Debates- Tuesday, 1st December, 2009

Printer Friendly and PDF


Tuesday, 1st December, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours







Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that Mr Clever Silavwe, hon. Member of Parliament for Nakonde Constituency, has been nominated member of the Pan-African-Parliament replacing Hon. Richard Sikwibele Mwapela, MP, who was appointed hon. Deputy Minister for Western Province.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to acquaint the House with the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of a delegation from the Parliament of Uganda. The names of the hon. Members of Parliament are:
(i)        Hon. Tashobya Stephen, Chairperson of the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Leader of the Delegation;

(ii)        Hon. Baka Stephen Mugabi, MP;

(iii)        Hon. Mpabwa Sarah, MP; and

(iv)        Hon. Njuba Sam, MP.

The hon. Members are accompanied by Ms Harriet B. Apiny, legal counsel and secretary to the delegation.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: We welcome them warmly and are happy to have them in our midst.

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




214. Mr Chanda (Kankoyo) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a)        how much money had been invested in the rail infrastructure by the Railway Systems of Zambia from the time the company was given the concession to run the railways; and

(b)        what major achievements had been recorded from the investment.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Madam Speaker, the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) has invested about US$25 million from the year 2003 up to the end of 2009.

The major achievements of the company include the following:

(i)    increased freight capacity as more than 500 wagons were rehabilitated for customer use;

(ii)    more than 50 per cent reduction in derailments from 461 in 2003 to 206 in 2008, thereby enhancing safety in operations;

(iii)        a total of fourteen locomotives were rehabilitated;

(iv)        new equipment and tools such as hydraulic jacks/pumps were procured for timely handling of derailments, maintenance of infrastructure and rolling stock reducing the RSZ response time to operational challenges and failures;

(v)        continued upgrade of communication systems which included the installation of a modern based signalling system called the Track Warrant Systems; and

(vi)        procurement of new motor vehicles.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chanda: I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if the Government has any plans to revoke the concession in order to save the Zambian railway system from total collapse.

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, there are no such plans as of now. However, the Government is continuously engaging the RSZ into the issues that affect the railway systems more especially the recapitalisation of the railway line.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Madam Speaker, through you, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that the total network of the Zambian railway system has almost collapsed to the extent that the entire signal system is no longer working and human beings are being used to control traffic.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the system did collapse at some point, and that is the reason the Government took the decision to concession the railway system. Clearly, from 2003 to-date, and as we have indicated in our response, the company to whom the railway system was concessioned has been investing resources in the railway line. If the hon. Member cares, I can give him a detailed breakdown of how much has been invested by the company in the different operations of the railway system. 

Madam Speaker, let me probably go into details in terms of what has been done so far. In terms of infrastructure, the company has invested US$10.7 million in slippers and over 200,000 slippers which include wooden bridges and steel slippers have been laid on the railway line from 200,000.

In the area of infrastructure, the company has invested well over US$180,000 in renovating buildings and storage facilities, especially in Ndola. Furthermore, in the area of communication, the company has invested over US$318,000 in upgrading the radio communication system through the microwave links. 

Apart from that, the company has gone further to overhaul locomotives at the cost of US$5.2 million over the last three years. It has gone further to overhaul over 500 wagons, as we indicated, at the cost of US$900,000. The company has gone further to work on the overhaul of the workshop by procuring equipment and other machinery at the cost of US$1.5 million.

As regards the information system, the company has invested well over US$230,000 to improve the communication system as we did indicate in our response. Of course, the company has gone further to look at the passenger coaches and US$1.5 million has been spent to procure twenty-eight coaches. Furthermore, the company has spent K300,000 to rehabilitate twenty-six coaches. These are some of the funds the company has been injecting in the railway system from the year 2003. 

Clearly, given the problems the railway system has been facing or has faced in the past, these are measures which have been taken. The improvements cannot be done overnight, but some steps are being taken to improve the system.

Thank you, Madam.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam, from the hon. Minister’s statement, it appears all is well at the RSZ, and yet it is not. May I know if the RSZ is doing much better than the Zambia Railways Limited was? If so, why do mining companies prefer to use road transport which is more expensive than rail transport?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam, I did not say that all is rosy or well. What I said is that putting these different measures in place is an indication that steps are being taken to address the major problems that the Zambian railway system has been facing. Comparing Zambia Railways Limited and RSZ, depends on the stage at which the comparison is being made. If it is being made at the tail end of Zambia Railways Limited, there are major problems which the system faced. That is why the Government took the decision to concession the railway system.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Madam, the hon. Member for Monze asked about the lack of a communication system. Is the hon. Minister aware that some of the properties of Zambia Railways Limited are being sold and shed off? If we are selling the assets of Zambia Railways as well as the land next to the railway line, how will we carry out any future expansion of the railway system when the Government decides to invest in railway transport so that there can be more traffic on the railway system in the country?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam, if the hon. Member has the facts on the properties that have been sold and by whom and to whom, we will be very glad to get that information. However, as of now, I do not have such facts with me.
I thank you, Madam.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Madam, when the concession was made, obviously, there were certain agreements with regard to investment. Therefore, are the investments and achievements made by RSZ in line with the concession? If so, why is RSZ or the Zambian railway system still not performing six years down the line?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam, the hon. Member ought to know that running a railway system is not an easy project. It is very expensive. It requires a lot of resources to recapitalise it because there are many dimensions involved in managing a railway system. Clearly, the nation is expecting the railway system to operate at the highest level of efficiency, but given the level of dilapidation the railway system experienced, the steps being taken to address the numerous problems that the railway system experienced are the right ones and are in line with the concession.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Madam, when you are talking about running the Zambian railway system, you should talk about capacities. How many passenger and freight trains were running in 2003 compared to now? What speeds can you command on the railway line? There are specific statistics used to ...

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! You are debating.

You may continue.

Mr Hachipuka: I am not. I am asking...

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Ask your question. Do not respond.

You may continue, please.

Mr Hachipuka: Thank you, Madam. 

Madam, for me to understand whether these investments are meaningful or not, I would like to learn the capacities available on the Zambian railway system in 2003 compared to now.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam, we would be very glad to provide the data on the capacities in terms of the coaches, wagons and locomotives that were there in 2002 and the number of both passengers and goods that used the railway system. However, the question that was asked was about the resources which had been injected in the railway systems of Zambia and the achievements that had been made so far. The information we have, as of now, pertains to that question. I will be very glad to offer more information if the hon. Member for Mbabala can put that question to us. We can go and dig out the information and give it to him so that he is satisfied with the capacity then and the capacity now.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Madam, may the hon. Minster confirm that in concessioning Zambia Railways Limited, there is one chief executive still working. If, there was any sale, it is actually Zambia Railways Limited that disposed of items such as land or buildings along the line of rail and not the RSZ.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

You have asked your question, so, do not shout from your seat.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam, yes, we have Zambia Railways Limited which, of course, is overseeing the operations of the system. In fact, it is the custodian of the property which is Government owned.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Zulu (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam, the traffic lights at railway crossings have been replaced by human beings and some small structures have been built. Is the hon. Minister aware that these structures have no water and toilet facilities for the workers who guard them for about eight hours?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam, clearly, rehabilitating of the railway line is a continuous process which cannot be completed within a short period of time. The company has continued to rehabilitate and make the system operational, efficient and effective.

I thank you, Madam.


215. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a)    when the Government would construct bridges across the following rivers in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency:

(i)    Mwaleshi River to connect Chief Mukungule’s Palace to Chishala Basic School; and
(ii)    Kapamba River to connect Chobela and Kaluba schools; and

(b)    when the Government would rehabilitate the bridge on the Mpamazi River in Chief Mpumba’s area.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Kalila): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the ministry has no immediate plans to construct a bridge across the Mwaleshi River to connect to Chief Mukungule’s Palace through to Chishala Basic School.

Secondly, the ministry has no immediate plans to construct a bridge across the Kapamba River to connect Chobela School to Kaluba School; 

The ministry, through the Roads Development Agency (RDA), intends to use a portion of the funds allocated to cycle management to carry out the rehabilitation of the Mpamazi Road including the bridges. The Government owned plant and equipment will be utilised for this.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Malama: Madam Speaker, last year, China Geo, the company which was given the contract to do the works on the Katilumba Road could not cross to do the works on the other side of the river because of the same bridge. I would like to find out why the Government has not allocated any funds to this bridge despite promising the people that China Geo will complete works on this road after the construction of the bridge.

Dr Kalila: Madam Speaker, I would like to say that the Government is considering undertaking the works on this bridge in the 2011 Budget …


Dr Kalila: Sorry, in the 2011 Annual Work Plan under the RDA.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Madam Speaker, since that is a Government assurance, I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister how much money is expected to be spent on the bridge. 

Dr Kalila: Madam Speaker, matters of figures require precision. As that is a new question, I urge the hon. Member to submit it because I do not have the figures available off hand at the moment.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Madam Speaker, it has become a tradition of this Government to wait for the President to give directives for some works to be done. By this, I am referring to a road in Zambezi which the President directed should be worked on. Is the Government waiting for the President to give a directive that the bridges in Mfuwe Constituency should be constructed because people are suffering? Are you waiting for the chiefs to cry for the Government to move?

Dr Kalila: Madam Speaker, I have already answered that matters relating to that bridge are being considered under the 2011 Annual Work Plan under the RDA.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Madam Speaker, there are old pontoons on a number of these rivers in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency. When is the Government going to come up with a master plan to ensure that bridges are constructed on these rivers so that people’s lives are not endangered?

Madam Deputy Speaker: The question has gone beyond Mfuwe.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


216. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development:

(a)    how much money the Government spent on sending the national soccer team to the inaugural African Nations Championship (CHAN) Tournament in Ivory Cost in 2009;

(b)    how many people were on the entourage; and 

(c)    what prizes were given by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to the:

(i)    winning team;
(ii)    runners-up;
(iii)    third position; and
(iv)    fourth position.

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Ms Lundwe): Madam Speaker, in response to Hon. Chipili’s question …

Hon. Members: Not Hon. Chipili!

Ms Lundwe: Madam Speaker, bear with me I have left my reading glasses.

Mr Imenda: All the same you can read.


Ms Lundwe: Sorry, the hon. Member for Chipili Constituency.

Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government spent K691,706,900.00 to send the National Soccer Team to the inaugural African National Championship (CHAN) Tournament in Ivory Cost this year broken down as follows:

(i)    on allowances plus winning bonuses, a total of K415,698,600 or the equivalent of US$72,700 was spent;

(ii)    on medical fees and refunds to players, a total of K25,592,200 or the equivalent of US$4,400 was spent;

(iii)    on air tickets, a total of  K144,992,100 was spent; and 

(iv)    on local camping we spent K105,857,000.

Madam Speaker, there were thirty-one people on the CHAN entourage whose breakdown is as follows:

(i)    twenty-two players;

(ii)    seven Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) officials; and 

(iii)    two Government officials.

Madam Speaker, no prizes were given by CAF to the winning team, runners-up, third and fourth placed teams at the CHAN Tournament. However, each team that participated in this tournament received US$35,000 as appearance allowance.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, the Government spent K691.7 million. In return, we got K175 million. Could the hon. Minister indicate to this august House what economic benefit the country got from sending the team to that tournament?

The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Chipungu): Madam Speaker, obviously the benefits were for our boys. It is very clear, and we have indicated on the Floor of this House, that due to unemployment in this country, sport or football in particular, is a source of employment. Furthermore, the fact that our boys went to participate in the tournament means that they were economically empowered.

Madam Speaker, I have just returned from a world conference on peace and sport which looked at the importance of us appreciating and using sport to promote peace.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, I agree with the hon. Minister that football offers opportunities for people to get employed. I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister has seen that when a Zambian coach loses one game, he is fired, but when a foreign coach loses twenty games consecutively, he is maintained. Are we not denying Zambian coaches who are even better than foreign coaches jobs?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: Madam Speaker, I it is not the responsibility of the hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development to fire a coach. A coach is employed by FAZ. I am sure that when they see it fit to do so, they will take the appropriate step either to fire or leave him. 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, in her response, the hon. Deputy Minister said that we spent US$75,000 on allowances and winning bonuses. We are always told that we keep losing because the players are not motivated enough. How much is each player paid per game as winning bonus?

Mr Chipungu: Madam Speaker, I think here we are referring to the CHAN Tournament. There was a daily allowance of US$50 per day given to the players and a preliminary round allowance of US$400. There was a winning bonus for the semi-final of US$500 to each player.

Madam Speaker, the situation is different when it comes to the World Cup. The World Cup offered US$3,500 per player if they won a match.

I thank you, Madam Speaker. 

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, he who has the peso, has the say-so.

Mr Muyanda: Correct!

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, as Government, we have the peso and we are   spending a lot of it on FAZ, but we have no say on how it runs things. Can the hon. Minister explain why we should spend our peso on something we have no say on..

Mr Muyanda: Very good!

Mr Chipungu: Madam Speaker, I think we are doing this purely in national interest. I will pose a question to the hon. Member here. 


Mr Chipungu: Madam Speaker, if we refused to participate in a tournament of this magnitude, what would the hon. Members say about the Government? It is important that we participate in such tournaments. The question of winning is another issue, but the most important thing which we have seen certainly is that there has been an improvement in the standards of playing the game.

Hon. Opposition Members: Where?

Mr Chipungu: My ministry and FAZ are looking at ways and means of improving on the scoring techniques so that the national team is able to bring glory to this country again.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


218. Mr Mwango (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the Government would rehabilitate the following roads in Kanchibiya Parliamentary Constituency:

(i)    T2 Chiunda Ponde-Muwele Road;

(ii)    Kopa-Chinkoba Road; and

(iii)    Chalabesa-Kabinga Road. 

Dr Kalila: Madam Chairperson, the maintenance of T2 Chiunda Ponde-Muwele Road will be carried out under the force account through the use of the Government owned plant and equipment which is being managed by the Rural Road Rehabilitation Unit (RRRU). An amount of K900 million has been secured to carry out the road maintenance. Works should have commenced by the end of November, 2009. 

The ministry has plans to rehabilitate the Kopa-Chinkoba Road, but due to limited funding, the road will only be included in the 2011 Annual Work Plan for rehabilitation. 

The ministry is desirous to carry out the rehabilitation of the Chalabesa-Kabinga Road, but due to limited funding, no major works have been carried out except for limited maintenance works which were done in previous years. However, the ministry intends to include the road in the 2011 Annual Work Plan so that it can be rehabilitated.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwango: Madam Speaker, the T2 Chiunda Ponde-Muwele Road is about 112 kilometres. May I know how many kilometers the K900 million which has been allocated will do.

Dr Kalila: Madam Speaker, this amount of money was transferred on 17th November, 2009, and the work has not commenced in earnest, but the mobilisation to commence the work is in progress. The money that has been released will go as far as it can take the work.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili:  Madam Speaker, during the by-election in Kanchibiya, we saw some cosmetic grading on the Chiunda Ponde Road. May I find out from the hon. Minister whether we should be waiting for by-elections in order for our roads to be done?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Madam Speaker, road maintenance is part of the Government’s responsibility. This Government will certainly not wait until there is a by-election. As I have clearly stated, on the 17th November, 2009, we transferred money for the purposes of doing this road. I am very sure that there was no by-election in that constituency on the 17th November, 2009.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Malama: Madam Speaker, may I find out why the machines were removed immediately the ruling party lost to the Patriotic Front (PF).

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Madam Speaker, I notice that that question has no bearing on the subject under discussion.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the First Report of the Committee on Government Assurances, for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on, 27th November, 2009.

The Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Kasoko (Mwembeshi): Yes, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, your Committee were guided in their operations by their terms of reference which are enshrined in Standing Orders No.155 of the National Assembly. 

Madam Speaker, allow me to highlight some pertinent assurances which were discussed in detail by your Committee. On 14th February, 2009, the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development assured the House as follows:

“Mr Speaker, it is, indeed, correct that with regard to generation, transmission and distribution, the biggest burden, in terms of cost, is distribution. Should it be found necessary to separate as part of the recommendations of the study, Government will consider that.”

Madam Speaker, your Committee are of the view that there is need to improve the service delivery of the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) because as the situation stands now, the service delivery and general operation of ZESCO are below par, to say the least. There is one major remedy to this problem, which is to commercialise and dismantle ZESCO into three separate units, namely, generation, transmission and distribution. It is in this regard that your Committee urge the Government to expedite the commercialisation and dismantling of ZESCO into three operating units.    

Madam Speaker, your Committee are eagerly looking forward to the realisation of this assurance as Zambians are tired of persistent power disruptions due to repeated break downs of the machinery in the power stations. 

