to refer to something concrete. Therefore, if the hon. Member is still interested in the figure, he can come to our office and that extra information will be given to him.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Scott: Mr Speaker, I am trying to be very clear on this question. How many marketeers who had stalls in the Old Soweto Market and were persuaded to abandon them on the understanding that they would receive new ones after the market had been converted into New Soweto have not been allocated stalls yet? In fact, these marketeers were on the master list compiled by a committee which was replaced on instruction by the predecessor of the current hon. Minister. How many marketeers are in effect going to be disposed and their stalls given to the Movement of Multi-party Democracy (MMD) cadres or whatever.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order!

Mr Scott:  Could the hon. Minister guarantee that this …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, we do not want these issues to take a political dimension and that is why as far as this Government is concerned, we have the Markets and Bus Stations Act in place, an indication that the Government wants orderliness. We are not talking about cadres here, but issues in Soweto Market and the availability of stalls. We have indicated in our response that 11,000 marketers applied, but the number of shops did not correspond to that number. It is basically an issue of supply and demand. The stalls available are less than the demand for them and so in such a situation, you will find all sorts of problems. Now this Government, which is in control, will not allow any politicisation of those areas.

Mr Speaker, let me make it clear to the hon. Member for Lusaka Central that we are considering all these issues. We know all those who were displaced in order to pave way for that development that is under this Government which is implementing the mandate it has been given. We shall, therefore, continue to harmonise issues. I am aware of that historical perspective that you indicated and we shall harmonise the issues. We have people who were displaced. In addition, at one time, people were encouraged to apply. All these issues are being harmonised and very soon, we will conclude and move forward.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Colonel Chanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that the jurisdiction of the allocation of stands, in respective markets, is vested in local authorities. Is he, therefore, aware that the meddling by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing in the allocation of stands at the New Lusaka market has created havoc for the Lusaka City Council?

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I would like to make it clear that there is no meddling. Where things go wrong, the Central Government has a role to play and this is done by intervening. We cannot just watch when things are going wrong. We have to intervene whenever it is necessary. The local authorities are responsible for these markets and if we see that they are not carrying out their functions well, we have the right to intervene and that is not interference or meddling.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, illegal street vending has made itself legal by being supported by all those walking on the streets, including hon. Ministers, and hon. Members of Parliament who buy talk time and other items from street vendors. When will the ministry consider finding ways of collecting tax from these people to help this country?


Hon. Member: What kind of pact is this where others are for tax and others not?

Dr Kazonga: I understand the concern of the hon. Member and, as a Government, we sit in order to resolve the issues that we see are at variance with our vision. We, therefore, take note of the concerns that are being raised and at an appropriate time, we shall inform you of what action will be taken.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, as a matter of policy and principle, I would like the hon. Minister to be clear on whether any of those marketers who had stalls in these markets are going to be left out. I would also like the hon. Minister to state clearly what failure the Government has seen in the local councils for them to get involved and interfere.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, one of the problems that we saw that resulted in the Government intervening and not interfering was that there were double allocations. In some cases, we had three people allocated to one shop and definitely, we needed to bring order to that and that is how some people had to take action by going to the courts of law and they won the case.

Mr Speaker, it is, therefore, important that we move together because these markets are meant for all of us. We buy food and other people buy food for us from there and so we need orderliness. Now in terms of the original marketers who were displaced, I want to make it clear that they were displaced in order to facilitate for the development to take place.

Mr Speaker, simple logic demands that those should have been the first ones to be considered and so I would like to confirm that those who were displaced will be the first ones to be considered and the remainder of the stands will go to the rest of the applicants. I have had several meetings with various stakeholders and we are moving well because we are discussing these issues amicably.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to simply explain whether street vending is illegal or legal and whether it is allowed outside the central business centre.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, to answer the first part, I would like to say that street vending is illegal.

Mr Speaker, to answer the other part of the question, I would like to state that the local authorities are given the mandate to look at certain market streets. We have the Markets and Bus Stations Act No. 7 of 2007 and under Section 7, it gives details and Part I says: “A local authority may, on its notion or on the application of any person, club or co-operative, designate any place for a specified period as a market street”. 

The second one says:

“A local authority may make by-laws for prescribing the days on which a market street may operate and also prescribing the goods which may be sold on a market street and regulating traffic and access to that market street”.

Mr Speaker, all these are within the mandate of the local authority and the hon. Member for Mandevu who is also a councillor in the Lusaka City Council has all these powers and functions given to her and I urge her to make use of them.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, there is no more funding for police officers to monitor and control street vending in the streets of Lusaka. I would like to find out if we are, again, going back to a situation where our streets will be full of vendors.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, the control of street vendors is the responsibility of the local authority. The Central Government comes in when we see that something is going wrong and nothing is being done. 