Madam Speaker, it is undisputed that electricity power supply is needed at all costs in the country. For meaningful development to take place in this country, undisrupted power supply should be a step ahead in advancing developmental projects in the country. It is in this light that your Committee urge the Government to put in place stringent measures to ensure that the hydro-power projects are worked on within the stipulated time frame. Itezhi-tezhi hydro project should be worked on within the next two years. Kariba North Bank extension should be worked on within the next two to three years. The Kalungwishi Hydro Power Project should be worked from 2010 to 2014. Last but not least, the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro Power Project should be worked form 2011 to 2016.
Madam Speaker, the need for increased power supply is of paramount importance to both urban and rural areas. With the Rural Electrification Programme in place, increased power supply is assured in these areas. 

Madam Speaker, allow me, now, to discuss the importance of the railway network in the country. Madam, there is need to revamp the railway network in our country as huge loads of copper and other heavy equipment are now being transported by road which reduces the life span of the roads. 

Madam Speaker, it seems the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) has failed to run the railway line from the Copperbelt to Livingstone into Zimbabwe. Your Committee urge the Government to look for a serious partner to revitalise the railway network as recommended by this House. 

Madam Speaker, on 13th March, 2008, the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport made the following undertaking on the Floor of the House with regard to re-engaging the RSZ to review the concession agreements:

“Madam Chairperson, during the year under review, the Government continued to engage the Railway Systems of Zambia through negotiations on reviewing the concession agreements and investment plan, with a view to improving passenger and freight train services. The discussion will be pursued with vigour in 2008.”

Madam Speaker, this is 2009 and up to now, there is no activity on the railway network in the country. The United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government invested heavily in the transport sector. The subsequent Governments, however, have totally neglected this sector. Instead of improving on what the UNIP Government left, the country has gone three or four steps backwards. Other nations are thinking of introducing electricity powered trains or locomotives while Zambia continues with the status quo. Why is the Government sitting back without ensuring that life is brought back into the railway network in the county?
Madam Speaker, even the Tanzania Zambia Railway Line (TAZARA), which used to be vibrant, has become lifeless of late. This is a worrisome situation. Your Committee wish to implore the Government to devise new strategies and measures to revamp the entire railway network in the country as the benefits are immense. 

Madam Speaker, on 23rd November, 2007, the hon. Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services made the following undertaking on the Floor of the House with regard to beaming live parliamentary debates on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) television network:

“Mr Speaker, my ministry is seriously considering the introduction of the second television channel which will take such a facility.”

Madam Speaker, when this assurance was made in this House, the hon. Deputy Minister was aware that the Inside Parliament Programme was being aired by ZNBC after the 2200 hours news brief. However, he went on to state that the Government was seriously considering the introduction of a second television channel to start beaming live parliamentary debates. It is because of this that your Committee express great surprise to learn that neither the ministry nor ZNBC has any plans to start beaming live parliamentary debates on ZNBC television channel as indicated by the hon. Minister.

Madam Speaker, your Committee wish to request the hon. Minister who issued the assurance in the House to come back to the House to reverse what he stated on the Floor of the House. Further, your Committee wish to urge the technocrats to adequately provide well-researched information to their hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers as it is embarrassing to make assurances and then be asked to withdraw what was issued with conviction and certainty. 

Madam Speaker, it is the hope of your Committee that these and many other assurances contained in the First Report of your Committee on Government Assurances will soon be implemented by the Government. Your Committee want to see the implementation of the assurances. This will instill integrity and seriousness in Government operations. 

Finally, your Committee wish to thank you for appointing them to serve on this Committee and for your guidance during their deliberations. Gratitude also goes to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the expert services rendered to your Committee throughout the year.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Kasoko: Now, Madam Speaker. 

Madam Speaker, I beg to second that this House do adopt the First Report of the Committee on Government Assurances for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. 

Madam Speaker, members of the Executive are never under any undue pressure whatsoever when making assurances on the Floor of this House. Your Committee, however, note, with disappointment, that more often than not, most assurances are not adequately addressed by the Executive on account of lack of sufficient funds. 

Madam Speaker, your, Committee wish to urge the Executive that before they make any pronouncements or assurances to this House, they should be sure that resources will be found to address the assurances, otherwise they render such assurances mere empty promises.

Madam Speaker, with these few words, I urge this House to support your Committee’s report.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute on the report on Government Assurances.

Madam Speaker, from the outset, I want to say that I am part of the Committee on Government Assurances. For that reason, allow me to thank the members of your Committee for a job well done. You need to know that most of the members that constituted your Committee are not in this Committee for the first time. Therefore, I want to pay tribute to them for the job that they did in the previous Committee.

Madam Speaker, I just want to highlight a few issues that I was concerned about as a member of this Committee, in particular, the fulfillment of assurances by the Executive. I wish to commend the Ministry of Education for meeting most of the assurances which it made. We were not disappointed as a Committee. Therefore, they did a commendable job.  You can talk about the provision of sixteen secondary schools. They even did beyond what they indicated they would do.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo: This is, indeed, commendable.

Madam Speaker, I have reservations, especially with regard to the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, vis-à-vis the contraction of local contractors and also regarding the issue of safety in the mines.

 Madam Speaker, we were saddened as a Committee, especially in certain areas like Lumwana Mine in particular…

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

I have to give a little guidance to hon. Members. When you are part of a Committee, we do not generally encourage you to debate because you will start saying what your Chairperson ought to have said. When you are a member, it is your report and, therefore, you are represented by the Chairperson. Therefore, when you start speaking, you will see that you go over issues that have already been stated very clearly. In short, all your concerns were captured. Therefore, you may just wait for your Committee report to be adopted.

Mr Chongo: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for that guidance.  

Madam Speaker, I just want to say that in the implementation of these assurances, I want to urge the Government to seriously look into these issues especially in areas like the Judiciary and the construction of Nyalungwe Local Court in particular where the issue is known and we do not know who is supposed to tackle it. It is not known whether it is the Judiciary or the Ministry of Justice. In that vein, I want to ask His Honour, the Vice-President to look into that issue so that it can be ironed out because it is one of the areas that was a grey area in our work.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Madam Speaker, I wish to support the First Report of the Committee on Government Assurances.

Madam Speaker, this is the Committee which should keep this Government on its toes. There must be harmony. I am happy to say that in certain ministries, hon. Ministers and their Permanent Secretaries take the Committee on Government Assurance seriously. Once there is an assurance in this House, they take the trouble to follow it up to ensure that what they have given as an assurance is implemented. I want to commend that. Some hon. Ministers and their Permanent Secretaries have been able to respond properly. However, the problem is with some hon. Ministers and their Permanent Secretaries because they take it that the Committee on Government Assurances is not a serious committee

Madam Speaker, I would like a situation where one hon. Minister will be censured here for misinforming and telling lies …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!  

No one tells lies in this House.

Mr Muntanga: They must be censured for not telling the truth or economising on the truth. These people want to impress the public. We do not know whether it is a political platform because they do not mean what they tell us. It must be emphasised that when you stand up as an hon. Minister and tell the nation, through this House, that such and such will be done, it has to be done because you have told this nation through this Parliament that you are going to do it. There is a tendency for some hon. Ministers to ignore what they say.

For example, there were questions on the RSZ. There was a question on the revision of the concession. It is sad to say that this has not been brought to this House.

 Madam, you will recall that there was a debate on the Floor of this House regarding the RSZ about three or four years ago.  What was agreed is not correct. For someone to run passenger services, there was supposed to be an agreement and understanding with the RSZ.

Madam Speaker, you may be aware that there was an agreement between the RSZ and Spoornet of South Africa which was running the passenger service. When they cancelled that agreement, they knew that they were going to have an agreement with another person who was going to run the passenger service, and yet nothing has been communicated, through this House, as to what has been done so far. If you are not sure of what I am talking about, I want to challenge you to go and get the concession agreement and read it. Even the Njanji Railway that you are talking about is under the control of the RSZ although they are failing to run it. Therefore, if you are going to have another person to run the passenger service, RSZ must be consulted.

Madam Speaker, last time, I asked how this Government could surrender Government property of that magnitude and be unable to monitor it. The reason which was given was that we had Zambia Railways in place. As you come to wind up debate on this report, you should remember what you told this House. Therefore, I am very happy that the Committee on Government Assurance has brought this issue up. The concession agreement was not done in good faith and, for that reason, we were promised that it would be reviewed. Has it been reviewed?  We need to know that.

Sometimes, when we talk about the RSZ and take, for example, the road which was constructed along the railway line at the station, it was Zambia Railways which made that agreement. The Government was fully aware of that agreement. We also know that some hon. Ministers were clapping their hands in support of the RSZ because they did not want that road to be stopped because National Milling Company was very important. What have we got now? We have a road which is two metres away from the railway line. When these questions start coming up, you should give correct answers.

 Madam Speaker, one day, we are going to have a disaster. One big truck moving on the other side of the road will turn at an angle of more than 20 degrees and if it happens that a train is passing at the time, there will be a terrible disaster. The blame is entirely on the Government. I know that even the Office the Vice-President knew this. These are some of the concerns we need to be answered correctly. 
Madam Speaker, there was a locomotive which was parked there. The hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources removed it. Thereafter, it was cut into pieces as scrap metal. 

Nobody in this Government bothered to find out. Why should it be so? I believe that certain issues that are mentioned in this House should be followed-up. It is because of the failure to do this that we are losing out on a lot of important things under the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) administration.

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mr Muntanga: Yes, it is not correct. If you push me I will tell you who said what.

The locomotive I am talking about was removed with the knowledge of the Government. It was to be taken to Kabwe, but it was cut into pieces. It is not there. Furthermore, the Government decided to remove the rails between Ndola and Luanshya to construct the Mchinji/Chipata Railway Line.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Now that the rails that were taken are required, scrap metal dealers are being accused of having taken them. Has Zambia Railways become a scrap metal dealer?

Madam Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to advise hon. Members of this House that what comes up in this House as assurances should be properly followed-up and concluded.

The Ministry of Education that has been pointed out takes follow-up action on its assurances by undertaking visits to schools and finding out what happens there. What is happening in other ministries? Why can they not do the same? For example, in the Ministry of Communications and Transport, we have had too many hon. Ministers moving there because anyone who says something contrary to the Government’s thinking, at that time, is dropped. The other time we were praising Hon. Daka who was hon. Minister in the Ministry of Communications and Transport, but, today, he is in a different ministry. Hon. Sarah Sayifwanda came later and then somebody else came in and left.

Mr Chazangwe: Out!

Mr Muntanga: We do not know which hon. Minister belongs to this ministry because there are too many of them coming in and leaving.


Mr Muntanga: There are too many reshuffles. Can the Government ensure that the assurances given on the Floor of this House are properly implemented? Otherwise, we will hold you responsible for all the things that are going wrong. If you know that you are a new hon. Minister and you stand in this House to give wrong answers, we shall hold you responsible. If you are not sure about anything, go and read the concession agreement. That agreement is bad.

Madam Speaker, we were told by the then Minister of Finance and National Planning that this Government received concessionaire fees from the RSZ. Is the Government still getting these fees and, if so, how much is being realised from this exercise? As the hon. Minister responds, may he, please, tell us because we want to know.

We were also told that the RSZ would be given some money realised from the fuel levy to improve the rails. What has since been done? Has the Government decided to give the RSZ some money to improve the rails? It is no wonder that everyone will resort to using trucks to transport goods. The Government is allowing 90 tonne trucks to move mining equipment on roads intended for 60 tonne vehicles.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Engineers have said that the roads are to carry 60 tonne vehicles, but this Government is allowing 90 tonne trucks to move on them. The road from Livingstone to Kitwe is deteriorating. If you go to Mazabuka Hill, the road is worn out because it is not meant for 90 tonne trucks. Who is causing this? It is the Government. The people in this Government do not follow-up Government assurances, but take things for granted. This Government is going to be held responsible.

Madam Speaker, it is high time that the Government took matters seriously. If the hon. Members in the Executive are not sure about what to say, they should not open their mouths to promise us anything.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Can you put that in a different way using language that is acceptable.

Mr Muntanga: Even using stronger words. Let me try.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Take this seriously.

Mr Muntanga: I am taking it seriously, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Next, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chilubi.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, thank you …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Before you start debating, I hope that we will hear debate based on the report. The report is very clear and so do not introduce things that are not in it as an opportunity to debate them.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the Motion on the Floor of this august House.

Madam Speaker, from the outset, I wish to support this Motion. In doing so, I wish to say that there have been so many governments in this world whose leaders have become unpopular due to the non-fulfilment of promises. I say so because of the promise that the Government of the Republic of Zambia made in 2005.

Before I became the hon. Member of Parliament for Chilubi, the Government of the Republic of Zambia promised the people of Chilubi that it would purchase a vessel to service the people of Chilubi, Bangweulu, Chifunabuli, Luapula, part of Kanchibiya and Lupososhi parliamentary constituencies. An amount of K1 billion was released. However, after 2006, it was discovered that this money could not be traced at the Ministry of Communications and Transport. Each time Hon. Joseph Kasongo and I went to the ministry to make follow-ups in 2006 and 2007, we were told that the Government was going to ensure that it sourced funds to add onto the initial allocation. As I speak, this money is not there. As a result, the Government has even failed to procure a vessel to service the people in the four constituencies I mentioned above. The Government has been failing to fulfil its promises to the extent that the people in the areas mentioned above have even lost confidence in it.

Madam Speaker, in this regard, I am requesting the Government to ensure that whenever it makes a promise, it fulfils it because it is imperative that it does so. We know very well that our colleagues in the Government are the driving force behind things. If they want the people of Zambia to lose confidence in them, they must continue to do what they have been doing all along.

Madam Speaker, time has come for us to change the scenario of misleading the Zambian people.

Mr Mubika: Campaigning!

Mr Chisala: Time is gone for them to stop making …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

I earlier guided that hon. Members should debate the report. Do not bring embarrassment to yourself by starting a general debate when we have a report to refer to. If you have not read it, please, do not start debating things that are not contained in it. Can we hear somebody speak about the report.

You may continue only if you are going to refer to the report and not what you think.

Mr Chisala: I am much obliged, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, the other issue I want to talk about is the promise of constructing a district hospital in Chilubi.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Is it in the report?

Mr Chisala: It is part of the assurances.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

We have this report every year. As you can see, this is the first report. Therefore, if that is an assurance, the Committee will pick it and it will appear in another report. For now, we have a report that is bringing up matters of concern, which we should debate. Do not just think anything you call assurance is an assurance. Please, let us do what we are expected to do. 

I hope the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala will do justice to the report.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, in supporting this report, I would like to appeal to the Executive, when they respond, to have thoroughly looked at this report because it is very important. It gives the sum total of the intentions and projects the Government would like to embark upon to ease the pain and suffering of the people.

I know that when the Government is planning, the budget instrument is one plan, the rolling plan another, the five year plan is yet another and, indeed, maybe, the 2030 vision.

Madam Speaker, these plans must all be derived from this particular report because the promises the Government makes in this House must form a basis on which Cabinet and the planners at the budget office or anywhere else in the Government must begin. It should be included in the chapters and sources of information on which they do their planning. 

Madam Speaker, legally speaking, once an hon. Minister promises, the assurances made are captured by your Committee and these are the issues your Committee raises and bases their work plan on. I would like to urge this Government to take this particular report seriously, this year, as it does its budget so that all the assurances captured form the basis on which the Government must develop its various plans. It should be a budget which covers a year or a three year rolling plan and they should certainly be included in the development plans. If that is done, there will be no quarrelling and the Chairperson, Hon. Kambwili, will not raise these issues because he will know that they have been included in the plans. I appeal to this Government to take this report seriously, otherwise we shall remain a talk shop.

We have only two years, 2010 and 2011, to go and these assurances should be fulfilled for this country to move forward. I do not want to give you an assurance, but when we come into power, we shall certainly take this document seriously.

Hon. Government Members: When?

Mr Hachipuka: Ooh!

Madam Speaker: Speak through the Chair and do not listen to them.

Mr Hachipuka: It is from that perspective that I thought I should intervene and make this debate meaningful by reminding the Government that it is important that as it issues statements, it takes into consideration that it is legally bound by those assurances and they should be included in its plans.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa): Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the report.

I will begin by commending your Committee for the thorough and comprehensive treatment of the subject under their mandate. Many recommendations have been made and I will try to address the one on energy. 

The recommendation is that ZESCO must be dismantled into three components, namely, generation, transmission and distribution. It is argued that this will eliminate persistent power disruptions and the breakdown of machinery.

Madam Speaker, whilst we fully understand the need for commercialisation and the fact that a recommendation is plausible, we must bear in mind that dismantling may lead to increased overheads of the three companies finally filtering to the consumers both at household and company level. There is one East African country where this has been tried and from what we understand, the dismantling has given rise to more problems than solutions. What we need is an in-depth cost benefit analysis of the three options being recommended before we can finally choose one of them.

I would like to assure Hon. Hachipuka that we would like to underscore the importance of this Committee. All assurances made on the Floor of this House emanate from ministerial action plans which are, themselves, based on ministerial mission statements and so they should be implemented at all costs. There could be delays due to financial constraints where certain assurances need resources to be implemented, but finally we, as a Government, are committed to ensuring that what we tell the nation we will do is done at all costs.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the hon. Members who have contributed to the debate, including those who have silently contributed to the debate in support of the Motion.

Madam Speaker, it should be noted that once an assurance is made by the Government, it remains an assurance until action is taken. For instance, the issue of the RSZ is a pending issue which needs action. The action needed is based exactly on what the hon. Minister said on the Floor of the House about reviewing the concession. What we are waiting for, as a Committee, in order to close this case is a report which will talk about the review of the current concession. Without that, this assurance shall forever continue resurfacing in your report.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Question put and agreed to.




The following Bills were read the third time and passed:

The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill

The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill



VOTE 89 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – K875,292,933,911).

(Consideration resumed)

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Thank you, Mr Chairperson, for giving me this second bite of what may be a three bite speech. When we rose on Friday, I was sympathising, I think that it is the correct interpretation, if my memory serves me right, with the hon. Minister on the difficulties of having an orderly, commercially and economically viable marketing and input and out put system in the rural areas of Zambia and having to go round in circles constantly trying out different formulas of co-operatives and other form of organisations. 

Mr Chairperson, when I first became an hon. Member of this House, when I was Member of Parliament for Mpika, I recall the members of the co-operative in Mpika coming to see me and asking me, as the hon. Minister of Agriculture, to intervene in a system that was left over by the UNIP Government and get them fertiliser for the 1991/1992 season. I asked what the problem was. They said they had been told that because they had not repaid the 1989/90 fertiliser loan, they were not allowed to receive anymore fertiliser. They further said that the problem was that the secretary of the co-operative had stolen all the money. When I asked them if I could see the police report they said, “We have not actually taken him to the police because he is an extremely powerful wizard. Indoshi ikalamba sana.”


Dr Scott: Mr Chairperson, it is not just wizards who are above the law in parts of Zambia, but also party cadres and relatives of chiefs. There are many people who can interfere with the commercial system. Therefore, whatever the hon. Minister and his successors do needs to be directed towards insulating the commercial operations of agriculture from political influences of one sort or another and that includes Presidential pronouncements. 

There was one year in which the Second Republican President, when there was a drought in the Southern Province, made a very loose statement that loans would be written off because of the drought. The loans all over Zambia were taken to have been written off, including the commercial loans of the tobacco and cotton industries as well as other industries that were not affected by the drought at all. It took a couple of years to actually restore any kind of workability to the financing system in these commodities. 

Recently, a Presidential candidate announced that civil servants would have access to subsidised fertiliser. As I speak, in Serenje, on which I happen to have the best information, but I am sure it is not the only area, civil servants are gobbling more than 50 per cent of the fertiliser that has been sent to that district using this pronouncement as their justification for giving themselves priority. Therefore, getting political interference, in all senses of the word, out of the system is a number one priority. I would ask the hon. Minister not to worry too much about what name he gives his co-operatives or farmer companies or marketing institutions, but to work very hard at making sure that they are able to operate as commercially as can be expected under the circumstances. 

Mr Chairperson, Charles Dickens in David Copperfield has one of his characters saying a phrase which I will misquote slightly, but is simple enough. 

“Expenditure twenty shillings, income twenty shillings and six pence, result happiness. Expenditure twenty shillings, income nineteen shillings and six pence, result misery.” 

That simple law of economics applies as much to Zambian agriculture as to any other business. Today, we would say, “Expenditure twenty shillings, income twenty shillings and six pence, result sustainability.


Dr Scott: Expenditure twenty shillings, income nineteen shillings and six pence, result unsustainability.”

I think we need to stop constantly looking for wonder solutions, magic bullets, such as irrigation and cashew nuts. My favourite is that castor oil will save us because an American consultant came to Zambia and sent a telegram to Harare to ask what price he could get for castor beans and they sent him a telex saying such and such a number of dollars per tonne. It was a huge amount of dollars. It was over a thousand dollars per tonne. Therefore, this American worked out that Zambia would be saved if she only grew enough cashew beans. After he had launched a campaign for the growing of castor beans, I had to tell him that the price he had been quoted was in Zimbabwean dollars and that if he divided it by eight, at that time, to arrive at the US dollar price, he would find that his project was unsustainable. This was taken badly by the consultant who had advised the Government and initiated the Cashew Nuts Scheme in the Western Province. I said we needed to do our homework, experiment and conduct a pilot project and that this might take five years. We had to find out which varieties were suitable, the insects which would attack the beans and how the growing of cashew nuts fit in with the Western Province land tenure system. They rejected this and insisted that Zambia needed the cashew nuts immediately.

Mr Chairperson, today, merely thirty years later, we are buying cashew nuts from Tanzania. The previous Litunga said that it was very nice to have cashew plants providing shade in Lealui, but asked why the trees were not producing any nuts. I told him that the project had been commenced without any homework having been done. 

Mr Chairperson, one of the hon. Minister’s main functions is to lobby the really powerful people in agriculture. People like the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning can kill agriculture or make it flourish with their policies on matters such as interest rates and other monetary policy. This is because these are what determine whether it is possible to make 20 shillings and 6 pence when you invested 20 shillings or whether you are only going to make 19 shillings and 6 pence and go kaput as things slowly wind down and your business becomes unsustainable. 

Sir, since we are talking about an increase in the degree of disorder in some districts, I would like to end by saying that these days, it seems the whole of Zambia is for sale. If you drive through some areas, you will find that chiefs and headmen have displayed notices of land for sale in villages. I realise that this needs policing and, perhaps, it is getting some policing, but it is becoming a very serious issue. For example, you find that 2 million hectares have been sold to certain Chinese investors to grow a crop which has never been proven to grow properly in Zambia and another 400,000 hectares has been sold to some German investors who have no proven capability.

Mr Chairperson, we will find ourselves in the situation Zimbabwe found itself in if we are not careful. The Zimbabwean situation did not develop overnight. It grew slowly like a cancer and eventually led to the upheaval of the so-called Rhodesian War. More recently, it led to upheavals as President Mugabe tried to restore some semblance of equity to the situation in his country.

Therefore, I would ask the Government to be mindful of Zambia’s land, economic, finance and commerce policies. Of particular interest is our commerce policy because when you go to Livingstone, you eat Zimbabwean cabbages. If we tried sending a Zambian cabbage to Zimbabwe, our Zimbabwean colleagues would not accept it and would claim that it had swine flu. This is because they protect their growers. However, we think that just because we are part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), we should allow free trade because the market has been liberalised. Therefore, we are the suckers and consumers in the region. We are not the people benefiting from job creation, profits and growth.

Mr Chairperson, with those few words, I will allow you to send us to tea break. 

I thank you, Sir.


Ms Imbwae (Lukulu West): Mr Chairperson, just to make a follow up on what Hon. Dr Scott has just talked about. I support this budget, but with a heavy heart because I know that agriculture has been put on our priority list for a very long time. If I recall clearly, it was prioritised together with tourism in 2002. However, it is a pity that whereas the intention of the Government is to develop this sector, the pace of development is not sufficient to enable us achieve our intended goal. 

Mr Chairperson, I, therefore, want to look at a simple thing that could be a driver in our quest to develop the agricultural sector. Hon. Dr Scott has talked about co-operatives. I also want to touch on them very briefly. However, before I proceed, I want to congratulate the new Permanent Secretary whom I know was once Director of Planning and Co-operatives in this ministry. Since he is now managing this very important ministry, he should take time to reflect on the ideas he had of driving this ministry forward during the time he was working under another Permanent Secretary.

I want to look at the budget for training in co-operatives because I think that is the only way we can move away from perpetually doing what Hon. Dr Scott calls going around in circles. We need a co-operative system that can take care of the interests of all farmers from the peasant to the commercial farmer. One of the issues concerning emerging farmers is the availability of a co-operative bank or other institutions from which credit can be obtained. In the past, there was the Credit Union and Savings Association of Zambia (CUSA-Zambia), but it collapsed. As we keep saying, agriculture is a business and, therefore, requires capital.

Mr Chairperson, how can one run a business without being trained for it? There is a need to emphasise training in co-operatives. There is an allocation in the ministry’s budget for performance management with regard to staff training, agricultural co-operative service charters and work plans. How I wish we would have more money to allow our colleagues who are spearheading agriculture in the country to train more people in co-operatives. Co-operatives on their own cannot effectively undertake training programmes for their members because they do not have the capacity that was there before. They seem to have lost their training focus in the last two decades. Unfortunately, we still call for the formation of co-operative clubs, especially in the rural areas. Our people just form co-operative clubs without acquiring the necessary training. 

The ministry does not make follow-ups to see how it can assist the members of a co-operative to graduate from being peasant farmers to being self-reliant and stop expecting Government support every year. The Government’s current agricultural support programme has its own difficulties and we should, therefore, think of other interventions in the agricultural system. 

As I said earlier, I stand with a heavy heart because I know the Government’s intention is to develop this sector. My appeal is that the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives and hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should consider having a set percentage of the National Budget for agriculture. I know there is a percentage that has been set by SADC, but we have not yet reached it. As a country, we should set our own benchmarks in agriculture. We can have all sorts of agricultural co-operatives, but they will not achieve anything if their members are not trained to run them viably. Therefore, the training of the members of co-operatives should be our main goal. We should not just base our agricultural development on false statistics.

Mr Chairperson, as I conclude, I want to appeal for the rehabilitation or upgrading of the Co-operative College. I know that it has trained a lot of people in the sub-region, but it now lacks the capacity to train people to acceptable levels. We need money to raise the standards of the Co-operative College. We can actually turn it into a co-operative university. There are many people who are looking for education in many areas of agriculture and this could be an alternative.

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, I hope that the management of fertiliser and seed distribution and crop marketing will improve since livestock has now been separated from the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. I reiterate the need for enhanced training in co-operatives. The more we train the members of co-operatives, the more they will use peer pressure to perform better. At the moment, there is nothing to make them feel like farming is a competition and, therefore, want to do better. They should be taught that farming is a business which needs to grow. 

Mr Chairperson, I support the vote. Thank you.

Mr Mwamba (Kasama Central): I thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the vote on the Floor.

 First and foremost, I would like to congratulate Hon. Lumba, MP, for scooping the Solwezi Central seat. Long live the PF and long live the United Party for National Development (UPND).

Hon. PF and UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: Sir, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is a very important ministry in this country because, without agriculture, there will be no food for the people of Zambia, especially that maize is the staple food of this country.

Sir, it is very important that more money is allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. Why do I say so? I say so because most farmers are sitting on their maize because they are unable to sell it due to funds not being allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, especially in rural areas. In rural areas, people are complaining that the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has not bought enough maize from them. The failure by the ministry to buy maize from the rural people will affect the harvest next year because most of them will not be interested in planting maize this season.

Mr Chairperson, I remember that when I just came into the House, there was a debate that the Government had spent billions of kwacha on subsidies this year because of the drought last year which had resulted in a poor harvest. I do not agree with that statement because forty-five days before the late President Mwanawasa died, I went to see him. This meeting was attended by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Shikapwasha, the then Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Magande, Hon. Masebo and a few others.

I predicted that the harvest would be very bad and proposed that we start preparing to import maize while it was still cheap. Sir, I think when I said that, no one listened to me. They thought that I was joking. I told them that with my fifteen years experience in milling, I knew how the harvest looked at that time of the year and how much maize we were able to buy as millers. However, at that time, in June, 2008, we could not buy the quantity of maize that we normally buy. 

As we concluded that meeting, some of the hon. Ministers said that, in fact, they had just been to Chadiza and had seen a lot of maize fields from a helicopter. According to them, we were going to have a good harvest. Mr Chair, I do not think you can see a good harvest from a helicopter and …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

I prefer to be addressed as Mr Chairman or Mr Chairperson. You may continue.

Mr Mwamba: Thank you for the guidance. You have to bear with me, Sir, because I am still new.

The Deputy Chairperson: You may proceed.


Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, in his concluding remarks His Excellency President Mwanawasa, may his soul rest in peace,  who was my brother, said, “Mr Mwamba, be assured that there will be enough maize as you have heard what the hon. ministers have said.”

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, before we broke off for tea, I was saying that I was assured by the late President Mwanawasa when he said, “As you have heard from the panel of hon. Ministers, there will be a good harvest and so you should not worry. Go and tell your fellow millers that there will be a good harvest.” That is how we left.

Mr Chairperson, unfortunately, three months down the line, we started seeing advertisements in the newspapers by millers looking for maize because there was no maize in the country. When we went to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), we were told that they had bought very little maize which could only take us up to December. For sure, we started buying and the FRA were good enough to start allocating us maize although it was subsidised, a move which I thought would not have been necessary if they had listened to my advice earlier on.

Mr Chairperson, the point I am trying to make here is that we do not want a repetition of that. Already, we are reading in the papers that there are 100,000 tonnes of maize being exported to Kenya. Yesterday, I received a text message from Zimbabwe that Zambia had donated maize to that country. The Zimbabwean ministers and officials were being warned that they should look after that maize well. I do not know how we have donated maize to Zimbabwe.

Mr Chairperson, since they have started exporting maize already, are they sure that we shall have a good harvest next year? 100,000 tonnes is quite a lot of maize. Already, this exportation which is taking place has affected the price of maize locally. Two weeks ago, the price of mealie-meal also started going up. Therefore, you can see how the Zambian people will be affected and, today, is only 1st December, 2009. Normally the price of mealie-meal starts shooting up around January and not from November or December. What will the price of mealie-meal be at the end of March? My advice to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is that it should be focused and have a good board, which will represent the people and not the Government’s interests. Most of the members on the FRA Board cannot speak for us. They should learn to speak for us and you must pick a board which will speak for us.

With those few words, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF and UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Chairperson, I would like to add my voice to this very important sector, agriculture.

Mr Chairperson, firstly, I support the vote and would like to echo the sentiments of those who have spoken before me that more resources should be given to this ministry because we, as a government and as a people, have chosen it as a priority. Having chosen it as a priority, we must walk the talk by ensuring that we add more money to the vote.

Mr Chairperson, I just want to give some good news to the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives that this morning, I was in my constituency and I was privileged to see farmers getting their fertiliser from the depots.

I was trying to probe them further on the new system that is in place. The people in my constituency are not happy with the reduction in the bags of fertiliser from eight to four. However, one of the things I learnt this morning from one of the headmen from my constituency is that there are more beneficiaries than before. 

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mrs Masebo: Sir, last time, ten people from my village benefited, but now about twenty-one have benefited. This is something positive and I thought the hon. Minister should know.

The other issue I wish to raise concerns the late delivery of seed. Seed seems to be delivered to the farmers late. Whilst the inputs arrived in the district in May, 2009, the actual distribution only started last week. Therefore, we are late again because by the time this seed gets to the end users, it will be the end of December. In fact, some of the roads are not good, especially the Topi Road in my brother’s constituency, Rufunsa. The road is very bad and the trucks are already finding it difficult to move. I urge the Government to look at this issue seriously.

Mr Chairperson, today is the World’s AIDS Day. Agriculture in the country has gone down because a lot of our farmers are sick. Some of our people spend a lot of time caring for the sick when they are supposed to be ploughing in the fields. I urge the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to work very closely with the hon. Minister of Health. In any case, he is two in one because he has been a Minister of Health before and I am sure he understands this topic better than I do. We need to find a link between our farmers and HIV/AIDS. 

I am happy to announce that I was privileged to be on a queue of farmers who were being tested for HIV/AIDS today but, of course, the results were a secret. We did not tell them our names. The good news was that out of ten, there was only one who was positive. I just want to encourage hon. Members ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: ... in as far as agriculture is concerned to encourage farmers to take the HIV test, especially today. If there are more healthy people, agricultural production will also be high. I urge the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to do something about HIV/AIDS and agricultural production. Most of the people have little knowledge about this issue because information is only at the bomas and not in the villages and so the Government must look at this issue. 


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

There is noise.

You may continue, please.

Mrs Masebo: Sir, I would like to pick up from where the previous speaker ended, the new hon. Member of Parliament whom I normally call zeze. Sorry, Chair, at school, we used to call them zezes.


Mrs Masebo: The hon. Member for Kasama Central was right in saying we pretend to have a bumper harvest when we have a shortage. The Government spends a lot of money importing maize and this means our arithmetic has not been correct. Why do we claim every year that there is a bumper harvest and by December and January import maize from other countries? The price that we are paying for the imported maize is three times higher. It is good that he is not an agriculturist but a doctor. Normally, when you are in a ministry where it is not your profession, you do better than the owners. My hope is not to hear of late deliveries next year or some statistics which will be celebrated of bumper harvest and mid-year, we start importing maize or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the process because the Government has been so cheated before. The Government should not import maize but other crops. In fact, we must export maize, but as we do this, we must have enough stocks in our silos. Never should we reach a stage where after saying we have a bumper harvest, we start importing from other countries at exorbitant prices. This is why people end up saying that, maybe, we like the 10 per cent stories because we do not want straightforward deals. Deals begin only when you import. If you are buying from the local market where you buy from the peasant farmers, there will be no need for a 10 per cent because it is a straightforward deal. We do not want to import maize because we can produce enough even for sale. I am sure that if we produced enough, we could export to Malawi, Zimbabwe or England and earn foreign exchange. In fact, money is found to import, but there is no money to buy inputs. 