Mr Speaker, I will take advantage of this supplementary question to instruct the Lusaka City Council to ensure that we do not have street vendors back on the streets because that is their responsibility and they should do their work. 

The Government has delegated some of the responsibilities to the local authorities, therefore, we demand that these functions be performed to the best of their abilities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, since they know that the Government policy is to give markets to the Zambia National Marketeers Association (ZANAMA), how many of these stalls have you given to ZANAMA so that people can apply for them and how many are for the Government?

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chimwemwe is aware that the criteria for allocation of these stalls, is not membership to an association or being in Government, but simply to be in that particular trade. We have talked about marketers, but we have not specified where these marketers belong to. We are simply saying we are going to deal with this issue objectively without having any biased opinions. We want people to trade from that area because there are so many people who require to trade from that New Soweto Market. We are focussed and we want to move and nobody is going to deter us. We have to perform to the best of our ability and we will do our best, as a Government, to deliver to the people of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


346. Mr Mukanga asked the Minister of Health how many ambulances the following hospitals currently had:

(a)    Kamuchanga; and 
(b)    Ronald Ross.

Dr Musonda: Mr Speaker, Kamuchanga and Ronald Ross hospitals have no ambulances as at now. However, the two facilities …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! There is too much loud consultation.

Can the hon. Minister continue.

Dr Musonda: … have new Toyota Land Cruisers which are being used as ambulances to ferry patients.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, when is the ministry going to procure proper ambulances and distribute them to all health centres countrywide in order for people, even at Ronald Ross and Kamuchanga hospitals in Mufulira, to get decent primary health care?

Dr Musonda: Mr Speaker, …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The Chief Whip has issued reminders to all of us not to make noise in the House and we seem not to take heed. I particularly get concerned when the people on my right make noise when there is an hon. Minister answering a question on the Floor. I am not saying the people on my left should also make noise.

Can you continue, hon. Minister.

Dr Musonda: Mr Speaker, I was just saying that the concerns from the hon. Member are very valid, we really need to have the right type of vehicles as ambulances to ferry patients. I think the hon. Member may agree with me that the Government spent quite a lot of money to buy those ambulances just the previous year, where we gave vehicles to all the hospitals, District Health Management Teams (DHMTs), including some of the bigger health centres to try and help them. 

Mr Speaker, the biggest problems we had were both how to ferry patients and its administration. That is why we had to find something that would be multi-purpose. Currently, those vehicles are doing a good job of ferrying patients in time. In fact, for hospitals, it is may be a big problem because the District Health management Team (DHMT) or clinics are the ones which have a bulk of referrals to the hospitals. Ronald Ross Hospital refers very few patients to Ndola Central Hospital.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Kapata: Mr Speaker, this year, it is forty-six years after independence, but we still have the sorry sight of some people being moved from one place to another on a wheelbarrow. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister, who claims that there are two land cruisers that carry these patients from referral clinics to these mentioned hospitals, what minimal, I emphasise, minimal, requirement these vehicles have in terms of being an ambulance?

Dr Musonda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member should actually commend this Government for it is doing a good job, especially in Lusaka …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musonda: … urban district where almost all the hospitals have a prescribed ambulance. So, she has to actually commend the Government where it is due, …

Mr Magande: Yes.

Dr Musonda: … but for the sake of answering her question on the minimum requirements, of course, she knows, coming from a medical profession background, that we have put the first aid box with all the emergency drugs and a very comfortable bed for the patient and there is a very free long seat where two nurses can sit as they transport the patient on referral. That is quite minimum standard. Essentially, we are supposed to have oxygen and other resuscitative equipment on an ambulance, but the minimum has been met.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, a similar situation is obtaining in Chingola at Nchanga General Hospital where they are using these land cruisers as ambulances. In the case of Chingola, all emergency cases are taken to Kitwe District Hospital where there are facilities. There have been reports and I have received some that there have been deaths recorded …

The Deputy Chairperson: What is your question?

Mr Simuusa: I am coming to the question.

The Deputy Chairperson: No, you ask your question.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, arising from the reported deaths that I have received about patients dying as they are being transferred to another health centre on these land cruisers because of lack of adequate facilities, especially oxygen and resuscitating equipment which the hon. Minister has already alluded to, is this Government going to take responsibility for those deaths due to lack of sufficient facilities on these land cruisers which are being used as ambulances?

The Deputy Chairperson: This question is specific to Kamuchanga and Ronald Ross, but if the hon. Minister has a bonus answer he can answer.

Dr Musonda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member should be wishing that I should have been there in Chingola. He has given a situation which is not true. In fact, I would even urge this hon. Member to emulate his counterpart, the hon. Member for Chingola Central, who just this year has bought an ambulance, through CDF, to try and help people there.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musonda: Mr Speaker, this is what we should be encouraging each other so that more other hon. Members can try and supplement what the Government is doing. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musonda: In fact, in his constituency, Kabundi Clinic has an ambulance which has everything and I am wondering what he is talking about by saying that we have lost some deaths.