Mr Chairperson, let me talk about the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ). I know there are two hon. Ministers from Kafue. This is Lusaka Province. There is Hon. Magande ...  

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

I think you meant to say two hon. Members from Kafue not Ministers. Hon. Magande is not a Minister.

You may continue, please.

Mrs Masebo: Sorry, Mr Chairperson. There are two hon. Members and one hon. Minister. I hope they will also raise this issue.

Hon. Magande: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: The NCZ needs to be resuscitated or recapitalised. We need to help that institution because it is ours. We have prioritised agriculture and you cannot call something a priority and then import from other countries. For example, in Botswana, agriculture and tourism are the mainstay of the economy. Botswana is doing very well in agriculture, especially in the export of beef. It is their priority. You get the point.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, you get the point!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

You are out of order. You are talking to the House and addressing the Chair and so it is not the Chair who must get the point.

You may continue, please.


Mrs Masebo: Thank you for your guidance, Sir, because you always say that we must address the Chair.

We need to recapitalise NCZ. I want the hon. Minister, when he responds, to explain to us what happened when NCZ was last given a contract to supply maize to the Government through the Fertiliser Input Support Programme (FISP). Mid-stream, the deal was cancelled and given to a private company. How do you expect NCZ to survive if the business that is there is not shared among the various companies, but is given to a chosen three or four companies while NCZ is excluded? I want the hon. Minister to clarify this when he responds because the story on the streets is simply another 10 per cent. The NCZ is a lifeline for agriculture in Zambia. I have no problem with it being privatised as long as we have some shares in the company. However, if we decide to sell it because we have failed to run it, then it will reflect badly on us as a country and the Government because agriculture is our priority. If it is a priority, how can it be that the basic agricultural inputs are imported all the time? I urge the hon. Minister to look into the issue of NCZ and find ways and means of ensuring that the company survives. 

It does not matter whether it will survive through a partnership or any other means, but let us not neglect that company because if we do, we will regret in future. That is my view. I may be wrong, but time will tell. I thought I should make these comments because we have invested a lot of money in that company over the past ten years. A lot of money has been invested in the NCZ to resuscitate its machinery. I am aware that the equipment is new and only capital may be lacking to help it run efficiently so that it can produce enough fertiliser.

Sir, I am an hon. Member of Parliament for a rural constituency and my priority is agriculture because the majority of my people are peasant farmers and I would not be representing them well if I did not talk about these maters.

Mr Chairperson, through you, Chongwe Constituency which represents Chongwe District has always been one of the highest producers of maize in this country, and yet the quantities of fertiliser allocated to it are the same as those for the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

I prefer that you address the Chair. I know that when you say, “Through the Chair,” you are referring to me. However, if you want to direct your statement to the hon. Minister, you can do so by saying, “He knows.” 

Continue, hon. Member, please.

Mrs Masebo: Sir, I thank you for your guidance, but we are still learning.

Mr Chairperson, I was saying that Chongwe has been one of the highest maize producers in the country. It has been among the top three highest maize producers in the country since 1964. That is why the Government must consider investing more in Chongwe Constituency in terms of agricultural inputs so that it can produce more maize. You may be aware that it takes only 15 minutes to drive from Chongwe to Lusaka.  There are about 35 or 40 kilometres between Chongwe and Lusaka where the market is. I think the millers can confirm that they find it cheaper to buy maize from Chongwe than Muyombe or Mbala.

Mr Mwamba: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: That is why the maize in Muyombe and Mbala goes to waste. It is better for the Government to find an alternative for those people than investing too many resources in maize when it is very expensive for them to transport it to Lusaka. Yes, you can give them agricultural inputs, but not the same quantities as those that can be given to a constituency or district that is able to produce enough for the country. You must look at the – what do they say – …

Mr Chairperson: The economies of scale.

Mrs Masebo: … the economies of scale considering that Chongwe is near Lusaka and the demand for maize in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt is high instead of sending a lot of agricultural inputs where Hon. Dr Katele Kalumba comes from when the people there are interested in fishing. Please, give them more nets and they will do better.


Mrs Masebo: In Mazabuka, give them more cows and they will do better. In Chongwe, give us more fertiliser and we will do better. That way, we shall specialise and produce more maize. 

Sir, we need to get to a stage where we do things in a systematic way. Let us not force people to grow maize when they cannot. Let us not make people grow something that they are not good at. The people of Chongwe are good at growing maize. Give them more agricultural inputs and they will grow enough maize. As a result, the prices will reduce because there will be plenty of maize near to the market and transport costs will be lower than they would be if you were buying maize from where the hon. Deputy Minister for the Copperbelt Province comes from. His area does not even have roads.

Mr Mbulakulima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, I thank you.


The Deputy Chairperson: I think we have debated this matter exhaustively.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

The Chairperson: However, I will give the Floor to one more hon. Member.

Mr C. Mulenga (Chinsali): It is me, Mulenga, you know how Mulenga is.


The Deputy Chairperson: That is the problem. Do not listen to people making running commentaries while they are seated.

Continue, hon. Member, please.

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for allowing me to contribute to the Motion on the Floor of the House.

Sir, from the outset, I would like to state that I am in support of this Motion. I am also calling for more funds to be given to this very important ministry. We know that more than 70 per cent of the Zambian population is dependent on agricultural activities for its livelihood. We are also aware that about three quarters of that population lives in the rural areas. However, about 80 per cent of the rural population is living in abject poverty. We know that poverty and food insecurity are linked to development. Poverty is a key factor in creating food insecurity and results into hunger and malnutrition which reduces the ability of families to participate in economic development.

Mr Chairperson, the agricultural sector has not performed as well as was expected in the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP). The plan has failed to ensure that there is food security. It has failed to generate income and create employment opportunities for Zambians. It has also failed to reduce the poverty levels in the country. This is why I am saying it has failed. We know that since 2006, a major share of the budget for agriculture has focused on the FISP. This has been at the expense of core programmes such as infrastructure development, irrigation development programmes and fisheries and livestock production.

Sir, despite the attention that has been given to the FISP, farmers in the rural areas have not graduated. They are still at the same level. They have not improved. They are still experiencing poverty and food insecurity as it was before the introduction of the FISP. I am questioning this programme because I do not think it has performed very well.

The growth in the agricultural sector between 2006 and 2008 was only 1.2 per cent per annum. This was lower than 10 per cent per annum projected in the FNDP. You can see that there is a very big difference between 1.2 per cent and 10 per cent. The difference is too big. Therefore, I am questioning this programme. It is evident that somewhere, like other hon. Members who debated before me have said, something has gone wrong, especially in the implementation of the FNDP.

Sir, my debate will be brief, but I would like to comment on areas that my colleagues have not touched. In my opinion, there are four issues that need to be addressed by the hon. Minister.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

I think we are consulting too loudly, especially the hon. Members on my far right.

The hon. Member may continue, please.

Mr C. Mulenga: Sir, there are four issues that I want to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister. I know that they are quite demanding, but I have confidence in him because I know he can try and address them.

Generally, the distribution of fertiliser has been a problem. I do not know why fertiliser should be a seasonal commodity. This is why even the co-operatives that have been created in our constituencies only become active at the time fertiliser is being distributed. As a result, they do not serve a purpose. 

The civil servants use the same co-operatives to actually divert fertiliser, which is quite sad. We need to find a way of improving the system. I therefore, want to encourage the hon. Minister to quicken the issue of the voucher system. Perhaps, this will help us. I have seen a substantial amount of K130 billion in the Budget for the voucher system. 

Mr Chairperson, NCZ is a very important plant. We need to ensure that we start producing our own fertiliser. We need to open up the market for fertiliser. We should not allow only two companies to monopolise it. This is what makes fertiliser expensive and very difficult for people to acquire. 

Sir, let me now talk about fuel. The fuel situation in the country is not good. There is no way you can succeed in agriculture, when there are uncertainties as to whether next year, we will have fuel or not and what the price will be. It is very difficult for farmers to plan. Fuel is very important. I think we need to have proper refineries. How do you expect the people of Chinsali to succeed in farming when after forty-six years of Independence, there is no filling station in that area? It is very difficult. Therefore, the Government must ensure that they look into this issue seriously. 

Sir, I would like to talk about road infrastructure. The roads countrywide are bad. People cannot move their inputs smoothly due to bad roads. At the moment, we are distributing inputs to farmers and vehicles are getting damaged due to bad road infrastructure. Spare parts are very expensive.  

Mr Chairperson, I would like to also talk about crop marketing. Crop marketing is equally poor in this country. Crop marketing covers the issues of crop pricing and the distribution of empty bags. We also depend on the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to come up with how many satellite depots we will have in each district. You will find that in a district, there could be two satellite depots or seven satellite depots. Some satellite depots are about 100 kilometres apart. Therefore, it really becomes very difficult for a farmer to move farm produce to these depots. I therefore, urge the hon. Minister to critically look into these issues. If he does that, I am sure we will succeed. 

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Dr Chituwo): Mr Chairperson, from the outset, let me thank all hon. Members of Parliament who debated in support of my vote. The emphasis is that there is need to have more resources in the agricultural sector. 

Mr Chairperson, let me just mention a few important issues that have been raised by some of my colleagues. The first one has to do with the Maputo Agreement which states that 10 per cent of each member state’s national Budget, must be allocated to the agricultural sector. I think I would like to share with the hon. Members of Parliament the definition of agriculture. Certainly, when one adds the allocation in our case, to forestry, fisheries and livestock, then one can see that at least, we are getting there.  Of course,…


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

The hon. Minister is getting destructed by those consulting loudly. Why can we not give him chance to debate without interference?

Continue, hon. Minister, please.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, I am happy to learn that the FISP has been identified as a good programme. The issues that we focused on in this programme were those concerns raised by hon. Members of Parliament and these included the targeting of beneficiaries. This is why we went down to the camp level so that through primary co-operatives and farmer organisations, the camp extension officer, representatives of the chiefs and the church know who is a farmer and where his or her piece of land is. Therefore, they are better suited to selected would be beneficiaries. 

Sir, as much as we agree that the hectarage which is cultivated is important in contributing to production, we are still conscious of the fact that it does not matter if a  small-scale farmer produces on a five hectares piece of land produce equivalent to only one hectare. Our focus now is to try to link up with the farmer who produces 1.7 metric tonnes and 1.5 metric tonnes per hectare, which translates to around thirty-five to thirty-seven by fifty kilograms bags of maize, that is definitely not good enough. These farmers can produce even above this in a properly managed half a hectare. It for this reason that under the new programme the package will have four bags. This support programme is not meant for the well to do. I heard the debate from hon. Members saying that we are killing farming in this country and that the people are not benefiting. I think that is a wrong notion. 

Mr Chairperson, this programme is for the small–scale farmers who are vulnerable, but viable in most parts of my area, Southern Province. These farmers use cattle, and actually they should be less in number of them accessing farming input support because they are better off than the other farmers who use hoes.

Mr Chairperson, let me go on to the contribution by Hon. Muntanga before I get to Hon. Scotts contribution. Indeed, he is a well experienced and knowledgeable, honourable gentleman. Indeed, I learnt a lot from him. He has got quiet a wealth of experience. He talked about the issue of moving in circles when doing our work. He mentioned specifically the issue of groundnuts. Indeed, I do recall that we used to export groundnuts to United Kingdom, but because of aflatoxin, this fail off. In return, we are rebuilding our capacity and the issues here are fungal infections which arise as a result of  poor storage. In addressing this, we have developed other varieties that will not impact negatively on the quality. There are many varieties such as the bambara nuts that we have produced. 

Sir, Hon. Scot said something about the dams. It is true for most of the successive hon. Ministers of Agriculture and Co-operatives, irrigation has been on top of the agenda. During the 90s, we were advised that in fact, we should not invest in big water bodies. Therefore, there was a focus on the construction of small dams. Hon. Scott, remembers, leaving this programme in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. It has continued. A lot of small dams have been built, but the link which has been weak has been the lack of strong communities, be it co-operatives to utilise these waters for production. I am taking it up from where my colleagues left the programme. We must inculcate in the minds of our small-scale farmer belonging to these organizations that these water bodies and canals are there for their use.
Mr Chairperson, on the issue of storage, I pointed out in my statement what we are doing about storage, which will ensure that the small-scale farmer is given the capacity to sell their produce when they need to. 

Mr Chairperson, I am in agreement with the hon. Member who raised issues concerning the marketing system. This is why there is a plan to bring, to this House, the Agricultural Marketing Bill which will help us strengthen the marketing system. 

Mr Chairperson, indeed, we need to re-look at subsidising production which, might I add, is a good thing. Hon. Mwamba said we did not listen to his advice. The truth of the matter is that the ministry, around May of that particular year offered the private sector to start importing maize. However, there had to be an understanding between the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the private sector, the millers and grain traders. One of the clauses which was unacceptable was that if the private sector imported the maize, they should be allowed to export it. The question then was why should there be importation only to export? As the arguments continued, time did not wait for us and we were informed that we had a shortfall.

Mr Chairperson, the truth of the matter is that the Midlands millers may have had a shortfall, but they had so much maize. Copperbelt millers consistently stated that they had a lot of maize. In our Stock Monitoring Committee - a committee of the private sector and the ministry - we review the stock levels of our grains in order to advise the hon. Minister on which way to go. To cut a long story short, there was concealment of information regarding the level of stocks of maize in the country. 

Sir, no sooner had I announced that we were going to import maize than these fantastic figures popped up and people were asking why the ministry planned to import maize when there was plenty locally. We had planned to import 100,000 metric tonnes but, I am sure everybody will agree that being a listening Government, we only imported 35,000 metric tonnes. The rest, over 40,000 metric tonnes, was purchased locally. 

Mr Chairperson, my plea is that as we participate in these committees, let us advise the Government and tell them the truth because then it will not make decisions that might be costly. This is the story about the importation of maize. 

Currently, we have received requests from our brothers in Kenya, who have had three years of drought, enquiring about the possibility of them acquiring maize from our country. The Stock Monitoring Committee sat and we are trying to find ways of how this can be done when we have enough. Mr Chairperson, you will recall that we had a surplus of 200,000 metric tonnes. An offer to export 100,000 was not made until, perhaps, last week, and only 16,000 metric tonnes was exported. Therefore, you can see that, sometimes, we have to allow the export. 

Mr Chairperson, I would now like to talk about the depots. This is an on-going programme and in my statement I indicated how the silos will be rehabilitated in the seven districts where we will upgrade the slabs and built some more storage sheds. 

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Masebo talked about NCZ, which participated in the open tender and failed at the preliminary stage. We, as Cabinet, as the board of the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA), considered that this was our own company and we should, therefore, vary and award them 15,000 metric tonnes to produce.

Sir, from the schedule that was given to us by NCZ to produce the fertiliser, it was clear that it would not be possible for them to produce in time, particularly the D-compound, to make available to the farmers. At the time, fertilisers were already in the districts because tenders had been awarded. These are open tenders and we would like to invite the private sector to start planning early. The conditions are very clear. I want, therefore, to confirm to this House that as far as I am concerned there are no 10 per cent issues. Those are issues of perception. 

Mr Chairperson, the issue of NCZ is under Cabinet consideration and I cannot say more than what I have already said. 

Lastly, Sir, there is the issue of poverty.  I think that in this Government we have tried to alleviate poverty because we know that in our rural areas the population depends on agriculture. As at 23rd October, 2009, through the FRA, we purchased, from the rural folks maize equivalent to K228,785,026,476.29. This is money that went to our districts. I would like to give one example. There is no private sector that would like to go to Muyombe, for instance, or beyond the rural areas of Chongwe, which is just near here, to buy maize. We bought about K292 million worth of maize from Muyombe alone. 
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, I have the figures here with me for each district. We are talking of billions of kwacha going to our rural farmers. If this is not an attempt to alleviate poverty, then I do not know what else can be done. Perhaps, a stage further would be to try and help our farmers with skills on how to reinvest this money for continued business. Certainly, however, the Farmer Input Support Programme in terms of household food security and income generation, is working. The evidence is here. 

Mr Chairperson, yes, agriculture is complex. We do not pretend that we have all the answers. I am grateful for the suggestions made by hon. Members of Parliament who have been in this trade for many years. We will take their points into consideration and through the monitoring by this House, I am sure we can succeed. 

Mr Chairperson, I thank you. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 89/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

Vote 89/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

Vote 89/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

VOTE 89/04 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – Agriculture Department – K9,768,018,609).

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 1, Wages – Activities 01, 02 and 04? On Activity 01, we had K3, 200,610,134, but it has been reduced to K1,847,375,724. On Activity 02, we had K1,324,842,488, but it has since been reduced to K532,049,760. On Activity 04, It was K256,816,752, but has also been reduced to K184,631,436. May I know why there have been these reductions?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

You said Wages, and yet you are mentioning the figures under Salaries Division.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, it is under the same programme.

The Deputy Chairperson: No! Are you referring to Activity 03 or 04?

Mr D. Mwila: Sir, I am referring to Activity 04.

The Deputy Chairperson: The figures you are mentioning relate to Activity 03.

Mr D. Mwila: The figure is K184,631,436 which is on Wages.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Maybe, we are looking at different items. Okay, that is fine.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 7, Programme 21, Activity 01 – Conservation Agriculture Support – KK96,000,000. We had K700,000,000, but it has been reduced to K96 million. Could the hon. Minister clarify this reduction?

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mbewe): Mr Chairperson, on Unit 7, Programme 21, Activity 01 – Conservation Agriculture Support – KK96,000,000, the decrease is due to some vacant positions at the National Office which has not been budgeted for and some senior agriculture officers based in provinces were budgeted for under the National Office in the 2009 Budget, but this has since been moved to respective provinces in the 2010 Budget.

 I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: You have not answered the other question.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, the reduction is as a result of certain components of the programme being budgeted for at the district level in this year’s Budget.

 I thank you, Sir.

Vote 89/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/05 – Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives –Zambia Agriculture Research Institute – K9,239,423,213).

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 1, Activity 01, Salaries Vision I – K1,959,047,496 and Activity 02, Salaries Vision II – K1,140,938,808?  Could the hon. Minister explain why there has been a reduction in these activities because we expect a salary increment for our workers.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 1, Activity 01, Salaries Vision I – K1,959,047,496 and Activity 02, Salaries Vision II – K1,140,938,808 the decrease is due to inadequate budget allocation.

 I thank you, Sir.

Vote/ 89/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

It seems there is no provision for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – Veterinary and Livestock Development Department –– Nil.    Is it the right thing or there is a mistake?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, that expenditure was moved to the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development that we considered in this House earlier on.

 I thank you, Sir

Vote 89/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

I believe the allocation for Vote 89/08 has been moved to another ministry.

Vote 89/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/12 – Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – National Agriculture Information Services – K3,249,867,601).

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on unit 2, Programme 8, Activity 01 – Information Gathering, Programme Production and Transmission – K139,905,000?  We had K756,255,000 in 2009, but this has been reduced. Could the hon. Minister explain that reduction?

Mr Chairperson, secondly, may I have clarification on Unit 4, Programme 9, Activity 01 – Agriculture News Collection and Dissemination – K34,300,000. In 2009, it was K146,400,000. May I know why there has been that big reduction?

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, the decrease is due to the low allocation to the activity.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Can the hon. Minister clarify on Programme 9, Activity 01?

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, again, the decrease is due to the low allocation to the activity.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Magande (Chilanga): Mr Chairperson, we have been told that the allocation for salaries has gone down because there is not enough money. I am not sure whether that can be acceptable. How are the members of staff to be paid?

The Deputy Chairperson: Are you referring to any particular vote or is that your general policy debate?

Mr Magande: Sir, I find this a little complicated because on the next item, which is Head 89/13, there is no salary allocation at all. The whole department has no salaries. Perhaps, the hon. Minister could give us a policy statement on what is happening.

The Deputy Chairperson: No, we will come to that head when we get there. For now, we are considering Head 89/12.

Vote 89/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/13 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – Agriculture Research Stations – K3,893,343,905).

Mr Magande: Mr Chairperson, could I have an explanation because there are no salaries on this head. Where are the officers going to be paid from?

The Deputy Chairperson: Any particular reference?

Mr Magande: Vote 89/13 – Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives − Agriculture Research Station. All the Programmes and Activities under this head have no salaries or wages.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, where the salaries are not indicated, the officers fall under provincial offices.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 89/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/14 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – Fisheries Research Stations).

The Deputy Chairperson: There is no departmental figure on this Vote because I believe it was moved to the new ministry.

VOTE 89/15 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – Veterinary and Livestock Development Research Stations).

The Deputy Chairperson: The same applies to this vote.

VOTE 89/16 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – Copperbelt Province – Provincial Agriculture Co-ordinating Office –K6,945,214,900).

Mr Magande: Mr Chairperson, a question was raised on research stations and a very good answer given by the hon. Minister stated that these are provided for under the provinces. May I have clarification on Programme 1 – Personal Emoluments – K5,285,604,226. Salaries have come down to K5,285,604,226 from K9,614,857,496. How is the ministry going to accommodate the research stations which the hon. Minister said were under the provinces when the salaries have come down by 50 per cent.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 1 – Personal Emoluments – K5,285,604,226, at the time of these estimates, we had establishments that already existed, whereas, previously, we had officers in stations. Now, it is the actual numbers and not estimates. This is why we have this reduction. Can I say that again?

The Deputy Chairperson: I believe it is understood.


Hon. Member: No!

The Deputy Chairperson: Maybe, you can say it again.

Mrs Musokotwane: Yes!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, in 2009, we had estimates in terms of allocations for salaries. In 2010, with the on-going restructuring, this is the actual number of staff already in position.

Vote 89/16 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/17 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/19 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/20 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/21 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/22 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/23 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/27 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/28 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – North-Western Province – Provincial Agriculture Co-ordinating Office – K7,589,260,031).

Mr Lumba (Solwezi Central): Mr Chairperson, under Unit 1, Programme 2, Activity 04 – Financial Management and Accounting – K19,220,000, I would like to know why there has been a significant reduction.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, the reduction in the allocation is due to the streamlining of the activities of the ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 89/28 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/29 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/30 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives – Luapula Province – Provincial Agriculture Co-ordinating Office – K6,365,406,259).

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 1, Activity 01 – Salaries Division 1 − K869,647,092, I would like to know why there is a reduction and whether there will be no salary increment. Under Unit 4, Programme 8, Activity 03 – Conduct Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Development, I would like to know why there is no allocation.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 1, Activity 01 – Salaries Division 1 - K869,647,092, the decrease is attributed to deployment of staff to the new ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

You have not answered the second question.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, the lack of allocation under Unit 4, Programme 8, Activity 03 – Conduct Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Development, is due to the allocation the ministry has been given.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 89/30 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/32 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/33 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTES 90 to 98 – (Office of the President – Provinces: Lusaka – K30,325,613,618, Copperbelt – K39,186,409,252, Central – K31,483,510,630, Northern – K40,313,349,197, Western Province – K31,651,033,920, Eastern Province – K35,550,975,794, Luapula – K31,199,032,371, North-Western Province – K32,347,373,614, and Southern – K39,597,098,843).

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

We will now begin policy debate on the provinces. As per practice, we will allow three hon. Members from each province to debate. At the end of the day, we will have twenty-seven hon. Members who will have spoken. Thereafter, I will call upon the provincial Ministers. 

We shall now have a policy statement from the hon. Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa), who is Acting Leader of Government Business in the House.

The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa):  Mr Chairperson, I rise to give a consolidated policy statement in support of the Estimates of Expenditure for the provinces for 2010.

Mr Chairperson, the main objective of the provincial administration is to provide the vehicle for the effective co-ordination, implementation and monitoring of various sector policies and strategies  on behalf of line ministries and the central Government in order to ensure the provision of quality services to the people in the provinces.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

The Leader of Government Business in the House is making a policy debate on Votes 90 to 98 and the people on my right are consulting loudly. It should not be like that.

Mr Mwenya: Send them out!

Dr Mwansa: Pursuant to the above objective, the functions of the provincial administration include the following:

(i)    ensuring that Government policies are understood and implemented in the provinces;

(ii)    planning and co-ordinating development activities;

(iii)    mobilising development resources;

(iv)    monitoring the utilisation of resources and execution of district development plans and programmes;

(v)    consolidating district development plans into provincial development plans;

(vi)    carrying out statutory and audit inspections in all districts;

(vii)    co-ordinating State and traditional functions;

(viii)    maintaining law and order; and

(ix)    facilitation, co-ordination of development programmes in order to ensure sustainable development.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

I did not say that the people on my left should start making noise. Why do you have difficulties in consulting quietly? I hope this is my last appeal.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, arising from the above mandate, hon. Members will appreciate the important role that provincial administration plays in the political, social, cultural and economic development of our country.

A review of the performance for 2009 indicates that the provincial administration, nationwide, recorded significant achievements in many areas such as the following: 

A review of the performance for 2009 indicates that the provincial administration, nationwide, recorded significant achievements in many areas such as the following:


Mr Chairperson, mining activities on the Copperbelt and North/Western provinces, generally, registered significant growth in 2008, but suffered serious reversals with the onset of the global financial meltdown in 2009. Copper production, which had picked up significantly in 2008, slowed down in 2009 owing to the ongoing global economic recession.

Mr Chairperson, however, the measures introduced by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in 2009 to safeguard mining operations helped mitigate the crisis. As a result of the measures the Government took and complemented by improvements in the world metal prices, Luanshya Copper Mine, which was on care and maintenance, reopened. Jobs were saved. The Munali Nickel Mine in Mazabuka, Southern Province, which also closed, is scheduled to reopen. Other mines that were threatened with closure were still operating and more jobs have been retained while others will be created. The Government, working with the mining companies, has put measures in place to ensure that no further jobs are lost.


Mr Chairperson, with regard to agriculture, the House will agree with me that many provinces recorded improved agricultural harvests with the exception of Southern and Western provinces where there were serious floods that resulted in low crop yield. The Government is committed to providing improved support services to the agricultural sector, including reviewing the Fertiliser Support Programme and earnestly fighting livestock diseases.


Mr Chairperson, the Government will also continue supporting the fisheries sector in the fish producing provinces, that is Northern, Western, Luapula and Southern. The Northern Province, which produces a third of the country’s fish requirements, last year, produced 28,000 metric tonnes of fish. In the other provinces, fish re-stocking programmes were carried out successfully. Indeed, in recognition of the need to diversify the economy away from mining and accelerate agricultural production, the Government has created a Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, with the aim of focusing investment in livestock and fisheries development.

Infrastructure Development and Maintenance

During the year under review, the Government carried out infrastructure maintenance and rehabilitation in all the nine provinces. Some of these works will be completed in the course of this year while others will continue. The Government is determined to ensure that infrastructure development and maintenance receives priority in order to provide the required conditions for production in all provinces.

Social Sector 

Mr Chairperson, in education, provincial administration was actively involved in the procurement and distribution of school requisites such as desks, books and many more in line with the Government policy of free basic education. Efforts were also made to increase the number of upper basic schools in order to enhance accessibility to high school education. Provision of health requisites using poverty reduction funds in order to improve access to quality health services still remains a key priority for the Government and will, therefore, continue.

In the administration of justice, some local courts were rehabilitated throughout the provinces in order to improve operations of the judicial delivery institutions and ensure that justice is quickly dispensed.

Further, rural electrification programmes in all the provinces through the provision of solar panels and connection to the national grid, was carried out in some schools and health centres in the course of this year.

In terms of local Governance, the launch of the Decentralisation Implementation Plan will provide further impetus for the local development as decentralisation takes hold.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to state that this list of achievements is not exhaustive, but rather illustrative in that the provincial administration, over the years, has made significant accomplishments which will always benefit from the support of the hon. Members of this august House.

In 2009 and next year, the provinces will continue to pursue various development programmes aimed at reducing poverty and satisfying the needs of the communities they serve, including providing timely and reliable agricultural support services such as input supply, crop marketing and provision of effective agricultural extension services.

Fisheries development and livestock production will continue to receive focused attention while the provinces will ensure that infrastructure rehabilitation and maintenance are closely monitored.

Provincial administration will also continue to provide an enabling environment for private sector development, including mining, manufacturing, timber processing and other productive activities in line with the resource endowment of each province. Similarly, in the education and health sectors, more high schools and health centres will continue to be built. 

Mr Chairperson, I, therefore, wish to seek the support of the hon. Members of this august House in approving the provincial estimates in order to ensure equitable development in our provinces.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Thank you, Mr Chairperson, for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the votes for the provinces. I stand as a very sad person when I look at the three years that I have spent in this House in comparison with the development in my constituency or city. I question myself what I have contributed to the people of my constituency. Kitwe City has not improved not in even in a small way. I have not seen any significant change or development in my city. I say so because Kitwe Central Hospital is in a state of disrepair. The laundry equipment that is being used there is obsolete. The only working machine is the one which was provided when it was constructed.

With regard to the state of schools in my constituency today, there are pupils who travel close to 10 kilometres to access education and I am talking of an area known as Kamakonde where there are people who are not in employment and desperately need to be provided for. Grade 10 pupils have to travel to Kitwe and Kalulushi because there is no High School in the area. 

This has become a very big burden on parents who are unemployed and have no source of income. They depend on meagre resources, usually through growing carrots or tomatoes at a very small scale. This is not adequate at all to provide for their families. Most of their children find it very difficult to continue school after completing Grade 7 because the nearest school they can go to for Grade 8 or 9 is about 10 kilometres away.

Mr Chairperson, I have, on several occasions, lamented on the Floor of this House that this Government has not shown any concern at all by trying to improve the state of roads in Kitwe. I believe it is the same situation in other places because I have heard my fellow hon. Members of Parliament from other towns on the Copperbelt lament on the Floor of this House about this issue. I have heard the hon. Member of Parliament for Mufulira talking about the same …

Mr Msichili: Na Kabushi.

Mr Mwenya: … issue of the state of roads in her constituency. In Ndola, my dear brother here is just reminding me of how bad the roads in Kabushi are.

Mr Msichili: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: Mr Chairperson, we have said on several occasions that much as we appreciate that we do not have much resources because of probably the recent economic downturn that everybody has been talking about, the resources that are generated by the country are supposed to be shared equitably. In fact, the Copperbelt has been producing enough revenue for the Central Government but, at the end of the day, we receive very little or nothing at all.

Dr Katema: What about mineral royalty tax.

Mr Mwenya: It is because of the mineral royalty tax that some time back, in this House, an amendment was made to the Mines and Minerals Development Act. We agreed in this House that the mineral royalty ought to be shared. The reason we asked for that was simply to try and find another avenue of developing our province because the Central Government does not cater for us. I have just been going over the vote for the Copperbelt Province and the only places that have been mentioned in the Yellow Book are Lufwanyama, Mpongwe and Masaiti.

Ms Lundwe: And Chimwemwe.

Mr Mwenya: These are the only areas where we are seeing money being sent. About K5 billion has been allocated for rural roads development, and yet all of it will only be used in Mpongwe, Masaiti and Lufwanyama.

Ms Lundwe: And Nkana.

Mr Mwenya: There is nothing that has been allocated for roads in Kitwe, Ndola, Chililabombwe …

Dr Katema: And Chingola.

Mr Mwenya: … and Chingola.

Mr Chairperson, I want to make it very clear here that the people on the Copperbelt are the most disappointed with the way this Government has been running the affairs of this country. The hon. Members on your right should not think that we go out there to incite the people when they start throwing stones at them. It is because of the way they have been managing the affairs of this country. We cannot continue to let our people live in an environment where they cannot wake up in the morning, enjoy a smooth ride to and from work, enter their home and rest peacefully. Instead, when we wake up in the morning, we start worrying about how we are going to reach our workplaces.  We even start worrying about our vehicles. Even our children do not enjoy going to school. What we have on our roads can no longer be called potholes. Those are dams.

Mr Chairperson, I would, however, urge our hardworking hon. Provincial Minister to seriously convince this Government to start channeling resources to the development of roads in Kitwe. If that has failed, we demand that this Government starts retaining 40 per cent of the mineral royalty tax to mining communities as stipulated by the law. What I have failed to understand is why the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has failed to tell us how much has been collected as mineral royalty. Why are we failing to implement a law which was passed in this House that 40 per cent mineral royalty should be retained so that 20 per cent can go to local authorities and the other 20 per cent retained by the community where this money is being generated from?

It is a known fact that today, copper and emeralds, which are semi-precious stones, are about to be exhausted in this country. We all know that minerals are depleting assets. We should, therefore, look at the number of the many years that we have mined semi-precious stones in the Lufwanyama and Nkana areas and what our people have benefited from this.

Dr Katema: Nothing.

Mr Mwenya: Twenty years ago, our people were destitute. Today, they are still living in squalor. However, hon. Ministers are claiming that there is development taking place in the country. What can anybody point to as development because even in some of the schools we are talking about, pupils still sit on the floor? Hon. Members of the Executive should go and see this for themselves. 