I thank you, Sir.


347. Mr Mukanga asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources:

(a)    how many white rhinos were in Zambia’s national parks as of 30th October, 2009; and 

(b)    what measures had been taken to protect these endangered species.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Mwangala): Mr Speaker, there were only five white rhinos in Zambia as of 30th October, 2009 and these were in Mosi-o-Tunya National Park in Livingstone. These five white rhinos comprise of two male and three female. The three female and one male were brought from South Africa in 2008. One male white rhino is the remnant of the five white rhinos brought in 1994. Four of these died due to poaching and unknown causes.

Mr Speaker, in order to protect this endangered species, the rhinos are under 24 hour surveillance by a specific armed team. Secondly, there is a rhino protection plan for the park that gives specific guidelines for the protection of white rhinos and thirdly, the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) follows the guidelines stipulated in the rhino management strategy for good management of rhino species in Zambia.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there are intentions of discussing with the Zimbabwean Government to get some rhinos from there because they have about 500 rhinos.

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Ms Namugala): Mr Speaker, yes, in fact we are not just engaging the Zimbabwean Government, but the South African Government as well on some exchange programme so that we can give them some species that we have in abundance in exchange for rhinos.

I thank you.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister say if these white rhinos are native to Zambia because we seem just to be importing and then they die. Are we trying to force something that is not possible or is it just that our poachers are so agile that they can not allow these animals to live?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, there are records that show that white rhinos were there in Siyomangwezi. What we know as an indigenous though is the black rhino and we had it in abundance before 1990 when it was totaly decimated.

I thank you.

Major Chizhyuka: Sir, it is quite clear that the rhino population will not survive in our country for as long as we do not empower ZAWA directly to be effective in the guarding of our wildlife to the extent that Zimbabwe, which is even a poorer country does. Do we have measures in place, hon. Minister, to ensure that we protect the white rhino and indeed wildlife to the extent that the other countries are doing so that we do not lose very important indigenous species like the black rhino?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, conservation is very expensive. Currently the budgetary allocation to ZAWA is not sufficient for it to be able to empower even the wildlife police officers to provide the protection that is required for wildlife. I have said in this House before that ZAWA requires US$20 million in order for it to operate effectively. The allocation to ZAWA is less than US$1 million from the Government. So clearly, it is expensive to conserve wildlife, but it depends on the resource allocation from the central Government.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, in 1993 those five white rhinos came from South Africa and by the time of their demise, they had not given birth to any calves. Is the hon. Minister aware that there is some information that those rhinos which came into Zambia were sterilized and now they want to exchange with the South African authorities with more species in Zambia and if she is aware, what measures will the ministry take to see it that the rhinos that come into Zambia will be able to multiply?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I am certainly not aware that the rhinos that came from South Africa were sterile. However, what I know is that the rhinos that we have in North Luangwa have actually given birth. I know that we had twenty and lost three. As of now, the black rhino population in North Luangwa, stands at twenty-two. So the rhinos that have been coming from South Africa, in my opinion, have not been sterilized as said by the hon. Member of parliament, but I will indeed find out whether there is any truth in what he is saying.

 I thank you.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister shade more light why both the black and white rhino are in high demand, especially for their horns.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker. There are all sorts of myths about the rhino horn, ranging from it being an aphrodisiac and so on.


Mr Namugala: However, I want to say that indeed the rhino is a highly endangered specie and we are concerned as Government that we are not able to increase the population of rhinos in the country at the rate we would like to. The rhino population in the country at the moment was actually given to us by other range countries. So we are very concerned and I also want to say to the public through this House, that most of the beliefs that surround the rhino horn are just myths. So we would like to conserve this very important member of the big five.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chongo: Mr Speaker, may I know from the hon. Minister whether it would be expedient and prudent, in light of inadequate funds given to ZAWA, to consider relocating the endangered species in one area where they can be effectively monitored.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister did indicate that there is programme to guard this very special species 24/7. So there is a guard at any given point and time guarding both the black and white rhino. So we are trying our best. We have even gone to the extent of dehorning some of the rhinos to try and make them less attractive to poachers.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

   Mr Malama: Mr Speaker is the hon. Minister aware that most of the game rangers have shifted from guarding other animals to guarding rhinos, if he is, what is the ministry doing to ensure that all the animals in Mfuwe Constituency are protected?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, we only have rhinos in Mosi-O- Tunya National Park and not Luangwa National Park. Therefore, it is not true that all the police officers in the nineteen national parks are guarding rhinos in North Luangwa and Mosi-O-Tunya National Parks.

I thank you, Sir.




The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1206 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 9th March, 2010