Are we going to say that after thirty or twenty years in Government, we expect our children to remain in the same state of sitting on the floor or sharing a desk amongst four or five of them? Is this what the Government means when it says that it is performing? We want to see development in reality and not on paper. During the time of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM), this company used to take care of the mining communities. The street lights, road networks and refuse collection were all taken care of.

The hon. Members on your right should go and see for themselves what the investors, whom they seem to be protecting so much and go to beg from all the time, are doing for the local communities. Did we say that we should bring in investors for the few of you to benefit? We know that today, you are speaking very strongly and protecting them because something is happening between you and them which our people …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Address the Chair.

Mr Mwenya: Mr Chairperson, something is happening between the investors and them …


Mr Mwenya: … and because of that, we have seen some of them are now even becoming investors in China. There are Zambians who are going to invest in China to open up companies. It is such things that are causing anger amongst our people. I can frankly say that the Government has failed to listen to us. We have been providing checks and balances so that it can perform. 

Mr Chairperson, it has now been discovered that this is an arrogant Government because it does not want to listen. They are blind. 

Mr Shawa: Question!

Mr Mwenya: They are deaf …

Dr Katema: Impervious.

Mr Mwenya: … and because of that, we have listened to the people because they have said that the Opposition should unite so that we remove the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) from Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: We have decided to unite because we cannot continue to see our children dying and our people denied the services they require. 

Mr Chairperson, the right to education and health is not given to our people and that much you know. You know it and you have seen it. You may pretend, but most of you know …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order! 

Address them through the Chair.

Mr Mwenya: Mr Chairperson, most of them know this. They know that our people require these things. We are not seeing the improvements that they are talking about in terms of service provision. 

What we are telling you, again, is that time has run out. We only have a year left and I do not know how you are going to convince the Zambian people to vote for you. 

Mr Chairperson, this time, we will make sure that we monitor the results carefully because they have been surviving out of rigging and cheating. This time, the Zambian people have woken up, including those in the rural areas whom they claim have been voting for them. I do not think that they are insane to vote for people who have failed to provide health care, schools, a road network and other social needs for them.  

Mr Chairperson, if we are not going to develop …

Dr Puma: Ma school ena ekwali!


Mr Mwenya: Mr Chairperson, lastly, I want to mention that on the Copperbelt, as long as this Government does not show seriousness in bringing development, we will never vote for it. We were told that K60.9 billion has been allocated to the Copperbelt Province for the few urban roads, but we are not seeing any significant movement towards the repair of those roads. It is against this background that we are saying, as long as that does not happen, we, the people of Copperbelt, shall become hostile against this Government. You shall find it very difficult to visit the Copperbelt Province.

Mr Chairman, I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, for the first time, I will be very brief. I want to agree with the Leader of Government Business that our provincial administration is there to co-ordinate the Government programmes which are taking place in provinces.

Mr Chairperson, as regards feeder roads, when our colleagues at the provincial administration got the K2 billion which was given to the province, they never sat with hon. Members of Parliament to agree on which feeder roads were to be graded in the constituencies.

Mr Chairperson, when our colleagues, the hon. Provincial Minister and the Permanent Secretary, were brought to Luapula Province, we knew very well that they did not come from that province, but all of us hon. Members of Parliament received them with all our hearts and expected to work with them in harmony. What we want from them is that when they draw up some programmes for the province, they ought to consult the hon. Members of Parliament from that province.

Mr Chairperson, early this year, I talked about the K2 billion which was allocated to the province and that the reason the Government bought those graders was specifically to work on the feeder roads in the constituencies and not the main roads. Admittedly, we appreciate the work the Government did on the Pedicle Road. At the moment, the contractor is finishing works on the Mansa Road up to Lupososhi. 

Mr Chairperson, we have been told that the Ministry of Works and Supply has spent K300 million on the Pedicle Road and K300 million on the Mansa/Lupososhi Road. The question is: where is the K2 billion for the feeder roads? It is only in Luapula Province where the feeder roads have not been worked on and we expect our colleagues from the provincial administration to give us answers. It does not mean that when we keep quiet we are agreeing with what they are doing. It is important for our colleagues to come out in the open and explain to us how that K2 billion was spent.

Secondly and probably the last point, in the Ministry of Health, there are projects that were supposed to be implemented in 2008 but, to date, some of the projects have not been done. This is the reason we want the provincial administration to be on the director of health. Where is the provincial administration? Do they want us to agree with the civil servants that they should go back where they came from? We do not want to do that. All we want is to work with them.

Most of the projects which were supposed to be done in 2009 under the Ministry of Health have not been done. Therefore, we wonder what is happening in Luapula Province.  Let me give an example to support what I am saying. We are supposed to open the Musonda Falls Clinic and money was allocated to construct a house for the clinic but, to date, and this is December, 2009, the contractor is not on site. What do you want us to do? They are there to ensure that any project that has been identified by the headquarters is implemented. Therefore, it is important that our colleagues, that is the hon. Provincial Minister and the Permanent Secretary, look into these issues seriously.

Also, if you look at the Yellow Book, there is no road which will be tarred in Luapula Province this year. Last year, we did not have any roads tarred. We have roads like the Mansa/Luwingu Road, Kasanka/Milenge Road, the road from Mansa to Matanda, the road from Kashikishi to Lunchinda and also the road from Mansa to Kawambwa. Unfortunately, money is not there to work on these roads, but when the President went to Western Province, he promised our colleagues there that the Government would work on a project which would cost about K1.6 trillion. Where are you going to get that money from?

Mr Chairperson, these are very serious matters and since money for this project is not in the Yellow Book, the question is: where are they going to get the money from?

Hon. Government Members: We know!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

That is the kind of debate I like because you are addressing the Chair despite having some of the hon. Members on my right responding to what you are saying. That is why we ask you to address the Chair. If he talks to you directly, then we advise you not to talk back. Therefore, at an appropriate time, I know that the hon. Ministers will be winding up debate and thus be able to respond to what is said. Listen carefully because even if you do not give any remarks now, your opportunity will come.

You may continue, please.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, I know that they want to win in the Western Province, but let us tell the people the truth. We cannot raise K1.6 trillion because that amount is 10 or 15 per cent of the total budget.

Mr Chairman, I will leave time for my colleagues from Luapula to debate because we also need roads to be tarred. I end here and if my colleagues have got ears, they have heard and I have not insulted anyone. It is just advice which can be taken or not.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: I thank you, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to debate. I have a small theme for my debate …

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.{mospagebreak}


Mr Lumba: Mr Chairperson, when business was suspended, I was talking about the North-Western Province raw deal.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

You may continue, please.

Mr Lumba:  I think the proof of that is if the North-Western Province had a good deal, I could not be sitting on this side of the House this time around, ...

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: ... but it is because of the raw deal that the people have received that I am sitting in this House today. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Mr Chairperson, it is difficult to get to the North-Western Province because the only accessible road is from Chingola to Solwezi. I was very sad to hear the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning say that the road will only be done under the private-public-partnership (PPP). PPPs take long from the little I have learnt on concessions, management contracts and leasing. Therefore, that is not to be done tomorrow. 

Mr D. Mwila: Quality.

Mr Lumba: The Chingola/Solwezi Road is used everyday by trucks from Lumwana and Kansanshi Copper Mines. I just came back from my constituency yesterday ...


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Let there be order on my right, please.

You may continue, please.

Mr Lumba: ... and with the rains, you cannot believe the rate at which potholes are developing. I thought the hon. Minister would say so much has been provided in the Yellow Book for  the Chingola/Solwezi Road, but I just heard of the PPP. How long will it take for our colleagues on the other side to arrange that PPP for us to have good roads from Chingola to Solwezi? 

Mr Chairperson, there is also the Mutanda/Chavuma Road. I think the ministry has resurfaced less than 100 kilometres of this road in seventeen years. At the rate we are going, the Mutanda/Chavuma Road will not be finished in our life time. Maybe, the next generation will finish that road at the rate our colleagues are working on it. 

Sir, Angola is coming up in terms of economic development. We will benefit from it. Just the other day, a friend wanted me to arrange a business contract to transport salt and other products to Angola, but there is no proper road from Solwezi. Angola is coming up as a good destination for our agricultural products. There is no maize, salt and even dairy products such as milk in Angola. Angola imports meat from Argentina and it takes months and months to get there, and yet we can supply them with fresh meat and get revenue from that. 

Sir, as regards the Njindo Road, according to the Government, this road will be worked on under the PPP. The question I pose to myself is when this will be done. It is, certainly, not in the lifetime of this Government. I am here in the House now because people have seen that for us to start accessing developmental projects, it will not be under this Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Sir, a lot of people are suffering and that is why I left my profession to join politics because of what is going on in my province. 

On the issue of mining, Mr Chairperson, you will be surprised to note that even employment is a raw deal. 

Mr D. Mwila: Tekanya landa!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

That is the kind of behaviour I do not like. You have to show leadership. 

You may continue, please.

Mr D. Mwila: Landa mudala.

Mr Lumba: Mr Chairperson, the North-Western Province is now being referred to as the new Copperbelt Province. The mines were there on the Copperbelt before I was born. What the owners of the mines began with was the establishment of infrastructure in mine townships such as roads, houses, schools and hospitals. Thus, the best townships on the Copperbelt are those where the mines are. However, we have two big mines in Solwezi which started without any house for a miner. It is only in Solwezi where a miner goes looking for water after knocking off using a yellow budiza and looks for a candle for lighting. Under ZCCM, the miners did not even know where to purchase a bulb from because this was provided for them. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: The mines in the North-Western Province are a raw deal.

As regards employment, we have many qualified accountants or mining engineers in this country who can be employed by Kansanshi or Lumwana copper mines, but there is only one qualified Zambian who has been employed. He lives in what is called the Golf View. The rest of them are the so-called expatriates. 

When the Anglo-American Company pulled out of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), for example, it was run by a Zambian by the name of Mr Jordan Soko. He turned that mine around. Mr Norman Mbazima has left the mine and is working with some expatriates. We have Zambians who can run these mines. I do not know what the Ministry of Labour and Social Services is doing about employment in Solwezi. Our people are being treated as labourers. There is no Zambian in the top management at both Lumwana and Kansanshi copper mines.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Sir, like I said earlier, I was in my constituency yesterday and met the head of the Social Department at Kansanshi Copper Mine. You will not believe that she is also an expatriate, and yet we have so many social workers in Zambia who are graduates of the University of Zambia who know the cultural setup and social aspects of our area. How do we employ an expatriate from either Australia or Canada? These expatriates are paid more money than our local people. That is why I said the North-Western Province has been given a raw deal.

Mr Chairperson, at the moment, the Lumwana River is facing some big environmental problems. Our people will not be getting water from Lumwana River because the copper content or waste from the mine has some uranium content which you all know here as a problem. 

Mr Chairperson, our colleagues on the other side cannot do anything about this issue as long as they get the mineral royalty tax and value added tax. They are content with that. They are not looking at what they will leave behind. Twenty or forty years from now, Solwezi will have ditches and our children will be told that there was once a copper mine there. They will not know whether or not we benefited from it. If one went to the Copperbelt, they would see a lot of development in Nkana East and West. A lot of good houses were built.  There is the Rokana School, Rokana Hospital and Malcolm Moffat Hospital in Mufulira. This entire infrastructure was built because of the mines, but this infrastructure is not there in the North-Western Province, and yet we have big mines coming up. Our colleagues on your right are very excited about the revenue that they will be getting from the Lumwana and Kansanshi copper mines when the North-Western Province has been given a raw deal.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Mr Chairperson, in 2006, I campaigned to come to this House, but did not manage because the people of Solwezi were excited about getting something from the mines. This time around, for the first time in my campaign, I shed tears. Forty-five years after independence, there are schools in Solwezi which do not have black boards or desks. There is Sandangombe School which has not been painted for years. 

You can go there and see it. That is forty-five yeas after independence in modern Zambia, but …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: … our colleagues are seated there enjoying the revenue from Kansanshi and Lumwana mines.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Very soon, they will start enjoying the revenue from Mwinilunga.  I am told that the Chinese will be going there very soon. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Mr Chairperson, what have the mines done for this province? I will tell you what the mines have done for the North/Western Province. They have just brought HIV/AIDS.

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Lumba: These mines have destroyed the few roads that were there. The mines have made life for the people of North/ Western Province very expensive. There is no accommodation. Even civil servants who are transferred to Solwezi will not find accommodation, but you are seated here doing absolutely nothing about that.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Sir, today, we are complaining about lack of adequate electricity in the North/ Western Province, but you are seated here doing nothing. This is a raw deal! 

Mr Muntanga: Look at them!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Hon. Muntanga, why do you think I should treat you differently from people who I have treated in a particular way because of saying what you have just said? Please, let us keep order. This issue of saying, “Look at them” when somebody is debating is not good. 

Continue, hon. Member, please.

Mr Lumba: Sir, if this Government was serious about the issue of addressing the power deficit, it could have developed the Kabompo Gorge and Chikata Falls.  I conducted a consultancy on Chikata Water Falls in Kabompo under the Rural Electrification Projection. I discovered that we could generate about 5 megawatts from there. This is simple and it can be manageable if planed for properly, but we are just complaining about the looming energy deficit, and yet there are opportunities to generate power in the North/ Western Province. We have been given a raw deal in the North/Western Province.

Hon. Opposition Members: hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Mr Chairperson, the North/Western Province receives good rainfall, but little attention is drawn to its agricultural sector. The province can generate more revenue through agriculture. I do not know why we are seated here thinking all is well. Why is there De Beers in the province? In Botswana, De Beers has an agreement with - what is the name of the company in South Africa and a Tswana company that deals in diamonds.

Hon. Members: De Beers!

Mr Lumba: De Beers and a company from Botswana have formed a company called Debtswana, but here we have given away the Lumwana and Kansashi mines. 

Sir, before I came to this House, there was a Bill that could have made us earn something from the mineral royalties or Windfall Tax, but this Parliament or the Government scraped it off.  This was a raw deal.

Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Sir, for twenty years to come, we will just be telling our children that once upon a time, there used to be a mine. By the way Kansanshi Mine is very old. In my maiden speech, I said that my dad, who is seventy-nine years old, was born right where the mine is located. My grandmother also died right where the mine is located. In fact, even her grave is still there. The mine has been in existence for a long time. At the time, the mine was making a bit of money. The United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government constructed houses in the area, but the MMD Government destroyed the houses through Cyprus Amax. Nothing remained. There were no clinics or schools for the miners. Nothing was left for the miners.

Sir, the North /Western Province has been given a raw deal.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this vote.

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate the Lusaka City Council and the police officers for removing the street vendors from the streets.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! 

Mrs Sinyangwe: We can now drive safely on the streets and they are clean. This is how it should be.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! 

Mrs Sinyangwe: I would like to urge the new hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing not to relent. He should not get into cheap publicity or popularity of allowing wrong things. What is wrong is wrong. It will never be right.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! 

Mrs Sinyangwe:  Therefore, he should keep this up.

Sir, firstly, I would like to talk about roads in the province, especially in Matero Constituency. Today, it has rained heavily and I am even scared to switch on my phone because I know that everybody is trying to phone me and complain about the misery that they are facing. I know that, today, houses and roads are flooded such that you cannot even move properly. I think the issue of the drainage system in Lusaka should be handled with care and given priority. As I was coming from the hospital this afternoon, it was difficult for me to drive because the roads were flooded and if the situation continues, we are going to have a lot of accidents. We do not want to lose lives!

In Matero, we have the Zingalume Road which I have always talked about. This is the road that leads people to the cemetery and clinic. In the past few months, the road was impassable, but with the rainy season, I do not know what my people are going to do because minibuses are refusing to go beyond a certain point.

 Mr Chairperson, when we go to Matero at 1700 hours, it is very difficult to get out of the township because we only have one ring-road in the area. Salima Road, which could have helped to decongest the other roads, is equally in a bad state. Zingalume Road is in such deplorable state that it cannot be used. Therefore, I urge the hon. Minister for Lusaka Province to look at this issue seriously. I know that we have the provincial road equipment, but I have never seen it in my constituency.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: We should not think that because we are in an urban area then we do not need the equipment. That equipment must be equitably used by all the provinces. We belong to Lusaka Province and are part of Lusaka urban, but we have never seen the road equipment come to our area. We also want to see it come to our constituencies so that it can do some works. I think the drainage system and roads are something that is beyond what the council can attend to. It should be addressed seriously. 

At the moment, some houses are collapsing. Why? This is because we have also allowed the illegal allocation of plots. Plots have been allocated even in areas where the drainages and roads are supposed to pass. There is total confusion. I think we should sort this problem out.  

Mr Chairperson, I am not pinpointing one political party. All political parties are to be blamed for this because it is happening in all constituencies. All political parties are involved, including my party, PF and the MMD. They are all doing the same thing. It is not one party that should be blamed. For us to address issues such as this one, we must take it as our problem. Immediately we start pointing fingers at other people, we will fail to solve the problems that we have. Accusations and the culture of blame have taken centre stage in Zambia. If we continue like this, I do not see us developing.

Mr Shawa: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: We only have one country, Zambia. One person cannot destroy the country, it will take all of us to destroy the country. The mindset of our people must be changed so that they start looking at problems and find solutions to them.

Hon. Government Members: hear, hear! 

Mrs Sinyangwe: Sometimes, I think that it is important that we forget about politics. Let us help whoever is in Government to govern so that tomorrow, when somebody else is in Government, other people are going to help him or her.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! 

Mrs Sinyangwe: That is the only way we are going to move forward.

Hon. Opposition Members: We are helping!

Mrs Sinyangwe: When it comes to schools, …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Hon. Ntundu, please, you are making her debate difficult. Consult quietly.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Sir, when we look at the location of high schools, we can clearly see that some areas are dominating. In other areas, there are very few high schools. In Matero Constituency, many children have to leave Matero every morning to go to Kabulonga, Munali and Kamwala. These are vulnerable children who may not even have enough transport money. Sometimes, they have to walk. If they walk 10 kilometres, it means that the first two hours in class, they will be resting until they recover. This means that they will lose out in the first two hours. I think there is a need for us to do something. I know you are doing well in the education sector. You have built a lot of schools, but you need to do more because we still have a big challenge in that area. 

Mr Chairperson, I would like to commend the Government with regard to clinics. At least, at my clinic, they are building an operating theatre and extending the maternity wing, which is good. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Sir, I do not believe in condemnation without being constructive. You have done your bit, but we need more beds in that clinic. We also need an extension to the mortuary. Although other people think that they will not die, the people in my constituency die. That is why I even wanted an ambulance and a hearse. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Whether we like it or not, these are facts. We have to move forward and see what is good for us. If we claim that we are talking for the people, how would you not want them to have a hearse or an ambulance? I think, sometimes, when we talk, we must stop a bit and think of what is important. In my constituency, a hearse is a priority because I have seen bodies carried on wheelbarrows for burial. We have different priorities, therefore it is important that I appreciate other people’s priorities instead of condemning everything. If you do not want a hearse, you should come out and say that you do not need a hearse. I will come out and say I want a hearse because my people are suffering.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Sir, I think we should be serious. Opposition or no opposition, our people need these facilities. We want the Government to provide them because they are the ones who are in the driver’s seat.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: When there is another government in office, people will still speak in the same manner. That is why I say, I am very consistent. I still speak the same way as I did when came to this House. I do not turn 360º and start saying something else.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: That is not good. I would like to urge the hon. Minister for Lusaka Province to co-ordinate the work of the hon. Members of Parliament in Lusaka. We need to meet and discuss our priorities. We need to be realistic in the way we set our priorities. I hear there is 30 kilometres of road to be worked on in each constituency. If we are going to get 30 kilometres this year and we get another thirty later, I am sure we shall make progress. What will make us stagnant is not doing much this year and then not doing much next year either. If we do a little this year and next year, we shall be make progress.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Chairperson, Hon. Mwila talked about the issue of the RRU. I also want to put more meat to that subject. The equipment that we got from China can do a lot of wonders if we manage it properly. The Southern Province is an agricultural province and if the use of this equipment is well co-ordinated, it can assist us a lot in terms of delivering inputs to satellite depots. This can also help in the transportation of crops to markets. In addition to that, it can also help with the transportation of people. 

Sir, really, I think, next year, we need to co-ordinate and improve on the usage of this equipment. For example, per two districts, we were told to share the five units that we were given, namely the grader, roller, front head loader, tipper and waterbowser. This equipment is complete. We can do anything with these five units. What we just need is good co-ordination. Monze District is currently sharing the equipment with Gwembe District. Monze District was given thirty days to use this equipment. We have three constituencies in Monze. Therefore, each constituency was supposed to use the equipment for ten days, but there were no set targets. I would like to suggest that if we maintain the same system, let there be a target of 8 kilometres to be worked on every day so that after ten days, we have 80 kilometres of road worked on per constituency. We can do a lot. 

Sir, in the olden days, during my time and the federation, that was the target.  What is happening at the moment is that they can work on 1 to 2 kilometres, then that is it. Let us improve on the co-ordination and if we have to maintain this standard, there must be supervision. I want this system of working on 8 kilometres per day to be used next year, but there must be supervision. We cannot allow the operators to work on their own. Supervision in terms of workmanship is very annoying, especially if you find that the operator is there, but there are no side-drains or mighty drains to drain off the water. Once we do not have the drainage system, it means that the road cannot last. Therefore, let us improve on the co-ordination and supervision next year. 

Sir, I am not happy with the K5 billion allocation per province. I would have loved K2 billion per district. K5 billion is nothing and I think we will still have problems even with that money. Having said so, let me come to the issue of the quality of equipment that is there. I am not happy with it. This equipment is meant for light grading. Our roads require heavy grading. When they use it for heavy grading, the equipment just switches off. It cannot work. I would have loved different equipment like the champion equipment which is meant for heavy grading and not this type of graders we have that is only good for light grading. 

Finally, Sir, I would like to talk about construction in general. There is a lot construction going on in my constituency and, generally speaking, in the Southern Province. I think that contractors in Grade five and six need very close supervision. It was mentioned in the report by the Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply that there must be, at all times and wherever construction is taking place, a clerk of works or resident engineer. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Mr Chairperson, this is a song that some of us have been singing since 2002. It is almost eight years now. The report only proved some of us right. We need these people on site. We cannot allow a contractor to work unsupervised. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: There must be change. Like someone pointed out, we only one-and-half years left before 2011. If this is not done, we will do it ourselves. The PF/UPND Pact will have no problems putting things right. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Mr Chairperson, we have been giving free advice all these years. Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, we have been giving free advice for eight years now and you do not implement it. You will see how, in two years time, after we take over, things will change. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Hon. Minister of Works and Supply!

Hon. Opposition Member: It is just a matter of time.

Mr Mooya: Mr Chairperson, just a few years after stopping work, I visited these sites. One surprising thing is that the mix of the concrete is very wrong. For instance, if the specification says one in four, for concrete, it means you use one wheelbarrow of cement to four wheelbarrows of sand. However, at these sites, one pocket of cement to four wheelbarrows of sand is used. 

Mrs Musokotwane: Teach them!    

Mr Mooya: This is a weak concrete. You are supposed to use the same measurement. It saddens me.

Mr Muntanga: Free lecture!

Mr Mooya: Mr Chairperson, it is supposed to be one to four to eight to make concrete. Use the same measurements. Use one wheelbarrow of cement, four wheelbarrows of sand and eight stones. When you add just one pocket of cement, you weaken the mix because a wheelbarrow takes about one and a half pockets of cement. Curing is very important. If you do not cure it for seven days, you weaken it. These are the basics that the contractors are supposed to know. This is why I am saying that the clerks of works or resident engineers must be present at all times to control the quality. 

Mrs Musokotwane: That is if he knows this himself. 

Mr Mooya: Mr Chairperson, with these few words, I thank you. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the many debates on the 2010 Budget. 

Mr Chairperson, firstly, I would like to appreciate what the Government is doing in the field of roads in my province. The few roads that have appeared in the budget, which are supposed to be worked on, are some of the vital roads in the province. Examples are the Chipata/Mfuwe, Chipata/Lundazi and the Great East roads. 

Mr Chairperson, I would like to point out that in the President’s Speech, the President mentioned that the Chipata/Mfuwe Road would be tarred. However, looking at the current budget, it appears that there is no allocation for the tarring of this road. We hope that funds will be found to tar this very important road that will lead to economic development in our province. 

Mr Chairperson, on the issue of RRU, which has been talked about by other speakers, I would like to point out that in the Eastern Province, we also require equitable sharing of the RRU funds. In the current financial year, K2 billion was provided for the province. However, there are very few districts or constituencies that benefited from this money. This year, K5 billion has been provided for this programme and we hope that these funds will be looked after at the constituency level. It will be necessary to look at this because everybody requires roads to be worked on. 

Mr Chairperson, we appreciate that the Eastern Province is mainly an agricultural area. We produce maize and rear animals for sale and our own use. When we talk about cattle re-stocking and diseases, the province is usually not included in these programmes when we also require these kinds of services to ensure that our animals are properly looked after. Farmers have lost animals due to certain diseases. However, when we talk about re-stocking, it is purely for the other provinces. The Eastern Province is left out. When we say talk about this, people say it is because the President comes from there. Are we going to be excluded just because the President comes from the Eastern Province? We also need development equitably, whether the President comes from the Eastern Province or not. This is a rural province that requires development like any other. 

Mr Chairperson, I want to mention that there are times when the hon. Minister of Works and Supply or the provincial office indicates that certain feeder roads or bridges and other infrastructure would be worked on, for instance, the Chama/Matumbo and Chiwoza bridges which appear in the annual work plan for this year. Unfortunately, the manual has not been released and we were told that in the next annual work plan, these bridges would not be worked on. When we tell our people that this good Government has given us money to build bridges and roads, but the works are not done, we look like we are telling lies.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Banda: Mr Chairperson, we would like to urge the powers that be to release these funds as and when they appear in the annual work plan so that, as a province, we develop like any other province in this country. 

Mr Ntundu: A Government of lies!    

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Mr Ntundu, you are really being provocative. You just want to be sent out so that you make history that you were sent out.


The Deputy Chairperson: I will not send you out today because I want you to be here. Therefore, you have to behave. 


The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member may continue, please. 

Mr C. Banda: Mr Chairperson, I indicated that the Eastern Province is a rural area which entirely depends on agriculture and other activities to develop. We are in dire need of drinking water for both people and animals. You will notice that in the past two budgets, there has been very little money allocated for the construction of boreholes or dams in the province. The boreholes that we have at the moment came from co-operating partners. We would also want to benefit from the funds being provided by the Government for drilling boreholes in rural areas. As a province, we have supported our Government so much and we need them to support us in this kind of situation. The boreholes and dams will go a long way in improving the living standards of our people in rural constituencies. 

Mr Chairperson, I have mentioned that most constituencies, including mine, have been affected by a lot of calamities. We have been affected by the civil wars in neighbouring countries. This meant that the infrastructure in Milanzi Constituency and other constituencies along the Zambia/Mozambique Border is underdeveloped. We wish that a proper programme was put in place to ensure that the infrastructure is developed. We appreciate whatever the Government is doing for us in terms of health, education and other infrastructure.

Mr Chairperson, a lot of this is done through CDF. We cannot do capital projects for the Central Government using CDF alone because we are exhausting this source of revenue by using it all the projects in the province. We also want resources to be shared equitably and across the board.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to talk about one issue that is affecting my constituency and this is the delimitation of the border lines. This is going on at the moment. What is happening is that, for instance, a village that has been in existence for the past twenty years ends up with half of it in Mozambique while the other part is in Zambia. That is done overnight. While we appreciate that this can happen, what affects us so much is that the fields are on the Mozambican side and the Mozambicans charge K50,000.00 for one to cultivate this year. K50,000.00, for a local person in Katete, is a lot  of money. If he/she does not pay that kind of money, he/she is not allowed to cultivate the field.

Mr Chairperson, we, therefore, hope that people involved in this exercise will ensure that the people of Milanzi and, indeed, those along the border areas, including Mwanjabantu in Kapoche Constituency and Nyimba are afforded the chance to enjoy their citizenry rights like other citizens.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Banda: Mr Chairperson, I also want to mention that some roads such as the Great East Road were inspected and assurance was given that they would be worked on this year. We would, therefore, appreciate it if the contract for this road was given to one of the best contractors. A lot of money has been spent on this road, but the potholes keep resurfacing. We would like this road to be given priority because it will enhance development in our area.

Mr Chairperson, most of what I wanted to say has been covered by my hon. Colleagues. I only wish to stress the fact that, probably, on the issue of feeder roads and RRU, we need to have an equitable way of sharing the money.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Chairperson, firstly, I would like to talk about the issue of roads. 

Sir, as clearly predicated by Hon. Muntanga, I would like to start with the Kalabo/Mongu Road. This road is becoming famous because it is an economic lifeline for the Western Province if not the whole country because it connects the country to Angola whose economy is booming currently. This would be the nearest route to the sea Therefore, the connection of this road to the sea does not only relate to what was said earlier by one hon. Member who complained about this road but will also be beneficial to the entire country. So when we seek funding, the best way is to justify why we need certain roads to be worked on.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imenda: Therefore, the Kalabo/Mongu Road is very important for the development of this country.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imenda: Mr Chairperson, I also want to mention that according to statistics, it has been proved that Kalabo has a huge potential for oil. Therefore, it is important that this road is worked on for economic reasons.

Sir, there is also the Kaoma /Lukulu Road which has equally proved to be very important. There are clear statistics which prove that there are oil deposits in both Lukulu East and West. This route is also important in that people from Zambezi and Kabompo are actually going to use it since it is the shortest route to Kaoma /Luampa/Kazungula and Sesheke. Therefore, it is the shortest route to the sea.

Sir, the Mongu/Kalabo Road leads to the Liuwa National Park. This park has wildebeest which is only found in the Serengeti National Park in Kenya. They migrate from Liuwa to Angola and remain there for five months and back to the Liuwa National Park. This is a very unique phenomenon which is only found in two areas world over. Therefore, there is a need for this road to be worked on. There is also the Sesheke/Senanga Road. The road which goes via Mbeta is very important because it is going to connect us to Kazungula, Botswana and South Africa. There is also a need for Kazungula to be connected to Kalabo.

Mr Chairperson, there is also the Machile/Luampa Road. Some funds were allocated for this road some four years ago. This was reflected as funded by donors in 2006. Suddenly, there is total silence on this road.   

I would also like to make reference to the equipment that is at our headquarters in …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Hon. Members seated just behind Hon. Imenda are consulting too loudly and the hon. Member on the Floor cannot debate properly. Give him a chance to debate.

Mr Imenda: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for your protection.

Sir, I was making reference to the equipment in Mongu. The allocation for 2010 is only enough for eight kilometres of road per district. I feel that this is not enough taking into consideration the Western Province terrain. Therefore, it was going to be of help to us if there was an additional two kilometres. 

Mr Chairperson, let me now come to the health sector. I would like to mention that the biggest hospital in the Western province is Lewanika. What is surprising is that at almost every provincial centre there is a State Registered Nurse Course offered except the Western Province. This is very surprising for a hospital which is one of the oldest in this country. Therefore, I would like to get an explanation from the hon. Minister of Health as to why this issue has been ignored year in and year out.

Mr Chairperson, I would now like to say something on the Ministry of Education. Every time I listen to other hon. Members of Parliament debating in this House, I hear them make reference to universities that are coming up in almost all the provinces. Surprisingly, a province where education started in 1900 is still offering a certificate programme only at the Mongu Teacher’s Training College. I would also like to hear from the Minister of Education why we have been ignored in this sector.

Mr Chairperson, I would also like to bring to your attention the fact that the Western Province is one of the provinces that produces the best timber but, surprisingly, there is no timber industry. Timber processing is not heard about in the province. How do you empower people economically if issues of this nature are ignored?

Mongu produces the best cashew nuts. However, the cashew nut industry has been ignored. If you investigate, you will find that the economies of Namibia, especially Mozambique and Senegal, are dependent on cashew nuts. They process cashew nuts for export, but this industry in the Western Province has been totally abandoned.

Once upon a time, Hon. Sejani asked a question in this House about the province which had the largest number of herds of cattle in Zambia. The answer given here was that the Western Province had the largest number of cattle and the best. However, we have ignored the control of cattle diseases. When people talked about disease control, we heard very little about it. 

When the Government decided to create disease-free zones, the Western Province was not even mentioned. Instead, the declaration made covered areas where there are very few herds of cattle, which is very wrong. For this reason, we, in the Western Province, would like to know why the Government is not empowering the people whose potential is so huge. We would also like to know when the Western Province will be declared a disease-free zone so that the people can also benefit from the exportation of meat to developed countries.

Sir, in addition, we would also like to see the leather industry developed in the Western Province.

Mr Mubika: Hear, hear!

Mr Imenda: As the moment, we have been totally ignored. 

Mr Chairperson, let me now narrow down to Lukulu. Lukulu District was set up in 1967, but does not have a police station. The police are squatting in the council offices. In addition, Lukulu District has no prison at all. When people are arrested, they are taken to Kaoma, which is 200 km away from Lukulu. I do not know whether this is in order.

Sir, let me reiterate the fact that the magistrate court sessions are held in the council chambers. When the council is sitting, the courts adjourn all the cases. We all know that justice delayed is justice denied. Therefore, the people of this district have their justice denied because of lack of a magistrate court room.

I would also like to mention that Lukulu District is not connected to the National Grid. However, surprisingly, the power is connected to other provinces past Lukulu.

Hon. Member: Is there another province near?

Mr Imenda: We, the people of the Western Province, would like to know why we have been ignored.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: Mr Mwamba from the Northern Province you were indicating.

Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, I have been caught unaware because I had even lost hope.

The Deputy Chairperson: Do not give up. Once you indicate, we take note of that.

Mr Mwamba: I think I will proceed.

Mr Chairperson, once again, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on the vote for the Northern Province.

Sir, in my contribution, I will first talk about health. Kasama is the provincial headquarters of the Northern Province. Unfortunately, the hospital there is in a deplorable condition. Two weeks ago, I was privileged to pass through the hospital due to a very unfortunate incident we had. One of my buses careered off the road and six people lost their lives, may their souls rest in peace. It was very sad when I entered the mortuary to note that it had not been operational, I believe, for a number of years now. It cannot freeze although it can only blow cold air. There was a stench which I cannot even describe. I am sure the hon. Minister is here and is listening because he is one of the people who came to the mortuary and witness this.

For this reason, I would urge the provincial leadership in Kasama to look into the issue of the mortuary not only in Kasama, but also the Northern Province as a whole.

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

Mr Mwamba: There was a similar incident in Chinsali. Some of the dead bodies were brought to Kasama Hospital because the mortuary there was not operational.

Mr Chota: It is not there.

Mr Mwamba: Well, it does not exist, as I can hear from other hon. Members of Parliament. Mortuaries are not very costly. The money that we spend on by-elections can be diverted to rehabilitate these mortuaries.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: In fact, some of the hon. Members of Parliament here can afford to rehabilitate this mortuary because the problems that are there are minor and would not cost much. Therefore, this is not the Government’s responsibility alone, but one which can be taken up by hon. Members of Parliament because we are here to represent our people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: If we can afford to rehabilitate these hospitals why can we not do that? Please, let us go ahead and assist because, tomorrow, it will be our relatives who may need to be put in those mortuaries.

Mr Chairperson, Kasama being the provincial headquarters, houses the Kateshi Coffee Company which employs more than 1,000 people. At the pick season, it employs more than 3,000 people. This is the only industry which employs a lot of people in the province. Unfortunately, it has wound up. In fact, in the last three or four years, if I am not mistaken, there has been change of ownership. The reasons for this are best known by the Government because it has been dealing with the investors. As people of Northern Province, we would like to know what the Government is doing about the Kateshi Coffee Company.

During the by-elections, the Government promised that it would look into the issue of resuscitating the Kateshi Coffee Company. Immediately the representative of the Ruling Party lost, the Government has turned a blind eye to this and is not even talking about it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: This is a very sad situation. 

The same thing applies to feeder roads. When the members of the Ruling Party came for by-elections, they were busy grading all the roads in the Northern Province. The day they lost the elections, one grader was abandoned 25 km away from Kasama.


Mr Chota: Shawa!

Mr Mwamba: There was no diesel. I, personally, had to assist the grader driver with diesel. This is very sad. We should not only grade roads when we know that there is a by-election.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: Question!


Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

It is not allowed to say “question.”

Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, I now come to the issue of the Kasama Airstrip. I still emphasise that Kasama is the provincial headquarters of the Northern Province, but its airstrip has not been tarred in the last forty-five years or since independence or shall I say since I was born. As for the reasons this is so, the Government will be able to answer, but it is a sad situation.

Mr Chairperson, we understand that some hon. Members from the Northern Province would like to hijack the idea of Kasama being an international airport and instead divert it to Mbala. What is in Mbala and what is the population there? It is nothing compared to Kasama. So I would like to urge some hon. Members not to hijack that idea of turning Kasama into an international airstrip.

Mr Chairperson, I now move to the issue of electricity in Kasama. Electricity supply is erratic, and yet we have the Chishimba Falls. This falls generates power and has been doing so even before I was born. We draw power from the national grid, but we do not understand why we have a problem of electricity in Kasama. As the hon. Minister winds up debate, I would like him to tell me why Kasama does not have a steady flow of power.

Mr Chairperson, Kasama also has an erratic water supply. The only place you find good water supply is along the street where senior Government officials and I live. 

Dr Katema: Kwaba Shawa!

Mr Mwamba: If you go to a place called the location or the central town of Kasama, the supply of water is a nightmare. You have to use a bucket to bath. Imagine a fat man like myself using a bucket. It is agonising.


Mr Mwamba: You have to use a pit latrine. Imagine a person of my weight using a pit latrine.


Mr Mwamba: I have to use sticks to support me.


Mr Mwamba: Sometimes it is even better to go into a bush where I can use a tree for support.


Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, my humble appeal to the hon. Members on your right is that they should look into …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Hon. Mwamba do not give the impression that those of us who live in the rural areas and do not have those facilities and are fat are not doing the right thing.

Will the hon. Member continue, please.


Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your guidance. However, it is true that I have problems when I am there.


Mr Mwamba: I am sure hon. Shawa will vouch for me because I am sure he had similar problems.


Mr Shawa: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Shawa: Mr Chairperson, I have never risen on a point of order in this House. Is this man who is feeding the pigs in Kasama in order to involve me in his debate?


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Mwamba will take that point of order into account as he debates. 

Will he continue, please.


Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, as regards education, I had an opportunity during the by-election to visit a lot of schools in my constituency. What is happening in some of the schools is not something that I can talk about. After forty-five years of independence, you find pupils sitting on the floor without desks and windows. Instead of windows, there are ventilators and so I would like to urge the ministry to look at the plight of schools in the Northern Province.

I recall that the hon. Member who spoke before me had similar sentiments on the deplorable state of schools in his constituency. It looks like this is a countrywide problem and so the issue should be tackled by the Government and not only at the provincial level.

Lastly, but not the least, I want to discuss the issue of the Luwingu/Kasama Road.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: I do not know how to describe the issue because it is forty-five years after independence and a stretch of about 164 km has taken this long to complete or shall I just say that since the MMD came into power. The former President, Dr Fredrick Chiluba, said that the first project he would tackle was the works on this road. He did nothing.

Mr Mabenga: But you were part of us.

Mr Mwamba: Yes, thank you very much, but I was not in the Chair. However, the time I will be in the Chair, you will see.


Mr Mwamba: This project will only take a few days to complete. Mr Chairperson, in the seventeen years the MMD has been in leadership, nothing has happened apart from the less than 60 km which has been tarred. Looking at the 2010 Budget, there has been an allocation of K31 billion, but this amount may only tar 31 km. That means …

Mr Chongo: It may even be more.

Mr Mwamba: Yes, because even the rates of the contractors may go up next year and the work may be under 31 km. It means that it will take another Government to complete the project and that Government will be ours.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: We do not mind because we know that in less than two years, we will be in charge. We will be on the other side and as the Bembas say, “Insansa kuchinjana” and so we will be chinjanyaring insansa. With those few words …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

What is insansa before you sit down?


Mr Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, the phrase means exchange of happiness.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Thank you. I was looking for an hon. Member from the Central Province to speak, but since there is none, I will call upon Hon. Simuusa who has been dying to speak for a while.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the vote for the Copperbelt.

Mr Chairperson, firstly, I will restrict myself to issues that are very well known on the Copperbelt and I would like the hon. Minister to listen very carefully because I want him to take note of what I am going to say. When we speak on this side of the House, we give advice to our colleagues …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Let us have some order.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, our colleagues do not take advice. As a result, we start seeing things like what happened in Solwezi. Before the Solwezi by-election, I stood here and gave free advice to the colleagues on your right and I gave reasons they were going to lose the by-election, but there was murmuring and disputing from the right. However, what I said is exactly what happened and for the reasons I pointed out.  

My colleague, Hon. Lumba, welcome again to this House, alluded to the fact that the people in Solwezi feel cheated because the resources that God has given this beautiful country have not benefited them. The Government has failed to do that and we will continue to give them advice. In this respect, as we talk about the Copperbelt, I want to give advice to our colleagues on your right, Mr Chairperson, that on the Copperbelt, I know they are under instructions to regain popularity at whatever cost, but let them listen to just a few simple issues which I want them to take seriously.

Mr Chairperson, I can tell you that on the Copperbelt, the impression is that this is an uncaring Government. In fact, I would also be inclined to say that this is a fact because, for example, we are aware that there have been massive retrenchments of miners without any abatement on the Copperbelt. We are also aware that there have been a lot of unrests without the Government taking any action. For example, at the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), recently, there was a riot in my constituency by the miners. Therefore, the reason for that riot is collective blame. Management, the unions and everyone had a problem and a part to play, but what has happened is that all the blame has been heaped on the miners. At the moment, more than forty dismal letters have been issued to miners and I have not heard any statement issued by the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security or hon. Minister for the Copperbelt on the fate of these employees, and yet it is not entirely their fault. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, if this is a caring Government, we are supposed to be keeping jobs not losing them and I expected to hear a statement from them.

Mr Chairperson, let me talk about ex-miners. Twelve years after the privatisation of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine (ZCCM), the ex-miners have not been paid their terminal benefits. When the late President Mwanawasa was campaigning for his Presidency, he made a promise that the ex-miners would be paid their benefits, but to date, those benefits have not come. When President Rupiah Banda was campaigning in 2008 for presidency, again, he made a promise that the ex-miners were going to be paid their terminal benefits. Have they been paid? No, they have not been paid. What we see is that the Government is not keeping its promises. That is the impression on the Copperbelt. 

Mr Chairperson, on the issue of teachers in my constituency, I am on record as having pleaded with this Government to look after their employees, but to this day, that scar has remained. In my constituency, the teachers do not have houses. There is a wrangle between the so-called sitting tenants and non-sitting tenants with regard to accommodation. You should provide alternatives. I gave alternatives to this Government that before they do anything, they should make sure that these alternatives are made available. Did this Government listen, no? Last year, teachers were chased like animals from their houses in the height of the rainy season. That has traumatised me to this day even if I am not a teacher. When I was in my constituency, an invalid was thrown out of her house. At the moment, some teachers live in chicken runs and storerooms. I still plead with the Government to look for alternatives for their employees, but to date, nothing has happened and the MMD is looking for popularity on the Copperbelt. These are the issues they need to tackle.

Mr Chairperson, let me talk about the so-called illegal miners. 

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

A point of order is raised.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member of Parliament in order to put all the blame on the Government when he is the Member of Parliament on the Copperbelt? Is he in order to expose his incompetence here in this House? 


Hon. Opposition Member: Aah!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Well, I think the hon. Minister has kind of adequately debated his point of order. However, let me advise that the Provincial Ministers are going to respond. I hope that what is happening now will happen then in the sense that those on my right are not really heckling those on my left. When it comes to responding, I hope that a similar kind of atmosphere will prevail.

Can you continue, please.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, teachers are not my employees. They are employees of this Government. I do not build houses; it is this Government that builds houses for teachers. I cannot give money to miners, it is this Government that gives. With us, we just talk and give advice and when there is no action, we keep on talking. Therefore, I am asking this Government to pay attention to what we tell them. 

Mr Chairperson, we have dumps in Chingola which we agreed that the so-called illegal miners who are residents of Chingola can manage by supplying to KCM. Again, a promise was made and I remember that was one of the issues I raised when I was campaigning, that those dams will be given to the people in Chingola so that as they mine, they earn some income and take their children to school. That has not happened and those dumps have been hijacked by people with different agendas. The hon. Minister for Copperbelt knows what I mean. I would like him to comment on that issue. As a result, again, we have the illegal miners rioting and I hate calling them illegal miners because it is this Government that has made them illegal. Again, the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development is aware that we can very easily legalise that mining which is not being done. I would also like him to comment on that issue. 

Mr Chairperson, my debate would not be complete without talking about roads. The roads on the Copperbelt are pathetic. In fact, I have debated that issue extensively. I have mentioned that the Copperbelt contributes to this economy. In particular, I always talk about Nchanga because it contributes singularly over 50 to 60 per cent to this economy, but come and see the roads and infrastructure there. It is a sorry sight. It is like a ghost town and I cannot even boast of being the richest Member of Parliament, as I always say, because of what my constituency contributes to the economy of this country. The roads and infrastructure are pathetic and I cannot even be proud of this. Again, as my colleagues have said, you should prove us wrong if the wealth of this nation is being distributed equally or equitably. Is it because the Copperbelt is predominantly Opposition that the roads are not being worked on? Is that why we are not being given resources? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, the last time I debated, I said prove me wrong if you are able to work on those roads. I am informed that in Chingola, we might be lucky in that we might be the only ones who will get a contractor this year, but I will wait until I see that contractor start working before I comment thereon. However, prove me wrong then we will take it from there.

Mr Chairperson, before I end my debate, I would like to talk about my experience with the RRU in my constituency. I have heard my colleagues, even the hon. Member for Moomba talk about RRU. I would like to commend the Permanent Secretary who helped me after fighting and pushing and lobbying with him. Finally, after lobbying and putting pressure for six months, a grader was released to Chingola and it first came to Nchanga. I only had two roads to be graded that is Luano B - 14 kilometres and the road called Kapishatu Impintanshi -14 kilometres. It is only 28 kilometres in total. I worked in industry and mining where I supervised graders. Therefore, when that grader came, I knew that a well supervised grader can do wonders in one day and I agree with the former debater that it can do 8 kilometres when well supervised. 

When that grader came, I inspected it personally because I wanted my roads to be worked on. I found that it was a brand new machine with a Cummins engine and everything was perfect. I was very happy because with my experience with graders, I knew what this machine could do. According to my calculation, the 28 kilometres of roads in my constituency could be finished in three days. However, just to be generous, I said it would take about one or two weeks. 

Mr Chairperson, what happened is that on the very first day when I took the grader on site, I put someone with a cell phone to monitor the grader so that every hour, I would be getting a report. That is the high level of supervision that I employed. We also made sure that there was a fuel account from CDF so that there were no stories. 

Mr Chairperson, the grader only worked one day. When it was deployed, I left happy. It was parked early around 1600 hours on the first day because the workers said it needed a break. The following day, I got a call around 1200 hours that the grader had broken down. I was very surprised because it only worked for an hour or two and had graded less than 100 kilometres. When I asked what the problem was, I was told that it just could not start. 

Hon. Members: 100 kilometres?

Mr Simuusa: 100 metres, sorry.


Mr Simuusa: I was later informed that the batteries were flat. I took the batteries in my own vehicles to have them recharged. It is a distance of 10 kilometres from where the grading was being done, in the peri-urban part of my constituency. When I got back to the grader, the story changed because the fan belt was not rotating. I asked if the problem was electrical or not and went to check the fan belt. Unfortunately, I think these workers did not know that they were dealing with someone who knew these things.

 Mr Chairperson, when I checked the fan belt, I found that it was a mechanical fan belt. At this point, the story changed again. I was told that the grader had an electrical fault. The operator showed me a wire which was very clean and said, “Ni wire iyi.” I said that there was nothing wrong with the wire. I then realised that there was something going on. I called the supervisors and they said that they would come. One week went past, but they did not show up. They came after a week, fidgeted around and got the grader going. 

Thereafter, I think it only worked for only three days before there was another break down. This time around the operator claimed that a bolt had broken. This is a grader whose bolts were brand new. The supervisors came from Ndola a week after to inspect the grader again. Everything was being done from Ndola. After the inspection, they went back to get a bolt and came back after another week with a wrong bolt.


Mr Simuusa: They went back and in the third week, they came back with a correct bolt. Meanwhile, the machine was parked. Immediately they fixed it, which was after three and half weeks, I was told that there was no diesel.


Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, diesel had to be brought in drums. The first consignment was 200 litres. That machine had not been working, but at the end of three weeks, which is almost a month, when it was fixed, we needed diesel. We had to wait for almost a week for diesel to be brought from Ndola. We were in month two and we had only graded less than a kilometre.

Mr Chairperson, after the grader was fixed and the diesel came, I decided to move it because I had two roads to grade. We moved it to another site and by the time it reached there, it had only graded four metres. At the new site, I was told, “filter yafilwa uku kakika.” Meaning, they could not tie the filter.


Mr Simuusa: I asked why they would fail to tie the filter of a brand new machine. After that, I was told the cutting edge was also finished. The cutting edge is the thing that grades. There were two inches of cutting edge still left. This means that the machine could still grade 

Mr Chairperson, I then realised that we had a problem. For once, let us do something right. That is a good programme, but there are many loopholes. Why should diesel be transported in drums. We do not know where it comes from and where it goes. We were told that K3 billion was spent on diesel. Where did that diesel go? How is the Government going to control the use of diesel which is transported in drums?

Mr Chairperson, secondly, I found out that the operators are paid every day regardless of whether they work on not. Why should this be so? It means that, maybe, they are conniving with their supervisors to make money and so they create false break downs.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to ask the hon. Copperbelt Minister to carry out an investigation on the use of graders under RRU. I told the supervisor to hand over this grader …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order! 

(Debate adjourned)




(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1956 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 2nd December, 2009.